Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Topics - IanD

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 5
1
Forum Issues / Posting Quotes in Replies
« on: June 29, 2016, 12:00:47 PM »
I tried using Microsoft Edge to view forum (fine) and then to reply to a post but found I could not insert quotes from a previous post into my reply. Tried  on all 3 of my lap tops with same result. Works fine in Internet Explorer.

Ian

2
The Academy / NPR Ship Classes
« on: December 23, 2015, 02:31:18 AM »
When setting up my new game I couldn't help noticing that the NPRs generate more ship classes that they use. NPRs in my last game seemed loath to use any tech they did not start out with. So what happens if I delete the classes not used?

Do they:-

A) Only build the classes they have remaining in the F5 tab?

B) Build new classes of ships using the latest technology?

C) Build new classes but still using old (game start) tech?

D) None of the above.

Obviously I am hoping for B but can anyone enlighten me?

Regards
Ian

3
The Academy / PDC targeting planets?
« on: December 11, 2015, 08:55:00 AM »
In my new game I thought I would get my survey operations off to a flying start by launching geo-survey missiles from a PDC. but I don't seem to be able to do this! There does not seem to be a Launch at command available for PDCs. Or have I made a blunder?
Ian

PDC
Code: [Select]
Ascension Downlink class Planetary Defence Centre 14700 tons     533 Crew     1951.5 BP      TCS 294  TH 0  EM 0
Armour 9-53     Shields 0-0     Sensors 30/36/0/0     Damage Control 1     PPV 110
Annual Failure Rate: 0%    IFR: 0%    Maintenance Capacity 0 MSP
Magazine 560   Spare Berths 6   

Perry-Hilton PDC ML 11 LR165 PDC Size 11 Missile Launcher (10)    Missile Size 11    Rate of Fire 165
Type FC164/20 Designator  (1)     Range 164.2m km    Resolution 20
Skylark Geo S11 (51)  Speed: 4 500 km/s   End: 14.7d    Range: 5704.6m km   WH: 0    Size: 11    TH: 15 / 9 / 4

Type TH6-30 Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 30     Detect Signature 1000: 30m km
Type 160/20 Sensor (1)     GPS 12000     Range 161.0m km     Resolution 20
Type 3/01 Sensor (1)     GPS 60     Range 3.6m km     Resolution 1
Type EM6-36 Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 36     Detect Strength 1000: 36m km

Missile to hit chances are vs targets moving at 3000 km/s, 5000 km/s and 10,000 km/s

This ship is classed as a Planetary Defence Centre

4
Albion / Albion! Background and Setup
« on: December 09, 2015, 04:08:39 AM »
Albion!

2017.
UK announced its withdrawal from the EU after the referendum..

2018.
Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force merged to become the Royal Armed Services. Command ranks for Naval and Air Force officers now became;
Lieutenant
Lieutenant Commander
Commander
Captain
Commodore
Vice Marshal
Marshal
1st Lord Defence Staff (Commander in Chief for all defence forces).

The Army became an adjunct of the new joint service effectively absorbed by Royal Marines command structure, only avoiding merging of ranks because of “historical reasons”, e.g. ability to perform Trooping the Colour and other ceremonial occasions, and it would be bad for morale (and it gave the others someone to look down on).
All officers of admiral rank objected at the loss of this historic rank and institution (The Admiralty). All resigned en masse. Government ignored protest and accepted the resignations and pocketed the savings.

2018.
Greece finally gave up on the Eurozone.
Serious conflict in Middle East once more, floods of refugees entered Europe. The UK, now without the help of the EU found that all who wanted to go to UK were facilitated by rest of Europe, half a million in first eighteen months alone.

2019.
CERN detected new particles, one of which was identified as a graviton particle/wave. UK returned to recession. Eurozone was still struggling to avoid deflation after the Greek exit. Portugal , Spain, Ireland and Italy now regarded as struggling to remain in Eurozone.

2020.
May.
Scientists in USA made the first portable quantum effect entangled photon communications device (the photon phone) which allowed instant communications over any conceivable distance. (But only binary, Morse code made a comeback!)

June.
Professor Stephen Hawking postulated that artificial graviton beams could be used to create an artificial wormhole in the fabric of space connecting distant intra-galactic points with a theoretical lifetime of minutes.

September.
The UK Gas & Oil Co. (UKGAOC) drilled into the reservoir under the Weald Basin in the Home Counties and announced they were to create the deepest wells ever contemplated to release the full potential of the field.

2021.
April.
UKGAOC recovered extraordinary core samples from their exploratory deep wells.

October.
Eurozone disintegrated back into nation states as Euro collapsed. Loose northern European trading block (Northern European Trading Community - NETC) formed from wreckage, but much looser than old EU. However NATO still retained cohesion.
Russia continued efforts to enlarge its sphere of influence and completed conquest of Ukraine after a nearly a decade of fighting. The new cold war entered deep freeze.

2023.
UKGAOC endowed a new Chair of Geology and funded a new Institute of Geology at University of Cambridge with a major endowment of many tens of millions of pounds.
Isabella Naylor, Conservative, (Factory Prod 15%, Mining 15%, Wealth 15%, Population Growth 10%,) succeeded Mr B Johnston as Prime Minister of UK after Mr Johnston was killed in a publicity stunt which went horribly wrong. A police investigation was conducted into possible tampering with equipment, but found nothing suspicious. Ms Naylor pledged to make Britain great again, but the Conserative Party was still suffering from the Brexit and began to fragment.


UK Conventional Start.
Population: 70 million
150 Conventional Industry
2 Research Labs (based on 2.3 Million employed in Universities etc)
5 Maintenance Facilities
1 DSTS
1 Military Academy
1 Shipyard with 1 slipway of 1000 tons.
1 Ground Force Training Facility.
Defence Forces: 1 Low Tech Infantry Division.
2,500 tons of each TN mineral.


2025.
January.
UK space facilities began their construction on Ascension Island as UK rejoined the space race. As an adjunct to this an orbital station for the purpose of building substantial deep space craft began construction.

June.
Isabella Naylor Conservative,  (Factory Prod 10%, Mining 15%, Wealth 15%) was defeated by Mr Oliver Skinner LibLab,  (Factory Prod 20%, Wealth 10%) Prime Minister Skinner announced his intention to expand UK armed forces in light of European and Russian arms build up. UK started transition to a true federal government made up of the four national parliaments with an overarching federal government on top. House of Lords was reformed to scrutinise bills from all national parliaments. The Upper House was now made up of one third political appointees with the rest being the bishops (to try and provide a moral compass for immoral politicians) and those appointed for a 5 year term by a non-governmental body including a handful elected by lottery.

2026.
May.
UKGAOC revealed the deep wells it had drilled in the Weald Basin had only produced a small amount of oil. However it maintained it had some very lucrative contracts to employ its deep drilling techniques in other countries, principally in the USA and would continue to endow the Cambridge faculty. In an almost unprecedented move the UK government bought a 51 percent controlling stake in UKGAOC “so as not to lose the lead in this revolutionary technology to another country.” The bill was rushed through the Federal Parliament with astounding alacrity.

July.
The launch facility was completed on Ascension Island in advance of the UK returning fully to space exploration. The first project would be to perform a geological survey of the major bodies of the Solar System. This project was expected to launch their first vehicle in the mid 2030s. As an adjunct to this the orbital station commenced expansion for the purpose of building substantial deep space craft. The station acquired the name Ascension Up before an official name could be applied, and it stuck.

Code: [Select]
Ascension Down class Launch Complex 12650 tons     607 Crew     1084.4 BP      TCS 253  TH 0  EM 0
Armour 5-48     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control 1     PPV 200
Annual Failure Rate: 0%    IFR: 0%    Maintenance Capacity 0 MSP
Magazine 200   Spare Berths 9   

PDC Size 20 Missile Launcher (10)    Missile Size 20    Rate of Fire 300
ICBM Launch Control (1)     Range 50k km    Resolution 50

This ship is classed as a Planetary Defence Centre

2030.
June.
In the UK Dr Louis Byran lead a research team in the University of Cambridge at the new Institute of Geology which completed the research into the revolutionary Trans-Newtonian technology and the strange new elements recovered from the UKGAOC deep cores.

Mr Oliver Skinner (Factory Prod 20%, Wealth 15%, Mining 10%,) was re-elected as Prime Minister of UK defeating his Conservative opponent Douglas Smith (Factory Prod 10%, Mining 5%,  Population Growth 5%, Logistics 15%). Mr Skinner was now viewed as a safe pair of hands, especially after the virtual disintegration of the Conservative party resulting from the disaster of the Brexit.

August.
UK conversion of industry to TN commenced with the first two conventional industrial facilities converted (to a construction facility and a mine).

September.
The country woke up to a shock. Prime Minister Oliver Skinner had been killed when the helicopter he was in taking him to Chequers came down in open countryside after apparently flying into power lines in thick fog. An immediate inquiry was launched. Deputy Prime Minister Adam Douglas (Factory Prod 25%, Wealth 5%, Mining 15%, Population Growth 10%, Terraforming 20%) took over the reins of power.

November.
UK and USA announced a new collaborative project in Earth Sciences. UK gained major support and investment from US which triggered an economic boom in UK. UKGAOC entered the FTSE top 100. Analysts were unable to fully fathom fully the source of the company’s income or why UKGAOC was so cash rich (Weald Basin oil field would not appear to yield anything like enough oil to account for it).
The Cambridge Institute of Geology was very difficult to get appointed to. Only UK and US nationals appeared to be able to get any sort of appointment, which included the cleaners! Rumours circulated of MI6 taking a distinct interest in those who were appointed. Security at the Institute appeared very tight for an institution researching Earth Sciences. Critics also questioned why a new institution was required when Cambridge already had an Institute of Earth Sciences.  The official answer was that the new institute was investigating commercially sensitive and valuable applications. An alleged Cambridge spy ring was broken up after it attempted to gain access to the Institute. Several defendants were sentenced by special criminal courts. Human rights activists protested that this violated habeas corpus. More arrests followed. Protests were crushed as more secret courts sentenced offenders. The general population basking in the UK's new found prosperity largely ignored the protests. Immigration increased to an all time high as Anglo-Indians were expelled from India for not embracing the Hindu faith.


The USA, with data provided by the UK under the new research sharing treaty for all new projects, started its own Trans-Newtonian research project.

USA Conventional Start.
Population: 319 million
479 Conventional Industries
3 Research Labs
5 Maintenance Facilities
1 DSTS
1 Military Academy
1 Shipyard with 1 slipway of 1000 tons.
1 Ground Force Training Facility.
Defence Forces: 6 Low tech infantry divisions, 3 low tech armoured divisions.
2,500 tons of each TN mineral.

The USA possessed thirteen missile bases



Code: [Select]
Missile Complex class ICBM Launch Base    14 350 tons     207 Crew     447.6 BP      TCS 287  TH 0  EM 0
Armour 5-52     Sensors 1/0     Damage Control Rating 0     PPV 240
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Spare Berths 0   
Magazine 240   

ICBM Silo (10)    Missile Size 24    Rate of Fire 43200
ICBM Launch Control (1)     Range 50k km    Resolution 50
Conventional ICBM (10)  Speed: 10 km/s   End: 16.7m    Range: 0.1m km   WH: 6    Size: 24    TH: 0/0/0

Missile to hit chances are vs targets moving at 3000 km/s, 5000 km/s and 10,000 km/s

This design is classed as a Planetary Defence Centre and can be pre-fabricated in 6 sections.

2031.
February.
UK observers were taken by surprise when three new deep mines were opened in other parts of the country, where no deep oil was thought to exist.

2032.
September.
Duranium armour was developed by a research group lead by Dr Morgan Butcher under a veil of strict secrecy. This technology was shared with 0USA. The new armour was applied to US & UK military vehicles, alleged merely to be an improvement of Chobham armour.

November.
Robert Byrne ((Factory Prod 5%, Mining 25%, Terraforming 10%, Shipbuilding 15%, GU Construction speed 10%) was elected President of the USA.

2033. 
March.
Dr Joseph Taylor led a small team which completed the development of a remote orbital geological sensor and entangled photon quantum encryption system to enable the secure transmission of the telemetry data. This knowledge was not shared with the USA as it was argued the project was begun before the research treaty came into effect.

August.
A palace spokesman announced the death of Queen Elizabeth II, aged 106.  Queen Elizabeth was laid to rest with a full state funeral; one notable attendee was President Byrne. Charles III ascended the throne aged 84. King Charles agitated for a more formal role in Government as the people’s representative and encouraged the disenfranchised to communicate their worries and concerns which he promised to take to the Government. He began a campaign to make complimentary medicine part of National Health Service.

2034
November.
Ascension Up completed its first 11,000 ton capacity fabrication bay.

December.
Professor Antony Kirk successfully completed his research project into Trans-Newtonian technology. The US was far faster in reaching this goal than the UK as they had the assistance of UK scientists and greater resources.

2035.
June.
Adam Douglas (Factory Prod 25%, Wealth 5%, Mining 15%, Population Growth 10%, Terraforming 20%) once again out performed his Conservative opponent, one John Morgan (Factory Prod 25%, Diplomacy 15%, Mining 10%, Political Reliability 25%, Logistics 15%) to be re-elected as Federal Prime Minister of UK. The result was not much different to previous years. The dominancy of the Liblab party was evident for all to see. Many said the Federal UK had moved from a two party system to a one party system, at least until the opposition could get its act together. .
King Charles refused royal assent for Government’s “Snoopers Charter bill”. A constitutional crisis ensued. This was only resolved after a referendum enlarging the monarch’s role in Government. The King would now chair the Council of the UK Federal Prime Ministers and became an advocate for the disenfranchised. The King’s role was purely advisory and he had to attempt to sway the opinion of the committee by force of argument; however he did have the casting vote in the event of a tie. This was a historical watershed in that the King was no longer just a figurehead but could indulge in political debate abet within a very restricted arena.
The investiture of Prince William as the new Prince of Wales took place at Carnarvon Castle.
UK announced a new Space Service arm within its Joint Armed Services.


2036.
January.
The UK now had fifty deep core mines dotted around its territory. The veil of secrecy was wearing thin. The current explanation was they were for the recovery of rare earth minerals used in electronics to avoid their purchase from China. In fact they did recover some rare earth ores but that was not the prize the UK sought.
The campaign to make complimentary medicine available on the NHS faded away as a deluge of papers showed virtually all successes claimed for complimentary medicine were due to the placebo effect.
Prince George commenced a new role in the UK Royal Armed Services, Space Arm, as an orbital shuttle pilot. In recognition of royal patronage the Space Arm was re-titled the Royal Space Force. This was a rather grandiose title for a small collection of ground to orbit shuttles.


November.
Robert Byrne ((Factory Prod 5%, Mining 25%, Terraforming 10%, Shipbuilding 15%, GU Construction speed 10%) was re-elected President of the USA for a second term.

December.
A research team lead by Professor Joseph Taylor completed work on miniaturising a pressurised water reactor for use in a remote sensing satellite. This technology was shared with the US.

2037.
July.
UK completed conversion of industry to TN technology which yielded 100 construction facilities and 50 Mines. In addition 7 Ordnance factories and a fuel refinery had been built from scratch.

August.
The inquiry into the helicopter crash which killed Prime Minister Skinner finally reported, It declared the cause of the disaster was pilot error.

November.
A team lea by Dr Daniel Lawson completed the development of the remote geo-sensing satellite. This would form the payload of Professor Lawson’s Skylark rocket.

Code: [Select]
Missile Size: 7.5 MSP  (0.375 HS)     Warhead: 0    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 10
Speed: 0 km/s    Engine Endurance: 0 minutes   Range: 0.0m km
Geo Sensor Strength: 0.0735    Maximum points: 0
Cost Per Missile: 1.8823
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 0%   3k km/s 0%   5k km/s 0%   10k km/s 0%
Materials Required:    0.0441x Boronide   1.8382x Uridium   Fuel x0

Development Cost for Project: 188RP

2038.
February.
Professor Kirk completed an efficiency study which improved construction rates by 10%. This knowledge was passed onto the UK.

May.
Professor Daniel Lawson’s group finalised the development of the remote geo sensing rocket, the Skylark Mapping Probe. The vehicle was put into immediate production.

Code: [Select]
Missile Size: 20 MSP  (1 HS)     Warhead: 0    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 10
Speed: 200 km/s    Engine Endurance: 1 104.8 hours   Range: 795.5m km
Cost Per Missile: 1.9323
Second Stage: Geo-Satellite Mk I x1
Second Stage Separation Range: 0 km
Overall Endurance: 46 days   Overall Range: 795.5m km
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 2%   3k km/s 0%   5k km/s 0.4%   10k km/s 0.2%
Materials Required:    0.0441x Boronide   1.8382x Uridium   0.05x Gallicite   Fuel x6250

Development Cost for Project: 193RP

25th September.
The launch facility lay to the north-east of Ascension Island, a collection of launch barges, platforms and reclaimed land. Ten Skylark Mapping Probe rockets stood at their gantries. This was the most ambitious program yet. Once clear of the atmosphere the vehicles would be propelled by their drives at the unprecedented velocity of 720,000 kph! This would enable them to take a least time trajectory. Their targets were the inner and outer planets up to 795.5 million kilometres distant where their payload would use the latest in geological survey instruments to survey the targets.  There were those in the establishment who thought the whole process was a waste of money as the Royal Space Force was merely a collection of sub-orbital shuttles which could never exploit the results. However it was an occasion for a grand ceremonial launch which the British do so well and provided an opportunity for the deployment of the Princess Royal, Princess Charlotte and a demonstration to the fickle public she was worth the cost of her designer outfits.

It was a clear moonlit night, the royal party, with an excited Professor Lawson looked out from what was originally the flying control bridge of HMS Prince of Wales, a rust streaked survivor of Great Britain’s last attempt to maintain herself in the front rank of the world’s military's, now anchored as a command and control facility for Ascension Down. A Royal Marine band played on the desolate flight deck whose only other occupants were the helicopters the VIPs had arrived in and a handful of seagulls. Commodore Holmes CiC of the RSF and host for this event was more restrained than most of the guests as he tried to think of ways he could translate the publicity of this spectacle into space craft for the RSF.

At the appointed second Princess Charlotte pressed the big red button. For half a minute nothing happened as the real launch controllers activated the rockets, one after another. Suddenly smoke and flames began to billow from the base of each missile as the boosters built their thrust. Then at five second intervals the ten rockets leapt skywards on pillars of chemical fire, bright torches disappearing into the night sky. After the spectacle the royal party debouched to the wardroom for a late supper where everyone was congratulated and toasted on the splendid success of the enterprise.
 
Two months later, appropriately on the 5th November, the performance was repeated but with the publicity at a much lower key, the launch command being given this time by the wife of the Defence minister. A month later another ten rockets leapt skywards. These initial launches completed the survey of the inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars and its moons and Jupiter and its constellation of moons as well as the comets Wild and Halley which were both within the orbit of Jupiter during the launch window. To reach further a longer range rocket would be required, but a shortage of research facilities would delay this by many years, if it happened at all. In addition if a larger rocket was necessary Ascension Down would need to be refurbished, which in the current financial climate was a non-starter.

   
November.
Ascension Up finished construction of its second fabrication bay

December.
As the first telemetry data began to trickle in from the Geo-Satellites orbiting the moons of Jupiter they revealed that significant quantities of TN minerals were present on other bodies in the Solar System. However, it was not unmitigated successes as several probes failed to establish a stable orbit and were lost (particularly the ones targeted at comets). The probes targeted at the larger planets would take many months to complete their survey. In light of the survey results so far the data pertaining to TN minerals was kept under the strictest security.

2039.
March. 
The US had now converted over two hundred facilities to TN technology, compared to the UK total of one hundred and seventy. The US still had over 250 conventional industrial facilities still to convert.

May.
Telemetry data from Mars finally arrived that revealed over ten million tons of accessible Galicite, six million tons of Corundium and five million tons of Neutronium. In view of the data recovered the RSF was allocated funding to begin planning for a follow up confirmatory manned mission and started the design process for a manned survey vehicle. Since Ascension Up had just finished adding its third fabrication bay to its nascent shipyard it immediately began tooling up to build three Surveyor class survey craft. These vessels were to be named after early cartographers and map engravers, HMS Speed, HMS Kip and HMS Morden (HMS in this case stood for His/Her Majesties Spaceship).

Code: [Select]
Surveyor class Geological Survey Vessel    3 000 tons     65 Crew     193.5 BP      TCS 60  TH 9  EM 0
150 km/s     Armour 1-18     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/1     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
Maint Life 2.43 Years     MSP 40    AFR 72%    IFR 1%    1YR 9    5YR 140    Max Repair 100 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Spare Berths 0   

3 EP Conventional Engine (3)    Power 3    Fuel Use 85%    Signature 3    Exp 10%
Fuel Capacity 50 000 Litres    Range 3.5 billion km   (272 days at full power)

Geological Survey Sensors (1)   1 Survey Points Per Hour

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

5th August.
The US launched the first real spaceship, however, it was only designed to allow the US to mount the first manned mission to Mars. It was not designed to do anything else.

Code: [Select]
Essex class Exploration Ship    7 300 tons     190 Crew     238.5 BP      TCS 146  TH 16  EM 0
109 km/s     Armour 1-33     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
Maint Life 1.01 Years     MSP 20    AFR 426%    IFR 5.9%    1YR 20    5YR 295    Max Repair 5 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    Spare Berths 0   
Passengers 250   

GE 4 EP Conventional Engine (4)    Power 4    Fuel Use 80%    Signature 4    Exp 10%
Fuel Capacity 50 000 Litres    Range 1.5 billion km   (162 days at full power)

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

September.
The penultimate geo-satellite still transmitting detected nearly nine million tons of very accessible duranium on Venus along with several other minerals, most notably corbomite (over three million tons at 0.8 accessibility). The only satellite left to complete its survey was one targeted at Eros, one of Jupiter’s moons.

17th September.
Lieutenant Commander Jay Boyle became the first man on Mars, an event watched by most of planet Earth. The trip took so long because the Earth and Mars were in opposition, but the decision to launch was taken as the UK survey craft were nearing completion.

December.
The survey vessels HMS Speed, HMS Kip and HMS Morden left their orbital fabrication bays on Ascension Up to begin their shakedown cruises. After that the vessels would embark on a survey of the asteroid belt. Lacking remote orbital geo-sensors rival powers did not understand what was so interesting in space rocks.

22nd December.
The USS Essex Successfully returned to Earth After three months on the Red Planet, the crew were fêted as all American heroes. 

2040.
January.
Professor Harry Russell completed his work on Infra-red lasers. This knowledge was transferred to the UK.

February.
Professor Ewan Henry completed research which improved missile launcher reload rates. This was a little reluctantly eventually transferred to the UK after much wrangling about national security.
US scientists announced they believed it was possible to actually build a Hawking wormhole drive which should be capable of generating holes in the space-time continuum and enable travel to other star systems in the blink of an eye. However the USA did not have a propulsion specialist to lead the project so it fell to the veteran researcher Professor Anthony Kirk who took on the project.


May.
The last Geo-Satellite reported in from the Jovian system locating TN minerals on Eros. This completed the remote survey program of the inner Solar System (which had been superseded by the manned program).
The UK finally passed on information concerning the details of its geological sensor technology.  However the US could not the technology immediately as Canaveral Station was in the middle of adding a second construction bay which would not be completed before the middle of 2042.

June.
The re-election of Federal Prime Minister Douglas was a formality. None of his political opponents could challenge his success in leading the revitalisation of the UK in almost every sphere. The UK had ushered in a new industrial revolution. Adam Douglas (Factory Prod 40%, Wealth 5%, Mining 15%, Population Growth 10%, Terraforming 20%, Shipbuilding 5%) once again out performed his Conservative opponent Ms Sophie Kirk (Factory Prod 25%, Diplomacy 30%, Mining 10%, Political Reliability 25%, Logistics 15%) to be re-elected as Federal Prime Minister of UK.

August.
Defence chiefs were now very concerned there would be insufficient maintenance facilities available when the survey craft required servicing and maintenance.

November.
Taylor Chadwick replaced the outgoing President Byrne on completion of his second term.

2041.
January.
Captain Archie Short leader of the geological Mars survey had to be returned to Earth in a medical emergency before the planned return of the survey team and completion of the survey. Fortunately HMS Kip was on hand to facilitate his and his team’s retrieval.

April.
One of the three main engines on HMS Speed failed, but was repaired with onboard maintenance supplies. There were still insufficient maintenance facilities to overhaul the Surveyor class vessels until next month.

May.
The Elise Harding geology team arrived at Venus. This was probably the most dangerous prospecting expedition ever mounted. During their stay the survey team would stay in an aerial habitat hovering below the edge of the atmosphere to gain protection from solar radiation and above the clouds of sulphuric acid that would damage even duranium after prolonged exposure. All field work would have to be performed by remotely piloted drones. This was the sternest test yet of TN materials.

There was unrest on Russia – Polish border as Russian sympathisers wanted out of NATO and a closer association with Moscow.

July.
Tragedy struck on Venus as a member of the UK survey team was killed. Lieutenant Commander Bailey Tomlinson was carrying out repairs on the outside of their atmospheric habitat when he slipped; unfortunately his safety line had been weakened due to previous exposure to the toxic and corrosive atmosphere and broke causing Lieutenant Commander Bailey Tomlinson to plummet to the surface of Venus beyond help or even the recovery of his body.

August.
The survey vessels HMS Speed, HMS Kip and HMS Morden were recalled to Earth to enter their first assisted maintenance and refit now that the required maintenance facilities were finally available.

September.
The new UK research hub which covered Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen became operational increasing the UK research effort by 50%, and for the moment at least the UK reached parity with the USA.

December.
HMS Speed was the first vessel to have completed its overhaul and returned to service.

2042.
January.
HMS Kip and HMS Morden returned to service.

The US wormhole drive project was in trouble after Professor Anthony Kirk was forced to retire due to ill health. Professor Ewan Henry, again not a propulsion specialist, took over the ill-fated project.

April.
The USS Essex in Earth orbit continued to deteriorate after being laid up following a series of expeditions to explore within the orbit of Jupiter. The US still had insufficient maintenance facilities to maintain the vessel. Fortunately there was nothing complex in her construction and she would continue in being for some time yet.

End of Part One

Edited 11/03/2016

5
Albion / Comments
« on: December 09, 2015, 02:32:10 AM »
This was an idea I had for an AAR since Steve's Solarian Empires game, just got overtaken by Steve's latest game! I will wait a little to see if V7.01 is coming out before the game starts but thought I would post the background before world events overtake it!  :)

6
The Academy / Refits - What happens to the old components?
« on: January 30, 2015, 03:53:40 AM »
When you scrap a ship you get the components returned to your stockpile. When you refit a ship the replaced components just disappear. Are they offset against the cost of the refit? Or are they just lost? If its the former and you have pre-built components is one third the mineral content and wealth of the component added to your balance? I have not identified the this so assume they are just lost. Anyone done a study?

With both galacite and uridium being a rate limiting step I would like one third the minerals at least returned when I refit my sensors.

Ian

7
The Academy / Transferring items of tech to another Empire?
« on: January 22, 2013, 08:52:38 AM »
I know how to transfer knowledge and ships to another player empire. But is there an easy way of transferring an tech item, such as a sensor ready to install to another player empire. I seem to recall it was possible but cannot for the life of me work out how to do it. I guess I could load it aboard a freighter transfer that ship, unload it and then transfer it back. Anyone know of a better way?

Regards
Ian

8
Tales of Avalon / Epilogue. (13)
« on: January 20, 2013, 04:30:20 PM »
WARNING POSSIBLE SPOILERS WITHIN!!

Tales of the Union.

 
Epilogue.(13)



21st October 91. Delta Cassiopeiae.
Exploration of a jump point in the Woolley 9120 system by Survey Task Group 3 revealed the new system of Delta Cassiopeiae, an A5-V type star with only a few comets for company

22nd October 91. 10 Tauri.
The Hierarchy colony on 10 Tauri-A IV surrendered. The colony consisted of a population of 0.87 million and some infrastructure.  54.4 shillings in reparations were secured from the colony.

25th October 91. 27 Cygni.
The portal stabilisation ship Galain III-001 had been parked at the jump portal for years without activity. Ever since exploration in the Imperial arm had ceased. Relief crews were shuttled in for their six month tour of duty then shuttled home again, home meant Refuge – HIP 96183, six jumps away. 27 Cygni was as far away from Avalon as you could get, fourteen jumps only recently equalled by the exploration out of the Lleida Hierarchy home system.
02:30 hours found Lieutenant Chiu Bao Cui lounged at his watch station. He was the nominal captain of the vessel and could choose his watches. He chose the middle watch for one as it was always quiet; no one else was awake to bother him, he was the only person on the bridge. The great portal stabilisation vessel was at harbour stations, even though it was in deep space, it wasn’t going anywhere soon and just required routine preventative maintenance to keep it in working order. Lieutenant Cui put down the duty tablet after making a few desultory alterations and picked up his reader, slipped on the wraparound specs with the built in ear pieces and prepared to settle into one of his favourite sims for an hour before picking up his studies in preparation for his Captains examinations.  However that wouldn’t be for some time as he was ranked 311 out of 325 lieutenants in Star Corps service.

02:59 The proximity alarms went off with a blare!, red lights flashed across Lieutenant Cui’s board, his scrambled to tear off his specs and examine the board ,dropping his reader in the process. He first noticed that the jump portal was active, a vessel had just emerged, it’s icon flashing blood red on the sensor display (portal stabilisation vessels didn’t run to holotanks). Data streamed across his screen. “Unknown vessel, unknown class, unknown race!” was all it could do before a little used part of the ships AI kicked in. As crew hurried to their bridge stations the mechanical voice of the AI came over the speakers. “New race detected in 27 Cygni, unknown vessel now designated Boreum Planum 002.” “Why” Cui wondered “didn’t the class designations ever start at 001? A friend in IT once told him it was an old programming error no one could ever be bothered to fix. Cui shifted in his couch and gave his first and last order as the ansible powered up “Comms data dump to Star Corps HQ, report our situation, request support, Galain III-001 out.” A video feed flickered on, a transmission from the alien ship; the image of an improbably huge hairy arachnid began to form on Cui’s video link. As he watched the link firm up the red icon on his sensor display was replaced by a white one indicating a neutral classification. All that meant thought Cui morosely was that the aliens hadn’t blown the ship up yet. 
The alert was received with some dismay at Star Corps HQ. There were no spare task forces to send. Survey Task Group 1 would have to abort its search for the Empire of Caserta and be sent off in pursuit of this new alien contact. There were a few spare parts from which an a couple of Venture C class survey vessels could be constructed with an accelerated build, not the latest class but every little would help. Another three of the Venture D2 class would be ordered from the ‘Yards at Devaria, even though they had yet to deliver the first of the class to Survey Command.
In light of Task Force 3’s experience in confronting the Lleida Hierarchy Task Forces 1 to 4 were being reorganised to form two Task Forces of seven Task Groups instead of the usual four, with a few support groups created based on the spare jump destroyers and missile boats. All that could be done was to send the task groups being allocated to Task Force 1 with the exception of the new Venomous class anti-missile escorts which were still working up.

25th October 91. HD37008.
Survey Task Group 10 discovered a second Hierarchy colony in the HD37008 system, located on comet #8. It had strength 30 ground defences and small EM and thermal emissions of 5 and 10 respectively.

27th October 91. 10 Tauri.
The 1st Leviathan Division landed on 10 Tauri-A III leaving the 14th Marine Division on 10 Tauri-A IV.

2nd November 91. 10 Tauri.
The invasion of the Hierarchy colony on 10 Tauri-A III got off the a good start. Three Hierarchy garrison battalions were engaged by elements from the 1st Leviathan. Severe casualties (around 30%) were inflicted an the enemy ground unit

7th November 91. Gliese 249.
The old Ashen Shugar II-004 survey vessel, operating solo, discovered the new system of Gliese 249. Gliese 249 was an M4-V star with four planets, dozens of moons and a handful of comets, but no terraforming candidates and no sign of the aliens Ashen sugar II was hunting
The ground war continued. The Hierarchy commander was not shy about coming forward and threw his troops into the fray, but suffered disastrously as his forces received 50% casualties at the hands of the 1st Leviathan. The Hierarchy soldiers were ill equipped to take on Union CSUs. This effectively ended armed resistance on 10 Tauri-A IV. The ragtag remains of the Hierarchy forces were disarmed over the course of the next week.

17th November 91. Ross 555.
Survey Task Group 2 investigated the unexplored jump portal in 10 Tauri. It was discovered to link to Ross 555 in the Phi-2 Ceti Expanse, just three jumps from Phi-2 Ceti itself! The backdoor to Union space was revealed. The survey group found the Hierarchy Simiyiar 005 and the Baneh Morningstar 002 portal construction vessels in Ross 555 located at the jump point to 10 Tauri.

