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Offline AdmiralRalwood

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  • The Cthulhu programmer himself!
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The door slid open (quietly; in a hospital like this one, unnecessary noise was to be avoided at all costs), but the silhouette on the other side hesitated. After waiting a sufficient amount of time for the interloper to work up the nerve to enter on their own, the room's single occupant spoke up.

"This is most irregular; I hope you know that."

The silhouette twitched, startled, but finally stepped through the door, allowing it to slide closed again. Once inside, it was clear the silhouette had belonged to a young man in the uniform of a Delest Dynasty Lieutenant... a uniform that seemed ill-fitting to its occupant, upon consideration of the fact that the (far older and more experienced) man he was here to see would normally be wearing the uniform of a Vice Admiral.

"My apologies for the intrusion, Sir... I did check with Doctor Demikhov before arranging this interview."

The Vice Admiral nodded. "Yes, I know. That wasn't what I was referring to; a newly-minted Lieutenant does not usually seek out a flag officer with a request to become said flag officer's Flag Lieutenant. One might accuse the newly-minted Lieutenant in question of overstepping his bounds."

The accused didn't even bat an eye; clearly, he did not suffer from a lack of self-confidence, at least when it came to his reasons for being here. The Vice Admiral stared at him thoughtfully for a few moments, then shrugged. "I'll be blunt, Lieutenant: my previous Flag Lieutenant died onboard the Aurora. What makes you think you can fill her shoes?"

The Lieutenant flinched at that, actually taking a half-step backwards, his composure shattered, and a glimpse of pain was plainly visible in the tears he was barely restraining. The Vice Admiral held up a hand apologetically. "I'm sorry; that was both unfair and disingenuous of me. Of course I recognized your last name, Lieutenant Kollari; Susan was never one for discussing her personal life, but on the rare occasions that she did, I heard nothing but pride directed towards her younger brother."

"I..." Lieutenant Sergei Kollari was no longer able to restrain the tears, but the pain in his eyes had faded somewhat, although his voice was husky. "Thank you for that, Sir."

"Still," the Vice Admiral continued, "the core of my question still stands: why do you want to leap headlong into a posting where the most likely outcome is that you'll die before the month is out?"

"With all due respect, Admiral Ralwood, if we fail to stop the Hierarchy, death could be the least of our concerns; I couldn't live with myself knowing I'd done anything less than my utmost to stop that from happening."

Vice Admiral Jason Ralwood gave a crooked smile and gestured at the bandage still covering his right eye. "And you really think standing on the flag bridge of an admiral that got his entire fleet shot out from under him is really doing your 'utmost'?"

Sergei smiled. "Yes, Sir, I do; not least of which because Susan never once complained about what an idiot her boss was while assigned to the Aurora. I can think of no greater assessment of the competence of a superior officer."

If Lieutenant Sergei Kollari had not known such a thing was flat-out impossible for such an exalted personage, he would have sworn the Vice Admiral actually blushed at that. "Well, Lieutenant, if you're sure... if the Admiralty should see fit to assign me to a new fleet, I think I know whose name I'll be putting forward as my new Flag Lieutenant."

"Thank you, Sir." This time the tears streaming down Sergei's face were ones of joy, rather than pain.
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Codethulhu GitHub wgah'nagl fhtagn.

schrödinbug (noun) - a bug that manifests itself in running software after a programmer notices that the code should never have worked in the first place.

When you gaze long into BMPMAN, BMPMAN also gazes into you.

"I am one of the best FREDders on Earth" -General Battuta

<Aesaar> literary criticism is vladimir putin

<MageKing17> "There's probably a reason the code is the way it is" is a very dangerous line of thought. :P
<MageKing17> Because the "reason" often turns out to be "nobody noticed it was wrong".
(the very next day)
<MageKing17> this ****ing code did it to me again
<MageKing17> "That doesn't really make sense to me, but I'll assume it was being done for a reason."
<MageKing17> **** ME
<MageKing17> THE REASON IS PEOPLE ARE STUPID
<MageKing17> ESPECIALLY ME

<MageKing17> God damn, I do not understand how this is breaking.
<MageKing17> Everything points to "this should work fine", and yet it's clearly not working.
<MjnMixael> 2 hours later... "God damn, how did this ever work at all?!"
(...)
<MageKing17> so
<MageKing17> more than two hours
<MageKing17> but once again we have reached the inevitable conclusion
<MageKing17> How did this code ever work in the first place!?

<@The_E> Welcome to OpenGL, where standards compliance is optional, and error reporting inconsistent

<MageKing17> It was all working perfectly until I actually tried it on an actual mission.

<IronWorks> I am useful for FSO stuff again. This is a red-letter day!
* z64555 erases "Thursday" and rewrites it in red ink

<MageKing17> TIL the entire homing code is held up by shoestrings and duct tape, basically.

 

Offline Lepanto

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0931 hours, Admiral's Quarters, CRF St. Louis IX, Docked at Farsight Station, Vega II Orbit, Vega

BRRRRP! BRRRRP! BRRRRP!

"Comp, cancel alarm." Santiago dragged himself out of bed, as much as his exhausted body still wanted to keep sleeping until dinnertime. The past week had been torture on his sleep cycles, and the 4th as a whole probably felt the same way. The battles in Draco had put them all through a punishing series of long watches, attacks, feints, and ultimately retreats, as the 4th and allied fleets played a deadly game of subspace chess with the Hierarchy. The 4th was taking a much-needed rest in Vega while it licked its wounds and re-provisioned, under Commander Beresford's watchful eye. But, duty still called, and they would be back in Draco by the end of the day. While Admiral Kalazonitov of the 3rd DD would probably be loath to admit that he needed any help from Britannian "limeys," his fleet wouldn't last long without the 4th and 1st CRF's prompt return to the fight.

The Admiral's quarters, while much larger and better-appointed than any enlisted man's or junior officer's, was hardly opulent. Still, Santiago had sometimes reflected, Onboard a spaceship, empty space is the greatest luxury of all. He had installed some faux-19th-century carpeting, a few Catholic devotional icons, and a bookshelf near his bed. He'd always had an affectation for paper books, admittedly a quaint anachronism in the modern world.

After a quick morning prayer, Santiago hurried through the rest of his morning routine, devouring a breakfast of instant noodles with a messiness that would have been scandalous in public. Checking his terminal, he read a heartening report from Beresford, telling him that the 4th's repairs and restocking was proceeding on schedule. Seeing no other messages requiring his immediate attention, he decided to follow up on his correspondence until he was due on duty at 1030. He called up his mail program and noticed two messages marked for his attention, neither of which he had answered.

"Comp, begin composing reply to Veers's most recent message." It had been two days since the 1st Fleet's commander had contacted him, but better to reply late than never.

=====

Communique:

ADM 4FLT to ADM 1FLT


Forgive my late reply. I was busy with my duties, or I would have replied to your thoughtful message earlier.

The battle in Draco is already over, and I am uncertain whether or not we came out ahead in the grim calculus of war. Certainly, as much as I would have wished to, we did not win the war. You've heard what happened to the 3rd and the 1st DD. We retrieved the 3rd's surviving fighters, but Admiral Harkness is still MIA. As the situation stood, given the Hierarchy's massive firepower in-system, we had to risk heavy counterattacks if we were to destroy the 1st Hertak. We brought down the Hierarchy's strongest known fleet, but at the cost of two of our own. I am uncertain if the Allied forces can survive this rate of attrition. We don't know how many fleets the Hierarchy still has in reserve. As it stands, loath as I am to admit it, we have no opportunities on either front to inflict a decisive blow. Unless we find such an opportunity, it seems we'll have to bleed them dry before they can bleed us dry.

I am looking forward to working with you when our fleets link up in Draco. The situation in Draco is currently too volatile for us to form any plans, but we should have our senior staffs and the 3rd DD's begin coordinating our counterattack as soon as possible.

Your data on the Hertak and Fura'ngle helped us immensely, and I thank you from my heart. With your scans on Hertak shield harmonics and armor composition, my gunnery chief was able to put together some new gunnery instructions that improved our damage-per-shot against Armageddons by 23% total. They are attached.

Nevertheless, even though we caught them off-guard in our initial attack, the battles in Draco have taught us to respect the Hertak's firepower. Their beam cannons are simply more powerful than any weapon in the Terran and Cyrvan arsenal, and we have no effective way to disarm their warships if they shock-jump our capital ships. We can only defeat Hertak fleets with localized numerical superiority, and that leaves us vulnerable to a counter-attack, like that which destroyed the 3rd. The 4th and 3rd conducted themselves well in the Draco battles, but we are simply outmatched on a ship-to-ship level, and the Hierarchy has shown that they can and will punish us for leaving any openings. If the Hertak commit more fleets, I do not know if we can win the war without massive Cyrvan support, and to be blunt, I don't think the CSA will be arriving en masse.

I wish I had better news to report, but the war still hangs in the balance. Nevertheless, we will fight for as long as we have a chance of winning. Hail Britannia!

Peace be with you,
Admiral Santiago

=====

"Comp, finish and send."

Santiago had always respected Veers, though he hardly knew the 1st's admiral personally. Hopefully, the more Santiago communicated with other admirals like Lorric and Veers, the more likely he'd be to hear or stumble upon some new strategic or tactical insight that could change the course of the war. It wasn't likely, but a good commander had to investigate all acceptable and possible advantages.

Not to mention, their fleets would be working alongside each other when they returned to the Draco meat grinder, and Santiago knew that inter-fleet coordination would be necessary in the upcoming battles. Privately, he briefly wondered if better coordination with allied forces in Draco would have spared the 3rd from destruction, but he quickly quashed that self-destructive line of thinking.

Next on the list was Admiral Kalazonitov of the 3rd DD. Santiago hoped it wasn't too late to forge an effective working relationship with the Delest commander, despite the well-known animosity between their respective nations. Santiago mused on how to open his message to the Delest admiral. From what little information he'd called up, Kalazonitov was a straight shooter, though quite adept at the political games and backstabbing which plagued the Delest government. Best to keep his message short and to the point.

=====

Communique:

ADM 4FLT, CRF to ADM 3FLT, DD


Admiral Kalazonitov,

The CRF 4th and 1st Fleets are inbound to reinforce you, ETA 1745 hours today. Requesting an update on your fleet disposition and supply situation, and all intelligence you have on Hierarchy deployments in Draco. We will be bringing a small supply convoy with us, so if you have any critical supply shortages, please inform us now.

I know of your animosity toward the CRF, but I hope to establish a smooth working relationship with all our mutual allies, at least for the duration of this war.

Pax Vobiscum,
Admiral Carlos Santiago, CO, 4th CRF Fleet
=====

Now, Lorric. This would be a long one. Santiago checked the time out of the corner of his eye. 1002. I've got time. Taking a sip of darjeeling, a cup of which had been provided by the automatic dispenser, he called the mail program back up.

=====

To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Condolences and greetings

Lorric,

I certainly respect your dedication to duty, and I've also been working myself to the bone, but just remember to take a break whenever you can. Almost nobody can work at 100% for days on end without breaking down eventually, and you've had it worse than I, being at the front lines since day one.

We certainly underestimated the Zy's technological prowess, but at the time, no one could have been aware that an enemy race could have had the capability to circumvent Starlances entirely. What concerns me, now, is why the Hierarchy only used their nodeless drives to send one fleet on a flanking attack. I can only hope that the cost of producing and/or using these nodeless drives is too prohibitive for mass-production, and that their range is too short to strike deeper into our territory, else they could slip multiple fleets past our defenses and ravage our rear lines. Our enemies are powerful and well-equipped, but they are not omnipotent; for the most part, they still work within the same strategic constraints we do.

I haven't read the most recent reports from the north in detail, but I can only congratulate you on the 2nd's combat performance. Not that I expected any less, of course. I must admit, though, that, the current situation has me worried. An unknown device blocking your route to Aldebaran, and five Hierarchy fleets within attack range? I had thought that the north was in a stalemate; it appears I was wrong. I pray that by the time you receive this message, our fleets will have contained the situation in the north.

The recent discoveries about the Cordi have also piqued my interest, and caused me to question how strong their loyalty to the Hertak truly is. Though they all fear the Hertak, I suspect our enemies are not a monolithic front. They have their own motivations, and some careful diplomacy on our part might possibly sway some of them into switching sides, or at least abandoning the Hierarchy. This suggestion might sound absurd, but we should always look for a diplomatic solution where possible. We have blunted the Hierarchy's initial thrust, and whether or not we can win this war on our own, we have at least proved to all concerned that the Hertak and the Hierarchy are not invincible. The 4th Cordi was willing to take our surrender; they are not fanatically loyal to the Hierarchy, unlike the Nordera. If any of the Hierarchy races, like the Cordi or the Fura'ngle, are only on their side out of fear of the Hertak, now may be the time to offer them a chance at freedom.

The men and women of the 4th, and of all the allied fleets I've served alongside, have met and exceeded the call of duty in our recent engagements.

Though the loss of the 3rd was a tragedy, and I still sometimes ask myself if I could have somehow prevented it, we had to risk a heavy counterattack if we were to strike the 1st Hertak. Now, we've lost two fleets just to take them down. The calculus of war is grim, as always, and I can only hope this trade-off was worth it in the end.

I was well aware that by taking the 4th into battle, I was risking all our lives. Once the Hertak arrived, we've all been risking death every time we take the field. I recognize this, and accept it. Before the 4th arrived in Hydra, I sent messages to my family, in case I died in the upcoming battles. You must have steeled yourself for the possibility of death, as well. I could hardly bear to lose you, but I know I cannot let the fear of loss cloud my mind and my decision-making. All we can do is fight, and pray we make it out alive. If we both survive the war, let's get together and play a round of. . .that one game you used to like. I'm sorry, but I can't remember. . .it hasn't been that long since the Academy, has it? What was it again?

