Author Topic: The End? (8)  (Read 1111 times)

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Offline Kurt

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The End? (8)
« on: April 11, 2008, 09:34:31 PM »
The desperate military buildup on Strug Home finally depletes the planet?s reserves of duranium.  Strug Home is now completely dependent on duranium arriving from Five and Twelve via mass drivers.  

The Strug research groups have finally finished researching the underlying technologies for the improved missile program.  Three new missile designs are introduced, an improved planetary assault missile, a long-range planetary anti-shipping missile, and a Standard Anti-Shipping missile intended for the new Planetary Monitor class units.  Proto-typing will take several months, then the new missiles will go into full production.  The latest version of the Planetary Defense Missile will be given production priority, of course.    

The development of the new missiles is complete, and production has begun, however, new delays have cropped up.  Strug Home?s munitions production capability is limited.  It was scheduled to be enhanced, however, the duranium shortage and the new building priorities introduced by the Four Minute War caused the expansion to be delayed.  

Planetary Defense Missile
Size: 20   Speed: 10,000 kps   End: 86 seconds   
Range: 860,000 km?s    WHD: 12   ECM: 0   Armor: 0

Planetary Defense Missile, Version 2
Size: 20   Speed: 15,000 kps   End: 61 seconds   
Range: 915,000 km?s    WHD: 10   ECM: 10   Armor: 3

In addition, the drastic expansion of the Planetary Defense Command has meant that the ordinance production facilities, which were barely adequate for the original complement of Syria Planum PDC?s, cannot possibly keep up with demand.   Bottlenecks are anticipated, but little can be done because of the chronic duranium shortage.  

Strug ordinance production has been doing its best, but in the last fifteen months it has barely been able to provide a grand total of four hundred and twenty of the new missiles, enough for two salvoes for the new missile bases and three for the older bases.  The military is divided between those that want to attack now, and those that want to wait until more reloads are available.  The final decision is made by the Supreme Leader, who is swayed by those that fear whatever the Colonists might come up with next.  Strug Home is too dependent on its mines on Five and Twelve to let the current situation continue.  The Supreme Leader authorized an all-out attack on the Sister at 0100 hours on 9/10/913.  As soon as the military was ready, the assault would begin.  

At 0921 hours on 9/13/913, the first missiles were launched from the bases strewn across Strug Home.  The first wave of missiles was intended to be composed of one hundred and ninety of the new missiles, which were superior in every way to the old Planetary Defense Missiles.  The new Planetary Defense Missile, Version 2, was 5,000 kps faster (15,000 kps), and had armor and ECM, unlike the older missile which had no defense but its speed.  The newer missile had a somewhat shorter endurance but a longer range (915,000 km?s versus 860,000 km?s), and a slightly smaller warhead, but overall it was a much better missile.  

The distance between the two moons was just over 202,000 kilometers, not optimal but judged to be within acceptable bounds.  The Colonists detected the multiple new sensors sources immediately, and began spinning up their defenses quickly.  They launched a retaliatory salvo within ten seconds of the launch of the first Strug salvo.  The Colonists had been busy building new bases as well, and their return salvo had eighty-five missiles in it.  Simultaneously, twenty-five small ships left orbit around The Sister and set out on a course directly away from Strug Home at 5,000 kps.  

Things went wrong for both sides almost immediately.  On Strug Home, seven of the eight old PDC?s failed to load the new missiles into their launchers, and as a result thirty-five missiles out of the one hundred and ninety were the older and slower PDM?s, meaning that the first wave separated into two waves instead of arriving together.  On the Colonist side, they were caught completely by surprise by the unexpected attack, and were unable to get off any anti-missiles before the first wave arrived.  

The 155 Strug missiles of the first part of the first wave were met by fire from thirty-seven Colonist bases, each with a single triple laser turret.  Thirty five missiles were swatted from space, but the combined effect of the faster speed, ECM, and armor was enough to get the remaining missiles past the defensive fire and into their targets.  The results were far beyond what the Strug had hoped for.  The ten new Vastitas Borealis PDC?s each had targeted a Colonist PDC, and nine of the ten targets were hit by multiple missiles.  Some of the PDC?s were hit by as few as two missiles, while others were hit by as many as fifteen.  Six of the nine were destroyed outright, while the other three were heavily damaged.  