18th November 91 10 Tauri.
The Hierarchy colony on 10 Tauri-A III formally surrendered. The event was broadcast throughout the Lleida Expanse. The Hierarchy merchant marine surrendered seeing all was lost and submitted to Star Union control. This brought 49 Freighters, 46 Colony transports, 16 terraformers, 5 portal stabilization vessels, 5 gravitational survey and one geological survey vessel onto the Union lists. All were in need of urgent maintenance and modification to bring them close to current Union standards.

Gram – Avalon-A II.
With the fall of the last major Hierarchy colony and the winding down of the war a conclave of Sector Controllers and Planetary Coordinators could be called without disrupting the war effort.  The main business of the meeting was to appoint a new Director.
At the close of the Conclave the identity of the next Director of the Star Union of Avalon was announced. Daniel Burrows former Governor of Saginaw – Xi Pegasi-A II – Moon 3 was elected to replace the late Lakshmir Ponarkaar. Born in 46, Burrows was a relatively young appointment for this august post. It was hoped he would serve the Union with distinction for many years to come.  It is rumoured that he had family links to the old Windwalker clan.
Aidan Fletcher was appointed to the now vacant post of Planetary Coordinator of Saginaw – Xi Pegasi-A II – Moon 3. This was an important post being the nearest major Union colony to the Baneh Empire and was beginning to eclipse the sector capital next door at Zwickau – S.W. Burnham 157-A II. Aidan Fletcher’s previous post was as Planetary Coordinator of Enterprise – HIP 98505-A IV.

20th November 91. Woolley 9120.
Task Force 7 intercepted Tramontana 013 which was lurking in the Woolley 9120 system.  The missile boat Catoblepas terminated it with prejudice using 45 Firestars.

3rd December 91.  10 Tauri.
9th Marine and 18th Assault Divisions landed on 10 Tauri-A II – moon 20 in preparation for an assault on the Hierarchy colony. It was decided to soften up the defenders using the lasers of STG 8 as in previous occupations very few installations had been recovered without the use of orbital bombardment.

7th December 91. 10 Tauri.
STG 8 reached 10 Tauri-A II – moon 20 and opened fire on the Hierarchy ground forces. There was no atmosphere to impede the deadly beams, invisible with no atmosphere to perturb. Domes crumpled as though an invisible giant fist had smote them. The rocky surface exposed through rents in the domes first glowed red then turned molten as the energy of the five X-ray beams burned into anything that hinted at a military installation and held it as their focus to reduce it to slag. Duranium flowed like thin toffee, reducing complex machinery to ash in a heartbeat. 30 seconds after the start of the bombardment all the designated targets were sullen glowing dull red scars on the surface of the moon. Defensive works were melted back into the bedrock of the airless moon. As the orbital assault finished the 9th Marine and 18th Assault divisions swept across their start line and occupied what remained of the charred Hierarchy colony. The thermal emissions of the colony were reduced from 640 to 520 and the EM emissions from 1385 to 1520. The wreckage of at least thirteen Hierarchy battalions was discovered after the occupation. 104 automines were recovered from the colony. 

8th December 91. Avalon.
After the election of the new Director of the Star Union the news of the retirement of two well known Planetary Coordinators was released.  The first was Wang Li Xue, lately Planetary Coordinator of Clarent – Avalon-A III. Wang Li Xue was an appointee of former Director Gong Cai Wei, and he was replaced by Klara Steig, who had been between appointments after a couple of tours governing mining colonies. The other Coordinator to retire was Kunti Rao, former Planetary Coordinator of Woolley 938-A VII, the home world of the alien Adelsoni. Eve Rowley formerly Planetary Coordinator of Iota Piscium- A II was appointed to the sensitive post that was occupied by Kunti Rao.

26th December 91. 11 Aquarii.
Exploration of a jump point in the 27 Cygni system by Survey Task Group 1 revealed the new system of 11 Aquarii, a G1-V star with an extensive planetary family with two excellent terraforming candidates, but no alien colonies.

 6th January 92. Delta Cassiopeiae.
The gravitational survey completed in the Delta Cassiopeiae system revealed a total of no less than nine jump points.

11th January 92. GJ 2043.
The ex-Hierarchy survey vessel Brahmaputra 002 was enroute to 12 Persei when it suffered a catastrophic maintenance failure and exploded! The maintenance of all ex-Hierarchy vessels was appalling and it was surprising that more were not lost by a failure to maintain vital equipment properly.

20th January 92.Mu Andromedae.
Exploration of a jump point in the Delta Cassiopeiae system by Survey Task Group 3 revealed the new system of Mu Andromedae an A5-V star with only a few asteroids and comets in company.

27th January 92. 51 Aquilae.
Exploration of a jump point in the 27 Cygni system by Venture B-011 of STG 1 revealed the new system of 51 Aquilae, an F0-V star with a well endowed planetary system which included a 1.9 colony cost world, two asteroid belts and many comets, but no aliens.

15th February 92. HD 37008-A Comet #8.
The 9th Marine Division began deployment on HD 37008-A Comet #8.

24th February 92. Phi-2 Ceti.
The 339th Engineer Brigade disturbed an underground vault on Beaumaris Alpha - Phi-2 Ceti-A II that contained hostile droids. Fierce fighting broke out immediately, nearly 20% of the 311th Garrison Battalion were casualties in the first few hours but the murderous automatons lost approximately 90 % of both the attacking formations. The fighting also cost the lives of 50,000 colonists and totally destroyed a mine complex.

26th February 92. V491 Persei.
The last of the Baneh Empire Shadow Hawk wrecks in V491 Persei were salvaged. This vessel appeared to be an escort cruiser armed with size 1 missile launchers.  This class is still in service with the Baneh Empire.

28th March 92. Mu Cygni-A IV - Moon 4.
New deposits of Tritanium have been found on Quarry-Mu Cygni-A IV - Moon 4 by the Bai Ting Kang Geology Team, The total amount available increased from 3,181,875 to 3,281,875 tons and the accessibility from 0.2 to 0.4.

29th March 92. Rho Aquilae.
Elements of STG 1 discovered Rho Aquilae out of 27 Cygni. This was the 200th system discovered by the Star Union. It was an A2-V star with ten planets of which no less than three had a colony cost of 1.90, but still no alien colonies were located.

30th February 92. Phi-2 Ceti-A II.
Fighting continued on Beaumaris Alpha as the droids were pushed back, destroying a third of the mechanical monstrosities in the process.

2nd April 92. HD 37008-A Comet #3.
The assault on the Hierarchy cometary colony began with a laser barrage from STG 10, great gouts of sublimed ice exploded from the comets surface. Defending ground units stood not a chance and organised resistance ended before it began. A Union garrison battalion occupied what little remained.

5th April 92. Roadrunner - HR 8853-A II.
The recoverable ruins on Roadrunner – HR 8853-A II have been fully exploited, unfortunately insufficient facilities were recovered to make a viable colony in this dead end system, and thus development of the naval base was cancelled. Facilities will be transferred to the 10 Tauri system.

11th April 92 HD 37008-A Comet #8.
The 9th Marine division began its attack on the second Hierarchy cometary colony, this time without the benefit of an orbital bombardment which had totally destroyed the colony on Comet #3. The advantage was with the defenders initially as they used old mining tunnels and managed to erupt in the marines’ rear areas destroying a fifth of a replacement battalion. But soon the Marines were ascendant and killed or captured a third of a two battalion Hierarchy battle group.

18th April 92. V491 Persei.
A Baneh Longbow class freighter ventured into V491 Persei to trade. This was mildly surprising given the number (26) of Longbow wrecks in the system which occurred while it was under the previous ownership.

HD 37008-A Comet #8.
The Marines continued their sweep across the comet, which was punctuated with intense firefights.

22nd April 92  HD 37008-A Comet #8.
Hierarchy losses mounted as they tried to resist the overwhelming strength of the Marine Division. Quarter was offered but not one Hierarchy soldier took up the offer.

28th April  92. Avalon.
Communications with the Prague Empire, previously the 27 Cygni aliens, was formally opened today.

HD 37008-A Comet #8.
The campaign was drawing to a close as two Hierarchy battalions were totally destroyed. Unfortunately little remained of the mining colony by now.

4th May 92 HD 37008-A Comet #8.
With destruction of the final Hierarchy battalion organised resistance ended.

11th May 92. HD 37008-A Comet #8.
Little remained of the Hierachy colony but a hole in the ground, the few survivors were dependent on the Union for their every need; practically the colony had ceased to exist.

29th May 92. Xi Scorpio.
Ashen Shugar II-004 discovered Xi Scorpio out of an unexplored portal in Struve 2173. Xi Scorpio was a quaternary system, consisting of F6-IV, F6-V, G3-V and K5-V stars. While the primary had only one planet in attendance the other three stars had extensive solar systems and the C component contained five good terraforming prospects, but still no aliens. 

14th June 92. GJ 1069.
STG 3 was surveying the next system down the line in a jump arm revealed in the databases recovered from the Hierarchy. The survey vessels had split up and each surveying on their own. Venture B-008 was about to start Surveying survey point #06, Captain Chen Yu Dong ordered “crew to survey stations” and the ship settled down to commence operations. About an hour into the survey the Sensor subofficer announced “fault in main sensor, I am starting the diagnostic programme, but its going to be down for a few hours at least. Captain Dong sighed, “Very well, let me know a projected time to restore the sensor as soon as you know. Comms notify Captain Hargreaves that we are blind; The system appears empty so I don’t think we’ll need to buddy up. ” Half an hour later the sensor subofficer made another report “sorry sir that’s the short range missile sensor down, it begins to look like we have a virus in the sensor suite, probably came aboard at Lleida.  We now only have a very short range sensor capability, be lucky to see anything beyond 50,000 klicks sir.” Captain Dong replied “Ok Sensors,  Pilot,  let’s finish up here then go join Lieutenant Zhen in Venture B-006, just to be on the safe side.” 
The Sensor subofficer was working at his boards when he went white and hit the action stations klaxon. “Sir! It’s the Horde, hundreds of them” was all he got out as the bridge exploded about him. The rest of the squadron were alerted by the omega transmission, it managed to identify over two hundred Triththass class gunboats before it cut off.
The wreck of Venture B-008 pulsed on the sensors of the rest of the squadron. Captain Hargreaves main problem was assembling the Task Group. It was uncomplicated except for Lieutenant Zhen in Venture B-006 who was on the opposite side of the system. They would have to cut round the edges of the system or risk running headfirst into the Horde gunboats.

18th June 92. GJ1069.
Captain Hargreaves managed to assemble the remains of STG 3. He now intended to wait for the gunboats then take his revenge before they could get into range of his vessels.

19th June 92. V398 Aurigae.
Task Force 7 returned to V398 Aueigae. The four ship Destroyer squadron was orbiting the sixth planet while the Mistral and Cabo Fradera orbital forts orbited the fifth planet.
Task Force 7 set its course for the Destroyer task group. The Destroyer squadron moved out to meet the Union Task Force.

20th June 92. V398 Aurigae.
Group Commander Ashley Holden, who had succeeded Squadron Leader Jennings, Watched the senor repeater at his station intently.  At 18:45 and a range of 119.75 million klicks Holden ordered “Fire Plan alpha, fire!” Holden felt justified in launching early as the Destroyer warships were still on approach and would continue so until they reached the engagement range of their Hellcat missiles, some 113 million klicks. Five seconds later the ten well drilled missile cruisers each launched fifteen Firestar IVs. The Destroyer squadron could have been on a peace-time cruise until they disappeared in a maelstrom of thermonuclear death.

21st June 92. V398 Aurigae.
Task Force 7 next set out to eliminate the orbital forts. This required the expenditure of only sixty missiles. Once more the Destroyers seemed asleep.

24th June 92. GJ 1069.
Having gathered the remaining four vessels of STG3 together captain Hargreaves settled down to wait. He did not have too long before the signature of the Horde armada appeared on the sensors of the survey vessels. At 03:08 hours the sensor alarms aboard STG 3 went off signalling all crews to assume defence stations. All crews were forced to mute the combat comp well before it could finish iterating the designation of all two hundred and thirteen gunboats.  Now the trick was to lure them into laser range while staying out of meson beam range. That shouldn’t be too difficult as the Venture B class had an 1120 k/s advantage over the Horde gunboats.
08:18. After several hours of careful manoeuvring the Horde gunboats were now bunched astern of STG 3 and just entered 20cm advanced laser range. The crews were now at action stations and all Hargreaves had to do was order open fire over the laser comm to begin the squadron’s revenge for the loss of their comrade. It took 15 seconds to destroy the first gunboat.
08:20. As the range decreased to below 100,000 klicks Hargreaves ordered “squadron increase to 10,000 k/s.” The gunboats were proving tough to kill, they were taking nine kiloton equivalents of laser damage without breaking stride. Hargreaves began to wonder if he had bitten off more than he could chew and at only 92,000 klicks from his adversary he had not a lot of room in which to manoeuvre. Then he realised all his ships had to do was immobilise the gunboats then pick them off at their leisure. This worked well; a trail of broken gunboats began to mark the passage of the small squadron and its pursuing horde.
08:32. The last pursuing gunboat had been eliminated or immobilised, there was a trail of damaged and broken gunboats nearly 8 million klicks long. STG 3 started back along it course to make sure none of the wounded gunboats recovered and grew up to become a mothership.
08:44. The last gunboat burst like a ripe boil as the lasers played over its charred surface. All two hundred and thirteen gunboats had been killed, but Hargreaves was not satisfied. He was going after the miners if he could catch them away from the mother ship. Venture B-009 was detached to rescue the survivors of Venture B-008 and take them the Saginaw – Xi Pegaus-A II, the rest of the squadron moved towards the small planetary system hoping to find the miners unguarded

26th June 92. V398 Aurigae.
At 06:44 Task Group 7.3 trapped Tramontana 0014 in its missile envelope and launched 45 Firestars at the unfortunate vessel. 07:15. Tramontana 014 was overwhelmed by the missile strike . Group Commander Ashley Holden pronounced the system cleared of Destroyer vessels and safe for survey and clearance work.

GJ 1069.
Captain Hargreaves was alerted to the sudden appearance of a gunboat wreck on the sensors and ordered his small squadron to investigate.

27th June 92. GJ1069.
Captain Hargreaves got his wish of tracking down the miners; thirty appeared on the repeater screen at his station. The mother ship was still an unknown and while it remained so Hargreaves was going to wreak as much damage as he could.
16:46. STG closed the miners and opened fire with all weapons. There was no return fire so the survey vessels continued to close till the Horde vessels were just 10,000 klicks away. A minute later the squadron closed to 10,000 klicks and continued to fire on the miners unopposed. Less than a minute after that the thirty Horde miners were history.

28th June 92. GJ1069.
Venture B-009 streaked in to rescue survivors of Venture B-008, as it did so the Horde mothership appeared on the edge of the ships sensor envelope. However it made the pickup and exited the system.

29th June 92. V398 Aurigae.
Elements of STG 6(G) discovered hostile Destroyer ground forces on V398 Aurigae-A VI strength 45.

30th June 92. V398 Aurigae.
Elements of STG 6(G) discovered a second ruined colony on V398Aurigae-A V.

4th July 92. Dela Velorum.
The ruins on Delta Velorum-B V have been fully surveyed by the Nicholas Porter Xenologist Team. The alien race which inhabited the planet was identified as the Democratic People's Republic of Hamilton and their language and symbology were translated. They had reached TL 5 before they lost the race to survive. 68 abandoned installations were found which might be recoverable by an engineer regiment

5th July 92. GJ1069.
23:10. Task Force 3 appeared at the jump point to HIP 17743, a couple of minutes later the signature of the brood mother appeared on Task Force’s sensors. The Task Force moved to intercept.  The debt of Venture B-008 would be collected in full.

6th July 92. GJ1069.
02:50.Once in missile range four missile boats, Elf, Efreet, Gargoyle and Ghoul fired 256 Firestar IVs at the 60,000 ton Horde mothership. 03:18. The missile storm broke about the misshapen monster, which under the ministrations of 220 ten-kiloton warheads burst like a ripe boil shedding twenty gunboats as it did so. The missile frigates in the task force made short work of them, using the Firestar IV, a much improved weapon compared to the Firestar III which had problems intercepting the agile gunboats.

12th August 92. V398 Aurigae.
The 18th Assault Division began its attack on the Destroyer base located on V398 Aurigae-A VI. At least five droid battalions were engaged, one was destroyed and the rest suffered a third casualties.

18th August 92. V398 Aurigae-A VI.
The 18th was making slow but steady progress, this infestation was one of the largest droid concentrations yet seen. Fierce fighting saw the destruction of yet more destroyer units without significant loss to the Union assault troops.

27th August 92. V398 Aurigae.
The 18th finally entered the Destroyer base smashing the last two droid units which tried to impede them; the carcasses of the cybernetic killers lay strewn about the outpost.

3rd September 92. V398 Aurigae.
V398 Aurigae-A VI declared cleared of Destroyer opposition and open for colonisation.

12th October 92. Gliese 215.
The ruins on Gliese 215-A III have been fully surveyed by the Matthew Graham Xenologist Team. The alien race which inhabited the planet was identified as the Gharz Imperium and their language and symbology were translated. This civilisation had only achieved TL 1 before their demise. 149 abandoned installations might be recoverable from the ruined city.

9th November 92. Woolley 1920.
The ruins on Woolley 9120-A II have been fully surveyed by the Trishna MudiRaj Xenologist Team. The alien race which inhabited the planet as been identified as the Kelang Coalition and their language and symbology were translated. They reached TL5 before the Destroyers snuffed them out.  384 abandoned installations were found which might be recoverable by an engineer regiment.

23rd November 92. Sigma Andromedae.
Deep in the Imperial Arm STG1 split into two three ship sections to try and increase t he number of systems surveyed.. STG 1A investigated an unexplored jump portal in Alvahet and discovered Sigma Andromedae. An A2-V star with four planets dozens of moons and an asteroid belt.  Sigma Andromedae-A II – moon 4 had a colony cost of 1.90, but no alien colonies.

29th November 92. 5 Andromadae.
STG 1B working out of Alvahet discovered 5 Andromadae, an F5-V star with eleven planets one of which had a colony cost of 1.90, but yet again there was no detectable alien presence in system.

1st January 93. 10 Tauri.
A geological survey of 10 Tauri-A IV  by the Scott Tyler Geology Team has been completed.  New deposits of Duranium were found, The total amount available increased from 5,232,645 to 5,526,448 tons and the accessibility from 0.2 to 0.8.

25th January 93. V398 Aurigae.
The ruins on V398 Aurigae-A VI have been fully surveyed by the Trishna MudiRaj Xenologist Team. The alien race which inhabited the planet was identified as the Baxley Cartel and their language and symbology were translated. They had achieved TL3 before the Destroyers got them. 29 abandoned installations might be recoverable by an engineer regiment. The planet would be renamed Baxley Alpha.

8th February 93. Theta Sculptoris.
The 46th Engineer Brigade has disturbed an underground vault on Khan - Theta Sculptoris-A VI that contained hostile Droids. But the 15th Light Assault Division was ready and destroyed all of the robotic reavers before they could do more than break out of their vault.

28th March 93. Rho Andromedae.
Exploration of a jump portal in the Sigma Andromedae system by STG 1A revealed the new system of Rho Andromedae, an F5-III star with only six planets but two were excellent terraforming candidates. However there was no sign of the elusive aliens.

21st October 93. SRS 3867.
STG 5(G) entered SRS 3867. SRS 3867 was a Hierarchy discovered system consisting of a G8-V and an M2-V binary. There were a total of five eminently terraformable planets, four orbiting the G8-V and one the M2-V with colony costs varying from 1.67 to 2.85. Group Commander Qian watched his repeater sensor screen as the squadron diverged to take up their pre-arranged survey stations. Qian was surprised to note that the system had several wrecks present around the sixth planet, one definitely a Destroyer Alcanada class warship and another was a Hierarchy Action IV class survey vessel plus three unknowns. There had been no mention of this in the preliminary report from the former Lleida Hierarchy survey archives and STG 9 conducting a gravitational survey had not updated him on the presence of the wrecks upon his arrival in system. With the presence of so many colony prospects in system and Destroyer wrecks he decided to allocate SRS 3867-A VI, a colony cost 1.9 world, to his own ship the Citrine.

23rd October 93. SRS 3867.
The geological survey vessel the Citrine slid into orbit about the blue planet which occupied the sixth orbital slot of the G8 primary.  Group Commander Qian watched the senor repeater screen at his station intently; it was difficult to pick out faint objects with the old MR192-R100 set the Citrine was equipped with.  The action stations alarm wailed as the sensor sub-officer sang out “fifteen mines on sensors, size 24, no active sensors.” The entire crew waited for the next announcement, “incoming” that would spell the death of many of them, Qian gripped the armrests of his command couch until his knuckles were white. The seconds ticked by, still no word from the sensor console. A whole minute went by, still no news of a missile salvo bearing down on them. Finally Qian ordered “secure from action stations, resume survey stations. Looks like the Hierarchy did us a favour, these mines are spent!” referring to the Action IV wreck. All now looked forward to the survey report; it was unheard of for a minefield to be placed around a planet without ruins of some kind on it.

13th November 93. SRS 3867.
Citrine, (STG 5(G)) discovered a ruined city on SRS 3867-A VI.

14th November 93. Xi Andromedae.
Exploration of a jump portal in the Rho Andromedae system by STG 1B revealed the new system of Xi Andromedae, an K0-III star with only six planets but the moon of one of the gas giants was a good terraforming candidate. Still there was no sign of the elusive aliens.

3rd December 93. Avalon.
Prague Empire granted trade access to the Star Union of Avalon. It was a pity the Star Union  had no idea where they were located so it could set up a trading hub.

16th January 94. Phi-2 Pavonis.
Phi-2 Pavonis, an F8-V star, was discovered out of Gliese 209 by STG 9 still searching for the elusive Casserta and Prague Empires. Phi-2 Pavonis-AIV had a colony cost of 0 and Phi-2 Pavonis-A V a colony cost of 1.9. The system consisted of twelve planets in all and once more was devoid of aliens.

3rd February 94. Avalon.
The Casserta Empire granted trade access to the Star Union of Avalon. It was a shame the Star Union had no idea where they where to start trading, but that would come in time.
With relations with the last known alien polity showing a distinct improvement the Star Union of Avalon was victorious over its foes and had good foreign relations with all known alien races. Over 200 systems were known to the Union and most had been surveyed. The Star Corps possessed eleven formations of Task Force size with a further four independent Task Groups, Every task group element had jump capacity for the entire group. In six months a further Task Force would join the Star Corps and after that every year another task force would be added to the Star Corps. 
 The future would be a golden age of exploration and discovery. No other space-faring empire could match the prowess or had the depth of resources possessed of the Star Union which lasted until the coming of the Invaders. 

The End.

9
Tales of Avalon / Death of a Director. (12)
« on: October 26, 2012, 09:32:49 AM »
WARNING POSSIBLE SPOILERS WITHIN!!

Tales of the Union.

Death of a Director.(12)

28th October 90. Eta Sepentis.
The Satellite Layer Gungnir searching for some sign of the Caserta Empire entered the unexplored jump point in Gliese 731 and discovered Zeta Serpentis.  Zeta Serpentis was an uninteresting system with an F6-V primary and a handful of planets, the Gungnir dropped a satellite on the jump point and returned to Gliese 731 and thence to the main route down the Imperial Arm.

13th November 90. Gliese 215.
Gliese 215 was discovered by STG 8 out of V491 Persei, through the last unexplored jump portal in V491 Persei. Several Destroyer and Hierarchy wrecks were located in system. These included the wrecks of a Barcelo, a Cabo Fradera and Mistral orbital forts,  a Hernan Cortez, a Centinela, two Delfins plus three wrecks of unknown classes, one of 13400 tons and two of 6700 ton wrecks, all of which appeared to be of Destroyer origin. While for the Hierarchy there were two Acclamator wrecks and two Kora scout ship wrecks.
Gliese 215 was an orange K7-V star orbited by ten planets. Gliese 215-A III had a colony cost of 1.90.

20th November 90. Gliese 215.
Venture B-006 detected the signature of a Tramontana class transport at the edge of its sensor envelope.  

23rd November 90. HIP17743.
STG 4(G) entered an unexplored open jump portal in HIP 21482 and discovered HIP 17743; fortunately there was an open jump portal on other side. HIP 17743 was a red dwarf M0-V star with a substantial planetary family for STG 4(G) to survey.

24th November 90. Woolley 9120.
Task Force 7 entered Woolley 9120 from Wolf 225. Woolley 9120-A II had a colony cost of 0! The Destroyer troop transport Tramontana 013 was detected on entry to the system. Woolley 1920-A II appeared to be unoccupied on closer inspection. Not finding any Hierarchy colonies Squadron Leader Norris ignored the Destroyer troop ship and left the system in search of the elusive Hierarchy colonies.

26th November 90. 42 Capricorni.
Carrier group 2 entered 42 Capricorni from Upsilon Eridani looking for the last Hierarchy scout ship, but found nothing on its search sensors. 42 Capricorni was another nondescript system with nothing special to commend it.

5th December 90. Algol.
Task Force 7 discovered the Algol system out of an open jump portal in Wolf 225. There were several Hierarchy merchant vessels in system. This immediately raised the suspicion there was a Hierarchy colony in system.

6th December 90. Upsilon Eridani.
As Carrier Group 2 was moving to explore jump point #3 in Upsilon Eridani the last Hierarchy scout vessel, YT-2800 004, appeared on sensors, probably having emerged from jump point #4 during the carrier group’s absence. The Union task force immediately moved in pursuit of its prey.

HD 38114.
Task Force 7 investigated a further open jump portal in Wolf 225 and found HD 38114. This was a single G5-V star with but a couple of uninteresting planets.  

8th December 90. V398 Aurigae.
Task Force 7 entered another open jump portal in Wolf 225 which revealed V398 Aurigae. A Destroyer vessel, Tramontana 014, was detected close to the jump portal; once again it was ignored in the rush to locate the holdout Hierarchy colonies. V398 Aurigae was an F0-V star with a substantial solar system. The planets in the fourth, fifth and sixth orbital slots all had a colony cost of 1.9. But there were no Hierarchy colonies.
As Task Force 7 moved in system a Destroyer battle group was detected which consisted of a Neptuno, two Bergantin and a Barcelo class warship, the latter being a new class to the Union. A Mistral and Cabo Fradera orbital fort orbited V398 Aurigae-A V. Task Force 7 reversed course and left the system, fighting Destroyers would have to wait. The fact was there were other open jump portals to investigate.

10th December 90. Upsilon Eridani.
Carrier Group 2 launched the 1st section, No. 8 squadron, 2.6 billion klicks from target. The attack shuttles began their run in to the target.

11th December 90. Upsilon Eridani.
1st section leader in Thunderhead 117 ordered the survey vessel to surrender but his transmissions went unheeded, reluctantly he locked on and launched 4 Sunsnake missiles while YM-2800 004 sat at a survey location. Twenty-two minutes later it blew apart on a thermonuclear pyre as four Sunsnake missiles descended on it undetected, their nine-kiloton warheads found its defences wanting.

Phi-2 Ceti.
Another group of Destroyer clockwork killers emerged from a crypt on Beaumaris - Phi-2 Ceti- A II. Many of the seasoned troopers of the 12th Leviathan Division had been rotated out to other divisions in the front line of the war with the Hierarchy. Much of the 12th Leviathan consisted of green recruits. They had never experienced the emergence of the mechanical murderers before. Thus when the alert came in from the 341st Engineer Brigade which had disturbed an underground vault on Beaumaris Alpha - Phi-2 Ceti-A II they were slow to respond.
While they arrived at the dig in time to devastate the robotic reavers that remained, they actually only accounted for a quarter of the demented ‘droids. Unseen the rest moved towards the settlement, home now to over 5 million Union citizens.

12th December 90.
The last unexplored jump portal out of wolf 225 found Task Force 7 in Gliese 30. It only had two planets but the two both had a colony cost of 1.90.

16th December 90. Phi-2 Ceti.
The first the unsuspecting settlers of Beaumaris Alpha- Phi-2 Ceti-A II knew of the catastrophe threatening them was the incendiaries exploding. Fire raising ‘droids rushed through the first residential block they could reach en masse. The flames consumed infrastructure and settler alike. It took just minutes for the duty brigade of the 12th to respond and massacre the deadly ‘droids. But 25,000 settlers were killed in the conflagration and crossfire.

20th December 90.  Beaumaris Alpha - Phi-2 Ceti-A II.
The last few mechanical monsters were tracked down and exterminated. The 12th Leviathan returned to barracks, duty done but honour besmirched.

25th December 90. Algol.
Task Force 7 cruised in system, as it approached Algol-C 1 the sensors detected a Hierarchy population on Algol-C1 with thermal and EM emissions of 1390 and 1385 respectively. Squadron Leader Norris took note but decided to check out the entire system before dealing with the Hierarchy colony

28th December 90. Gliese 215.
An unexploited alien ruined city was discovered on Gliese 215-A III by Venture B-006 of STG 3. This was a surprise considering the proximity of the ruins to V491 Persei and the Hierarchy.

29th December 90. Algol.
Task Force 7 returned to the Hierarchy colony on Algol-C 1and opened fire on the defending ground forces present at the colony using lasers to strike any military installation from orbit. It took only a handful of seconds to reduce the Hierarchy battalions to ash. The thermal and EM emissions of the colony were both reduced to 880.

2nd January 91. Woolley 9120.
STG 3 completed the gravitational survey of Woolley 9120, none of the jump points were open portals. Thus with the system possessing an unoccupied colony cost 0 world the Hierarchy had probably not explored beyond this system

3rd January 91. Algol.
STG 4(G) completed a mineral survey of the Algol system, it discovered substantial deposits of TN minerals in the planets orbiting the C component, notably 52 million tons of Neutronium  ( 0.8 ) on Algol-C II. If the Hierarchies freighters had not been so slow it need never have wanted for neutronium.  

3rd January 91. Algol.
The 16th Light Assault Division began their occupation of Hierarchy colony on Algol-C I, locally called The Pit or usually just Pit after the enormous open mine workings that dominated the landscape and descend klicks into the planetary interior. It was TN mineral rich having deposits of seven of the TN elements in megaton quantities.

5th January 91. Algol.
Union forces took the formal surrender of the Hierarchy colony on Algol-C I. 175 automines were found in the colony and brought into Union service.

9th January 91. 72 Ophiuchi.
In the continuing search for the home systems of the Caserta Empire exploration of a jump point in the Gliese 720 system by Survey Task Group 1 revealed the new system of 72 Ophiuchi. The system was a binary of an A4-V and an M4-V, both with extensive planetary systems. The A component had two colony cost 1.9 worlds suitable for terraforming.

23rd February 91. HIP 8382.
STG 8 found HIP 8382 out of an open jump portal in Gliese 140. HIP 8382 was a dim M2-V star with a family of ten planets and an asteroid belt. HIP 8382-A II and A III both had a colony cost of 1.90.

25th February 91. Luyten 421-25.
STG 7 having completed a gravitational survey of the Luyten 431-25 system concentrated prior to investigating Luyten 421-25-A II, the colony cost 0 planet in the system. It was suspected of having mines in orbit as many other Destroyer occupied planets had.
14:58. As the STG approached the planet the combat comps aboard the survey vessels announced the presence of nine size 24 mines in orbit of the planet. Squadron Leader Abigail Gregory, the hero of Phi-2 Ceti ensured her charges were prepared for combat and took her squadron in to deal with the menace.
15:14. With the range down to 621,000 klicks Gregory gave the order ”shoot.” The Survey Task Group 7 opened fire. It took 50 seconds to destroy all the mines. Gregory then took her task group into orbit before dividing her command for a geological survey of the system. Destroyer ground forces were detected on the planet along with the thermal signature of a listening post.

30th January 91. Gliese 30.
Survey Task Group 5 (G) entered the system from Wolf 225 through yet another open jump portal. They discovered a K5-V star with but three planets, two with a colony cost of 1.90. Sitting on the jump point to Wolf 225 was the Simiyiar 003 a Hierarchy portal construction vessel.

28th February 91. Woolley 1920.
An abandoned alien colony was discovered on Woolley 9120-A II by Venture B-010 of STG 3.

30th February 91 Luyten 431-25.
A deserted intact alien city was discovered on Luyten 431-25-A II by Venture B-003 of STG 7.

6th March 91. Algol.
SGT 2 discovered an open portal in Algol. Venture B-003 was detached to explore the new open portal.