As for alien psychology, to be honest, I believe our species are more similar than you might think. All living beings think, feel, and act in similar ways and for similar goals. The Cordi share a loyalty to Queen and hierarchy like Britannia's; the Hertak seek to enslave all races under their rule; the Fura'ngle fear death; and, if I remember the report from your first engagement in Tauri correctly, the Zy requested your surrender, which shows they place a certain value on life. Any human admiral, if they had access to nodeless drives, would have used them for similar outflanking strategies. I think most Terrans, like the Cordi-hating Admiral Iera of the 1st SF, only see the Hierarchy races as an unknowable enemy to be destroyed. I hope that we will eventually find a common ground of shared aspirations between all our races, and that that common ground will be the foundation of a future peace. Call me a sentimental fool, but I believe that if we ever find an opportunity for an honest peace, we must grasp it. I admit, that would likely require breaking the back of Hertak power with our force of arms, before they are willing to end the war. Still, this war cannot go on forever, and even if we win, we must strive for a better future than merely the extermination of our enemies.

I must confess that there was a certain genius to the Hierarchy's double-corridor invasion plan, which I did not initially grasp. Send in the expendable Cordi and Nordera, who gather intel on us and open a broader front, while keeping their best fleets in reserve. With our fleets fighting in multiple systems, then finally commit their best units. Still, their strategy seems somewhat inefficient; why have they deployed their reinforcements piecemeal, instead of, say, massing three Hertak fleets in one sector and punching a hole in our defenses with localized force superiority? I only hope they don't have many more surprises in store for us.

I have faced the Hertak in battle, and I can confirm that their vessels are so superior to ours that we can only defeat them with localized force superiority. Even a combined attack by three fleets couldn't take down one of theirs. In the battle, you could probably see from the reports that I deployed the 4th in an all-in attack, much riskier than my usual conservative strategy. Even then, we only managed to destroy five of their battleships. To be honest, I do not know if our forces can hold, either in the south or the north. The war's outcome is still very much in doubt.

I know. My men and I will remain steadfast. We will fight, for as long as we have a hope of victory. All Hail Britannia!

Pax vobiscum,
Santiago

=====

"Comp, finish and send."

Time to head to the office. No rest for the weary.
"We have now reached the point where every goon with a grievance, every bitter bigot, merely has to place the prefix, 'I know this is not politically correct, but...' in front of the usual string of insults in order to be not just safe from criticism, but actually a card, a lad, even a hero. Conversely, to talk about poverty and inequality, to draw attention to the reality that discrimination and injustice are still facts of life, is to commit the sin of political correctness. Anti-PC has become the latest cover for creeps. It is a godsend for every curmudgeon and crank, from fascists to the merely smug."
Finian O'Toole, The Irish Times, 5 May 1994

Blue Planet: The Battle Captains: Missions starring the Admirals of BP: WiH
Frontlines 2334+2335: T-V War campaign
GVB Ammit: Vasudan strike bomber
Player-Controlled Capship Modding Tutorial

 

Offline Lorric

  • 212
To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Condolences and greetings

Hello, old friend. I hope you are well.

Well, whether I like it or not, I certainly have a chance for a break now, twiddling my thumbs here in Librae. It’s relaxing though, orbiting the planet. Look, here’s a couple of shots I’ve taken, aren’t they beautiful?







But yes, I hadn’t thought of it before, it was just about proverbially putting one foot in front of the other, but yes, I have been up at the front, so I guess it’s a good thing for me and everyone else to get a break from this physically and mentally grinding down process.

Since the Zy left behind this… thing…, and performed that jump, perhaps they are a special unit assigned with special equipment. I have actually hypothesised that this fleet is the command fleet for operations up here in the North. Their intelligent and unpredictable movements, use of special equipment, and the simple raw fighting prowess of this fleet put all other Hierarchy fleets we have faced up here to shame. Even the 2nd Zy. I hope they are a special case rather than the norm. The 2nd Zy arrived in normal fashion. They would have jumped in with the 1st Zy if they could, wouldn’t you have thought? We know nothing about this technology of course though, it’s completely, no pun intended, alien to us. It all rests on what the Zy have left behind. We still have the strength to control them if we can get this X-factor out of the way. The fighting up here has been very fierce, with the advantage shifting from one side to the other repeatedly.

It was under control until the Zy made this move and split us up. All we can do is wait, but very soon now, the 4th SF will begin their investigation of the object. I won’t be able to relax until that is done, knowing the Zy were able to plant this because of my plan. It could of course be anything, it could be the contents of their garbage disposal somehow mocked up to look like something else, just to stall us. Maybe we could try planting something fake sometime if we have to leave a system, to delay the hierarchy’s advance. Barring something cataclysmic in Tauri, I think we can bring things back under control again.

Oh I agree. Once you win a war, you have to win peace. You could drop bombs on conquered enemy planets/cities, or drop food. I think the latter would work better, at a fraction of the cost. These other races are slaves. If we set them free, surely they’d be grateful? But that’s in the future. We should be talking to the 4th Cordi now. It is foolish if you ask me to take them all the way back to Sol, we’re wasting time here. They should have been taken a couple of systems back from the front lines and the investigation begun immediately. I have been tempted to try and talk to these aliens, but I don’t know what to say. Would you like to try? It might be harder for you with the Hertak masters around, but you’re the one who is better cut out to be a diplomat. It shouldn’t be down to us anyway, high command should be trying to make such a move.

One reason I was in favour of investigating the thing in Tauri is we know the Hertak are taking slaves and building an empire. I would be utterly shocked if it was some sort of doomsday device, placed in one of the most valuable systems we have. I also wonder if, though I don’t think the chance very high with how strongly the 1st Zy have resisted us, that they could be taking the opportunity to secretly reach out to us in a non-hostile way. We’re going to need to try and find some allies somewhere, because this can’t continue forever, we’re fighting 5 races, and two of them are superior technologically to us, one ridiculously so.

Same here. This is what it looks like when a species fights for it’s survival. I wonder how these others fought that have fallen into slavery…

I don’t think there was any way to prevent it. The Hertak are just too strong. I hate seeing brawn defeat brains, but that’s going to happen with such a disparity.

As far as my own death goes, by now I’m mentally prepared for the possibility. Oh, I don’t want to die, and the prospect scares me if I allow myself to dwell on it, but it was always something you had to be prepared for to take this career. But you know me, once the fighting gets started, such things go out of my mind. But as you say, it’s the decision making process where the doubt must not be allowed to worm it’s way in. I haven’t had to think about this much since I’ve been thrust into battle from the start and it’s been a frenzy where you have to live in the moment. Now that I’m waiting in Librae that will soon change, we only have some minor Resupply and repair to take care of, and then hopefully, a long, long, deep sleep. But then, it will be the waiting game… ah yes, game, Free Space, of course!

It probably falls somewhere between the two. There’ll be times when they behave as we would and times when their behaviour is literally totally alien to us I would think. But on the Zy, rather than a certain value on life, I think it’s more like a certain value on slaves by order of the Hertak I’d say. Nothing sentimental about that in my eyes. These other races are slaves, not aggressors, except for the Nordera. And if we could free them, maybe there’d be three more friendly species in the galaxy. If we could get just one, that would be great.

I have a hypothesis on that. Our scientists have been looking through the data gathered on UFO sightings over the past centuries, and the Cyrvans have been doing the same, to see if there’s a match linking anything to the vessels of these races. Nothing. No matches. We never even had any inclination that the systems these aliens arrived from existed until they jumped in. I think that this may have been a scouting operation rather than an invasion. They have plenty of fleets, but you’re not just going to jump into an unknown system without the ability to defend yourself, are you? The Hertak can send the expendables in first, and then if they find something, start directing the real forces into battle. I think that’s why the enemy have been showing up piecemeal. And I think that also means eventually we will be hit by the kind of invasion force you’d expect for an alien invasion. I could imagine them massing such a force now, while they send in the forces they had in the local area to keep us busy. Another possibility is the Hertak didn’t come first because they don’t know our power. If they commit everything, and it’s not enough, they’re finished. And finally, as powerful as the Hertak are, they are slave masters. Why fight when you have slaves to do it for you? They may well be sending just enough Hertak to keep their slaves in line, and relying on their slaves to do the job for them. The Zy are superior to us, and the Fura’ngle and Cordi are dangerous. They don’t need to commit to battle themselves.

And we thought the Cyrvans were bad, pfff… well, at least the Cyrvans are with us now. Soon they will enter battle alongside you. That will be a historic moment in the history of our two races, the first joint Terran/Cyrvan operation against a common foe.

Indeed. Hail Britannia! Strength and honour! Good luck and good hunting, my friend.

Lorric

 

Offline Lorric

  • 212
"...James Davis there with that report on how things are proceeding on the front lines. And now, still with our coverage on the alien threat, something very different. Over to our reporter on the ground for more..."

“Thank you. I am Naomi White at XYZ news with this report. Now, people have reacted to these alien incursions in a variety of ways, some strange, but perhaps none more stranger than the Insect Society On Earth (ISOE) faction, who want us to embrace the Cordi as our new masters, and who have been gaining surprising momentum over the past few days. We're here with their spokesman, Blake Roberts, to hear why he would want insects to rule over humanity. Tell me Mr. Roberts, why would you want an alien race of insects to rule over us?”

“Well Naomi, humans have proven over the centuries to be unfit to rule. History shows that, a trail of death, blood, greed, egos, petty politics and incompetence. Frankly I’m amazed we’ve come this far. Now compare that to insect societies right here on Earth, tiny creatures working selflessly in perfect harmony to achieve their goals. Building skyscrapers on their scale and fighting their enemies. Working tirelessly for the common good, laying down their lives without hesitation for the betterment of their societies. This has all been accomplished by creatures with brains the size of a few grains of salt! We as humans can only dream of this in our own societies! But together with the Cordi, that dream can become a reality! We as a species have somehow shambled along to get this far, but the Cordi can take us to the next stage of our evolution! We must accept them as our new masters, and rise to new heights as a species! The Cordi are our saviours and we must embrace them!”

“But from what we understand, the Hertak are the masters here, not the Cordi. We wouldn’t even be able to do what you want.”

“It is a small price to pay! We just need to learn from the Cordi and embrace their ways. Maybe we can even be left to the Cordi to manage as willing slaves. As a species we will rise to new heights despite it all! Please, join us! Join ISOE, and together, we will build a build a new Utopia for all of humankind under the direction of our glorious insect masters, the Cordi! Join us now, and let us build a new future! Help us to build our dream, and make it reality for the good of all! The time is now for us to rise!”

“Well uh… thank you, Mr. Roberts. Naomi White from XYZ news…”




Members of ISOE campaigning for support.


Cordi Artwork commissioned by ISOE, with member of ISOE worshipping on her knees before it.


Members of ISOE calling for the Cordi to take over Earth


Cordi plush toy made and sold by ISOE.

 

Offline CommanderDJ

  • Software engineer
  • 210
    • Minecraft
Iera sat at his private terminal in his quarters. It had been a long day, but the fleet was at last once again ready to make way and brave the dangers of the cosmos. His mind drifted to the investigations of the 4th SF in Tauri, and his weathered and lined brow furrowed as concern for his fellow soldiers came to the forefront of his thoughts. By current estimations, the 1st SF would be reinforcing them around the same time that they were scheduled to complete their investigation. None of the scenarios he envisioned of what the Zy could have left behind made him feel any better. Enough. Action, not thought. He rubbed his eyes briefly with a hand. There wasn't much he could do to help, not until the fleet actually arrived in Tauri, but he could at least let his fellow admirals know that he supported them. He had, of course, communicated and worked with Admiral Windforce before, and knew him to be a capable and intelligent man, quite worthy of the fleet he commanded. This Lorric, however, was an anomaly. Though Iera's crew had fought alongside Lorric's once before in Aldebaran, Iera didn't know much about the man himself. Nevertheless, the 2nd CRF would be remaining behind to guard Librae during the investigation, which could prove to be important should the object provide a backdoor into the system to the enemy, and by all accounts he had heard, they had been valiant soldiers in the war effort so far, despite the controversy early on in the war relating to their Queen. He decided to send a message to both fleets. No such thing as too many allies. He called up his messaging program and began to type.

From: Rear Admiral Dovorek Iera, Hand of Absolution, 1st Sol Force Fleet
To: Rear Admiral Jason Windforce, Firelance, 4th Sol Force Fleet

Admiral Windforce,

I trust that your investigation is proceeding soundly. I merely wish to convey my salutations and my compliments on your efforts in the war so far. When the 1st SF arrives in Tauri, do not hesitate to let me know how we can be of best assistance if the Zy object turns out to be a less-than-pleasant surprise. As the iron wall of humanity, we will do what is necessary to vanquish any threat to our race.

Good hunting,
Rear Admiral Iera

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Rear Admiral Dovorek Iera, Hand of Absolution, 1st Sol Force Fleet
To: Rear Admiral Lorric, Soaring Spirit, 2nd Commonwealth Royal Fleet

Rear Admiral Lorric,

My name is Dovorek Iera, commanding officer of the 1st SF; a pleasure to make your acquaintance. My compliments to you and the crew of your ships; what I have heard of you speaks highly, and I always respect fellow defenders of humanity. In addition, whilst we did not have personal correspondence then, the reports I received after our fleets, together with the 1st UGCR, annihilated the 1st Cordi were all very favourable. Your choice to remain behind to safeguard Librae during the investigation of the object left in Tauri by the Zy was an intelligent one, and I look forward to continuing to work with you as we push back and defeat the enemy that threatens our people.

Best regards,
Rear Admiral Iera

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There. It was done. Just then, he received a report from the bridge indicating that all ships had reported in and that the fleet was ready to mobilise. At last. Back into the maelstrom. Iera got up and strode quickly out of his quarters. The war wasn't going to win itself, after all.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 11:26:20 pm by CommanderDJ »
[16:57] <CommanderDJ> What prompted the decision to split WiH into acts?
[16:58] <battuta> it was long, we wanted to release something
[16:58] <battuta> it felt good to have a target to hit
[17:00] <RangerKarl> not sure if talking about strike mission, or jerking off
[17:00] <CommanderDJ> WUT
[17:00] <CommanderDJ> hahahahaha
[17:00] <battuta> hahahaha
[17:00] <RangerKarl> same thing really, if you think about it

 

Offline Lorric

  • 212
From: Rear Admiral Lorric, Soaring Spirit, 2nd Commonwealth Royal Fleet
To: Rear Admiral Dovorek Iera, Hand of Absolution, 1st Sol Force Fleet

Greetings Dovorek Iera.

