Author Topic: The Edinburgh-Disaster  (Read 948 times)

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Offline 3_14159

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The Edinburgh-Disaster
« on: November 20, 2011, 08:40:52 AM »
Or: What happens when a new player, unforntunate circumstances and a certain star menace meet. . .

"This is Zoe Carter, with a background report on the events in the Edinburgh Nebulae last week.  We will cover the disaster in several sub-reports:
- The System
- The Preparations
- The Massacre and
- The Aftermath.

I. : The System:
As we all know, the Edinburgh nebulae, only two jumps away from the Sol-system was first discovered in June 2026, and was soon deemed unimportant.  Consisting only of two planets, one at over 1600°C, the other at over 500°C, orbiting a protostar the system was seen as one of the worst colonisation options.  And, seen as all our ships were restricted to a measly 500km/s speed, exploration seemed qually bad.  However, in 2034, an Astra II-Class scout ship was first sent to the system, in an effort to completely explore all systems 2 or less jumps from Sol.  It wasn't until the beginning of 2035 when the first of the anomalies was spottet: The ship's sensors picked up a wreck in orbit of Edinburgh-A I, which then nearly immediately disappeared.
Therefore, President Alice Davey decided to send the deep-spy-vessel Bond II from our colony in Lancaster to the Edinburgh-System, to find out if there was a threat in direct proximity to Sol.
The spy ship under the command of Captain Isabel Rice arrived in the system in march 2035, and begun moving towards the not-yet-sun, albeit at the slow speed so typical for the vessel thereby minimizing thermal output.  It was due to this slow speed that she didn't arrived until juli 2035, finding a contact of a previously unknown race in orbit of Edinburgh-A I.
The extremely bright contact, at over 1200 thermal, was dubbed the "Alpha"-Class, as nothing was known about the capabilities of these aliens.  While at home, in the security of Terra, the scientists were beginning to contact this new race, and hopefully finding possibilities for a cooperation, the BondII-vessel crept even further to the planet, then discovering several new vessels: The so-called "Beta"-class, and the "Gamma"-class.
The Betas were six contacts, at 160 thermal.
The Gammas, at 160 thermal, were at first thought to be a sensor error, until, after the recalibration and several new tries, they were confirmed to be 53 of them.

II. : The preparations
The immediately called emergency meeting between President Davey and Commodore Conor Graham came to the following conclusions:
For the security of Sol and the new colony at Lancaster, the only two destroyers of the Tribal class were to be dispatched to wait at the Edinburgh jump point, until a result in the communication was achieved.  Should the attempt be unsuccesful, they'd be to transit, engage the hostiles, and destroy them.
Commodore Graham gave the following tactical overview:
"The nebulae limits our ships, and the enemies' to 500km/s.  Therefore, our ASM-missiles will have an easy time to kill them, and we will have no problem keeping them on distance.  The enemies missiles should be engaged by our own AMM missiles, and while we don't know their capabilities, we are certain to keep the damage to a minimum, at least in conjunction with the shields. "
So it was decided to use the only two Tribal-class destroyers of our navy, to be ready for anything.  A bad mistake, as would soon be seen.
The leaving of the destroyers was celebrated greatly at nearly all of Terra, and the colonies.  After all, the first military engagement in the Space Age was probably about to begin, and the crews were enthusiastic, too.
Only a few days after the departure, the scientists trying to establish the communication gave up, declaring all further communication to be "impossible.  This is as if we were trying to shout against a wall, a wall several lightyears away. "
March 2nd, 2036, the Destroyer Task Group, which had given itself the name "Burning Sky", arrived at the jump gate to the Edinburgh System, and immediately made transit, setting course to the planet.  This was when the first mistake occured: Due to the nebulae, the shields were non-functional.  However, the Commodore decided to hold course nontheless.

III.  The Massacre
The battle plan was seen as following: The BondII-vessel should move to the destroyers, amplifying their weak passive sensors, and then all of them were to straightly run towards the planet, and - once the enemy was in fire distance, reverse course, trying to get more time to launch the missiles.
At a distance of 70 million kilometres, well within sensor range, the destroyers activated their own active target-search-sensors, trying to gain a lock on the enemy.  However, due to the nebulae, the range was reduced to less then 25mkm, spoiling the relatively stealthy ambush, and provocating the enemy Alpha to activate their own.  That, though much stronger couldn't see the destroyers. . .  but the BondII, making a hasty retreat at that moment.  The movement picked up suggested an agressive move towards BondII, so the Destroyers moved to intercept, when the Gammas were spotted, moving not at the projected 500km/s speed, but at 1500km/s.  As they were, while within the alpha-strike-radar, invisible to it, they were identified to be smaller than 1500 tons.  Because the BondII was still far outside the better point defence-radar when the Gammas began shooting at it with some kind of energy weapon, it was chosen to abandon the ship, the crew to be picked up later.  Nearly immediately, the Gammas disappeared from the monitors, although they were thought to be on the move to the destroyer task group.  However, they would need nearly 30 minutes to cross the point defence zone before they would be able to use their weapons, so the destroyers first targeted the Alpha, moving in at nearly 1000km/s.  It wasn't until now that the most fatal of all mistakes was discovered: We couldn't use our missiles, the only armament these destroyers posessed.  Due to the nebulae, they would expolde in their launch tubes.
We can't imagine the horror, these crew-members faced when they made this discovery, but they reacted remarkably quick, beginning to run to the jump point, hoping to escape.  But he enemy was three times as fast, armed, and the jump point was nearly one month away.  The end came quickly, mostly due to the ammunition magazines exploding, when hit by the enemy's energy weapon, now identified as meson-based.
We will spare moderation for these pictures, which show last moments of the destroyers, and their attackers.

IV: The Aftermath
The consequences for Commodore Graham were dire: He stepped down after the news of the destruction, and was succeeded by Commodore Jonathan Sutton, who immediately began consulting with a team consisting some of the most renowned experts of our time.  The aliens encountered in Edinburgh were, according to the received camera and sensor data, biological.  They quickly were dubbed "The Swarm", due to their usage of small, gunboat-like vessels.  The expert-team came to the following results:
- Rebuild our Navy, using a modified Tribal-design
- Begin to research alternatives for fighting in nebulaes, until then, no fighting in nebulaes.
- Research into the possibility of creating a class of specialised anti-swarm vessels.
- Research into the possibilities of using gunboat-like vessels to defend our colonies.

It was suggested, too, to rename the Edinburgh-System to "Isabel Rice"-System, and the planets to "Ben Daniels" and "Catherine Howards", after the Captains of these unfortunate vessels. "

Offline Garfunkel

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Re: The Edinburgh-Disaster
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2012, 07:06:33 PM »
Ouch. You're not the first and probably not the last to receive that fantastic Nebulae surprise!

Offline Arwyn

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Re: The Edinburgh-Disaster
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2012, 11:29:50 PM »
Yep, nebulas are knife fighting territory. Blindfolded, one arm tied behind your back, hopping on one foot, knife fighting territory.....


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