20th March 91 14:18:21,Avalon.
Fearless (Vanguard Mk ID class) was completed in the Excalibur - Avalon-A IV ‘Yard complex and assigned to Training Squadron Excalibur. This was the first ship completed destined for Task Force 9.
Code: [Select]
Vanguard Mk ID class Jump Escort Cruiser    15,000 tons     1345 Crew     8692 BP      TCS 300  TH 336  EM 6000
14000 km/s    JR 6-1000     Armour 5-54     Shields 200-400     Sensors 54/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 40     PPV 25
Maint Life 4.38 Years     MSP 3622    AFR 180%    IFR 2.5%    1YR 304    5YR 4560    Max Repair 289 MSP
Flag Bridge    Magazine 1145    

J15200(6-1000) Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 15200 tons    Distance 1000k km     Squadron Size 6
MilSpec SCAD E2.75 (20)    Power 210    Fuel Use 27.5%    Signature 16.8    Armour 0    Exp 7%
Fuel Capacity 365,000 Litres    Range 159.3 billion km   (131 days at full power)
Sigma R400/20 Shields (25)   Total Fuel Cost  500 Litres per day

Size 1 Missile Launcher (25)    Missile Size 1    Rate of Fire 5
Missile Fire Control FC28-R1 (5)     Range 28.8m km    Resolution 1
Arrow IV (1145)  Speed: 72,000 km/s   End: 4.2m    Range: 18m km   WH: 1    Size: 1    TH: 888 / 532 / 266

Active Search Sensor MR19-R1 (1)     GPS 60     Range 19.2m km    Resolution 1
Active Search Sensor MR230-R16 (1)     GPS 2880     Range 230.4m km    Resolution 16
Thermal Sensor TH3-54 (1)     Sensitivity 54     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  54m km

ECM 70

Missile to hit chances are vs targets moving at 3000 km/s, 5000 km/s and 10,000 km/s

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

25th March 91. Aitkin 2329.
STG 8 discovered Aitkin 2329 out of HIP 8382. Knowledge of the binary system was acquired from the Hierarchy on the defeat of their home world, STG 8 had been sent to check it out and complete the gravitational survey. The A component had no planets but there were no less than three candidates for terraforming in the B component.

11th April 91. Algol.
STG 2 located another open jump portal in the Algol system and detached Venture B-004 to investigate it.

12th April 91. 47 Arietis.
The new open portal in Algol revealed the system of Arietis 47.  This system of four planets orbited an F5-V star, The second out from the star had a colony cost of 1.9 while the third planet out had a colony cost of 2.85. Venture B-003 of STG 2 began a gravitational survey.

16th April 91. 12 Persei.
Venture B-004 discovered 12 Persei out of Algol.  13 Persei was a F9-V star with a small four planet solar system, 12 Persei-A III had a colony cost of 0.

19th April 91. Avalon.
Seer (Super Scout Mk I class) was completed in the Excalibur - Avalon-A IV ‘Yard complex and assigned to Training Squadron Excalibur prior to joining the nascent Task Force 9.

24th April 91. Avalon.
Formidable (Vanguard Mk ID class) was completed in the  Excalibur - Avalon-A IV ‘Yard complex and assigned to Training Squadron Excalibur prior to joining Task Force 9.

29th April 91. Algol.
STG 2 Completed the Gravitational Survey of the Algol system. The system had a total of three jump points including the one to Wolf 225.

29th April 91. EG 16.
STG 9 discovered EG 16 out of a stabilised jump portal in Gliese 140. EG 16 was a planetless D9-VII white dwarf.

21st May 91. HIP 8043.
A stabilised jump portal was located in EG 16 and Venture C-015(STG 9) detached to investigate it. The survey craft discovered HIP 8043 out of EG 16. HIP 8043 was an orange K0-V star with but one planet that possessed an ore deposit of eleven million tons of 0 .8 accessibility neutronium.

24th May 91. Avalon.
Fireblade (Vanguard Mk ID class jump escort cruiser) was completed in the Excalibur - Avalon-A IV ‘Yard complex and assigned to Training Squadron Excalibur prior to joining Task Force 9.

5th June 91. Tau Eridani.
Venture C-007 (STG 8 ) discovered Tau Eridani out of SW Burnham 543. There was a wreck in system of an unknown type, but the tonnage at 67,850 tons was suspiciously similar to that of a jump portal construction ship. Tau Eridani was a F6-V/ F7-V binary each star having a single planet apiece.

11th June 91. Tau Eridani.
Captain Apsaras Karai was an experienced and decorated officer of Survey Command, a veteran of 94 Aquarii, Gliese 25, Wooley 9833 and Lambda-2 Fornacus. He was still senior Officer of a Survey Task Group, now STG 8. He had ambitions to command one of the new survey cruisers now on the drawing tablet, but for now he was commander of Venture C-008, the latest marque of survey vessel to be accepted into service. He watched as his crew transitioned from cruising stations to gravitational survey stations with the minimum instruction from their officers, all it took was for his Executive Officer to announce over the intraship, “Assume survey stations” and they changed roles like a well oiled machine. It was turning into a long deployment with no end in sight but all understood that any Hierarchy holdout colonies could not be allowed to pose a future threat to the Union. So far the crew had held out remarkably well.
07:49. Some sixty hours into the survey and 14 watches later. “Sensor contacts, 226.2 million klicks, bearing 318o, declination 4.35o” rang out from the sensor  station. As the watch officer added, “hostiles sir” the combat comp started up identifying the three contacts as three 6,700 ton Galerna class Destroyer warships, a type last seen in Lambda-2 Fornacus. Captain Karia, having relieved his first officer only recently, considered the plot “Comms, squadron alert if you please, crew to defence stations, Weapons, prep shields but no need to  raise them just yet we should be able to lose them easily. Its Lieutenant Klopstock in Venture C-006 and Captain Bibi in Venture C-009 who will have problems, they both have in excess of 800 million klicks further to travel than we have. It all depends on what the Destroyers do.”
09:14. The Destroyer squadron had been left far behind
11:19. Contact with the Destroyer squadron was regained as they cut across the course of Venture C-008, but thirty minutes later it was lost again, the Destroyer vessels had nowhere near the velocity required to catch Venture C-008.

13th June 91. Tau Eridani.
Karia gathered his squadron at the jump point to S.W. Burnham 543 ready to rush to the aid of any of his brood threatened by the Destroyer warships. But all made the rendezvous safely. The Task Group would transit back into S.W. Burnham 543 and the Destroyer squadron would hopefully return to guarding the mausoleum they had been set to protect.

26th June 91. HD 37008.
STG 3 discovered HD 37008 out of HIP 38114. They found Simiyiar 004, a Hierarchy portal opening vessel, sitting on the jump point. HD 38114 was a yellow G5-V star with two nondescript planets.

5th July 91. HR 8853.
The remains of a ruined alien settlement on HR 8853-A II were fully surveyed by the Trishna MudiRaj Xenologist Team. The alien race which inhabited the planet was identified as the United Kingdom of Roadrunner, both their language and symbology were translated. The civilisation had achieved a level commensurate with tech level 2. Twenty-five abandoned installations were found which might be recoverable by an engineer regiment. The planet was renamed Roadrunner.

NN3021.
Venture C-014 (STG 9) discovered NN3021 out of HR8043, again the jump point had been stabilised. NN3120 was a dim M4-V red dwarf with a reasonable sized solar system. NN3120-A II had a colony cost of 1.90.

12th July 91. 47 Arietis.
Survey craft from STG 4(G) discovered a Hierarchy colony on 47 Arietis-A II with a thermal and EM emission signature of 140 and 173 respectively. There were Hierarchy ground forces, strength 30, present at the colony.

24th July 91. 12 Persei.
Detached survey craft from STG4(G) discovered a Hierarchy colony on 13 Persei-A III with  thermal and EM emissions of 199 and 409 respectively. There were Hierarchy ground forces, strength 40, present at the colony.

25th July 91. 47 Artietis-A II.
The 1st Leviathan Division launched its attack on the Hierarchy colony on 47 Arietis-A II. The initial advance was unopposed.

29th July 91. SAO 89188.
New deposits of duranium were found on SAO 89188-A VIII - Moon 11 by the Satyavati Brar Geology Team, The total amount available has increased from 81,153,800 to 81,353,800 tons. They were also able to increase the accessibility of duranium on SAO 89188-A VIII - Moon 11 from 0.1 to 0.7.

29th July 91. 47 Arietis-A II.
First contact came as a shock to the Hierarchy garrison, Three Hierarchy battalions were savaged by the 1st Leviathans continental siege units, each losing 25-30% of their establishment killed, wounded or captured in the fierce fighting around the colony outskirts.

1st August 91. 12 Persei.
A Lleida Hierarchy colony was discovered on 12 Persei- A IV – moon 4 with a thermal emission of 114 by elements of STG 4(G).

3rd August 91. Hamal.
STG 9 discovered the Hamal system after exploring a jump point in  NN3120, part of the Lleida Expanse. Hamal was a relatively bright orange K2-III star with ten planets, two of which had a colony cost of 1.90.

3rd August 91. 47 Arietis.
Elements of STG 2 completed the gravitational survey in the 47 Arietis system. The system had a total of one jump point, that to Algol.

4th August 91. 47 Arietis-A II.
The fighting continued unabated, it took the sacrifice of one of the Hierarchy garrison unit to allow the other two to escape the jaws of the trap the 1st Leviathan had sprung on them. The stay behind unit lost 60% of its effectives, only a platoon sized unit managed to extract itself to a place of relative safety. The other two battalions didn’t escape unscathed, each losing a fifth of their complement.

5th August 91. 12 Persei.
Elements of STG 2 completed the gravitational survey of the 12 Persei system. The system had a total of one jump point, that to Algol.

9th August 91.47 Arietis-A II.
The remnants of the Hierarchy garrison stood arrayed before the Governors mansion. The CSUs of the 1st Leviathan barely noticed them as they were crushed and ceased to exist as a fighting force.

12 Persei.
Elements of STG 2 discovered a Lleida Hierarchy colony on 12 Persei-A III, the colony cost 0 world. It had an EM emission of 137 and a ground forces combat strength of 40.

11th August 91. 10 Tauri.
STG 8 discovered 10 Tauri out of a stabilised jump portal in Gliese 140. 10 Tauri was a white F8-V star with an asteroid belt and eight planets, two of which had a colony cost of 1.90.

14th August 91. 47 Arietis-A II.
The Union Division took the formal surrender of the Hierarchy colony. It had a population of 0.86 million and possessed one mass driver. Reparations to the value of 42.58 shillings were appropriated.

17th August 91. 12 Persei.
A Destroyed alien outpost was discovered on 12 Persei-A V by STG 2.

19th August 91. GJ 1240.
Back in the Imperial Arm in the search for the Caserta Empire exploration of a jump point in the Gliese 781 system by Survey Task Group 1 revealed the new system of GJ 1240. GJ 1240 was a K5- V star with just four planets and an asteroid belt. Two of the planets had colony costs of 1.90.

20th August 91. 12 Persei.
Elements of STG 2 discovered a second Hierarchy colony on 12 Persei-A IV – moon 4 with a thermal emission of 200 and an EM emission of 411.

21st August 91. 12 Persei-A III.
3rd Leviathan Division unloaded on 12 Persei-A III and deployed for their attack on the Hierarchy colony.

23rd August 91. 12 Persei-A III.
12 Persei-A III was a very pleasant planet, the sort of place you would choose for a quiet back to nature vacation. This ambience appeared to have affected the troops on both sides as little more than light skirmishing took place the entire week. That was until the last day when an emboldened Hierarchy battalion thought it could push the 3rd Leviathan off planet. The cold reality of the force equation was brought home to it as it took 25% casualties.

28th August 91. 12 Persei.
The Union push was under way. The Hierarchy was reduced to two effective units while the third regrouped. The Hierarchy tried to stand in the way of the Union armoured brigades, but all they achieved was to scatter the battle ground with broken and destroyed equipment, both battalions suffered 35% casualties in the process.

2nd September 91. 12 Persei.
5th Leviathan Division landed on 12 Persei-A IV – moon 4 and spend a fruitful few days unloading lighters and marshalling for the attack to come.

4th September 91. 12 Persei-A III.
The campaign on 12 Persei-A II ground on and continued to grind down the Hierarchy garrison. All four Hierarchy battalions saw action; three received 30% casualties, while the other was almost overwhelmed only escaping with 35% of its men and equipment.

12Pesei-A IV – Moon 4.
As the colony proper hove into view of the 5th Leviathan a battle erupted as two Hierarchy garrison battalions attempted to engage the Union armour from prepared positions. This did them little good and they still lost 25-30% casualties.

9th September 91. 12 Persei-A III.
The 3rd Leviathan met the bulk of the Hierarchy forces before the gates of the colony, three battalions proved little more than speed bumps and were totally annihilated, the remaining battalion retreated in a vain attempt to hold the gates against the Union CSUs.

12 Persei-A IV - Moon 4.
The Hierarchy were spending troops with careless abandon as they tried to slow up the Union advance. It made little difference they just could not penetrate the armour of a continental siege unit and most fell trying. Two battalions were reduced to a shadow with barely 25% of their strength remaining.

14th September 91. Gram – Avalon-A II.
Gram, the desert planet, was still home to some of the Star Union’s most venerable institutions even with its reducing population. The Star Corps command structure still had its HQ on Gram and the residence of the Sector Controller of the Avalon sector, and thus the Director of the Star Union of Avalon was still on Gram.
05:00. Lakshmir Ponarkaar was sitting at his desk, a broad sheet of a fine exotic  timber and metal laid upon two ornate pillars inset with a multitude of drawers, most of which served to conceal electronic aids. The orange sun of Avalon was not yet above the horizon but its first few rays were peaking through the large window wall which was set to give a spectacular view over Camelot and the bay it now encircled. The Director of the Star Union of Avalon followed his usual routine, rise at 04:45 hours after six hours sleep, half an hour’s work before a stroll on the broad boulevard to Star Corps HQ, get a highlights briefing on the progress of the war followed by breakfast as the Star Corps staff officers briefed him in depth. Lakshmir would then return to his office at 08:00 hours and work until 12:00 hours when he would have a light lunch followed by an hour’s catnap. A stroll in the Directors private garden( it was just too busy to walk the public ways at this time) preceded another few hours work , chairing the essential committees, considering policy and meeting his few direct reports until the day was rounded off at 18:00 by the arrival Marshall Preston to brief him on the events of the day. He then relaxed with his family in the Directors residence within the same complex until 10:30 and thence to bed. He had been told by his advisors to ease up, but that was not his way. Not for him the sheer luxury and sybaritic trappings of power so enjoyed by his predecessor. This day was like every other one of late, the same routine, war burning bright in his waking mind as the sun began its struggle into the sky.
05:30. Lakshmir’s personal secretary alerted him o the fact his escort had arrived. The escort used to be a company from the 5th Leviathan Division, but they had now been deployed to Algol and 10 Tauri and he hated walking hemmed in by the light and medium armour the Division insisted on sending to escort him. He had managed to reduce his escort to a squad, and refused to ride the short distance in the back of an armoured personnel carrier. His current escort was drawn from the 469th Assault Brigade of the 17th Assault Division, still in the process of being raised on Gram and Excalibur. Lakshmir entered his private lift to the vestibule where a dozen armoured troopers awaited him, kitted out with heavy gauss guns and hyper-velocity missile launchers. Six troopers preceded Lakshmir through the main entrance; he was next with three aides who would accompany him followed by the final six troopers. Once the party was outside on the boulevard the troopers spread around the official party screening off any unwelcome attention. A light scout car preceded the group and another brought up the rear. There was little if any traffic at this time of day, vehicular or foot. It was only three quarters of a klick to Star Corps HQ building and took twenty minutes at most.
05:40. A ground car cruised past the procession, troopers swung their weapons and the scout car turrets rotated to track it, but it continued on without slowing down. Three minutes later a small liquid sorium fuel tanker approached on the other side of the boulevard.  This was unusual but not unheard off.  Once more weapons swung to cover it. The tanker kept on going and as it passed the formation, the truck driver waved. That was the last thing Lakshmir Ponarkaar, Director of the Star Union of Avalon ever saw. The tanker exploded with a blindingly bright light. Faster than a human thought protective screens came up in front of the buildings, quicker than either shockwave or fireball could reach them, protecting all within, the force of the bomb venting skywards. The shock wave picked up the Director, his aides and the troopers and threw them into the nearest building screens as the fireball engulfed the entire boulevard. The scout cars were no match for the violence of the explosion; they too were tumbled into buildings now harder than duranium armour. No one unprotected could have survived that terrorist act, and less than three troopers lived, hideously wounded and burnt. The scout cars’ crews were more fortunate but all sustained serious injuries.
Little remained of Lakshmir Ponarkaar to be interred at the state funeral held five days later. His mausoleum declared Lakshmir Ponarkaar, Director of the Star Union of Avalon, 12th August 89 to 14th September 90. Lakshmir Ponarkaar served for almost exactly two years, the shortest term ever for a Director of the Star Union of Avalon.
Very little remained of the tanker driver, but enough microscopic bits of him were recovered for a genetic analysis which proved he was from the Lleida Hierarchy. Outwardly and to a large degree internally the Lleida resemble humans but are suited to slightly warmer planets with half the oxygen concentration, But they can function well enough unprotected on human worlds and easily pass for human. The tanker had been stolen from a depot in the very early hours of the morning and was not missed until 07:00 when the first drivers clocked in. The ground car was eventually found burned out and was clearly a scout for the bomber. As far as the public at large were concerned it was a tragic accident, no point in adversely affecting morale in the middle of a war. The entire episode was placed under a security blanket.  
It was mid-November before the mystery of how the Hierarchy team had entered Union space. After the subjugation of the final Hierarchy colony in 10 Tauri a jump point was found in that system that lead to Ross 555, and the Beaumaris Sector. Thus the team from the Hierarchy had entered the Union via the 10 Tauri – Ross 555 – Gliese 100 – Gliese 36 – Phi-2 Ceti jump route. They had managed to time their insertion into Beaumareis Alpha – Phi-2 Ceti-A II during one of the Destroyer android excursions when it was easy to claim papers had been lost in the fighting. Once in the Union with clean ID it was child’s play to reach Gram, still the centre of government for the Union and plan the assassination of the Director of the Star Union of Avalon. The unspoken questions were how long had the Hierarchy known of this backdoor into the Union and how many other assassination teams had entered the Union that way?

12 Persei-A III.
The final Hierarchy battalion just inside the Colony gates surrendered, it consisted of less than 150 personnel and they had lost all their support weapons. All the 5th had to do now was invest the colony, active resistance had ceased.

12 Persei-A IV - Moon 4.
The fighting reached a new crescendo as the 3rd Leviiathan moved into the colony, the Hierarchy resisted every step of the way, but it did them no good. One battalion just melted away and ceased to exist, the two of the remaining three lost 65-75% of their effectives.

18th September 91. 12 Persei.
The Hierarchy colony on 12 Persei-A III surrendered to the 5th Leviathan Division. It had a population of 4.86 million, a DSTS. In addition between 500-4500 tons of each of the TN minerals were recovered. Reparations to the value of 260 shillings were appropriated.

12 Persei-A IV - Moon 4.
After fierce house to house and street by street fighting the survivors of the final two Hierarchy battalions were killed or captured. Active combat ceased, now it was time to clean up the chaos that resulted.

21st September 91. 10 Tauri.
Lieutenant Jay Walsh in Venture C-010 was enroute to the single unexplored jump point found in the system so far. His course cut directly across the inner planets of the system. As the survey vessel passed close to 10 Tauri-A IV the sensor subofficer announced “colony signature on planet sir! Looks like a Hierarchy colony at that.”  The colony stood out on the sensor screen with a thermalemission of 85 and an EM emission of 120. There was also a sensor return indicating a strength 40 ground force.

23rd September 91.10 Tauri.
STG 8 completed the gravitational survey of the 10 Tauri system. The system had a total of two jump points, both stabilised.

24th September91. 12 Persei-A IV – moon 4.
Major-General Boa took the Hierarchy Governors formal surrender of the colony. The colony had a population of 0.6 million and two DSTS remained intact. Reparations to the value of 33 shillings were paid across.

Beaumaris Alpha - Phi-2 Ceti-A II.
The 338th Engineer Brigade disturbed an underground vault on Beaumaris Alpha - Phi-2 Ceti-A II that contained hostile Destroyer droids. The 12th Leviathan duty brigade responded. Initial reports indicated it was a single battalion of the murderous mechanicals and they suffered appropriately at the hands of the 12th distributing half their number as spare parts around the combat zone.

28th September 91. Beaumaris Alpha - Phi-2 Ceti-A II.
It too k the 12th Leviathan the next week ferreting out all the droids that had managed to scatter and hide, hopefully to create confusion once the hue and cry died down.

1st October 91. 10 Tauri.
Lieutenant Jay Walsh in Venture C-010 had been diverted after his earlier discovery and was now surveying the inner asteroid belt of 10 Tauri. It was not long before another, larger thermal emission of 1390 was detected, it belonged to an even larger Hierarchy colony on 10 Tauri-A II – moon 20.  

HD 37008.
Survey Task Group 10(G) was still following the bread crumb trail of stabilised jump portals.  They were in HD 38114 which linked directly to the Wolf 225 hub system. Exploration of a jump point in HD 38114 revealed the new system of HD 37008, a K2-V star with a small planetary family. However, on the jump point was Simiyiar 004, a Hierarchy portal stabilisation vessel. This was as far out as the Hierarchy got down this particular route.

2nd October 91. 10 Tauri.
1st Leviathan Division landed on 10 Tauri-A IV and deployed for their assault on the Hierarchy colony.
A closer inspection of the Hierarchy colony on 10 Tauri-A II – moon 20 revealed the presence of strength 130 ground forces!

3rd October 91. 10 Tauri-A IV.
The Hierarchy commander was an aggressive one and did not wait for the 1st Leviathan but attacked the landing zone inflicting serious losses on the 169th Heavy Assault Battalion, destroying 42% of its CSUs. In return the hierarchy suffered minor losses.

8th October 91  10 Tauri-A IV.
9th Marine Division landed on 10 Tauri-A IV to reinforce the 1st Leviathan Division. It landed directly into a fire fight and the 209th Marine Battalion suffered 10% Casualties. But in return the marines destroyed 35% of the attacking Hierarchy brigade.

10th October 91. Woolley 9583.
Exploration of a jump point in the Gliese 781 system by STG 1. revealed the new system of Woolley 9583 Woolley 9583 was  an F9-V star and seven not very interesting planets. There was no evidence of the Caserta Empire.

10th October 91 HD37008.
SGT 10 was surprised to discover a Hierarchy colony on comet #3, with a thermal emission of 10 and EM emission of 5, but a combat strength of 70. Probably a listening post, based on the thermal emission of the outpost. But there was a strong ground force presence. Strangely the colony cost 2.87 planet was empty.

10 Tauri-A III.
STG 8 discovered a third Hierarchy colony in 10 Tauri on the third planet from the star (A III). It had a thermal emission of 78 and an EM emission of 96. There was also a strength 30 ground force.

13th October 91. 10 Tauri-A IV.
The two Union divisions were able to pin a Hierarchy battalion and render it hors de combat. A second battalion lost 65% casualties and a quarter of another was destroyed.

18th October 91. 10 Tauri-A IV.
The Union steamroller rolled on, nothing could stand in its way. In an attempt to avoid collateral damage to the colony the Hierarchy commander met the Union Divisions in the plain before the colony and was completely destroyed for his pains.

Avalon.
Venomous, Vindictive, Vengeance and Vanquisher (Venomous Mk I class) built on Excalibur - Avalon-A IV and assigned to Training Squadron – Avalon before deploying to Task Forces 1 and 3 to boost those fleets’ anti-missile defences. These particular task forces have been reconfigured and now consist of seven task groups which now included a total of twelve missile frigates and an additional fleet scout. Task Forces 2 and 4 were disbanded to provide ships for the new formations.
Code: [Select]
Venomous Mk I class Escort    10,000 tons     867 Crew     6390.75 BP      TCS 200  TH 235.2  EM 5700
14700 km/s     Armour 4-41     Shields 190-375     Sensors 54/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 38     PPV 15
Maint Life 5.19 Years     MSP 3195    AFR 100%    IFR 1.4%    1YR 198    5YR 2965    Max Repair 289 MSP
Magazine 995    

MilSpec SCAD E2.75 (14)    Power 210    Fuel Use 27.5%    Signature 16.8    Armour 0    Exp 7%
Fuel Capacity 270,000 Litres    Range 176.7 billion km   (139 days at full power)
Tau R375/25 Shields (19)   Total Fuel Cost  475 Litres per day

Size 1 Missile Launcher (15)    Missile Size 1    Rate of Fire 5
Missile Fire Control FC28-R1 (3)     Range 28.8m km    Resolution 1
Arrow IV (995)  Speed: 72,000 km/s   End: 4.2m    Range: 18m km   WH: 1    Size: 1    TH: 888 / 532 / 266

Active Search Sensor MR76-R16 (1)     GPS 960     Range 76.8m km    Resolution 16
Active Search Sensor MR19-R1 (1)     GPS 60     Range 19.2m km    Resolution 1
Thermal Sensor TH3-54 (1)     Sensitivity 54     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  54m km

Compact ECCM-5 (3)         ECM 70

Missile to hit chances are vs targets moving at 3000 km/s, 5000 km/s and 10,000 km/s

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

End of Part Twelve.

10
Ian's Fiction / An Alternative October
« on: October 25, 2012, 10:57:38 AM »
The Cuban Missile Crisis in Aurora! An Alternative Outcome!

14th October 1962.
U-2 spy plane from US discovered Soviet missile bases under construction on Cuba. IL-28 bombers already detected enroute to Cuba at the end of September.

October 18 1962.
President Kennedy met with Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrei Gromyko, who claimed the weapons were for defensive purposes only.

October 19 1962.
Frequent U-2 spy flights showed four operational missile sites. The US military was put on high alert to enforce a blockade of Cuba and made ready to invade the island at a moment's notice. The Strategic Air Command (SAC) distributed its shorter-ranged B-47 Stratojets to civilian airports and started dispersing its B-52 Stratofortresses to their war stations.

22nd October 1962.
As if the world situation could not get any worse the Peoples Republic of China attacked India across the disputed Himalayan border.  Large scale hostilities were in progress.

23rd October 1962.
Moves were made by Washington to secretly offer the removal of Jupiter missiles in Turkey, only emplaced in April of this year if the Soviets would remove their missiles from Cuba.

25th October 1962.
Adlai Stevenson, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations confronted Soviet Ambassador Valerian Zorin in an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on the presence of the missile bases in Cuba. Ambassador Zorin refused to answer.

26th October 1962.
Readiness level of SAC forces increased to DEFCON 2. B-52 bombers were armed with their war loads and made ready on 15 minutes' notice. One hundred and eighty of SAC’s bombers were on airborne alert at all times, some one hundred and seventy ICBMs and IRBMs stood on ready alert.  Twenty-three nuclear-armed B-52s were sent to orbit within striking distance of the USSR.
USS Essex and USS Gearing tried to intercept the Soviet tanker Bucharest but failed to locate her.

27th October 1962.
CIA reported that all Soviet missile bases in Cuba were completed and ready.
US Navy began harassing Soviet submarines by dropped practice depth charges on a Soviet Foxtrot class submarines approaching Cuba. Each of these submarines were equipped with a single nuclear armed torpedo. The U.S. destroyer, the Charles P. Cecil, forced the Soviet submarine B-36 to surface after it exhausted its batteries trying to escape from the US destroyer.
When B-59 was the subject of these attacks an exhausted Captain Valentin Savitsky, lost control and announced. “We're going to blast them now! We will die, but we will sink them all." The carrier USS Randolph and eleven destroyers were harassing the B-59. The Soviet submariners made ready their weapon; Captain Savitsky manoeuvred the B-59 within range of one of the Randolph’s escorting destroyers and fired the nuclear-armed torpedo. Two minutes thirty seconds later the fifteen-kiloton warhead detonated, the fireball and shockwave took out the entire US battle group, and incidentally the B-59.  
This disaster resulted in the US military demanding the immediate invasion of Cuba which President Kennedy was unable to resist. SAC went to DEFCON 1.

28th October 1962.
US forces invade Cuba, 30 minutes after the start of the invasion Soviet IRBMs were launched from Cuba against the US homeland. Air raid sirens echoed in US cities, Radio programmes broke in to regular programs to give a four minute warning and advised the populace to seek shelter (Protect and Survive!). B-52s retaliated and attacked cities in the USSR.
In the wake of the missile attack on the US the Soviet tank armies in Europe began to move. The European theatre very quickly had to resort to the use of nuclear land mines in Germany.
In three days there was a general nuclear exchange.

31st October 1962.
USSR transmitted its unconditional surrender to NATO. After which Harry Preston declared himself President-General of the USA as the senior surviving US government appointee. He was backed by the surviving military for want of anyone else to follow.
President-General Harry Preston authorised a nuclear attack on the Peoples Republic of China. His reasoning was: “Better to get rid of all the Reds in one go!” After some hundreds of nuclear warheads were expended nothing more was heard from Peking. Chinese border units surrendered to Indian Republican forces in the disputed region.

30th December 1962.
President-General Harry Preston was announced as the leader of the Western Alliance (even though it now contained the shattered remains of the USSR and claimed China). The Alliance was a shadow of its former self.
The Indian Republic was the only major power left to oppose the Western Alliance. At the moment relations were barely cordial, India blamed the Alliance for the devastation brought on the world by the nuclear war.

1st September 1977.
This date marked the formation of Earth Gov. President-General Harry Preston was out manoeuvred in a bloodless office coup and deposed. Mark Walton was installed as President of the Western Alliance. Harry Preston’s former Security Chief Moshe Reay took over the new planetary command facility and was installed as Arbiter for Earth in the newly constituted Whole Earth Government.  This body, supported by most of the military, was constituted as over arching the old Western Alliance and all wars were banned as was the use of nuclear weapons against Earth targets. Never again would the inhabitants of Earth fear annihilation in the nuclear fire. The organisation soon became known as the Earth Government and even more rapidly became Earth Gov, with Arbiter Reay at its head.
The Greater Indian Republic remained aloof, outside the organisation, but recognised it was not in a position to actively oppose Earth Gov. Earth Gov did not feel strong enough at the present to force the GIR into the fold having a tenuous hold at best over large areas of the former USSR and China. The refugees of most other nations on Earth were coerced to join Earth Gov, some even willingly.  They did not constitute a meaningful number.
The nuclear winter had now passed, but the lingering radiation was still causing a 19.94% reduction in industrial output and a 4.98% reduction in growth. The population of the world was still decreasing. South America was depopulated as was most of Africa.

The state of the Super Powers

Earth Gov.
Population:  517.86 million
Annual Wealth Creation: $ 8499 million
Sector Command HQ, level 1
Deep Space Tracking Station – Strength – 250 Level  1
ShipYards/ Slipways 3/3 (Cape Canaveral, Biakonur and Jiuquan Launch facilities.)
Maintenance Facilities: 4
Conventional Industry: 531
Research Labs: 3
Ground Force Training Facilities: 1
Armed Forces
Conventional Armoured Divisions: 9
Conventional Infantry Divisions: 12
Missile Complexes: 33 (not all possess ICBMs, not even most)

The Greater Indian Republic.
Population: 208.67
Annual Wealth Creation: 1430 Million Rupees
Deep Space Tracking Station – Strength – 250 Level  1
ShipYards/ Slipways 1/1 (Satish Dhawan Space Centre Launch facility.)
Maintenance Facilities: 6
Conventional Industry: 346
Research Labs: 1
Financial Centres: 4
Ground Force Training Facilities: 1
Armed Forces
Conventional Armoured Divisions: 4
Conventional Infantry Divisions: 5

India did not receive any nuclear strikes on its original core territory and thus lost a much smaller proportion of its industry, but was starting from a much lower base. The GIR now covers the whole of the Indian subcontinent, Mongolia and most of Indochina, the rest being uninhabitable. Much of the Indian military was lost in the Sino-Indian war and had still not been replaced.

Aribter Reay announced a new dream for Mankind, Mars may be inhospitable but it was not contaminated by insidious radiation. He wanted an expedition to Mars by the end of the century! To this end the Cape Canaveral launch facility was already being enlarged to build the great ships required and could already build space ships of 3000 tons.
  
6th April 1980. Earth Gov.
Mars Explorer 001 entered earth orbit.  The ship loaded infrastructure and headed for Mars.

Code: [Select]
Mars Explorer class Freighter    7,550 tons     42 Crew     103.2 BP      TCS 151  TH 6  EM 0
39 km/s     Armour 1-34     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
Maint Life 0.42 Years     MSP 9    AFR 456%    IFR 6.3%    1YR 21    5YR 322    Max Repair 5 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    Spare Berths 3    
Cargo 5000    

Rolls Royce Marsburner 2 EP  (3)    Power 2    Fuel Use 90%    Signature 2    Exp 10%
Fuel Capacity 30,000 Litres    Range 0.8 billion km   (231 days at full power)

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

16th June 1980. Earth Gov.
Mars Explorer 001 reached Mars and set up the first human base on the alien world.

1st July 1980. Earth Gov.
Mars Explorer 002 entered Earth Orbit. It then set out to join Mars Explorer 001.

26th September 1980. Earth Gov.
Mars Explorer 003 entered Earth orbit from the Cape Canaveral launch facility.

