January 2205

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January 2205

Postby procyon on Tue 02 Aug 2011 15:04

January 2205 part 1

January 1st 0630 hours/Armed Science Vessel Red October, asteroid belt

Commodore Stephan Vasilikos stepped off of the ship's boat into the bay of the Red October. Even as his feet snapped onto the deck he heard the XO call the honor guard to attention. "Thanks all, as you were." Stephan had never put much store in protocol, just results. It had gotten him in trouble often enough, but wouldn't now. Stephan walked right by the group and to the hatchway leading to the bridge.
Minutes later Stephan entered the bridge. Before anyone could even call the group to attention he snapped off "At ease, as you were." He walked over to the flag station and looked at it. Stephan turned to the Communications Station. "Give me the intercomm and all ships now." Stephan waited until the display on his HUD showed that the comm link was active.
"Third Light, this is your Commodore. For the benefit of the folks who just joined this little party on big Red, we are going to get some things straight. This ship was the command of several admirals. Kushnir, Muldoon, McNeely. They all commanded from this ship. Each one of them fought the aliens from this ship. And that, ladies and gents, isn't going to change now. A lot of folks think of the big Royalty Class ships and the Chinese war fleet when they think of the war with the aliens. We know better. Big Red has fought the aliens almost everywhere they can be fought. With the US at Mars, the Chinese at Ceres, deep out system at Uranus and Neptune. In the death trap of the belt at Pallas. Even within sight of our home Earth. The only battle she missed out on was at Jupiter. But sitting in space right here with us is the Tati. And she was there. The ships here are the real face of this war."
"Our job out here is to protect the colonies in the belt. We have a problem. The Euro has six separate colony sites. The US has four. Even the South Seas has one. None of them are even remotely close to each other most of the time. We can't baby sit all of them. The best way I can see to keep them safe is to give the aliens something a lot easier to find. That, ladies and gents, is going to be the Third Light."
Stephan paused for a moment to let what he had said settle in. "The fact that this ship is going to fight isn't going to change. But there are a few other traditions that this ship has. No matter where she has fought. No matter who sat on this bridge. No matter what she faced. First, at the end of the day, she has NEVER left the field to the aliens. And lastly, she ALWAYS comes home. And we aren't going to let this change either. Commodore Vasilikos, out."
Stephan sat in the flag station and ran his hand across the keys and controls on the armrest, then looked about the bridge. 'Jude sat here on you. Then Brenna. Last was Bob. And you brought them all home. They were all good boys and girls, and you brought them home safely.' Stephan tapped on the keys and sent the commands to lock stations and activate the magnetic shields.
'So what will you do with a rebel old Red? Let's find out shall we?'


1820 hours/Elders' Chambers, New Home 1 (Eris)

The Supreme Elder moved among the gathered Elders. Waves of concern and fear washed through the assembled group. The bulk of the mobile assets had left the New Homes for the inner parts of the system. The last mobile assets, and those under construction, would leave shortly. The New Homes would be responsible for their own defense. There would be no warships to help in the defense. None to rescue a world or moon when it came under attack.
To help with the New Homes' defense, the ground based defense stations were now having the rapid fire mass drivers installed. This would allow them to intercept and destroy the torpedoes of the native race. With no drive shield or magnetic protective field, the ground bases would have a much easier time calibrating the systems. With luck this would allow the New Homes to destroy up to half of the torpedoes targeted on them. But this would still allow half to reach the surface. This was much of what was causing such great concern.
The worst fear was evident from the Elders of New Home 4. They had no ground bases. And with the transfer of their two smaller orbital defense stations to New Home 5, they had only a single orbital base to defend the population there. Nothing else. They also lacked the industry to begin construction of any extensive ground based systems. If time permitted, a Mobile Repair Vessel would be moved to New Home 4 to begin construction of basic defense structures. This would not happen for some time though.
The Supreme Elder understood the fear, but by moving among them he made it understood that this was the right course of action. The approval of the Supreme Elder would ensure that the New Homes supported the actions being taken. They would be called upon to commit much of their resources and supplies to support this move and the combat that would occur.
The Supreme Elder concealed within the powerful fields he projected the small concern he felt. The concern that if this offensive failed the New Homes had no chance of defeating the native race.


January 2nd 0200 hours/New Delhi, India

Chairman Mukata stood behind the podium as he addressed the board members. "Two hours ago the order was given to increase the rate of construction on the underground hangar in Queensland. This hangar will hold the new ship that had been planned, safe from the prying eyes of the other powers. But the construction will now become obvious. In hours the rest of the world will know it is there. When they analyze the scans, they will be able to identify the large laser array housed there. An array that obviously violates the limits of the Pax Treaty."
"The FSC will be able to plead that the main intent of the Pax Treaty is to limit the use of nuclear weapons near Earth. We will also claim that the laser is only meant to safeguard the FSC and Earth from alien bombers. It is unable to target any land based targets and is therefore of no threat to the rest of the world's populations."
Chairman Mukata was cut off as one of the members of the South African cartel rose from his seat. "They will also know that it is quite capable of targeting ships within a few light seconds of Earth. And that the laser will pass right through the protective fields that the warships rely on so heavily. Will it be possible to dismantle the array to avoid this situation?"
Mukata looked out at the assembled board. "I consider it unwise to disassemble the array. The other powers will request to inspect the site. We will of course refuse. Without the array there is no reason for the other powers not to destroy the site. Need I remind the board of the Chinese strike little over a year ago? It would take little for them to dispatch a ship to Earth to destroy the construction. They could even use a land based launcher. And I believe once again the US and Euro will not intervene to stop such a move if we have refused them access."
"What if the other powers choose to launch on the site from beyond the range of the laser to engage an orbital target? The laser would serve on use in this situation." The South African seemed in no hurry to be brushed aside.
"In the event of a launch on the site, it has been hardened to withstand several drive detonations without damage to the underground structure. I believe the US and Euro will be unwilling to incur the loss of civilian lives that would occur if they attempted to reduce the complex. I also do not believe they will attempt a ground invasion to gain access to the site."
The South African man leaned on the table as he addressed Mukata again. "And what of the Chinese? As you have already pointed out, they have shown a willingness to use nuclear weapons. The loss of FSC civilians is unlikely to bother a government that was willing to abandon its own troops to the aliens." A murmur of approval began to spread.
Mukata stepped around the podium. "Unknown to the other nations of Earth the FSC has constructed two silos. Both silos are capable of launching a single Devil Class missile. In the event of a Chinese strike the missiles will be targeted on Chinese cities. Troops are also prepared to launch invasions of Chinese Imperial soil from points in both Australia and India. In the event of a Chinese first strike, we are within the rights described by the Pax Treaty to defend the FSC with such measures. This should give us adequate time to complete the project."
The room quieted and the South African man paled slightly. "You propose to start a war with China?"
"Would you prefer we abandon the project?" Mukata stared at the man in front of him.
An older woman of the Chilean cartel rose from her seat and held a small monitor screen in front of her. "We have confirmation that the Pan Euro ship Queen Victoria is transmitting from orbit on a priority channel and beginning active radar and lidar scans of the Queensland Complex. They have found the site."
...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: January 2205

