December 2204

Procyon's family campaign

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December 2204

Postby procyon on Thu 28 Jul 2011 01:54

December 2204 part 1

December 2nd 0850 hours/Queensland Complex, Australia

Chairman Mukata waited as the Board members seated themselves. Most had never been this close to one of the active centers of the FSC, content to remain in the shadows. Anonymous. Safe. The draw to see what was occurring was great though. This project would place them in peril in many ways. Ways that living in the shadows would not save them from.
This meeting would reveal many of the details of the operations occurring here. The work on finalizing the prototype that would place them in a position of power among the nations of Earth. That work was nearly complete. What would place them all in danger had only just started.
Mukata looked out across the open fields nearby. The scars of the nuclear strike still lingered. What was truly important was buried beneath those fields. A dozen meters below the surface was the beginnings of an underground hanger. In it the first prototype of a new class of vessel would be constructed. There it could be hidden from the prying eyes of the other powers. The other nations would take time to find the hidden hanger, but they would in time. But its contents would remain a secret and that would place them all in danger. China was near and had already displayed a willingness to use force to acquire what it wanted, or to prevent others from gaining what it feared. The US and Euro were on more amicable terms, but would still react poorly to such developments. Although unlikely to attempt open conflict, they would be far more likely to begin covert operations to penetrate the complex.
And while the US and Euro would likely be willing to simply disrupt the FSC commercial interests through extensive trade tariffs and customs delays, it was possible that China might attempt to seize or destroy the FSC's warships. To protect them, orders had been sent assigning the Mary Reed and Krait to assist in convoy escort duties. The Chinese would be unlikely to attack the FSC's ships if there was risk to the US and Euro. China could ill afford to lose ships fighting the US and Euro if the aliens returned.
As the last Board member sat, Mukata stood and began his presentation.


December 5th 2210 hours/Elders' Chambers, New Home 1 (Eris)

The Elders reviewed the latest actions of the new Commander of Fleets. The Commander's decisions could not be reversed in military matters, but the review of actions was necessary to coordinate all of the assets available to the New Homes. It was obvious to anyone that the Commander of Fleets was engaged in the formation of a new Combat Group. With changes in the Patrol Vessels' and Assault Vessel's designs, they should be more effective against the native race. But there was only a single Assault Vessel remaining, and only five of the Patrol Vessels. It was equally obvious that more effective or not, these few ships would be inadequate to defeat the native race.
The conversion of two additional Colony Vessels was now underway to increase the current number in service from three to five. This would add to the Combat Group's capabilities, but they were limited designs. The hulls were more fragile than the warships, and their sensors unable to resolve targets to the full range of the weapon system. The Armed Colony Vessels also lacked the speed of the Patrol and Assault Vessels. They did carry enough field generators to withstand several interceptions by the enemy torpedoes and they were quick to put into service, but this would not completely compensate for their shortcomings. Regardless, the resources had been allocated.
What concerned the Assembly most was that the orbital construction complexes had been assigned by the new Commander of Fleets to construct a pair of new Combat Vessels. The old design had been changed and this would cost additional resources, as the shipyards would be reset to construct the new design. The drain on the New Homes would be substantial by the time the two vessels were completed. And if this were not enough, as soon as the Combat Vessels were completed the complexes would begin construction of enough high-speed bombers to fill both Hive Vessels once again. This would occupy the complexes for a great deal of time.
But with an Assault Vessel, two Combat Vessels, five Patrol Vessels, five Armed Colony Vessels, and the two Hive Vessels with full complements onboard, this Combat Group would represent the largest collection of warships ever sent against an enemy. When fully trained and ready they would represent an enormous threat. They were also an irreplaceable resource if they were to be lost.