16th October 1980 . Earth Gov.
The Cape Canaveral launch facility launched the fourth and  fifth Mars Explorer freighters into Earth orbit.

22nd July 1982. GIR.
The population of the Greater Indian Republic reached its nadir at 201.7 million, less than half that of 1962, but finally growth was not a negative figure.

29th November 1984. Earth Gov.
The first two Mars Express colonist transports entered Earth Gov Space Service. The two craft loaded colonists for the first permanent Mars colony. Mars Express is nearly 60% faster that the Mars Explorer class and it is hoped they will be able to make trips when the planets are in less favourable positions, which currently the Mars Explorer class freighters are unable to do. However, like the Mars Explorer freighters, the Mars Express fleet will still require frequent overhauls. The Mars Express fleet will eventually consist of five such vessels. Monica Cosme, an ally of Arbiter Reay, was installed as the first governor of the new Mars colony.

Code: [Select]
Mars Express class Colony Ship    5,000 tons     140 Crew     214 BP      TCS 100  TH 6  EM 0
60 km/s     Armour 1-26     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
Maint Life 2.02 Years     MSP 27    AFR 200%    IFR 2.8%    1YR 9    5YR 132    Max Repair 5 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    Spare Berths 2    
Passengers 250    

Rolls Royce Marsburner 2 EP  (3)    Power 2    Fuel Use 90%    Signature 2    Exp 10%
Fuel Capacity 40,000 Litres    Range 1.6 billion km   (308 days at full power)

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

14th February 1985. Mars.
First colonists arrive on Mars and start the first permanent Mars colony.

24th June 1985. . Earth Gov.
Final Mars Express colonist transport entered Earth Gov Space service

26th December 1985. Earth Gov.
Population of Earth Gov territories finally bottomed out at 473.22 million. From now on the population should increase. The total world population was approximately 675 million people, down from 3.3 billion in 1962.

6th December 1986. Earth Gov.
The Mars Explorer freighters were withdrawn from regular service pending their replacement with the faster and more economic Mars Loadmaster. To build the new Mars Loadmasters the Cape Canaveral construction and launch site will have to construct an orbital assembly yard as the ships could not climb out of the Earth’s gravity well without fatally stressing the hull. The other two launch sites would follow suit as they were also enlarged.

9th January 1987. Earth Gov.
Earth Gov Space rented out Mars Explorer 005 to visit the inner planets to a consortium of surviving universities. The mission would consist of the orbital mapping of Venus and the dark side of Mercury. If a suitable landing site could be found in the terminator region of Mercury a geology team would land and take samples.

14th February 1987. Venus.
The planetary science team aboard the Mars Explorer 005 spent three weeks constructing maps of the Venusian surface across the EM spectrum.

9th March 1987. Mercury.
Mars Explorer 005 arrived at Mercury and began mapping the dark side.

Earth Gov.
Mars Loadmaster 001 & 002 entered Earth Gov Space service.

Code: [Select]
Mars Loadmaster class Freighter    8,750 tons     67 Crew     134.8 BP      TCS 175  TH 10  EM 0
57 km/s     Armour 1-37     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 2     PPV 0
Maint Life 1.15 Years     MSP 19    AFR 306%    IFR 4.3%    1YR 15    5YR 221    Max Repair 5 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    Spare Berths 2    
Cargo 5000    

Rolls Royce Marsburner 2 EP  (5)    Power 2    Fuel Use 90%    Signature 2    Exp 10%
Fuel Capacity 50,000 Litres    Range 1.1 billion km   (231 days at full power)

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

24th March 1987. Mercury.
A geology team successfully landed on Mercury and retrieved several hundred kilos of rock samples after which they returned to Mars Explorer 005 which then broke orbit for Earth.

3rd May 1987. Earth Gov.
Mars Explorer 005 returned to Earth to massive scientific acclaim.

13th June 1987. Earth Gov.
Mars Loadmaster 003 & 004 left the Canaveral orbital construction facility and entered Earth orbit.

18th September 1987. Earth Gov.
The last Mars Loadmaster freighter built to supply the Mars run entered Earth orbit from the Canaveral assembly ‘Yard.
The Mars Express class freighters were now to be scrapped.

1st November 1988. Earth Gov.
Scientists from the planetary science team that visited Venus and Mercury announced the discovery of several unique minerals in the samples collected from the surface of Mercury. These minerals yielded several new elements which were from some of the islands of stability in the periodic table, theorised but never before discovered. Initial investigations of these elements appeared to reveal some astounding properties. Professor Dominick Whiston would be leading a team to fully elucidate the properties of these unique elements.

6th March 1989. Mars.
The population of the Martian colony exceeded fifteen thousand. Earth Gov Space is very pleased with the Mars Loadmasters; they can now complete four trips before an overhaul is required. This was approaching the same reliability as that achieved by the Mars Express colonist transports, which were now cleared for six Mars trips before overhaul.


This Story may or may not be continued.


Edited to correct tense!

11
Tales of Avalon / The Perfidious Hierarchy. (11)
« on: October 03, 2012, 03:10:07 AM »
WARNING POSSIBLE SPOILERS WITHIN!!

Tales of the Union.

 
The Perfidious Hierarchy. Part 1.

6th February 89. Delta Velorum.
Task Force 5 entered Delta Velorum using combat transits and set course for the inner system of the B component.
Code: [Select]
Task Force 5
Task Group 5.1 (Group Commander Lu Zhen Cui, SO.)
Jump Cruiser Vanguard, the Missile Cruisers Raider, Reliant, Relentless, Fleet Scout Farsight and the Escort Neon.
Task Group 5.2 (Commodore Elsa Dannenberg, Flag Officer)
Jump Cruiser Swiftsure, Missile Cruisers Renown, Resolution, Revenge, Fleet Scout Scanner and the Escort Nitrogen.
Task Group 5.3 (Captain Matthew Potter, SO.)
Jump Cruiser Resurgence, Missile Cruisers Rocket, Ranger, Rapid, Redoubtable and the Escort Indium.
Task Group 5.4 (Captain Ratna Srivastava, SO.)
Jump Destroyer Valheru, Missile Boats Bayard, Bicorne, Bunyip, Camoleopard and the Escort Yttrium.


The Beaumaris Expanse as of December 90.

7th February 89. Delta Velorum.
The Destroyer squadron was detected at the edge of the fleet scout Scanner’s search envelope. The Destroyer force still consisted of Neptuno 004, Reina Sofia 004, Reina Sofia 005, Reina Sofia 006, Hernan Cortez 002, Santa Maria 002, Santa Maria 003 and Santa Maria 004.

8th February 89. Delta Velorum.
As Task Force 5 penetrated deeper into the Delta Velorum system more evidence of the Destroyer occupation became apparent as a Mistral and Cabo Fradera orbital base were located in orbit of Delta Velorum-B V and a Tramontana class troop transport was detected in the orbit of Delta Velorum-B IV.


The Adversaries

9th February 89. HR8853.
Commodore Leonard had been tasked by Star Corps HO to eliminate the threat posed to the proposed new colony on HR8853-A II by the three Tramontana class transports discovered in the system by STG 2. With the discovery of a ruined settlement on HR 8853-A II it was hoped the system could be colonised and enough facilities salvaged to provide a base for naval operations which would extend Union influence into that jump chain once it was in place.
Commodore Leonard had at his disposal Task Force 3 based at Zwickau – S.W. Burnham 157. This force would be more than adequate to deal with this threat. His greatest challenge would be to encircle the enemy vessels and bring them to action.
Code: [Select]
Task Force 3
 Task Group 3.1 (Commodore Bill Leonard, Flag Officer)
 Jump Ship Discovery, the Missile Frigates, Flute, Corrie and Edge, Fleet Scout Seeker and the Escort Zirconium.
Task Group 3.2 (Captain Gunnar Lessing, SO.)
Jump Destroyer Alma Lodaka, Missile Boats Efreet, Elf, Gargoyle, Ghoul, and the Escort Bromine.
Task Group 3.3 (Captain Kia George, SO.)
Jump Destroyer Cadal, Missile Boats Giant, Goblin, Unicorn, Werewolf and the Escort Hafnium.
Task Group 3.4 (Squadron Leader Hosvi  Vefastrson, SO.)
Jump Ship Eclipse, Missile Frigates Pinnacle, Slab, Saddle, Talus and the Escort Strontium.
Task Force 3 duly entered HR 8853 and the long-range active sensor on the fleet scout Seeker immediately picked up the signature of the three Tramontana class troopships previously detected by STG 2. Commodore Leonard dispersed his command into its respective task groups and the encirclement began.

11 February 89. Delta Velorum.
Commodore Danneberg ordered a change of course to intercept the approaching Destroyer squadron. The range closed rapidly. Her instructions were to expend the basic Hellcats before engaging with the IIIB model.
15:35. Task Force 5 opened fire at a range of 110 million klicks. Twenty-four Hellcats targeted at each of the 6,700 ton vessels and fifty-four at each of the 13,400 ton ships.
16:15:21. The doubtful wisdom of a limited first strike was illustrated as for the first time the Destroyer AMM fire began to bite into the approaching waves of missiles. It was becoming obvious that the new classes of vessels with the Destroyer squadron were anti-missile escorts and very effective ones at that.
16:15:36. Before the Hellcats could detonate on their targets forty had been taken out by AMM fire and several lost terminal guidance. Of the ninety-six in the first wave only fifty-eight managed to hit their targets, venting their tritium fuelled thermonuclear spleen against the Destroyer shields and armour. But they were spread among the squadron. The only visible damage was a reduction in the thermal signature of the Hernan Cortez 002 and Santa Maria 002 where burn-throughs had damaged drive units
16:15:51. The second wave, again of ninety-six Hellcats fared better in that only twenty-four Hellcats were lost to AMM fire on approach, but only fifty-nine managed to hit their targets. However, this time there was obvious damage to the Destroyer ships now as the squadron was strung out like beads on a string, many having suffered drive unit failures due to damage inflicted by the Union missiles.
16:16:11. Of the smaller third wave of forty-eight Hellcats only ten made it through to hit their targets and at best only temporarily reduced shields or perhaps scored armour.
16:16:41. Two of Danneberg’s task group commanders opened a conference call by laser comm. Group Commander Lu Zhen Cui and Captain Ratna Srivastava suggested that a couple more waves would do the trick. Reluctantly Danneberg concurred and the missile cruisers belched their deadly loads towards the enemy once more.
16:16:46. The final fourth wave of forty-eight missiles of the first strike was a waste of ordnance; only six made it through the AMM gamut and did no observable damage what so ever. The first attack on the Destroyer squadron may have hurt them but it killed none.
16:44:31. The jump escort cruiser Vanguard detected the first of the enemy Hellcats inbound.
16:45:16. The jump escort cruisers Vanguard, Swiftsure and Resurgence all began launching AMMs, the Vanguard was using ex-Destroyer Bugbear missiles and the other two superior Union Arrow IVs.
16:46:06. Commodore Danneberg watched the debacle unfold and having reached a decision in her own mind, Danneberg ordered in a loud voice over the intership laser comm “Launch another two full salvos per target!” All the missile cruisers began to launch full salvos of missiles against their designated targets.
16:47: 56.  The Destroyer squadron was still strung out, Neptuno 004 and Reina Sofia 004 were leading followed by Reina Sofia 005, then Reina Sofia 006 and Hernan Cortez 002 at about one million klick intervals. Santa Maria 002, 003 and 004 all trailing well back from the rest depriving the lead units of their AMM cover. Twenty-four Hellcats attacked the two lead vessels, Neptuno 004 and Reina Sofia 004, and received no AMM fire in return. Nine hit each of the vessels after point defence had taken its toll, their thermal signature dropped but there were no other visible effects.
16:48:11. As the fifth wave progressed down the string, AMM fire finally picked up and began to take its toll. Of the dozen Hellcats targeted at Reina Sofia 005 ten hit reducing her thermal signature to 1200.
16:48:26. The fifth wave reached Reina Sofia 006 and Hernan Cortez. Each was rocked by eight thermonuclear devices detonating in contact with their hull. But another fourteen had been depleted from the attack by AMM fire. Gratifyingly the Hernan Cortez suffered internal explosions which would hopefully impair her efficiency.
16:49:06. The fifth wave travelled on and of the salvos targeted at Santa Maria 003 only one missile hit! The wave now consisted of only nine missiles; the remainder of the wave was destroyed by AMM and point defence fire, never to reach the furthest targets.
16:49:16. The jump escort cruiser Vanguard ran out of Bugbears, having expended nearly five hundred and switched to the more reliable Arrow IVs. However none of the Destroyer Hellcats had yet made it through the screen provided by the jump cruisers.
16:49:31. Santa Maria 004 received only two hits, barely enough to dent her shields. Only a single missile was now left to target Santa Maria 002!
16:50:26. the lone surviving Hellcat constituting the fifth wave was destroyed by AMM fire.
17:08. The Destroyer Squadron was observed to be retiring, presumably having shot their bolt, but Task Force 5 had a good margin of speed over the enemy and they could not escape unless allowed to. The hostiles were still strung out, with Neptune nearest Task Force 5 followed by Reina Sofia 004 and 005 at approximately one million klick intervals then there was a group of Reina Sofia 003, Hernan Cortez and Santa Maria 003, finally there was Santa Maria 004 and 002 four and five million klicks  respectively adrift of them. Santa Maria 002 had been seriously hurt and barely made 2000 k/s.
17:08:36. In the sixth wave, of eighteen Hellcats targeted at Neptuno 004, eleven made it through defensive fire to detonate close to the hull tearing great gashes in the armour allowing access into the soft internal spaces, the thermal signature dropped to 500, velocity reduced to 1864k/s. Once more there was no interfering AMM or PD fire.
17:09:01. The seventh wave approached their targets. Eighteen more Hellcats bore in on Neptuno 004, only a dozen were required to reduce it to a rapidly expanding debris field. Task Force 5 had finally achieved their first kill of the engagement.
17:09:11. Reina Sofia 004 was next in the string, in the absence of point defence fire sixteen of the eighteen Hellcats targeted against Reina Sofia 004 hit and it disintegrated into fragments as the tritium fuelled thermonuclear warheads detonated, making the follow up salvo superfluous.
17:09:26. Reina Sofia 005 was the next target to be hammered into oblivion, all eighteen Hellcats hit, briefly turning space into an imitation of the heart of a star. The follow-up salvos were not required.
17:10:16. AMM fire started up once more, tearing eighteen Hellcats from the firmament. But all eighteen Hellcats targeted at Reina Sofia 006 slammed into the vessel, brief magnetic fields directed plasma lances against shields, armour and then internal spaces, boiling exotic metals to a radioactive vapour in an instant. The shattered hull no longer held the semblance of life.  
17:10:51. Twenty more Hellcats were killed by the unrelenting AMM fire, but enough remained and many missiles destroyed were in the leading salvos and not the follow-up salvos which were more important for the survival of Santa Maria 003. The follow up salvos turned space around Santa Maria 003 incandescent and the vessel broke up.  
17:10:56. The Hernan Cortez, lagging behind Santa Maria 003 turned its attention to the second volley, taking out three, but would that be enough?
17:11:01. The answer was no! It only managed to kill one additional missile before the Hernan Cortez died in a maelstrom of thermonuclear explosions.
17:11:06. That however was as far as the leading salvos of this wave got; AMM fire from the surviving ships was still effective. All missiles targeted at Santa Maria 002 and 004 were destroyed.
17:12:01. . The Destroyer squadron had been reduced to Santa Maria 004 and Santa Maria 002. AMM fire recommenced as the now reduced follow-up salvos of the eighth wave came into range, proving that Santa Maria 002, however badly hurt, was still operational.
17:12:06. The missiles detonated, thermonuclear explosions tore into Santa Maria 004 smashing the hull open to vacuum, the hull failed and broke up. More missiles were taken out. Santa Maria 002 demonstrated it still had teeth and a 5 million klick range as it began to reduce the approaching Hellcats. Eleven missiles were left in the second wave, but their chances of getting through to Santa Maria 002 were looking slim.
17:14:16. The last missiles of the eighth wave perished. It was all down to the final salvos of two dozen Hellcats targeted against Santa Maria 002.
17:36:46. Santa Maria 002 finally appeared to have exhausted its supply of anti-missile missiles as no interceptions were detected. Twenty-four Hellcats detonated as one and seemed to rend space itself as they obliterated the final Destroyer warship.

12th February 89. HR8853.
Task Group 3.2 manoeuvred into range of the three Tramontana class transports and opened fire; Twenty-four Firestar IVs were launched at each of the transports. The majority hit, ten-kiloton warheads exploded, bringing down shields and tearing at armour, but they were insufficient to destroy the vessels. A dozen more Firestar IVs were fired off and at the end of their run one target exploded. But it took half-a-dozen more Firestar IVs before the remaining two mingled their wreckage with that of the first.

15th February 89. Delta Velorum.
Commodore Danneberg ordered the Task Force to close the Destroyer orbital forts at Delta Velorum-A V
13:54:26. Task Force 5 reached engagement range of the two orbital bases around Delta Velorum-A V. over the intership comm she ordered “Launch one trial salvo from each cruiser. Missile boats you are designated reserve.” In light of the experience with the mobile squadron she was expecting another difficult engagement. Ninety-six Hellcats leapt from their launchers. She was not to be disappointed.
14:36:11. Anti-missile fire began and in the first 30 seconds took down sixty-six of the approaching Hellcats. Point defence fire accounted for another sixteen. The Cabo Fradera 004 orbital base was engulfed by the explosions of eight Hellcat warheads, the Mistral 004 fort by just six. When the disturbance cleared from the sensors the orbital forts were still there, looking untouched.
14:26:31. Danneberg was heard to mutter by the bridge staff on the Renown “tell me what ordnance to use would they.” Then over the intership comm. “Expend the last of the damned Hellcats, empty the magazines of them!”
15:18:56.  The captains of the missile cruisers took Danneburg at her word, magazine hoists went into top gear supplying munitions to the launchers.  The new wave of missiles streaked towards their targets, they were split equally between the two orbital forts. Once more AMM fire was effective, but this time eighteen Hellcats hit the Cabo Fradera 004, thermonuclear fire danced along the hull and must have seriously damaged it. However the Mistral fort was untouched, all missiles targeted against it being lost.
18:19:16. Anti-missile fire slackened, Cabo Fradera 004 was hurt, twelve more Hellcats exploded around it plasma lances burned into the forts interior. One thermonuclear lance penetrated a magazine; the resultant secondary detonation tore the station apart to rain debris down on the planet below. All remaining Hellcats targeted at the Cabo Fradera self-destructed. For the second time six Hellcats penetrated the defences of Mistral class base and expended their fury against the orbital fort.
15:20:01. There was no AMM fire, it appeared the Cabo Fradera had been responsible for that, but nevertheless point defence fire took down half of the incoming salvo, so only twelve Hellcats hurled their thermonuclear lances against the luckless fort.
15:20:31. The last wave of sixteen Hellcats burned towards their target, no point defence fire greeted them, When the disruption caused by the detonation of the tritium fuelled warheads cleared another wreck littered the planetary orbitals.

16th February 89. Delta Valorum.
After a brief stand-down at Delta Velorum-A V to rest the crews Commodore Danneberg began the operation to clear Tramontana 011 from the system. As a prelude the Task Force split into its task groups and moved out.

17th February 89. Delta Velorum.
As Task Group 5.2 moved to trap Tramontana 011 it passed close to Delta Velorum-B I-moon 2 and detected a Destroyer base on the moon.

18th February 89. Delta Velorum.
05:46. Tramontana 011 finally came into range and Danneburg’s own ship, the Renown, fired eighteen Hellcat IIIBs at her.
06:33. All eighteen hit speckling space with diamond hard pinpoints of light. The directed lithium deuteride fuelled plasma lances cut through her shields and deep into the hull, but were insufficient to destroy the vessel. Raider fired six further missiles to deliver the coup de grâce. These broke the troop carrier into fragments adding another wreck to the constellation that orbited Delta Velorum prime.

22nd February 89. HIP 21482.
Cargo/Salvage Task Group 08 completed the salvage of a 22,350 ton wreck and received a surprise.  Along with five primitive gas cooled fast reactors, a TH3-18 thermal sensor,(equal to current Union technology) and two E8 ion drive units was a 40 cm C10 far X-ray laser! This was more advanced than the Union’s own conventional lasers and a much bigger aperture than any union vessels mounted, although the Union had better capacitors in addition to advanced laser technology.

29th February 89. Gliese 201-A.
STG 2 returned to HIP 21482 to investigate the jump points in that system. Their first exploration through jump point #5 revealed the system of Gliese 201-A. This was a potential destination for the Empire of Baneh freighters seen leaving HIP 21482. But since there was no open jump portal on the other side the Baneh freighters destination was almost certainly jump portal #3.

2nd March 89. Phi-2 Ceti.
Commodore Elsa Danneberg, the most decorated officer of the Star Corps retired from the service. Her last act was to castigate Logistics and Procurement for daring to suggest to a combat officer the way they should employ the ordnance entrusted to them. She was loved by all who served under her and will be greatly missed by all of Task Force 5. Her place was taken by Commodore Xu Mei Jian, a distant figure, but one who in the past had demonstrated patience with his subordinates. In any case the Phi-2 Ceti sector would be much quieter in the future with the emphasis now placed on the Lleida Expanse.

4th March 89. HIP21482.
Cargo/Salvage Task Group 08 was busy salvaging the latest target when the scan subofficer nearly fell off his seat as the sensor alert went off shaking him out of his daydream. It took him a few seconds to recognise what he was seeing, for in addition to the five almost routine Longbow, presumed freighter, contacts there were now an additional 47 contacts of a new class designated Blackjack, of 20,850 tons and capable of 2876 k/s apparently heading (or so he hoped) for the unexplored open jump portal #3. Nether these vessels or the Longbow class had been detected by the survey group as they surveyed the system. They were certainly slow enough that they could well have been out of the system during the time it took to survey the system and Baneh colonies had been detected in other systems. So the indications were that the Baneh were still actively colonising.

5th March 89. HIP 21482.
To the subofficer’s relief the alien fleet kept on course for the jump point and allowed Cargo/Survey Task Group 08 to complete the salvage of the 21,300 ton wreck from which it recovered one each of ECM-1 and ECCM-1 modules, a size 8 missile launcher, a TH 1-11 thermal sensor, an EM 2-22 sensor, an FC 285-R81, three capacity 109 magazines and five magneto-plasma E7 drive units.

18th March 89. HIP 21482.
Salvage/Cargo Task Group 08 completed the salvage of the 21,300 ton wreck from which it recovered one each of ECCM-1, a size 8 missile launcher, a TH 1-11 thermal sensor , an EM 2-22 sensor, a capacity 109 magazines and five magneto-plasma E7 drive units.

2nd April 89. HIP21482.
Cargo/Salvage Task Group 08 salvaged another 22,350 wreck and recovered two 40cm far X-ray lasers, five gas cooled reactors and an ion E8 engine. With holds nearly full the group returned to Saginaw to unload their booty.

5th June 89. Delta Velorum.
The 15th Light Assault Division unloaded on Delta Velorum-B1 – moon 2 and set up camp prior to their assault on the Destroyer base located on the moon.

6th June 89. Delta Velorum.
The 15th Light Assault Division initiated their attack on the Destroyer base on Delta Velorum-B I – moon 2. The Division was still green and it showed in their execution of the initial assault which was ragged when compared to more experienced formations.

17th June 89. 71 Orionis.
STG 2 discovered 71 Orionis after entering an unexplored jump point in the Gliese 201 system. 71 Orionis was an F6-V star with an extensive planetary system although none were likely terraforming candidates.

17th June 89. Delta Velorum-B I.
The Destroyer garrison units had easily avoided contact with the green troops until the Union battalions were up against the base itself when the assault troops were finally able to carve a quarter of one the defending units into so much junk.  

18th June 89. Delta Velorum.
The geological survey vessel Sapphire from STG 4(G) discovered a ruined colony on Delta Velorum-B V.

24th June 89. Delta Velorum-B  I.
The 15th Light Assault Division was struggling to gain access into the Destroyer base proper. Light skirmishing continued, costing a Destroyer garrison unit 10% of its effectives.

29th June 89. Delta Velorum-B I.
Finally the 15th Light Assault gained access to the Destroyer base and in the process totally destroyed one of the defending ‘droid units as it fought its way in.
 
23rd July 89. Theta Sculptoris.
The ruins on Theta Sculptoris-A VI were fully surveyed by the Nicholas Porter Xenologist Team. The alien race which had inhabited the planet was identified as the Royal Khanate and their language and symbology was translated. The Khanate had achieved a level of technology commensurate with tech level 5 before its demise. 112 abandoned installations were found which might be recovered by an engineer regiment. The planet would be known as Khan in the future.

12th August 89. Avalon.
Gong Cai Wei retired from his position of Sector Controller, Avalon Sector, and the position of Director of the Star Union of Avalon, Controller Primus, aged 73. He is to be succeeded by Lakshmir Ponarkaar, formally Planetary Coordinator of Sagniaw – Xi Pegasi-A II – Moon 3. Lakshmir Ponarkaar was appointed by a free vote at a special conclave of Sector Controllers and Planetary Coordinators; such was the position of responsibility for the Union this post entailed.
Lakshmir Ponarkaar’s former post will be filled by Daniel Burrows, formerly Planetary Coordinator of a cometary mining colony in Avalon.  Burrows proved an efficient and effective Planetary Coordinator in previous post and many predict a long and successful career for the young administrator.

16th August 89. HD 24496.
STG 3 discovered the system of HD 24496 after entering an unexplored jump portal in HIP21482. The wrecks of twenty-four Baneh Longbows were detected deep in system. HD 24496 was an attractive system, a G0-V star orbited by ten planets dozens of moons and an asteroid belt. HD 24496-A I and A III had colony costs of 2.17 and 1.47 respectively.

HIP21482
Cargo/Salvage group 8 returned to HIP 21482 and continued in its salvage mission on the alien 7,100 ton wrecks. The latest wreck yielded an ECM - 1 unit, an EM1-11 detection sensor and three magneto-plasma E7 drive units.

30th August 89. Rho Puppis.
Exploration of a jump point in the Gliese 201 system by Survey Task Group 2 revealed the new system of Rho Puppis. This system consisted of a single F6-III star and ten planets with their associated moons and a handful of comets. Rho Puppis-A II had a colony cost of 2.47.

4th September 89. HIP 21482.
Cargo/Salvage Group 8 continued to recover items from the 7,100 ton wrecks in HIP 21842. The latest gave up an active search sensor MR126-R4, a TH1-11 thermal detection sensor, an ECCM- 1 and ECM – 1 unit.

5th September Refuge- 89 HIP – A III.
Civilian Administrator Feng Qiao Cheng, Planetary Coordinator of Refuge, retired from government service at the age of 72. He was replaced by Ameretat Barot, formally Governor of a mining asteroid in Avalon. His appointment was ratified by the Sector Controllers and three prominent Planetary Coordinators.

8th September 89. HIP 21482.
Salvage of a further 7,100 ton wreck by Cargo /Salvage Group 8 saw them recover a FC126-R4 missile fire control, and an EM1-11 detection sensor. This was the last of the 7,100 ton wrecks in the HIP 21482 system.

21st September 89. GJ 3021.
Survey Task Group 4 (G) entered an unexplored open jump portal in LHS 1908 and discovered the GJ 3021 system.  This was a calculated risk as this survey squadron was without jump capability. However the risk was well taken and an open jump portal was found on the other end of the wormhole.  GJ 3021 had a well endowed planetary system and a colony cost 1.9 world at GJ 1321-A IV.

22nd September 89. HIP 21482.
Cargo /Salvage Group 8 continued in its salvage efforts on one of the larger alien wrecks and was rewarded by further examples of 40cm C10 far X-ray lasers, gas-cooled reactors and E7 and E8 ion engines.

14th October 89. HD 24496.
STG 3 discovered a colony from the Baneh Empire on HD 24496-A II. It had a thermal signature of 4776, an EM signature of 7127 and an estimated ground force combat strength of 10.

21st October 89. HD 24496.
STG 3 discovered Gliese 140 after entering one of the remaining unexplored stabilised jump portals in HD 24496. Gliese 140 was a red dwarf trinary system, The A component was a M0-V star with a sizable planetary system. The B component had no planets while the C component had one planet and a few asteroids. There were no terraforming candidates in the system.

25th October 89. HD 24496.
Survey Task Group 5(G) found a Baneh Colony on HD 24496-A III with a thermal signature of 1200, an EM signature of 4776 and an estimated  ground force combat strength of 10. This planet had millions of tons of vendarite and boronide at good accessibilities.
 
11th November 89. HD 24496.
Survey Task Group 5(G) located another three Baneh colonies on HD 24496-A VII Moon 34, moon 22 and moon 24. All had a thermal signature of 5 and an estimated ground force strength of 10. These moons had substantial deposits of duranium with a 0.9 accessibility.

14th November 89. HD 24496.
A further Baneh colony was found on HD 24496-A IX - Moon 24 with a thermal signature of 5 and an estimated combat strength of 10. There was a small duranium deposit (1.0 accessibility) on the moon.

21st  November 89. HD 24496.
Yet another Baneh colony was found on HD 24496-A IX – moon 16 with a thermal signature of 5 and an estimated combat strength of 5. This moon had millions of tons of duranium, neutronium, boronide and gallicite all with an accessibility of 0.7 or better. HD 24496 was a mineral rich system and appeared heavily infested with Baneh colonies.

26th November 89. Phi-2 Ceti.
The Sector Command facility on Beaumaris Beta was completed. Amitabha Datanal, formerly Planetary Coordinator of Zwickau – S.W. Burnham 157-A II was appointed by a panel consisting of all current Sector Controllers, Marshal Preston of the Star Corps and The Planetary Coordinators of Excalibur, Gram and Beaumaris Beta. His former seat is to be taken by Sam Sullivan, formally Planetary Coordinator of a cometary mining colony in Kuiper 99.  

7th December 89. Woolley 9125.
Exploration of an unexplored jump point in the HD 24496 system by elements of STG 3 revealed the new system of Woolley 9125. Woolley 9125 was a G0-V star with a well-developed planetary system, but no suitable terraforming candidate was discovered.

14th December 89. 50 Persei.
Survey Task Group 5(G) had no intrinsic jump capability of its own but with the profusion of stabilised jump portals around and in the light of the success of Survey Task Group 4(G), took the chance to enter an unexplored jump portal in HD 24496. In any case STG 3 was scheduled to follow them through within the day so they would be guaranteed a way out if there was not an open portal in the new system. As luck would have it there was an open jump portal in the new system of 50 Persei and a way back to HD 24496. 50 Persei was a single F7-V star with a planetary system of nine planets and two asteroid belts. 50 Persei-A III had a colony cost of 1.90.

15th December 89. 50 Persei.
Elements of STG 3 entered the new system of 50 Persei and detected the wrecks of three Destroyer Cazadora class warships in the system, but encountered no live Destroyer vessels.

20th December 89. 50 Persei.
Survey Task Group 5 (G) located a substantial (12 million tons) deposit of neutronium on 50 Persei-A III along with a Baneh colony with a thermal and EM signature of1987 and 709 respectively and an estimated Ground force strength of 20.

23rd December 89. Woolley 9716.
Exploration of a jump point in the Gliese 201 system by Survey Task Group 2 revealed the new system of Woolley 9716. Woolley 9716 was a lone red dwarf M4-V star, with no companions.

24th December 89. 50 Persei.
A Baneh Population was discovered on 50 Persei-A VII - moon 6 with a thermal signature of 202 and EM signature of 714 and an estimated combat strength 20. The moon contained a few hundred thousand tons of duranium and corbamite.

8th February 90. 50 Persei.
STG 3 completed its gravitational survey of the 50 Persei system. The system was a dead end system and had only one jump point.

9th February 90. Penkala.
Penkala was a backwater system in the backwater that was the Imperial Arm. Since the advent of the appearance of the Lleida Hierarchy in the Beaumaris Sector, traffic down the Arm had virtually ceased. Not even the colonist transports passed that way anymore. But like other former Destroyer occupied systems there were a few outposts scattered amongst the orbiting bodies. These were linked to Star Corps HQ by ansible.
Gram- Avalon-A II.
Lieutenant O’Brien was lounging at her desk when a red light began to flash on part of her console she rarely visited. Her interest piqued she examined it more closely. It was one of the automated stations in a dull system in the Imperial Arm. She supposed a routine maintenance call had been misrouted. She keyed the report via audio prior to sending it on its way. The system responded not with the expected maintenance request but with ” New alien race detected in Penkala! A new ship of the Udaygiri class has been detected in Penkala. Our intelligence service has designated the new ship as the Udaygiri 002. Thermal contact strength 600.” A shocked Lieutenant O’Brien keyed her communicator “Switchboard. Priority message for Marshal Preston….”
Operations were soon examining ship dispositions and eventually orders were cut for Task Group 1.1, based at Refuge- HIP 96183-A IV. The Task Group was directed to investigate the contact. The star map was being examined for possible avenues of exploration. It was unthinkable that the contact would not be traced back to its home world. In the medium turn Penkala would be host to a Star Corps naval base. This would include the terraforming of Penkala-A II and the installation of several mining colonies.


