Author Topic: Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 13  (Read 2613 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline SteveAlt

  • Global Moderator
  • Rear Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 820
  • Thanked: 6 times
Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 13
« on: February 08, 2009, 01:21:11 PM »
Revenge rescued three hundred survivors from the alien wreck, giving the Commonwealth their first look at the race responsible for the massacre on New London. They were remarkably humanoid in general form but their appearance had far more in common with lizards than humans. With a heavily muscled, green-scaled body, vicious claws and an oversize, elongated head dominated by a gaping tooth-filled maw, they were an intimidating sight. They could hardly look less like Angels. With no way to communicate, the marines on board Revenge herded them at the point of a gun into makeshift secure accommodation, carefully staying out of reach of the snarling, hissing aliens.

At 02:00 on the 6th May, thirty hours after Yaguar lost contact with the group of three Angel cruisers, she found them again, still on the same heading for the Budapest jump point. She set her own course for the jump point and matched speed with the alien ships. Hours became days as the First Striking Force, Yuri Gagarin and her escorts, Revenge, Yaguar and the Angel warships all continued toward the jump point on parallel courses. The main body of the First Striking Force was forty-nine million kilometres from the alien destroyer and eighty-six million from the cruisers while the small task group commanded by Rear Admiral Armas was over two hundred million kilometres astern.

While the First Striking Force was chasing the Angels to the Budapest jump point, life continued in the rest of the Commonwealth. Conscious of the need for a stand-off recon capability, the Fleet Admirals had ordered the creation of a new passive recon drone capable of being fired by regular warships. The SR-N-1 Raven was the result. With a range of over two hundred million kilometres, it could be launched at a planet or a jump point from a safe distance. Due to the very limited sensitivity of the onboard sensors, it could only be used for point reconnaissance rather than monitoring a large area. Production of a small number of Ravens began at Eden and Xiamen-Kan.

Code: [Select]
SR-N-1 Raven Recon Drone
Missile Size: 4 MSP  (0.2 HS)     Warhead: 0    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 10
Speed: 3000 km/s    Endurance: 1146 minutes   Range: 206.3m km
Thermal Sensor Strength: 0.15    Detect Sig Strength 1000:  150,000 km
EM Sensor Strength: 0.15    Detect Sig Strength 1000:  150,000 km
Cost Per Missile: 0.5
Materials Required:    0.3x Uridium   Fuel x6875
Development Cost for Project: 50RP
By May 11th, eight days after the destruction of New London, the First Striking Force was almost three billion kilometres from the planet and edging slowly closer to the remaining Angel ships. The alien destroyer was within forty million kilometres so Rear Admiral Scott ordered his three battlecruisers to fire a single volley of thirty SS-N-3 Scarabs. Forty-five minutes later, eighteen missiles intercepted their target and the destroyer exploded. The Revenge, still two hundred million kilometres astern, was directed to pick up Angel survivors. Twelve hours later, she rescued one hundred and ten more lizards then resumed her course for the Budapest jump point.

On May 15th, the First Striking Force moved within active sensor range of the three Angel cruisers, allowing Yaguar, which had been monitoring the alien warships, to break off her own approach to the jump point. The specialised corvette engines used fuel at ten times the rate of normal spacecraft engines, which limited their range. She was desperately short of fuel so Rear Admiral Scott ordered her to rendezvous with Revenge and take on enough fuel to make it back to the Sol jump point, six billion kilometres away.

[attachment=1:o1zvgalb]LondonMay16th.GIF[/attachment:o1zvgalb]
[attachment=2:o1zvgalb]Closeup.GIF[/attachment:o1zvgalb]

Two days later, with the Angel cruisers just seven hundred million kilometres from the Budapest jump point and the First Striking Force fifty-four million kilometres astern and closing very slowly, the Fleet Admirals realised they had made a terrible mistake. There was no jump gate on the Budapest jump point and the First Striking Force had no jump ship. Everyone had assumed the battle would take place within the London system so the valuable Fleet Support Vessel Aconcagua had remained in Sparta orbit. If the Angel warships made it through the jump point, the Commonwealth fleet could not pursue. Aconcagua and the Vittorio Veneto II class jump cruiser Andrea Doria were immediately dispatched to London but they would not arrive at the Budapest jump point for four weeks.