The pleasure is all mine. Thank you for your kind compliments. I have passed them on to the fleet and it has provided a much needed boost to morale in these tense moments.

I have the highest respect for the Sol Fleets and the martial prowess, professionalism and ideals practiced by the personnel of said fleets. It is always a pleasure to work alongside the men and women of the SF, as it was when with your help we destroyed the 1st Cordi fleet.

We have also already worked favourably alongside Rear Admiral Jason Windforce of the 4th SF, where we joined with him in a successful attack on the 3rd Cordi where we dealt major damage, forcing their retreat from the front lines, and when we co-ordinated a textbook retreat together from Tauri.

And in the very first engagement, where we met the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Cordi, while we engaged the 1st Cordi, alongside us in the line, the 2nd SF engaged the 2nd Cordi.

We of the 2nd CRF are all watching, and wishing you good fortune in Tauri. We have your back. We will be ready to respond to the situation in Tauri at a moment's notice. If we are needed to defend here in Librae, we will. If we are needed in Tauri, we'll be there. Hopefully we'll be able to press forward through Tauri into Aldebaran with our fresh fleets, and plough through the enemy ranks together.

Again, thank you for your kind words, my fellow Admiral.

Rear Admiral Lorric.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 10:38:22 pm by Lorric »

 

Offline Spoon

  • Moderator
  • 212
  • ヾ(´︶`♡)ノ
Tauri system, Zy device

"Caaaaptaaaain..."

A slow, almost whiny voice, reached the ears of Wing Commander Alexander 'Scoundrel' Blackgate. He yawned, stretched himself, rubbed his eyes and looked at the incoming video communication from his wingman. 'I really hope she's done this properly', he reached for the comm panel, cleared his throat and asked

"Are the scans done? Please tell me they are done."

"Weeeell..."
She looked like she was about to tell him something he didn't wanted to hear "The scaaans... They aren't picking up aaaanything..."

Alexander involuntarily raised an eyebrow. "Are you saying that none of the scans are showing anything?"

"I've scanned eeevery spectrum, including subspace. It's like there is nooothing there..." She tilted her head a bit and added "Buuuuut, the sun has been acting reaaally strange this past hour... I thiiiink the device might be related to that somehow..."

"But we have no way to be sure of that..." Alexander rubbed his chin and pondered what else he could do here. Their orders are to determine what the purpose of this device is but right now the only thing he could report is that there is nothing to report!
"Clara" he was probably the only one who refused to call her by her nickname 'Cow', "Time to go weapons hot, let's find out if we can at least interact with this thing in some way"

"Okaaaay." Her Caliburn started to turn to face the big black reflective sphere. "Firing particles..." a single flash of purple errupted from the Caliburn's top mounted primary bank. Seemingly with little effect. The particle bolt simply came out on the other end of the sphere, having apparantly passed through it with no effect.
"Well... cycling to plasma..." The green flash of hot plasma dissipated before it even reached the sphere.

Alexander cursed under his breath, "some fine piece of technology those lizards left us. By jove, do I hope we find out what this thing is before it is too late..."

"Shooould I try firing a missile..?"

"Might as well give it a try."

"O-kay, putting one duuuumb fired Darty in this thingy." The Caliburn unleashed a single mighty Dart missile... and both pilots witnessed it pass through the sphere with no loss of velocity...


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tamy system, 2nd Delest Dynasty Homeguard Fleet

Xiau Yi Delest right now is feeling at the top of the world. He has the finest of the Delest navy under his command and the most beautiful of ships in his fleet. Xiau got up from his chair and started walking around the bridge, his long cape trailing his every step. The young admiral had eagerly jumped at this chance to get into the action. His first assignment was a cakewalk, his fleet was to hunt down a few Nordera stragglers that had somehow made it far behind the front lines. There was pretty much no risk involved and it was a good chance for him to gain some easy glory.

"Admiral, we have the Nordera raiders on sensors." One of the bridge crew reported.

Xiau returned to his chair, and with a flair for dramatics swiped his cape in the air as he sat down. He raised his right arm forward and loudly proclaimed
"We will now commence Operation Ragnarok! Deploy all fighter wings, sally forth and destroy the Nordera!"
Ragnarok really was an over the top name for a small scale operation to mob up a small band of low tech aliens but nobody on the bridge dared comment on it.

A long slender old man, his uniform decorations indicating the rank of commodore, took his place standing next to the chair Xiau was sitting on. He leaned slightly forward and asked with a soft voice. "Sire, if we send out all our available fighter wings, our fleet's fighter cover will be spread dangerously thin. This may not be wis-"

"NONSENSE!" Xiau interrupted loudly "There is nothing here that could possibly threaten us." He was determined to score an overwhelming victory here and if there was any caution to be had, he would throw it to the wind.

"Of course sire, it will be as you wish." The old commodore slowly backed up and stood rigidly next to the command chair.

A small twenty minutes passed and the first reports of the fighter wings started coming in. Overwhelming victory, of course. Xiau smiled to himself, exactly as he had envisioned it. His thoughts already started drifting off when suddenly one of the bridge operators reported with a distressed voice,

"A-Admiral!"
Xiau's head jerked up. "What is it?!"
"Five full wings of hostile fighters just decloaked on our right flank! We only have one patrol wing out right now!"

Xiau clenched both of his fists as he stood up from his chair. "Intercept them! Don't let them get close!" He could feel the old commodore's stare in his back, he knew exactly what he was saying by not saying anything! The Zy had used the Nordera as bait and he took it, hook line and sinker. All he could do now was watch this disaster unfold on the big viewscreen infront of him.

A few minutes later the Zy fighters had withdrawn, wiping out the little air cover the fleet had, inflicting heavy damage on several ships and outright destroying two.

Xiau slumped back in his chair... what should have been a glorious easy victory turned into a huge embarrassment. There was no way he could return to Delest space like this. He slammed his fist on his armchair. He pondered how he could damage control this...
Suddenly he got it, what he needs right now is a scapegoat! If he can pin most of the blame on someone else he can still save face. And he knew just the person...
That old geezer from the 3rd Fleet! It has been bothering him immensily how recently that man had been slowly but surely securing more and more influence.
He turned to his Commodore. "Send a message to the 3rd front fleet, inform them that they are to rendevous with us in Aquarius at once!"
"As you wish, Sire" came the stoic reply from the Commodore, who was wise enough not to question about the why and how.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 11:17:44 pm by Spoon »
Urutorahappī!!

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

 

Offline Veers

  • 29
Vega System
Rear Admiral Veers
The "Silver Arrow", Flagship of the 1st Commonwealth Royal Fleet


His Fleet message screen flashed again, reminding Veers of the several new arrives he still had to check. He rubbed his eyes and stood up, stretching for a moment while his eyes admired several patrol fighters cruising in the distance.

Communique:

ADM 1FLT to ADM 4FLT

"""
Your dedication to your duties, Admiral Santiago. This is what will win us this war, dedication, determination and the Strength of Britannia.

Your dedication brings warmth to my heart...

Thank you for your data files regarding the results against the Hertak 1st Fleet, and the resulting combat which consumed the 3rd CRF. Do we have any word on any additional survivors?, Surely we have confirmed if Admiral Harkness survived the engagement?

Forgive my haste, I am due for an audience with the Royal Family and our Military Council back home soon. To report on the progress of the war I presume, They will wish to know his fate..

Unfortunately my time is short, I look forward to speaking with you at length soon.


Hail Britannia Admiral,
Alq Veers - 1FLT
"""

Veers reviewed his message after sitting back down and sent it away, the 4th CRF was continuing the battle in Draco, with the 3rd Delest Dynasty Fleet also in system. However a communication was flicked through the Vega terminal berely hours ago bound for the 3rd Fleet. It bore the seal of the 2nd Delest Homeguard, while Veers did not know much of the Delest's military due to their partial removal from any military co-operation, but the Homeguard Fleets were known as their elite.

Their Elite...

"Admiral?", Fel at quietly slipped in through the door, brandishing his reason for arrival clearly in his hands. "Come on in Captain, are these our latest reports on our final resupply? How has everything proceeded?

Fel placed several papers onto Alq's desk, in-addition to a datapad and several data cylinders. "In short, we are back to 100% operational efficiency. But that's not why I am here...", Veers had been eyeing the additonal items before flicking his gaze to Nick. "Hmm?..." Alq acknowledged in response.

Nick began to open several of the data cylinders on the main screen, "I have taken the liberty to bring the Fleet to Status 2, Intel has provided us with some pressing information. The Zy will be here in Vega within hours."

Alq choked for a moment, "The Zy?!, give me that!" He statched the datapad and raced over to the larger screen. "This appears to be the same technology they used to assault Tauri with.." He glared at the screen, and scrolled through the datapad, reading Intel's reports.

"And that's not all Admiral, the Northern Forces have withdrawn Crux, and both the 2nd and 3rd Zy Fleets are missing, Intel suggests they will both arrive here shortly." Nick loaded a different cylinder onto the screen, "However they believe these sensor adjustments may help as detect their entrance points"

Alq studied the screen for a moment, "Utter rubbish Nick, look at the system wide chart. It looks like the Hertak will make a strong push to gain control of the Southern Front." He pointed towards the incoming Zy Fleets, as well as the massed Hertak fleets apparently in Kardoen.

If Veers kept the 1st CRF in Vega to combat the incoming Zy, the assault in Draco would falter, and especially since the entire Southern Sector was now very volatile, giving more of an advantage to the enemy would be beyond disastrous.

"Get back to the bridge and get these orders out Captain. The Vega Defence Fleet is to begin full scale evacuations effective immediately. Outlying areas, women and children first.. you know the drill.", A spark clicked in his head"Deploy as many of our wings as possible to assist the Vega Defence Fleet, but sortie additional wings for live training sessions with their fighters immediately."

"Bring the Fleet to full alert and get us underway to the Draco Node. Apply these sensor adjustments and commence scanning, but keep our combat settings handy. I'll be with you shortly" Veers was already tapping keys away back at his desk, bringing up several new communication channels for use

"..As ordered Sir" Fel quickly departed, efficient and effective as always. He knew when was the time for chit-chat, and when was definitely not.


Alq dragged up one communication, he set it for receivership to any Allied Fleets within a two system jump from Vega. That was about as far as the emergency signals would carry in this specific case.

"""
Message to all Allied Fleets, Condition One.

This is Rear Admiral Veers of the 1st Commonwealth Royal Fleet to all Allied Fleets.

We have incoming Zy Fleets into Vega, I have ordered the local defence force to evacuate all civilians while the 1st CRF prepares to leave for Draco. I am requesting immediate reinforcements to Rally in Vega.

My fighters are covering the Vega retreat at this time and providing combat instruction to as many Vega forces before we assault Draco. We are passing all intelligence to the Vega Defence Force who are waiting for your arrival.

Message repeat
"""

Second message - Save File - Deploy to message beacon

"""
This is Admiral Alq Veers of the 1st Commonwealth Royal Fleet of New Britannia

To unknown Zy Fleet.

Welcome to the Vega System. We are away from the front lines here, Please open communications with me so we may understand each other and end the bloodshed of our two great nations.

I await your response,
"""

Alq stormed out of the meeting room, heading directly for the bridge.

« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 10:16:29 pm by Veers »
Current Activities/Projects: Ideas and some storyline completed.

ArmA 2&3 Mission Designer and player.


WoD - I like Crystal. <3

 

Offline Flak

  • 28
  • 123
Virgo System
Virgo Orbital Station 2

Captain Jaxon rushes to the hangar where the Silver Falcon is being docked. Baron Markus was still waiting for the last repair of the ship. He looks at his watch, getting worried that they won't leave in time to join up with the 2nd UGCR, but suddenly extinguished that thought out of his head.

"There you are, boss. Why did we have to wait longer?"

Baron Markus turns around and faces Jaxon. He gives a smile. "I just got some interesting experimental technology, perhaps it will prove useful in our next battle."

"I was not informed that you or Anders purchased any modifications for our ships. Where did it came from?"

"There is a shipment delivered to us, it is from Kobra Corporation."

"From Kobra? They made all the awesome goodies all right, but I don't think they give these kind of things for free. I understand these things costs money to build."

"They said it is from Duke Nightwing, the Kobra courier didn't mention anything else. I am not sure what kind of contact Duke Nightwing had inside the company either."

"Well, what kind of equipment is that?"

"Some kind of jump drive by the look of it. Just as Kobra standard, it is made compatible to our ships, like some kind of plug-and-play device."

"And all these 'presents' just dropped from the sky for us?"

"Not that we'll complain about it. It's just like Christmas isn't it."

"Great, everyone is ready at least. Ortega is happy with the new ship too."

"We better be. We'll leave as soon as all our ships ready. Don't want to keep Admiral Yuen and the others waiting."

 

Offline Droid803

  • Trusted poster of legit stuff
  • 213
  • /人 ◕ ‿‿ ◕ 人\ Do you want to be a Magical Girl?
    • Skype
    • Steam
17:42, Bridge, CSA Ataraxia, Odin-Hydra Starlance, Odin System

The combat bridge of the Ataraxia was filled with the quiet-yet-serious atmosphere one would come to expect of a Cyrvan Star Armada flagship in preparation for battle. Every station was manned dutifully, patiently, thoroughly, yet efficiently by a Cyrvan officer - no corners cut, no unnecessary steps taken. The air reverberated with the continuous flow quiet beeps and clicks of auditory feedback from crew input into the multitude of holographic displays the dotted either side of the room that depict the various running systems of the ship as well as information on the accompanying ships of the fleet - all presented and managed to near-perfection. The consoles cast a pale blue-green light that mixed with the fixed dim white lighting, creating a clean, soothing atmosphere. Even the most obsessive-compulsive inspector would be hard pressed to identify a single element of the bridge, and in fact, of the entire ship, that could be criticized.

