Author Topic: Let's be about it  (Read 22579 times)

Offline deathjester

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Re: Let's be about it
« Reply #60 on: July 07, 2014, 05:25:11 AM »
Guys, thanks for the kind words... but you are making me feel like I have a 1/48 scale head on a 1/72 scale figure. :)

I'm really not sure it's good enough to be considered for publication. Entertaining, yes... published, well that's another matter.

Much thanks for the kind words though.
Credit where credit is due!  Besides, if something is Entertaining to a sufficient amount of people, then does it not deserve to be published?  I've seen plenty of dross get made that would only entertain the most feeble of minds, so go for it !  The worst they can say is no...but I don't think they will...!

Offline Silver Fox

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Re: Let's be about it
« Reply #61 on: July 09, 2014, 09:57:08 AM »
Part XXIV: Closing the range

Thomas studied the wreckage of the Solarian formation with grim satisfaction. Thousands of men and women had just died, at his hand, but they were the aggressors and had been lead to their deaths by a corrupt Government. He took no satisfaction in their deaths, but the ships they had crewed had needed to be destroyed. More would die before this was over, and Thomas steeled himself to the idea that it would be Solarians who paid the blood-price.

Thomas examined the tactical display for a few moments before turning to his Tactical Officer, “Guns, how long until they close enough that we can stay just outside their range” Lt. Commander Cumberland ran a short calculation on this terminal before answering, “Sir. At present accelerations to remain under full stealth we would need to turn over in 6.3 minutes. Assuming the Sollies will see us when we start lobbing multiple salvos after them, we make turnover in 19.3 minutes and accelerate to match vectors at 560 gravities.”

Thomas grinned at his Tactical Officer, “Guns, I think we can safely assume that even the Sollies will notice something, after we start throwing double broadsides after them.” The bridge erupted in laughter before Thomas reeled it in, “OK folks, let’s not get overconfident. We’ve bloodied their nose, but they still hold the weight advantage. We have a tough nut to crack still.” He was answered by several comments of, “We’ll do it Sir!” before the crew settled.

“OK Guns, pass your data onto Helm. We’ll go for turnover and then I want to hit them with a triple broadside and the Mark 16 pods. Targeting priorities will be as follows…” Thomas continued with his brief and target assignments refined. The crew was in good spirits, but Thomas knew that before this ended Enterprise would probably see return fire. If he couldn’t eliminate enough hostile launchers before that happened, Enterprise was likely to suffer damage… and casualties.

Rear Admiral Pontraine was livid. The damned Manties were going to ruin everything! All his carefully plotted plans for advancement, gone in this fiasco. Who would ever believe that his force had suffered such casualties to neo-barbs? He would be a laughing stock, and his career would lie in ruins.

Forcing his mind back to the present situation, he ordered the Mythos and escorting destroyers to join on his two BC’s. The force needed to be unified or it risked defeat in detail. He passed the orders and noted that it would take twenty-five minutes for the second element to join up. Once they were in place, he would start to hunt for the Manty battlecruisers in earnest.

Enterprise reached the turnover point and abandoned stealth. The wedge came to full power and Enterprise started to match velocities with the advancing Solarian force. A small change in the Solarian course had forced Thomas to accelerate at 562g in the effort to match velocities at a range that would place her just outside of the Solarians reach, while still allowing Enterprise to use her longer-ranged missiles. Everything was proceeding according to plan, until Enterprise shuddered and acceleration dropped to 200g.

From the Tactical station Bob Cumberland called. ”Sir! We are going to fall inside range of the BC’s and the big bogey in 173 seconds, the light units will be able to range on us 115 seconds later.” Thomas glanced a the tactical repeater for only a moment, his eyes being drawn back to the status display that showed Enterprise had lost her after beta-ring and much of her propulsion power. “Thank you Guns. Roll pods, we are going to engage with Beta-Three, stack a triple broadside if you would.” Thomas turned to his communication panel and contacted Engineering. “Chief? Captain here. What happened?”