The SS-N-3 Scarabs on board the battlecruisers had a range of sixty million kilometres, or fifty-two minutes at 19,200 km/s. Taking into account that the Angel cruisers were moving at 4480 km/s and the Scarabs would have to overhaul them, the effective speed was reduced to 14,720 km/s, giving them an effective maximum range of forty-six million kilometres. The Angel cruisers vanished into Budapest at 23:30 on May 18th, still fifty million kilometres ahead of the chasing Commonwealth battlecruisers. The First Striking Force came to a halt at forty-eight million kilometres and waited for its detached units to rejoin.

[attachment=0:o1zvgalb]escape.GIF[/attachment:o1zvgalb]

The Angel raid into London had been extremely costly for the Commonwealth. As well as twenty-three million dead, Commonwealth material losses included a space station with two 14,000 ton capacity slipways, one hundred mines, fifty maintenance facilities, three deep space tracking stations, an Arleigh Burke V class destroyer and a Sentinel class Missile Defence Base. Due to radiation and atmospheric dust caused by the bombardment, New London had dropped out of the ideal habitable range. In addition, an amount of ordnance equal to six months production by the factories on Eden was either expended or destroyed, including:

60x SS-N-3 Scarab
96x SS-N-2 Sunburn
301x SA-N-2 Gauntlet
1145x SA-N-1 Grail
192x Trident ASM
1096x Dagger AMM

Angel losses in the battle were one 12,500 cruiser and a 6250 ton destroyer, as well as minor damage to three more cruisers, although if the First Striking Force had arrived an hour sooner or had jump ship support, the other three cruisers would very likely have been destroyed. The corvettes had proven their worth as system defence ships, despite the fact that the lack of modern missiles had robbed them of much of their potential effectiveness. Only thirteen Molniyas and six Molniya-S were in service, although new construction was underway in the Xiamen-Kan shipyards. Even so, without missiles they were no use and missile production continued to be a major issue. The populations of the other colony worlds were terrified by the fate of New London and demanded far more protection than was currently assigned. On May 19th 2047, the deployments of the military forces of the Commonwealth on a system by system basis were as follows:

Washington
Populated World: Sparta
9x Arleigh Burke V DD
3x Sentinel MDB
1x Molniya-S CT

Xia
Populated World: Xiamen-Kan
4x Peter the Great II BC
3x Scharnhorst CA
6x Tribal III CLE
4x Nagato DD
8x Trafalgar III DE
3x Arleigh Burke V DD
3x Molniya CT
3x Molniya-S CT

Sol
Populated World: Mars
2x Arleigh Burke IV DD (London JP)
5x Molniya CT (London JP)
3x Guardian PDC (400 Sabre ASM)

New York
Populated Worlds: Eden, New York IV
1x Arleigh Burke V DD
2x Sentinel MDB
5x Molniya CT
1x Molniya-S CT

Lisbon
Populated World: Lisbon V
1x Arleigh Burke V DD
1x Sentinel MDB

Hannover
Populated World: Hannover-B II
2x Sentinel MDB

London
Populated World: None
4x Peter the Great II BC
6x Tribal III CLE
8x Trafalgar III DE
1x Molniya-S CT

Given the events in London it was obvious that defences were generally too light, especially for certain key worlds such as Mars. Unfortunately, the only immediate way to increase that protection was to disperse units of the two Striking Forces and that would completely sacrifice the initiative to the Angels and to the alien race in Zagorsk. In the short-term, production of Molniya class corvettes would be increased in the hope that enough missiles would be available to arm them. In the longer term, a warship that did not rely on missiles was desperately needed. Regrettably, the Commonwealth was bereft of any senior officers with expertise in energy weapons so the railgun was the best option as a primary non-missile weapon. A host of supporting technologies was required however, including beam fire control and capacitor recharge so development of such a warship would be neither quick nor easy. Sparta was in the midst of developing Stellarator Fusion Reactor technology as a pre-requisite to a new and more powerful drive so any weapon development would fall on the small research colony on New York IV, which had just six research facilities.

