December 2203

Procyon's family campaign

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December 2203

Postby procyon on Thu 26 May 2011 00:02

December 2203

November 30th 2337 hours/Queen Elizabeth, 1 light second from Earth

Admiral Jude Kushnir stared at her monitor as she slammed her station into its locked position. It just wasn't possible. The sensor flash had been so brief, but it was sure. The Chinese Strike Vessel had launched one of their short range - high speed missiles. The detonation had been over Australia. It couldn't be a mistake as sensors and ground sites were tracking Chinese aircraft moving in strength towards both Australia and India. It was war.
It felt as if the world was crawling by. The systems on the Q.E. were taking too long to come on line. They had been looking out from the Earth, not back at it. The Rachel Pierce and Keely Sereg were blowing their mounting struts to the Pan Euro Space Station. Crews that had been on board for only hours were now struggling to come to battle stations. The US was no better off as the two Interceptors there were just now freeing themselves of the US Station. The Pan Euro 3rd Battle Group and US Task Force 2 were both at Earth, and the Chinese had only a single Strike Vessel. That could only mean they intended to use the ground based weapons to engage the Euro and US ships. And that she would have to give the order to launch missiles in return, to rain death on the Earth.
Jude checked the status reports, and saw that the Chinese Strike Vessel was closing down against the atmosphere over Australia. They were going to use the planet as a shield. It would block missiles from one direction, and misses from the other could easily destroy the population below it. Damn. Now she saw why they weren't coming out to attack the US and Euro ships.
A transmission was appearing on her monitor. It was a broadband transmission from the Chinese. Well, if they weren't going to start the shooting from ship to ship, and the 3rd Battle Group wasn't all at Battle Stations, she might as well read whatever excuse they had for dooming the human race.

BY SECTION 3A.127.016A,B,C,D,E,F,G,S
SECTION 3A.122.003.D

The Chinese were claiming that the FSC was a terrorist nation? Jude sat and looked at the monitor for a long time. The Chinese weren't launching, and the US ships weren't either.
Jude hated politics, but it looked like this was about to become just that.

December 2nd 0315 hours/Chinese Space Station, Venus orbit

Admiral Hu scoured the reports coming through. Sleep was going to be in short supply for some time to come. The invasion of the FSC was just starting, but the six divisions had gotten a foothold in both Australia and India. South America and Africa were being ignored for the moment due to the risk of accidental acts against the US or Euro. It was good enough to keep their ships tied up at Earth right now. Especially with only two Chinese ships not tied down for refits. And one, the Attack Frigate Yunnan at Earth, was woefully obsolete now.
The only other ship not in for repairs or refits was the Cruiser Chiang Kia Shek. Facilities to start refits on her away from Earth just weren't available. So she was now a convoy escort. But there were actual convoys to escort now. Before, patrol vessels simply moved through the areas of freighter traffic, ready to respond to distress calls as the shipping lines maintained their regular schedules. Not now. There would only be four main ship movements this month, and all would be accompanied by the Shek. The chance of the armed FSC ships engaging a convoy with her along would be remote. And disastrous for the FSC.
At Ceres were the two Missile Frigates Shangxi and Henan, and both were off in the belt some distance from the colony undergoing refits by the two Mobile Construction Ships. Both would have the new magnetic field generators installed before the month's end.
The Anhui and Hubei were both undergoing refits here at Venus, with the last part of the Tung's repairs having been modified to make allowances for, and the installation of, the new field generators. At the end of the month only the Shek and Yunnan would remain to be upgraded.
If all would simply go according to plan, at the beginning of the next month China would be the preeminent space power. Perhaps the next year would see her rightfully controlling the world.
Then the human race could finally come together to crush the aliens.