That is, with the complete exception of the Admiral, who sat hunched forward in the commander's chair facing a holographic overview of the war, face planted firmly in the palm of her hand, her long, flowing silver-white hair partially falling forwards and obscuring the half-scowl on her face, all the while mumbling some sort of gibberish to herself. Her lazily-put on uniform, misaligned badges, and uncombed, untied hair stood in stark contrast to the clean, organized rest of the ship - a solitary coffee stain on a pristine-white dress shirt.

"Admiral Almereya..." the dark-haired, bespectacled adjutant spoke softly as she bent over and gingerly reached toward the Admiral's shoulder while clutching a semitransparent datafolder to the side of her chest in her other hand, "...the fleet is assembled ready to jump on your orders."

At the touch of the tip of the adjutant's fingers on her shoulder, Freyalis Elsperth Almereya straightened up, turning to look at her perceived assailant while tossing her hair over her shoulder in one smooth motion. "Very well then, I was just about to die of boredom~! Let us depart!" The expression on the admiral's face changed instantly changed to a beaming smile as she turned toward the adjutant, who now wore a complex expression that could best be described as a mixture of "I'm never going to get used to her, am I?" and "Of all the commanding officers in the CSA, I had to get -this one-!?".

"Yes ma'am." the adjutant replied as she stood up to address the bridge, "Comms, open a channel to all ships of the fleet."

"A-hem~ This is your lovely admiral speaking. All captains, the 1st CSA shall now be departing through the starlance to Hydra to assist the cute-n'-feeble Terrans in their efforts against the Hertak Hierarchy. All vessels, follow us out! Helm, engage subspace drive~!"



20:44, Bridge, CSA Ataraxia, Hydra System

Looking over the tactical information of the system's battlescape provided by the Terran forces already present, Freyalis cracked a small smile as she mused quietly to herself. "Looks like they've come quite a ways from when all they could do is throw sheer numbers at their enemies. Not quite far enough, though."

"Admiral Almereya, but the fleet is in formation as per your orders. Preparations for combat are complete. The Terran fleet elements are awaiting our confirmation to initiate the combined offensive." The adjutant speaks as she returns to her post by the admiral.

"Oh! Wonderful~" Freyalis again smiled as she turned towards the adjutant, "and Meia, you can just call me Freyalis, you know? No need to be so uptight~ That's what pretentious people do."

"With all due respect, Admiral. You seem to fail to realize that nobody here shares your blatant disregard for rules and expectations. I'm pleased to find it works for you, but I doubt I could function under similar circumstances."

"Tche~"

"The fleet awaits your commands. Channel is now open." Meia says as she gestures forwards towards the comms console which had replaced the tactical overview.

"To all captains and flight squadron leaders, this is lovely admiral Freyalis Elsperth Almereya speaking~. We will now assist elements of the 2nd DD and 2nd LSF Terran forces in a combined strike on the enemy. Some of you might not have shot at things for a while, but worry not, it shouldn't be too hard to convince them to explode~ Let's give these bloody corderas a taste of our Burning Love! Try not to make the Terrans look too bad, okay~? Operation Fluffcats, Commence!" Freyalis stands up and sweeps her right arm forward, fingers spread, striking a pose as she finishes addressing the fleet. As the comm channel closes and battlescape reappears on the holoprojector, she sits back down and stares at the tactical overview with what could be described as 'the Gendou pose'.

"To be honest, I'm rather surprised anyone actually follows your orders." Meia remarks with a smile while observing the antics of her commanding officer.

"Me too." Freyalis replies, glancing back briefly with a smile before returning her attention to the developing battle and assuming her previous pose. "That's why you're here. Someone's got to run this ship properly."

"Thanks..."

[ooc: plzdon'tkillme]
(´・ω・`)
=============================================================

 

Offline CommanderDJ

  • Software engineer
  • 210
    • Minecraft
Admiral Iera stood on the bridge, awaiting the arrival of his new executive officer. It had taken longer than what would be considered reasonable for him to make a decision as to who would replace Arnaya Regulle, especially in a time of war, but he had finally made his choice. As the door to the bridge slid open, steady footsteps walked in perfect rhythm towards him. Iera turned to see a thickset man with dark black hair and a neatly trimmed beard and mustache. The man snapped off a salute.

"Admiral Iera. Captain Leonard Fernandes reporting for duty, as ordered." He spoke with a heavy accent that was once associated with the continent of South America.

Iera returned the salute, and the man dropped his hands to his sides and clasped them behind his back. Iera fixed him with his gaze.
"Captain Fernandes, I hope you understand the gravity of this assignment."

Fernandes nodded. "I do, sir." He replied simply. Iera needed no more convincing; he had had plenty before now.

"Good. The Hand of Absolution is yours, then. The fleet is taking up defensive positions around the system while UGCR fleets push into Crux. I expect to be informed when preparations are complete."

Fernandes nodded once more. "As you wish."

The Admiral turned and strode off the bridge.
[16:57] <CommanderDJ> What prompted the decision to split WiH into acts?
[16:58] <battuta> it was long, we wanted to release something
[16:58] <battuta> it felt good to have a target to hit
[17:00] <RangerKarl> not sure if talking about strike mission, or jerking off
[17:00] <CommanderDJ> WUT
[17:00] <CommanderDJ> hahahahaha
[17:00] <battuta> hahahaha
[17:00] <RangerKarl> same thing really, if you think about it

 

Offline Enioch

  • 210
  • Alternative History Word Writer
The guards posted to Admiral Kalazonitov’s quarters were born and raised in the Irkutsk Orbitals, where one’s manliness is quantifiable and measurable, based on one’s vulgar vocabulary.

After the Admiral’s outburst over the mysterious message his aide had delivered him, they had both decided to forever revere him as a shining example of masculinity and foul-mouthness they could aspire to, but never hope to equal.

=======================================================================

“I will kill him,” the Admiral said, matter-of-factly, dabbing at the water he had spilled all over his desk while catapulting his drinking glass through the room. “Slowly.”

“That may be considered treasonous talk, Admiral,” Lieutenant Commander Skivlana said almost expressionlessly, while soaking up part of the spilled water with a napkin. “Therefore, I must inform you that I heard nothing.”

“What is he thinking?” Kalazonitov raged, slamming his soaked handkerchief in the waste disposal bin, leaning forward and burying his face in his hands. “What is he doing in Tamy in the first place?”

“I would not care to assume, sir.”

“Open a subspace reception channel, Tanya.” Kalazonitov said, rubbing his temples. “Keep it as low-intensity as possible, but see if you can piece together any information available on the TacNet that might explain this полный пиздец situation, pardon my NuBritish.”

“Yes, sir. Pardoned, sir.”

“And send out tightbeamed messages to all division commanders,” Kalazonitov added with a defeated sigh. “We are moving out as soon as possible. Empress help me, but we are abandoning a fortified position in an advanced location, to an inferior enemy force, because that silly little Пердеть decided to take his fleet for walkies.”

“Yes, sir. Admirable summation, sir.”

=======================================================================

Communique:

ADM 3FLT, DD to ADM 4FLT, CRF.


Admiral Santiago,

Thank you for your missive.

I assure you, nothing could be further from the truth than calling me prejudiced toward the CRF. I am sad that you would think so, and I am very distressed, because I will be unable to prove my good intentions to you by fighting alongside you – at least for the time being.

I have been ordered to evacuate Draco and retreat at my best cruise speed to Aquarius, there to await further orders. I understand that you will not be overjoyed to hear this; I can assure you that my ire at this ill-thought order is no less than yours. However, I do believe that the following information will be of assistance to you:

I have established a defensive perimeter in the Wyvern belt, which is sure to be eventually discovered by enemy forces, but which will probably be of great use to any allied fleets mobilizing in Draco. There, I have abandoned a sizeable force of automated defense platforms and large amounts of supplies, all of which are compatible with alliance weapon systems. Find enclosed the access code to the perimeter’s defensive grid and a thorough list of the supplies available.

<<Attachment included / WARNING: ENCODED ATTATCHMENT – LEVEL ALLIANCE_NEUTRON – FOR ADMIRALS’ EYES ONLY>>

=======================================================================

Communique:

ADM 3FLT, DD to HQ, DD Frontier FLT.


Honored Ministers of Defence,

Please find enclosed a copy of the communiqué addressed to me (delivered at Date <<CODED TIMESTAMP>>) to my flagship and sent by High Fleet Admiral, His Excellency Xiau Yi Delest.

I wish to make formal my disagreement with the orders directed to the 3rd Fleet which, in my opinion, would dramatically weaken our hold on the Draco system and jeopardize the Alliance’s front integrity. However, given that the order is not illegal, I am prepared to carry it out, as is required by the Articles of War.

Sincerely Yours,

R.Adm. Ivan Kalazonitov.

<<Attached note / Addressed to Head of BuFleets, V.Adm. Y.Kurz>>

Yuri,

This is ridiculous. I have no idea what is going on and I am getting paranoid. Is the kid out to get me, or is he just stupid?

Delay the official protest I sent the Ministry. This might just be a misunderstanding and, if that is the case, there is no reason for me to ruffle any feathers in the Ministry – or the Court, for that matter. If you do not hear from me soon, file it, and make the greatest ruckus you can.

Thanks,
-Ivan


=======================================================================

“Get the son of a *****!”

Olga’s fingers danced over the touchscreen of her terminal and she squeezed the trigger of her control stick. Epsilon Battery lashed out at the Nordera fighters and two of them spiraled out of formation, only to explode a few hundred meters further away, their reactors failing.

She quickly glanced to the tactical display and saw the rest of the enemy squadron light up in orange, as the point defense turrets of the division cruisers marked them as hostile and acquired a lock. Ten seconds later, the last Nordera strikecraft corkscrewed into Katyusha’s port armor and glanced off, exploding in a spectacular fireball. The enemy patrol having been dispatched, the 3rd Fleet adjusted its course towards the Vega Starlance. Ilieva felt the slight tremor, as Katyusha’s engines gave an extra bit of thrust to the flagship.

“Good shooting, Ilieva,” Petrovich snarled behind her. His hand found her shoulder and she smiled grimly.

“Nothing to it, Chief,” she said.

Petrovich nodded, satisfied and turned to the rest of the battery crew.

“Good job, folks. I might make a gunnery crew out of you yet. SERGEI ANDREYEVICH, YOU HORRIBLE MAN, WHO GAVE YOU PERMISSION TO TAKE OFF YOUR HARNESS, GET THAT THING SECURED NOW OR I’LL SMASH YOUR SKULL IN WITH A WRENCH AND CALL IT AN ACCIDENT AND NOBODY WILL CARE BECAUSE YOU ARE SUCH A HORRIBLE MAN!

=======================================================================

“It’s possible, sir. It wouldn’t be possible in any other system, but the Aquarius nebula is known to really mess up sensors.”

Kalazonitov nodded, his mood having considerably worsened after Tanya’s reports and the response he’d received from BuFleets.

“Sergei, is the maneuver feasible?” he asked Captain Urumov, his finger drawing nervous circles on his desk.

“Easily, sir,” Urumov answered with a shrug.

Kalazonitov sighed.

“All right then.”

He turned to the holoscreen and to the video links he had established with all his division commanders.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, you all know what is at stake and you know what I propose to do about it. I believe the orders we have received might lose us the war and I am not going to stand by and let that happen. Some might consider the actions I am planning to be treasonous, although you are all aware that we will remain firmly within the letter of the law. If somebody has any objections, please, do not hesitate to speak up. I assure you that I will not fault any man or woman who voices their disagreement with my proposed plan of action.”

There was a short silence. Then, Captain Alisa Petrovna of the Amour spoke up.

“We are with you, sir. Always will be.”

“…Very well,” Kalazonitov spoke sadly. “We sum up the plan then: All ships will transit to Aquarius by divisions. After the realspace transition, you will immediately veer to the Galactic North, and go to silent running. Every ship will fire a Zerkalo ECM missile along the course that we would be expected to follow to the rendezvous. The missiles will squawk the launching ship's IFF codes and will emit a power signature similar to it.”

Kalazonitov leaned back into his padded chair.

“I sincerely hope our princeling is not planning any … hasty action, but if he does, we will be able to record his attack on the warheads and retreat to Tamy under cover of the nebula. If he does not attack, which I am almost positive will be the case, we will jump to him and see what he wants to…discuss.”

“Uh...Sir…?”

Kalazonitov gestured his assent and Captain Afanasyi Miloslav of the Mikhail cleared his throat before continuing.

If, as you say, the High Admiral does not intend to … engage us, how are we going to explain our … ruse? I am sure that he will not appreciate meeting ECM birds in our rendezvous point.”

“According to the message traffic that Lieutenant Commander Skivlana managed to remotely extract from the Tamy ComNet records and the 2nd HomeGuards’ official orders, there is some enemy activity in Tamy and, possibly, Aquarius. We will simply claim that we attempted to hide our Fleet’s movements from the enemy until our rendezvous. Any other questions?”

There were none.
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

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

 

Offline Jellyfish

  • 29
  • No relent
4th Sol Fleet 'Battlegroup 11''s flagship Firelance
Rear Admiral Jason Windforce's personal log, day 38 since deployment from Sol.
Our return to Tauri and engagement with the 3rd Cordi fleet alongside the 2nd CRF was successful, which allowed the 1st SF to retreat. Thus is my debt to RA Dovorek Iera repaid.
The Cordi themselves retreated to Crux.
However, it was a day of mourning for Terran forces. Task Force 765 was destroyed. RA John Harkness' fate is unknown. I can only hope he still lives, he's too great a man to just die like that.

The loss only made RA Lorric's men fight with increased fervor. I can only be thankful they are on our side.

Day 45 since deployment from Sol.
We had to retreat again to Librae. As it turns out, it was an unnecessary action, as the last remaining enemy in that system, the 1st Zy, had retreated back to Aldebaran. We will hunt them down in due time.
They left behind an artifact, and I have given orders to return to Tauri and investigate it.

The 1st DD was lost. But not all is bad news. VA Jason Ralwood managed to survive, and the 1st Hertak fleet was destroyed. We've shown these invaders they'll have to bleed for whatever they want to take from Humanity.