On June 13th in the Smolensk system, the Arleigh Burke V destroyer Forrest Sherman was on a mission to test the new recon drones. She moved within two hundred million kilometres of the Zagorsk jump point and launched a single SR-N-1 Raven. The drone took eighteen hours to cover the distance at 3000 km/s and found no sign of any alien ships. Whichever alien vessel had pursued Littorio toward the Zagorsk - Smolensk jump point had either left Smolensk or had moved somewhere else within the planetless system. Forrest Sherman headed for the Smolensk - Archangelsk jump point to carry out a second Raven launch.

Meanwhile, in London, the Fleet Support Vessel Aconcagua and the colliers Castletown and Ramsey had rendezvoused with the First Striking Force forty-eight million kilometres from the Budapest jump point. Andrea Doria was still en route, one billion kilometres away. All the battlecruisers were brought up to their full loadout of Scarabs, except for Tsar Alexander II which included four SS-N-2 Sunburns in its magazines, while three Tribals received a total of eight hundred SA-N-3 Gauntlets, partially replenishing the anti-missile missiles used in the last engagements. Castletown, which carried a further two hundred and seventy SS-N-2 Sunburns, remained with the fleet while Ramsey, her magazines empty, headed back to Sparta.

Andrea Doria arrived at the First Striking Force late on June 16th. Rear Admiral Scott detached two Tribal IIIs as escorts and sent her ahead to the Budapest jump point while the rest of his force moved to a point five million kilometres away. Close enough to the jump point to react quickly to any attack but far enough away to avoid any attack by beam-armed warships. At 01:49 on the 17th, Andrea Doria and her escorts jumped into Budapest. They arrived sixteen thousand kilometres from the jump point and the jump cruiser detected a single thermal contact on the jump point with a strength of 800. The Angel cruisers that had raided London had a thermal signature of 1120 so this was a different class of ship. All three Commonwealth had active sensors but they were still suffering from the effects of the jump and could remain inoperable for up to a minute.

Within a few seconds of the three Commonwealth ship jumping into the system, the contact at the jump point moved away at 4761 km/s. The two escorts were only armed with anti-missile missiles, which would have to be used in considerable numbers to harm a ship, and for the moment fire controls were as useless as active sensors. Commodore Valéria Mendoça, captain of the Tribal Shawnee and the senior officer of the small task group, ordered her ships to the jump point. The unknown ship continued moving away and showed no sign of firing on the Commonwealth force so she decided to hold position until active sensors were available. Forty-five seconds later Andrea Doria's Voskhod MR-800 came on line, revealing a new class of Angel ship with a size of 8400 tons. No other contacts were detected within fifty-seven million kilometres of the jump point. Leaving the two escorts in Budapest, Andrea Doria jumped into London, reported the situation and then transited back into Budapest.

Twenty minutes later, Aconcagua, Peter the Great and Tsar Alexander II jumped into Budapest. By this time the Angel ship that had been on the jump point was six million kilometres away. Aconcagua jumped back into London to bring the next two battlecruisers while Peter the Great and Tsar Alexander II waited for their fire control systems to recover from transit effects. Forty seconds later, they each fired ten SS-N-3 Scarabs at the fast retreating ship. The missiles took just eight minutes to reach their target, which immediately vanished from Commonwealth sensors, replaced by the beacons of life pods. This Angel ship was plainly less well protected than the cruisers that entered London. The destroyer Orion was dispatched to pick up any Angel survivors. In the meantime, Aconcagua and Andrea Doria escorted the rest of the First Striking Force into Budapest.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2009, 01:32:44 PM by SteveAlt »
 