Postby procyon on Tue 02 Aug 2011 15:05

January 2205 part 2

January 3rd 0415 hours/Converted Freighter Mary Reed, 16 light minutes from Hygeia colony

The Dutchman watched the sensor returns. Travel in the belt was always a dangerous thing. It had once just been the danger of a stray rock escaping the sensors and tearing through a ship. That in its time had been bad enough. With the arrival of the aliens it had become very hazardous. Even the rocks you could see might be hiding an alien warship. But the aliens had shown little interest in attacking civilian shipping. An occasional freighter may go missing, but that had been the extent of it.
'Now we have to worry about even the human ships. The US, China, and even the Pan Euro have filed official protests at the construction going on in Australia.' The Dutchman saw that the belt colony was only an hour out. He keyed open the ship's intercom.
"Ok people. The rest of the world hasn't announced that they are going to interdict FSC shipping, but they aren't going to let us know until after they show up. In a few minutes we will arrive at **** colony. Once there we are going to land and ride this out. If the US or Euro show up, they won't risk firing on the ships due to the chance of civilian casualties. They should be happy enough to keep us parked there. If the Chinese show up and start shooting, the civilian ships will surrender and submit to boarding while we run for it. Hopefully it doesn't come to that."
The Dutchman turned off the intercom. Fourteen civilian cargo and passenger ships flying various flags, two cargo ships flying under the FSC colors, plus the Mary Reed and Krait. Eighteen ships that represented the entire FSC fleet, civilian or 'government'. With the fleet parked here in the belt the FSC would struggle to keep its budget. Trade with the belt colonies brought in a larger portion of the FSC's income and resources. The cartels are going to have to squeeze every last penny they can out of the various FSC member nations on Earth.
'I doubt any human ships will actually start shooting at us. Even China would rather seize the ships if they had the chance. Even as scrap they would be worth a small fortune. If the aliens show up though.' The Dutchman felt a sudden chill as he thought of it. The aliens would be more than happy to attack a population. The ships would be a bonus. 'Eighteen ships and three quarters of a million colonist on this outpost in the belt. We definitely have all our eggs in one basket. For the aliens this would be hitting the jackpot. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to have the US or Euro put up a blockade here after all.'


January 4th 0030 hours/Queen Jane Grey, Earth orbit

Rear Admiral Robert McNeely scanned through the civilian news broadcasts. News of the FSC construction in Australia and the laser array there had been leaked to the commercial networks six hours ago by an unknown source in the US. It had spread like wildfire since then. Public reaction in the Pan Euro seemed to swing between outrage and panic. None of the networks were calling for prudence and restraint though.
"So, just what are we supposed to do if they start firing?" Robert heard Ensign Deeter's question but waited a moment to answer. "In the event that you were in command, what would you order Ensign?" There was no point in looking for a reaction. She was locked in her station the same as he was. The only movement might be her fingers on the control pads of the armrests.
It was quiet for a long time, and then Gretta answered. "The plating and baffles on the Queen Jane are fairly substantial. We could probably take a couple of direct hits and still not suffer any hull breaches. We would have plenty of time to target the laser array and destroy it."
"True. We have better protection than the Attack Escorts, which is why I have them stationed two light seconds away while we are only five thousand kilometers above the surface. You need to consider he civilian casualties you would inflict. You could easily kill hundreds of thousands. The media would react rather poorly to that. No matter what you feel or think, it will look bad if we killed thousands while only suffering some damaged plating." Robert stopped long enough to watch a video feed of a politician calling for the FSC to submit to inspections of the site and immediate dismantling of the weapon. 'We sent that message almost two days ago. Guess what the reply was?'
"Ensign Deeter, this ship is pointed so that if we engage the drive it will be able to cross the horizon for that weapon in a matter of seconds. No matter how maneuverable the output coupler is on that laser array, it can't shoot through the Earth. If the FSC decides to damage some of our plating it could be construed as an act of war, but it is more of a political incident. I would rather leave it for the politicians to decide the appropriate response. If we launch, that is definitely an act of war. Do you want your name going down in the history books that way?"
"You've spent to much time talking to Admiral Muldoon. So what does she want us to do if the US or China make an attack on the site?" Robert couldn't hear any disdain in the Ensign's voice, but he knew it was there anyway.
"Muldoon's orders are explicit. We are to protect Pan Euro properties and interests. We are also to keep out of the shooting if at all possible."


0630 hours/Washington DC, Earth

"So you intend to do nothing?! Explain yourself Admiral Walters. If I'm not impressed your replacement will be giving the next briefing tomorrow morning."
Admiral Bradley Walters could see the look on Adam Richards face. 'Secretary of Defense or not, your being stupid.' he thought. Bradley turned to face the balding politician at the head of the table.
"Honorable Secretary, it is my opinion that the South Seas Free Space Consortium has no intention of starting a war. We have nearly constant surveillance of the site and most FSC locations. There have been several divisions of ground troops mobilized but none have loaded for transport. They have two known armed vessels with perhaps a few more disguised as civilian freighters. They would be completely incapable of penetrating the defenses of either Earth or Mars. They could attempt an attack in the belt, but to what end. If they were to inflict any civilian casualties it would only open the doors for the US to bombard their troops and the Australian site."
The Secretary Richards looked at Bradley long and hard. "So you think in the absence of war the appropriate action is nothing?"
"I believe that this is a political situation and that political pressure should be used to resolve it. We have limited combat resources. All of the space based assets are needed to combat the aliens. As the FSC media has pointed out, we have laser arrays in both our Eastern and Western Defense Centers in excess of what we are allowed by the Pax Treaty limitations. And that they were successfully employed in defense of Earth in the last alien attack."
Secretary Richards looked puzzled. "Do I understand you correctly? Are you saying we should support the construction of ground based laser arrays?"
"I believe that if the US proposes amendments to the Pax Treaty relaxing the restrictions on the deployment of laser arrays that it could be of benefit to both the US and the Earth as a whole. Also, if the laser array is no longer a treaty violation there is no reason for anyone to start a war. That would include the Euro, AND the Chinese." Bradley waited for that statement to sink in. 'Fool or no, he isn't looking to start a war either.'
"I see. And what of the FSC's underground construction activities?"
"They don't violate any treaty or international law. I'm not sure what they are up to. It could simply be an attempt to protect their construction assets after seeing what the last alien attack did to our orbital shipyards. It is easily big enough to house a Raptor Class Missile Escort at this point. It may be something else entirely. For the moment it doesn't seem to be a threat. If that changes, you could always change policy at that time."
Secretary Richards paused for a while, obviously in thought. "I will take your recommendations under consideration for the moment. I will expect another briefing at zero six hundred tomorrow. That will be all Admiral."
Bradley walked out lost in his own thoughts. 'It isn't the FSC that I'm worried about. Even with all of the media hype and furor from us and the Euro. It's the ominous silence from the Chinese.'
...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: January 2205