Sam Jennings looked harried, “Sir, the beta-squared node that required re-tuning during trials failed. It’s taken the whole after beta-ring with it. I suspect there was a flaw in the crystalline structure that slipped past the quality control inspectors. I’ve got a crew cutting it out of the circuit, but it’s going to take time. I estimate fifteen minutes before they get the after ring back.” Thomas didn’t like what he was hearing, fifteen minutes would place Enterprise well inside range of the Solarian force. “Sam, as fast as possible please, we’re going to need your damage control teams before too much longer. What will the damage to the beta-ring do to our acceleration?” Thomas was trying to determine how much tactical flexibility he had left.

“Sir, we’ll lose about 2.5% acceleration.” Samuel began, “We are also going to lose perhaps 15% of our data rate on the FTL comm.” Thomas started, he had almost overlooked how the lost beta-squared node would affect his ability to generate the grav pulses the FTL comm relied on. “Understood Sam, please keep me informed.” Whatever answer the chief engineer offered was lost as the Captain cut the connection. The enemy battlecruisers had the range now, and they were launching missiles.

Rear Admiral Pontraine had been stunned when the Manticoran ship had suddenly appeared on the gravitic sensors. Tactical had reported it as either a very large cruiser, or a small battlecruiser. Pontraine had known instantly that the reports of upward size creep in warship sizes reported from the Haven/Manticore war were true. This was a Manty cruiser they were facing. Not even a battlecruiser! A damned heavy cruiser had caused so much damage! Something had gone wrong aboard the Manty cruiser though; it had been aiming to hold the range just outside his reach, and now was falling into his grasp. Acceleration had dropped suddenly as had the strength of its wedge. Pontraine turned to his Chief of Staff, “Order maximum rate fire on that cruiser as soon as our units range. Swamp it with fire and kill the damned thing!”

Thomas watched first one, then the second, Sollie BC spew missiles. If the missiles had not been aimed at Enterprise, Thomas would have laughed. The salvos were uncoordinated, each BC firing independently with no attempt to have all missiles arrive on target at once. Neither had the Sollies rolled ship to fire a double-broadside. Enterprise faced only 58 missiles, 29 from each BC. He turned to Tactical, “Guns, I’m betting they think they have us overmatched. Explain it to them please.” Bob Cumberland grinned despite the tension, “Explain it AYE! AYE!”

Enterprise had twenty-four pods deployed, each with fourteen Mark 16 missiles. Those spewed three hundred and thirty six missiles, which were joined by a further one hundred twenty missiles fired from the triple-broadside Thomas had ordered. Enterprise howled defiance at her larger attackers with four hundred and fifty six missiles, eight times what they had thrown at her. Eighteen seconds later another forty missiles launched, and forty more would follow every eighteen seconds as Enterprise’s launchers went to maximum rate. Nine minutes at this rate would see Enterprise shoot herself dry.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2014, 09:59:07 AM by Silver Fox »

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Let's be about it
« Reply #62 on: July 09, 2014, 11:08:35 AM »
Ah, now things get really "sporting".  'Twill be most interesting to see effect the difference in command and crew quality has now.  As to losing the aft beta-squared ring, well, "s--- happens!".  It's going to be most interesting to see what goes through the SLN admiral's thoughts with this broadside from such a range.

Offline Silver Fox

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Re: Let's be about it
« Reply #63 on: July 10, 2014, 05:42:09 AM »
Part XXV: Butcher's Bill

Rear Admiral Pontraine watched the tactical display in satisfaction. His BC’s had the range now and were firing at the Manty cruiser, let’s see how they like that! His reverie was catastrophically interrupted by the call from his tactical officer, “MISSILE! MISSILE! MISSILE! Four hundred, fifty six inbound at ninety six thousand gees. Target appears to be Incomparable.” The Admiral stood frozen in shock, 456 missiles inbound. How was that even possible? That damned Manty was going to be the death of him with shocks like this! He sobered as he realized what had just passed through his mind. The death of me… yes, quite possibly. He shook off his shock, again, and ordered fleet anti-missile defence to protect the battlecruisers. Remembering how he had been caught by the long-range destruction of his cruisers, he amended his order to allow for ships to defend themselves at need.

Admiral Pontraine wasn’t even shocked when Tactical announced another launch from the Manty and less than 20 seconds later a third. There were only forty missiles in each of the later launches, but the Manties now had over five hundred missiles bearing down on his ships, and his second launch was still loading. He watched the Manty missile stream pass his own missiles while they were only one-third of the way to target. His own second salvo was just launching when the Manty missiles entered attack range.