Offline SteveAlt

  • Global Moderator
  • Rear Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 820
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 12
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2009, 01:23:58 PM »
The problem facing Rear Admiral Scott was where to head next. Budapest was discovered in 2031 and had just two planets and around one hundred and seventy asteroids orbiting close to the star. The inner planet was a Venusian world with three moons while the outer planet was a terrestrial world with potential for terraforming. The atmosphere was nitrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen, the surface temperature a chilly -24C and the gravity 0.86G. Overall atmospheric pressure was 0.75 atm with 0.04 atm of oxygen. Budapest had two known jump points, leading to the systems of Sheffield and Nottingham. Sheffield had also been surveyed and had a total of five jump points. Neither it nor any of the surrounding systems were of any great interest, apart from a couple of worlds in Brighton and Douglas that had could be made habitable with extensive terraforming. Nottingham had yet to be surveyed, mainly because the binary system's A-class primary had a mass twice that of Sol, making surveying a more difficult prospect than usual. Nottingham-A IV had a breathable atmosphere but the temperature of -59C gave it a colony cost of 2.53 for humans and 1.90 for Xiamen.

[attachment=0:377zv47t]BudapestSysMap.GIF[/attachment:377zv47t]
[attachment=1:377zv47t]BudapestInner.GIF[/attachment:377zv47t]
[attachment=2:377zv47t]BudapestArea.GIF[/attachment:377zv47t]
 

Offline SteveAlt

  • Global Moderator
  • Rear Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 820
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 12
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2009, 01:29:32 PM »
Checking out Budapest II and the jump points was the obvious next step but Rear Admiral Scott did not want to disperse his fleet. The ships of the First Striking Force were designed to fight as a unit and dispersing them in penny packets was a good way to have his force destroyed in detail. Briefly sending Andrea Doria back through the jump point to relay a message to headquarters via the jump gate network, he requested a supply of the new recon drones and Arleigh Burke class destroyers to deploy them, plus freighters with tracking stations that could be deployed on Budapest's asteroids. Although his battlecruisers could also fire the drones, he did not want to risk them alone and moving his whole fleet from its only route home was not an attractive option. He also suggested that a new type of scout ship designed with long range stealthy recon in mind would be very useful if the Angels were to be hunted through multiple systems. His only immediate action was to send Andrea Doria to check out Budapest II, which was twelve hundred million kilometres from the jump point. Two hours after the destruction of the Angel ship, the collier Castletown transited into Budapest and replaced the expended Scarabs with SS-N-2 Sunburns.

At 4am on June 20th, Andrea Doria was one hundred and ten million kilometres from Budapest II when she detected a new type of Angel ship halfway between the asteroid belt and the orbit of Budapest II. The 4300 ton ship was not heading for the planet, although its course would take it within fifty million kilometres. Instead it was heading toward the outer system at 4651 km/s on a bearing that did not correspond to any known jump point. Rear Admiral Scott ordered Captain Zasha Vorontsov to continue with his mission to check out Budapest II but to keep the new contact on sensors as long as he could to see what developed. The Vittorio Veneto II class had a maximum speed of 4000 km/s so he would be unable to follow it indefinitely. Captain Vorontsov slowed his approach, allowing the alien ship to cross thirty million kilometres ahead of him. While it didn't appear to detect the jump cruiser's presence, he saw no point in taking chances. Five hours after the initial contact, Andrea Doria's active sensor detected a second ship of the same class in orbit of Budapest II.

[attachment=2:3u1bv2wh]Budapest2.GIF[/attachment:3u1bv2wh]
Captain Vorontsov changed course between the two contacts, trying to keep both on sensors while staying out of close range. After four more hours, the first contact moved out of sensor range due to its 651 km/s speed advantage but the second remained in orbit. Andrea Doria came to a halt and held position twenty-five million kilometres away from the planet. watching the second ship. While he was proud of his ship, Captain Vorontsov sometimes wished the Vittorio Veneto II class was armed. This would be a perfect opportunity to ambush the unsuspecting enemy vessel.