Postby procyon on Sat 06 Aug 2011 04:11

January 2205 part 3

January 6th 1500 hours/Training Range 3, Surface of Titan

Li Xue felt the lander begin to pitch and rattle as it entered the atmosphere. Even with her suit locking into the brackets on the side of the lander it was a rough ride. They had spent the last week with weapon drills in the morning and drops and landings in the afternoons. Evening was spent cleaning the equipment.
"I hope it isn't raining this time. That sticky crap always coats my optics."
"Mae, you certainly have a bright, cheery outlook today." Li looked over at the form beside her. "You realize that suit makes your butt look fat."
"Jeng likes it. You seem to be staring at my backside a lot lately Li. Is there something I should know about?" Mae put a hand on one of the twin drums mounted on the back of her hips, just below the maneuver pack. Li had decided some time back that although the new suits were a vast improvement over the Mantis Suits she had trained with, the new suits definitely didn't look very flattering.
Li looked over Mae's suit. It was a standard Salamander Combat Suit. Li had heard that it was based off of captured Euro suits, and from lessons learned at Triton. The old 6.5mm pulse rifle had proved inadequate against both power armor and the alien battle suits. It had also been dropped or lost on too many occasions. It was now mounted on the outside of the right arm as a back-up weapon. The new main combat weapon was the Type 4. It was a 14.5mm semi-bullpup design, with an enclosed dual belt feed. One belt contained solid tungsten rounds designed to penetrate both power armor, alien suits, and light vehicles. The second belt contained HE-I rounds with a prefragmented copper body wrapped around a small explosive/incendiary charge. The Type 4 also mounted a 30mm under barrel grenade launcher that was supposedly an exact copy of those used by the Euro. The weapon was synchronized with the maneuver pack for micro-g operation and fired in four round bursts. 'Mae calls the thing the dentist. Swears it tries to pull her teeth every time she fires it.'
On the left shoulder was mounted a highly modified Type 63. It was now known as the Type 67. It had changed from an antiquated support weapon to a suit portable system. It still fired the 37mm APHE rounds that had been so effective on Triton, but now fired from a four round cassette loaded into the weapon. Gone were the spring loaded magazines prone to failure in the extreme cold. The Type 67 rode on a gyro stabilized mount attached to the suit and could track and engage targets through the suits HUD. It could also be removed from the mount for situations which required it.
"Why did they ever stick those drums right on the suit's butt?"
"Quiet Li, get ready. We are close to drop." Mae was powering up the maneuver pack and locking her weapon into its drop mount.
Li began to lock her weapon into its drop mount. She didn't carry a Type 4. She still wore the standard Salamander Combat Suit, but had been designated as the support weapon member of her squad. She carried a Type 15. It was a 23mm tapered bore with a barrel over two meters long. It fired round with fins up to 37mm wide that were swaged down to 23mm as it passed down the bore. Much like water passing through the nozzle of a garden hose, the tapered barrel increased the velocity of the round. The AP round was capable of penetrating light armored vehicles and obstacles. It was also synchronized with the maneuver pack, but only fired single shots from six round cassettes. Where the Type 4 came with two one hundred round belts, Li only carried 6 of the cassettes. She had to make her shots count.
"TOUCH DOWN IN FIVE, FOUR, READY, SET, GOOOO!"
Li heard the shuttle commander screaming as the lander heaved. Braking thrusters fired and skids crashed into the surface outside. Side ports and ramps flew open as troops began to rush out. Li snapped her brackets open and pulled her weapon from its drop mount. She exited the lander two meters behind Mae into a thick cloud of brown methane fog and blowing ethane sleet. A hail of water ice pebbles scoured the outside of her suit as Mae activated her jump jets. A heartbeat later and Li fired hers trying to both follow Mae and still keep her spacing. Through the grime on her optics and fog she could see her company fanning out. She watched Mae begin her descent and fired her maneuver pack to follow her. A heartbeat later she crashed into a thick puddle of methane syrup and sent sheets of is splashing. She could barely make out Mae crouching just a few meters away. Li pulled the covers off of her Type 15's optics as she activated the chin switch in her helmet. A moment later half of her HUD was a crystal clear display from the sights on her weapon.
"Ok people. Hold your positions for a minute. We will need to get fixes on you so we can evaluate the drop. Next time we will practice deployment from the troopship."
Li heard the battalion commander on her radio. They had practiced drops and landing from shuttles dozens of times, but only twice from the troopships. Landing the habitat sized vessels on the surface was an ordeal in itself. The thrusters tended to melt the surface wherever they came down. Getting onto one was messy. Getting off was downright dangerous. It was easy to end up in several feet of rapidly freezing liquid.
Li looked up to see Mae kneeling down in front of her. Mae leaned forward and touched helmets with LI. Li turned off her radio. "Mae, you’re going to get us both in trouble. You’re out of position and I'm too close."
Li heard the buzz of Mae's voice as it carried between the touching helmets. "Li, I'm sorry for getting you into this."
"Why. I agreed to join. You didn't force me, and this isn't any worse than factory work. Factory work hasn't much of a future. At least with this I could get promoted and have a retirement. Now finding a boy like you did, well..." Li was concerned. Mae wasn't normally the apologetic type, and Li wasn't sorry she had joined. She was actually enjoying parts of it.
"I was talking to Jeng, Li. He said the only time they practiced assaults like this, especially from the troopships, was right before they shipped out to fight the aliens. Jeng said he thinks we are getting ready to go into combat." Mae was talking slowly. Thinking about what she was saying. Even muffled by the helmets Li could hear the worry in Mae's voice. Li had always seen Mae as fearless, but began to realize perhaps it wasn't that she had seen, just youth. 'Mae is still in her teens. She just found a boyfriend. She never thought about dying.'
"Mae, I'm not a kid. I knew we were at war with the aliens when I agreed to do this." Li stopped for a moment and thought. "Mae, we're going to be alright. I'll look out for you, and you for me. Just like we have been."
Li stood up and waited for Mae. As Li turned on her radio she could hear the call for all troops to return to the landing area. Mae stood up and walked beside her slowly. No race or taunts this time. Li reached out and took the hand of Mae's suit. Mae didn't pull away as they walked back, hidden in the thick fog.