Imperial Arm.

Code: [Select]
Task Group 1.1 (Squadron Leader Alexander Hardy. Flag Officer)
Jump Ship Endurance, Missile Frigates Arête, Buttress, Crag and Spire, Fleet Scout Warden and Escort Osmium.

9th February 90. Mu Cygni.
The final additions of anti-greenhouse gas to the atmosphere of Quarry-Mu Cygni-A IV - Moon 4 were made. The planet was as near Gram normal as it was ever going to get. Half-a-million colonists were on their way to transform an open cast mine klicks deep into a home.

20th February 90. Delta Aquilae.
Onager and Pack Horse (Camel Mk IB class tugs) were completed at the Devaria - Delta Aquilae-A IV orbital ‘Yard complex.
Code: [Select]
Camel Mk IB class Fleet Tug    33,250 tons     735 Crew     8229 BP      TCS 665  TH 1500  EM 0
18796 km/s     Armour 1-92     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
MSP 155    Max Repair 312 MSP
Tractor Beam    

Celesteon Commercial SCAM Drive E0.3 (25)    Power 500    Fuel Use 3%    Signature 60    Armour 0    Exp 1%
Fuel Capacity 790,000 Litres    Range 1425.5 billion km   (877 days at full power)

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes

21st February 89. 50 Persai.
A new ship class from the Empire of Baneh was detected in 50 Persei. It was designated the Achilles class of 2750 tons and 4363 k/s. It was probably a survey vessel.

28th February 89. Penkala.
Task Group 1.1 arrived in the Penkala system and discovered not one alien scout but seven. They were of 2,100 tons and capable of 14285 k/s, worryingly fast.  This put their tech level on a par with the Union’s.

3rd March 89. Avalon.
A new size 4 anti-ship missile the Firestar V entered production.
Code: [Select]
Missile Size: 4 MSP  (0.2 HS)     Warhead: 16    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 21
Speed: 62500 km/s    Endurance: 40 minutes   Range: 150.6m km
Thermal Sensor Strength: 0.36    Detect Sig Strength 1000:  360,000 km
Cost Per Missile: 8.8017
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 1312.5%   3k km/s 420%   5k km/s 262.5%   10k km/s 131.2%
Materials Required:    4x Tritanium   0.36x Uridium   5.0367x Gallicite   Fuel x2091.5

Development Cost for Project: 880RP

8th March 89. Beamaris Alpha - Phi-2 Ceti-A II.
Once more the value of the excavations on Beaumaris Alpha were demonstrated when a research facility was recovered with the complete technical specification for plasma-core anti-matter power plants.

30th March 89. Excalibur – Avalon-A IV.
Lakshmir Ponarkaar, the recently appointed Director of the Star Union of Avalon and Avalon Sector Controller, was concerned at the reports reaching his desk. When Sector Controller Gong Cai Wei of the Chin had been appointed to the position of Sector Controller Primus (as Gong like to style himself) finally eclipsing the power of Clan Windwalker all had thought it a great step forward for the advancement of the Union and truth be told at the start of his tenure the Union had never been so prosperous or secure. But the situation had changed, unfortunately the ailing Gong Cai Wei had not noticed and carried on as before, increasing the wealth of the Union but at the cost of its strength. Director Ponarkaar set up a fact finding inquiry, with himself as its chairman.
First to be called before the inquiry was Marshal Preston to review the strength of the Star Corps. Ponarkaar was appalled at the rundown of the Corps capabilities. While there had been no wholesale scrapping of ships the duties of the Corps had expanded vastly, much more than doubled, which was what had happened to the strength of the Star Corps. In the past the Star Corps had four Task Forces of which two were available for immediate deployment, plus a strategic reserve of the three Carrier Groups. Now the Star Corps had seven Task Forces plus one completing soon with only one free for immediate deployment. The strategic reserve was unchanged, still the same three Carrier Groups; however, two were deployed away from Avalon to Iota Piscium and Woolley 9388. Now there were many more systems that needed a garrison and the potential threats had multiplied greatly.
Task Forces 1 through 4 relied on close-in laser and gauss anti-missile defence and had none of the longer ranged capability so effectively provided by the jump escort cruisers.  They were also slow compared to later Task Forces and relied on the obsolete CIWS-320 as point defence and could not be regarded as first line combat formations. As for ground forces entire front-line divisions were tied down on garrison duties instead of being ready to deploy to trouble spots immediately. The one bright spot was Survey Command which had obtained new ships and almost eliminated the routine loss of ships to the Destroyers or the Horde. But even here they were not using the latest technology and of the nine survey task groups only six had dual capability of gravitational and geological survey, the other three restricted to geological survey only, principally as a cost saving measure. The effects of the lacunae of the Interregnum had not entirely worn off.
There were currently three alien races known to the Star Union out there, only one for which had the Star Corps had located their probable home system. Based on the velocity of their survey vessels the latest of these aliens, the Penkala aliens, must possess a technology at least equal to the Union, if not superior. This was unprecedented; the Union was used to being technologically superior from the time of the Imperial Devarian incursion to the present day! The chief scientists were brought before the inquiry. They revealed that there were still bright young prospects coming out of the universities, but the number of research facilities had not increased for nigh on fifty years! In the meantime the Union had experienced an economic miracle, building up a surplus of some one point three trillion shillings, while defence and research spending as a percentage of the whole steadily fell.
Lakshmir Ponarkaar took the findings of the inquiry to the Sector Controllers; he proposed the immediate increasing of research facilities and an expansion in the fleet, especially ground forces which were now inadequate if a major campaign developed in the next three years. Garrison divisions would be raised for the major Star Union planets releasing combat formations for frontline service.
A forward base would be developed in Penkala able to maintain a carrier group as it was potentially the closest system to the aliens jump route. This would strain the Star Corps logistics arm as they were still trying to emplace a 150 million population on Phi-2 Ceti to enable the staffing of all the research facilities confiscated from the Adelsoni (Woolley 9833) while still exploiting other sites of alien ruins. In addition to the proposal to construct a base on Roadrunner – HR8853-A II was still on the table.
This would mean deficit spending, but the reserves were in very good shape thanks to former Director Gong Cai Wei so the Union could afford it. Unfortunately it would take time to rectify the inaction of the past.

Delta Aquilae.
Mountain Ass (Camel Mk II class) completed at the Devaria - Delta Aquilae-A IV ‘Yard complex. This class was very similar to the Mk IB variant, but had the addition of two CIWS 500 systems.

 23rd April 90. Woolley 9126.
Survey Task Group 8 discovered Woolley 9126 after entering an unexplored jump portal in HIP21482. Woolley 9126 was a K2-V star with a large planetary family, Woolley 9126-A II had a colony cost of 0.11.

 7th May 90. HIP 21482.
In a surprise diplomatic move the Empire of Baneh granted trade access to the Star Union.

13th May 90. HD 24496.
The third Longbow wreck salvaged by Cargo/Salvage Task Group 8 finally revealed that which the Union intelligence service had been searching for. The Longbow freighter wreck yielded two magneto-plasma drive units. Thus those wrecks from which Magneto-plasma drive units had been recovered could be assigned to the Baneh, those from which ion engines had been recovered to their enemies.

17th May 90. Gliese 140.
The Satellite Layers had been busy depositing surveillance satellites on every jump point they could reach including systems in and around the Baneh Empire. The first unusual reports were starting to come through. The transit of an unknown vessel was detected into Gliese 140 via jump point #2.  The surveillance satellites’ were finally paying off.

20th May 90. Gliese 123.
Exploration of an unexplored open jump portal in the Woolley 9125 system by Survey Task Group 3 revealed the new system of Gliese 123.  Gliese 123 was a dim M0-V star with a family of eleven planets orbiting it. None were potential terraforming candidates.

26th May 91. HD 24496.
The transit of an unknown vessel was detected from Gliese 140 into HIP 24496 by a satellite placed on the jump point.
End of Part 1 to be continued

12
Tales of Avalon / A Plague of Aliens, New and Old. (10)
« on: August 24, 2012, 06:13:00 AM »
WARNING POSSIBLE SPOILERS WITHIN!!

Tales of the Union.

 
A Plague of Aliens, New and Old. (10)

2nd November 87. Theta Sculptoris.
STG 8 had just begun a gravitational survey of Theta Sculptoris when the combat comp on all vessels suddenly announced that the ships sensors had detected thirty-four one-kiloton and one nine-kiloton detonations on a bearing of 218o from the system primary. . Somewhere in the inner system a war was being fought! Over the next twenty four hours hundreds of one, eight and nine-kiloton nuclear explosions were detected as Lieutenant Ravati Tupe, senior officer of STG 8, concentrated his squadron for an expedition deeper into the system. Then on the 3rd November a new wreck was detected deep in system, followed over the next few day by several more, these were positively identified as Destroyer warship or orbital base wrecks. Something had just taken all a powerful Destroyer squadron could throw at them and then beaten the crap out of them. Lieutenant Tupe wondered what he was taking his squadron in system to meet. New wrecks accompanied by the odd detonation were picked up as the squadron proceeded in.

25th November 87. HIP 117042.
Exploration of the newly discovered jump point in Gliese 16 by STG 3 revealed the already known system of HIP 117042 which had four jump points with two still unexplored, now that another led to Gliese 16. This was how the Lleida Hierarchy found the Union! If another jump point had been chosen the Hierarchy would have emerged in Xi Pegasi, an inhabited system and one jump from the sector capital of Zwickau – S.W. Burnham 157.

28th November 87. Theta Sculptoris.
The identity of the other side of the recent conflict was revealed, when the squadron detected a Horde mothership, Augalsil 004. Lieutenant Tupe ordered an immediate change of course to the jump point and out of the system.

4th December 87. Sigma Pegasi.
Survey Task Group 3 entered an unexplored jump point in HIP 117042 and emerged into the light of a binary system, Sigma Pegasi. It was an F7-IV and M3-V binary system, rich in planets and moons, the A component alone had 14 planets and dozens of moons. However none had HI’s in the accepted terraforming range.

9th December 87. Excalibur – Avalon-A IV.
Raptor Rampage Reaper,Ravage,Redemption,Razor,Rainbow,Rampart,Renaissance,Respite  (Relentless Mk IIB class) left the construction bays of the Union No. 2 ‘Yard in Excalibur - Avalon-A IV orbit and were assigned to  Training squadron – Avalon before forming the core of Task Force 8.

14th December 87. Alpha Trianguli.
Survey Task Group 2 was assigned to assist in the new survey effort out of XI Pegasi as the one based out of Phi-2 Ceti wound down. The group took the remaining jump point out of HIP 117042 and discovered the system of Alpha Trinaguli. This was an F6-IV star with six planets two of which had HI’s of 1.44 and 1.9 respectively. STG 2 began a gravitational survey.

30th December 87 15:31:22,Delta Aquilae.
Andúril and Hauteclere (Satellite Layer Mk I class) left the construction bays at the Dervaria Naval ‘Yard No. 2 in  Devaria - Delta Aquilae-A IV orbit and proceeded directly to Asran – Iota Piscium-A VII to pick up their load of surveillance satellites.  

Code: [Select]
Satellite Layer Mk I class Jump Tender    8,800 tons     770 Crew     4731 BP      TCS 176  TH 184.8  EM 2400
13125 km/s    JR 6-1000     Armour 2-37     Shields 80-400     Sensors 54/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 34     PPV 14
Maint Life 3.27 Years     MSP 1344    AFR 154%    IFR 2.2%    1YR 190    5YR 2851    Max Repair 289 MSP
Magazine 854    

J8800(6-1000) Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 8800 tons    Distance 1000k km     Squadron Size 6
MilSpec SCAD E2.75 (11)    Power 210    Fuel Use 27.5%    Signature 16.8    Armour 0    Exp 7%
Fuel Capacity 295,000 Litres    Range 219.4 billion km   (193 days at full power)
Sigma R400/20 Shields (10)   Total Fuel Cost  200 Litres per day

Size 1 Missile Launcher (8)    Missile Size 1    Rate of Fire 5
Size 6 Missile Launcher (1)    Missile Size 6    Rate of Fire 30
Missile Fire Control FC28-R1 (2)     Range 28.8m km    Resolution 1
Arrow IV (308)  Speed: 72,000 km/s   End: 4.2m    Range: 18m km   WH: 1    Size: 1    TH: 888 / 532 / 266
Sensor Buoy Mk I (91)  Speed: 0 km/s   End: 1800d    Range: 0m km   WH: 0    Size: 6    TH: 0 / 0 / 0

Active Search Sensor MR19-R1 (1)     GPS 60     Range 19.2m km    Resolution 1
Active Search Sensor MR230-R16 (1)     GPS 2880     Range 230.4m km    Resolution 16
Thermal Sensor TH3-54 (1)     Sensitivity 54     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  54m km

ECM 60

Missile to hit chances are vs targets moving at 3000 km/s, 5000 km/s and 10,000 km/s

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

20th January 88. LHS 1247.
Task Force 5 reached the jump point to Theta Sculptoris. Rather than break into its individual task groups and make a combat transit Commodore Danneberg decided to make a standard transit, one of her rare miscalculations. The Horde had never picketed jump points in all the time the Corps had been fighting them. One or two of her task group commanders demurred but did not press the point. The jump cruiser Resurgence opened the jump point into Theta Sculptoris and the whole fleet transited as one. Thus her shock on hearing the thermal sensor at the scan station starting to iterate the list of hostile missiles in-bound was intense. Three size 24 and four groups of size 2 contacts were bearing down on the Task Force and they had not yet recovered from jump shock! Thinking quickly she ordered another of the jump cruisers to open the jump point back to LHS 1247, the whole Task Force then reversed course and exited Theta Sculptoris. This was achieved in a matter of seconds and the hostile missiles were left behind in Theta Sculptoris.

25th January 88. LHS 1247.
Commodore Danneberg decided to leave it a few days before re-entering Theta Sculptoris and this time it would be a combat transit. Five days later for the second time Task Force 5 jumped into Theta Sculptoris and once again seconds after arrival the threat board lit up with hostile missiles, three salvos of size 24 were approaching the task force before they had fully recovered from jump lag. Then it was realised that it was just the expended buses that were left. That did not stop the Task Force taking them out. However the ability of the Horde to lay mines was completely unexpected.
The Horde mother ship, Augalsil 004, was detected deep in system near Comet #4 and now was accompanied by the miners Gomaithil 017 and Gomaithil 018.  Task Force 5 laid in an intercept course.

27th January 88. Theta Sculptoris.
A Destroyer Tramontana class troop transport was detected on the other side of the system, confusing the issue of who actually laid the mines, was it the Destroyers or the Horde who could lay mines? All that was certain was they were not there when STG 8 arrived or left the system and thus they had been laid subsequent to that date.

1st February 88. Theta Sculptoris.
16:16. Task Force 5 finally reached engagement range and the missile boats from Task Group 5.4 loosed a deadly salvo. 315 Firestar IV missiles were launched at the alien mothership. , 70 weren’t needed. Unexpectedly there were no gunboats released on its death in the lithium deuteride fuelled thermonuclear pyre.  
18:44. Six Hellcat missiles were launched at each of the miners which disappeared in thermonuclear fireballs some thirty-four minutes later. The Task Force proceeded to check out the planets which might harbour life as the Union knew it.

3rd February 88. Theta Sculptoris.
As the Task Force passed close to Theta Sculptoris-A III a hostile ground forces contact was established with an estimated combat strength of 20. The indications were that it was a Destroyer base.

4th February 88. Sigma Pegasi.
STG 3 completed the gravitational survey of the Sigma Pegasi system. The system had a total of two jump points; all had been artificially opened from this end at least! A positive Indication that STG 2 was on the right track.

10th February 88. Theta Sculptoris.
The wreck of the Destroyer Cabo Fradera class orbital fort disappeared from sensors at Theta Sculptoris-A IV to be replaced with the signature of eight Horde Triththaas class gunboats apparently materialising out of the vacuum. This could not have come at a worse time for Task Force 5, it was in the process of encircling Tramontana 007 on the other side of the system and Cargo/Salvage Group 1 was inbound to the site of the wrecks while Galain III-003 had just arrived in system and began the opening of a jump portal. Fortunately Task Group 5.4 was on its way out of the system having been detached to rearm in Phi-2 Ceti and was only 1400 million klicks from the wrecks orbiting Theta Sculptoris-A VI. The Task Group was able to release the escort Yttrium which made all speed to Theta Sculptoris-A IV. The escort Nitrogen (TG 5.2) was dispatched to cover Galian III-003 while Neon (TG 5.1) was dispatched to provide a close escort to Cargo/Salvage task Group 1.But this pair were on the other side of the system and it was up to the Yttrium to kill the gunboats before they could cause any problems.

11th February 88. Theta Sculptoris.
The Yttrium (Captain Naomi O’Neil commanding)  got within three million klicks of the gunboats before the Horde gunboats moved to attack the vessel at which stage the Yttrium began to retrograde towards the jump point, Captain O’Neil was fully conscious of the fact that the gunboats were  600 k/s faster than the Yttrium. The gunboats entered laser range and the Yttrium began to fire on them. It was initially slow work until O’Neil ordered the Yttrium to slow to bring the gunboats further into the envelope of the 20cm advanced laser which improved accuracy and increased the damage with each hit. It took only eight minutes to eliminate the eight gunboats, although time stretched for the crew of the Yttrium, the compartments echoed to the dual crack of the capacitors as they discharged, powering the twin 20 cm advanced X-ray lasers every five seconds, interspersed with cheering from the crew every time a gunboat disappeared off the sensors.

12th February 88. Theta Sculptoris.
The Yttrium stationed itself approximately a million klicks off Theta Sculptoris-A IV to await the arrival of Cargo/Salvage Group 1. An exclamation from the scan console made O’Neil look up, the Scan officer continued “the wreck of the Mistral class base has disappeared! Oh-oh Horde gunboats have taken its place,” The mechanical voice of the combat comp woke to life as it began to iterate the threat, not eight gunboats this time but sixteen. O’Neil ordered “Crew to action stations, Pilot, retrograde towards the jump point as before, Comms alert the rest of the Task Force, Weapons target them as they come into range.” Yttrium prepared to repeat the same tactics as before. O’Neil allowed the range to close faster and it took just ten-and-a half minutes to destroy the Horde gunboats.

13th February 88. Theta Sculptoris.
Task Force 5 finally managed to bring Tramontana 007 to action and she was destroyed by eighteen Hellcat IIIB missiles from TG5.2, Commodore Danneburg’s own task group. The Task Force then made all speed to Theta Sculptoris- IV. This time Logistics and Procurement didn’t dare reprimand a hero of the Union, but still made their displeasure known.

15th February 88 11:43:06,Alpha Trianguli.
STG 2 Completed the Gravitational Survey of the Alpha Trianguli system. The system had a total of four jump points, and once again all had been stabilised to allow traffic without a jump drive.

20th February 88. Theta Sculptoris.
Task Force 5 was loitering a million klicks from Theta Sculptoris-A IV. Cargo/Salvage Group 1 was at work on one of the Destroyer Pizarro class wrecks when alarms on the Union vessels activated. Another twelve Horde gunboats emerged from a Pizarro class wreck at point blank range to the salvage group. But this time most of TG 5 was on top of them and it took but seconds for the Task Force to open fire. Two Hellcat IIIB missiles were targeted at each gunboat. The only down side was it took 35 seconds for the missiles to reach the gunboats and all that time they were firing on the freighter Argosy I-001, causing significant damage.  However at the end of the missiles run twenty-four cobalt enhanced thermonuclear fireballs marked the passing of the gunboats and while immobilised, Argosy I-001 was still there. A request was put in for a tug to tow her away for repair. Salvage started on the remaining wreck.

28th February 88. Theta Sculptoris.
Cargo/Salvage Group 1 completed the salvage of the remaining Pizarro class wreck. A number of strange alien larvae were discovered during the salvage operation. They appeared to be feeding on the wreckage and growing rapidly. All the larvae were terminated. (This was not quite accurate as they were “used” in attempts communications with this strange life form.) There was speculation as to whether a Horde gunboat could metamorphose into a mothership if given enough time and minerals; however nobody was terribly keen to pursue that experiment. Analysis of the very complex Horde genetic material revealed what could be interpreted as external manipulation of the genetic code which was unlike that seen in any other life form.  

2nd March 88. HIP 21482.
STG 2 chose one of the unexplored jump points in the Alpha Trianguli system and made transit. No sooner had the squadron made transit and jump lag worn off than a large alien population was detected on the fourth planet from the star. The new alien race had a thermal signature of 85,656, far larger than even Excalibur – Avalon-A IV at 54,363. This was something to make Star Corps HQ sit up and take notice, along with the 106 wrecks in the system. Who were they fighting, were they the aggressor, and if they lost why aren’t they radioactive dust?

7th March 88. Theta Sculptoris.
Cargo/Salvage Task Group 01 completed Salvage of the Destroyer Neptuno class wreck. Again more strange alien larvae were discovered during the salvage operation, feeding on the wreckage and growing rapidly. All the larvae were terminated after failing to advance attempts at communication with the Horde.

9th March 88. Phi-2 Ceti.
The 338th Engineer Brigade disturbed an underground vault on Beaumaris Alpha - Phi-2 Ceti-A II that contained hostile robotic soldiers. The 333rd Leviathan Brigade responded to the attack immediately the alert sounded, containing the cybernetic killers before they could do any damage, decimating the battalion of the aggressive automatons they engaged.

16th March 88. Delta Aquilae.
Gungnir, Aiglos and Kladenets (Satellite Layer Mk I class) completed in the orbital ‘Yard complex at Devaria - Delta Aquilae-A IV. These vessels were dispatched to Asran – Iota Piscium-A VII to pick up their surveillance satellite loads.

16th March 88. Phi-2 Ceti-A II.
The 12th Leviathan Division was fully engaged with the mechanical monsters, containing the psychopathic mechanisms, pushing them back to the vault from which they emerged. Two formations of the destructive ‘droids had half their strength reduced to spare parts. Another lost a third as it attempted to take advantage of the fierce fighting in a flanking manoeuvre.  
It was sheer bad luck that the 186th Engineer Brigade disturbed yet another an underground vault on Beaumaris Alpha - Phi-2 Ceti-A II that contained hostile ‘droid soldiers whilst the 12th Leviathan was already engaged. These fresh rogue AIs managed to escape the confines of the excavation and made a bee-line for the terraforming installations. Before a brigade from the 12th could be redeployed to stop them one terraforming facility was in flames, beyond rescue, fortunately no colonists were caught in the crossfire.

20th March 88. Theta Sculptoris.
Cargo/Salvage Task Group 01 completed salvage operations on a Destroyer wreck of an unknown 21,500 ton class. Again a number of strange alien larvae were discovered during the salvage operation. Once more the larvae were terminated after they failed to advance communications with the Union contact team.

23rd March 88. Phi-2 Ceti.
In the confused fighting around the dig the 338th Engineer Brigade which had never fully withdrawn from the dig was overrun by one of the android battalions and suffered 48% casualties, flesh proving no match for the mechanical monsters. The 12th Leviathan was quick to avenge this lost and exterminated the last of the clockwork killers even before they had withdrawn to their bunkers.

28th March 88. 96 Aquarii.
STG 3 transited the unexplored jump point in the Sigma Pegasi system and discovered the system of 96 Aquarii. 96 Aquarii consisted of a single F3-IV star with an extensive planetary family, the moon of one of the gas giants was within the terraforming range. The conflict apparent in HIP 21482 had reached this system as two wrecks were discovered in the system. The squadron started a gravitational survey of the system.

30th March 88. Theta Sculptoris.
Cargo/Salvage Task Group 1 completed Salvage of the wreck of Tramontana 007. It was a refreshing change not to have found alien larvae within the wreck. This confirmed as suspected that the larvae were deposited by the Horde mothership and not an intrinsic “infection” of this squadron of Destroyer warships.

17th April 88. HIP 21482.
“Population Detected! EM Signature 262571  Race ID: HIP 21482” squawked the sensor station as Venture B-003 closed the alien home world. Valuable intelligence was picked up as sensors reached into the planets orbital space to detect seven vessels designated the Phoenix Hawk class of 14,000 tons, seven vessels designated Anubis class also of 14,000 tons, four vessels designated Shadow Hawk class of 14,200 tons, one vessel designated the Regulator class of 7,100 tons and a 20,000 ton Shipyard contact in orbit of what was assumed to be the alien home world. Venture B-003 gave the planet a wide berth, not willing to give itchy trigger appendages an excuse to open fire.

9th May 88. Alpha Trinaguli.
STG 2 detected a population of the HIP 21482 aliens on Alpha Trianguli-A III, with a thermal signature of 215, an EM signature of 306 and a combat ground strength of 20. So the HIP 21482 aliens were an interstellar power.

11th May 88. Theta Sculptoris.
The Survey vessel Sunstone from STG 6(G) discovered a ruined alien city on Theta Sculptoris-A VI.

16th May 88. Excalibur – Avalon-A IV.
The fleet scout Invigilator (Super Scout Mk I class) completed at the Excalibur - Avalon-A IV ‘Yard complex and was assigned to Training Squadron Avalon before joining Task Force 9 whose construction was only just beginning.

17th May Alpha Trianguli.
A further HIP 21482 alien population was detected in the Alpha Trianuli system, on Alpha Trianguli-A IV - moon 5. Again there were ground forces present, this time with a combat strength estimated at 30.

23rd May 88. Theta Sculptoris.
The alien contact team believed the Horde was just too alien to open meaningful communication with and communication would never be established with such an alien life form, no further attempts would be made and in future any recovered larvae would be terminated.

13th June 88. Excalibur – Avalon-A IV.
Three R class missile cruisers, Remorseless, Retriever and Regent, left the ‘Yard complex in Excalibur - Avalon-A IV orbit destined for Task Force 8, TG 8.4, once they had worked up.
The government of the Union had changed over the decades. The top of the tree was the Sector Controllers; beneath them were the Planetary Coordinators. Most Planetary Coordinators have a Sector Controller above them, but there are a few independent Planetary Coordinators. The Planetary Coordinators were then divided into two classes, those who managed populated worlds and those who managed mining outposts.  The mining outposts (class 2 Planetary Coordinators) were directly responsible to the Sector Controller and had no further say in the affairs of the Union. However, the Sector Controllers and Class 1 Planetary Coordinators all met once a year in a great conclave chaired by the Director of the Union, historically the Sector Controller of the Avalon Sector, and measures were voted through, with every attendee having only one vote. But it was a poor Sector Controller who could not count on the support of his own sector’s Planetary Coordinators.  There were currently three sectors with a fourth under construction on Beaumaris Beta – Phi-2 Ceti-A IV. The Refuge Sector was still only a rump, any development put on hold during the current crises. The new Beaumaris sector looked to surpass it in importance once construction of the requisite command and control facilities was completed.  
Sector Fora met monthly chaired by the Sector Controller and dealt purely with local sector issues. If these proved intractable they were put on the agenda of the next Conclave for all to discuss. All deployments of the armed forces of the Union were the domain of the Star Corps. The Star Corps took its chain of command from the Sector Controllers; again the primus was the Director of the Union. However the Planetary Coordinators could appeal directly to Star Corps for support with or without the approval of their Sector Controller. Any deployment mandated by the Conclave was in effect a direct order and the Star Corps would have to provide very strong reasons if they ignored it.
Currently the Union had the problem of an alien race who knew were the Union was but the Union was ignorant of their location, there was the occupation of Adelson currently tying up three divisions on garrison duty and now another alien race of uncertain attitude had been found that had extra solar colonies and was engaged in or had recently engaged in an extended conflict. Added to that was the knowledge that there may be no front lines and an enemy could appear anywhere in Union space as the Lleida Hierarchy had. Thus defence spending was increased to provide the formation of at least two new task forces and the development of the escort cruiser concept, in effect an enlarged Argon class escort. Two light assault divisions were authorised with two more Assault divisions provided for. The Star Corps was also mandated to explore the feasibility of garrison divisions being formed and stationed on member worlds to allow the release of combat formations for active service. The finances of the Union, having built a healthy surplus were now running a deficit with no end in sight.

Avalon Sector : Gong Cai Wei (Director of the Union)
Planetary Coordinators
Excalibur – Avalon-A IV: Tom Hilton, Population: 2157.12m
Gram – Avalon-A II: Nii Peng Dong, Population: 1714.12m
Clarent – Avalon-A III: Wang Li Xue, Population: 564.87m
Devaria – Delta Aquilae-A IV: Taraka Kamei, Devarians Population: 2507.62m.
Kansas – Delta Aquilae-A III: Benjamin Moss, Population: 87.39m.
Stratham Kuiper 99-B III: Helene Gerrich, Population: 128.93m.
Ocean Kuiper 99-A II: Amber Allen, Population: 77.28m.
Wayland - SAO 89188-A IV – moon 8: Behula Dhar, Population: 72.9m.
Enterprise – HIP98505-A IV: Aiden Fletcher, Population: 69.93m.


Zwickau Sector: Frank Lindenbaum
Planetary Coordinators
Horse Delta Equulei-B II: Feng Qiau Cheng, Population: 4.02m.
Zwickau-S.W. Burnham 157-A II: Amitabha Datanal, Population: 178.41m.
Saginaw – XI Pegasi-A II- -moon 3: Lakshmi Ponarkaar, Population: 92.42m.
Burrow  – XI Pegasi-A III: Imogen Finch, Population: 0.76m.
Harvest  – XI Pegasi-A V: Kai Cunningham, Population: 0.58m.
Lawn  – XI Pegasi-B III: Xei Yaun Shan, Population: 0 In the process of terraforming.
Forest – 6 Ceti- A V: Joel Stevenson, Population: 0 In the process of terraforming.

Refuge Sector: Patrick Leach
Planetary Coordinator
Refuge HIP 96183-A IV: Jake Butcher, Population: 85.55m.

Beaumaris Sector (Not yet established)
Beaumaris Beta – Phi-2 Ceti-IV: Mahali Yadav, Population: 20.85m.
Beaumaris Alpha A II:Chou Lan Zhen, Population: 1.47m.
Adelson – Woolley 9388: Kunti Roa -  Aledsoni, Population: 3602.86m.
Asran – Iota Piscium-A VII: Shanti Raut/Roul -  Asrans, Population: 1779.55m.
Holden - Iota Piscium-A VI: Toby Harper, Population: 9.49m .

Independent Planets
Orchard - Mu Cygni-B V: Anna Wong, Population: 41.01m.
Meadow - Mu Cygni-B IV: Chao Tai Shu, Population: 1.74m.
Charter - Mu Cygni-B III: Zhao Mei Ting, Population: 0.9m.
Quarry - Mu Cygni-A IV – moon 4:  Englebert Kesselring, Population: 0.m.
Canyon 15 Sagittae-A II: Deng Lan Mei, Population: 26.49m.
Ostler 15 Sagittae-A III: ReistrReioubuinn Flokinson, Population: 17.04m.

24th June 88. Xi Pegasi.
The atmosphere of Lawn-Xi Pegasi-B III had just become breathable, but the temperature was still 119oK.

Avalon
The R class missile cruiser Reward left the orbital construction complex of the Union No. 2 ‘Yard in Excalibur - Avalon-A IV orbit and was assigned to Training Squadron – Avalon before joining Task Force 8.

2nd July 88. NSV 14784.
STG 2 entered the last unexplored jump point in Alpha Trianguli to discovered NSV 14784. This was a dim M0-V star with a collection of five planets, many moons and a couple of asteroid belts. NSV 14784-A III had an HI of 1.9

12th July 88. Theta Sculptoris.
The 14th Marine Division landed on Theta Sculptoris –A III and began their assault on the Destroyer outpost on the planet.

13th July 88. Theta Sculptoris-A III.
The marines quickly moved into the base proper where the fighting was fierce The ‘droid defenders stood little chance against the Marines, losing over half a battalion’s worth before the fighting had penetrated far into the base.

19th July 88. HIP 21482.
The aliens of HIP 21483 identified their polity as the Empire of Baneh.

Theta Sculptoris-A III.
The Marines of the 14th trapped the last of the clockwork killers and decommissioned them with prejudice, destroying the last two groups with ease.

24th July 88. Theta Sculptoris-A III.
The marines recovered 165 size 8 Attack class missiles. This was a weapon the Union was unaware of and had not seen in action. A DSTS was also recovered.

