deWulf Corporate Democracy Turn 140

Fiction by Sylvester Wrzesinski

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deWulf Corporate Democracy Turn 140

Postby Xveers on Thu 26 Dec 2019 03:35

Your Task Will Not Be Easy...


Palace of Eternal Flight
Highspire
Planet Attica
Elysian Sovereignty


"I am worried, Solon."

The Czar of the Elysians looked out over his capital from the private office at the top of Highspire, eyes drinking in the sight of the sun setting in the distance, city lights slowly coming alive to replace the fading sunlight.

"Sire?" Solon stirred from his position looking over a holographic sphere of Elysium. The months of stress had worn away much of the decorum that had once existed between them. There was still a distance; that could never truly be erased. What was once a relationship between god and worshipper had become more of one between a commander and their soldier. An insurmountable barrier of class and rank existed, but it was tempered by a mutual suffering, an understanding that could be not be explained to those who had not experienced what had forged that previously unthinkable bond.

"The pups have been silent."

"Lord, interstellar war takes time. Their economy is not so large as to spring up a replacement battlefleet within days. We know a replacement fleet is massing, but still out of place for a strike. There are some new designs that are part of the fleet, mostly just replacements for lost ships. Some more dreadnoughts, more carriers, fewer lighter escorts. It's slightly stronger than their last strike, but we are much stronger as well. Our defenses we will tear them apart."

Czar Nova Scion shifted some on his feet. "What I mean is that our contacts have gone silent, not that our intelligence has heard nothing. The raiders we funded have stopped reporting to us. Our spies in the corporations have been purged. Others have simply cut of contact and disappeared into the night. The few that remain council us 'not yet'. And this does not concern you?"

The room seemed to drop a few degrees in just those short moments as his concerns were laid bare.

Were it someone else, they would have been cowed by the tone of the Czar's words. Solon had spent months as the direct instrument of His will, and it would take more than veiled concerns to make him shrink back.

Solon brought up a fresh overlay on the sphere, highlighting interwoven rings of defenses. "Your admirals have studied how the deWulf have assaulted planets, ours included. We have layers of defensive fire, enough that even their own drone bombardment cannot saturate. Our already formidable missile batteries are being augmented, though slower than planned. Combined with the expanded gunboat bases, we can all but guarantee local space superiority. With our newly rebuilt orbital yards, we can start building new capital ships and get ready to go on the offensive."

"Ah yes, 'the offensive'. That thing our admirals have been promising since... oh yes. Since we were driven back into our home system."

"Fundamentally we have the advantage there, my Lord." Solon took in a deep breath as he continued. "Thanks to our efforts, we have identified no fewer than three separate routes into deWulf space in addition to the path through their colony. Once we have a strike force worked up, we can send out multiple reconnaissance ships and strike wherever they are weakest. They don't have the fleet power to picket all the approaches in force and still have a strike force that can even approach what they think they'll need to hit Elysium."

"And their drone bombardment?"

"Our admirals are puzzled that they haven't used that tactic against us, but the reason is, we feel, perfectly clear. With our gunboats, we can threaten anything in our immediate vicinity. And the only time the deWulf used that tactic was against a planet that couldn't project any firepower beyond their PDCs. Freighters are remarkably fragile, and based on our calculations it would take them almost a week to deploy the same amount of drones. And that still doesn't address the raw challenges in managing that many drones in a combat situation." Solon relaxed at that. Drone bombardment was a significant threat, but their gunboats combined with the thick PD belt could shrug off anything the deWulf could throw. The math just didn't lie. "If they are fools to try that, then it would be a total waste of resources and entirely to our advantage."

"Regardless of how well protected you feel we are Solon, I want our intelligence network rebuilt in the pups empire. When children are quiet, it means bigger problems are coming." Czar Scion turned almost imperceptibly, still looking out the window at some distant detail. "We may only be seeing what they wish us to..."

"Sire?"