January 9th 1240 hours/University of Cambridge, England

Henk Leering scrambled from his seat trying to brush the hot coffee out of his pants. Thomas O'Connell couldn't understand most of the German the man was yelling, but had a fair idea what it meant and that there was no way the coffee could actually be or do the things he was calling it..
"Henk! Sit down for a moment !" Thomas grabbed Henk's shirt sleeve and tried to restrain his flailing. It took a few moments before Henk settled down enough to look at Thomas.
"We did it ! Look at the readings. The calibrations must be off slightly to have caused the oscillations we experienced, but it worked !" Thomas pointed at the readouts scrolling across the monitors as Henk finally began to understand.
His burned legs forgotten, Henk rushed to the terminals and began to scroll back through the data. "Here. Right here. We adjust the amplitude and frequency like this..." Henk began to type on the keyboard and then began moving fields on the monitor. Moments later he turned to look at Thomas again. "Thomas, I think we may be on to something. We definitely generated gravitons, but far more than we had anticipated. And we only had the system at a fraction of the power that it was designed to operate at."
Thomas came closer to the terminal and looked at Henk's figures. "You're right. That little oscillation is going to look like a small earthquake to the rest of the world. And we were at only two percent of full power on a single generator bank. We could make this a great deal smaller, increase the power to the generator, and create a very powerful field. It could create an engine much more powerful than the nuclear drives with a fraction of the size."
Henk sat down at the terminal and looked at the data. "I'm not so sure. We will need more tests, but if the data we have is accurate..." Data plots began to scroll across the monitor. Power versus output projections. Amplitude and frequency. Henk pointed to the graphs that began to form on another nearby monitor. "See this. As the graviton generator decreases in size, we need to decrease the amplitude with a corresponding increase in the frequency. It will generate a great deal of emissions, but..." Suddenly the graph shot off the top of the scale.
Henk pointed to a part of the graph. "It looks like the best return for the power supplied is in this range. It will require almost four times the mass in generators to create the same acceleration as a bank of particle accelerators on a standard nuclear drive. And it looks to be rather size sensitive. To large of an array or two small of a power supply and you get destructive oscillations due to the frequency modulation of the system. To small, and it requires a great deal of power with a geometric increase in emissions resulting in this." Henk pointed at the end of the scale that had went off the top of the monitor.
Thomas looked at the projections. "Would that...."
Henk picked up his broken coffee cup. "Yes, I think so."
"The military will be pleased to hear this."
"Um, Thomas?" Henk looked a little sheepish.
"What is it?"
"How shall we explain this? I mean, does England generally have earthquakes?"


January 12th 0900 hours/Interceptor MkIIb JFK, Mars orbit

Rear Admiral (Lower Half) James Gauld looked at the visual feed on his monitor. The framework in the slip at Mars Station was nearly complete. Soon they would begin installing the internal components and fitting the outer skin. It was going to become Mars Defense Base 1 when completed. Only slightly smaller that an Interceptor, it would be armed and shielded identically to a MkIIb. 'It will just be a lot cheaper to take care of with no drive. If it doesn't spend all its time riding a nuclear plume it shouldn't need quite so much upkeep.'
'They put the thing under my command, but it sounds like they plan on building enough of the things to require their own admiral eventually. For being the most junior admiral, I seem to have acquired the largest command.' Jamie went over the list of ships in his head. First was his own Task Force 1 with three Interceptor MkIIb's, the JFK, the J Madison, and the A Jackson. Next were the four ships in the Q Ship Group. They included the Steadfast, Vigilance, Resolute, and Defiant. Last, although only under his direction in the case of attack on Mars were the six Defense Modules of the Mars Station. All told his group included 13 launch bays and 9 laser arrays.
'Hopefully that will be enough if the aliens come back. After Earth, we are the biggest target out here. Four and a half million colonists, a shipyard, an orbital transfer station, plus nine ships if you include Survey Tenders 1 and 2.' Jamie shut down the visual feed and pulled up the training plan for the day. 'Of course the best reason I can see to be building those bases isn't helping to protect Mars. It’s freeing us up to move out system again. With a new division training on the surface and the four Q Ships quite capable of transporting it, it can only be a matter of time before ships begin moving out system again. After what the Taylor did at Triton, I doubt they will leave the MkIIb's at Mars a second 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: January 2205