December 3rd 1030 hours/US Space Station, Earth orbit

Admiral Bradley Walters looked over the information from the morning's briefing. The US and Euro were using the ships here at Earth to set up a blockade at the 15 light second line set by the Pax Treaty. No Chinese warships would be let in past the line. This was due to the Chinese use of a drive detonation inside the Pax line. The order also forbid the passage of civilian lines owned by Chinese interests, but Bradley was unsure if any of his ships would fire on an unarmed civilian vessel.
The use of a blockade was covered under the Treaty of Serenetatis, and the sections were fairly broad on their use, but Bradley wasn't sure the Chinese didn't have the legal right to dispute it. The Chinese were protesting its use already, but hadn't tried to force the issue. They would eventually have to, as they didn't have the off world ability to support their war fleet without the Earth based industry. It all depended on how much of a supply base the Chinese had stored off world.
The two FSC 'warships' (if you could call them that), were parked about 3 light seconds from Earth, with the planet between them and the Yunnan. Neither side was moving against the other, yet. The FSC ships had managed to sneak in before the blockade had started.
It had been decided, and announced, that any engagement between ships of the two powers inside the Pax line would be tolerated if no drive detonations were to occur, and no launches threatened impact with the Earth. The US and Euro would not intervene. But no new warships would be allowed inside the Pax line. To enforce the 'peace', the Pan Euro Queen Elizabeth was even now on station at 5 light seconds from the Yunnan. She should be able to take out any of the combatant's ships here at Earth if they chose to violate the limits the US and Euro had set. Once again Bradley wasn't certain that this whole arrangement would stand up in an international court, but for the moment it was what they had to work with.
What would threaten the peace was the 'humanitarian support' the US and Euro were sending to Australia and India. To prevent 'unnecessary civilian casualties', the US was mobilizing the 2nd Armored Division for transport to Australia, while the Euro was mobilizing the German 13th Mechanized Infantry to send to India. Both were ostensibly there to 'oversee' the conduct of the two combatants, but it was no secret that they would likely enter combat to support the FSC interests.
Whether the combat on the ground would spread to space was anyone's guess at this point.

December 4th 0230 hours/Rhienmein Airbase, Germany

Feldwebel Tanja Frank moved up the ramp onto the waiting transport. The new Panzersturm Powered Armor was far more comfortable than the earlier models, but that still wasn't saying much. She locked her PzGw 93 into its mount beside her, and then locked the suit into the attachments on the side of the lifter. 'Two hundred years ago I would have gotten a cotton strap with two hooks to sit in, now they don't even give you the cotton strap.' she mused.
Tanja wondered if the rest of the division was as scared as she was. She had new armor, powerful weapons, and wasn't supposed to get involved in the fighting. The problem was intel showed that the Chinese had the first two, and probably wouldn't pay any attention to the last point. Their armor wasn't supposed to be as good, but Tanja was fairly sure an old bomb would kill you just as dead as a new one.
Tanja closed her eyes as she felt the transport shake and lift off. In two hours they would be landing outside of New Delhi. Five days ago she had celebrated her 24th birthday. She really wanted to make it to 25. She was sure the 8 other soldiers in her squad wanted to make it to their next birthday also. She was the 'old lady' of the squad, and they were depending on her.
'If they only knew that I don't have a clue what to do right now.' she thought.

December 9th 1755 hours/Patrol Vessel 17, 23 light seconds from Jupiter

The Commander of Patrol Vessel 17 moved through the ship. The Mobile Repair Vessel had arrived with more torpedoes, and had commenced repairs on the damage his ship had taken. Watching the workers as they began to strip away burned and damaged plates and struts was always interesting. More interesting was feeling the waves come from them as they communicated with each other. It was nearly impossible to do anything without giving away how one felt or thought. These workers didn't seem to be concerned if anyone knew.
The Elders had accused the Commander and crew of Patrol Vessel 17 with cowardice, but that was not what the Commander felt from the workers. It was more like reverence. Proud that they were aboard the vessel. Fixing her damage. Preparing the ship to go forth and destroy more of the hated aliens who inhabited this system.
The Commander moved on to check out the progress of loading the new torpedoes on board. The crew could feel his pride as he moved among them. Whether Patrol Vessel 17 survived this war or not, his people knew that he had served and fought with honor.

