May 2204

Procyon's family campaign

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May 2204

Postby procyon on Sun 05 Jun 2011 21:12

May 2204 part 1

May 2nd 0715 hours/Elders' Chambers, New Home 1 (Eris)

The elders took note of the new developments. The elders of New Home 4 had successfully plead their case and convinced the counsel to allow the largest of the orbital defense platforms to remain at New Home 4, while the two smaller platforms would continue to be disassembled for transport to New Home 5. The elders had also inspected the new surface based defense installations. The level of protection afforded by the new ground bases was such that another wave of construction had begun. Plans were to ensure that New Homes 1, 2, 3, and 5 would each have 6 of the ground bases to protect the colonies. This level of protection, in concert with the orbital defenses, should allow all of the mobile assets to be freed for use against the native race.
The message had been decoded that the Hive Vessels had received the shipment of scout craft and bombs, and that the group was again at full strength and ready to renew offensive operations. The Commander of Patrol Vessel 17 had requested authorization to begin immediate operations against the enemy near the third and fourth planets. The elders had deemed this unwise, and had transmitted that all ships were to await the arrival of the three Patrol Vessels and three Attack Vessels, and complete the initial training of the new ships. After the initial training was completed the group would resume limited offensive operations as directed by the elders.
Progress was again being made in the war effort, but the enemy was being afforded a rather extended break from attacks. Hopefully the native race would not be able to capitalize on it to make an attack on New Home 3. The defenses were still not adequately prepared. With the enemy having deployed magnetic protective fields of their own, an attack now could be devastating.


May 3rd 1200 hours/Armed Science Vessel Red October, 20 light seconds from Earth

Captain Robert McNeely checked over the flight log for the convoy. He was now in command of the Pan Euro 3rd Light Battle Group, and was in charge of convoy security for the combined civilian shipping of the Euro and US. But his Light Battle Group had the firepower of the older Battle Groups, and with the addition of the US 'shields', would be far more powerful. If his crew could just get used to the damned new fangled system.
The new magnetic system caused no end of false contacts for the Phoenix Array, and the few missile tests had shown that the launches were often 'bent' as the missile passed through the field. The crew was desperately trying to calibrate the systems so they would all work with the fields up, and still be able to plot accurate firing solutions for targets that actually existed. Admiral Muldoon had worked out a number of training operations to try and calibrate the systems, and it looked like it would only take a few weeks to get the work done. So long as the aliens left them alone for the next month, that would be ok. Of course, the alien's plans might not be so accomodating.
The convoy did have one 'ace in the hole' as the Americans put it. The US Q Ship Vigilance was parked in the middle of the convoy. It looked like another freighter on the sensor returns, but hidden inside the hull was the US equivalent of the Phoenix Array, a long-range missile bay, and a powerful enough 'shield' generator to stop one of the alien weapons cold. Of course the second intercept by an alien missile would send the fragile hull into a thousand pieces, but it would be a nasty surprise for an alien ship not expecting a fourth armed vessel with the convoy.
Of course the US ship was having the same problem with their sensors and launches that the rest of the Pan Euro group was having, due to the new 'shields'.


1530 hours/Interceptor MkIII Yari, Mars orbit

Rear Admiral Jack Ryan knew that no voice could carry through the hard vacuum of the ship, but he could still hear the grumbling of the crew. Two crews to be exact. The crew that had come on the Yari was now being transferred off onto the older JFK, while the JFK's crew had to leave their old and familiar 'girl' for the new and unfamiliar 'gimmick'. The JFK's crew had learned that if they upped the volume on their voice modulators, that the sound would carry through their feet into the deck and to anyone close by. The composites deadened the noise after a few feet, but it allowed somewhat private grumbling that wouldn't get put on the comm log. The newbies of the Yari had figured it out fairly quick after the usual round of hazing by the 'vets'.
The sensors kept logging contacts close to the Yari, but Jack just kept deleting them from his display. It was the Mars Station as the work crews began installing field generators on the military modules of the station. When complete, they should allow the Mars Station to be nearly as powerful as a Task Force of Interceptors. Of course, the only Task Force was awfully light on ships at the moment. The crews had even taken to calling it a Task Farce. 'Gallows humor at its best' Jack decided.
Jack locked his station and opened the All Ships comm link. "OK folks, lock stations. We're taking these ladies out to put them through their paces. To those of you new this, learn from the old hands. For the old hands with a new dance partner, lets see what she can do. She's supposed to be the best. Let's see if that’s true." Jack keyed in a course and waited for the 'All Stations Locked' prompt to appear. A few moments later (but still to long as far as Jack was concerned) it appeared on the monitor.
The world went blue grey as the drive engaged.