Postby procyon on Sat 06 Aug 2011 04:12

January 2205 part 4

January 16th 2200 hours/Ministry of Defense, Beijing, China

Minister Po sat after addressing the Ministry. His fortunes had swung back and forth several times in the last two years. Once again fate had smiled on him and presented an opportunity. The FSC had defied the Treaty of Pax Terra, and now the Pan Euro and US were to busy quibbling over what to do.
The Pan Euro had positioned one fleet over the site of the infraction, while the other waited on the opposite side of the planet over the Atlantic Ocean. The US had left its ships nearly ten light seconds from the planet. Neither country had moved any of its troops to mobilization sites, although the US conducted daily low orbit fly-overs of FSC territory. The Pan Euro and US appeared willing to sit this one out.
China, and Minister Po, were not so ambivalent. By the end of the month two new Light Power Armor Divisions would be ready on Titan. Two troopships were already stationed to transport the troops, while a third was being finished using ground industry here at Earth. Yesterday, a seventh Missile Frigate had been completed at Venus. While the crew was still unprepared for combat, they could take the place of a much more experienced crew in the defense of the Venus Station. The more capable Frigate would accompany the three troopships.
The target would not be the Queensland facility or construction site. The area was much too heavily guarded and the FSC had troops prepared here at Earth. Officially they were replacements for the soldiers stationed on Triton, but could easily be shifted to the defense of the FSC here on Earth. The Pan Euro and US had also shown a willingness to intervene in affairs here on Earth. Here the danger was too high to risk an invasion of FSC soil and assets.
But the Treaty of Mare Serenetatis gave some leeway in these matters. It allowed for hostilities to be conducted away from Earth under certain circumstances, and technically the FSC had no claim to place outposts in the asteroid belt. The US and Euro had ceded portions of the belt, but China had never signed that. Technically, they were under no obligation to recognize the FSC colony there. And Po doubted the Pan Euro and US would be willing to risk troops or ships for a small chunk of rock in the belt.
To that end Po had presented a proposal to the Ministry that steps be taken to seize the FSC outpost. The two divisions from Titan could be loaded with the other nations of Earth unaware. The transfer of the Missile Frigate from Venus to escort the loaded troopships would also be invisible. The Pan Euro, US, and even the FSC would be unaware of the attack until after it had already happened. The FSC warships would be no match for a Missile Frigate, while the Pan Euro and US would not risk a war with China. They may attempt a blockade, but would not want to risk their ships. Adequate supplies would be landed with the troops from Titan to ensure that the colony could be brought under control without needing resupply.
China would once again have a presence in the belt, would be able to increase the number of resources available to it, and could use any data captured from the FSC outpost to evaluate the possibility of further moves against the FSC.
When the Heavy Cruiser at Venus Station was finished, the rest of the nations of Earth and the aliens could be dealt with
Yes, fortune had provided another opportunity. 'I will not miss this opportunity,' Po thought to himself contentedly.


January 17th 0830 hours/Queen Victoria, Earth orbit

Admiral Brenna Muldoon reviewed the morning briefing’s information. Foremost was the data on the new drive system. It appeared that it would be very versatile, if perhaps not the ideal warship drive. It would be capable of use in a variety of platforms, from ships to ship's boats. Even missiles. The last hurdle was actual production of it. Any attempt to construct the drive at Earth would be observed by the other powers. Until the drive had been fully tested it would need to remain secret. The only way to accomplish this would slow production and testing.
A Mobile Shipyard would be needed to perform the first construction. The only available location that could be used would be Mercury. It was still considered Pan Euro Confederacy space by treaty, but no commercial traffic used the area now. Much like Chinese Venus, it would be a location that could be used for construction without any outside interference. With several locations on the surface that would be nearly invisible from orbit, the Mobile Shipyard would be able to land on the surface and conduct its work without danger of observation. Even the aliens would have to park in orbit for some time to find the Mobile Shipyard.
The largest problem had been the issue of what ships would be detailed to protect the location from prying eyes or alien attack, or if any would be sent at all. Much discussion among military staffers and civilian governors of the Confederacy had argued over what and why of deploying ships to Mercury. It had been decided that the 3rd Battle Group would be transferred from Earth to Mercury. This would leave only the 4th BG and US Task Force 2 to guard Earth, but the large number of ground defense sites would help to cover for the loss. The flagship of the 3rd, the Queen Jane Grey, was still in the early stages of training but Rear Admiral Moreland had proven very capable in prior engagements with the aliens.
The next big issue of the morning had been the situation with the FSC. The new construction and the discovery of a laser array in Australia was still 'front page news.' The US was pushing for an amendment to the Pax Treaty allowing for increased installation of laser arrays on Earth. With the US a leader in laser technology, this was expected. The Pan Euro was resisting the move to amend the Treaty, but only to try and gain concessions from the US and FSC on several other political matters. The fact that the Chinese had yet to issue any statement was the most concerning issue. It had weighed heavily in the arguments against moving the 3rd BG from Earth. For the moment the only military measure that was being taken was the deployment of the 3rd LBG in the belt to a position 7 light seconds from the FSC colony on Hektor. From that range it was nearly invisible but would be able to monitor events at the colony. They would be able to quickly isolate or blockade the colony if the situation on Earth deteriorated.
The last two major issues for the morning were connected to a degree. The first was the inactivity of the shipyard on the Earth Station. The station's facilities had not been used to repair the damage from the alien attack in order to free them for warship construction. Now they were idle. Funding was the issue. Funding that was now being consumed at a voracious rate by research teams. Development of the new drive system, development of the new missile system, and integration of the two programs was proving to be expensive. But they were not the main culprits in this. It was a new development. The new drive had opened the possibility of missiles small enough to be used in the counter-missile role. The standard nuclear drive, with the need for extensive shielding and particle accelerator banks, was to large to mount any substantial number of missiles devoted to the anti-missile role. The new drive would change that. Small missiles capable of intercepting inbounds could now be pursued, and most likely would be small enough to allow a large number to be carried on a ship. They would be very short range and likely lack the ability to damage a full sized warship, but would still be vastly useful if they could intercept both alien and human missiles. This new project had required enough funding to make the construction of warships impossible for the moment.
But with the new research likely to bear fruit in the near future any new ship built would simply be sent in for refits as soon as they had been completed. So a small delay in construction was going to be tolerated for the moment.
...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: January 2205

Postby procyon on Sun 07 Aug 2011 03:10

January 2205 part 5

January 20th 2100 hours/Food Preparation Area, Shelter 17 of New Home 3

Brood Mother 218 worried. Her young were in danger. So many of the machines were coming to the Food Preparation Area now. So were many other young. When the Elders discovered that she had communicated with the aliens, other brood mothers and workers had been commanded to attempt the same thing. Only the brood mothers had shown any ability to reach the strange creatures, and only about half of those that tried were successful. But now many young were so close to the machines, and groups of young were hard to control. If your attention was focused on one of the aliens it was possible for your young to stray. Even brief contact with one of the wandering furnaces could kill a young one.
There were many aliens here now, but Brood Mother 218 had chosen to communicate with only the one she had contacted first. Each alien was so different. There was no connection between any of them that she could feel. She knew they communicated with each other. She could sense it in the one that called itself 'Chen', but there was no connection. Such a hollow form of communication these aliens had. Learning to communicate with another creature would be difficult. Starting over each time.
'No, I will only communicate with my alien, this Chen.'
Brood Mother 218 sensed that her alien had arrived. She felt it through the other brood mothers near him. 'I will wait. This 'Chen' always seemed to wait patiently. He seems to find it difficult to recognize me until I get close to him. Sometime he will learn.'
Brood Mother 218 commanded her young, 'stay in this corner.' When she was sure they would not stray, she began to move slowly toward 'Chen'. 'I have to be very close. The aliens' fields are so weak.'