December 10th 0020 hours/Elders' Chambers, New Home One (Eris)

The Elders reviewed the situation again. A new fleet of Colony Vessels was even now colonizing New Home Five. It would be finished soon, and then the creation of the factories and construction facilities could commence to allow them to begin active support of this 'war'.
The struggle to eradicate the native species had proved more troublesome than expected. The elders had been forced to activate more ships than was supportable by the current populations. The elders of True Home had seen fit to equip the colony fleet with a great wealth of supplies, but the current situation was consuming those reserves at an alarming rate. It was possible those reserves could be exhausted if the native species was not destroyed in the near future.
To effect that, the new Combat Group 3 was nearing completion. The three new Patrol Vessels that were now being finished would help to strengthen the group. The Combat Group would then move towards the inner system, assimilate the two Patrol Vessels there, and begin the destruction of the two known alien colonies. Hopefully the two ships of the newest class that had been constructed would help to achieve that goal. Quickly.
If not, then preparation of defenses to prevent the Elder's extermination would have to be strengthened. If not destroyed, it would only be a matter of time before the native race again looked for Homes to attack.

December 11th 0600 hours/US Space Station, Earth orbit

Lieutenant Meagan Ryan tried to get the last of her data together for the morning presentation. The development work on the magnetic field generators was progressing, but the data left no doubt that the Chinese were far ahead in the race to field the system. They would likely be able to field it before the US could. The essential data for the development had been passed to the Pan Euro, but they would be months behind the US in fielding the system. If the Chinese managed to install a completed field generator on their huge 'Cruiser' class of ship, the Earth would have a warship capable of fighting the largest alien ships seen so far - on their own terms. Of course, the US and Euro would have nothing to compete with them other than sheer numbers.
'If that ever happened, the aliens won't have to worry about killing us all off,' Meagan thought. 'There won't be anybody left.'
Humans fighting each other had begun though. Planet side that was. For the moment. That would be the big subject for the morning, not the progress on the field generators.
The 2AD had been positioned near the Queensland blast crater, to assist in humanitarian efforts there. The 25 megaton blast had caused a lot of damage to the facility and the surrounding countryside. Word was that half of the Queensland Corporation Facilities had been destroyed, and the rest damaged badly (it was a very widely scattered complex). US intel wasn't buying it. Satellites showed a lot of activity for a destroyed complex. Odds were that it was more than just a civilian manufacturing plant.
Regardless, a LOT of people had died. Estimates were close to 100,000. Many more were injured or homeless. The 2nd had set up its TOC there, to better assist in support efforts. Problem was, it seems the Chinese were also convinced it was more than a civilian work center, and were pretty determined to make sure that it had been destroyed. When the lead Chinese elements had arrived on the 10th of December, it hadn't taken long for the shooting to start.
The first reports Meagan had 'overheard' were promising. The Chinese had grown accustomed to over running the outdated military surplus the Australian Reserve units were using. Some of the equipment was over 100 years old. The Ausie's had been fighting hard, but had been losing badly. The hover and tracked tanks of the 2nd Armored had high energy chemical lasers for main weapons, capable of engaging small craft in LEO. The Chinese Power Armor Infantry with their support helicopters had taken substantial losses.
The bad news had been that satellites and images from the Q.E. showed the first Chinese Battalion that had been beaten back was just the tip of the sword. The 2nd was outnumbered by 3 to 2 in manpower and equipment. Eventually they were going to have to give ground.