The missiles from the destroyed Colonist PDC?s destructed in mid-flight as they lost fire control, while the delayed missiles of the Strug first wave ran into a wall of laser and meson fire and were destroyed.   As it had during the last two conflicts, the Strug Orbital Defense Network was performing superbly.  

The second Colonist salvo met the same end as the first, dying just short of Strug Home.  The second salvo from Strug Home, however, was devastating.  Unlike the first it was composed completely of the latest missiles, and as a result they arrived in one large mass.  The Colonists had time to get off a salvo of anti-missiles, but the small missiles barely had time to climb into space before the Strug missiles came slashing in.  The anti-missiles didn?t have time to lock on, and as before the Strug missiles were largely impervious to anti-missile fire.  Thirty out of one hundred and ninety missiles were destroyed by anti-missile fire, but the others were free to hit their targets.  The damage was horrific.  Six PDC?s were destroyed by multiple hits, as were six orbital bases.  

The Strug Vastitas Borealis PDC?s had expended their stocks of the new missiles, and now switched to the older PDM?s.  The older Syria Planum PDC?s still had one or two salvoes left of the newer missiles, depending on whether nor not they had mistakenly launched older missiles earlier in the battle.  

The third Colonist salvo was ragged, and much reduced.  From eighty-five missiles, the third salvo had been reduced to seventeen large missiles and twenty-four small missiles.  The salvo didn?t even come close to penetrating the Strug defensive fire.  

The fourth Colonist salvo and the third Strug salvo actually passed each other in space.  This time the bulk of the Strug salvo was composed of older first generation PDM?s, which were slower than their newer brethren, and as a result they fell behind and the salvo separated into two distinct groups, making it easier for the Colonist defenses.  Unfortunately for the Colonists, the leading missiles of the third wave were the difficult to kill second generation missiles, and they were all targeted on the Colonist?s defensive orbital bases.  Six of the bases had been destroyed by the second wave attacks, leaving thirty two to meet the third wave.  

Nineteen of the second gen missiles were destroyed by point blank laser fire as they closed, but the remaining twenty-one slammed into their targets.   Three bases were destroyed outright, while two others were heavily damaged.  Seconds later, the one hundred and fifty first gen missiles of the Vastitas Borealis salvo arrived.  Fifty two of the slower, less well protected missiles were destroyed short of their targets, but that meant that ninety-eight got through.  Every last PDC belonging to the Colonists was wiped off of the face of The Sister.  Now the Colonists only had their orbital defense network to defend them.  No more missiles would rise from the surface of The Sister to attack Strug Home.  

The fourth Strug salvo was different from the rest.  Like the third, it was composed of both first and second gen missiles, but unlike any of the other salvoes this one was intended to end the war.  Fully one half of the big city-busting missiles launched by the Strug Vastitas Borealis PDC?s were aimed at Colonist cities, while the remaining missiles were aimed at the orbital bases.  The leading group of second gen missiles took out two bases and damaged one more, and then the trailing group arrived.  The defending bases did their best, but as before it wasn?t good enough.  Only one additional base fell to the attacking missiles, but at the cost of most of the missiles aimed at the cities below getting through.  The results were devastating for the Colonists.  

In one horrifying second that seemed to last forever, mushroom clouds blossomed across The Sister in all of their gruesome glory.  Tens of millions of Colonists died in seconds, along with their cities and factories.  Fully a third of the planet?s industrial might was destroyed in the barrage of nuclear warheads, and the radiation and dust from the explosions significantly altered the planet?s environment.  

The fifth salvo was composed completely of older missiles, one hundred and fifty of which were targeted on Colonist population centers, while forty were targeted on orbital bases.  The results were everything that the Strug leadership could have wished for, and terrible at the same time.  The Colonist?s bases did their best but over one hundred of the incoming missiles broke through their fire to strike at Colonist cities.  Bright flashes spawned over the Colonist?s remaining cities, followed by nuclear flame and blossoming mushroom clouds.  Over 120 million Colonists died in the nuclear fire, and the bulk of the Colonist?s economic infrastructure went with them.  

