deWulf Corporate Democracy Turn 131

Fiction by Sylvester Wrzesinski

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deWulf Corporate Democracy Turn 131

Postby Xveers on Thu 22 Jun 2017 00:59

deWulf High Command, 8th Sub-Basement
Fenris Command Central, “The Pit”

Breifing: Unternehmen Hammerschlag

PM Donnal looked at his officers as they sat in the briefing hall. With Rollen still out on an extended review at Y-12, the briefing duty had fallen to him, and it was a mix of melancholy, anger, and determination that filled him to the core. How long ago had they been here, planning for the assault into the Elysians home system? He recognized faces. Some, but not all. A few chairs remained empty even now, their previous occupants floating somewhere in the Elysian system, never to return. `And more to join them on the eternal hunt` mused Donnal. His teeth gritted a bit tighter. There would be time to mourn later, once the job was done.

"Officers. I will merely state that this meeting is classified Alph-1. No recordings, no documents. Personalized order packets will go out to your commands once we get closer to the execution date. This meeting is to give you an overall idea of the operation and your place in it, and to see any critical flaws in the operational plan."

Donnal stepped from the podium to the base of the holographic tank in the center of the steeply raked hall. A single keypress made the tank display a star system that every deWulf was by now completely familiar; Elysium.

"We've paid a high price for this system, and I'm afraid we have one more payment to make. Fortunately however, we believe that we've finally developed an effective siege doctrine that will finally let us secure the orbital space around Elysium." <Italics> And then let us bring this whole war to a rather firm and conclusive end. </Italics> Donnal stepped around the holotank, looking up at the orbiting system map with a look that could have been mistaken for reverence. "We're through with finesse, comrades. It's time for a hammer. The biggest one we could find."

The holotank shifted, the star system dropping down almost out of view and replaced by a dreadnought. At least, that's what it was called. Its hull-form was something entirely different and utterly alien compared to every deWulf ship that had ever been built.

But not a station.

"This is the Sieg-Class Siege Dreadnought. We've taken the next logical step beyond towing orbital forts into combat. They were one of the key components in our successful siege of Soban, but since we don't have a safe zone inside the Elysium system, we can't just assemble them in-situ. Thankfully, our contractors at deWulf Heavy Industries were able to build a rather special engine. I'll spare you the technical details, but in essence it allows us to make specially designed bases actually mobile. And while they're stationary, they retain all the benefits of being a base. That is to say, no blind spot aft, and a boosted targeting range."

That little revelation brought a collective pause from the audience of fleet commanders. For a few moments, anyhow. "All well and good, but compared to our weapons that still doesn't give us much of an advantage. Their PDCs still would out-range ours, and there's no way we can hope to swamp a planet's point defense capacity." The singular deWulf officer stood up as the critique struck home.

"A good question, Hunter... "

"Senior Hunter Molle, Sir." There was still a bit of steel in his voice, but tempered now by the concern he had stepped into a trap.

"Ah, yes. Quite right. And we don't have the fleet train, or even the raw industrial capacity to replace THAT many torpedoes that quickly. That's why we're not using torpedoes." The floating hologram of the Sieg-Class zoomed in to the forward half, hull and armoured plating exploding out to reveal the spine of the dreadnought and the truly bizarre component built into it.

"That, ladies and gentlemen, is a Cabrera-class capital mass driver, straight from the production lines of Royal Magnetics of Ibiza. Sleek, efficient, and virtually unstoppable by point defense systems. It fires a twenty-kilo titanium slug every fifteen seconds with a muzzle velocity of one point two percent of lightspeed. This gives it the impact force of a 31 kiloton bomb, and the targeting profile of a VERY angry comet. And best of all..." The display zoomed in closer to the rear of the twin mass drivers "each integral magazine has enough ammunition for twelve thousand shots. For all intents and purposes they are bottomless."

He let the silence hang after that thought. One of the problems that had always hampered any policy of sustained orbital bombardment was logistics. Ships simply did not have enough magazine space to conduct such an extended fire mission. Even the Tannsfells logistics ships were more of a fleet support ship. They weren't designed to support the kind of prodigious munitions usage a long range and inaccurate bombardment would require.

"Nevertheless" continued Donnal "It has one major flaw. While it is a capital weapon, it lacks enough standoff range to bombard Elyisum with impunity. While it will out-range the smaller ordinance that Elysium has, it cannot out-range the heavier 'capital' missiles."

The holotank shifted again, the Sieg-Class Siege Dreadnought disappearing and being replaced by a hybrid of freighter and frigate. It had the utilitarian lines of a navy ship, but far too many cargo hatches to be a break-bulk freighter of that size, and its engine block lacked the angular lines and exposed tankage of a high-endurance commercial engine.