Day 55 since deployment from Sol.
The device is forcing Tauri to go supernova. We do not know how, we do not know when. I have given orders to evacuate Tauri, to move to Virgo immediately. The 1st SF already started their jumps towards Aldebaran. I can only hope the 2nd CRF in Librae gets through before the supernova destabilized the lances.
"A weapon is only as powerful as its wielder. With this weapon, you'll be but an annoyance, which would greatly dishonor it. With this weapon, I can change history. With me, this weapon can shape the universe."

 

Offline Lepanto

  • 210
  • Believes in Truth
    • Skype

Communique:

ADM 4FLT to ADM 1FLT


Admiral Veers,

Forgive me for not mentioning this earlier, but RA Harkness is still MIA. Neither our sensor scans, nor the reports from 3FLT's pilots, indicated that he was either alive or dead. As the CZ was occupied by the enemy, we had neither the time nor the opportunity to perform SAR. He may have yet escaped; I hope Harkness's reputation for immortality still holds. But, as of the present, we have no trace of the Admiral. If he is dead, Britannia has lost a loyal and talented officer, but we have little time to mourn.

You've undoubtedly heard that the 3rd DD has been recalled to Aquarius by some Delest family member, so they will not be assisting us in Draco. Just between you and me, and no undue offence meant to HM the Queen, but are our politicians deliberately trying to lose us this war?

In an unexpected but welcome turn of generosity, RA Kalazonitov of the 3rd DD sent me the location of a well-supplied defense outpost he has erected in Draco's Wyvern Belt. Apparently, the bad blood between Britannia and Delest does not run as deep as I had once thought. The coordinates are attached.

At Vega, we acquired one of the T.A.L. Mk. I prototypes. I believe we will have the opportunity to field-test it against the Nordera, as they are fond of boarding attacks. I can only hope the T.A.L. lives up to its reputation. Those things still scare me, even though they look innocent enough.

If we are fortunate, the Zy supernova device in Tauri and this massive Hertak attack in the south are the limit of the Hierarchy's strength. If they have few or no more reserves left, a victory here may allow us to win this war, albeit at great cost; with the firepower the Hertak have mustered in Kardoen, I project that we will lose more than one fleet in beating back their attack, and that's the best-case scenario. In any case, whatever the future may bring, we must win here, or lose the war.

All Hail Britannia!

Pax vobiscum,
Rear Admiral Santiago

<<Attachment included / WARNING: ENCODED ATTATCHMENT – LEVEL ALLIANCE_NEUTRON – FOR ADMIRALS’ EYES ONLY>>

=======================================================================

Communique:

ADM 4FLT, CRF to ADM 3FLT, DD


Admiral Kalazonitov,

Please accept my honest thanks for your generous gift, and my apologies for my stereotyping. We'll need all the help we can get, if we're going to beat back that Hertak attack. If God smiles upon us and our men do their duty, we will ensure the 3rd DD still has a front to return to. Once you have returned, I would be honored to fight alongside you and your men. I've heard some inspiring stories about your gunnery; I shall hope they are accurate.

Indeed, your orders are patently absurd. To be blunt, our leaders shouldn't be interfering in military matters, not with the survival of our civilization at stake.

May we cross paths shortly.

Pax vobiscum,
Rear Admiral Carlos Santiago

=======================================================================

To: [email protected]
From: [email protected] [email protected]
Subject: Re: Condolences and greetings

As well as usual, comrade.

I've heard some rumours about upcoming promotions for our admirals. If anyone deserves a promotion, it's you, and believe me when I say that's not just flattery.

At our stopover in Vega, we acquired one of the T.A.L. Mk. I prototypes. I believe that we will have the opportunity to field-test it against the Nordera, as they are fond of boarding attacks. I can only hope the T.A.L. lives up to its reputation. Those things still scare me, even though they look innocent enough.

Those pictures are truly beautiful. I have had little time to admire the beauty of space; looking at stars and nebulae was one of my favorite pastimes, back when the 4th was Starlance-searching, before this war started. Deep space has its own strange, but true and ordered beauty. More evidence, I believe, for the fact that we live in a universe constructed and ordered by a Creator. Here is one of my favorite illustrations of the Universe's beauty, the "song" of Jupiter. The complex interactions of charged electromagnetic particles from solar wind, planetary magnetospheres, etc. create vibration "soundscapes" like this. I hope you will appreciate it as I have.


Even in defeat, the Zy commit black deeds. I can only hope that, somehow, by some miracle or turn of Fate, Tauri is spared from destruction. If not, I fear that the civilian death toll will be catastrophic. Why would they do something so despicable, to a species which has done them no harm? Both because it disrupted your pursuit, and sheer spite against their enemies, most likely. Against such beings, who commit evil so readily, I fear that all we can do is defeat them before they bring more harm to others.

I only hope that the 4th Cordi are being treated humanely. I believe that many Terrans now hate the Hierarchy races, and would be happy to see them dissected and executed, solely out of revenge, and to gain a military advantage. Given the speciesist attitudes of some Sol officers, I fear that the Earthers will do just that. Not the ISOE, though; let's just say that they have a different problem.

I've sent some feelers out to a few contacts in Parliament and the Foreign Office, to see if the government might be receptive to asking the Cordi or Fura'ngle for separate peace talks. I doubt anything will come of it, though; the government is in full war fever, and even if anyone felt like asking for peace at this poing, I frankly doubt that either alien race would actually agree. I suppose we will probably have to break the Hertak's chains by the force of our arms.

Right now, as for why the Hierarchy invasion seems so un-coordinated: I think it's probably a combination of the Hertak's reluctance to personally risk their own fleets, and a sudden decision to invade, like you suggested. Perhaps the Hierarchy had accidentally stumbled into our space, and launched an invasion on the spur of the moment, without gathering their fleets beforehand. If their fleets were streaming into the theater from throughout their own empire, like ours were at the beginning, that would explain their piecemeal deployments. I can only hope that all the forces we've faced so far aren't merely a vanguard for the real invasion; if your hypothesis is true, only a miracle could save the League now.

As for the Cyrvans... Operation Fluffcats. I hope their combat strength is superior to their military professionalism.

Let me wrap this up; I've got a Zeal Speech at 1330, and I need to rehearse. All Hail Britannia!

Pax Vobiscum,
Santiago
« Last Edit: September 20, 2013, 11:26:39 pm by Lepanto »
"We have now reached the point where every goon with a grievance, every bitter bigot, merely has to place the prefix, 'I know this is not politically correct, but...' in front of the usual string of insults in order to be not just safe from criticism, but actually a card, a lad, even a hero. Conversely, to talk about poverty and inequality, to draw attention to the reality that discrimination and injustice are still facts of life, is to commit the sin of political correctness. Anti-PC has become the latest cover for creeps. It is a godsend for every curmudgeon and crank, from fascists to the merely smug."
Finian O'Toole, The Irish Times, 5 May 1994

Blue Planet: The Battle Captains: Missions starring the Admirals of BP: WiH
Frontlines 2334+2335: T-V War campaign
GVB Ammit: Vasudan strike bomber
Player-Controlled Capship Modding Tutorial

 

Offline Lorric

  • 212
To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]

Hello again old friend.

Hmmm, yes, I’ve heard the rumours too, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Same for these recent rumours that John Harkness is alive. I’ll believe that too when I see the man himself. But thanks for the compliment, I know you don’t do flattery, so that means a lot. Really, I can’t think of a reason NOT to promote any of the CRF Admirals. Everyone has fought valiantly. And while you’ll know better than me since you saw it unfold with your own eyes, even John Harkness’ 3rd CRF should come into that if the man does indeed live, there was nothing he could do about the loss of his fleet, only go down fighting, and they did, no one turned their backs to the enemy. You need a real leader in charge for that to happen.

Um… refresh my memory, because either I just can’t remember, or have not heard of these, but what are the T.A.L mk.1 prototypes?

Ah yes, I have heard the “song” of Jupiter before. It stirs something within me.

The Zy device makes no sense for an enemy that clearly want to take slaves and carve out an empire. Tauri is one of our richest systems, and I see no strategic value to destroying the system. This may be an example of unfathomable alien intelligence. Of course, this could be a purely psychological attack. I don’t know what it will do to me if that sun goes nova. It was my plan to leave Tauri to the Zy. I am afraid. I haven’t been able to relax since the news it is doing something to the sun. And we’re also going to have to pass through the system to get to Aldebaran…

I agree that this should not be used as a stick to beat the Cordi with. Even the Zy could simply be under direct orders from the Hertak. It all comes back to the Hertak. But at the same time I suppose we should not think just because they are enslaved, these races will be “good”. One bunch of barbarians is quite capable of conquering another bunch of barbarians. We’ve already seen the Nordera, the Hertak’s willing partners. If “barbarian” doesn’t describe them, I don’t know what does.

I will be livid if our forces have gone to the trouble of keeping those Cordi alive just for those back on Earth to slice them up. As far as ISOE goes, it wouldn’t surprise me if these stupid rumours about Cordi shape-shifters got started with these idiots running around got up in costumes...

I do think these two races are our best chance if any. Especially the Fura’ngle who clearly do not want to fight. The problem of course is they’re more afraid of the Hertak than they are of us, so they will fight. It’s a good thing they are so fearful, our projections of their strength show they would be formidable indeed if they fought with the fervour of the Nordera or Zy. Neither they or the Cordi seem like natural warmongers if you know what I mean. Unlike the Zy, there’s definitely a hard edge to them. I can’t see there being any peace, but maybe we could obtain some information. As you say, defeating the Hertak is the only way. If we could plant the seed of doubt into the minds of these aliens, make them think “What? They’re winning?!” Maybe we could get some of them to defect to our side. Or at least stay out of the fighting.

If they do show up in massive numbers, I think the only thing we can do is surrender.

I have seen that Cyrvan Admiral on her bridge. All the other Cyrvans seem to be totally professional, then I look at the Admiral, and I’m just like of all the people on that bridge, THAT is who they picked as the Admiral?! Still though, the Cyrvans have always had that relaxed nature about their military. There must be a reason why that one was chosen as the Admiral, I’m sure they didn’t just throw darts at a bunch of pictures on a wall or something to choose her. She must have something about her. But then look at that fool over in the DD 2nd homeguard… She played her part okay in that mass attack on the 1st Nordera, but anyone could have done that, even that moron with the DD 2nd home guard. Time will tell how she performs when the chips are down. They can call their operations anything they want as long as they are successful as far as I’m concerned.

Hail Britannia! Hail to the Queen!

Lorric

« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 06:41:32 pm by Lorric »

 

Offline Flak

  • 28
  • 123
Aldebaran System


"Got it, chipped its tail! The stealth's gone!"

"That's it, send em to hell, ladies and gentlemen!"

The Spectre pilot suddenly realized that one of the hits scored on the fighter has disabled the stealth field. The Spectre immediately turn tail and attempts to retreat to the Zy battlegroup formation with some fighters in hot pursuit. "I'll buy a drink to whoever got that bastard."

Gavriil, Jerry, and Angelo continues to give a chase as the Spectre just ran outside the point defense range of allied ships. There is some ripple in the radio, showing that the Zy ace is calling for help. Angelo just managed to get a missile lock on the fighter and fires a pair of missiles. The Spectre, noticing the missile, turns sharply to evade it. However, the Zy failed to notice a Berkut coming from another direction.

"You are mine, lizard!" The Berkut comes from above the Spectre and unleashes a flurry of VX-153 and Spiritus Lucis missiles, turning it into a fireball. Captain Manuel Ortega and everyone else on the bridge of the Fuego Sagrado, who had a good view of the action cheers like football hooligans. "Very good, Sanjay, Very good!" said Gavriil in the radio, "You got two Zy aces in your frag list now.".

--------------------------

Nearby, the Silver Falcon and Thunderhawk just focused fired on a Zy warship and sending it to oblivion.

"That's the last of the escort ships. Only the carrier left."

"Coordinates sent, boss. Shall we signal go code Enigma to the other ships?"

"Wait until we get into firing range, we need to make sure that carrier don't escape. I hope this experimental jump drive really worth the trouble putting them in."

"We are in firing range, boss."

"Very good. Do it now! We are going to gut that monstrosity like a fish."

"Attention all ships, action code Enigma, I repeat, action code Enigma."

As the Silver Falcon begins to fire away at the Basileus designated Gecko Three, the Thunderhawk and Fuego Sagrado jumps to its port and starboard side respectively and starts to engage with their broadside firepower. Moments later, the Claymore and Tranquility jumps behind it and focus their forward firepower on the engine. In a last desperate attempt, Gecko Three launches all its remaining fighters, which only get shredded quickly by the escort fighters and point defenses. The carrier didn't last very long under the combined firepower and finally reduced to a blue fireball.

"Thank God those experimental drives worked. But is that all of them I was expecting more."

"Reports from allied command, boss. It looks like they are retreating."

"I was honestly expecting them to be a little....braver?"

"At least they are not stupid, boss."

Baron Markus then picks up the mug of coffee on the table and drinks what remains of it. He then takes a look at the messages from the UGC command in one of the bridge computers.

"Interesting, they wished to hunt down the remaining Zy into Crux."

"So no rest for us?"

"A little maybe, they also need to be prepared if they really wish to go that far."

 

Offline Enioch

  • 210
  • Alternative History Word Writer
A soft hum followed by a flash of light told Xiau Yi that his fleet had left subspace and entered the Aquarius system. He left his chambers and made his way to the bridge, his cape billowing in a most satisfying way behind him. His mood had drastically improved during the last days and it was quite obvious from the swagger in his step. He smiled widely as the bridge doors opened and every crew member on the bridge immediately stood at attention.

Respect. Excellent.

He gestured for them to continue with their work and sat down on his chair, crossing his legs in a comfortable lounging pose.

"Sire, we're picking up the IFF of our friendly fleet. They are already at the rendezvous point."

Xiau Yi nodded.

Good, that old geezer is at least obedient. Though I'm suprised that he managed to get here before my fleet did. I may have to consider taking harsher disciplinary measures when the supposed ‘Delest Finest’ are being outdone by frontline fleets.

"Prepare to jump! We're meeting up with them right now."

One brief subspace jump later, the DD 2nd Home Guard had arrived at the designated rendezvous point: an unremarkable point in the Aquarius nebula. It would have been slightly less unremarkable had the 3rd Frontier Fleet been there to greet them.