May 6th 0700 hours/Cruiser Chiang Kia Shek, Venus orbit

Admiral Hu approved the orders and requests on his monitor, and then checked the status reports. It appeared he was going to be at Venus longer than he had anticipated, but transferring onto the station would be no more comfortable than the spartan comforts of a warship. The station was busy with multiple crews fitting magnetic field generators onto it to provide a greater degree of protection. When the fleet moved out, the station would be on its own. Of course, the fleet wasn't going anywhere until the upgrades to the station's defenses were done. The Ministry had said so, therefore it was so. Regardless, the station was nothing but activity and noise. No rest.
The fleet had gathered at Venus in anticipation of the deployment to Neptune, but now the Yunnan and all four of the Close Assault Ships had been posted to convoy escort duty. The Ministry had decided it would give the new crews a reason to learn their jobs well. As if the impending conflict at Neptune wasn't incentive enough. Perhaps the Ministry didn't trust the US and Euro with Chinese civilian ships and cargos as much as they made public. The FSC would be little danger, their only ship was on the ground at Earth.
What wasn't common knowledge was the deployment of two other ships. The two scientific vessels had been dispatched back to Saturn. They would arrive in about a week. If the planet had no signs of alien occupation, they were to begin the surveying of the surface of Titan in preparation for colonization. It would take a great deal of time for Ceres to become habitable, and disputing the US and Euro claims in the belt would be unwise at this time. But wise courses of action were hard to find, and eventually the belt would have to be disputed.
Not now though. For now we sit and wait.


May 9th 2235 hours/Interceptor MkIII Yari, Mars orbit

Rear Admiral Jack Ryan walked into the shuttle bay and climbed into the little 'dingy'. Jack hated the little ships with a passion, but docking with the station during the construction was just about impossible. At least it was for a good reason, or at least good news. The two newest MkIIb's were already complete, with the one at Mars ready for trials and the second due to arrive from Earth in a few days. To have five ships in one place would finally make the Task Farce into a Task Force again.
The newest ship, the Andrew Jackson, would come out of dock in the next hour or two. Jack was on his way to meet the new Captain, James Gauld. He had a good reputation in the fleet, and had been the Commander of one of the Survey Tenders for two years. This would be his first combat post, and Jack wanted to meet the man before they began training. Jamie had apparently questioned the wisdom of using a Pan Euro Admiral's training doctrine, but so far the Euro's Rear Admiral Muldoon had been the nearest thing to a godsend that Jack had seen in this war. Without her assistance in training, it wouldn't be a question of how many more ships they might have lost. Jack knew it was a question of whether there would be a human race or not. Most likely not.
Jack was also fairly sure that she had something to do with the leaked information from the Euro, but that wasn't ever going to see the light of day. The senior Euro Admiral had nearly lost her job disclosing information to the Chinese in an open, and necessary, manner. Muldoon probably wouldn't fair so well.
Jack watched the sensor plot as the little ship moved toward the station. With only four seats, even the senior officers were nearly in the driver's seat. The sensors showed what Jack had heard rumors of. The colonization of Mars was continuing. Even after the devastation of the alien attack, people were still settling here. Most had been 'encouraged' by the government, but many were still hoping for a better life. Or perhaps a little more money for the family at home. Jack wondered how Meagan was doing. She hadn't written for a few days. She was out of sickbay now, maybe she was having fun somewhere. 'Lord knows she needs it.'
The little ship touched down in the bay on the space station. 'Time to get the new Captain on board,' thought Jack as he stepped onto the deck.
...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: May 2204