December 6th 2230 hours/Beijing, China

Minister Po relaxed in his office. Plans were beginning to again fall into place. The fleet assembled at Venus was second to none, and the ships under construction there would give it an even greater advantage. The treasury was sufficient to not only cover the costs of operating the new fleet, but of increasing its size and replacing losses. This was mostly due to the Ministry's work at improving the education and output of the average worker, combined with modernization of the industry.
The outpost on Titan was also beginning to create enough resources to offset the cost of moving even larger groups of colonists. Enough to warrant that the Missile Frigate under construction at Venus would be assigned to guard the new outpost when it was cleared for service. It was only a matter of time before China would be able to deal with this alien menace, and then with the other nations of Earth.
The only weak link was the limited construction assets available. With only two space based shipyards at Venus and the one Mobile Construction ship Zhuang, China could find itself badly crippled if it were to lose any of these. The station at Venus was well protected by its defense modules and the fleet stationed there. The Zhuang was much more vulnerable. Limitations of its design made it impossible to mount even the most rudimentary magnetic field generators, while its drive limited it to only one third of the top speed the Frigates could achieve. This made the Zhuang far too vulnerable to leave in an area the aliens might attack.
It had been decided to move the Zhuang to a location near Titan. It would be able to assist in the construction of defenses for the new colony while remaining out of harms way. The aliens had never been detected near Saturn and would have no reason to believe that there was any population near it. It was as safe as anyplace the Zhuang could be located.
China would need time to fulfill its plans, but nothing else. Now it was only a matter of time.
...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 2204

Postby procyon on Thu 28 Jul 2011 01:55

December 2204 part 2

December 8th 0730 hours/Queen Victoria, Earth orbit

Admiral Brenna Muldoon keyed the prompt that sent the orders to the Communications Station for transmission. With the return of the US Q Ships due to occur in the next three days, the 3rd Light Battle Group would be transferred back to patrolling the asteroid belt. 'Then when the Queen Jane Grey clears the slip at the end of the month, the Red October will leave Earth to join the 3rd LBG in the belt.' Brenna looked for a moment at the roster for the 3rd LBG. Listed in the ship roster was the Heavy Escort Tatianna. 'She was my flagship over a year and a half ago. The flagship of the 3rd Battle Group. It’s good to know she is still here. Back then the 3rd BG was the Tat, Catherine, and Isabelle. They are all still here. But now together my old command would only make a Light Battle Group.'
Brenna pulled up the progress reports she had received on the research into the new drive and missile systems. She had ordered that the two programs were to share data to see if the new drive would be able to improve the performance of the new missile. It would increase the possibility of security leaks, but anything that could give the Pan Euro a chance to field a weapon system superior to the alien's was a priority. Reports indicated that the research on the drive was showing promising results, and might be able to show a working prototype within the next two months. Series of magnetic generators had proven capable of controlled graviton emission, but calibrating the generators to make a controllable drive was still underway. Its most serious drawback was the size of the system. The smallest linkage that appeared to be able to fulfill the function as a warship drive required four times as much space and mass as a nuclear drive would require. It would only cost half as much though, due to the lower stress tolerances it would be required to withstand.
Brenna closed out the reports and pulled up the last item she would have to cover in the morning meeting with the civilian leadership. It was plans for a new class of warship. Code named the Lady Di, she was the Pan Euro's answer to the Chinese Cruisers. The designs were not finalized as the ship would not be constructed until the new missiles were in service. She was planned to employ as many launch bays as the Chinese Cruisers with superior range and accuracy, but it was unlikely she would see service for some time. It was hoped she could begin construction within the next few months, but the missile research was going much more slowly than projected. It was now considered unlikely that the Lady Di would enter service until late in 2206. Assuming the Pan Euro was still in the war at that point.
Brenna turned off the monitor and tried to relax. It was still thirty minutes until the briefing.