"Which brings us to the Saaman-class minelayer. We've used mines and drones repeatedly over the years, and the Saaman is our first purpose built ship to transport and lay both. You'll see she has dispensed with the usual external container racks and instead has more classic enclosed cargo bays. Inside each bay is a loading rack designed for the transport of either mines or multipurpose drones. Each Saaman can carry 20 bombardment drones, and is at present capable of unloading the full load in less than 24 hours."

Again the display changed, the freighter shrinking away and being replaced by a new light cruiser. Her lines looked like an older Hawking-class light cruiser, but with definite Sintillan inspirations. Her port and starboard weapon blisters had swollen into angular boxes, and the usual bow notch had been stretched vertically, the shuttle bay enlarged and hollowed out deep inside the ship. And flying out of the launch bay in her nose was wave after wave of sharp, dart-like craft.

“We have also not neglected our small craft wings. As part of our re-examination of our doctrines, we have developed what we feel should be an effective counter to the gunboats that the Elysians have so far used. While it loses a lot of long-range strike capability, it is MUCH more efficient at knocking out small craft in general while still retaining some standoff strike capability. In concert with Michurin-Rogov, we’ve put them into series production, so you can expect plenty of anti-gunboat coverage when we move in.”

“I’m sure all of you are also happy to know that we’ve also designed a new carrier to get them into the fight.” That brought a few chuckles from the otherwise impassionate crowd. The tounge-twisting names the Sintillans had assigned to their carrier fleet was a source of frustration, if only because it made communication challenging. The “Roman Kurinnyj-Class” found itself instead shortened just to “Roman”, and her sisters often found themselves picking up even less flattering ersatz names, just to remain pronounceable in the heat of battle.

“So yes, that means you will be able to pronounce their names properly this time. I’ve also had a word with our Bureau of Construction, and they inform me that they will be… more careful with what names get assigned going forward.”

The display shifted, the Saaman shrinking down almost to a dot, still somehow recognizable in that small shape. They multiplied till it was a small flotilla of the freighters, new models fading into existence in an escort formation around the freighters.

"The operational plan is fairly straightforward: Using existing sensor data, we will target an initial done barrage on PCS that are identified to mount capital weapons, and then point defense bases, and finally standard missile PDCs in that order. The initial drone strike will be accompanied by a heavy fighter and gunboat screen. After the bombardment goes through, we will conduct multiple combat patrols and strikes on any additional PDCs, with a priority towards capital missile batteries. Once neutralized, our Sieg-Class Siege Dreadnoughts will move in and commence a sustained bombardment. If we judge that PDCs have not been eroded enough, we will instead stand back and rearm for a second drone bombardment based on updated sensor data."

"We have enough logistical support set up to allow us to maintain a combat small craft patrol at full strength for several months, with enough spare craft to allow us to hotswap and consolidate craft down for the long haul."

Donnal walked back to the front of the holotank, looking up at his audience. A tightly pulled jaw, teeth almost grinding, but not quite.

"We're still finalizing the timing of the attack. Several smaller incidents are working to distract us from getting the correct fleet concentration, but we expect that to be completed within the next six months. If an opportunity presents itself, we will delay a little longer in order to go in with maximum force. Please review your components of this operation. If you see weak points, tell me. If you have ways to improve it, tell me. We cannot afford another 'near success'."

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Re: deWulf Corporate Democracy Turn 131

Postby Xveers on Wed 12 Jul 2017 16:36

Grumman Weekly Star
13.1 AS Weekend Double Issue

deWulf Corporate Navy Denies testing of Nova Weaponry!

New evidence has come to light that suggests the explosion of the star in the Chicago System may not have been accidental. Papers and reports gathered from recent meetings at UniverCity in the Krak University States suggest that this may have been the result of a secret weapons test! Sources state that several deWulf research ships were in-system days before the star went nova, conducting surveys of the system’s primary star.

Said sources further state that the cause may have been that of a modified sensor probe designed to operate deep in the star’s photosphere, near what is considered to be the star’s actual surface. In actuality, this probe instead was modified to trigger a cascading collapse, causing the star to begin fusing heavier elements uncontrollably. The evidence shows that this test exceeded all expectations, as the star collapsed and experienced a nova only days later.

Erich Kramar, a spokesperson for the deWulf Corporate Navy stated the following in response to questions asked by the Grumman Weekly Star: “While it is not the policy of the deWulf state to comment on rumor and hearsay, I can state specifically and without any restriction, qualifying statement or extenuating circumstance the following: We have no star-triggering technology, we are not pursuing any star-triggering technology, we have no designs for star-triggering technology, and we have no desire to pursue any such star-triggering technology. Any attempts to suggest otherwise will be met with the fullest denials possible.”