Postby procyon on Sun 05 Jun 2011 21:13

May 2204 part 2

May 14th 0250 hours/Survey Vessel Marco Polo, 2 light minutes from Saturn

Captain Jingtsu waited for the transmission from the two small landers. The small craft should have reached the outer moons of Saturn by now, and would begin low powered broadcasts. The Marco Polo would be able to monitor the transmissions, but the power would be to low for anyone inside the belt to pick up unless they were specifically looking for it. Even then, it would resemble some low power static disturbance, most likely a large electrical storm on Saturn or perhaps Titan. But it would be powerful enough to alert any alien vessels near the planet of the two ships' presence. Assuming the aliens even monitored for radio transmissions. None had ever been intercepted from the alien ships, and it was theorized that they used a different method for communication. Regardless, the small craft would continue to search the area for any sign of the aliens. When the search was done, the two survey ships would move to Titan, join the landers, and begin what they had come here for. To find a new colony site for the Chinese to settle.
Jingtsu's monitor indicated that the transmissions had been picked up by the comm station. Now they would see if the aliens had settled around the great ringed planet.


May 15th 1310 hours/Armed Science Vessel Red October, Asteroid belt

Captain Robert McNeely watched the sensor readings. Only a light second away four Pan Euro Colony Ships were settled in orbit around an asteroid named Victoria. It had been identified as a low priority for colonization due to the surface and orbital characteristics it possessed. It was hoped that would make it a low priority for the aliens to check. Robert didn't think the aliens would care.
The four ground to orbit shuttles, or GTOS's, were busy trying to land and emplace equipment for the construction of habitats. The colony ships held 125,000 people who would try to make a life on this barren rock. In normal times, they would make large salaries for risking their lives in such a harsh and unforgiving environment. In the best of times people died in the belt. Now it was truly a gamble. The economic times were hard on Earth, but was it worth this?
The Rachel Pierce, Mary Queen of Scots, and the US Vigilance were all parked with the rest of the convoy less than a light minute away. The colony was to be a secret for the moment. The US and Pan Euro were on good terms, but money could still convince many people to share secrets. China was still not a trusted partner, and the less they could find out, the better.


May 19th 0925 hours/Patrol Vessel 17, Asteroid belt

The Commander of Patrol Vessel 17 could sense the new arrivals. The three new Patrol Vessels and the three new Attack Vessels had arrived. The Attack Vessels were smaller than a Patrol Vessel and lacked the bay to carry scout craft. They also carried six less torpedoes than a Patrol Vessel. They did carry the same torpedo launch bay and field generators. They were designed purely to engage enemy ships. Nothing else.
The new ships were engaged in the initial training that all vessels underwent to prepare for service. They would finish in less than two orbits of New Home 3 around its planet. For the moment the Commander of Patrol Vessel 17 would wait. The new ships would finish preparing for combat, then they would see it. With nine combat ships, and 54 scout craft/bombers, the native race would find that its time to rest was over.
The time to die would begin again.


May 24th 1600 hours/Converted Freighter Mary Reed, South Africa, Earth

The Dutchman looked about the bridge as he unlocked his station. It would be different when he returned. The word was that the refits would be extensive. Rumor also said that the work on the field generators the aliens used had been completed. The Mary Reed would not only be outfitted with the new defensive system, it would also receive new sensor systems to allow engagements at much greater ranges.
The Mary Reed would be able to face the alien ships on even terms. But it was only one ship, and the aliens were seldom found alone. The FSC would need the US and Euro until more ships could be completed. But more ships were unlikely.
Rumor also had it that the initial tests of the new drive shield had been a success. The new class of ships was coming closer and closer to becoming a reality. It would take time before the first prototype hull was completed, but when it was, the Mary Reed would become obsolete.
But that could be years away, and the aliens were here now. For now, the Mary Reed would have to fight for the FSC alone.