Instead there was a whole load of nothing, gas and…

…dummy missiles?

Xiau Yi's smirk melted off his face "What is the meaning of this?! Where are they?"

"We... we don't know sire! We're detecting the proper IFF codes but... these appear to be decoys!"

Xiau Yi’s good mood was well and gone. He turned to face his Commodore who had been stoically standing next to his chair this whole time. "Go to battle stations! This has got to be a ploy, a plot! A conspiracy! That old fool is after my life!"

The Commodore had to suppress his urge to slump his shoulders and sigh.

Idiot.

"As you wish, Sire, but I do not deem it likely that Admiral Kalazonitov would commit himself to something that foolish."

"I will not take a gamble with my life just because you do not seem it likely!"

Sigh.

"Of course, Sire."

Shortly after, the fleet reported combat ready, all the shields raised, all the energy weapons charged and every missile tube loaded.

==================================

Admiral Kalazonitov leaned back in his chair, on the Bridge of Katyusha, steepled his fingers and sighed.

“Well, if he was planning to attack first, he would have done so by now,” he said, eyeing Tanya, who was standing next to him in her usual place. “I don’t mind telling you that it would have made things easier if he had.”

He shifted around in his chair for a bit, adjusting the ceremonial sword he had strapped to his side

Messier – but easier. Now I’ll have to dig up the court lackey persona, which I absolutely despise. Oh well, needs must.”

He turned to the ship’s chief sensors’ officer, a grey-haired lieutenant.

“Lieutenant Pavlov, can you confirm that they have powered up their weapons?”

“Aye, sir!” came the answer. “All sensor platforms we seeded into the ECM warheads report live weaponry!”

Kalazonitov’s sigh was that of a disappointed schoolmaster. “So, Tanya – here’s what we have to deal with. A commanding officer, who finds himself in a position that he suspects might be a trap – and stays there. He powers up his weapons, telegraphing that he suspects trouble, but he doesn’t jump out and he doesn’t shoot down our platforms. For the Empress’ sake, he’s like a scared child, standing frozen in the middle of a dark room and turning around quickly in the hopes of not being surprised by the bogeyman! Meanwhile, if we were Hierarchy – or any enemy, for that matter - we’d be enjoying continuous sensory information on his formation and tactics, because he doesn’t shoot down our sensors!

Deep breath.

“Oh, damn it, rambling again. Sorry my dear.”

“Quite alright, sir.”

Kalazonitov keyed up the frequencies of his division commanders and watched as their faces blinked into existence over his chair’s holodisplay. “Ladies and Gentlemen, engage Blink and Dazzle at time 0120. Weapons are to be live, but locked, I repeat, locked. If any ship fires without being fired upon, I will have its commander’s head on a platter and I will engage decimation protocols for its gunnery crew. I’ve never had to do so before, Ladies and Gentlemen, do not make me do so now. Make sure that all navigation systems are synchronized and double check your jump plans. Empress be with you, Kalazonitov out.”

After the see-through heads had acknowledged their orders and after the last of them had blinked off, Kalazonitov slumped back, his dress uniform’s cap grating against the back of his chair. His fingers drummed a quick nervous rhythm in the armrest, as he watched the digital timer counting down to the fleet’s jump time.

“What am I going to do with him, Tanya?” he asked softly.

“Teach him, sir.” Skivlana whispered. "If he'll let you."

The counter reached zero. The fleet jumped.

==================================

And entered realspace again in a single blinding flash, its formation impeccable. The 2nd Home Guard was suddenly faced by a wall of capital ships, some of them visibly wounded by the fight against the Hierarchy and yet taking up their place in the fleet order. As one, hundreds of thrusters fired and the ships decelerated, coming to a relative stop and turning, taking up places in what, in the DD navy, was called ‘The Empress’ Wall’.

It was a parade formation – meant to allow Admirals (or the Empress) to inspect their fleets – and it was done with such precision and care that only the obsessive – compulsive Captain Urumov could have organized it.

==================================

Xiau Yi nearly fell backwards into his chair when the whole of the 3rd fleet jumped in, right in front of him. His first reflex was to order his ships to open fire but before he could find the words, one of the bridge crew exclaimed "Sir, incoming transmission from the Katyusha!"

Xiau Yi paused and took a deep breath to try and found his composure again. "O-Open a channel."

The holoscreen flared to life, and the prince came face-to-face with Admiral Kalazonitov, in his dress uniform. The Admiral saluted crisply, his face expressionless.

“Greetings your Highness," he said. "3rd Dynasty Frontier Fleet, reporting as ordered."

Xiau Yi tried his best to look calm and 'majestic' but to any observant eye it was clear that he was a bit shaken.

"Rear Admiral Kalazonitov, what is the meaning of this?! Why have you set up this... this theater?"

Kalazonitov's calm expression did not change - with the exception of an eyebrow that rose an infinitesimal fraction of an inch.

"A theater, your Highness? I am not sure what you mean. If you are referring to the ECM missiles I sent along the obvious path of my fleet, they were a necessary precaution. TacNet held records of your forces engaging Nordera and stealth Zy units behind our lines - but no records of those forces actually being destroyed. According to the data available, there is at least one Zy carrier operating as a raider, with stealthed fighters available - how could I risk my fleet being attacked in transit? Or even falling for some sort of decoy at our rendezvous point? I sent the missiles ahead to draw any enemy fire and jumped in as soon as I had confirmation of your presence here."

The Admiral's head tilted slightly to the side.

"As to the formation my fleet is in, I thought it fitting, considering your Highness' rank. I thought you might want to inspect the 3rd before issuing your orders. By the way, would you prefer to do so via a secure channel, or would you like us to meet personally? My communications officer reports that he can set up a secure two-way connection in a few minutes. You are, of course, welcome on board Katyusha at any time. I would respectfully request, though, that you come to a decision as soon as possible - I need to have something to appease the Alliance CIC and the sooner I get my orders, the sooner I can brief them and have them stop flooding our government's and my own inbox with outraged demands for your head. You know how they can be."

Xiau Yi just stood there for a moment, overwhelmed. He was not gaping like a fish, but he felt quite close to it. This was not how he had imagined things would go. He was going to chew this old man out, and make sure that all the blame of the Zy behind the lines was firmly pinned on him. But Kalazonitov had fully taken the initiative here and made him look like a fool.

"Yes. The carrier," he finally stammered "I must speak to you face to face about this. Be on board my ship in one hour from now."

He had barely finished his sentence when he cut off communications. He dropped back into his chair with an audible sigh. He needed to gather his thoughts. He had completely underestimated his 'opponent'. Behind him, his Commodore looked at him with eyes full of pity.

"Sire, shall we end combat readiness?"

Xiau Yi jerked up from his chair and, as he rushed out of the bridge, said "Prepare the welcome hall for our guests. I'll be in my ready room. Inform me when they are here." The doors closed behind him before anyone could reply.

Sigh.

"I'll take that as a yes."

=============================

Elsewhere on the flagship, a young pilot went over several items on his desk.

"Sakura, Dimitri, Hyun... I'll make him pay, I swear." he whispered to himself as he started putting several grenades in his pockets.

"All my friends... gone just like that... I'll kill that bastard... I will murder him." He holstered his sidearm and checked his watch. "In just sixty minutes..."

==================================

“No, Dmitri, you may not escort me,” Kalazonitov snapped, as he strode down the corridor, his cane tap-tap-tapping along with his single boot and prosthetic leg. “I need you and two of your best pilots to fly escort for the shuttle – not to babysit me on board my superior officer’s flagship.”

Superior officer? Hell, sir, we both know that…”

Kalazonitov froze in his tracks and spun around, his cane whipping up and landing lightly on Grishenko’s solar plexus, like a fencing blade.

“Be careful what you say, Captain,” he admonished. “No matter what else he is, he is still my commanding officer and a member of the ruling dynasty of our Motherland. I do not ask that you respect him, but I do ask that you respect his rank and refrain from any comments that might be misunderstood as treacherous – or as lesé majesté.”

“Yes, sir,” Grishenko stepped back, looking sheepish. “But I still don’t like you going over with just Tanya with you.”

Kalazonitov snorted. “You’ve never studied Tanya’s file, have you, Captain?” he asked, making for the hangar door at the end of the corridor.

“Can’t say I have, sir,” Grishenko admitted, moving to keep up. “I only check the public files of my commanding officers – and the men under my command, obviously. Anything else seems...really indiscreet.”

“Commendable,” Kalazonitov said, gently. “But still – had you done so, you would have known that our dear Lieutenant Commander Skivlana is an active Spetsnaz GRU agent, openly posted to the 3rd fleet as an observer and as an intelligence officer. Believe me, the fact that she has three years of anti-dissident field action on her record and that she can drive her fist through a man’s gut and out the other end does not detract from her skills as an aide.”

боже мой! What…I never new!”

“That is the point, Captain.” Kalazonitov was smiling. “It’s no secret – while I do not doubt that the GRU has posted other agents to the fleet as well – agents I do not know about - , Tanya was assigned to me at my own request – and at her own, as well. I knew her father, you see, and I also knew that she is someone I could rely on. So I pulled a few strings. And here she is, one of the best bodyguards I could ask for, right when I need one. Truly, the Empress works in mysterious ways.”

“Yes, sir. She does.”

The blast doors whooshed open, and Kalazonitov stepped through, snapping a quick salute to the honor guard that framed the way to the shuttle. He negotiated the craft’s hatch with the practiced movements of a veteran spacer, although his prosthetic leg, his cane and his ceremonial sword did give him some trouble.

“I expect you on my wing, Dmitri,” he called through the closing hatch. “Show us some nice flying!”

“Will do, sir!” the Flight Commander called back, saluting smartly.

The hatch closed with a hiss and a clunk of securing bolts. Kalazonitov dropped into a chair next to Lieutenant Commander Skivlana, who returned his glance coolly.

“I feel it necessary to inform you, sir, that I consider this to be a very bad move,” she said. “I hope you understand that we are putting ourselves completely at the mercy of this man.”

“I doubt that he will try anything,” Kalazonitov replied, leaning back and snapping his security harness on, as the shuttle shuddered and silently glided out of the hangar, riding a soft burst of its thrusters. “If he has any brains, he is probably thinking about what I meant by everybody wanting his head – and once he finds out, I hope that he will realize that doing something stupid to us will not help him in the least. But, then again, that might be giving him too much credit – and that is why I am bringing you along.”

“Yes, sir. But that is what I mean – I am good at what I do, but we’d need a full Spetsnaz GRU strike team to get you out of there, if things go south! I want you to understand that I am making no guarantees. In fact…”

Enough, Tanya,” Kalazonitov said calmly. He was actually astonished. That had sounded almost like nervous rambling. “I understand. I am still glad you’re coming with me, though. Thank you for agreeing to accompany me.”

“It’s my job, sir.”

“Hm.” Kalazonitov sounded disappointed. “And here I thought you were going along with a friend.”

=========================================================

The air onboard the 2nd Home Guard flagship Chongmingdao was cool and clear, quite unlike the slightly stifling, infinitely recycled atmosphere of Katyusha. Tanya was the first to disembark from the shuttle, aiding Kalazonitov in turn. The Admiral smoothed down his dress uniform, adjusted his grip on his walking cane and only then returned the salute of the tired-looking Commodore who waited for him at the end of the line of guards.

“Permission to come aboard, sir?” he asked.

“Granted. Welcome aboard, Admiral,” came the answer. “I am Commodore Hitachi. I have been asked to show you to his Highness, as soon as you arrived. If you would follow me?”

“Lead on, Commodore,” Kalazonitov said, falling into an exaggeratedly labored stride next to the other officer, Tanya following behind him like a shadow. “I am looking forward to meeting his Highness. Looking forward to it indeed.”

The walk was a short one, but Kalazonitov had the time to look around surreptitiously. He saw shining brass and buckles, perfectly pressed uniforms and statue-like guards. What he didn’t see was any indication that the Chongmingdao was a warship and not a fancy hotel.

Before long the group was standing before a pair of excessively large and decorated doors. The doors were but a prelude to the even more excessively large and decorated hall behind them. In the center of the room was an excessively large and decorated table, half of it filled with various foods and drinks. Far, far away, almost hidden behind the mountains of fruit and wine bottles, at the end of the table, Xiau Yi was seated.

"Welcome Admiral! Thank you for coming the long way from the front line at my summons. Please, take a seat."

"Thank you, your Highness," Kalazonitov said, with a click of his heels and a small bow, before settling in one of the chairs. Tanya stayed on her feet, moving behind him in a relaxed parade rest. "May I present my aide, Lieutenant Commander Tanya Skivlana? She handles most of the administrative protocols and helps my XO keep the 3rd into something resembling an organized fleet. Please do not hesitate to speak in front of her - her security clearance is the same as mine."

In fact, it is considerably higher than mine, but there's no reason why you should know that yet, pipsqueak, the Admiral thought wryly.

The Admiral balanced his cane at the side of his chair and leaned forward, putting his hands on the table.

"That said, I am at your disposal, your Highness. In what emergency can the 3rd Frontier Fleet assist you?"

Xiau Yi gave a slight nod toward Tanya, thinking to himself that he should make an effort to get her transferred to his command after this, before he turned to Kalazonitov. He had been sitting in this chair, pondering on how he was going to do this. But every scenario he ran through his head came up short. That is why he had finally decided to use his old true and tried method. Power abuse.

"Admiral." he paused for dramatic effect "I'm going to be blunt with you." He again paused for a moment.

"For the sake of my honor I'm going to have you take the blame for the damage suffered to my fleet." he raised his hand in a 'wait, I'm not done talking yet' gesture and continued with a smug smile on his face "Now the first thought that is probably going through your mind is 'that's not fair!' and I would have to agree with you. But, you see, life isn't fair. I could end your career with a single call. I could overrule any and all protests you could possibly muster."

Aaaah he loved this part. Why would he need to scheme and manipulate anyway? This is how it should be! He was a member of the most powerful family known to Terran space. His will was absolute!

"So please be a nice old man and cooperate willingly."