December 9th 0015 hours/Andvari Crater, Surface of Triton

Lieutenant Commander Meagan Ryan finished the last revision of the magnetic modulation protocols that the linguistic teams had given her. Backpack size magnetic generators had been devised that allowed the Xeno teams to communicate with the aliens. True communication was still problematic, but the newest upgrades would allow most of the teams to be able to not only broadcast information and commands, but to interpret the responses from the aliens. Miscommunications were still common as many concepts seemed to be completely incomprehensible between the aliens and a human. The aliens had no concept of color, as they apparently lacked any ability to sense visible light other than as low powered magnetic phenomena. Humans seemed to have no ability to comprehend what the linguists labeled as 'magnetic texture' that the aliens used to differentiate various segregations of objects and individuals. The aliens seemed to be completely unable to differentiate between one speaker and another as they claimed there was no difference between them when they 'spoke'. Lying was also completely 'alien' to the aliens, although they were beginning to face the concept. They seemed to be unable to transmit any signal that was not the 'truth' without attaching a 'texture' that would make a falsehood obvious. The lack of texture to the Xeno teams' transmissions obviously frustrated the aliens as they could not 'feel' if what was being transmitted was real or not.
Many concepts were shared though to some degree, even if the importance of the concept may vary wildly. Family was a concept both races seemed to share, although the alien concept of family seemed to be much more diverse than any that humanity had. Leadership was also a common concept, with the aliens having leaders that directed activities.
The Xeno teams had managed to accomplish what the soldiers had been unable to. They had finally convinced the aliens to cease the resistance to the occupation. Cooperation was still not evident, but conflict had stopped. The aliens seemed to be returning to some form of their 'normal lifestyle'. The surviving alien population numbered nearly three hundred thousand and had begun to repair the damage that had occurred during the fighting. They didn't seem to be interested in producing anything that didn't pertain to rebuilding their homes though. Useful exploitation of the population might never be possible.
Meagan transmitted the new communication protocols to the various Xeno teams, along with the command staffs of the various military units. The relay station on the surface would attempt to make a transmission to the inner system, but the protocol was extensive and the transmitter for the small surface station had difficulty maintaining extended contact at the long distances involved. They would have to continue trying until the full protocol was transmitted though. Humanity needed to know this. The ability to decode the alien transmissions depended on it, along with any data stored on the systems the Euro recovered from the alien Alpha.
Most important to Meagan was one fact that was related to her research. When it was done, she would go home.
...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 2204

Postby procyon on Fri 29 Jul 2011 00:58

December 2204 part 3

December 11th 1330 hours/Mars Station, Mars orbit

Commander Scott Moreland sat on the chair in the hallway. The civilian dining facility was beyond the doors, but the noise let everyone know that they were rearranging it. In half an hour he was to report there for his promotion ceremony to Captain, and then be given command of the four Q Ships. He had already received his orders but the brass wanted to 'pin it on' themselves. 'Good PR' and such. Scott was also sure his crew would be using this absence to be preparing their own 'ceremony' for him when he returned.
'Sure to be a better time than sitting here.'
Scott pulled one of the civilian display pads from its slot in the wall. The power cable trailed along lazily in the low gravity. 'We aren't in the hub, but not in the outer ring either. I suppose the gravity here is about what it is on the surface of Mars, so the workers don't have to adjust when they go down to the planet.' Scott tapped on the pad and pulled up the civilian news reports. First on the list was the return of the two battalions from the 2nd AD that had come back to Mars on the Q ships. 'Knew that already.' Skipping past that he saw the battalions were being folded into a new division, which was being raised on Mars. 'The First Martian Light Mechanized Division. Didn't know about that. Looks to be mostly power armor and light vehicles.' Scott thought for a moment. 'All the easier for us to move and land I suppose, but where. We just pulled our troops off of Triton.'
Scott felt the chair begin to buzz on the floor. It continued for several seconds and then stopped. 'Rebuilding Defense Module Five is way overdue, but whatever they are doing is shaking the whole damn station. Why didn't they build it as a separate entity and then have just one operation to connect it, instead of shaking everything up every few minutes?'
A light flashed at the edge of Scott's vision. It was a prompt on his HUD. They were ready for him to report in for the promotion ceremony. Scott let go of the pad and watched the power cord slowly reel it back into the wall. 'Time to get this over with.'