A more concrete and full denial could not be made, but it is this reporters humble opinion that any such technology would be a matter of such utter secrecy that its revelation and deployment would only happen upon THE most dire and dangerous of situations. And before such a time denials and refusals would, of course, be the only sane policy.
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Re: deWulf Corporate Democracy Turn 131

Postby Xveers on Thu 03 Aug 2017 20:23

DD SRSS Iskra (Sintillan Revolutionary Star Ship)
Voidward of Warp Point 1
Borodino System

SRSS Iskra held six light seconds away from the warp point, lurking in wait. Her sister ship Vlasov was on the other side of the warp point, covering the other flank, the third point of the triangle pointing in-system to the dim red primary star. At this distance, the small communications station couldn't hope to detect them. Civilian traffic was just as blind to their existence, and so they waited for their scheduled victim to arrive, shadow her into the emptiness farther in system, and pounce.

"I think they're late."

"Central's not always accurate. Sometimes schedules change, and they aren't able to get us updates."

"True, but this shouldn't have been changed. It's their monthly secure cargo run. A Provider-class full of chemicals, electronics, the whole can. If they'd have re-routed it, we'd be able to hear their corporate serfs screaming from here."

"It's only been twelve hours. That's not too much of a delay. Probably had some issues with loading. Mittelspannung's been running at a full stretch for the past six months now. And that WAS mentioned in the last data packet."

"All I'm saying is that it bothers me that they're late."

"And I'm saying that I agree, but it's probably nothing to... aha. Detecting a grav surge from the warp point. Incoming transit."

"Good. Bucket up and run them through the ID book as soon as you can. If it's not ours, we'll toss it to Vlasov and let them see if they want to bite."

Seconds ticked by as the surge build, dissipating as a single ship emerged from the warp point, already aligned for the run in-system.

"Running her now... Mass signature is off, she's definitely not a Provider. Hmm. Too big for a Zwei, but definitely not a Provider."

"Talk to me Dashov. I need to know what it IS, not what it Isn't!"

The singular ship moved in-system slowly, barely half the speed of a freighter as it cleared the immediate vicinity of the warp point. A minute ticked by as light raced across the void of space.

"Lightspeed sensors coming in now... Hull outline doesn't match anything in the book... opening up the param-Oh Blood and Steel! Book's calling her a Hare-Class Sensor Picket! She's rolling port... Definitely a Hare, I can see her sensor domes!"

"Vasly's blood alright. Signal Vlasov, change heading and run voidward, fast as you can! Meet at... Nav Dona. Helm, come to One-Eight-Zero tac Zero Four Zero, ahead emergency!"

Iskra pivoted hard in place, her engines snapping to their redlines as she sought to put more distance away from the warp point and the Hare-Class. The idea was to run hard, to get out to where the Hare's sensors could barely detect her, then cut engines and drift like another rock. Dangerous, almost suicidal, but there were few other options. True, the Hare was unarmed. But fighting was never part of her design document, and they never traveled alone. No. Her purpose was to guide others to the fight.

"Another grav surge. This one's a big one!"

Vlasov and Iskra were running hard now, drives pushed to the WAR EMERGENCY settings, every few seconds putting more precious space between them and what they thought was their quarry. The warp point belched another unit out, this one impossible to mistake for a freighter.

"Targeting lasers! Book's calling them dWMI-3500's."

That meant she could either be a Director, a Kommandant, or a Landser. But with her mass, she could only be one.

"Landser, then. Distance to safe range?"

"Give us another minute and we should be clear. Landser won't have the range to engage us then."

A few quiet moments passed, before Dashov spoke up.

"Where's the rest of them? They wouldn't send a Landser all by herself out here."

"You just had to ask that question, didn't you..."

This far away, Vlasov and Iskra couldn’t detect the grav surge. But the distinctive EM signature of a fresh drive field was unmistakable even this far away.

"Book's not sure about this one. Mass is approximately on target for an Elder God, but the dimensions are wrong, and the energy signature's off profile."

"Where's that Landser?"

"Holding steady on the warp point. Why isn't she pursuing? She might not have the speed, but she should at least be trying to run us down."

"If they're willing to let us escape, I'm not going to complain."

That hope proved fleeting, as the "Elder God" was in reality a Alex Seidel-Class Carrier, launching her on-board craft into a combat situation for the first time. The small craft raced after the fleeing warships like wolves to scattered deer.

"Small craft detected at close range, closing fast! Book has no ID, repeat No ID!"

There wasn't even a need for a second strike.
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