Perfectly synchronized fire from the pods and the triple broadside wasn’t possible at maximum accelerations. For that reason, the ‘first’ of the triple broadside would arrive a few seconds ahead of the mass of missiles, while the ‘third’ would arrive a few seconds late. The delay wasn’t enough to disrupt the effect of a mass launch, but it could be put to tactical use. Bob Cumberland had programmed the first missiles to execute a tight turn just as they entered counter-missile range. The missiles all peeled off to head after secondary targets, but hitting those targets wasn’t the point. The turn forced tactical officers aboard the Solarian ships to re-evaluate counter-missile fire, and they didn’t finish before the main body of missiles bored in.

SLNS Incomparable was the sole ‘real’ target of the massive salvo Enterprise had fired. Task Group defences had killed sixty-five missiles and Incomparable’s point defence had killed another twenty-three. Task Group 1307.1 had turned 90 degrees and ‘formed wall’ to aid in defensive efforts, but now a single battlecruiser faced 328 missiles. Dozens of missiles slammed into the wedge of Incomparable or one of her consorts. Dozens more fired and had their beams bent off target by the tough sidewalls of the battlecruiser. Only fifty-three Manticoran missiles got clean shots at Incomparable, it would prove more than enough.

An Indefatigable-class battlecruiser was a tough opponent, to anyone not raised by the standards of the Haven-Manticore war. In truth, it was an older example of a warship from a former power that was ‘third rate’, at best. Sheer inertia kept the image of Solarian invincibility intact, nothing could save Incomparable from the truth. X-ray lasers smashed through armour and destroyed systems. Point defences went down, as did the links to the missiles Incomparable had fired at Enterprise. Incomparable was hit too many times to estimate. Her back broke and the two separate halves of her hull spiralled off in different directions. Amazingly, the emergency containment systems for her fusion reactors worked. There was no ball of expanding plasma to mark the death of a once-proud warship. An all-too-small cloud of escape pods started to form around the broken halves of the ship.

Incomparable had aided in Task Group defence for the second of Enterprise’s launches and her efforts bought the Task Group some time. The second salvo was stopped short of reaching it’s target by point defence lasers aboard the destroyer squadron. The third salvo had more success. The Solarian crews had relied on their ‘superiority’ to the point that neither battlecruiser crew had backed up the other vessel on counter-missile assignments. When Incomparable dropped out of the ‘net, her missile targets went unassigned for almost four seconds. It was the type of mistake no Manticoran crew would ever make, unthinking reliance on the presence of another ship in combat was simple arrogance.

Simple arrogance was a hallmark of all Solarian naval officers, and none more so than Frontier Fleet. They never imagined that they would lose a battlecruiser to a neo-barb cruiser. That arrogance would cost them two. Incomparable had been responsible for counter-missile fire on twenty-two of the forty inbound missiles, none were engaged by counter-missiles as they raced in on SLNS Inexhaustible. Point defence laser spat coherent light and eight missiles died, but fourteen reached attack range. Three detonated early and wasted their fury on the impenetrable wedge. Four had their beams bent off target by the battlecruiser’s sidewalls. Seven raked their target with warheads only a capitol ship of the Solarian fleets could throw. The first hits were three missiles attacking through the open after-aspect of the wedge. The aft hammerhead was crushed, sensors, weapons… and crews, mangled beyond recognition. Four missiles attacked the forward hammerhead. Three crushed it, as had their brethren to the rear.

The last missile ended whatever concern Rear Admiral Pontraine might have for his career. Penetrating through damage caused by the earlier hit, one X-ray laser gouged deep. That beam spent itself on the forward bulkhead of the Flag Bridge, sending shrapnel sawing across all inhabitants. Inexhaustible lurched out of formation, dead in space. Atmosphere vented through the numerous holes rent in her armour. Aboard the ship crews fought desperate battles against the final enemy all spacers face, space itself. Some fought for their own lives, some for the lives of trapped crewmates. Two hundred and thirty nine crewman aboard Inexhaustible died, but only two hundred and thirty nine. The butcher’s bill should have been much higher, but the crew rose to the challenge. Necessity forced professionalism that tradition never had.