December 13th 0215 hours/Near Food Preparation Area, Shelter 17 of New Home 3

Brood Mother 218 moved with her young toward the food preparation area. There was some damage still evident from the fighting that had occurred here, but workers were busy clearing most of it away. The Elder had decreed that no one was to conduct any attacks on the machines, and that any commands given by them were to be followed. Repairs to the shelters were to take first priority and that contact with the enemy was to be limited, as much as was possible. Only activities required to maintain the lives of the colony, and repairs to the needed living space were to be conducted. Nothing else.
Brood Mother could sense as she approached the feeding area that seven of the machines were present. They always seemed to be here, or any other place that they might find a crowd. One of them had the strange apparatus that allowed it to speak. The machines were becoming more refined in their ability to communicate. They had progressed from only a few commands at first to nearly being able to state anything they wanted. But it was definitely a machine. No emotion. Every machine that spoke sounded the same. Felt the same. Was the same. Soulless. They lacked the power of an Elder, but were to be obeyed nonetheless.
She shooed her young away from the nearest of the machines. They would keep as much space as possible between it and them. One of the machines had pushed her away when she had moved close to it. Her side still hurt where the intense heat of its appendage had burned her. How could the creatures exist and function at such temperatures?
The Brood Mother had spent a great deal of time around the machines. Her young needed to move to areas that the machines lingered in. She had listened to the machine's commands often. She had tried to respond to them when they spoke, but if the machines understood they only ignored her. She knew that her field was weak compared to an Elder, or even the field the machines produced to command. Her's was only strong enough to command her young. But she was also used to listening to them. To the slight fields they had. To their whispers. Without being able to sense the tiny fields, she could not provide for them or answer their questions.
She could also sense tiny fields in the machines. All of them. Even the ones that carried the thing that allowed them to give commands. She had paid a great deal of attention to the fields. They were very alien, but for some time now she had wondered if that was how they communicated. She had listened to the whispers that the machines made even as they generated the field to give commands. Perhaps they could speak with nearly the force of an Elder, but only hear whispers. It seemed strange, but so did everything about these machines.
Brood Mother 218 moved to the far part of the room, as far from the machines as possible. "Stay here. Do not follow me,” she told her young. And then she began to move back across the room. She would have to get close to hear the whispers and she did not want one of her young to get hurt or killed if they got too close to a machine.