"You have work to do, Solon. And it cannot be done with you standing here."

"Of course my Lord."

With a silent bow and the soft flutter of his wings, Solon bowed deeply before turning and heading out of the private office to set further wheels in motion.

The Czar continued to look out at the constellation of lights that was His capital city, the last rays of the setting sun melting into darkness. As his eyes watched the glow at that distant horizon melt into nothing he could not help but feel that here was the apotheosis of his rule. All that remained was the ending he intended to write.

And he would write it.
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Re: deWulf Corporate Democracy Turn 140

Postby Xveers on Wed 08 Jan 2020 02:32

*Catchy news jingle plays*
From the very depths of space to the lowest streets of Fenris, deWulf State News brings the facts of the galaxy to your desk!
*DSN News!*

Good Evening, I'm Grant Eisen, filling in for Janeth Devries.

The Krak University States continue to grapple with a total funding freeze after revelations two months ago that the Department of ExoClimatology was conducting unauthorized experiments on habitable biomes. When the department was suspended following the revelation of this news thanks to our associate network at KUNN, protests erupted within days across multiple campuses planet-wide. The protesters, citing the traditional freedom of Departmental Research, have stated that this interference with internal research projects is a violation of the State Charter and quote "the first step towards the demolition of freedom of thought and science" unquote.

Protests have since morphed into a general accusation of financial impropriety, nepotism, and corruption in the ruling Collegal Forums, and have resulted in near society-wide shutdowns as local directors and leaders struggle to manage the situation. Already, several peripheral colonies such as Arcadia Decima and the Lambda Belt have begun to distance themselves from the managing Principals in an effort to stem the tide of unrest. Fortunately, basic civic support organizations have committed to remain at their posts for the duration of this crisis, and the Department of Public Facilities and Department of External Logistics have both declared their neutrality in the face of rising uncertainty. At present trade continues to flow in and out of the University States, but how long this situation remains is anyone's guess.

In related news, Expediator stock has increased by 2% over the past month. In a press release earlier this week they cited steady growth in their Secure Shipping Service, driven by continuing instability...
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Re: deWulf Corporate Democracy Turn 140

Postby Xveers on Sun 02 Feb 2020 21:26

Slush Pile...

Main Cafeteria
New Concepts Division
Research Co-Ordination
Fenris, deWulf Corporate Democracy


"So, there I was going through the slush pile..."

"You pulled that rotation again? Is Karbov out to get you, or did you steal his favorite chair a second time?"

"I only did that once. Jokes lose their impact the second time around. And if I tried to go for the repeat effect, I'd definitely be getting a visit from HR."

"But you're still on slush pile duty."

"I may have reset his audio settings to play DataKrieg Live and Uncut first thing in the morning."

"You do realize that HR's going to be visiting sooner or later."

"Yeah."

"So what new gem did you find in the slush pile this time?"

"That's the thing... this actually might be a good idea. It's kind of a stupid one... but stupid like a Wäalender kind of stupid."

"Okay, give me the lift pitch on it"

"Alright, we've been having difficulty attacking heavily defended planets, right?"

"Yeah. News at dinner. Everyone and their poto know this."

"Our solution's been to strap torpedoes onto drones, and use them as disposable MIRVs. Great fire density, but it's the Breaker's own billing to sustain. Setting money on fire is actually less efficient, right?"

He nodded in agreement.

"Okay, so what if we instead fit a complete launcher on the drone, have it fly just out of the planet's extended defense range, and then have it open fire for a few minutes, and then drive right back out of the engagement envelope?"

"Well, that's a great idea, except for three problems. One, we can't fit a torpedo launcher onto a drone. Too much launcher for too little drone. Two, drone sensor systems are comically short sighted. Three, the drone won't have enough endurance to make that whole attack without fitting an ER pack, which smacks right into problem one."