Enterprise faced her own challenges now, fifty-eight missiles bearing down on the solo cruiser. To the horror of the survivors of Frontier Fleet Task Group 1307.1, Enterprise seemed to bristle with CM launchers. Of fifty-eight incoming missiles, thirty-four failed to cross Enterprise’s CM envelope. Point defence lasers accounted for another twenty-two. One missile smashed physically into the cruiser’s sidewall, unable to turn aside. The last missile found the open after wedge and detonated, sending X-ray lasers sleeting through the aft hammerhead.

As the glaring crimson icons of damage flickered across Thomas’s repeaters, acceleration soared. The damage control crew sent to cut the damaged beta-squared node had run their bypass and had been working on cutting the damage node out of the circuit. The crew died instantly, never knowing that the Solarian missile that killed them also destroyed the damaged node. Enterprise came to 565g, with their launching ships dead; none of the battlecruiser-launched missiles could follow.

Offline Silver Fox

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Re: Let's be about it
« Reply #64 on: July 10, 2014, 05:44:11 AM »
I'm unsure of the last thing to go through Admiral Pontraine's thoughts... the last thing to go through his head was a type J-96-Bravo display assembly from the tactical tank I believe. :)

For those keeping score at home:

22,258 Words on 43 Pages.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 05:52:32 AM by Silver Fox »

Offline apophenia

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Re: Let's be about it
« Reply #65 on: July 10, 2014, 08:50:37 AM »
Wow! This is turning into an epic  :)
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: Let's be about it
« Reply #66 on: July 10, 2014, 10:52:33 AM »
I suspect the remainder of the SLN task force is going to be just as horribly surprised by the defensive capabilities of HMS Enterprise as they already have been by her offensive capabilities.  It would have been even worse if this had happened some six months later when the Mark 16E missiles get into general service with much more potent warheads.

As for length, you're starting to approach David Weber's short story length and you're doing it well.  I could easily see this appearing in the next Honorverse story collection.

Offline Silver Fox

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Re: Let's be about it
« Reply #67 on: July 10, 2014, 06:14:25 PM »
Part XXVI: Penultimate Moves

When Enterprise surged forward Thomas ordered a cease fire. All of his pods, and a full two-thirds of the internal magazines had been expended. Thomas needed a brief respite to re-evaluate options. He still faced four destroyers and a light cruiser as escorts for what tactical called an assault transport. The dreadnaught-sized target had not joined in the missile exchange, and had not even been a significant factor in defense of the Solarian Task Group. Thomas was willing to let that ship be for now, but he still had five warships to kill.

The situation facing Captain Stoddard of the light cruiser SLNS Hartford was more vexing. Two battlecruisers and four cruisers dead, and he was left in tactical command of a shattered Task Group. He knew that he faced only a single Manticoran heavy cruiser, but so far it had killed anything that challenged it. He estimated his surviving force could, maybe, survive eight more of those forty-missile broadsides the cruiser seemed able to throw.

Despite that, the Task Group was under orders. As senior officer he had little choice but to attempt to carry out those orders. He knew precisely how the ‘investigation’ into his conduct would proceed if he failed to act aggressively. The destruction of the heavy cruisers and battlecruisers would be blamed on ‘incompetence in the face of inferior forces’. Any failure on his part to carry out the assigned mission would lead to charges of cowardice in the face of the enemy. Frontier Fleet wouldn’t execute him, but he would be given ample opportunity to die in combat. Death would undoubtedly be quick, and a relief when it came.

Aboard the assault transport a completely different problem existed. The captain of the transport thought he should have tactical command, even though the ship was only an attachment to the Task Group and not permanently assigned. Confusing the issue further, the transport carried a flag officer, General Bernard Smithson. General Smithson commanded the Frontier Fleet reaction brigade assigned to the transport and while he was not a naval officer, he was now the senior officer in space.

Enterprise had extended the range unmolested and now settled into a range where it was immune to return fire, but could use its decisive range advantage to engage the Solarians. Thomas didn’t know it, but he shared the Solarian estimation of how many salvos the remaining Frontier Fleet ships would take to kill. What he did know, and they didn’t, was that Enterprise had only four hundred missiles, ten salvos, left before here magazines were empty. There was almost no margin of error.