7th August 88. Avalon.
The decision of what to do with surplus escorts had been decided. Because these were the slowest vessels in the fleet the Argon class escorts would have their current drive units swopped out and newer SCAM drives installed. This should enable all task groups to attain a velocity in excess of 10,000 k/s. It would also delay the need to build a new escort class, the much touted escort cruiser. Chlorine was the first to undergo this service life extension refit to the Argon Mk VC3 class in the Excalibur - Avalon-A IV ‘Yard complex prior to forming part of Task Group 8.3.
Code: [Select]
Argon Mk VC3 class Escort    8,500 tons     809 Crew     7875 BP      TCS 170  TH 168  EM 4320
12352 km/s     Armour 4-37     Shields 144-400     Sensors 54/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 34     PPV 49.5
Maint Life 4.3 Years     MSP 2606    AFR 128%    IFR 1.8%    1YR 226    5YR 3393    Max Repair 750 MSP

MilSpec SCAD E2.75 (10)    Power 210    Fuel Use 27.5%    Signature 16.8    Armour 0    Exp 7%
Fuel Capacity 270,000 Litres    Range 207.9 billion km   (194 days at full power)
Sigma R400/20 Shields (18)   Total Fuel Cost  360 Litres per day

Advanced 20cm X-Ray Laser (2)    Range 800,000km     TS: 12500 km/s     Power 10-10     RM 7    ROF 5        12 12 12 12 12 12 12 10 9 8
Twin Gauss Cannon R5-50 Turret (5x10)    Range 50,000km     TS: 52500 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 5    ROF 5        1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
Fire Control S04 400-12500 (2)    Max Range: 800,000 km   TS: 12500 km/s     99 98 96 95 94 92 91 90 89 88
Fire Control S01.4 34-50000 (5)    Max Range: 68,000 km   TS: 50000 km/s     85 71 56 41 26 12 0 0 0 0
Gas-core Anti-matter Power Plant Technology PB-1 (2)     Total Power Output 20    Armour 0    Exp 5%

Active Search Sensor MR76-R16 (1)     GPS 960     Range 76.8m km    Resolution 16
Active Search Sensor MR7-R1 (1)     GPS 24     Range 7.7m km    Resolution 1
Thermal Sensor TH3-54 (1)     Sensitivity 54     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  54m km

ECCM-6 (2)         ECM 70

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

22nd August 88. Avalon.
Cobalt refitted to the Argon Mk VC3 class in the Excalibur - Avalon-A IV ‘Yard complex. The vessel was detailed to join Task Group 8.4.

27th August 88. Phi-2 Ceti-A II.
338th Engineer Brigade disturbed an underground vault on Beaumaris Alpha - Phi-2 Ceti-A II that contained hostile ‘droid soldiers. Two battalions of the cybernetic soldiers emerged from their vault and engaged the engineer brigade.

2nd September 88. Phi-2 Ceti-A II.
Once the 12th Leviathan Division entered the fray the clockwork killers found themselves outgunned and suffered massive casualties of between 60 – 75 %. However the 262nd Replacement Battalion suffered 12% losses when it was swept up in the fighting.

3rd September 88. NSV 14784.
While STG 2 was surveying NSV 14784 a population of the Lleida Hierarchy was detected with a thermal signature 55 and EM signature on NSV 14787-A III. There was also a ground forces contact, with an estimated combat strength of 40. The colony was very reminiscent of the Imperial Devarian ghost colonies. But at least it indicated the searchers  were on the right track.

7th September 88. Phi-2 Ceti-A II.
The 12th Leviathan Division made short work of the remaining mechanical monsters, destroying them all without loss.

30th September 88. Phi-2 Ceti-A II.
342th Engineer Brigade disturbed an underground vault on Beaumaris Alpha - Phi-2 Ceti-A II that contained hostile ‘droid soldiers. But the 12th Leviathan was still deployed around the dig and tore into the hapless ‘droids, one battalion was half destroyed before it could deploy effectively.

Mu Cygni.
Addition of oxygen to the atmosphere of Quarry-Mu Cygni-A IV - Moon 4 resulted in the atmosphere becoming breathable without artificial aids and the planet was now within tolerances for Union citizens to inhabit without the recourse to TN infrastructure.

5th October 88. Phi-2 Ceti-A II.
The 339th Engineer Brigade suffered 28% Casualties as the fighting swirled around the excavation site. The 12th Leviathan overran a battalion of cyber soldiers leaving nothing but scrap it its wake.  A third of the other battalion of mechanical monsters were reduced to so many spare parts.

13th October 88. Phi-2 Ceti-A II.
The 12th Leviathan Division spent the week clearing out any ‘droids missed in the initial sweep through the excavations and secured any empty vaults.  The last few mechanical killers were dealt with.

HR 8853.
Exploration of the only unexplored jump point in the NSV 14784 system by STG 2 revealed the new system of HR 8853. This was a single F7-V star with a planetary family of six planets, a couple of dozen moons and a handful of comets. However, HR 8853-A II and HR 8853-A III both had HI’s of 1.9.

23rd October 88. 94 Aquarii.
Task Force 5, after an overhaul, was back on the hunt for hostiles. First target was 94 Aquarii. The separate task groups made a combat transit into 94 Aquarii and no sooner had the sensors stabilised than the three Las Palmas class missile ships previously detected by STG 7 were located 437million klicks distant as was the unmistakable signature of YM-2800-005 surveying the system some 4050 million klicks away. The low thermal signature, with a strength of 240 was obviously avoiding detection by the Destroyer listening posts. Commodore Danneberg wondered what this piece of information would have done to the survey effort out of Phi-2 Ceti before it was established the aliens actually originated somewhere near to the Zwickau – S.W. Burnham 157 sector.

24th October 88. 94 Aquarii.
06:47. The approaching Las Palmas class vessels finally crept within range of the standard Hellcat missiles and five R class missile cruisers opened fire, 18 Hellcat missiles per target.
07:08. The Las Palmas returned fire once they were in range of their fire controls which lacked the range of the Union models.
07:29. 47 Hellcats found their targets out of the 54 launched; turning space around the Destroyer Las Palmas class vessels incandescent with tritium fuelled thermonuclear fire. However, it was insufficient to kill the three Las Palmas class vessels, but two were obviously seriously hurt, their thermal signature was down and observed velocity reduced. Five seconds later thirty-six more missiles left the launchers of the R class missile cruisers.
08:06:16. The leading Destroyer vessel, Las Palmas 007, exploded as a dozen more Hellcats overwhelmed any point defence and burrowed deep within the already damaged hull. A secondary magazine explosion signalled her demise. The other two Las Palmas retired having expended their ordnance
08:06:36. Back at Task Force 5 two thermal strength 12 contacts were detected, incoming Hellcats! Thirty seconds later another salvo was picked up. As the third salvo entered the thermal imagers range the Vanguard loosed her Bugbear anti-missiles. The Bugbear missiles were proving far inferior to the Arrow IV, but they were adequate, free and there was no point in saving them.
08:08:21. A dozen Hellcats caught Las Palmas 009, tritium fuelled fusion warheads powered the plasma lances that burned into her vitals as she exploded in a series of secondary detonations.
08:08:31. The hostile thermal contacts abruptly disappeared off Task Force 5’s scan.  Relentless launched another salvo of a dozen Hellcats at Las Palmas 008.
08:50. It was all over as twelve Hellcats overwhelmed the remaining Las Palmas missile boat leaving nothing but wreckage. Task Force 5 moved in system, looking for the remaining six Dragonera attack craft known to be in system somewhere.

28th October 88. HIP 21482.
The wrecks in HIP 21482 were just too tempting an intelligence target. Thus Star Corps took the risk to send Cargo/Salvage Task Group 08 into the alien held system of HIP 21482 to recover what she could from the over one hundred wrecks.
Cargo/Salvage Task Group 08 had just completed salvage of an unknown class of 1000 tons. But apart from some wreckage that was refined for the TN minerals it contained nothing else was recovered from the first wreck salvaged, but it was early days and still many more wrecks to sift through.  

94 Aquarii.
Finally Task Force 5 located the missing six Dragoneras moving towards the 13 Ceti jump point. When they detected the EM emanations from Task Force 5 the Destroyer flotilla changed course to intercept the Union fleet.

29th October 88. 94 Aquarii.
09:50. The Dragoneras were allowed to close to 52.8 million klicks, then six R class missile cruisers opened fire allocating six basic Hellcats per craft.
10:07. Four of the attack craft disintegrated in a flurry of nuclear fireballs’, leaving just two. Relentless and Raider launched a further five Hellcat missiles at each of the surviving Dragoneras.
10:25. The two craft exploded in a nova storm of detonations. Commodore Danneberg noted pointedly in her log the relatively poor performance of the basic Hellcat missile.

HIP 21482.
Cargo/Salvage Task Group 08 recovered their first bit of useful intelligence when a Size 6 Missile Launcher (33% Reduction) was salvaged from the wreck of what had once been a 1000 ton attack craft.

30th October 88. HIP 21482.
The site Cargo/Salvage Task Group 08 had selected for salvage was almost directly between the alien home planet and unexplored jump point 3 in the system. The salvage vessel with the group had good military grade sensors and they detected vessels coming from the direction of jump point 3 towards the HIP 21482 alien’s home planet. Initially six ships designated the Longbow class, capable of 1790 k/s and massing 33,500 tons were picked up on sensors and it was soon apparent that this was an important route for what was assumed to be freighters. Cargo/Salvage Task Group 08 also recovered their second piece of useful intelligence when a missile fire control FC47-R81 was salvaged from another 1000 ton wreck.

3rd November 88. 94 Aquarii.
STG 6(G) discovered a Destroyer outpost on 94 Aquarii –A V – moon 8. The 15th Light Assault Division recently raised on Gram – Avalon-A II and which had just arrived in system aboard Troop Transport Task Group 10 was called in.

5th November 88. 94 Aquarii.
The 385th Mobile Infantry Brigade of the 15th invested the Destroyer moon base on 94 Aquarii-A V – moon 8. The moon base proved to be unoccupied and a DSTS was recovered.

6th November 88. HIP 21482.
Cargo/Salvage Task Group 08 completed the salvage of a 7450 ton wreck and recovered evidence to suggest this was an escort design using size 1 missiles. Equipment salvaged from the wreck included five size 1 missile launchers, a missile fire control FC17-R1, an EM Detection sensor EM1-6, a thermal sensor TH1-6 and two ion E8 engines. This gave a fairly complete picture of this class’s capability.

21st November 88. 94 Aquarii.
STG 6(G) discovered another Destroyer outpost with a strength 15 thermal signature on. 94 Aquarii-A VIII – moon 8.

24th November 88. HIP 21482.
Cargo/Salvage Task Group 08 completed the salvage of a 7100 ton wreck and recovered an active search sensor MR47-R81.

26th November 88.  94 Aquarii.
The 408th MI Brigade of the 15th Light Assault unloaded on 94 Aquarii-A VIII - Moon 8 and occupied the Destroyer listening post unopposed. They recovered 28 Octlichny missiles and three DSTS.

29th November 88. HR 8853.
Venture B-004 of STG 2 discovered three Tramontana class troop transports lurking outside the orbit of the fourth planet from the star. The information was transmitted to Star Corps HQ via ansible.

2nd December 88. HR 8853.
STG 2 discovered a ruined alien settlement on HR 8853-A II.

94 Aquarii.
STG 6(G) located a further Destroyer outpost on 94 Aquarii-A X – moon 10.

4th December 88 23:09:11,Phi-2 Ceti.
52nd Engineer Brigade recovered an abandoned research facility and technical details of planetary sensor strength 1200 on Beaumaris Alpha - Phi-2 Ceti-A II in the on-going exploitation of the alien ruins on this planet.

9th December 88. Avalon.
Rhenium (Argon Mk VB3 class) refitted on Excalibur - Avalon-A I
Code: [Select]
Argon Mk VB3 class Escort    8,500 tons     810 Crew     7820.8 BP      TCS 170  TH 168  EM 4560
12352 km/s     Armour 3-37     Shields 152-400     Sensors 54/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 34     PPV 49.5
Maint Life 4.25 Years     MSP 2588    AFR 128%    IFR 1.8%    1YR 230    5YR 3449    Max Repair 750 MSP

MilSpec SCAD E2.75 (10)    Power 210    Fuel Use 27.5%    Signature 16.8    Armour 0    Exp 7%
Fuel Capacity 250,000 Litres    Range 192.5 billion km   (180 days at full power)
Sigma R400/20 Shields (19)   Total Fuel Cost  380 Litres per day

Advanced 20cm X-Ray Laser (2)    Range 800,000km     TS: 12500 km/s     Power 10-10     RM 7    ROF 5        12 12 12 12 12 12 12 10 9 8
Twin Gauss Cannon R5-50 Turret (5x10)    Range 50,000km     TS: 52500 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 5    ROF 5        1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
Fire Control S04 400-12500 (2)    Max Range: 800,000 km   TS: 12500 km/s     99 98 96 95 94 92 91 90 89 88
Fire Control S01.4 34-50000 (5)    Max Range: 68,000 km   TS: 50000 km/s     85 71 56 41 26 12 0 0 0 0
Gas-core Anti-matter Power Plant Technology PB-1 (2)     Total Power Output 20    Armour 0    Exp 5%

Active Search Sensor MR7-R1 (1)     GPS 24     Range 7.7m km    Resolution 1
Active Search Sensor MR76-R16 (1)     GPS 960     Range 76.8m km    Resolution 16
Thermal Sensor TH3-54 (1)     Sensitivity 54     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  54m km

ECCM-6 (2)         ECM 60

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

10th December 88. 94 Aquarii-A X - Moon 10.
The 423rd Assault Brigade of the 15th Light Assault Division occupied the Destroyer outpost on 94 Aquarii-A X - Moon 10. The Destroyer base was found to be unoccupied and 180 Hellcat missiles recovered with a further three DSTS.

4th January 89 05:09:11,HIP 21482.
Cargo/Salvage Task Group 08 completed the salvage of the first group of wrecks, mostly 1000 ton attack craft and moved to jump point #1 and proceeded to salvage a 14,400ton wreck and recovered 1x thermal sensor TH1-11 and a magneto-plasma E7 drive.

12th January 89. HIP 21482.
A second 14,400 ton wreck provided further evidence for Cargo/Salvage Task Group 08 in the form of a fire control S04 60-50000, an ECCM– 1 suite and five more magneto-plasma drive E7 units.  This was apparently a beam combatant.

17th January 89. Phi-2 Ceti-A II.
The 340th Engineer Brigade disturbed a large underground vault on Beaumaris Alpha - Phi-2 Ceti-A II that contained hostile ‘droid soldiers. Destroyer cybernetic soldiers erupted from the vault and managed to evade the duty battalion. A company of the mechanical murderers torched a residential block, killing 25,000 civilians and destroyed infrastructure.
When the 12th Leviathan Division did react it could only catch and destroy a third of the thousands of Destroyer ‘droids causing mayhem in the wider colony.

17th January 89 15:09:11,HIP 21482
Cargo/Salvage Task Group 08 completed the salvage of another 7,450 ton wreck but found a completely different set of remains to the first 7450 ton wrecked salvaged. They recovered a Missile Fire Control FC72-R70 and a Size 5 Missile Launcher

22nd January 89. Phi-2 Ceti-A II.
The cybernetic killers had escaped beyond the excavations into the wider colony. Two more residential blocks were burned to the ground killing half-a-million civilians and yet more infrastructure was destroyed. Units whose primary purpose was not combat were thrust into the front line with the inevitable consequences. The 339th Engineer Brigade received 23% casualties as it attempted to prevent the electronic executioners penetrating further into the colony. The brigades of the 12th finally got their act together and managed to destroy one ‘droid battalion and inflicted high losses on the three other formations, dismembering between 40 to 80% of the titanium terrorists. But even the leviathan brigades did not escape scot free; the 324th Heavy Assault Battalion had a quarter of its continental siege units decommissioned when the remnants of a ‘droid battalion turned on them unexpectedly.

26th January 89. HIP 21482,
Cargo/Salvage Task Group 08 completed the salvage of another 7450 ton wreck which appeared to be a type 1 escort class. An Ion Engine E8, EM Detection Sensor EM1-6, Thermal Sensor TH1-6, and five Size 1 Missile Launchers were salvaged from this wreck.

30th January 89. Beaumaris Alpha - Phi-2 Ceti-A II.
The 338th Engineer Brigade was still in contact with the enemy and suffered 35% casualties in the fierce fighting that was hand to mechanical appendage at times. The remnants of the Destroyer brigade was finally brought to account by the 12th Leviathan and exterminated. This was probably the worst incursion yet by these vermin.

5th February 89. HIP 21482.
Five size 1 missile launchers and one EM detection sensor EM1-6 were salvaged from the wreck of an unknown class of 7,100 tons by Cargo/Salvage Task Group 08

 
End of Part Ten.

13
The Academy / Sensor Contact Strength
« on: July 13, 2012, 10:44:30 AM »
When you get sensor contact strength for a shipyard, how does that relate to tonnage? E.g. a shipyard contact strength of 1600 is how many tons?

Normally I can see tonnage on the system display, but the shipyard is stuck under the sub-pulse length buttons thus invisible to me no matter how I try and adjust the display.

Thanks in anticipation.

IanD

14
Tales of Avalon / The Legend of Survey 7 (9)
« on: July 09, 2012, 11:14:27 AM »
 
 
WARNING POSSIBLE SPOILERS WITHIN!!

Tales of the Union.

 
The Legend of Survey 7 (9)

24th March 86. 94 Aquarii.
STG (Survey Task Group) 7 was surveying 94 Aquarii in search of the Lleida Hierarchy. Venture C-003 was performing a gravitational survey with four of its sisters; Lieutenant Annapurna Bhattathiri was in command. Venture C-004 (Captain Apsaras Karia, senior officer of the squadron) was 1287.3 million klicks at another survey location. All was going well when from the sensor station came the ominous report “Ship detected at 230 million klicks, bearing 32o, declination 0o 15’ ” followed almost immediately by the mechanical voiced alert from the combat comp “Hostile Ship Contact!  Class ID: Dragonera, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 20, Contact ID: Dragonera 008. Hostile Ship Contact!  Class ID: Dragonera, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 20, Contact ID: Dragonera 009.” Lieutenant Bhattathiri first orders were “Squadron alert if you please Comms, crew to defence stations, Weapons, shields up!” Then in aside to the bridge crew “looks like the Hierarchy didn’t come this way. They would never have survived in their slow boats. Pilot lay in an intercept course for the Destroyer attack craft.” He could hardly do any less after Lieutenant Abigail Gregory’s successful attack on a pair of identical craft.
Approximately one hour twenty minutes later Captain Karia received the light speed squadron alert and sit rep.  He decided to move into a supporting position and sent off his reply.
14:32. Range was 28.5 million klicks, no missiles yet incoming but the crew had spent the time securing items which might turn into impromptu projectiles should the ship suffer a hull breach. Lieutenant Annapurna Bhattathiri issued the order ”crew to action stations!”
14:52. 3.3 million klicks and still no missiles! Then five minutes later they were at point blank range and Bhattathiri opened fire. At almost the same instant proximity alert klaxons burst into life, “Missiles incoming” was the almost incoherent yell from the weapons console .The CIWS rattled into life, shredding three of the Destroyer Otlichny missiles, the Destroyer craft were so close the gauss turrets didn’t get a chance to fire, but the 20cm advanced laser reached out and the invisible beam carved Dragonera 009 in two, the power section of which then erupted with secondary explosions.  Weapons switched target to Dragonera 008 and waited for the laser to recharge. But the two craft passed out of range causing Bhattathiri to sharply order “Pilot, closing course now please!” Fifteen second later Venture C-004 was on the tail of Dragonera 008 which twisted and turned trying to evade the deadly beam, but to no avail. Once more the beam reached out and transfixed the small craft, exiting the other side! The alien vessel crumpled and pieces detached themselves from the failing hull. All that remained now was for the squadron to escape 94 Aquarii without loss. The Union’s experience had been if there are fast attack craft then there would be heavier vessels to back them up.  At 18:.12 Venture C-004 was not disappointed three Las Palmas class ships appeared at the edge of her sensor envelope. But with luck they would out run them.
The closest approach was 146.4 million klicks, well out of Range of the Destroyer Hellcat missiles carried by these ships. It now looked like a clear run to the jump point.

25th March 86. 94 Aquarii.
At 11:27 Venture C-004’s pursuers slipped off her sensors as she headed for the jump point

29th March 86. 94 Aquarii.
The universe didn’t seem to like Lieutenant Annapurna Bhattathiri today, he had destroyed two Destroyer craft and outrun three more, but now there were more Destroyer ships on an intercept course to Venture C-004, six more Dragonera attack craft were 213 million klicks distant, 129o, declination 0o 2’, fine off the starboard bow. Lieutenant Bhattathiri would now have to attempt to avoid them as it was entirely likely that six of these craft could destroy the Venture C-004. He knew if he could work round them he could escape. After some calculation he decided to try and bull through, but he had to rely on his ECM system. It was unknown whether the Dragonera class had ECCM, but it looked unlikely, so he had to be further than 15.2 million klicks from the Destroyer vessels. If he miscalculated and finished under this distance it was entirely probable Venture C-004 would be destroyed. Venture C-004 passed just 16.2 million klicks from the enemy, far enough away they could not lock on. However there was another wrinkle. The Squadron had been exchanging data as they approached the jump point and Venture C-001 and C-005 were 1923 and 1888 million klicks respectively from the jump point while Venture C-004 was only 1433 million klicks from the jump point. Lieutenant Bhattathiri had to try and decoy the FAC chasing him and hope they did not just try and secure the jump point instead.

1st April 14 86. 94 Aquarii.
13:15. Lieutenant Bhattathiri decided to try and lead his pursuers in system, but the Dragoneras were more manoeuvrable and turned inside of his trajectory, closing to 8.7 million klicks. The thermal sensor picked up six salvos of seven missiles approaching at 53,000 k/s. Unfortunately the pilot had miscalculated the course and the Dragoneras’ had achieved their lock-on, Venture C-004 was now facing forty-two incoming Destroyer Otlichny missiles with twelve-kiloton warheads. All Lieutenant Annapurna Bhattathiri could do now was order “crew to action stations, prepare for impact!”
At 14:15:45 the automated defences of Venture C-004 roared into life, First the large 20cm laser fired with a loud crack as the capacitor discharged destroying a single missile, as the range rapidly decreased the gauss turrets fired, the ship shuddered as they sent their hyper velocity projectiles against the missiles, one turret also only killed one additional missile but the other turret stopped a further six. Finally the CIWS spat out a stream of depleted uranium slugs and stopped a further six missiles in their tracks. Fourteen missiles down, twenty-eight to go. Now it was the Venture C-004’s turn to try and evade the incoming agents of death. The ship Jinked in all three dimensions and it appeared to be working, one entire salvo lost terminal guidance, in all nineteen lost their target lock, but then the first warhead detonated against the shields, nine missiles retained lock-on and exploded, the first eight took down the strength 96 shields, the final warhead directed its tritium fuelled plasma lance against the naked armoured hull of the ship. It easily burnt through the three armoured layers, creating a large crater, but the warhead ran out of energy, and only managed to open two compartments to vacuum, failing to penetrate within the hull. The crew would now need to start anti-radiation treatment, but that was a highly reliable treatment and no one died of radiation poisoning since before the formation of the Space Corps. The ship had survived partly through good judgement, partly through good luck and partly through strong construction.
All Lieutenant Bhattathiri had to do now was escape 94 Aqualii before the Dragoneras’ could rearm and return to finish the job. So rather than kill the Dragoneras’ which were at his mercy he drove on for the jump point, very much aware there were still the three Las Palmas class ships pursuing Venture C-004.

7th April 86. 94 Aquarii.
At 13:30 Venture C-004 safely transited out of 94 Aquarii and into Ceti 13, the last of STG 7 to do so. Lieutenant Bhattathiri was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross while his senior officer, Captain Karia, was mentioned in dispatches.

12th April 86. Phi-2 Ceti.
The 342th Engineer Brigade disturbed an underground vault on Beaumaris - Phi-2 Ceti-A II that contained hostile ‘droid soldiers. This was the first one discovered on Beaumaris - Phi-2 Ceti-A II.  However the 12th Leviathan Division’s ready brigade responded promptly and defeated the attempted breakout into the wider colony, although some infrastructure was destroyed no lives were lost (principally because the colonists have yet to arrive).  There were two battalions’ of the mechanical monsters and were among the most sophisticated yet seen, but this did not help them and both units had 40% of their automatons reduced to so much scrap.

18th April 86. Phi-2 Ceti.
The cybernetic soldiers tenaciously held out just beyond the vault from which they issued forth. They took significant casualties but had occupied strong points which were proving difficult to neutralise without destroying a significant portion of the excavations. However their resistance finally gave way and the surviving mechanical monsters retreated to their bunker which was unceremoniously collapsed about them.
Gram – Avalon-A II.
Lieutenant Bhattathiri, captain of Venture C-004, was promoted to the rank of Captain.

22nd April 86. LHS 1908.
STG 3 completed the gravitational survey in the LHS 1908 system. The system had a total of four jump points.

11th May 86. Gliese 25.
Exploration of a jump point in the Gliese 36 system by STG 7 revealed the new system of Gliese 25. This was a trinary system, a G7-V, G8-V and K1-V all in relatively close proximity. The only system of note was that around the outlying K1-V which possessed seven planets, a few moons and two asteroid belts. There was nothing else about the system to catch the attention.

28th April 86. Beta Pictoris.
Exploration of a jump point in the LHS 1908 system by STG 3 revealed the new system of Beta Pictoris. The system was made up of an A4-V star with seven planets, dozens of moons, an asteroid belt and a handful of comets. Three of the super Jovian gas giant’s moons (Beta Pictoris-A IV) had HI’s of 1.90, 1.90 and 2.37 respectively.

22nd June 86. S.W. Burnham 127.
Exploration of a jump point in the S.W. Burnham 157 system by STG 2 revealed the new system of S.W. Burnham 271. The system was a binary system, a lone G5-V orbited by a K4-V with a small uninteresting solar system.

8th July 86. Gliese 25.
STG 7, fresh from their overhaul, was several weeks into their gravitational survey of the Gliese 25 system. Captain Apsaras Karia was still the senior officer of the squadron and still resident aboard Venture C-003. At 14:35 alarm klaxons on Venture C-005 activated. The subofficer at the senor console reported “Hostile contact, range 224 million klicks, bearing 274o, declination minus 0o, 7’.” This was followed by the mechanically voiced alert ““Hostile Ship Contact!  Class ID: Dragonera, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 20, Contact ID: Dragonera 016. Hostile Ship Contact!  Class ID: Dragonera, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 20, Contact ID: Dragonera 017.” Lieutenant Yu, captain of Venture C-005, knew he could outfight this pair of miscreants, given their support would be some way off. He had the recent example of Lieutenant Annapurna Bhattathiri of his squadron to emulate. Voice calm he issued his first instructions “Weapon’s, raise shields, Comm’s please issue squadron alert, Pilot, plot an intercept course and execute when laid in, crew to defence stations,” the last going out over the intraship comms system. There was no point in going to action stations until action was imminent and that was a couple of hours off yet.
16:55. As the range to the two fast attack craft passed 30 million klicks Lieutenant Yu piped “all hands to action stations.” 17:15. The range passed 17 million klicks and still no incoming. 17:32, the two attack craft were just 10,000 klicks from Venture C-005 and Lieutenant Yu could hold his nerve no longer. “Weapons, open fire, Pilot reverse course to Gliese 36 jump point” was the almost strangled order from Yu. The crack of the laser capacitor discharging was followed by the roar of the two twin gauss turrets as all weapons targeted Dragonera 016. The X-ray beam hit Drogonera 016 squarely; pieces could be seen spalling off, then the small vessel disintegrated as hyper-velocity slugs tore it apart. Venture C-005 pulled away from its would-be assailants, “still no incoming!” thought Yu. No sooner had the thought crossed his mind than the ships proximity alarm wailed in to life. Two salvos of seven missiles were incoming. The CIWS took out three missiles and seven lost target lock but the remaining four hit, to impact on Venture C-005’s shields, denting them as they diverted the thermonuclear fire around the vessel instead of through it. The weapons officer targeted Dragonera 017 and hit the key to fire at the new target. The laser missed, but the gauss cannon scored some hits, molten fragments could be seen fly off the enemy hull as the hull material was ejected from the impact crater. Yu voiced his only thought now “Pilot, close the enemy!” Venture C-005 once more reversed course to keep the enemy within range of its potent laser. Then seconds later the fleeing craft appeared to split into two unequal parts as the X-ray beam carved its way through the hull, Dragonera 017 exploded into a million fragments as the gauss cannon slugs tore through its flimsy structure. Satisfied Lieutenant Yu turned Venture C-005 towards the jump point and a rendezvous with the rest of the Squadron.

14th July 86 07:33:11,Beta Pictoris.
STG 3 completed the gravitational survey of the Beta Pictoris system. The system had a total of six jump points

22nd July 86. Gliese 100.
Exploration of a jump point in the Gliese 36 system by STG 7 revealed the new system of Gliese 100. The binary system consisted of a K4-V with six planets thirty-one moons and a few comets, Gliese 100-A IV had an HI of 1.45. The B component, an M1-V star, was all alone.  

6th August 86. Delta Velorum.
Exploration of a jump point in the Beta Pictoris system by STG 3 has revealed the new system of Delta Velorum. This was a trinary system, a central A1-V star orbited by an A5-V and a G2-V. The latter two had a handful of planets each. The B component was notable because it had two planets, Delta Velorum-A V and VI with HI’s of 1.43 and 2.20 respectively and easily terraformed.

29th August 86. Gliese 791.
Exploration of a jump point in the S.W. Burnham 157 system by STG 2 revealed the new system of Gliese 791. This system was a single M3-V star with a well-developed planetary system. It would have to wait on a geological survey to see how useful it would be.

20th September 86. Lambda-2 Fornacis
Exploration of a jump point in the Gliese 100 system by STG 7 revealed the new system of Lambda-2 Fornacis. This was a single G1-V star with five planets and five comets orbiting it. Lambda-2 Fornacis-IV had an HI of 1.90.

20th September 86. Lambda-2 Fornacis.
It was looking like the Lleida Hierarchy hadn’t come by this route, but the task Group senior officer, Captain Karia, wanted to make sure for certain, one exit from Gliese 36 may blocked by Destroyers but there were two possible routes out of Gliese 100 he was going down them just in case even after the squadron’s close shave in Gliese 25. After all the Union had no knowledge of how many Lleida Hierarchy ships set out or may have been lost enroute. Even Lleida Hierarchy wrecks would be informative.
Captain Satyavati Brar sat in his command couch quite satisfied with his lot; he had command of one of the latest survey vessels in the Union.  Venture C—001 had just made the jump through a previously unexplored jump point out of Gliese 100 which connected to Phi-2 Ceti via Gliese 36. Another jump safely over, time to resume ships routine Captain Brar issued his instructions. “Secure from jump, crew to cruising stations, Pilot, lay in a course for the first survey location.” The crew quietly went about their business.

23rd September 86. Lambda-2 Fornacis.
At 15:18 Venture C-001 ship’s routine was shattered. The alarm linked to the sensor console activated as the subofficer at the sensor console reported in a sing-song voice “hostile contacts, range 229 million klicks, bearing 64o, declination 3o 42’.” This was followed by the mechanically voiced alert. “Hostile Ship Contact!  Class ID: Dragonera, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 20, Contact ID: Dragonera 018. Hostile Ship Contact!  Class ID: Dragonera, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 20, Contact ID: Dragonera 019.” But the voice didn’t stop there and droned on. “Hostile Ship Contact!  Class ID: Dragonera, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 20, Contact ID: Dragonera 020. Hostile Ship Contact!  Class ID: Dragonera, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 20, Contact ID: Dragonera 021.” Captain Brar was quick to respond “Crew to defence stations, Weapons, raise shields, Comms issue squadron alert,” as was customary on such occasions, no point in being caught out because the enemy had slipped in a long range weapon you didn’t expect. Captain Brar now had a dilemma, he knew that he could take two Dragonera attack craft easily, but four? He also knew that Lieutenant Bhattathiri – now Captain Bhattathiri, had survived an encounter with four, but he had not intended to close and had let them go, but was there any alternative? “Pilot lay in an intercept course maximum burn.” Brar had decided he could only die trying. He had to try and close until the very last minute and try and take out at least one attack ship before they could fire. 17:18 Brar ordered “Crew to action stations,” the Venture C-001 was now closed up and ready to fight, but they would not reach the enemy for another hour.
Exactly an hour later Venture C-001 was but 10,000 klicks from its assailants’ still on the same bearing, time to hand out some damage ”Weapons, Fire!” The ship echoed to the crack of the laser capacitor discharging and the roar of the twin gauss turrets as all weapons opened up. Brar was gratified to see Dragonera 018 disintegrate into a million shards, first the laser crippled it then the gauss cannon shredded the remains.  But that still left three remaining. They had suddenly changed course to a bearing of 314o now heading away from Venture C-001, something bad was on its way! Nevertheless Captain Brar snapped ”Pilot, intercept course max burn.” The Venture C-001 bucked and shuddered as the ship changed its heading and the weapons fired again, this time Dragonera 019 was the target and it could withstand the onslaught no better than Dragonera 018 and it flew apart in small fragments. “No missiles are they out of ammo?” the thought passed through Brar’s mind. But the Dragoneras’ had one last trick to play, Venture C-001 Sped past her opponents as they flipped end-over end and decelerated sharply, “That won’t save you “ thought Brar as once more as the ship echoed to the noise of the guns firing. Then a second after the Venture’s weapons went quite there was the rattle of the CIWS as it coughed into life. The weapons officer cried out “BRACE FOR...” and got no further as the ship was hit by the hammer blows of twelve-kiloton warheads bursting against the ship’s shields, circuit breakers popped and were immediately reset only to pop again. But the shields held, the plasma lances ricocheted off the Venture’s shields. All Brar could do was shout at the weapons officer ”now get him!” As the remaining Dragonera charged off again on a bearing of 64o, away from Venture C-001. Five seconds later Dragonera 021 was transfixed by the Venture’s laser and large pieces detached themselves from the hull under the hammer of the gauss cannon until the hull was rent by a large internal explosion. Relief flooded through Brar, he had done it! One to four odds, no one would be able to turn away from such odds again! “Crew to defence stations, Pilot lay in a course for the jump point, transit on arrival, execute!”  
It was only in the post battle analysis that it was found how fortunate the Venture C-001 had been, the CIWS had taken out five of the Destroyer Otlichny missiles and at least six must have lost target lock so that only three actually hit the Venture. If the other two craft had been able to fire Captain Brar may not have been so happy with fourteen additional missiles to deal with. Instead he was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal, inducted into the Order of Merit, mentioned in despatches and very, very quietly given a reprimand for hazarding his ship. Other awards were handed out to the crew, this made Survey Task Group 7 the most decorated squadron in the Union.