May 26th 0800 hours/US Space Station, Earth orbit

Admiral Bradley Walters looked over the information from the morning briefing. The trials of the MkIII were almost complete. Its performance had been remarkable. The ship had managed to record speeds of over 18,600 kilometers a second for a short duration. It could sustain speeds over 16,000 kilometers a second for combat. Thanks to Pan Euro Rear Admiral Muldoon's assistance, the crews were quickly approaching their former levels of combat efficiency with the new fields in place. Her training plan for the crews to calibrate the necessary systems had worked well. By June all of the Interceptors would be combat ready. Even the Vigilance was reporting increased success in operations with the shield employed.
The Mars Station was finished with installing the field generators on the military modules. Rear Admiral Muldoon had even come up with a way for the various modules on a station to use the field generators to protect other areas of the station. It was less a technical issue, and more of a way for the modules to position themselves to allow the overlapped fields to protect areas they had not been designed for. The aliens wouldn't have to simply defeat the shields of one module; they would have to defeat the shields of the entire station to damage it.
Possibly the most important development had been the completion of the feedback loop conduction link, allowing the field generators to bleed off the feedback of a weapon impact without destroying the field generator itself. It would take an hour for the conduction loop to be discharged and the field to be re-established, but it would be possible without a return to a shipyard for repairs. The Interceptors would be capable of extended operations away from the inner system. The Interceptors and Vigilance would all be refitted at the end of the month, and it would only require a few hours per ship. A copy of the system would then be sent to the Pan Euro, allowing them to deploy the system on their vessels in the near future. Bradley wasn't sure that Meagan hadn't been involved to some degree, but she was still on leave and could spend her time as she saw fit. So long as her father didn't find out.
The war was beginning to turn around. Of course that assumed the aliens weren't coming up with any surprises of their own. The small bombers were problem enough. Anything else could be disastrous.


May 27th 0915 hours/Queen Mary, Earth orbit

Admiral Jude Kushnir walked back to her cabin. Training was only beginning for the day, but Muldoon would handle it. Jude wanted to get a closer look at the new Attack Escorts. To that end she needed to get her official dress 'uniform'. It was only a few items that were attached to the standard cyborg body, but it would allow everyone to know what and who she was. Most of the workers on the Pan European Space Station were not cyborgs, or even military. To them, all of the space models looked pretty much the same.
Jude didn't intend to tour the newest Heavy Escort, the Esme Jurkat, as she was being built mostly on the ground, with the components shipped up to orbit and assembled piecemeal. The Esme would still need a few more weeks to be ready for her first trials. The two Attack Escorts were actually ready for their trials, but would wait for Jude's tour before they were released from the station. These ships were notable - they were the first ships named for men in decades. The first she would visit was the G. Vetra. That ship was named for the Captain who had steered his ship back towards Triton and an alien Delta, buying the only survivors of that attack time to escape. The second ship was even more unusual. Not only was it named for a man, but one that wasn't part of the Pan Euro or its history. But he was a hero of the Pan Euro none the less. The Justin Reynolds had been named to honor the US Captain who not only had taken his small ship against a much larger alien vessel at Uranus, but who had risked his ship and his life to rescue Pan Euro citizens on Mercury. In the end he had given his life to protect a civilian convoy that contained ships not only belonging to the US and Pan Euro, but the FSC and China also. 'Such selfless acts may be the only hope humanity has' thought Jude.
Jude reached her cabin and went in. It was only a few hours of her time, but the civilian news crews would be in attendance. Jude knew she would need to look her best. The economy was beginning to pick up, and hopefully morale would follow. This ceremony would help to both cement relations between the US and Pan Euro, and to give hope to all of those on Earth and in the colonies. The aliens had killed millions, found Earth, and just seemed to keep coming. 'Unless the tide of the war changes, hope is all we have right now.'