Thomas considered his options carefully and then decided, it was time to put “Sucker Punch” into operation. Turning to the communications station he passed his commands, “Charles, a message to Galileo please, this is what I need them to do…” The stage was set for the final act in the battle.

Enterprise fired a triple-broadside, one-hundred and twenty missiles. Unlike earlier salvos, this one was spread across multiple targets. Twenty missiles headed for each destroyer and a full forty roared down on the light cruiser. There was no following salvo and Captain Stoddard felt hope for the first time, it looked like the Manties had shot themselves dry. It was the only explanation for their failure to launch follow up salvos. If he could just survive this launch, he could complete the mission. He couldn’t catch the Manty cruiser, but if it lacked missiles he could at least run it off and allow the transport to land the Frontier Security reaction brigade. That would be enough.

The barrage from Enterprise was eighteen seconds from engagement range when the unthinkable happened. Missiles erupted from empty space only 2.3 light seconds from the Solarian forces. The broadside from Enterprise already taxed the capabilities of the Solarian ships, the new missiles made it unmanageable. Galileo joined the fight, and all of the missiles fired by her were Dragon’s Teeth. Thousands of missiles appeared on the screens of missile defense officers, and in some cases computer targeting failed completely.

SLNS Moat was the first destroyer to die.  The point defense and CM systems on Moat were among those that failed under the onslaught of real and simulated missiles. Only two of the missiles aimed at her were killed enroute, and both of those by the light cruiser. Eighteen other missiles roared down on the hapless destroyer and detonations lit space in actinic flashes. Scores of X-ray lasers punctured the thin hull of the destroyer and when the fusion reactor finally blew it merely lit up the expanding cloud of wreckage.

SLNS Portcullis lasted no longer. Like Moat, the systems aboard Portcullis had frozen under the load. Unlike her sister, Portcullis was not targeted exclusively by laser heads. In an effort to save the more valuable laser heads, Bob Cumberland had mixed in a number of contact nukes. One of these slipped through the sidewall of the destroyer and gutted her in a single instant. The bright flare of a fusion reactor escaping confinement added to the glare of the nuclear warhead.

The light cruiser SLNS Hartford fought to the end. Of forty missiles targeting her, Hartford killed eight. First to reach her were three contact nukes spread across the length of the light cruiser’s hull. They detonated just outside the sidewall and blast stripped the passive defense away. The hull rang with the tortured screams of the overloaded sidewall generators, but only for an instant. With no sidewall in place, Hartford was naked to the laser heads that followed. Six missiles fired as one and Hartford’s light armour was insufficient to the task. Numerous lasers shot completely through the hapless vessel, piercing both sides of her hull. When her fusion bottle let go, it was a mercy to her stricken crew.

SLN ships Battlement and Turret died as one. Sidewalls battered by the explosions engulfing their sisters, systems overloaded by the overwhelming fire, the crews panicked. Aboard Battlement, the Captain ordered a course reversal and a full power flight from the battle. Panicked flight was not the problem aboard Turret, there Captain and crew froze. Ten seconds after Battlement tried to flee, wedges touched and power rooms vaporized. The missiles that attacked each vessel were superfluous, both ships were already dead.

Offline Silver Fox

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Re: Let's be about it
« Reply #68 on: July 10, 2014, 06:25:58 PM »
Just imagine if the Sollies had faced a pair of RMN BC's and 'suitable escort'.  :)

A pair of Agamemnon-class BC(P)'s would have ended the battle in a single salvo. They could have put two thousand Mark 23's in space at once... and simply crushed the Sollies without concern. Waste of ammo actually, they could do the job with Mark 16's.

Offline Silver Fox

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Re: Let's be about it
« Reply #69 on: July 11, 2014, 05:39:34 AM »
Part XXVII: Shall we Dance?

The following excerpt from the Political Studies syllabus at the University of Landing, Manticore is offered to provide background information necessary to understand certain events critical to the final movements of Second Nuncio. As Naval Officers we must understand political movements, even as we must also strive to distance ourselves from involvement in such matters.