==================================

He was fast approaching the last corridor leading to the grand hall. Normally pilots like him weren't even allowed to walk in these corridors without special permission. He was determined, he wasn't going to turn back now... He wasn't going to let the death of his friends be unavenged.

==================================

"Ah." Kalazonitov nodded, leaning back. "I see. Well, I'm not particularly surprised. Since you've been this direct with me, your Highness, I will return the favor."

He steepled his fingers and focused on them, seemingly in deep thought. "While I have no doubt that during peacetime you would most definitely succeed in your endeavors, your Highness, I regret to inform you that this is war and, as such, the conditions are subtly but definitely different. For instance, at this point, it has certainly become obvious to all persons in positions of authority - including the senior military chiefs and, in all probability, the Empress - that you are an inexperienced commander, prone to making bad mistakes. Digging out the actual facts of what happened was easy for my intelligence people in Draco - doing so will be much easier for the analysts back home. You placing the official blame on anybody else will not change that - they will still know. You could save face with the public and everybody of importance could act as if they are fooled - nobody who matters will be, however. I believe that, given the option to choose between a proven commander of a veteran fleet and an irresponsible youngster that tries to shift the blame, they'd back the former. I'd probably get a slap in the back of the hand and sent back to actually win some battles - while you'd be called back quietly to be assigned some position of minimal responsibility.”

“How…how DARE y…”

"If you were an important member of the Dynasty,” Kalazonitov continued, as if Xiau Yi had said nothing, “you might still get away with it, even in wartime. You are not, however. If you were, you'd be back home, lobbying and jockeying for a better position in the court games. Instead, you are here, placed in command of a Home Guard fleet. You have been given a shiny toy, your Highness, and shown to a side room to play, while the grownups do the important talking.

"Again, you might have managed to pull this off. Military command is a classic way for a low-ranking member of the Dynasty to gain glory and renown. However you screwed up - which is not as bad as you think, given your inexperience - and then you panicked and dug your own grave. You tried to shift the blame, which is understandable, but you did so as an absolute ruler would. You called me back. You called my fleet back, to personally slap me in the face. Big mistake.

"You see, your Highness, for the duration of this war, we are part of an Alliance. You are not an absolute ruler; one might argue that not even the Empress is, any more. Everything the joint fleets of the Alliance do is supposed to go through the Joint Command HQ - and the actions of each fleet reflect upon their nation. When you called me back from Draco, you essentially ordered me to leave a gaping hole in our front and to abandon our allies, leaving them essentially unsupported. You can be sure I reported exactly why I left and exactly whose orders I was following, both to our own HQ and to the Joint Command as well. Your Highness, for the last days, every Allied government is bombarding the Ministry of War with demands for your head. With a single order, you made an enemy out of every human and Cyrvan commander this side of Old Earth - and you made our fleets look like forces that would happily leave our allies hanging.

"So, please, go ahead. Make that phone call. Whom will you call? The War Minister? Some of the Crown Princes? The Empress herself? What do you think they'll say? Do you honestly think they'll pick an incompetent, irresponsible and pretty much expendable brat who thoroughly embarrassed the Motherland over one of the only two remaining veteran commanders and the first Admiral of the Alliance to defeat a Hertak fleet?"

Kalazonitov smiled thinly. "Go ahead, your Highness. Your move."

==================================

Behind Kalazonitov, Tanya's wristwatch beeped discreetly. The Lieutenant Commander glanced at the display and blanched.

Active plasma explosives in the area? They're after the Admiral!

She placed a hand on the back of Kalazonitov's chair, ready to drive him to the floor if necessary and, with the other, she thumbed a small contact on her dataslate. There was a barely audible click and part of the dataslate slipped out, dropping a single-shot mini fleshette pistol into her palm. She glanced anxiously toward the door, listening attentively for any hint of might be going on at the other side.

==================================

Two royal guards stood guard in front of the grand doors. Both were excellently trained in all sorts of martial arts and were excellent marksmen with every possible gun you can imagine.

However, no amount of training can save you from a plasma grenade with one second left on its timer being thrown at you from around the corner. One could argue that the heavy ceremonial armors that CRF knights wear would help but this was not a CRF ship.

A quick flash and explosion later both guards were incapacitated. Dead, actually. Turned into a thin dust cloud and two blackened silhouettes on the wall.

While the big doors were heavily shielded from sounds to prevent eavesdropping, no soundproofing can cancel out the noise of a plasma explosion. And nothing but a forcefield can shield something from a graviton grenade.

A graviton grenade followed the plasma one.

With an odd whirling sound, the doors briefly crumpled up into an implosion before exploding outwards with a massive burst of energy.

=================================

Xiau Yi jumped up from his chair and slammed his fists on the table, knocking over his wine glass in the progress

"My move you say?! Irresponsible brat!?! ADMIRAL, YOU ARE WAY OUT OF LI-"

He was cut short by the two doors flying into the room, followed by a cloud of dust and smoke. He was not given much time to grasp the situation as a single beam of light pierced through the smoke and burned a hole the size of a lemon in his upper chest.

Tanya reacted immediately. Kalazonitov was on the ground the moment the doors started to buckle. A good thing too, since a big chunk of those doors would have had a meeting with the old admiral's face otherwise.

==================================

Kalazonitov did not see the princeling die, because his face was pasted onto the floor, one of Tanya's knees pressing down on the small of his back. He did hear the blaster shot, though, and he could very well imagine what that meant.

Tanya had turned toward the door the moment Kalazonitov was down and had taken up a kneeling firing position over his body and behind the upended chair. She did not see the princeling die either, because she never took her eyes off the cloud of smoke that covered the entrance to the room.

She did see the shot that killed him, however. The same dust cloud that obscured the shooter made the blaster beam stand out like a firework. She calmly tracked the beam back to its source and her fleshette gun barked once, a single low cough that sent a hyperelocity rod toward the assassin before Xiau Yi's body had time to hit the floor.

The shot found its mark. The unseen assailant was hit squarely in the forehead. He staggered for a moment before slumping down. Xiau Yi still stood there dumbfounded for a moment, before he fell backwards into his chair, dead.

Only a few moments later did Commodore Hitachi storm to the scene with several guards in tow. He quickly assessed the situation, barked out a few orders to the guards before turning to the Admiral.

"Sir, are you alright?"

Kalazonitov stood a bit shakily, looking mournfully at his cane, which had been cleanly cut in half by a piece of flying debris.

"Hello, Commodore. Yes, I'm fine. The prince looks ... not fine, though."

One of the guards had, by then, reached the body of Xiau Yi and he wasted no time checking for lifesigns. Nobody with that big of a hole in him could still be alive. He looked back at the Commodore and Admiral and shook his head.

"Great," Kalazonitov sighed. "Just what the Motherland needed right now. An assassination of a Delest and a leaderless fleet, one system away from the front lines. Could this have been a political assassination? Does anybody know the assassin?"

"I think I do, sir," a sergeant volunteered, with a nervous glance to the Commodore. At a nod from the officer he continued. "He was a Delta wing pilot. The only survivor. I think he was ill during the attack of the Zy and couldn't fly. The whole wing was shot down."

"That simplifies matters, sir," Tanya volunteered. "Revenge assassination. He probably suffered survivor's guilt and blamed it all on the prince."

"Makes sense," Kalazonitov agreed. "However, this would mean that, on this ship, an unsupported man that gets a bit cranky can walk in with two specops-issue grenades and take out the fleet commander on a whim. Tanya, please have a talk with the security chief, if you don't mind."

"Oh, yes, sir. Absolutely."

"Right. Tanya, you will also need to find every GRU agent on board this ship. Get them here - I don't give a flying трахаться about their cover identities. Have them witness this; let them examine the room and the bodies, take testimonies. Tell them I am at their disposal, if they need to question me. Set them loose on the ship. I want absolutely no ambivalence about what happened here. Then, write a report - clear cut and concise and send it back to the Ministry. They need to know what happened.

"Next..."

He scowled and turned to the Commodore.

"Commodore Hitachi, I am not in the line of command of this fleet, but I am the senior ranking officer present in-system. I need to know what your contingencies are, at this point. From what I see, there are two options:

"Firstly, you can choose to assume command of the 2nd Home Guard yourself, as Prince Xiau Yi's XO. In a way, that would make things easier for me, because my hands are already full. If you do so, you will be required to take full responsibility for your fleet's actions, both here and back home. I must also tell you that, during that time you will only be an acting Admiral - your promotion will have to be ratified by the Ministry. Until that happens, I will still be considered senior to you and, as a commander of a fleet, I will have the authority to give you and your force orders. Be advised that my first order will be for you to take your fleet to Vega and, when there, to assist the Alliance forces in dealing with the incoming Zy forces. The 3rd Frontier Fleet will follow you there, of course.

"Your second option is for you to formally request the amalgamation of our two fleets. If you do that, the 2nd HG will cease to exist as a unit and will be absorbed into the 3rd FF. It has not happened often, but there are precedents and nobody will criticize you for it. If you do that, the responsibility for the actions of the joint force will rest with me and me alone. You can expect, however, to be assigned the command of a major task force of your choosing and you will find me a reasonable commanding officer in regards to my people taking the initiative. On that subject, if you choose to relinquish the command of the 2nd HG, I will immediately expect a comprehensive list of each vessel's and commanding officer's performance under Xiau Yi. I will also accept recommendations for the forming of a detachment that will be ordered to seek out and destroy all Zy units on our rear. Let me be frank, Commodore: I expect you to point fingers and I want every sneak, every sycophant to be on that detachment. If you keep command of the 2nd, you can do as you will, but I am only taking people I can trust to fight like demons through the Starlance - not boot lickers. I realize that those will probably be almost half of your fleet - I can live with that.

"So, Commodore, what's it gonna be? Will you hitch your wagon to mine, or take command of this circus? Or maybe you have another suggestion? Either way, you need to decide quickly. The Zy will not wait and we have much work to do.”

"Hmmm," The Commodore rubbed his chin in thought. "Sir, may I suggest that you discuss this with the Empress herself instead? She needs to be informed of what happened here as soon as possible and I do not think I am qualified to make a decision of this scale. We have a direct emergency line with the royal palace on this ship. I can set you up with a direct line of communications within five minutes."

==================================

Hitachi was better than his word - it was actually four minutes before the emergency line was up and Kalazonitov was before a holoscreen, bowing deeply before the image of the Empress and praying to God his leg wouldn't give out on him.

"Speak, Admiral," the Empress said curtly, her voice cold as ice.

Deep bow for the Empress aspect. Three seconds pause. Deep bow for the Goddess aspect. Leg creaks. Bugger

"Your Imperial Majesty, I have the sad duty to inform you of the violent death of his Imperial Highness, prince Xiau Yi, at the hands of a madman, not ten minutes ago. I was present during the assassination and only narrowly escaped death myself, thanks to the actions of one of Your Imperial Majesty's GRU agents. The same agent executed the assassin, but not before he had the chance to shoot his Imperial Highness, the prince. I wish to address to Your Imperial Majesty my heartfelt condolences for this sad loss."

"Hoo? Little Xiau died did he?" A sly smile appeared on Emperess Yu Ki Kohakuren's face. "What a shame."

If there was any sadness to be had, she showed nothing of it.

"But what a convenient timing! Wouldn't you agree, Admiral? It's almost as if someone planned this." Her almost fox-like eyes met Kalazonitov’s with a twinkle that might have been a bit of noise in the hologram. "You see, there has been a constant stream of foreign requests that we commit more forces to fight this alien invader and, with the recent destruction of one of our front line fleets, it may seem like we are weak... or plotting something behind their backs."

She chuckled briefly, as if this last thought might not be all that far from the truth.

"Admiral, I must admit to having a liking for your type. You hate the politics and bureaucracy that inevitably come with your position because they get in the way of your job. You'll curse them when only a few can hear you, yet you do not shy away from them. Instead you know exactly how to deal with them. You are a rough-around-the-edges, crippled man yet there is strength, wisdom and experience in you."

She paused for a moment and it might have been hesitation instead of a dramatic pause.

"Ivan Dimitrievic Kalazonitov, I hereby decree that you take command of the 2nd Home Guard along with your own fleet. And since the rank of Rear Admiral is unworthy for someone with such a large force under his command, I bestow on you the rank of Fleet Admiral, effective immediately.”

She smiled, then, a short but brilliant smile, something that one might see in the face of a mischievous girl.

“I may have given you several new political enemies with this as well and I'm sure this will lead to many more entertaining moments for me to enjoy. Don’t disappoint me, Fleet Admiral Kalazonitov."

And with that said, she cut the communications - not even giving the Admiral the chance to protest or utter his thanks.

In all truth – he didn’t know which of the two he would have done, anyway.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OOC: Well, here we are. A week's worth of RP messages, condensed into a mammoth post. Enjoy.

And yes, I just got double promoted and got a cool fleet that I intend to ram down the throats of the Zy. Can you say '50+ Base Capital Damage'?
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 10:33:29 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

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

 

Offline Enioch

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The following is an excerpt of Boris Davidoff's 'The Reformation Period's Military Songs: Tunes of our Soldiers' published in XXXX, Novgorod III.

==========================================

Few songs of the period are as well known as Katyusha. The simple melody, over-the-top sentimentality and morale-boosting encouraging tones of the Katyusha made it an instant classic and a sort of unofficial anthem for the Delest navy. One can trace its origins to the workers of Archangel Prime, press-ganged into service in the 3rd Frontier Fleet (the well-known 'Knights of Draco').

Katyusha gained in popularity especially after the defeat of the 1st and 2nd Frontier Fleets, when the sailors of the 3rd found themselves the only active Delest force in the front lines. The 'distressed mother', who asks for news of her son was a very harsh reality at the time: the casualties suffered by the 1st and 2nd Frontier Fleets were atrocious and the sailors of the 3rd were, understandably, concerned that their own families would think it only a matter of time before they too were killed. Unfortunately, they were partly right: the 3rd was to suffer many casualties as well before the war was over. Nonetheless, the Katyusha spread like wildfire among the sailors. It is said that Ivan Dimitrievic Kalazonitov, a Fleet Admiral at the time, had the song written down and framed behind his office, although no actual evidence for this exists.