Andrea Doria monitored the Angel ship for thirty-six hours, trying to learn something of its technology, until it broke orbit and headed in the same general direction as the original contact. Rear Admiral Scott ordered Captain Vorontsov to follow the alien to see if it led him to a previously unknown jump point. The admiral also contacted fleet headquarters and asked for the Yaguar to be reassigned to his command, as it would be able to keep pace with the fast-moving Angel ships. The Fleet Admirals agreed but Yaguar was in Mars orbit, along with the rest of the 2nd Corvette Flotilla. It would take her almost three weeks to reach Budapest. Andrea Doria lost track of the Angel ship two hundred and fifty million kilometres out from Budapest II so she reversed course to get a closer look at the planet.

[attachment=1:3u1bv2wh]LostContact.GIF[/attachment:3u1bv2wh]
While Andrea Doria was reconnoitring Budapest's inner system, communication attempts had been ongoing with the alien prisoners on both the Revenge and the Orion. On June 23rd, seven weeks after the first Angel survivors were rescued, full communication was achieved. Although the lizard-like aliens were remarkably uncooperative, they did at least provide the name of their government - the Moravian Empire. Beyond that they revealed little of military significance. The Moravians did use their new ability to communicate to issue an inventive array of threats, both against their interrogators and Humanity in general. At least any future Angel prisoners could be interrogated in their own language from the start, which might yield information while they were still recovering from destruction of their ship.

Andrea Doria arrived in orbit of Budapest II later the same day and detected very small EM and thermal signatures. Strength-65 in both cases. EM signatures were affected far more by the size of a population than thermal signatures, which were more influenced by the presence of infrastructure or installations. As an example, a Commonwealth population such as the recently established Heidelberg-III colony, which had one point two million inhabitants but no infrastructure or installations, had an EM signature of 61 and a thermal signature of just 6. The Sverdlovsk II mining colony on the other hand, with twenty-five automated mines and no inhabitants had thermal and EM signatures of 125. This suggested that the small Angel colony on Budapest II could be a mining colony. Commonwealth geosurvey ships had investigated the planet in the past, revealing almost sixty million tons of accessibility 0.8 Duranium. Alternatively, the signatures could be the result of infrastructure being emplaced to permit colonization. In either case, the Angel ship that spent a couple of days in orbit was most likely a freighter. The colony must have been emplaced only recently or the Commonwealth geological survey would have detected it.

While tempted to send one of his ships to destroy the Angel colony, Rear Admiral Scott could see other possibilities. He ordered Captain Vorontsov to pull his ship back from the planet and continue to monitor it with active sensors. Once Yaguar arrived, Rear Admiral Scott intended to use the corvette to follow any more  alien freighters that appeared. In addition, he sent a further dispatch to fleet headquarters requesting ground troops and re-iterating his earlier request for deep space tracking stations. If a base could be established on Budapest II, planet-based sensors would greatly aid any future fleet action in the system. The Fleet Admirals decided the grant both requests. Two Tarawa II class troop transports left Mars orbit on June 25th, loaded with a heavy assault division, a mobile infantry division and four garrison divisions. Four days later, five freighters loaded with deep space tracking station also left Mars orbit, bound for the London jump point.

On July 5th Andrea Doria detected an 8400 ton Angel ship of a previously unknown class arriving in orbit of Budapest II. It remained for a couple of days then departed in the same general direction as the previous two ships. A day later, on the far side of known space, the destroyer Forrest Sherman fired a Raven recon drone at the Smolensk - Archangelsk jump point and found nothing. As with the Zagorsk jump point, the alien picket ship had disappeared. Her captain sought permission to enter Archangelsk in an attempt to gain further information. That request was denied and the destroyer was ordered to pull back into Xia.