The ancient Earth General Carl von Clausewitz (19th Century CE) once wrote, "War is merely the continuation of politics by other means." The wisdom of this statement can be seen in how domestic political motivations pushed the People's Republic of Haven into an expansionist era that forced it to consume other star systems in order to feed it's own population's hungers.

At the far end of armed political discourse is the terrorist movement. It is not uncommon that such movements have been fronts. One side in a struggle for power using "true belief" in a cause to stir up emotion and support in order to gain power. This too we can see in the history of Haven. Indeed, the Aprilist Movement was widely respected for the dedication, honesty and integrity it brought to a ferocious fight against the Republic's Legislaturalist masters. The eventual betrayal of such 'true believers" can be seen in how quickly the Committee of Public Safety hunted the Aprilists to near extinction. Of the high-ranking Aprilists, only current Republican President Eloise Pritchard survived, and then only through assuming the protective coloration of a convert to the cause of the victors.

"Pure" terrorist movements have been rare in human history. Few causes elicit such true belief that no swerving from the cause can be tolerated, and no false belief be feigned. Of these, The Audubon Ballroom stands out. Marked by a ferocity in their attacks, and an utter disregard for political costs, the Ballroom would strike who and where it must. The cause of genetic slavery is too open a wound to be salved by any half measures.

Largely disbanded, the Ballroom now exists only in tattered fragments of it's former self. Even the notorious leader of the Ballroom, Jeremy X, has renounced terrorism in the interests of state politics. Jeremy X now serves as Minister of War in the Court of Queen Berry of Torch.

The innocuous hallmark of Jeremy X in numerous anti-slavery attacks was the phrase, "Shall we Dance".

Entry in the Saganami Island Advanced Tactics Course training material.

Thomas was growing more frustrated by the moment. It should have been obvious to anything smarter than a Sphynxian rabbit that the situation facing the Solarian assault transport was untenable. Her escorts were gone and she was facing a heavy cruiser she could neither out-run, nor out-fight. None of which explained why her captain was being so obstinate.

Thomas took a deep breath and began again, “Captain, let me make this simple. You have three choices, one you strike your wedge and surrender your vessel now. If you do so, I will guarantee your treatment as prisoners of war rather than treating you as pirates. We both know that your force was legally engaged in an act of piracy by invading Manticoran space. Two, I disable your vessel and execute you and your crew as slavers. Under the Chertwell Convention there is no way an Assault Transport can fail to qualify under the equipment clause. You know the history of Manticoran warships when we capture slavers. Your third choice is that we resume hostilities and I will destroy your vessel in short order. So Captain, do you surrender… or shall we dance?”

The image of the Solarian Captain on the viewscreen blanched. He mumbled meaningless phrases for a moment or two before stuttering, “I have to consult with the commanding General of the Reaction Brigade. I will contact you shortly.” The Solarian cut the connection without further comment. Thomas looked around the bridge in confusion, “Does anyone have any idea what that was all about?” Only Midshipman Davis, at Astrogation, looked thoughtful. The remainder of the crew looked as confused as their Captain.

Onboard the Frontier Fleet vessel the Captain had cut the connection and hurried from the Bridge. The Executive Officer had wanted to ask if the Captain required assistance, the Captain had suddenly looked deathly ill. Once free from the Bridge the Captain had proceeded with unseemly haste to his quarters. Once there, he had gathered his service pulser, placed it in his mouth and squeezed the trigger. The sound of his body slumping to the floor had alerted the Marine Sentry. Confusion now reigned onboard as the Executive Officer found himself in command of an Assault Transport, in hostile territory, unsupported and with a Captain who had just committed suicide. The Exec decided he had no choice but to consult with General Smithson.

The General was on the Flag Bridge, or Assault Operations Center as it was known on an assault ship, the XO decided that a report in person wasn’t required. It would be better if he remained on the bridge to steady the crew. He commed the General and reported the situation, “General? I respectfully report that the Captain appears to have committed suicide in his quarters. There was no evidence of foul play and he was alone when he succumbed to a close range pulser shot. Commander, Enterprise, has given us only a few minutes to decide if we surrender or attempt to fight. I must advise Sir, that fighting is not an option. The Manties have crushed the Task Group and we simply are not equipped to offer more than token resistance before being overwhelmed.”