"Exactly what I was thinking when I was reading the slush pile. But I think he might have got those issues beat. Second problem first. He proposes using that drone datalink technology we developed a year or so back. One command drone with targeting sensors and the command unit. That'll give it enough targeting ability to engage outside of the planet's defense envelope. And we have a solution for the first problem out at Y-12."

"The test yards? What's there that we could use?"

"Feather of Duty."

He paused a moment. Feather of Duty was an Elysian battlecruiser that had been stolen and brought back to the deWulf Navy for research and testing. While broadly similar, many of its systems were more advanced than the deWulf could manufacture. Some were different in subtle ways, while others were different to be almost, well, alien. But not impossible to understand. In the end, all technology obeyed the same laws of physics.

He continued. "Feather of Duty was equipped with two different missile batteries. The larger, 'capital' missiles are too large, but the smaller batteries are just small enough to fit onto a drone. A single drone equipped with a missile battery, even a more primitive version, will be able to do more damage than one of our bombardment drones. And what's even better, we can recover the drones, repair them, and use them again. Not in the same day, but multiple times per month."

"That. That is insane. I mean, kissing the drive torus mad. And brilliant. We'd have to do some crash research to be able to build the missile launchers, but they could just be a more primitive version, yes?"

"MUCH more primitive."

"Send the letter."

----------------------------------------------------------

To:
deWulf Central Command
Research Co-Ordination Main Office
PackMaster Brand, Chief of Research

From:
Research Co-Ordination
New Concepts Division
Ken Lahm, Researcher


Packmaster Brand,

I generally don't bother you with random ideas from the slush pile, but I feel that we've gotten one that may actually be worth looking at...
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Re: deWulf Corporate Democracy Turn 140

Postby Xveers on Sat 22 Feb 2020 02:55

Munitions Assembly Plant
Mittelspannung Shipyards
Fenris Orbit
deWulf Corporate Democracy

An army marched on its stomach. A navy sailed on fuel. Both fought with ammunition. All three were old truisms that predated spaceflight. Ever since word of the Elysian attack had reached Fenris, the munitions plant that was a part of the Mittelmach shipyards had been in constant operation. Three shifts, every day; two for production, and a third for maintenance and repair. Hundreds of torpedoes had gone out onto the warehouses next to the plant and then onward to the fleet. Even between battles the demand was insatiable. Training was best done with war-shots, and whole production runs were launched into the nearest star, or some unfortunate moonlet as the crews honed their skills.

The assembly plant had only one production line at first, building the standard “RM4-Rhine” for the fleet. But like every war, advances in technology were coming. A second production line was added to produce the upgraded “RM5-Elbe”, soon to see service on the next generation of ships, already in use on the automated drones that the deWulf were using. The late breakthrough in building an even bigger torpedo system, the “RS1-Danube”, demanded a third line almost the size of the first two put together. It was a weapon without a launcher. But there was no doubt that too would be coming, and the production line was kept ready for that moment.

The addition of ECM systems across both torpedo systems required an extension to all three lines, packing the finishing bays to the limit with additional electronics and assembly stations.

Originally built to just hold the single assembly line, the expansions added new station modules and docking points in an almost cancerous manner to the initial plant. The assembly lines expanded out from the side of the shipyard like some tumor, covered in container docking ports and bulging, misshapen walls barely enough to contain what was within. But that still wasn’t enough, and below the main assembly lines a whole duplicate set was being constructed to provide even more redundancy, even more capacity.

Noises were being made to build a whole new munitions plant on the far side of the yards; more efficient layouts, extra space for future unknown enhancements and multiple production lines in parallel. That would then free up space to expand the drone workshops into their own production facility to meet the rapacious needs of a navy awakening to the true power of automated combat.

But that work would take months to plan, years to build. And another old truism had not been forgotten or neglected. Tomorrow is insufficient; today is acceptable; yesterday is preferred. The fleet needed the munitions now. And tomorrow. And every day after that until the fleet would be sent back to its docking slips and mothball orbits to await its next summons to war.
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