December 14th 0540 hours/Near Nepal border, Himalayas, India

Feldwebel Tanja Frank could hear her heart pounding in her ears. The filters blocked out enough of the light and sound that the pounding in her ears was drowning out everything else. Her squad was holding the flank for her company. She didn't think she was going to be alive to do that much longer. The three 25mm 'Rollover' missiles for her shoulder mounted launcher were gone, the 100 rounds for her 18mm PzGw 93 had been used trying to counter the Chinese vehicles that had pushed her company's position over the last two hours. Two of the damned things were burning out there covering the whole area with thick smoke. She still had the 9mm LE/S Auto rifle mounted in the right forearm of her suit. But the 9mm AP/HE rounds would be useless against the Chinese armor. The 18mm API/T rounds hadn't been all that effective. The Chinese vehicles mounted lasers, and they weren't going to run out of ammo any time soon. But the only hand held lasers out there were still not powerful enough to deal with power armored infantry, let alone a vehicle. So ammo was still an issue.
Tanja looked around at her squad. Four were left alive. The others had horrible thing happen to them. Things even powered armor wasn't going to save you from. Tanja's heart pounded even louder. She looked back up to where the Chinese positions were on the hillside above her. She could see the Chinese powered armor venting gouts of hot gas, trying to cool off their circuits and cloud the thermal returns for any Pan Euro weapons targeting them. It wouldn't be long before they came back and attacked again.
Warning lights flashed on Tanja's HUD. Suddenly the ground fountained into the air in dozens of places. Chinese MLOW's were detonating overhead. They had been launched over the field or had been loitering for a while now. Didn't matter. The bomblets were detonating. Targeting anything moving/hot/cold/whatever with EFPs that came rocketing down out of the sky.
Stars whirled around Tanja as magnesium flares flashed and burned, trying to confuse the airborne bomblets. Angry fireflies zooming through the thick black smoke. It took a moment for Tanja to realize that she was the one who had activated them.
Chinese infantry was moving. Their suits weren't quite as good as the German's. They vented heat regularly. They could only make a jump of about half the distance that Tanja did. And there were many of them. Tanja could see over a hundred coming towards her position. A quick look showed that it nearly was just her position. Two more of her squad were gone. At least the last two weren't running. Tanja could feel the tears burning her eyes, but she wasn't leaving them. It wasn't courage, she just couldn't leave them. Not now.
The world disappeared in a white blaze, then the filters cut in as the world went black. She could feel herself slammed about. Then it was still again. She could taste blood in her mouth. The HUD was just barely visible. A faint grey puzzle of lines. She wondered if this was what it felt like to die. She could feel herself being tossed around, but it didn't hurt anymore....

0600 hours/Heavy Escort Tatianna, 15 light seconds from Earth

Rear Admiral Brenna Muldoon checked her monitor again. How much longer would this go on? It was insane. Fifteen minutes ago an FSC lifter had passed through Pan Euro airspace and dropped a 2 megaton weapon in the Himalayas. The Chinese Attack Vessel wasn't doing anything yet, and neither was the US or Pan Euro. The FSC had dropped it over their own territory to attack the Chinese troops there. Chinese ground assets had shot the lifter down. The damage to Chinese troops scattered in the mountains wouldn't be decisive, and the damage to civilians was going to be much worse than anything the Chinese were likely to be doing at the moment. What was happening to the world?
The contact light on her monitor caught Brenna's attention. At least the ships were all at battle stations. Returns were indicating it was 13 civilian passenger and cargo freighters, and one of the big mothers that the Chinese had. It wasn't the one that Brenna had seen at Ceres. That one would still be sporting battle damage. It hadn't been long enough for a ship that big to be back in service, could it?
This one wasn't damaged, and it was 28 light seconds from Earth. She wasn't moving at combat speed, but she wasn't just cruising either. The Comm station had already sent the message that contacts had been spotted, now it was up to the Chinese. Would they actually try to run that big ship through the blockade.
The 3rd Battle Group and US Task Force 2 had over a dozen ships at Earth. The Chinese Captain had to know he couldn't win. 'Of course that won't do us any good. We'll be dead before anybody gets organized.' thought Brenna.
Comm relay updates told Brenna the rest of the 3rd was leaving its posts and forming up with the Q.E., just in case. Not Brenna. She was going to stay. If they were going to play chicken, she wasn't going to run. She could feel herself relax as the big warship came to a stop. They didn't want to fight either.
But the civilian ships were still coming. Brenna knew she wasn't going to fire on them. But the FSC ships were still near Earth. That might be another matter. And then that big ship might move to assist. It wasn't quite time to relax yet.