0220 hours/2700 meters below Sector 52.07 of Triton's surface

Soldier Chen Hyang stood near what seemed to be the 'kitchen' of the alien mess hall. The aliens seemed to file through here regularly to consume what looked like a mix of ice and rock. 'Yum. I suppose my rations aren't exactly fine dining either, though.' Chen wondered how long it would be until he heard from his family again. He had received one message from them a week ago, but personal correspondence was low priority and the limited capacity of the receivers meant that 'mail' from home was a rare thing. 'At least everyone at home is fine. So many families of those who defected to the FSC aren't.'
Chen looked at the rest of his squad. They were one of the few groups of power armored Chinese troops left on Triton. Most had perished when the Chinese had cut off all supplies to the power armor battalions. Only the cyborg troops had received the supplies they would need to survive. 'If we hadn't been in a Euro hospital, we would be dead too. There aren't enough of us left to form a company now. Just three sections attached to Chinese cyborg battalions to assist with security.'
Chen watched as the US squad members messed with the 'Alien Communication Array'. The FSC General said that they were working on smaller versions. The current one was about the size of his mother's stove, and could get you stuck in a lot of the alien tunnels. But the aliens had stopped fighting shortly after it was introduced. They even responded to the commands it gave most of the time. Most, but not all. There seemed to be some holes in its ability to 'talk' to the little crawly, floaty things. And you never had any idea of what the aliens were saying. That was another upgrade the higher ups said they were working on.
Chen watched as one of the middle sized specimen moved toward him. It had left behind a crowd of small aliens in one corner, which was unusual. The little ones seemed to never be more than a meter or two from their 'handler.' Chen slid his hand onto the grip of the US made M34 Laser Rifle and turned off the safety. Ammo for Chinese weapons was in short supply, and the power slugs the US weapon used had been left behind when their troops pulled out. It wasn't much use against an alien suit but would tear apart the unarmored ones quite well. The aliens could slam you around without ever having to touch you if they got close enough. 'It's been seven days since the last two soldiers died, and there's a fair chance that was an accident, not an attack. But I'm not taking any chances.'
The creature stopped a few meters from Chen and simply hung there about half a meter above the floor. "Hey Chen, I think you've got a new friend." Chen's gaze never shifted from the alien in front of him as he answered.
"Hey, just because you didn't get blown up in battle with the aliens, doesn't mean I won't blast you." Chen could here the chuckles from the rest of the squad, but everyone was watching the alien floating in front of him now.
Static began to crackle on Chen's audio, accompanied by a high-pitched whine. "Check the ACA. I'm picking up static again. Have you got the broadcast setting off?" Chen hoped the US soldier could understand him and would fix the malfunction. It wouldn't be the first time the communication rig had created interference for the radios.
The whine was beginning to give him a headache. It was almost to high of a pitch to hear but was becoming so loud that it hurt. And suddenly the whine had meaning. Not words, but meaning nonetheless. Emotions also. All entwined with the high-pitched whine and buzz. Chen could 'feel' it coming from the alien in front of him. Could feel it branch out to the other aliens in the room. But most of all the 'whine' wanted to know if he understood.
Then it was gone. No whine. No headache. Just the crackle of the radio and chatter of other soldiers. Chen leveled the laser at the alien and spoke to the US soldier once again. "Use the ACA to tell this alien not to move. Then tell her that I hear her." Chen wasn't sure how he knew this alien was a 'she', he just did.
The US soldier replied in broken Chinese that he wasn't sure how to tell the aliens "hear", but he would do his best. He definitely knew how to tell her to hold still.


0223 hours/Near Food Preparation Area, Shelter 17 of New Home 3

Brood Mother 218 could feel the whispers of the creature in front of her even before the command to hold still washed through the room. She knew that in some way it had heard her. It was such a strange form of life, not the machine she had been told of. It was male, and not old. She had felt fear and confusion among the whispers, but not a single other life. It was utterly alone. There was no connection to the other whispers in the room at all. The whispers it made couldn't be how it communicated with its brothers and sisters. It had understood her though. Brood Mother 218 reached out to the other mothers and workers in the room and tried to let them know what she had done and what she had found.
...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 2204

Postby procyon on Fri 29 Jul 2011 00:59

December 2204 part 4

December 13th 1810 hours/US Interceptor MkIII Yari, Earth orbit

Rear Admiral Jack Ryan walked through the docking hatch into the waiting lifter. 'It feels weird not reporting to Admiral Walters on the station. Riding a lifter down to the surface is not what I would call a change for the better.' Jack looked out the small viewing port of the lifter to see that a number of GTORs and GTOSs were already docked to the Yari. Workers were scrambling across the hull to begin the initial repairs. 'We took a beating out at Triton. It's going to take them a while to pound the dents back out.'
Jack's thoughts wandered back to the distant moon. He hadn't been able to protect the Taylor or the troops from the aliens when he had been there. Now his daughter was on that moon with no one to watch over her. She was supposed to come home as soon as her work was complete. The very first supply ship that arrived after that would bring her home. Jack had checked the flight plans and movement orders though. There were no supply runs scheduled for Triton for the next month. That would mean it would take at least two months before the first ship would arrive to bring her home. Two months for the aliens to show up.
Jack sat down in one of the forward passenger stations on the lifter. There weren't many on this lifter, perhaps a dozen, as it hadn't been designed as a passenger craft. The seats were hard plastic with a simple harness. Jack strapped himself in as two members of the lifter's crew finished the dock release sequence. They wore simple EVA suits and their chatter almost irritated Jack. The work repairing the US Space Station was placing a high demand on the available orbital lift capacity. Many of the older liquid fueled lifters were being pressed back into service to meet the need. Just like this one.
Jack watched as the two men strapped themselves in at the far end of the row from Jack. 'Just as well. I'm not in the mood for chit-chat.' Jack saw the warning light go on in the cabin and felt the lifter begin to move. It would take several hours for the ship to come down from orbit and land. God only knew how long the briefing for Admiral Walters and all the ground lovers would take.