2nd October 86. Gliese 791.
STG 2 completed the gravitational survey of the Gliese 791 system. The system had a total of four jump points.

12th October 86.Delta Velorum.
22:21. STG 3 was just completing a gravitational survey of Delta Velorum, five jumps out of Phi-2 Ceti. The system was relatively well endowed; two planets in the B component had HI’s of 1.43 and 2.20 respectively. There were just three locations left to survey and Venture B-007 was hurrying across the system to link up with Survey Task Group senior officer, Captain Abigail Gregory of Phi-2 Ceti fame in Venture B-009. Venture B-007 was at cruising stations and a relaxed atmosphere permeated the vessel. Lieutenant Ben Cameron was captain of this happy ship. This atmosphere was suddenly replaced by one of apprehension when the subofficer at the sensor console sang out “hostile contacts 227 million klicks, bearing 201o, declination 0o 1’, fine off the starboard forward quarter.” This was followed as always by the battle comp joining in “Hostile Ship Contact!  Class ID: Dragonera, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 20, Contact ID: Dragonera 023. Hostile Ship Contact!  Class ID: Dragonera, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 20, Contact ID: Dragonera 024. Hostile Ship Contact!  Class ID: Dragonera, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 20, Contact ID: Dragonera 025.” “Great” thought Cameron, “three of the beggars” He barked his first orders “Weapons, shields up! Pilot lay in an intercept course, maximum thrust, Comms issue squadron alert!” Then over the intraship “Crew to defence stations.”

13th October 86. Delta Velorum.
00:21. The crew had secured any loose items and had a hot meal, possibly their last, now it was time for the next stage, combat in an hour or less was guaranteed. “Crew to action stations” was the only command Cameron needed to voice.
01:21. Lieutenant Cameron kept his nerve until the three attack craft were 9000 klicks away. “Weapons, open fire!” The crack of the capacitor and roar of the quad gauss turret reverberated around the vessel. At the last minute the Dragoneras’ appeared to evade by altering course to 314o, but that did not save Dragonera 023 which was gutted by the 20cm laser then torn apart by the quad gauss cannon. “Pilot plot a pursuit course, execute!” was the hurried order from Cameron.
The pilot plotted so accurate a course as to arrive at point blank range as the Venture B-007’s weapons cycled and fired again, there was no escape for Dragonera 024, a cloud of debris almost hid the craft as the gauss cannon chewed into it. The cloud lit up, excited photons were emitted from particles intercepted by the X-ray beam just before it bored its way through the hull and into the delicate interior. Dragonera 024 seemed to explode in all directions. Dragonera 025 strained to escape the attention of Venture B-007 to no avail; it got just 9000 klicks distant before the seeking beam cut the unfortunate craft in two. The gauss cannon broke those parts into ever smaller fragments. Cameron was in the middle of saying “well done crew...” when the hull rang under the force of two twelve-kiloton explosions as two of the Otlichny missiles found their target without warning, launched seconds before Dragonera 025 found its fate. Fortunately for Venture B-007 the CIWS took care of four missiles and one lost target lock and the two that did hit did not seriously threaten the integrity of the shields. Cameron found himself operating under what seemed like remote control “Damage control parties check hull integrity, crew to defence stations, Pilot lay in a course for Venture B-009 (Captain Gregory’s vessel). Now the question was could the squadron extricate itself from Beta Velorum before reinforcements arrived.
02:37. Lieutenant Cameron did not have too long to wait to find out, the squadron may extricate itself, but Venture B-007 wouldn’t be joining the squadron just yet. It started with the sensor subofficer ”hostile contacts 227 million klicks, bearing 187o declination 0o 41.5’, dead ahead!” The battle comp not to be out done chimed in “Hostile Ship Contact!  Contact ID: Neptuno 004, Class ID: Neptuno, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 268, Hostile Ship Contact!  Contact ID: Reina Sofia 004, Class ID: Reina Sofia, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 268, Hostile Ship Contact!  Contact ID: Reina Sofia 005, Class ID: Reina Sofia, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 268, Hostile Ship Contact!  Contact ID: Reina Sofia 006, Class ID: Reina Sofia, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 268, Hostile Ship Contact!  Contact ID: Hernan Cortez 002, Class ID: Hernan Cortez, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 134, Hostile Ship Contact!  Contact ID: Santa Maria 002, Class ID: Santa Maria, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 134, Hostile Ship Contact!  Contact ID: Santa Maria 003, Class ID: Santa Maria, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 134, Hostile Ship Contact!  Contact ID: Santa Maria 004, Class ID: Santa Maria, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 134.” The iteration seemed to go on for ever.



Cameron knew of the Neptuno and Reina Sofia classes, they were big and tough and 13,400 tons, but the other two classes were new to the Union, the only consolation was they only massed 6,700 tons. Cameron had the luck to come across probably the largest and most powerful Destroyer squadron yet encountered.
Cameron found the decision he had to make very easy. “Pilot, reverse course steer 0o for 59 hours at a velocity of 6716 k/s for sixty hours.” Then over the intraship comm he announced “crew to defence stations,” the crew having only recently resumed cruising stations. At least that way a third of the crew would get some rest as the watches changed.  For the benefit of the bridge crew he explained that it would be up to them to give the rest squadron time to get out while keeping the Destroyers at arm’s length but not out running them.
Twenty-four hours passed and the Destroyer squadron was in full flight behind Venture B-007, but had not gained an inch. The tricky bit would be the change of course to the jump point, when the enemy ship would close the distance even if Venture went to maximum thrust. The question was by how much would the range decrease?
Then sixteen hours later the plan began to falter. The Destroyer squadron appeared to get tired of following but not catching Venture B-007 and fell off the ships sensors. Cameron immediately reacted “Pilot, change heading to 294o, reduce velocity to 6500 k/s.” His hope was they Destroyers would close on his vessel and still ignore the rest of the squadron which were all deep in Delta Velorum. But to hedge his bets he altered course to take the ship towards the jump point in case the Destroyers were trying to out flank him. If it did all go wrong he still had a clear run to another jump point, abet an unexplored one.

17th October 86. Delta Velorum.
Venture B-007 hit its way mark still without sight of the enemy. Cameron was gratified to hear that the rest of the squadron were coalescing before making a run for the jump point and they had actually managed to complete the gravitational survey of the system. Delta Velorum had a total of three jump points but it was eminently clear that the Lleida Hierarchy had not come this way. As things stood now Venture B-007 would be the first of Survey 3 to leave the system.

27th October 86. Delta Velorum.
Venture B-007 made it safely out of Delta Velorum, even though for most of the journey the vessel was trailing its coat-tails by only going at 6700 k/s. The crew were able to secure from defence stations once they were safely in Beta Pictoris and assume cruising stations. All that remained now was for the rest of the squadron to escape.

9th November 86. Beta Pictoris.
Survey Task Group 3 met Venture B-007 in Beta Pictoris. The squadron’s escapade would enter the history of Survey Command and find Cameron awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross among other awards.  

25th February 87. Iota Piscium.
Task Force 5 had finished emplacing first generation buoys at the jump points in and around Phi-2 Ceti and completed their scheduled maintenance overhaul at Asran – Iota Piscium-A VII. They were now tasked with removing the infestation from Gliese 25.

27th March 87. Gliese 36.
Task Force 5 moved to the Gliese 25 jump point. Commodore Elsa Danneberg brought her command to the Gliese 25 jump point. She took the time to brief her task Group commanders in person. She outlined her plan, essentially unchanged from NN 4378, but with an extra task group. Commodore Danneberg was a woman of medium height and lithe build. Like all spacers her hair was cut short, and unlike most after thirty-nine years’ service was still black as night. She had so far managed to impress her subordinates with her ability.
At 02:33 the Task Force split into its task groups activated shields and made a combat jump into Gliese 25:
Task Group 5.1 (Group Commander Lu Zhen Cui) consisted of the Jump Cruiser Vanguard, the Missile Cruisers Raider, Reliant, Relentless, Fleet Scout Farsight and the Escort Neon.
Task Group 5.2 (Commodore Elsa Dannenberg, Flag) consisted of the Jump Cruiser Swiftsure, Missile Cruisers Renown, Resolution, Revenge, Fleet Scout Scanner and the Escort Nitrogen.
Task Group 5.3 (Captain Matthew Potter) consisted of the Jump Cruiser Resurgence, Missile Cruisers Rocket, Ranger, Rapid, Redoubtable and the Escort Indium.
Task Group 5.4 (Captain Ratna Srivastava) consisted of the Jump Destroyer Valheru, Missile Boats Bayard, Bicorne, Bunyip, Camoleopard and the Escort Yttrium.

28th March 87. Gliese 25.
The task groups of Task Force 5 secured from jump and moved in system while waiting for sensors to recover from jump blindness. When sensors were back on line there were only the forlorn wrecks of the Destroyer attack craft to be seen. Commodore Danneberg ordered the fleet to move towards the C component of the trinary system which had a respectable solar system. With crews at defence stations the task groups moved off together.

30th March 87. Gliese 25.
In the early hours of the 30th alerts on the Fleet Scout Scanner tripped. The ship’s captain, Lieutenant Ewan Patel was first roused from a light sleep by his sensor operator “Hostile ships bearing 254o, declination 1o 0.25’, 5258 million klicks” and then as he rushed on to the bridge he was treated to the combat comp enumerating the threat in an almost gleeful mechanical baritone (he really must get one of the electrical rates to adjust that thing). This time the threat was nothing the Task Force couldn’t handle, three Cazadorna class and three Alcanada class, the latter had not been seen since the very first battles in HIP 108380 decades ago. Neither class would prove much more than target practise. “Comms, intership to the Commodore, make sighting report” was all Lieutenant Patel required to do; the rest was up to Dannenberg. The first officer ordered the crew to defence stations.

3rd April 87. Gliese 25.
Early afternoon on the 3rd action stations was sounded throughout Task Force 5 as the Destroyer squadron entered sensor range of the missile cruisers and they began to develop their firing solutions. Commodore Danneberg ordered the use of the now second line Hellcat IIIB missile, as yet still untried in combat.  In just over two hours the enemy vessels would enter the engagement envelope of the Hellcat IIIB missiles. It was time to see how effective these missiles were.
At 15:52 Raider, Relentless, Rocket, Ranger, Rapid and Redoubtable each launched two salvos of six missiles at the approaching Destroyer warships. The Hellcat IIIBs reached the enemy fleet at 16:35 The firmament lit up with the new heavy sixteen-kiloton cobalt clad thermonuclear warheads as they burnt out any unshielded sensors, ripped down shields as if they were made of paper then cratered the hull and in places the shaped plasma lances reached into the ships internal spaces. All the missiles struck their targets, however only one vessel was destroyed; analysis indicated that both the Alcanada and Cazadora classes possessed at least grade four armour protection.
By 17:15 follow-up salvos of six missiles each reached the faltering Destroyer vessels. They stood no chance against this new onslaught. Once more the cobalt enhanced warheads burst and burnt their way through the thick armour, several Destroyer ships suffered internal explosions as magazines detonated. Those that did not succumb to secondary explosions received enough damage to cause structural failure. For the first time the Destroyers had never reached their own engagement range, while still a nuisance they were no longer a threat to the Union unless there really was a great Destroyer war fleet building in some undiscovered system.
The Task Force recombined and moved on to investigate closer the C component of the system from which the Destroyer squadron had come. There were two potential targets Gliese 25-C V which had too light a gravity for the Union to utilise for a colony and Gliese 25-A VI which had an HI of 5.01 however both proved to be uninhabited with no obvious threat. Task Force 5 thus set course for Lambda-2 Fornacis to eradicate the menace that lurked in that system.
There was one sequelae to this operation. The Logistics and Procurement Division of Star Corps HQ was not happy at the expenditure of the expensive Hellcat IIIB missiles while there were still adequate stocks of basic Hellcats available. It directed in future basic Hellcats should be used as these missiles cost the Union nothing to produce.

17th April 87. Xi Pegasi
Changes to the atmosphere of Burrow - Xi Pegasi-A III have been completed and it is now breathable without artificial aids. The arid planet has been opened for colonisation. It will specialise in light industry and entertainment.

10th May 87. Gliese 25.
The survey vessel Malachite discovered a Destroyer outpost on Gliese 25-C asteroid #164 with a thermal strength of 10.

18th May 87. Gliese 25.
The survey vessel Garnet discovered a Destroyer outpost on Gliese 25-C asteroid #184 with a thermal signature of 10.

20th May 87. Gliese 25.
The survey vessel Sunstone discovered a Destroyer outpost on Gliese 25-C asteroid #120 with a thermal signature of 10.

5th June 87. Gliese 100.
Task Force 5 arrived at the jump point into Lambda-2 Fornacis. Commodore Elsa Danneberg took the time once more to brief her task group commanders. She noted the directive from Logistics and Procurement to her task group commanders and said she would consider it. The task force dissolved into its respective task groups, activated shields and made a combat jump into Lambda-2 Fornacis.
Initially only the wrecks of the four Dragonera attack craft were visible, then as the sensors recovered from jump lag, three Destroyer vessels of a new class appeared on the screen. The sensor operator on Farsight sang out “Hostile ships bearing 170o, declination 2o 35’, 948 million klicks.” Not to be out done the combat comp joined in “Hostile Ship Contact!  Contact ID: Galerna 002, Class ID: Galerna, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 134. Hostile Ship Contact!  Contact ID: Galerna 003, Class ID: Galerna, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 134. Hostile Ship Contact!  Contact ID: Galerna 004, Class ID: Galerna, Race ID: Destroyer, TCS 134.” Once the mechanical voice had finished its iteration a quiet fell over the bridge. Lieutenant Patel broke the silence ”Comms, transmit the sighting report to the flagship.” Then in an aside to the bridge staff, “Survey 7 were lucky to get out, the Destroyers were closer than they thought.” (A reference to the action Captain Brar fought on 23rd September 86 in Lambda-2 Fornacis). Once more the first officer could be heard ordering the crew to defence stations over the intraship comms.
Commodore Danneberg signalled general chase to the task groups, Task Group 5.3 easily outran the others, being nearly 5000 k/s faster. Commodore Danneberg authorised the use of Hellcat IIIB missiles. Once in range the four missile cruisers picked their targets. Galerna 002 and 003 would receive eighteen missiles each while Galerna 004 only received twelve. Thirty-three minutes later the missile storm burst over the unsuspecting Destroyer warships. Galerna 002 and 003 shields failed as though they had never been, hull plates evaporated under the torrent of applied energy. Intricate mechanisms slumped into misshapen lumps; secondary explosions wracked the vessels as they blew apart. Galerna 004 was a little more fortunate. It survived the twelve missiles aimed against it, shedding shields and armour like confetti. The internal damage was considerable, but it was still there – that was until six missiles targeted at Galerna 002 which were denied the opportunity to immolate themselves against that vessel when it exploded prematurely started to look for a new target. It took only five seconds for the missiles small electronic brains to select Galerna 004 as the only possible destination and the salvo descended on the unfortunate craft like a thunderbolt, but considerably more powerful. As the missiles detonated around it a large internal explosion rent the hull as a magazine cooked off and sealed its fate.

6th June 87. Lambda-2 Fornacis.
Task Force 5 was on its way to check out likely planets in the system. Lambda-2 Fornacis had two possible targets, Lambda-2 Fornacis-A IV with an HI of 1.9 and Lambda-2 Fornacis-V with an HI of 4.01. Lieutenant Ingo Lieder lounged in his command couch, Farsight was the duty scout, but the enemy was vanquished and it was a simple cruise to the inner system. He was shaken out of his reverie when the sensor officer announced “Hostile ship contacts, bearing 83o, declination 2o 23’, range 2335 million klicks, off the starboard bow. Resigned, Lieder ordered “Comms issue task force alert, Weapons, shields up, crew to defence stations.” The mechanical voice of the combat comp then cut in to formally identify the two destroyer warships as nothing more than two Dragonera attack craft. Lieder wished he could stand the crew down to cruising stations again as these vessels would be destroyed long before they could pose a threat, but protocol was protocol and while Danneberg was not a disciplinarian she did examine the combat logs of all the ships under her command and woe betide those that transgressed with anything to do with ships safety in combat.

7th June 87. Lambda-2 Fornacis.
Commodore Danneberg decided to keep her course and allow the attack craft to close the task force. She authorised the use of four Hellcat IIIB missiles to dispatch the enemy vessels. At 17:05 the Ranger loosed two missiles at each of the Destroyer warcraft. Forty minutes later four brief pinpoints of actinic light signalled their passing.

15th June 87. Phi-2 Ceti.
A research lab was recovered on Phi-2 Ceti and the technical details of advanced gravitational sensors were recovered from it.

17th June 87. Gliese 18.
Survey 7 discovered Woolley 9833 out of Gliese 18. This was a K1-V star with nine planet, many moons an asteroid belt and a few comets Woolley 9833-A III had an HI 0 and three moons of Woolley-A IV, a gas giant, had HI’s of 1.90, 2.84 and 2.94.

20th June 87. Gliese 25.
75th Leviathan Brigade occupied asteroid #120 without any opposition being encountered. The abandoned base had two automated DSTS and 14 Octilchny missiles.

21st June 87. Woolley 9833.
Venture C-005 (Lieutenant Yu) came within 1740 million klicks of Woolley 9833-A III, the thermal sensor started beeping insistently, when the sensor subofficer looked at the readings he immediately routed them to lieutenant Yu, it was reading a strength 37,274 source located on the third planet from the sun, the one with an HI of 0! Captain Karia SO of the squadron was immediately informed. For comparison Gram had a thermal signature of 38,679.

26th June 87. Gliese 25.
The 165th Assault Brigade landed on Asteroid #164 and occupied the Destroyer Surveillance Base, 180 Hellcat missiles were recovered along with two DSTS.

6th July 87. Woolley 9833.
An alien vessel designated the Benevente class of 2,400 tons, was detected in Woolley 9833. It appeared to be carrying out a gravitational survey.

13th July 87. Gliese 25.
The 183rd Leviathan Brigade landed on Asteroid #189 and occupied the Destroyer Surveillance Base, 180 Hellcat missiles were recovered as well as two DSTS.

18th July 87. Woolley 9833.
The contact team were struggling to make a breakthrough in their attempt to communicate with the Woolley 9833 aliens. Some of the team were beginning to hold the opinion that it may prove impossible to communicate with the cephalopod-like aliens due to their extensive employment of photophores in their language.

26th July 87. Woolley 9833.
The high tech status of the Woolley 9833 aliens was established unequivocally when Venture C-004 (Captain Karia, Squadron SO) was approached by a fleet of thirteen vessels. The alien fleet consisted of two vessels designated Zaragora class, two vessels designated Teniente Olivier class, one designated Valdiva, three designated Rancagua class, one designated Quintana class, two designated Defensora class, one designated Elicura class all of 7,550 tons and one designated Aldarma class of 15,100 tons.

2nd August 87. Woolley 9833.
Lieutenant Yu in Venture C-005 met the same alien fleet that Captain Karia had met while he was surveying Woolley-A VI. They did not act in a hostile manner although their search sensors were active. The young lieutenant did observe that the fleet composition was very similar to that fielded by the Imperial Devarians during their war with the Union, although it did appear to lack jump ships. It is very possible that the appearance of the survey squadron may have only just enlightened them to the presence of jump points; hence the vessels encountered performing a gravitational survey.

8th August 87. Woolley 9833.
Lieutenant Dong in Venture C-002 passed close to Woolley-A III and detected a 120k ton orbital ‘yard and several other vessels designated Greenhalgh, Blanco and Erebus classes, massing 33,550, 14,850 and 14,700 tons respectively. The 33,500 ton vessels were likely non-combatants.

15th August 87. Woolley 9833.
02:13:38. Venture C-002 (Lieutenant Dong) had moved on to survey asteroid #29 when the sensor station alerted him to the fact that the alien fleet had split into two divisions and was fast approaching at their maximum velocity of 4768 k/s. Having seen this before Lieutenant Dong took not much notice, ordering the subofficer to keep the vessels under observation, it was only when the first division had closed to point blank range that the second division made up of Zaragosa 002 and 003, Teniente Olivieri 002 and 003, trailing the leading group by 30k opened fire with rail guns. Fortunately C-002 had her shields up and managed to shrug off this first fusillade, but with her shields degraded by 75%.
A shocked Lieutenant Dong shouted “crew to action stations, Pilot, open range in the direction of the Gliese 18 jump point, Comms, squadron emergency channel - aliens attacking, Weapons return fire.” Like a well-oiled machine the crew rushed to obey with a minimum of delay. The problem was the jump point was 3550 million klicks away on a bearing of 41o. The proximity alarm squawked into life, there were thirty-one size 1 independencia anti-missile missiles and forty-one size 3 Commando AS missiles incoming.
02:13:43. Lieutenant Dong had the presence of mind to order a change of target “Weapons, target the missile ships, perhaps we can touch off a magazine, gauss cannon to self-defence, crew brace for impact!” The crack of the laser capacitor discharging echoed through Venture C-002. The new target, Rancagua 002, started to leak atmosphere, but analysis of the strike revealed that vessel had armour of at least strength four. The gauss cannon fired at the approaching missiles, tearing ten out of the firmament.
02:13:53. The gauss cannon roared into life again followed by the cough of the CIWS as a hail of missiles sought out C-002. Seventeen missiles were destroyed but six Commando AS and nine independencia AAMs brought down the C-002 shields to a mere 20 points. All that could save the Venture now was to open the range as quickly as possible. The laser fired again; again it scored the armour of Rancagua 002 and penetrated the hull. There were no new missile salvos yet, but based on observed tech it was likely the aliens quickest missile launcher had a cycle time of at least ten seconds, that was the longest respite that could be expected.
02:13:58. True to the prediction a further 31 AAMs were detected approaching at 30,600 k/s. Despite all the efforts of the gauss cannon and CIWS thirteen AAMs all but knocked down the regenerating shields and shook the ship. The entire crew were counting down the seconds until the larger but slower anti-ship missiles reached the C-002. Five seconds later at 97,000 klicks another 41 Commando and 31 independencia missiles were detected approaching and the shield strength was just 11. Dong made his decision, “all weapons target missiles.” The Faster AAMs reached Venture C-002 first and twelve made it through all the ship could do, the onslaught obliterated the remaining shields and scored the armour. “Laser to self-defence” ordered Dong, it was his last forlorn throw of the dice. The Forty-one four-kiloton missiles fast approaching had been reduced to thirty-four. But that was still more than the C-002’s defences could handle.  Between evasive manoeuvring and anti-missile fire only three missiles hit, cratering the hull. Unfortunately two hit in the same place opened compartments to vacuum, but this time there was no internal damage, but it was now only a matter of time.
02:14:03. Sure enough thirty-one size 1 missiles were incoming, only luck could save the C-002 now and luck had almost run out. The CIWS coughed once more downing six, the gauss turrets switched to final defence mode shattered a further eight, four, four-kiloton explosions reduced the shields to zero, four more cratered the hull further while the remainder lost target lock, but there were now another 41 size 3 missiles approaching and C-002 had lost what shields she could muster. The outlook was bleak. Luck had indeed run out but not yet terminally, but it was looking bad enough. Eight four-kiloton detonations wracked the vessels hull, flattening the paltry shields and penetrating the hull, the sensor bay received a direct burn through, worse was the loss of a gauss turret.
02:14:33. 160 million klicks away Venture C-004 and Captain Karia took what revenge he could, when the alarm came through that C-002 was under attack, C-004 was under 50,000 klicks from Chaco 002, a small 2,150 ton survey craft, Karia turned his laser on it and half-a-dozen shots later it was so much scrap. Karia recovered survivors for interrogation then resumed course for the jump point.
Meanwhile the torment of C-002 was still in progress, thirty-one AAMs reached the vessel, fifteen were stopped by point defence fire, six lost terminal guidance and eleven ploughed into the almost unprotected hull, removing the pitiful shields and putting more pockmarks into the hull. More compartments opened to space. Twenty-six four-kiloton missiles were still incoming, how lucky could Venture C-002 get? The answer was very, twenty-one were avoided or shot to fragments by point defence, five slammed into the small vessel shaking it like a small quadruped carnivore shakes its prey. Short-lived magnetic fields shaped plasma lances that burnt into the hull, the thermal sensor was reduced to so much slag, the remaining gauss turrets received a direct hit, but fortunately continued to function. In seven places the hull was now open to vacuum and still more missiles were on their way. The seconds ticked down, and a further wave of missiles was detected even before these had hit. There was the briefest gleam of hope in that there were only six salvos instead of the normal seven, but that would be enough to seal the fate of Venture C-002.  
02:14:48. The laser had been sniping at the approaching wave of missiles with limited effectiveness. The gauss cannons woke with a roar followed by the CIWS-500, they performed well enough but it was not sufficient, the first three missiles to hit flattened the shields such as they were while the final four burnt deep into the ship finally sealing its fate, the CIWS-500 was destroyed as was one engine. The 37 missiles in the next wave would surely finish her.
02:14:58. The alien missile salvos were becoming ragged, but that hardly mattered it would be a miracle if the C-002 survived the next five minutes. Five seconds to impact, the remaining gauss cannon turret joined the laser in paring back the on rushing missile storm, destroying seven of them, but that still left twenty-one. Only four missiles hit, but they destroyed another engine and there were ten AAMs seconds away from the C-002 and beyond them another 24 Commando AS missiles. Only three AAMs hit but they took out yet another engine, it was turning into the death of a thousand cuts. The surviving gauss turret worked on tearing apart one complete salvo, but alone it could only hold back the tide for a short time. The ragged salvos were miraculously dealt with for only one four-kiloton warhead brought down the shields that had been painfully rebuilt, but there were another 31 AAMs and another 41 AS missiles behind the last wave and whatever had caused the raggedness of the last salvo was corrected and it was a tight wave timed to hit the C-002 simultaneously. The last minute seemed to last a life-time to the crew that survived but the end was fast approaching.
02:16:58. Twenty-seven AAMs burst around the C-002, the vessel was smothered in bright thermonuclear bursts of light and energy as the one-kiloton warheads did their deadly work, plasma lanced into the ships internals, the last of her weapons were turned to so much slag with no chance of repair. Dong ordered those crew which could be spared from essential duties to the escape pods.
02:17:03. Ten of the pursuing forty-one AS missiles detonated virtually in contact with Venture C-002’s hull. Thermonuclear fire reached deep into her internals burning through her keel member, breaking her back, engines exploded with a pent up fury, tearing the hull apart. 139 of the 700 man crew managed to reach the escape pods, somehow Dong found himself amongst them, their fate uncertain and their future potentially brief and unpleasant. Some minutes later 160 million klicks away tears rolled down the cheeks of Captain Karia as he watched the end of the Venture C-002 on the scan repeater at his console and he swore revenge against the cephalopod-like aliens. The aliens rescued from the destroyed survey ship would have a brutal interrogation. It had taken fourteen alien ships three minutes twenty-five seconds to reduce Venture C-002 to so much debris. When you consider that it took five vessels a minute to destroy all opposition at Asran – Iota Piscium-A VII the aliens could have made a better choice of enemies.
Making his escape Captain Brar in Venturer C-001 got a reading on the ground forces present on the enemy home world, they had a combat strength of C132.

Phi-2 Ceti.
02:14. There was good news unknown to the Survey 7, Task Force 5 had returned to Phi-2 Ceti and had immediately been re-directed to Woolley 9833 in an attempt to rescue the survey vessels.

18th August 87. Lambda-2 Fornacis-A IV – moon 1.
In the meantime STG 6(G) found another Destroyer population in Lambda-2 Fornacis-A I moon 1 with a Thermal Signature of 15.

19th August 87. Gliese 18.
The rest of Survey Task Group 7 reached the relative safety of Gliese 18 and proceeded to picket the jump point into Woolley 9833.

20th August 87 11:02:03,HD 22283
Exploration of a jump point in the LHS 1247 system by STG 8 revealed the new system of HD 222834. This was a G5-V star with 5 planets a few dozen moons, fifteen comets and an asteroid belt. HD222834-A III – moon 5 had an HI of 2.10.

22nd August 87. Gliese 18.
Task Force 5 arrived at the Woolley 9833 jump point in Gliese 18 raised shields, split into its respective task groups and made a combat jump into Woolley 9833. Commodore Danneberg detailed fast Task Group 5.3 to rescue the survivors of Venture C-002, which were still in their escape pods. The rest of the Task Force would follow and meet TG 5.3 at that point. If the aliens interfered then no mercy was to be shown.

23rd August 87. Woolley 9833.
11:02. An alien squadron consisting of the Defensora 002 and 003, Rancague 003 and 004, Valdiva 002, Teniente Olivieri 002 and 003, Zaradoza 002 and 003, and the Quintana 002 attempted to interfere with the rescue and closed to point blank range during the recovery by the jump cruiser Resurgence. But these Union vessels weren’t survey vessels! Five seconds later the two Defensora class vessels and Rancague 004 exploded, Thirty seconds later Rancague 002 and Valdiva 002 exploded, another thirty seconds after that Teniente Olivieri 002 and 003 along with Zaradoza 002  and 003 dissolved in to a collection of random fragments as the cobalt clad warheads of the Hellcat IIIB missiles tore them apart, leaving just one vessel more or less intact to fight the Union task group. Five second later that vessel, Quntana 002 was acquired by missiles originally aimed at now destroyed targets and it disintegrated in a thermonuclear furnace as the Hellcat IIIB missiles sixteen-kiloton warhead vaporised the hull and most of the internal machinery. The alien vessels had launched both the Commando AS and Independencia  AMMs, but none got through the screen provided by the Resurgence. Their own point defence had not fared so well, only managing to kill one missile at most from any Union salvo.
12:04. A second group of three alien warships were moving towards the jump point and the rest of the task force, but they were still in range of the Hellcat IIIB missiles of TG 5.3 and the task group launched against them.
12:44. The three alien warships, Rancague 002, Aldarma 002 and Elicura 002, disappeared in a storm of thermonuclear fireballs that briefly lit up the dark between the planets and only pieces emerged when the conflagration cleared.

23rd August 87 15:44:58,Lambda-2 Fornacis.
Survey Task Group 6(G) continued their survey of Lambda-2 Fornacis and it was not long before the sensor station on Garnet was announcing ”Population Detected! Thermal Signature 5 Race ID: Destroyer.” on Comet #1

24th August 87. Woolley 9833.
Task Group 5.3 moved towards Woolley 9833-A III, at 100 million klicks it stopped and targeted what were almost certainly orbital bases, two of the Blanco class and three of the Erebus class, 14,850 and 14,700 tons respectively. The missile cruisers switched to the basic Hellcat missiles and launched two salvos at the orbital forts. The forts point defence were ineffective and they did not appear to possess any shields. The eight-kiloton tritium fuelled warheads boiled off armour and shattered the bases sending large chunks down to the planet below in a rain of flaming meteors. TG 5.3 moved to take possession of the orbital space above Woolley 9833-A III. The planet was at their mercy.

26th August 87 02:17:23,Lambda-2 Fornacis.
STG 6(G) completed their survey of the system by discovering a further Destroyer base, this one on Comet #4 with a thermal signature of 10.

30th August 87. Woolley 9388.
The 14th Marine Division planted their boots on Woolley 9833, setting up a landing area for the rest of the battle group and preparing for the assault to come.

1st September 87. Woolley 9833.
The attack opened with a nuclear bombardment by Relentless, Raider and Reliant followed by an assault by the14th Marine Division. They were soon reinforced by the 9th Marine Division and the 10th Sky & Light Division. Later that day the 4th Sky and Light joined the fray.