Yaguar arrived in Budapest on July 10th 2047 and was ordered to join Andrea Doria near Budapest II, arriving fifty-five hours later. Aconcagua, Castletown and the First Striking Force remained at the Budapest - London jump point. One of the suspected Angel freighters re-appeared on July 16th and moved straight to the planet. When the freighter broke orbit two days later, it was shadowed by Yaguar while Andrea Doria held her position. Dewey and Gridley, a pair of Arleigh Burke V destroyers, arrived in Budapest on July 20th to support the First Striking Force. Although they didn't have any Ravens in their magazines, the collier Douglas was fourteen days away and carrying eighty SR-N-1 Ravens and three hundred SA-N-2 Gauntlets

[attachment=0:3u1bv2wh]YaguarPursuit.GIF[/attachment:3u1bv2wh]
 

Offline SteveAlt

  • Global Moderator
  • Rear Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 820
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 12
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2009, 01:32:27 PM »
On July 23rd, with the Angel freighter almost two billion kilometres from Budapest II, Yaguar detected a jump gate directly ahead. The jump point around which the jump gate was constructed had not been found during the original Commonwealth jump gate survey of Budapest, which meant it must have been dormant at the time. Dormant jump points were those through which no ship had ever travelled and could not be picked up by a gravitational survey. The only way to find them was to travel through them from the far side. It therefore was reasonable to assume that the jump gate must have been constructed by the Moravian Empire after they transited the jump point from whatever system lay beyond it. Thirty minutes later the Angel ship vanished into the jump point.

[attachment=0:28ob7xdo]NewJP.GIF[/attachment:28ob7xdo]
Rear Admiral Scott ordered Yaguar to carry out a probe of the new jump point. While this was risky, there was no sign of warship activity in the area so it was entirely possible the jump point wasn't guarded. There was some concern that if there was no matching jump gate on the far side that Yaguar would be stranded. However, given the size of the freighters visiting Budapest II it seemed unlikely they had jump drives, which in turn suggested the far side must have its own another jump gate. One hour and twenty minutes after the order was given, Yaguar emerged in the Archangelsk system one point five billion kilometres from the G2-V primary on a bearing of 277 degrees. The Archangelsk - Smolensk jump point was at five point six billion kilometres on a bearing of 315.

[attachment=1:28ob7xdo]Archangelsk.GIF[/attachment:28ob7xdo]
Yaguar jumped back into Budapest and Captain Gonçalves reported his discovery to Rear Admiral Scott. The admiral sent Aconcagua on a brief visit to London to relay the news to Fleet Headquarters via the JGN and suggested a two-pronged assault on Archangelsk, with the First Striking Force attacking from Budapest and the Second Striking Force attacking from Smolensk. While this had some risk, as it potentially exposed Xia to attack from the other alien race beyond the Smolensk - Zagorsk jump point, it gave the Commonwealth a chance to deal a mortal blow to the Moravian Empire. The Fleet Admirals liked the plan in principle but wanted far more information on Angel forces in Archangelsk before deciding to commit the bulk of the Commonwealth Navy to an all-out attack. Rear Admiral Scott ordered Yaguar to monitor the Budapest side of the jump point for the moment. Once Douglas arrived with the recon drones, he planned to send the two Arleigh Burkes plus Yaguar and Andrea Doria into Archangelsk on a reconnaissance mission.

Steve
 

Offline SteveAlt

  • Global Moderator
  • Rear Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 820
  • Thanked: 6 times
Re: Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 13
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2009, 02:57:23 PM »
Commonwealth Territory 1st August 2047

I have rearranged all the systems to put the new jump connections closer together. This map is zoomed out one level from the standard galactic map

[attachment=0:1lgc2zqs]CommonwealthAug2047.GIF[/attachment:1lgc2zqs]
Steve
 
The following users thanked this post: dag0net

 

Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55