December 19th 0415 hours/Habitat Two, Surface of Titan

Li Xue snapped the forearm back onto the 6.5mm Type 72 Pulse Rifle, function checked the weapon, and then placed it on the table in front of her. She risked a quick glance at Mae and saw that she was still struggling to get the bolt carrier assembly back into the receiver. Li tried to stifle a small smile. 'At least there is one thing I can do better than Mae.'
"DO YOU THINK YOUR FINISHED WORM !" The scream of the drill instructor made Li jump. She stared back into the red faced mountain of a man in front of her and stuttered for a moment. "WHAT WAS THAT WORM, I CAN'T HEAR YOU !"
"YES SIR." Li tried her best to sound sure of herself, but it sounded weak in her ears.
"Pick up your weapon WORM ! INSPECTION, ARMS." Li grabbed the weapon off the table, snapped it quickly to port arms, opened the bolt, checked the ejection ports, and then back to port arms with the bolt open. The instructor grabbed the weapon from her and stepped back as he looked at it. He function checked the weapon and then heaved the 6 kilogram rifle back to her. Even in the low gravity the weapon slammed into her chest as she caught it. She didn't fall, but did have to shift one foot back to keep her balance.
"I DIDN'T TELL YOU TO MOVE WORM ! STAND AT ATTENTION !"
Li stared straight ahead as the instructor moved off to torment someone else. All she could think off was 'How do I let Mae keep talking me into these things?' The colony ministers had announced that they would be raising and training a new power armor division on Titan. 'Mae wanted to find a way to impress and spend more time with her soldier boy. So here we are in a section of the habitat designated as a barracks with three hundred other women. And my back hurts just as badly as it did at the factory.'
Li heard the instructor shouting orders again instead of insults. "WEAPONS IN THE RACKS. FORMATION IN BAY SEVEN IN TWO MINUTES. FALL OUT." Li turned and rushed to put her weapon back in the rack at the rear of the classroom. Bay Two was two hundred meters down the main hallway. It was where the power armor suits were stored. They had spent three hours a day for the last two weeks in that bay learning how the suits worked. Today they were to be fitted for one. Li was only a step behind Mae when they reached the doorway out of the classroom.
"Come on lady. Last one to the bay really is a worm!" Mae was actually smiling as she ran out the door in front of Li. Li could feel the weight belt digging into her back with each step as she tried to keep up with Mae. Li struggled to keep up but managed to stay right behind her.
"And why are you smiling young lady?" Li struggled to talk as her breathing came in gasps as she ran.
"Jeng is going to be one of the cadre helping to fit us for the suits. Guess whose line I'm going to be in?"
Li started to chuckle but almost choked as she tried to breathe at the same time. She lost a few steps on Mae as she caught her breath. 'Leave it to her to find a way in the middle of hundreds of women to get her boyfriend's hands on her.'