2103 hour/2700 meters below Sector 52.07 of Triton's surface

Soldier Chen Hyang watched the aliens. They came here to eat if that is what you could call it. They seemed to be a little like both an animal and a plant. The mass of tendrils or tentacles around the base of each 'arm' absorbed the ice and minerals they called food, kind of like roots in the ground - only faster.
Chen stiffened as 'his' alien approached. 'There she is. They all look so much alike. I used to be able to pick her out by the little ones around her. Now there are piles of the little things floating all over. It's like trying to feed chickens at home. Darned things always get underfoot.'
Chen tried to prepare himself. 'I took the painkillers, but she always gives me a headache.' As the alien drew within two meters Chen thought over and over again, 'Hello, hello, hello, hello...' Suddenly the headache started. 'I hope this is worth it. Over twenty times now and all I get are a headache and a sketchy jumble of thoughts or memories that make no sense.'

Brood Mother 218 felt 'her' alien. 'Such a confusing mess, just like the smallest of the young. Emotion, sensation, and meaning all mixed together. No organization and so faint.' As she reached into the mass she could feel pain. 'I hurt Chen when I touch him. I can feel it, but he does not pull away. So brave, or maybe so lonely.'
"You have come again. Why? This hurts you. I can feel it."
Brood Mother 218 strained. 'I can feel so much. None of it makes sense. So much turmoil for one creature.' "You must focus. I can not understand. Please let me help. Will you?"
Brood Mother 218 waited. "All I feel is confusion and pain. Fear. It is worse every time. I must try to help or we will accomplish nothing."

Chen felt his knees buckling. Pain seared through his head. Spread down his spine. Reached out through his body. He felt his heart pounding in his ears. Racing. 'I can't breathe, can't breathe...' The world swam in a hundred colors swirling wildly. All the colors were a voice, but not a voice. Each a meaning. Each a life. Each growing distant. More distant. 'It’s dark. I can't breathe. So tired...'

Brood Mother 218 felt the alien collapse in front of her as the remainder of the brood mothers and young left the room. 'Only my young remain. Only we are in danger.'
"It is quieter now Chen. Yes?" Brood Mother 218 reached into the young male and felt no pain. She felt little of anything. "It is quiet. Why have you come?"

Chen could feel a bright light. It coursed through him. Calm. 'Am I dead?' And the light answered.
"No young one. But your body would not let you be many. You are too much yourself. I suppose you have learned this, always being alone. I did not think this would be so difficult for you. I have realized that to become two will be easier, instead of becoming many."
Chen tried to relax, but couldn't find any stress. Nothing to relax. "Is this how we will talk? Is this how all of you talk?" The light flooded with meaning again.
"No, this is how I shall be with you. Until you can learn to be many. If you can learn to be many. Why are you here?"
Chen tried to organize his thoughts. Panicked. "These aren't all my thoughts. These are yours also ! I'm not you ! You can't control me !" Again the light flowed with meaning, as if washing over and through him.
"Young male. I will never be you. I am mother. You are soldier. Each is one. But together. Why have you come?"
Chen focused. "I can't stop the fear. And I am here to talk to you." Meaning swirled. His thoughts and her thoughts together like pools of water pouring into a glass. Mixing.
"You do not need to stop the fear, but you do not need it. And I am here. What would you know of me?"


January 21st 0330 hours/Andvari Crater, Surface of Triton

Lieutenant Commander Megan Ryan stared at Major General 'Ricky' Billings. 'A month ago my work was done and I was waiting for a transport home. Now it has started all over again. And this guy is definitely not Admiral Walters. Reminds me more of a twentieth century gangster with an Australian accent.'
"So your transmitters had been monitoring the alien communications all along? When had you planned on sharing this with the rest of the command staffs?"
Megan looked at the short, mustached man. Tanned. Face lined from years in the sun. Hard and emotionless as any cyborg she had seen. Always in a suit of Pan Euro surplus Power Armor with half a dozen security personnel around him. 'The most I have ever seen of you is your head.'
"General, we have every intention of sharing the data we gain from the aliens here. It was still in the initial stages of analysis." 'That is quite the little whooper of a lie. For the first time, I am glad I don't have a face for him to read. Playing cards with him would be a nightmare.' Megan thought back on the messages from Earth. That any data gained from the aliens was to be classified and encrypted with special protocols. Safeguards were in place to wipe any portion if an unauthorized attempt to retrieve it occurred. 'Only I and two members of my team have access to that data. We have learned a great deal monitoring their communication. When the aliens didn't realize we were listening, they were less likely to censure their communications you idiot.'
"What data do you have on the new development in communication?"
Megan thought for a moment. "Not much more than what you have. So far the aliens have contacted thirty-seven individuals. None are cyborgs. They seem to prefer, or find it easier, to communicate with unaugmented humans. I believe that the magnetic acceleration compensation systems that allow the cyborgs to endure high gee travel on the ships is interfering with the aliens’ attempts to communicate with them."
"Everyone in contact with the aliens seems to be in contact with a female. One third of those in contact with them are women, while the rest are men. This is roughly the ratio of men to women in our security groups. The magnetic resonance of the aliens appears to interfere with the human body's normal electrical conduction. Pain is the universal symptom of this. Others include muscle spasms, short-term memory loss, unconsciousness, and cardiac arrhythmias. Two individuals have been hospitalized after contact with the aliens. Repeated contact seems to increase the incidence and severity of complications."
General Billings raised his hand. "So repeated communication, without your equipment, is going to kill the people in contact with the aliens?"
"That is not certain General. No one has died from contact with the aliens, but no one has been in contact with them for over a month. The first recorded contact was by a Chen Hyang who is a member of the Chinese security detachment to Sector Fifty Two. He has made contact with an alien female twenty three times. The last time was only a few hours ago. He is currently hospitalized though. His last contact left him unconscious and involved prolonged and repeated bouts of tachycardia. The doctors say he will recover, but will need rest."
'Chen is the odd ball of this.' thought Megan. He is the only one to be in contact with a single alien female. Every other person in contact has dealt with several aliens, is one of several individuals in contact with the same alien, or some combination of the two. He and the female he is communicating with seem to have formed some sort of bond. He also has been in contact with her over five times as often as any other person on this moon. Somehow, he and this female are the keys to what is happening here. They have made every breakthrough. The rest have just repeated what these two have done.'
"Has any additional information been gathered by this direct contact with the aliens?" Megan noted that for once General Billings was showing some signs of interest. And concern.
"None so far General. All of those in contact with the aliens have nothing of interest to report so far. Just a sense of contact and random feelings or experiences. No actual information." Megan watched him. 'He already knows that. What is he after?'
"Lieutenant Commander Ryan, Is there any chance that the aliens would be able to gain access to memories or information that our soldiers have?"
'There it is.' thought Megan. 'He considers this a security risk.' "General, we do not know what access the aliens have. None of those in contact with the aliens believed that they divulged any sensitive data. We have no way to confirm this though."
Megan watched General Billings. His face was nearly blank, but some subtle emotion played across it. His eyes came back up toward Megan.
"Lieutenant Commander. You will continue with this 'communication experiment.' I will be kept informed of all developments. Reports of any progress and events will be turned in to my staff daily. Major Rusty Jamison will be assigned to your staff as my personal liaison. You will include him in all studies and provide him access to all data. You will select ten individuals to continue direct contact with the aliens. They will be assigned to you. You are to ensure they have no access to any classified information. All the other individuals currently attempting to communicate directly with the aliens will be assigned to surface posts. None are to be within ten kilometers of any aliens. Do you have any questions?"
Megan looked at the General. "Sir, I will have to confirm Major Jamison's assignment with my superiors before I can grant him access codes to any of our material. This will likely take at least fifteen to twenty hours, considering the transmission delay and time to process the request." 'That doesn't include the time they will want me to take editing or deleting files. If they even approve it. Your government and mine aren't exactly seeing eye to eye at the moment.'
General Billings stood. "You will speed this along. It will be in all of our best interests. None of us need any incidents... out here so far from 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: January 2205