May 30th 1750 hours/Ministry of Defense, Beijing, China

Minister Po listened to the reports. Most were good news. The upgrades to the Venus Station were complete, and the magnetic field generators in place. The newest Cruiser, the Minh, would be out of the yard in early July. She would start trials immediately after that. The economic infrastructure to support the current war effort was completed. No alien presence had been found at Saturn, and the survey of Titan had begun. Much progress had been made on many fronts, and would soon bear fruit.
The questionable news wasn't bad, but the results were still in question. Before the end of the day, the Admiral Hu and the entire Chinese Fleet would leave Venus Station bound for Neptune. The aliens had been given time to strengthen the defenses there. Whether the Chinese Fleet would be able to crack those defenses was still in doubt. Hopes were high, but nothing was sure.
Construction would also begin on a new class of ship. A ship even larger than the Tung class of cruisers. If it proved possible to construct a ship of the size planned, it could again change the face of combat in deep space. The heaviest alien ships would pale in comparison to the new class. That was if the cost of it did not bankrupt the Chinese Empire. The time it would take to build the ship would also occupy Chinese construction assets for a great amount of time. If replacement ships were needed following the offensive at Neptune, the construction of the new ship could delay them.
Much would depend on Admiral Hu and the battle at Neptune. Very much.


///////////////////////////////////////
Overview

This month saw the players trying to get their 'navies' ready for the next month. The Nemotians were in the same boat. Once again, the next month would see the fighters come out swinging, with less than predictable results, but that is another part of the story. I won't be able to fit June into one or two posts, but I will try to get it done before I leave with the middle boy (china) on his school trip for a week and a half.

For the Euro,
The high point for the Euro was that she rolled a one and the recession adjustment ended. She no longer lost 2% a month of her income. She immediately re-convoyed her FT's, which took up most of the 'increase'. She continued her trickle of colonization to the belt, and built a few more IU. She also built a pair of Attack Escorts, and started a new Heavy Escort. Slowly she was working toward building up her fleet. She was looking at adding in larger ships as soon of the 4th LBG was finished, but wasn't sure what she wanted to do.
In research, the Euro continued to work toward S regeneration, and got an early success on Electronics SL2. Nothing that was going to make a difference in the short term, but it helped to improve her mood as she tried to rebuild. The oldest boy's (US) decision to send a copy for S regeneration helped.
Perhaps most importantly, she got her ships through shakedown before any combat surfaced.

For China,
China built the last IU he could fit on Earth this month, and was really wanting to find somewhere to expand. He started the survey of Triton for two reasons. He was planning on hitting the other great planets on the way to Neptune, but the orbit of Saturn left it well off the beaten path. He wanted to try and find if the aliens were colonizing/based at any of the moons there, and sending the survey ships would allow him to check Saturn without slowing/detouring/splitting up the combat group. He also reasoned that if the aliens weren't there, his upcoming move on Neptune would keep them from poking around over that direction too much. Made sense.
He also refitted the Venus SS with shields on the military modules to make it a better protected if the aliens showed up. He was willing to lose the SS by the sounds of it, but wanted to take some of the aliens with it.

For the US,
The US got a pair of new Interceptors out of the yard, got a success on S's regenerating, got shields on the Mars SS, and the EL increase on his income. Things were looking much better. A long ways from good, but at least he had on operational Task Force, a more powerful base, and didn't have to repair his shields after combat.
He continued to build more IU, and put a few more PTU on Mars. He still had the lowest income of the big three, but was catching up.
His big goal was to find PV 17. He didn't know the name of it, but he knew it was out there and wanted it gone.

For the FSC,
The oldest girl got a slight boost in income with her EL increase, and managed to succeed on all her research rolls (all two of them). She got shields, and could now start on her last SL for her pet project.
She put a few more IU on Earth, and moved another PTU to the belt. She was slowly growing, but was still way behind the other powers.
She wrote out how she wanted the Mary Reed to be refitted, and tried to figure out how she was going to make it happen without shutting down her research for a month. In the end she decided that she needed a ship with combat sensors and shields more than another month of research at her normal rate.

For the Nemotians,
The new ships had made it to the belt, and just needed to shakedown. The bigger colonies were building another pair of PDC's on each, but the roll for EL3 bombed. The roll for shuttles also didn't work out. The Nemotians were ready for the next offensive, but the momentum just didn't seem to be there. I didn't want to wait any longer for the next attack, but I had doubts it was going to turn out well. Of course, sitting around wasn't going to win anything either.

Overall, May was just a month for everyone to brace for June. June doesn't have quite as many turn notes as Feb did (11 instead of 14), but with the limited resources on hand, I would say it strained the players even more than Feb......

As always, 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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procyon
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