December 25th 0800 hours/Queen Jane Grey, Earth orbit

"Quite the little Christmas present, isn't it. To go from commanding a battle proven ship and crew down to a bunch or guppies. I'm sure 'Battling Brenna' feels nothing but love for you, Rear Admiral McNeely."
"Welcome aboard Ensign Deeter. And she must be just as fond of you to have you put on board as your first assignment out of OCS."
"Sorry to disappoint you admiral, but I requested this assignment. Must not be as bright as you thought I was."
Robert was glad to see her again. He had personally recommended Midshipman Gretta Deeter for officer training after the action at Triton, along with a few awards. She had somehow managed to get a half damaged helm station to turn around a mostly damaged ship. Without her, the Red October would have been destroyed at Triton back in June. Now she would be part of his staff here on the newest Royalty Class Destroyer, the Queen Jane Grey.
"Let's hope our new girl lasts longer than her namesake. Nine days won't even give me time to break in my station." Gretta looked over her station and monitor on the flag section of the bridge.
Robert settled into the Admiral's Station and locked it. The monitor flashed to life in front of him. "If you don't get in your station and lock it Ensign Deeter, we won't even leave dock in the next nine days. Admiral Muldoon's waiting. We begin training maneuvers against the 3rd Battle Group in fifteen minutes."
Robert watched as Gretta sat in her station and locked it. "We won't even last nine days against her. Well, it was fun while it lasted."


December 30th 2200 hours/Washington DC, Earth

Admiral Bradley Walters sat in his quarters and scrolled through the data. A Pan Euro military courier had delivered the data chip to him six hours ago. The data had apparently been considered too sensitive to transmit. After reviewing it, Bradley agreed.
Data on the operation of the alien systems from the damaged Alpha had been completed late in October and forwarded to the US for study. The function of the life support system had shown them the tolerances the aliens could withstand. The salvaged magnetic field generators had proven to be of a vastly different design than either the US's or the Euro's, but seemed no more powerful or effective. And the launch system for the alien missiles had been studied, but would not be pursued. The alien system would give better range, but was much larger than what the current Hera Missile required. Refits would be expensive and time consuming for only a slight gain in combat effectiveness. But the information in what appeared to be the alien data storage systems had been a mystery. Until now that Meagan had unlocked the puzzle of the alien's language - if it could be called that.
The data was old now. It had given the size of the group the Alpha had been stationed with when it had been crippled, but that was unlikely to be accurate anymore. It had also indicated that the group lingered in or near the inner system, particularly by the belt. This was also valuable but unlikely to help. The records showed that the commander of the group the Alpha had belonged to was unpredictable in his deployments and would be nearly impossible to track down with the data that was available. He was also 'The Baron'. Records on the ship showed that the Alpha had been the one of the alien ships responsible for the destruction of the colony on Mercury and had been involved in the destruction of US Task Force 3 and the attack on Mars in February before it had been damaged and captured in June. Again this was interesting information, but of little value at the moment.
Of value was that the Alpha had been activated sometime in October of 2203 at a location the aliens seemed to refer to as New Home 2. Navigational data showed that this New Home 2 was actually the dwarf planet Orcus. This was truly valuable data. Initial reports seemed to indicate that Triton was known as New Home 3 to the aliens. With Rear Admiral Ryan's discovery that there was likely another alien colony on Sedna it was possible that the location of the missing New Home 1 was actually not a mystery. There was still one mystery held in the data though.
Prior to the activation of the ship in October, there was only a small amount of navigational data preceding that date. Perhaps a few days at most. It was currently undecipherable as to its location, but that was not the disturbing part. It was the alien designation in the data storage system and the scans that it held.
It was the fact that the first data recorded a planet known as Home 7, in a system that was obviously not Sol. And that around Home 7 had been a fleet of ships that dwarfed anything that had been seen so far.
...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 2204

Postby procyon on Fri 29 Jul 2011 00:59

December 2204 part 5

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

This month could easily have grown to three of four times its current size if I was simply writing a story instead of chronicling a game. Just the communication between human and Nemotian could fill its own book. There were also a number of events that ended up under the radar for the story that I will touch on here. A lot went on, but the opening months of 2205 will likely be monsters. Months with over a dozens parts after editing are definitely in the future.