Postby procyon on Sun 07 Aug 2011 03:11

January 2205 part 6

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

Admiral Bradley Walters looked at the construction crews. The US was beginning to get back on its feet, but it had a long way to go. The Yari was ready for service again, a new defense base station would be in orbit of Mars within the week, and the damaged slip on the Earth station was about half finished with repairs. 'We need to be ready. With only three Interceptors in a Task Force we are already fighting at a disadvantage.'
'And now we have to be twice as good. With the Euro 3rd Battle Group headed to the belt for 'training', the US now fields almost half of the space borne launch bays at Earth instead of just a quarter. If the aliens attack now we will have to depend on the ground defenses of Earth. That means we have to let them get close.' Bradley looked at the blue white ball of the Earth. 'Close enough people down there are going to die.'
Bradley moved back to the lifter docked on the surface of the station. 'Of course, it may get even leaner.' Bradley remembered the orders he had transmitted to Rear Admiral Jack Ryan a few hours ago. 'With the exception of the Pan Euro Red October, Task Force 2 is the fastest group of ships in existence. Hunters. And if the 'Baron' and the 'Squire' show up again, that is what they are going to do. He never seems to leave the inner system. And when he shows up again, we are going to make sure it is the last time.'


January 30th 0415 hours/Patrol Vessel 17, dark side of asteroid belt

The last tests of the rapid cycle mass driver had been more than successful. Most ships had shown the ability to intercept inbound torpedoes in rapid succession, with nearly forty percent of the weapons it had been targeted on destroyed, even during combat maneuvering. Adequate target saturation could be achieved in barely one percent of the recorded launch cycle of the native race. Optimal saturation could be achieved in three percent. It would even be capable of protecting ships that did not mount the system if they were to move in close formation with one that did mount the defensive system. Combined with the new evasive modulation of the drive, the enemy would find its ability to fight severely hampered.
The last of the combat elements that would participate in the upcoming attacks were now moving toward the inner system. Others had already arrived. It was now time to begin the opening phases of the operation. The Commander of Fleets altered the field at his station and issued the orders to the assembled ships.
The time to die would begin again. This time it would be the native race that bled.


January 31st 2030 hours/Johannesburg, South Africa

Chairman Mukata sat in the finely decorated dining hall. It was a large and beautiful establishment. Dozens of patrons were gathered for the evening dinner show. 'At least half of the people here are security.' Mukata thought. 'With even more stationed outside.'
"The US and Euro seem content to sit this situation out. Let it be resolved peacefully. Politically. I don't believe the Chinese will be quite so civilized." Mukata looked at the woman speaking, Board Member Maria Rodan of the Chilean Cartel. She had asked him to meet her here. It was a safe location, nearly fifty kilometers from the construction complex and deep enough underground to resist most attacks. Much of the cartels' business was conducted in places like this. Elegant, but secure.
"I believe you are correct. Their silence is a calculated move, not indifference. They simply have not acted yet. We have also been unable to discern their intentions. The lack of activity here at Earth is concerning." Mukata picked up the bottle of wine and filled both glasses at the table. He was not familiar with the vintage, but was sure that Ms. Rodan would not bring a cheap table wine to such a meeting.
"Do you believe that they will use their fleet to achieve whatever goal it is they are pursuing?" Maria reached out and took the glass, then held it to her nose for a moment before taking a sip.
"The Chinese warships have been absent for some time now. Much longer than this situation. We do not know the whereabouts of the Chinese fleet and the merchant convoys have not given any clear picture of their deployment. If the Chinese do use their fleet there will be little we can do. The Euro and US will not intervene and we do not have the ability to defeat them. But using their fleet would require redeploying them from whatever location they are currently at." Mukata looked at the older woman. Her hair was long and had turned grey many years ago while her skin was tanned and bore the lines her years as a board member had left her. She had survived decades in a post that many only held for years. She had accomplished this by appearing unassuming. Non-threatening. But she was cunning, and dangerous. This meeting had a reason, and it was not just to drink wine and chat about the world.
Three Power Armored soldiers suddenly entered the room and quickly crossed toward the table. Mukata could see that they were members of the security detail that should have remained outside. As they reached the table the soldiers came to attention. The one in the center stepped forward. "Honorable Chairman and Boardmember. I have been directed to bring this to you and then escort you to a more secure facility." The heavily armored man pulled a small vid tablet from his side and placed it on the table. Chairman Mukata reached out and took the tablet.
Mukata keyed in his pass code and text began to fill the screen. As he read the message he spoke to Maria. "Ms Rodan, it would appear that the Chinese are no longer our main concern. The 'Dutchman' has reported contact with a Pan Euro Group near our outpost on Hektor. Missile launches from the Pan Euro ships were detected fifty two minutes ago. Communication with the commander of the Pan Euro ships, a Commodore Vasilikos, would indicate that they fired upon a lone alien bomber moving through the belt. The Mary Reed's ship boat has confirmed the presence of alien wreckage. We have also intercepted a civilian distress call from the Pan Euro outpost on Victoria just minutes ago. An alien bomber has attacked there and the dead number in the tens of thousands." Mukata looked up at Maria. "We will need to continue this conversation elsewhere."
...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: January 2205

Postby procyon on Sun 07 Aug 2011 03:11

January 2205 part 7

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

Once again, this month should probably have been one or two parts longer. A lot is going on 'off-screen' now that will come into play in the next two months. I will do my best to sum it up in the 'tale of the tape' now.