0645 hours/Mary Reed, 2.5 light seconds from Earth

The Dutchman was sure they had bitten off more than they could chew, but it was too late now. The Kestrel and Mary Reed had moved to intercept the Chinese convoy as best they could. The Chinese ground based installations covered an almost 240 degree arc of the sky. That only left a small cone on the far side to maneuver in. But it was enough to get in range of the convoy with the long range missiles the Mary and Kestrel carried. The Chinese would know that after the various incidents at Ceres.
The Dutchman hadn't really planned to fire on the civilian ships, but he would have if the Chinese Frigate hadn't come out from behind the planet. The Chinese Vessel had obliged though. For the first three minutes it had been a long range duel of the two missiles the Mary and Kestrel could fire against the single one the Chinese ship could launch (thank goodness it hadn't turned out to be one of their long range Missile Frigates!). Even without drive detonations, the Kestrel had been overwhelmed. She had her nose to the Chinese vessel to begin the fight, and the first disk that had struck her had devastated her forward cargo section. The bulkhead had held, but the second impact thirty seconds later had shredded that. Then the Mary and Kestrel had been forced to turn to avoid the Chinese ground installations, along with the short ranged missiles the Chinese ship was sure to mount. The next two launches from the Chinese ship managed to shatter the Kestrel's drive shield and the Kestrel had disappeared as the nuclear drive bloom consumed her.
The Chinese Frigate was working her way around behind the Mary Reed. She was faster, and The Dutchman wasn't going to be able to keep the Chinese ship out of his blind spot forever. She would manage to get dead astern of him within the next minute and a half. The Mary Reed was bigger and more heavily built than the Kestrel, but The Dutchman had no illusions about what would happen if he let the Chinese ship get behind him.
The Chinese Frigate was bigger than the Mary and much more heavily built. But she was hurt. The missiles from the Mary and Kestrel had scored several hits, and the Mary's laser had managed to paint her with twice. The Chinese ship wasn't firing with its long range missile bay anymore, so that at least had to have been damaged. The twin launch signatures as it deployed a pair of the short range missiles answered the question about what else she might have on board.
The Mary Reed heaved about as the drive cut in and out. Damage reports showed that one of the cargo bays and two of the empty passenger bays were open to space. The Dutchman keyed in the override and the Mary launched another missile as the drive was off. The laser battery discharged as the Mary drifted, and the Chinese ship vented as more of her plating was shattered and blasted away. The Chinese Captain wasn't a fool though, and kept rolling the ship. Bringing new plates and baffles in line. The missile from the Mary released its hail of metal disks and again the Chinese ship stuttered her drives. Yes. They were coming back on, but the Chinese Frigate's bloom was much weaker now. One of the metal disks must have struck the ship near a particle accelerator and damaged it. Maybe the Mary had a chance yet.
The Dutchman felt the Mary heave again as more Chinese metal slammed into his ship. The laser battery was still online, as was the launch bay (with only three missiles left), and the main particle accelerators. The drive shield must be intact he thought as the drive fired again and the Mary sped away from the crippled Chinese ship.
Entering the override for the drives to red line, The Dutchman checked the targeting plots. Firing solutions had been plotted again, and The Dutchman keyed the firing prompts. The Chinese ship was beginning to fall behind. If they could just get beyond the effective range of the short ranged missiles. The drive cut out on the Chinese ship again as the laser tore into her, but the missile had been unable to get a lock when the Mary's drive bloom had red lined and masked the Chinese Frigate's signature. The Chinese ship answered with only a single missile, and it had lost tracking shortly after launch.
The Dutchman watched as the Chinese Frigate stretched out the distance and disappeared behind the moon. She was disengaging. 'So is the Mary Reed' decided The Dutchman. We could fire on her again as she clears the moon, but the odds of a successful intercept at this range are low. And it probably wouldn't finish off that ship anyway. The Dutchman had seen how tough the Chinese Frigates were up close at Ceres.
They Chinese had fought hard today. The Mary had also. The Kestrel was gone, but they hadn't been schoolgirls. They knew the danger. The US and Euro ships had sat this one out, as had the big Chinese Cruiser out there. The Dutchman was fairly sure if that Cruiser had wanted to, it could have finished off the Mary and maybe even gotten away. That Chinese Captain had showed restraint. As the Chinese Frigate cleared the moon and firing solutions sprang up on The Dutchman's monitor, he decided that might be just what this whole situation needed. If folks didn't show a little restraint right now, the human race wouldn't need the aliens to finish them off.
The Dutchman keyed for the crew to unlock stations and begin emergency repairs. Maybe they could still save the Mary Reed before she came apart.