General Smithson was confused, he was no naval officer and these matters were far outside his expertise. He stumbled for words, trying to buy time for his thoughts to settle, “Commander Enterprise? What type of name is that?” The XO was patient, explaining to a ground-pounder was always frustrating, “Sorry Sir. It’s a naval expression. I should have said Captain James Kirk of HMS Enterprise has issued an ultimatum. It boils down to surrender or die. Sir.” The XO wasn’t sure what he said that caused to General to sit bolt upright, but the General suddenly barked, “What was his name? What ship?”

The XO knew he was on shaky ground but had no idea why, it was easy to decide that simple honesty was the safest course. That wasn’t always a given in Frontier Fleet service. “Sir, the officer is Captain James T. Kirk of HMS Enterprise.” If the General had looked alarmed before, he looked terrified now. The General screamed into the pickup, “Send to Enterprise, we surrender. WE SURRENDER!” The XO was shaken now himself, he had no idea what had driven the General into panic. As the General reached slowly to close the comm channel the XO thought he could hear the man muttering “We never had a chance”.

The XO ordered the wedge struck, the acknowledged symbol of surrender between starships. To be safe he turned to the communication section, “Send to Enterprise, we surrender.”

The Second Battle of Nuncio ended with a second defeat for the Solarian League. Aboard the Mythos-class transport the General sat staring at the ship’s wallpaper on an unused terminal. There in all its glory was the coat of arms of the ship and her name arched above.

The General scarcely noticed the formalities as SLNS Romulus surrendered to Captain James T. Kirk of Enterprise.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 09:42:03 AM by Silver Fox »

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Let's be about it
« Reply #70 on: July 11, 2014, 11:54:14 AM »
*snort!* Damn, that last bit was priceless.  Captain Kirk is most definitely living up to the legend of his 2-D namesake.  *wry chuckle* I can just imagine how news of this little encounter will play to the Solarian public.

Offline Silver Fox

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Re: Let's be about it
« Reply #71 on: July 11, 2014, 04:41:16 PM »
If one considers how Frontier Security recruits it's cannon fodder, we can assume certain things about how the Mythos-class is equipped. It will be a large ship equipped to move large quantities of live cargo. It will be equipped to rapidly load/unload said cargo. As FS troops are often not the most 'willing' of volunteers, it will feature measures to prevent the cargo from taking the ship.

In short, she is equipped as a slaver. Given how her Captain chose to eat his pistol after hearing an innocuous phrase, said Captain may not be as snowy-white as one would hope of a naval officer.

Offline Silver Fox

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Re: Let's be about it
« Reply #72 on: July 11, 2014, 06:21:51 PM »
I should point out...

I have been somewhat impatient to get to the point where SLNS Romulus surrendered to Enterprise. I didn't short anything getting there, but it did seem I couldn't type fast enough. :)

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Let's be about it
« Reply #73 on: July 12, 2014, 12:27:55 PM »
I quite enjoyed this so far, especially Second Nuncio (first Nuncio being when HMS Hexapuma dealt with the "pirate" invasion).  It should be fascinating to see where Capt. Kirk and HMS Enterprise go from here; I could see them being one of the main guards of the Talbot Cluster when Tenth Fleet moves to invest Mesa.

Offline Silver Fox

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Re: Let's be about it
« Reply #74 on: July 12, 2014, 05:27:28 PM »
Part XVIII: Relief, Repair and Refit

made her way back to Pontifex in company with the captured SLNS Romulus. The surrender agreement had specifically stated that Romulus’ crew was not to wipe the computer cores, this left Romulus in all respects immediately suitable for service. The Nuncio Systems Defence Force had little use for such a behemoth as a naval vessel, but perhaps it might see service as a replacement for the disable battlecruiser that currently served in the role of a stationary orbital fortress. That decision could wait for the future, for now Thomas had more pressing concerns on his mind.