For those who have not heard or read the song, the most common version follows:

Cold and harsh the northern wind was blowing
and the forges burned like dying suns
they were casting the weapons of Katyusha,
they were forging Katya’s mighty guns.

“Put away, your hammers all ye workers,
lay them down upon the foundry floor!
For you are now the sailors of Katyusha
and you’ll sail with Katya off to war!

“Say goodbye to families and lovers,
think no more of home or of your friend!
For you are now the children of Katyusha,
and you’ll sail her ‘till the very end!”

Cold and harsh the stars did shine around her
as she sailed away to foreign skies.
“Have you heard any news of the Katyusha?
Do you know, perhaps where Katya flies?

“For I had a son aboard the Katya
and I don’t know if he’s still alive!
Have you heard any news of the Katyusha?
Do you know if Katya still survives?”

Fear ye not, our mothers and our fathers!
Fear ye not, our husbands and our wives!
For we still are the sailors of Katyusha,
know ye well, that Katya proudly flies!

She has made our flesh as strong as iron!
She has turned our souls to finest steel!
Raise the banners and follow the Katyusha!
Bring the Homeland’s enemies to heel!

« Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 04:34:35 pm by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

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

 
Hydra System
3rd Sol Fleet
Flagship Sovereign
Day 8


The past few nights had been restless and unforgiving for Admiral Soryu, commander of the lone fleet holding Hydra. His ships were barely in fighting condition, rations were running dry, and morale was low. To make matters, worse, they were outnumbered 3:1 in terms of raw fleet firepower - The 2nd Hertak, the 1st Fura'ngle, and worse-yet, the Hertak Flagship armada were lurking.

He took a sip of his bitter coffee, and flipped through his fizzling communications terminal.

From the barely-legible static on his terminal, he determined that the Cyrvans and the 1st CRF wanted to destroy the 2nd Hertak. They could theoretically do it, but someone would have to stay behind.

Soryu looked up at his crew running around the combat information center, and sighed in discontent. Most of them were running on less than 4 hours of sleep, trying to get everything back in working order. He himself hadn't eaten since before the last battle, and had been running up and down the ship trying to lend a hand and keep morale from dropping.  Several bulkheads had been blown clean out of the walls, and most of the monitoring stations were lacking power or inoperable due to system damage.

"Bad news, isn't it?" came Naya's voice from behind him.

"Does it show that much?" sighed Soryu.

"Your voice kind of gives it away, as does your quivering body..."

He looked down at himself. The quivering must've started recently, because that definitely wasn't happening several hours ago. Or at least, what felt like several hours ago. The passage of time was lethargic and nerve-wracking. Every hour felt like three, and his heightened senses were logging everything that was happening around him. Soryu could clearly recall almost everything that had happened since they were attacked.

"Well, what's your take on it?"

"First, I think we should get you to your cabin. You look exhausted..."

"I'm fine, I just need -"

"To get out of that chair and out of this room," interjected Naya. "There's no telling when the next wave of attacks will come, so we need you at your best if we're to have any hope of getting out of here."

Soryu stirred in his seat, and took another look around the mess of the CiC before eyeballing his comms officer.

"Comms officer Karse," addressed Soryu.

"Officer Karse, reporting for duty, sir!" scrambled Karse.

"How much sleep have you gotten?"

"6 hours."

"When was the last time you've eaten?"

"Two hours ago."

"The ship is yours. Naya and I have something to discuss. Drop whatever you're doing, and take break in the command seat."

"Yes sir!"

"Now that that's settled, help me up, Naya."

Naya took his cup of coffee and placed it on a counter several meters away before returning. She took his arm, and pulled him up. He stumbled a bit, but was on his feet. Without even asking him where they were going, Naya pulled him out of the room.

The metal doors leaving the CiC slid shut, giving life to the first moments of near-silence Soryu had experienced in... Beyond longer than he could remember. But they didn't stop there.

"Where are we going? We can discuss the news here," said Soryu.

"We're going to your quarters, where you can actually rest for a while," replied Naya in a peculiar tone.

Soryu stayed quiet for the rest of the walk up to his quarters. He knew that Naya wasn't going to let him have it any other way, judging by the tone in her voice. If he tried to put together a cohesive argument, chances are she could have him relieved of duty, citing incapacitation or something along those lines. In other words, he wouldn't be there to oversee what may very well be their last battle.

The door into Soryu's quarters slid open - His room was more or less in good shape, minus a few objects that had been knocked over by weapon impacts. Naya finally let go of Soryu's arm, and Soryu collapsed on one of his comfortable armchairs in relief. He was more tired than he thought he was, even under the influence of coffee.

"So, what's the news?" asked Naya as she started cleaning up displaced objects.

"The Cyrvans and the 1st CRF will probably show up to try to finish off the 2nd Hertak, and they need our help," muttered Soryu.

"There's more to it, isn't there?"

Soryu paused for a moment.

"... Yes. Someone has to stay behind. Whoever does that, faces certain destruction."

Naya's face turned pale as she quickly realized what Soryu was thinking.

"... That's gonna be us, isn't it?"

"So it would seem, yes."

"We could ask someone else to stay, but if we wanted to minimize casualties and maximize remaining firepower, we're the best option, as much as I hate to admit it."

There was another period of silence. Neither of them liked the idea, but both of knew that it wouldn't be fair to ask anyone else. It wasn't just their lives that were on the line - It was the fate of millions of civilians.

Naya crumpled into a chair beside Soryu, and sighed.

"I guess this is it," said Naya blankly.

"If you're scared, don't worry. So am I. No matter how much we try to come to terms with death consciously, we fear it by nature.

At least it should be quick, and relatively painless. If we get spaced, we should be dead in a matter of seconds. A beam to the bridge is instant-death."

"You're not making me feel any better, if that's what you're trying to do."

“Fair enough. Do you remember when you first stepped foot on the Sovereign?”

“Sure I do. What of it?”

“If memory serves me correctly, you were the happiest thing in the world. You wanted to be a part of the force defending our homes.”

“And I still am. I’m just… Not happy about becoming a listed casualty of that force.”

“Neither am I, but we still have a job to do. I’m sure you didn’t pick this job because everything is fine and dandy all the time, did you?”

“I picked it so I could lead this ship with you.

… Or in this case, for you. You’re not leaving this room for a couple hours.”

“Says you and what army?” laughed Soryu as he stood up for the door.

“Just me,” replied Naya as she wrapped her arms around him.

Soryu flinched at the touch of her warmth against his body. His leadership position literally made him untouchable – He could barely remember the last time anyone had laid their hands on him in this fashion.

“Y’know,” smirked Soryu. “Fraternizing is punishable by discharge from this ship.”

“We’ll be discharged into the void of space anyways. Now would you please give up and rest now? Just for a couple hours?”

As much as he hated to admit it, he was tired. If he were to lead his crew into battle, he’d be half-conscious at best. If he was going to die, he wanted to be wide awake to see it. To top it off, he’d die with a slightly irritated second-in-command at his side if he didn’t.

“Fine. Two hours, no more,” sighed Soryu. “The ship is yours.”

“See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?” laughed Naya as she let go of him and started for the door. “I’ll see you in two.”

Soryu watched her leave, and then flopped backward onto his cold bed. Now that he had consciously acknowledged that he could rest, his body was shutting down on its own. Within minutes, he was out cold.



As stated, he woke up a couple hours later to the sound of his ever-so-annoying alarm clock. He sighed, and dragged himself into the CiC. Naya nodded as she saw him approach, and left the command chair.

“Admiral on the bridge!” called Naya.

“Did you already –“ started Soryu.

“Give them a final speech? Yes. It’s what you would’ve done.”

Soryu nodded in approval, and sat firmly in his command chair. He was awake, and his crew was motivated. It was the 3rd SF, the CSA, and the 1st CRF against the might of the Hertak – Today would be a good day to die.

 

Offline Lepanto

  • 210
  • Believes in Truth
    • Skype

1407 hours, Nordera Battleaxe HuQ-Arta Bridge, Draco I Orbit, Draco

The bridge of the HuQ-Arta shuddered as a volley of Painbringers detonated on the hull, but the entire bridge crew remained firmly gripped to their stations. Nordera ship design had never spared any thought for frivolities like inertial dampening, as Nordera crews' hardened musculature allowed them to weather shocks which would have killed Terran or Cyrvan crews.

"Fire back, you idiots!" bellowed the Captain, who was easily identifiable by his massive frame, towering over even his muscular Nordera crew.

Another friendly icon winked out on the bridge's crude tactical holo-display; the Ag-URut had been vaporized by a volley of Cyrvan beam fire. There were few Nordera ships left ; the combined Terran and Cyrvan fleets had crushed the 3rd Fleet-Band with their sheer firepower advantage. In this situation, a Terran or Cyrvan commander would retreat or surrender. But, Nordera commanders and crews were never known for their survival instincts.

"They've knocked out all our main guns!" shouted the gunnery officer. Sure enough, his tactical display was covered with flashing warning signs.

The Captain took a moment to think, scanning the holo-display. How best to die? The attacking Terran heavy fighter squadron had peeled off, and there were no ships between the HuQ-Arta and the CRF's main battlecarrier.

"Ramming speed! Target the Lord-class! We bring them down with us!" His helmsman eagerly heeded the command, pushing the Battleaxe's engines even further past their safe speed. The massive, ugly hunk of metal lurched forward, bound to its doom, one way or another. Many of the Nordera crew, their duties now pointless, abandoned their posts and started a last war chant.

But even if they had been attentive, they would have probably missed the jet-black, stealth-coated boarding torpedo that the St. Louis had launched at them. Closing on the Nordera bridge, the silent missile readied its breaching system. It broke through 17 meters of the HuQ-Arta's armor plating, caving in the bridge's ceiling and coming to a stop right above the crew's heads.

The Nordera bridge crew's thoughts quickly jumped between fear of imminent fiery death, confusion that the missile wasn't exploding, and practiced battle instinct when the missile's tip irised open. They quickly drew their weapons, a motley assortment of melee weapons and slugthrowers, and began firing on the missile. But, before their volley vaporized the missile, a small form dropped out of it, weaving through their weapons fire, and jumping onto the holotank in the bridge's center.


The Nordera crew spun around to overwhelm the lone Terran boarder, but were momentarily perplexed when they saw what the CRF Terrans had deployed onto their ship. "Wait, that's just a-"

[TARGET ASSESSMENT - NORDERA CREW, 11. REACTION TIME, INSUFFICIENT. THREAT LEVEL, 4/10. ENGAGING TARGETS IN ORDER OF THREAT.]

The Nordera sensors officer's confusion was cut off by a railgun slug directly to the brain, with four of his companions falling in quick succession.

[6 HOSTILES REMAINING.]

Three of the closest vibroaxe-wielding crew members charged their much smaller assailant, who dodged all their swings and sliced off their arms with wrist-mounted vibroblades in a dance of precise, elegant lethality. The Nordera, as one, let out howls of anguish and fell to the deck.

[MELEE ATTACK SPEED INSUFFICIENT. 3 ACTIVE HOSTILES REMAINING.]

Only the Captain and his two personal guards were left standing, amid a shower of blood from their fallen comrades. They opened up on the . . . monster that had slaughtered their crewmembers with roars of fury and a barrage from their slugthrowers, which perforated the control consoles on the other side of the room, filling the bridge with smoke and sparks. Their target backflipped over their line of fire too fast for even their well-trained eyes to follow, attaching itself to the floor with magboots and deploying a shoulder-mounted grenade launcher.

[GR-077 GRENADE LAUNCHER DEPLOYED AND BRACED. REMAINING HOSTILES WITHIN HE BLAST RADIUS. LOADING HE AMMO. FIRING.]

Before he was consumed by the grenade blast's raging inferno, the Captain let out one final scream; "Da-THar curse you, spirit-"

[ALL HOSTILES NEUTRALIZED. DISENGAGING BATTLE MODE. ENGAGEMENT RESOLVED IN 21.0352 SECONDS.]

After the fury of activity and blast of fire, a grim silence descended on the room. Time for the intruder to finish its mission.

[HELM CONSOLE DETECTED AND STILL ACTIVE. PENETRATING SECURITY MEASURES.]

Its hands flew rapidly over the primitive Nordera helm console.

[SECURITY MEASURES PENETRATED; TIME TO COMPLETION, 2.9103 SECONDS. SETTING NEW THRUST VECTOR.]

With a heave and shrieks of protest from its hull, the Battleaxe banked upwards. CRF crewmembers on the St. Louis allowed themselves to finally exhale as the Nordera warship barely cleared the Terran carrier's hull, careening off into space.

[PRIMARY MISSION: COMPLETE.]

The thundering tramp of boots shook the deck, as more Nordera crew rushed to the bridge to investigate the firefight. The T.A.L. Mark I would be waiting for them.

[ENGAGING BATTLE MODE. THREAT ASSESSMENT COMPLETE. PROBABILITY OF VICTORY: 92.78%.]

==============================================

When the HuQ-Arta was boarded three hours later by a transport of CRF regular marines, they found the remaining Nordera crew gathered in a huddled mass at the airlock, their spirits broken and many sporting severe injuries. Their acting commander begged to be allowed to surrender, "as long as you take your vile spirit away from us!" Admiral Santiago accepted their surrender by comm-link, grateful that some of the Nordera had the common sense to not fight to the death. The T.A.L. Mark I was retrieved and returned to storage, its first combat deployment a clear success.
"We have now reached the point where every goon with a grievance, every bitter bigot, merely has to place the prefix, 'I know this is not politically correct, but...' in front of the usual string of insults in order to be not just safe from criticism, but actually a card, a lad, even a hero. Conversely, to talk about poverty and inequality, to draw attention to the reality that discrimination and injustice are still facts of life, is to commit the sin of political correctness. Anti-PC has become the latest cover for creeps. It is a godsend for every curmudgeon and crank, from fascists to the merely smug."
Finian O'Toole, The Irish Times, 5 May 1994

Blue Planet: The Battle Captains: Missions starring the Admirals of BP: WiH
Frontlines 2334+2335: T-V War campaign
GVB Ammit: Vasudan strike bomber
Player-Controlled Capship Modding Tutorial