For the Pan Euro

The big events for the month were the successes in research on Ica, a critical success on R SL3 that she used to accelerate the next three months on Rb, and verifying the breakthrough on D. She also pushed her colonization up 50% (to three PTU a month) to the AB while keeping investment in IU up at her prior level (10 per month). The high cost of raising her colonization along with the breakthrough left her with nothing for ship construction. She decided that getting D started was more important than one more month building ships.
She was trying to figure out if she should attempt to come up with the MCs to build another RDS. With only two she was limited in what she could work on. She wanted to get Rb, Da, XOa, and MS. Working on only two projects at a time, this wasn't going to happen very quickly.
She also redeployed the 3rd BG and a mobile shipyard to Mercury to start construction of her first Ica engined ship. It was going to take a while to finish with the SYM's slow build rate, but she definitely did not want it to happen on Earth where everyone would be able to scan it. She knew she could also start making missiles that would only take the normal 1MSP instead of 3, but again opted out to avoid the other players realizing what she had.
The next two months would play havoc with these plans.

For the US

This was just another ok month for the US. He continued his colonization of the belt, and built the last IU he could on Earth until his population grew again. With his growth beginning to slow, he was beginning to worry about his ability to compete with the Euro and Chinese. He was pretty sure an alliance with his sister (FSC) was the only way to help even the odds a little - so he decided to support her violation of the Pax Terra Treaty. He put in a lot of time trying to talk his mom (Euro) and China (younger brother) into it.
He also began to shift his building priorities slightly. He became the first player to build a base stations (a BS0 at Mars), and took surplus armor left over from refits and strengthened the defenses of his PDCs on Earth. With the smallest space fleet of the big three, and limited ability to expand it, he decided that protecting what he had was the safest bet. Cheaper too, since his income growth was slowing down.
He also managed a success on Y SL1. Not Earth shaking, but helped to improve the mood for the month.

For China

It was pretty obvious he was gearing up for a brawl with his sister again. He had a small invasion force just waiting. Three troop transports, about 20Qv, and a FG at Titan. Not enough to do anything at Earth, but enough to contest her holdings in the belt. It could technically violate the Treaty of Mare Serenetatis, but he was hoping it would be over so quickly that there would be nothing for the US and Euro to do. Otherwise he would have likely backed down until he got his CA at Venus completed. With only three of nine months construction done, he didn't want to do anything to risk it. At this point the bare hull was barely three quarters complete. He knew that with his fleet tied down at Venus he had little ability to oppose the Euro or US.
He also continued his colonization of Titan and investment in IU. He knew he had the lead economically, and wanted to not only keep it but to increase it. He was also sure that he had a slight edge in combat ship HS, but wanted to finish the CA to cinch that also.

For the FSC

She took a big gamble and shifted her construction in the FSC from hidden to standard. She knew this would let the other players know what she was doing, but wanted a construction area done in the next few months. Otherwise it was going to take 6 months to build an underground hanger big enough to hold an ES. She wanted to be able to start construction of ships before then.
She also wanted to increase her income to the point that she could afford a few more warships. She was continuing her colonization of the belt (barely 0.5 PTU) and investment in IU (1 per month), but was looking forward to month 30. She hoped that she would finish EL3 by that time, along with her growth. That would give her some more cash to work with.

For the Nemotians

I took a big risk and burned up most of the Nemotian's treasury this month. I saved back enough to support what they had plus continue with a small trickle of new ships, but they were now no more powerful economically than any of the players. In fact they actually trailed the Euro and China in income from February on. This would be their last great push to win.
They had a fair fleet to work with. They had comparable HSs to any of the players and a tech advantage once again. What they didn't have was enough to take on all the players at once, so it wasn't going to be easy. It also wouldn't be fully gathered until the end of Feb, so I had to pace what I was going to attempt. I decided to make that part of my plan. I also decided to try something I was sure the players were definitely not expecting. It put a whole new twist on what occurred.
For the next two months I exploited every advantage and used every dirty trick I could - ruthlessly. There were several accusations of 'cheating' on my part by my wife and kids, but the players always like to pull out that word when things don't go well for them. I didn't cheat, but I made no allowance for ignorance on the players’ part either.

There wasn't any real combat for this month. If you want to roll to see if 3rd LBG can shoot down a single gig go ahead. Same with the 20PU on Victoria Colony trying to shoot down the single gig that bombed them. The 3rd had good luck and got theirs in one pass. Victoria could hit the bomber at all and lost 2PU. That was it for combat. The Euro was the only one to roll dice in combat for the month.


You will have to bear with me for the next few months. They will take some time to type up. Feb has as many turn notes as the largest of the preceding months, and March is the largest of the game by a wide margin. It pushed the players to the edge, and perhaps beyond in a few cases. The big question is whether to cover the whole thing briefly and sum it up in the overview (probably 10 to 12 parts for Feb, 16 to 18 for March if I had to guess), or cover it in great depth and try to cover everything that happened. I don't know how long it will get if I do that. I am sure that Feb alone could push 18 to 20 parts if I cover all of the personalities involved. March I have no way to guess. I will have to add characters just to get through the month as it is. A real and proper telling would probably be over 30 parts if I did it justice. It was 8 real world weeks of teeth grinding, nail biting, plotting, dealing, and desperation for both the players and I.

Any feedback on this would be appreciated, as my wife seems ambivalent. I would like to move on with the story and not spend several months writing up Feb and Mar. Part of me would also really like to tell the stories. Sooo much happened.

And of course either way, I hope you will enjoy it as much as they hated it.
...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: January 2205

Postby Cralis on Sun 07 Aug 2011 19:19

It might take you forever, but I know that I, for one, would love to hear what happened :)
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Re: January 2205

Postby procyon on Sun 07 Aug 2011 21:34

Cralis wrote:It might take you forever, but I know that I, for one, would love to hear what happened :)


That has been the unanimous concensus of all who responded. At the moment it looks like Feb will push 20 part, with March going well over 30.

I will copy over the first part of Feb tonight. Hope you all enjoy it as much as the players and I hated it.
...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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