For China,

China enjoyed another increase in his income, jumping up about 110MCs. He also began to reinvest in IU on Earth to continue the trend. Put this with his colonization of Titan at a rate 50% greater than any other power and the middle boy was making it plain he intended to hold onto his economic lead. His biggest worry was for his CA under construction. Even with the faster build rate EL2 brought, it still wouldn't clear the docks until Sep of 2205. That was a long time to tie his fleet down. He also got a research success for Y at SL1, which he didn't get very excited about as I remember. My biggest question that he wasn't sharing on at this point was his sudden troop build up at Titan. He had no knowledge of any other alien settlement that I was aware of. So why the extra troops, along with stationing both his troop transports and the mobile construction ship near Saturn?
It just felt like he was up to something....

For the Pan Euro,

With the increase in EL came an increase in build rate, so her newest destroyer the Queen Jane Grey was done at the end of December instead of early January, completing her second full Battle Group. This meant that it would be finished shaking down by Feb. and green instead of poor. This tiny detail will become huge later.
She, like China, enjoyed a fair increase in her income, with a jump of about 130MC over the previous month. She also managed a success on Y SL2. But worrying about the breakthrough for Yc was way back on the burner, behind verifying the breakthrough to D and getting XO's. She failed her roll for R SL3 and Ica though. A lucky training roll moved the Queen Vic up to Veteran this month also. With full communications being completed at the end of Nov in the game (not in the story), she was able to finally get the data rolls from Section U on her captured Alpha. She didn't get the hull home, but she had stripped everything else so I gave her all the rolls with just a -10. This in turn gave her the location of another New Home.
She was quite pleased with this month for a change.

For the US,

The US kept up the trend of research success with no tangible results by completing R at SL1. He also decided to start work on the Ta. It had occurred to him that stationary defenses would be a good idea with his limited fleet of ships. With only CT as his largest ship, and only FG prototyped, any ships that could compete would take a loooonnng time to build through the prototype stage. With only two SY available - one of which would be tied down until mid 2205, building a DD or bigger would be a project that would not be completed until 2206. That was to long he decided. But you don't have to prototype an AF (at least we don't), and he could start work on a BIG one soon if he could just get it to Mars or Earth.

For the FSC,

The oldest girl was the only player with no research successes. The fact she only had one project that she had just started that month pretty much made sure she wouldn't though. She continued her slow growth in the belt, and with IU. Her big project was building the underground hanger that would be the site where her newest ship would be built. She was getting so antsy about it. Luckily for her, none of the players made a roll to find the complex this month. She was looking forward to Jan, as it would be a growth month for her due to our ruling on the grower governor on Earth - and she would get the income from Triton due to her good roll completing the consolidation phase.

For the Nemotians,

This month saw the last of the refits on the existing ships and two more colony vessels turning them into the armed variant. I also started two new Combat Vessels/destroyers of the new design. I was sure this would likely be the last offensive the Nemotians would ever be able to mount, and I wanted to make the best of it. Timing would be everything.
With the treasury dwindling, two of the New Home sites known to the players, full communication available for them to loot populations and captured ships, and the Euro and FSC close to implementing several ship designs that would radically tip the balance of power - the writing was on the wall. My job at this point was to make the closing chapters of this something the players would remember. I struggled with what I could do to really strain the players with what I had left.

I could never have foreseen at this point what the opening months of 2205 would bring.


There were no battles for this month, once again, other than the ground combat on Triton that completed the consolidation phase. Earth had captured its first of the New Homes. Two more were on the chopping block. But this time the huge Chinese fleet was tied down, and the US/Euro had no intention of asking their help. Instead of a united front they had shown for the last year, they were each ready to try and stand on their own.

Anyone remember a famous saying about a house divided.......
...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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