The Strug were preparing to launch the sixth salvo, which everyone was sure would wipe out the last remaining Colonist population centers and factories, when the inconceivable happened.  A transmission was received from the Colonists.  For the first time since the Colonists entered the system they had opened communications with the Strug.  The Colonist leaders, what remained of them, were requesting a cease fire and help in putting their ravaged civilization back together again.  The Strug people began rejoicing - the war was over.    

Unknown to the Colonists the Strug were down to one salvo of old-style missiles for their launchers, but even if the Colonists had known it wouldn?t have made a difference.  That one salvo would have been more than enough to wipe out nearly every remaining Colonist on The Sister.  

It soon became clear, though, that the war wasn?t quite over.  The twenty-five attack ships that left The Sister at the start of the war were still on a heading directly for Five, and refused all demands from the Strug to turn back.  The Strug military then began demanding that the Colonist leaders that surrendered order the ships to return to The Sister, however, the ships ignored all attempts to contact them and continued on course.  The Strug government then threatened the Colonists on the Sister with renewed bombardment if they didn?t get the ships to return.  The Colonists explained that they had no control over the ships, that they had been dispatched by the highest leaders of their nation, leaders who were now dead from the bombardment, and that they did not have the authority or the codes to call the ships back.  

For the next eleven hours the twenty five Colonist ships ignored all communication and continued on their course towards the colony on Five.  The four Strug cruisers watched them come, and by the time the oncoming ships had closed to 1 million kilometers they had all activated their sensors and shields.  The Colonist ships closed to 190,000 km?s and then twenty-two of them launched two missiles apiece, targeted on two of the cruisers.  Unlike the last time the small Colonist attack ships engaged Strug ships, this time the Strug had good sensors in place to observe the attack.  The forty four missiles approached at 18,000 kps, a speed that was significantly greater than the Strug ship?s fire control was built to deal with.  

As soon as they launched the Colonist ships turned away from Five and ran at 5,000 kps away from the Strug ships, leaving their missiles to make their attack run.  Because of the speed of the missiles the Strug ships only had two opportunities to fire with their twelve cm lasers, once at 74,000 km?s, and the second at point blank range.  The first attempt to engage the incoming missiles knocked down just four missiles.  The second attempt at point blank range knocked down more missiles, but not enough.  The two lead cruisers were rocked by missile after missile hitting their shields, and then their naked hull.  It was too much for both cruisers.  The lead ship broke in two while the second cruiser exploded into a shower of debris, leaving little but a scattering of life pods behind.  

The Colonist Fast Attack Craft looped back towards the planet and again launched at approximately the same distance.  The missiles sped in at 18,000 kps, and this time the two surviving cruisers withheld their fire until the missiles reached point blank range, but the results were the same.  Both cruisers were left bleeding wrecks, and the Strug colony on Five was now undefended.  The Colonists showed no mercy as they began bombarding the surface.  Salvo after salvo roared towards the planet as the Colonist ships ignored all attempts to contact them.  After the second salvo the Strug population on Five attempted to surrender, but it was useless.  After the devastation of their colony on The Sister, the Colonist officers weren?t interested in listening to the pleas of the Strug.  Missiles continued to fall on the dwindling population centers on Five until the Colonists apparently ran out of missiles.  

The small ships sat silently over what was now nearly a dead world.  After a time they turned as one and set out across the system.  After several minutes they reduced their speed until they dropped off Strug sensors.  

The war was over.  The Strug had won, but at a great cost.  Nearly 20 million Strug died on Five, and the colony?s mines had been completely destroyed.  The Strug economy was nearly crippled, as the colony of Five had accounted for nearly 40% of duranium mined, with the remaining 60% produced by the mines on Twelve.  In addition, the Strug had no freighters, as they had been destroyed several years ago, and their shipyards had long ago been retooled to produce warships, meaning that no new freighters had been built.  Recovery was going to be long and slow.  

The one bright point was that discussions with the new leaders of the now compliant Colonist population on The Sister revealed that the Colonists had been sitting on vast deposits of most of the known trans-uranic minerals, and had large quantities of refined minerals available.  Arrangements were made for the surviving mass drivers on the Sister to begin transferring this mineral wealth to Strug Home as soon as possible.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Kurt »


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