December 24th 2210 hours/Beijing, China

Minister Po looked over the reports. The battles in Australia and India were going poorly. They could be salvaged, but would cost a great deal and only escalate the possibility of a nuclear exchange here at Earth. They had lost over twenty percent of their manpower and much more in equipment.
The refits were progressing well. The Tung was the last due to be finished, and she would be ready for trials in the next few days. The Shek had arrived at Venus and would begin the upgrades as soon as the Tung cleared the slip. There was no longer a need to keep the US and Euro ships tied up here at Earth. Nor was there anything to be gained from continuing the ground offensive. It would only draw away resources better used.
It was likely the US and Euro had the basic information on the new field generators by now. The US at least had been right on top of the Queensland facility for weeks now. They would be too late in developing the technology to make any difference though.
Minister Po knew he was on thin ice politically, but none of the other ministers were interested in continuing this ground war either. With the other governments' preparing for their 'Christmas' holiday tomorrow, perhaps a cease fire followed with the complete withdrawal of Chinese troops to Chinese soil, would find them at a weak moment. He hoped it did. It was his only hope to regain credibility, and any power in the ministry.

I could have written more on the month storywise, but after looking at the last few multi part months, I decided that perhaps folks might like to see one month finished in one post for a change. Otherwise, my wife has caught one typo after the fact from November that I will try to find and fix. She also pointed out that her SS was only BG -1, and that the rules said that was what SS were and I had denied her an advancement roll for the SS because of that. I do seem to remember her being rather ticked off after that month.

For the US, they got away with it as far as the spying went. Didn't really help out his sis much when the chips fell on her, other than the small support in Qv for the FSC. His fleets were about ready for what he thought he would need to go out system, so he stopped his construction and began to consider bigger ship designs.

For China, the middle boy pretty much got what he wanted also. He figured he had the whole thing wrapped up, other than the aliens that was. Didn't quite work out how he hoped, but that is a future post.

For the FSC, she was really struggling, and her battle against the Chinese FG almost cost her the only admiral she had. In the end The Dutchman managed to advance a grade to Elite, and got the Courageous skill as a bonus. She still wasn't real happy. Don't give up on her yet.

For the Euro, she was the only one not up to anything sneaky, and seemed to still get the short end of the stick every time she turned around. It was she who managed to keep the whole thing from turning into a nuclear nightmare for the earth. Detente had become her forte.

I don't have the ship plans with me tonight at work, as the kids have swiped them to look over for a bit. I will add them in as an edit in a few days. Sorry.

Again, thanks for reading.
...and I will show you fear in a handful of dust....

Cralis wrote:I would point out that the "what was" which is different from "here and now" can easily change in the "future then."
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Re: December 2203

Postby Cralis on Thu 26 May 2011 11:23

They better wrap that stuff up really fast if they want to have a chance against an entire alien race...
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