5th September 87. Woolley 9833.
Organised resistance on Woolley 9833 collapsed as the Union juggernaut rolled over the aliens. There was barely a struggle as the government was replaced by a Union representative backed by the force of four Union divisions. 148,012 shillings in reparations were paid over. Three freighters and two survey craft surrendered. None of the vessels were worth inducting into the Union Navy and would be disposed of. Technical details of enhanced radiation warheads were recovered from an alien research establishment. The real surprise was the population, it was 3583 million! This made Woolley 983-A III the most populous planet in the Union by far. Devaria – Delta Aquilae-A IV had 2483 million and then the next largest was Excalibur – Avalon-A IV at 2127 million.
Commodore Dannenberg received a note from Logistics and Procurement, just short of a reprimand noting the use of Hellcat IIIB missiles. Commodore Danneberg protested at this usurpation of her command decisions and was backed by Marshal Preston. Marshal Preston noted that Logistics was trying to second guess the Unions premier combat commander, Task Force 5 having seen more action than any other Union fleet. Danneberg was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for her successful execution of the short war.

19th September 87. Lambda-2 Fornacis.
The Destroyer base on Lambda-2 Fornacis-A I moon 1 was occupied by the 38th Assault Brigade. 28 Otlichny missiles and three DSTS captured.

23rd September 87. Lambda-2 Fornacis.
The 183rd Leviathan Brigade occupied the Destroyer surveillance base on Comet #4 and recovered 2 DSTS.

30th September 87. Lambda-2 Fornacis.
The 165th Assault Brigade captured the Destroyer base on Comet #1.  14 Otlichny missiles and one DSTS were recovered in the operation.

9th October 87 Woolley 9833.
Venture C-001 was carrying out a geological survey of Wooley 9833-A IV – Moon 4 when the surprising discovery of a ruined alien colony was made.
Communication was established with the Aladson Empire as they termed their former polity. They would now become part of the Union, like it or not.

24th October 87. Gliese 16.
Captain Myskia  Kollrston had studied the first appearance of the Lleida Hierarchy survey craft in Union space and always thought that something had been missed. It always seemed strange to him that while the first Hierarchy craft was detected in Phi-2 Ceti and it was assumed that they had first entered Union space via Phi-2 Ceti. However, even more survey craft were detected in Gliese 16. He found it hard to believe that they could have surveyed Phi-2 Ceti without detection and then moved into Gliese 16. Now he was senior officer of Survey Task Group 3 he had a chance to act on his suspicions. On the way back to Iota Piscium for an overhaul he decided to have an exercise in Gliese 16. The squadron had been in Gliese 16 for twenty-six days now and the re-survey was nearly finished, Kollrson was beginning to think he had been wrong after all. Then he received a laser comm from Lieutenant Bhat in Venture B-006 asking would he please double check his survey results, he was observing an unrecorded jump point where there shouldn’t be one and he thought he may need his gravitational sensor recalibrated. After all it had been these very same vessels that had established the position of the jump points in Gliese 16 in the first place. Kollrson was ecstatic; he would throw a scare into the Company of Astrogators and Star Corps high command at one and the same time. There was a new jump point in Gliese 16 that hadn’t been there the first time the system had been surveyed!

End of Part Nine.

15
Tales of Avalon / The Union Discovered! (8)
« on: June 05, 2012, 06:30:46 AM »
 
WARNING POSSIBLE SPOILERS WITHIN!!

Tales of the Union.

 
The Union Discovered! (8 )

27th June 83 Phi-2 Ceti.
The first discovery in Phi-2 Ceti was that the ruins on Phi-2 Ceti-A II and A IV were obviously built by the same species. The Fang Quin Juan team were racing the Nicholas Porter team to break the cipher of the aliens written and electronic records and unlock the identity of the vanished race. The Fang Quin Juan xeno team won that race and identified the builders as the Church of Beaumaris, a tech level 4 civilisation. To be fair they had much more material to work with than the Nicholas Porter team. The Fang Quin Juan team found 1031 installations which might be recovered on Phi-2 Ceti-A II, which was far more that the Nicholas Porter team as they found only 64 installations on Phi-2 Ceti-A VI. The two planets will be named Beaumaris Alpha and Beta respectively.

26th March 84. Excalibur – Avalon-A IV.
The first seven of the new Argon Mk VI class, Tellurium, Thallium, Indium, Gallium, Terbium, Palladium and Dysprosium, left the orbital ‘yard complex at Excalibur - Avalon-A IV and were assigned to Training Squadron – Avalon for working up prior to be dispersed to their duty Task Groups. Two more will follow over the next few months. The principal reason for these vessels was to equip the new fast task groups with their own integral escort able to keep up with the rest of the task group.

Code: [Select]
Argon Mk VI class Escort    8,500 tons     817 Crew     8285 BP      TCS 170  TH 201.6  EM 3360
14823 km/s     Armour 4-37     Shields 112-400     Sensors 18/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 34     PPV 49.5
Maint Life 4.27 Years     MSP 2741    AFR 128%    IFR 1.8%    1YR 242    5YR 3628    Max Repair 750 MSP

MilSpec SCAD E2.75 (12)    Power 210    Fuel Use 27.5%    Signature 16.8    Armour 0    Exp 7%
Fuel Capacity 270,000 Litres    Range 207.9 billion km   (162 days at full power)
Sigma R400/20 Shields (14)   Total Fuel Cost  280 Litres per day

Advanced 20cm X-Ray Laser (2)    Range 800,000km     TS: 14823 km/s     Power 10-10     RM 7    ROF 5        12 12 12 12 12 12 12 10 9 8
Twin Gauss Cannon R5-50 Turret (5x10)    Range 50,000km     TS: 52500 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 5    ROF 5        1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
Fire Control S04 400-12500 (2)    Max Range: 800,000 km   TS: 12500 km/s     99 98 96 95 94 92 91 90 89 88
Fire Control S01.4 34-50000 (5)    Max Range: 68,000 km   TS: 50000 km/s     85 71 56 41 26 12 0 0 0 0
Gas-core Anti-matter Power Plant Technology PB-1 (2)     Total Power Output 20    Armour 0    Exp 5%

Active Search Sensor MR76-R16 (1)     GPS 960     Range 76.8m km    Resolution 16
Active Search Sensor MR7-R1 (1)     GPS 24     Range 7.7m km    Resolution 1
Thermal Sensor TH1-18 (1)     Sensitivity 18     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  18m km

Compact ECCM-5 (2)         ECM 60

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

16th January 84. Vyssotsky McCormick 71.
Exploration of a jump point in the Giclas 126-49 system by Survey Task Group 3 has revealed the new system of Vyssotsky McCormick 71. This was a lonely K6-V star without the suspicion of a planetary system. The survey group began a gravitational survey.

30th May 84:  Canyon - 15 Sagittae-A II.
Squadron Leader Scott Tyler was assigned to the Bai Ting Kang Geology Team. Squadron Leader Tyler had a notable career in Survey Command before taking this assignment with the Union Department of Systems Development. While serving in this capacity Squadron Leader Tyler remains within Survey Command and was only seconded to the Department. Many former Survey officers are employed this way.

27th August 84. Charter - Mu Cygni-B III.
Addition of Nitrogen to the atmosphere of Charter - Mu Cygni-B III has been halted as the atmospheric pressure has reached one atmosphere. Charter - Mu Cygni-B III was the first of three planets in the B component to be achieve an HI of 0 and thus be considered terraformed, however the finishing touches took considerably longer. A final planet in the A component will be the last to be terraformed in this system.

4th October 84. Excalibur – Avalon-A IV.
Iridium (Argon Mk VI class) built on Excalibur - Avalon-A IV and assigned to Training Squadron – Avalon prior to being assigned to its operational Task Group.

27th October 84. Gliese 898.
Exploration of a jump point in the Xi Pegasi system by Survey Task Group 2 revealed the new system of Gliese 898. This was a planetless K4-V star with no intrinsic value. The squadron set about a gravitational survey.

27th October 84. Excalibur – Avalon-A IV.
Stellar Lifter (Stellar Mk III class) built on Excalibur - Avalon-A IV and assigned to Training Squadron – Avalon.

30th November 84. Phi-2 Ceti.
Captain Brandon Briggs was relaxing in his sizeable quarters aboard the construction vessel Galain III-006 idling at the Gliese 16 jump point awaiting his next assignment. These were large vessels and unless you were unlucky quite safe, although this particular marque had not a sensor worthy of the name. Captain Briggs had a large whiskey in one hand and in the other his pad, displaying a racy novel by one of his favourite authors. He cursed whoever had posted him to the construction division, but while he was here he would make the best of this comfortable berth. Without any warning whatsoever the ships alarms burst into action, drink and pad went flying as Briggs scrambled out of his recliner and made a dash for the bridge, his only thought was “what had that idiot of a second officer done now?”  When he burst into the bridge there was a frozen tableau of his sensor officer and the second officer staring at the scanner screen which was displaying the blood red icon of an imminent threat just klicks from the hull. “Shut that row off!” Was his first command, his second utterance “what the devil have you two done” was answered by the two subordinates pointing at the screen, The comp chose that moment to cut in and delivered in a deadpan voice ”A new ship class has been detected in Phi-2 Ceti. It has been designated the YM-2800 class. The new contact has been designated YM-2800 002, thermal contact strength 240. New Alien Race Detected in Phi-2 Ceti.” Briggs dived for the ansible console and started sending, those poor sods on Beaumaris Alpha and Beta wouldn’t have a clue until the light-speed laser com reached them, but Star Corps on Avalon and Iota Piscuim would and hopefully get their backsides in gear! “Get the pilot; let’s move this bucket to jump point 2.” The unthinkable had happened! Aliens had found the Union, it was meant to be the other way round. Thus were the Phi-2 Ceti aliens brought to the attention of the Union.
Star Corps did indeed move into high gear. Task Force 5 was immediately ordered to Phi-2 Ceti to protect the nascent sector capital. Task Force 4 was now the garrison force for Iota Piscium and Task Group 4.4 was ordered to picket the Gliese 16 side of the Iota Piscium/Gliese 16 wormhole to see if this intimidated the new aliens. A pre-fabbed Fort Mk III PDC was dispatched to Beaumaris Alpha, Beaumaris Beta and Asran along with the requisite ordnance. A ground side ansible receiving station was set up on Beaumaris Beta – Phi-2 Ceti-A IV.

Code: [Select]
Fort Mk III class Planetary Defence Centre    15,550 tons     1160 Crew     4264.5 BP      TCS 311  TH 0  EM 0
Armour 11-55     Sensors 42/1500     Damage Control Rating 0     PPV 84
Troop Capacity: 1 Battalion    Magazine 1560   

Triple R4.5/C3 Meson Cannon Turret (2x3)    Range 45,000km     TS: 57600 km/s     Power 9-9     RM 4.5    ROF 5        1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
CIWS-320 (2x10)    Range 1000 km     TS: 32000 km/s     ROF 5       Base 50% To Hit
PDC Fire Control S02 56.25-40000 (2)    Max Range: 112,500 km   TS: 40000 km/s     91 82 73 64 56 47 38 29 20 11
Solid-core Anti-matter Power Plant Technology PB-1 (2)     Total Power Output 16    Armour 0    Exp 5%
Solid-core Anti-matter Power Plant Technology PB-1 (1)     Total Power Output 3.2    Armour 0    Exp 5%

PDC Size 1 Missile Launcher (10)    Missile Size 1    Rate of Fire 5
PDC Size 5 Missile Launcher (10)    Missile Size 5    Rate of Fire 15
Missile Fire Control FC230-R16 (2)     Range 230.4m km    Resolution 16
Missile Fire Control FC28-R1 (2)     Range 28.8m km    Resolution 1
Arrow III (560)  Speed: 45,000 km/s   End: 2.7m    Range: 7.2m km   WH: 1    Size: 1    TH: 450 / 270 / 135
Novastar III (200)  Speed: 65,600 km/s   End: 35m    Range: 138m km   WH: 12    Size: 5    TH: 350 / 210 / 105

Active Search Sensor MR19-R1 (1)     GPS 60     Range 19.2m km    Resolution 1
Active Search Sensor MR1920-R16 (1)     GPS 24000     Range 1,920.0m km    Resolution 16
Thermal Sensor TH3-42 (1)     Sensitivity 42     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  42m km

Missile to hit chances are vs targets moving at 3000 km/s, 5000 km/s and 10,000 km/s

This design is classed as a Planetary Defence Centre and can be pre-fabricated in 7 sections

2nd December 84. Gliese 16.
As Task Force 5 transited across Gliese 16 the sensors on the fleet scouts picked up the alien scouts YM-2800 003 and 004. How many more of these 2400 ton, 5000 k/s survey craft were operating in Union space! How long had they been there and where did they come from?

3rd December 84. Gliese 16.
The question asked the previous day was begun to be answered as Task Force 5 penetrated further into Gliese 16 towards its target of the Phi-2 Ceti wormhole. New alien contacts appeared on the fleet scout Farsight’s sensors as YM-2800 005 and 006 were detected.
In Phi-2 Ceti the DSTS were moved from A I moon 3 to Beaumaris Beta – Phi-2 Ceti-A IV to try and improve coverage further out system, but it was still insufficient to cover the majority of the systems jump points. Further fleet movements were underway. Survey Group 3 was still in overhaul at Asran – Iota Piscium-A VII so Survey Group 7 was directed to Phi-2 Ceti to start the laborious task to backtrack the aliens to their core systems. This could take some time as Phi-2 Ceti had six unexplored jump points. Survey Group 3 would join the hunt when it has completed its overhaul.

13th December 84. Gliese 898.
Survey Task Group 2 completed their gravitational survey of Gliese 898. The system the system was found to have a total of 8 jump points.

13th December 84. Gliese 16.
The Phi-2 Ceti aliens ignored the presence of Task Group 4.4 sitting on the Iota Piscium wormhole and transited into Iota Piscium anyway. There was one salutary effect. Whereas before the aliens entered the system the Asrans were always protesting at the presence of the Union Task Force in the system, they were now demanding an increased naval presence!

26th December 84. Phi-2 Ceti.
Communications were finally achieved with the new aliens. They called themselves the Lleida Hierarchy. These aliens looked remarkably human! However their communications were very brief and contained little of substance. The aliens were also very reticent on the location of their home world.

28th December 84. Gliese 900.
Survey Task Group 2 working out of Xi Pegasi discovered the new system of Gliese 900 via a previously unexplored jump point. Gliese 900 was an unremarkable M0-V star with a gaggle of planets and a pair of asteroid belts. The squadron began a gravitational survey; the geological survey would come later.

2nd January 85. GJ 1008.
Survey Task Group 7 arrived in the Phi-2 Ceti system. They wasted no time and entered the nearest unexplored jump point. This revealed the new system of GJ 1008. This was a single K7-0 star without any companion bodies. The Survey Group set about a gravitational survey.

28th January 85. Beaumaris Beta - Phi-2 Ceti-A IV.
The 186th Engineer Brigade disturbed an underground vault on Beaumaris Beta - Phi-2 Ceti-A IV that contained Destroyer android soldiers. These were at the high end for sophistication, not far off those found on Wayland – SAO 89188-A II. The 4th Sky & Light were the garrison division. In their immediate response with the duty brigade they decimated the leading cybernetic formation.

3rd February 85. Beaumaris Beta - Phi-2 Ceti-A IV.
While the leading cybernetic unit had been savaged it was not out of the fight yet. It managed to assault the 239th Brigade Headquarters unit The HQ staff were forced into hand-to-hand combat with the mechanical monsters, 18% did not survive the experience. Regular MI units came to their rescue and utterly destroyed at least a quarter of the cybernetic warriors and decimated a second unit.

8th February 85. Beaumaris Beta - Phi-2 Ceti-A IV.
The clockwork killers had run out of steam and were rolled back; the two mechaniod battalions suffered extensive decommissioning losing 25% and 40% of their number respectively. Even the MI replacement battalions got in on the action with the 206th Replacement Battalion seeing action which increased the morale of the unit.

13th February 85. Beaumaris Beta - Phi-2 Ceti-A IV.
Working carefully so as to preserve the infrastructure and facilities of the colony the 4th Sky & Light pushed the enemy back to the vault from which they emerged. On the way one of the cybernetic battalions was completely reduced to spare parts.
 
17th February 85. GJ 1008.
Survey Task Group 7 completed their gravitational survey in the GJ 1008 system. The system had a total of three jump points, but there was no evidence of open wormholes or Lleida Hierarchy construction vessels.

18th February 85. Beaumaris Beta - Phi-2 Ceti-A IV.
In the time honoured fashion the 4th Sky & Light collapsed the bunker in which the remaining mechanical monsters had taken refuge, ending their threat for all time.
 
29th February 85. NN 4378
Survey Task Group 7 chose a new jump point to explore out of Phi-2 Ceti. This revealed the new system of NN 4378. This was an M5-V star with but a handful of cometary bodies to keep it company.

HIP 117042
At the same time Survey Task Group 2 was active in the Xi Pegasi system. Exploration of a jump point in the Xi Pegasi system revealed the new system of HIP 117042, a G0-V star with a couple of planets and a few comets.

3rd March 85. Gliese 36. Gliese 36.
Survey Task Group 3 was fresh out of overhaul and returned to Phi-2 Ceti raring to go. Exploration of an unexplored jump point in the Phi-2 Ceti system revealed the new system of Gliese 36. This was another planetless star, a G9-V this time. The Group set about a gravitational survey.

26th March 84.Excalibur - Avalon-AIV.
The escort Indium (Argon Mk VI class) left the naval orbital ‘yards in Excalibur - Avalon-A IV orbit and was assigned to Training Squadron Excalibur prior to its deployment to its operational task group, TG 5.3.

28th March 85. NN 4378.
Survey Task Group 7 completed their gravitational survey in the NN 4378 system. The system had only the one jump point. This system could be ruled out as the route by which the Lleida Hierarchy found the Union.

5th April 85. Phi-2 Ceti.
Gailain III-006 found gainful employment in opening wormholes to the newly discovered systems.  The first target was the Phi-2 Ceti side of the Phi-2 Ceti/NN4378 wormhole. This one at least should be safe, since there was only one way in and the Survey Group had been in there a month with nothing untoward occurring.

7th April 86. 15 Sagittae-A II.
Squadron Leader Scott Tyler was promoted to Group Commander and command of the Bai Ting Kang Geology Team.

10th April 85. EG 285.
Survey Task Group 7 took the next jump point on the list. Exploration of this jump point in the Phi-2 Ceti system revealed the new system of EG 285. EG 285 was a D9-VII star with a single planet barely worthy of the name and a few comets. The Group started a gravitational survey.

23rd April 85. HIP 117042.
Survey Task Group 2 completed their gravitational survey in the HIP 117042 system. The system had a total of four jump points.

26th April 85. 9 Ceti.
Survey Task Group 3 completed orders by entering yet another jump point in the Phi-2 Ceti system. This one revealed the new system of 9 Ceti. 9 Ceti was a G3-V star with a few planets and comets, nothing of apparent interest. The Survey Group began their gravitational survey.

13th May 85. Iota Piscium.
Cargo Task Group 11 approached Comet #4 in the Iota Piscium system. It was a routine run to establish a government mining colony. It was an Asran officer in command, not only was it his first command but he was one of a recent intake rushed through training and thus not entirely sure what all the systems did. He noticed as they went into orbit about the comet a red light came on, on his console no less. This Asran was one of the brighter ones; after all he had made a command slot. He knew a red light meant something wrong, even if he was not entirely sure what. He established a comms link with system control, which soon cottoned on to the problem as he described his predicament. System control was able to reassure the Asran captain saying the light will go out when you leave orbit. The system controller had been present in December 82. System control alerted the 9th Marine Division and they rapidly made their way to Comet #4. As the 9th Marines transports approached the comet the thermal signature of an Asran Council colony glowed crimson on their screens. It was not a hard decision for the Star Corps high command to decide a resurvey of the Iota Pisium system was necessary. Survey Task Group 6(G) was dispatched with all haste.

17th May 85. Iota Piscium - Comet #4.
The 9th Marine Division completed their deployment on the small asteroid and commenced their envelopment of the holdout Asran Council colony.

22nd May 85. Iota Piscium.
Survey Group 6(G) arrived in system to begin a complete geological resurvey of the Iota Piscium system.

25th May 85. LHS 1247.
Exploration of a jump point in the Phi-2 Ceti system by Survey Task Group 7 revealed the new system of LHS 1247. This system consisted of a D7-VII star, one planet with one moon and five comets, nothing of real interest. The survey group started a gravitational survey. 

29th May 85. NN4378.
The Galain III-006 was almost halfway through the tricky operation of making the Phi-2 Ceti/NN4378 wormhole bidirectional. Captain Briggs was on the bridge overseeing the operation. The proximity warning alarm suddenly blared into life, startling all in the compartment. “Not those bleeding aliens again” thought Briggs as he brought up the sensor screen on his console. What he saw made him go white, no matter the fact he had a rich dark skin. It was aliens again all right, but these were a death sentence for most if not all aboard, twenty Horde gunboats were not more than 90,000 klicks away on a bearing of 288 degrees and a declination of 0.5 minutes. “Where had they come from? There’s no other way in!” He thought as he said “Pilot lay in a course for Comet #3 maximum burn.” The bridge staff looked at him questioningly, one asked timorously “what, but we’re in the middle of the wormhole operation?” “Now! Immediately!” Briggs loudly retorted. His one thought was to try and clear the jump point as he triggered the ansible’s omega function, that way the horrors wouldn’t be sitting on the jump point when the cavalry came through, he knew Task Force 5 was sitting in Phi-2 Ceti. He had his doubts his untrained crew could manage it but it was all he could do in the circumstances.
Even as Briggs issued the orders the vessel shuddered as twenty meson beams exploded within the confines of the hull, the most affected part of the ship was of course the engines. Seven of the great Celesteon Designs drive units blew as vital parts disintegrated under the barrage. Alarms were now activated throughout the ship as compartments opened to space; Briggs gave the only order he could. “All hands prepare to abandon ship.” His hope of moving the great 107,100 ton vessel also abandoned as the Horde gunboats closed to 70,000 klicks.  The ship shuddered again as the deadly beams did their work of destruction. More drive units failed. The jump point stabilisation module took hit after hit, but eventually it too failed explosively, killing over 400 of the crew as it did so. Briggs sealed his suit and fitted his helmet as the entrances to the escape pods irised open. Briggs made his final announcement “all hands abandon ship” before shepherded the bridge staff into the escape pods. As he entered he felt the tug of escaping air as the integrity of the bridge failed. No sooner had he taken his seat than the capsule piled on the g-force with an explosive bang as it separated from the dying ship. Briggs went sprawling, hitting his head and knew no more for a space of minutes. Twenty seconds was all it had taken to destroy the great vessel. Briggs came to with his Navigation officer dressing a wound on his forehead, his helmet beside him with an ugly crack running across the visor. All they could do now was wait.

30th May 85. Iota Piscium.
Survey Task Group 6(G) found the first pay dirt as it located another Asran Council colony on Asteroid #85. The 8th Assault Division was tasked with reducing it.

5th June 85. Iota Piscium – Comet #4.
The combat on Comet #4 saw the rapid destruction of the Asran Council garrison. They really had no heart for a fight and were massively overmatched. All that was left was for the Marines to impose order on the colony and prepare for the formal surrender.

6th June 85. NN 4378.
Commodore Elsa Dannenberg brought her command to the NN4378 jump point. At 02:33 the Task Force split into its task groups, now only three (Task Group 5.3 was being reconstituted in Avalon);
TG 5.1 - Jump Escort Cruiser - Vanguard. Missile Cruisers - Raider, Relentless and Reliant. Fleet Scout -Farsight. Escort - Neon.
TG5.2 - Jump Escort Cruiser - Swiftsure. Missile Cruisers - Renown, Resolution and Revenge. Fleet Scout – Scanner. Escort - Nitrogen.
TG5.4 – Jump Destroyer - Valheeru. Missile Boats - Bayard, Bicorne, Bunyip and Camelopard. Escort - Yttrium.
The task groups made a simultaneous combat transit into NN 4378. Once the groups arrived they made for a waypoint out system while waiting for their sensors to come back on line in case the Horde gunboats were sitting on the jump point. Task Group 5.1 was 966k from the jump point, Task Group 5.2 814k from the jump point and Task Group 5.4 only 157k from the jump point. Then as sensors came back on line the brood mother with its brood was detected 1440 million klicks in system, along with 5 miners on Comet #4, 1893million klicks from the jump point. The task force recombined and recovered 337 survivors (which included Captain Briggs) from the life pods scattered around the wreck of the Galain III-006. These were all that remained from a crew of 1599. The Task Force then headed in system towards the gunboats which were already outrunning the brood mother on an attack vector towards the Task Force.

7th June 85. NN4378.
It took six salvos of the rather poor Hellcat missiles to take out the twenty gunboats approaching the fleet. But there was never any real doubt about the outcome, even with only a 40% hit rate.

8th June 85. NN4378.
A behaviour never seen before in a brood mother, the ship was fleeing! This was to no avail as the Task Force easily overhauled it and opened fire.
09:10. 360 Hellcat missiles intercepted the Brood mother; the nuclear inferno shrivelled the vessel to a carbonised husk, but not before twenty gunboats had issued from the dying ship. The cruisers took just a minute to set up the firing solutions, after that it was just waiting for the launchers to cycle, wait for the missiles to intercept their target, then pick off any survivors with a single missile. The Task Force then moved on to the miners. As the force approached it was clear that there was the wreck of a Triththaas gunboat also in orbit of the comet being strip mined. This was surprising as gunboats did not normally leave any wreckage. Gomaithil 012-016 were targeted and destroyed in short order.  The system was finally cleansed.
As for Captain Brandon Briggs, he was initially posted to a survey vessel in Iota Piscium, but then quickly transferred to take command of the new missile cruiser Longsword when news of his award of the Distinguished Service Medal was announced. 

9th June 85. Iota Piscium - Comet #4.
The Asran Council colony on Comet #4 formally surrendered to the Union. It turned out to be a civilian mining colony with three mining complexes which somehow had been missed in the confusion of the takeover, probably deliberately concealed. 

12th June 85. Iota Piscium - Asteroid #85.
The 8th Assault Division landed on Asteroid #85 and commenced operations against the Asran Council colony there.

18th June 85. Iota Piscium - Asteroid #85.
The combat on Asteroid #85 was short sharp and brutal, the Asran unit was unable to stand for long against the might of an Assault Division. The garrison troops just shrivelled like moths in a flame.

20th June 85. Iota Picium Asteroid #94.
A third holdout Asran colony was found on Asteroid #94. The 9th Marine Division was sent in to recover the colony. The Division completed unloading and moved against the holdouts, encircling the colony. 

24th June  85. Iota Piscium - Asteroid #85.
The 8th Assault Division found the colony on Asteroid #85 was another civilian mining colony complete with four civilian mining complexes.

29th June 85. Gram – Avalon-A II.
The captured Hellcats were proving unsatisfactory against the Horde. Thus the Union weaponeers came up with a devastating new design for limited manufacture. 2500 units of the Hellcat IV were initially authorised.
Code: [Select]
Missile Size: 6 MSP  (0.3 HS)     Warhead: 16    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 27
Speed: 63300 km/s    Endurance: 51 minutes   Range: 193.9m km
Thermal Sensor Strength: 0.6    Detect Sig Strength 1000:  600,000 km
Cost Per Missile: 11.3583
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 1709.1%   3k km/s 567%   5k km/s 341.8%   10k km/s 170.9%
Materials Required:    4x Tritanium   0.6x Uridium   8.6833x Gallicite   Fuel x4041.5
Development Cost for Project: 1136RP

Excalibur - Avalon-A IV
The JCLE Warrior and Defence (Vanguard Mk IB class) left the construction bays at Excalibur - Avalon-A IV and began working up with Training Squadron - Avalon.

10th July 85. Iota Piscium - Asteroid #94.
The combat was again short but ferocious, the Asran Council battalion had no stomach for a glorious last stand and broke and ran. It then remained for the Marines to disarm the Asran troopers which had gone rogue within the domed enclave.

11th July 85. NN4388.
Salvage of Horde gunboat in NN 4388 was both informative and disappointing. It was the opinion of the salvage crew that far from being a wreck the gunboat was in the process of being “grown” but apart from that it provided no useful information, just a few TN minerals. However, it was the first gunboat ever recovered, wreck or otherwise.

17th July 85. Iota Piscium - Asteroid #94.
The 9th Marine Division found Asteroid #94 was yet another civilian mining colony records of which had been mysteriously mislaid. This one also has four civilian mining complexes.

26th July 85. Phi-2 Ceti.
The last unexplored jump point in Phi-2 Ceti was entered by Survey Task Group 7 to reveal Gliese 18, a glorious K4-V with ten planets, dozens of moons and hundreds of asteroids. Two of the planets had an HI1.9.

23rd August 85. Gliese 40.
Exploration of a jump point in the 9 Ceti system by Survey Task Group 3 has revealed the new system of Gliese 40. This was a K5-V, M9-V binary system both with planetary systems. However, the M9-V was too far away to bother surveying and a later geological survey only found two deposits of TN minerals worth mining, 12 megatons of neutronium and 2.5 megatons of vendarite.

22nd August 85. Iota Piscium.
Survey Task Group 6 (G) completed its resurvey of the Iota Piscium system. They found no more Asran Council holdout colonies in the system.

4th September 85. Excalibur – Avalon-A IV.
The last of the Argon Mk VI class, Thorium, left the construction ‘yards at Excalibur - Avalon-A IV and was assigned to Training Squadron – Avalon for working up.

1st October 85. Gliese 40.
Survey Task Group 3 completed the gravitational survey of the Gliese 40 system. The system has a total of 3 jump points

7th October 85. Gliese 57.
Exploration of a jump point in the GJ 1008 system by Survey Task Group 7 has revealed the new system of Gliese 57. This was another planetless K5-V star.

17th October 85. Gliese 862.
Exploration of a jump point in the EG 285 system by Survey Task Group 3 revealed the new system of Gliese 862. This system consisted of a K4-V star, three planets and five comets. Gliese 862-A III had an HI of 2.85.

1st December 85. Phi-2 Ceti.
All the ruins on Beaumaris Beta - Phi-2 Ceti-A IV that could be restored have been restored. Work is now beginning to construct the first stage of the sector command centre now the PDC has been completed.

8th December 85. 13 Ceti.
Exploration of a jump point in the GJ 1008 system by Survey Task Group 7 revealed the new system of 13 Ceti.  The system consisted of an F8-V star, five planets and dozens of moons. Two moons had HI’s of 2.46 and 2.63.

26th December 85. BPM 46239.
Exploration of a jump point in the EG 285 system by Survey Task Group 3 revealed the new system of BPM 46239. This system was one of those that surprise you, it was a dim M2-V star surrounded by nine planets, over a hundred moons, an asteroid belt and a handful of comets. BPM 46239-A II and BPM 46239-A III had HI’s of 1.9 and 1.96 respectively. A later geological survey of BPM 46239-A II discovered all eleven TN minerals on the planet, although the neutronium deposit was only a few hundred tons.

6th January 86. Phi-2 Ceti.
Two Lleida Hierarchy scout craft were observed heading for the 9 Ceti jump point. Perhaps this could lead the Union back top their home system? But no, the aliens were surveying 9 Ceti. At least that route could be ruled out.

7th January 86. Iota Piscium.
A team on Asran - Iota Piscium-A VII led by Arnfiðr Refkellson has completed research into Sensor Buoy Mk I. These would be emplaces in the systems surrounding Phi-2 Ceti. Eventually specialist vessels will be constructed to lay these buoys.
Code: [Select]
Buoy Size: 6 MSP  (0.3 HS)     Armour: 0
Reactor Endurance: 60 months
Active Sensor Strength: 12   Sensitivity Modifier: 400%
Resolution: 1    Maximum Range vs 50 ton object (or larger): 4,800,000 km
Cost Per Buoy: 24
Materials Required:    12x Boronide   12x Uridium

Development Cost for Project: 2400RP

28th January 86. 13 Ceti.
Survey Task Group 7 completed the gravitational survey of the 13 Ceti system. The system had a total of four jump points.

14th February 85. 94 Aquarii.
Survey 7 out of 13 Ceti found 94 Aquarii, a G8-C and K4-V binary system both with a substantial planertary system, but nothing outstanding.

14th March 86. LHS 1908.
Exploration of a jump point in the BPM 46239 system by Survey Task Group 3 revealed the new system of LHS 1908. This was another of the ubiquitous K5-V stars with nine planets, over a hundred moons, an asteroid belt and a handful of comets. LHS 1908-A II had an HI of 2.23. A subsequent geological survey discovered it had a 12.6 megaton deposit of duranium and reasonable deposits of a few other TN elements. However on the whole the system was not well endowed with TN elements.

End of Part Eight.

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 5