The battle for Nuncio had left Enterprise damaged. The damage was not severe, but Enterprise would require her aft beta-ring be rebalanced before Thomas was fully confident of taking the ship through hyperspace. In an emergency, it could be done now, but prudence declared that it would make more sense to call one of the RMN’s repair ships forward and be sure of safety. The damage to Enterprise meant that the docking bay for Galileo Seven was unusable, so Thomas sent the LAC ahead to Pontifex carrying reports to be sent by dispatch vessel to Rembrandt. From Rembrandt the reports could be forwarded to 10th Fleet Headquarters on Spindle.

The relief of Enterprise in the Nuncio System began four days after the capture of SLNS Romulus. Tactical reported a hyperspace emergence detected directly on the arrival point designated for ships coming from the ‘inner ring’ of the cluster. Thomas was about to order a standard challenge via gravitics, when Enterprise herself was challenged by the new arrival. The new arrival announced herself as the frigate NNS Princelet. Nuncian officials were vague as to the identity of the ship, acknowledging that it was a Nuncian vessel, indeed the new flagship, but providing no other details. The frigate headed in-system at 540 gravities, all but ensuring that it had received Manticoran technology, but Tactical was having a tough time figuring out just what the ship was.

The answer, when it came, was both shock and relief. NNS Princelet was the former pirate ‘Prince Roger’. The vessel had completed its Rembrandt refit, but not started its trials when the dispatch boat from Nuncio had arrived bearing the Code Zulu message. Princelet had provisioned immediately and taken on board a full store of missiles before making a rapid transit to Nuncio. It was not even known if the little vessel could fire its weapons when it departed for its new home system. It had been hoped, if nothing else, that Princelet would be able to transfer its missiles to Enterprise and allow the cruiser to employ them to best effect.

The refit of Princelet had followed a decidedly current Manticoran philosophy. Princelet carried few beam or missile weapons in her broadsides, but they were far larger than any normal frigate would mount. She had only three missile tubes in each broadside, but they were of the exact same type as Enterprise’s own. The off-bore capability meant all six missiles could be fired at any target, and the range afforded by the RMN’s Mark 16 missile meant the little ship could outrange almost anything she faced short of modern capitol ships. Her broadside grazer and laser mounts were older designs, but older designs from RMN heavy cruisers. Most importantly for Enterprise, she was capable of carrying six missile pods tractored to her hull. She carried those pods now, and all were full of Mark 23 missiles. The frigate would never be able to effectively use the Mark 23, lacking the sensor capacity, but Thomas gratefully accepted their transfer to Enterprise.

Thomas was impressed, both with the speed of the refit, and what had been accomplished. Few pirates would enjoy meeting the little warship, and even a Solarian destroyer would find her a tough opponent. Most importantly, for the Talbot Cluster, was the fact the vessel was well within the capability of current local yards to build and support. Currently only the Rembrandt yards could support the modern Manticoran weapons, but that was rapidly changing. Very soon, the Cluster would become an active participant in its own defence.

Ten days after Princelet arrived, a more substantial relief force showed up. Captain Tremaine arrived with CruDiv 96.1. Scotty was relieved to see Enterprise intact and in possession of the system. Scotty announced that a Fleet repair ship and destroyer escort were waiting nearby in hyperspace; repairs to Enterprise would begin as soon as the waiting vessels were summoned. The Captain of Princelet offered to collect the support force, but this was turned down, as the escorting destroyers would have no record of the frigate as a friendly vessel. Scotty sent one of his own heavy cruisers to collect the support force.

Twenty-eight hours in the hands of the repair ship saw Enterprise declared ready for the trip to Rembrandt. She would be accompanied to Rembrandt by Princelet, which needed to complete its trials. A heavy cruiser from CruDiv 96.1 assumed responsibility for the safety of Nuncio. Captain Tremaine announced that after the relief of Nuncio, his orders were to ‘rejoin 10th Fleet as soon as practicable’. CruDiv 96.1, short one heavy cruiser, would be departing for Spindle as soon as possible. The repair ship and destroyer escort stayed in Nuncio for the time being, taking advantage of the opportunity to conduct more extensive repairs to the local LAC force than Enterprise had been able to accomplish herself. They would proceed independently to Rembrandt once the work was accomplished.

As Enterprise broke orbit, Thomas couldn’t shake the belief that Captain Tremaine and other officers had been holding something back.