Author Topic: The Blue Stone at Yellowstone  (Read 984 times)

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Offline TacticalStats (OP)

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The Blue Stone at Yellowstone
« on: May 12, 2020, 07:15:40 PM »
   It could not be imagined by anyone alive today what mankind endured those many decades ago.  The history books speak of the eruption shattering glass hundreds of miles away and the ensuing ash cloud that devastated farming worldwide.  Nuclear winter and the starvation that came from the diminished sunlight reduced the world’s population to a mere three hundred and forty million human beings spread out thinly across the six continents.  The epicenter of this great disaster was Yellowstone and the year was 2032.

   The Georgia Guidestones were built in 1980 and there first decree was to keep humanity under five hundred million people, an absurd idea given that the world then was over five billion strong.  The saying was to keep in perpetual balance with nature, well it was nature that forced that balance, she also revealed something else.

   A team of scientists led by Dr.  Marsellus Forsgren descended into the caldera which now stretched sixty-four miles in diameter.  The topography of Wyoming would never be the same.  The chamber was intensely hot, and it took several dozen DARPA drones to explore near the still angry magma chamber that was exposed to the cool desolate sky.  All around this vent was a blueish rock not seen by sunlight for over six hundred thousand years.  It was here that a discovery was made that changed the course of human history forever.  Eleven new elements were discovered all dubbed trans-newtonian minerals.  This was because they all possessed properties that upended the physics community.

   This journey started roughly seventy years ago where now on this day humans live on both Mars and Jupiter’s moon, Ganymede.  Terraforming operations are taking place on the former and deep mining on the latter.  Discoveries have been made that would seem absolutely incredible to someone born a mere century prior.  Energy weapons that can burn through layers of high strength Duranium armor and sensors that can detect things hundreds of millions of kilometers away.  There were now dozens of ships in the fleet with another few dozen under private corporate control.  Things were busy as various sensors searched the solar system for more of these peculiar minerals.  It was actually quite odd to see oil, coal and iron to go to all but meaningless in a mere half century.

        Wormholes were opened up and solar systems were explored.  Now plans are being made to colonize the first extrasolar planet in human history.  All possible because of a small stone known as Gallacite.  Under extreme pressure this stone created engines that could defy gravity and push ships to incredible speeds.  There was just one problem, the Federation was running out.  More had to be found and fast.
 
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Offline TacticalStats (OP)

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Re: The Blue Stone at Yellowstone
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2020, 09:11:37 PM »
        Governor Alexander Rosenstein sat at his desk in the Oval Office reading the latest survey reports across the five systems known to exist in this strange chain of wormhole connectivity.  Things were not looking good.  While there were a few good candidates for future colonies the precious mineral known to the scientific community as gallicite was proving to be very rare.  There was a moon in the Groombridge system that had roughly 100,000 tons of it but that would only last about fifty years at current demands.  And Alex knew that this prediction was difficult to logistically set up.  The system was far away at current technology levels and these discovered wormholes took time to stabilize.

   The good news was that there was a planet in the system that did hold some hope for a halfway descent colony.  It was a terrestrial planet with an ice sheet covering roughly seventy percent of its surface.  According to Commander Nadhir Sad this potential colony had vast amounts of corundium which was essential in trans-newtonian mining.  This would prove valuable in getting this large amount of gallicite to our stockpiles quickly. 

   Rosenstein sent the orders out to set up this colony as he waited for the report to come to Earth of what exactly the second survey ship had located.  Earth seemed to only have two wormholes sitting out near the orbit of Saturn.  He felt uneasy at this truth.  While the biosphere at Earth continued to be the only naturally occurring ecosystem that did not convince Alexander that this was the truth everywhere.  While it was odd to see the reactions of cattle, chickens and goats wandering under ecodomes on Mars and Ganymede something had to exist out there that would change the history of humanity forever.

   An incoming message hit his inbox displaying a vast amount of information regarding the second survey ship off in the 61 Cygni system.  Things were not horrible but the rarity of gallicite remained.  What was clear was that if the Sol system were to be protected then stations would need to be built in both of these systems.  Logistically the fact that both of these systems had great colony potential would make defending Earth easy.  The front line could be pushed out into these distant systems and that would protect Earth in a simple way.  Was he being paranoid in assuming that something lurked in this galaxy that would upend the day to day life of humanity? Truthfully, he hoped he was wrong.  If you watch the news it was easy to just look at things in an internal light.  Yellowstone was quiet and wouldn’t cause problems for over six hundred thousand years and agriculture was rebounding very quickly.  This surplus of food and ease of life was leading to an immense baby boom that was feeding industry and colonization in a manner that would not have been possible pre-volcanic eruption.

   If his gut was to prove true and there were forces at work in this galaxy that were to prove hostile to the human race, then technology was to be the main force in preventing this possibility.  Unfortunately, in the last year every major scientist have decided to retire into the private life, something that he could not resist.  The hope was that the apprentices were well trained in their replacement.
 
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Offline TacticalStats (OP)

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Re: The Blue Stone at Yellowstone
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2020, 08:10:48 PM »
   Lieutenant Commander Kimani Maythem paced through the Van Allen’s bridge as he overheard the three scientists debating details about the elusive wormhole.  While it was easy to predict a half a year before the wormhole would be stable enough for all vessels to traverse it.  Kimani knew this because this was the final jump point to be constructed before the colonization of the Groombridge system could commence.  Truthfully this was a brand new technology so no one was quite sure if it would work the same for all wormholes or would some prove to be more difficult than others to stabilize.  This was a three-year mission and it was the first of its kind.

   On Earth crates of equipment were being loaded onto cargo shuttles destined for the five Anembo class freighters sitting in orbit.  The crates carried tons of disassembled tracking arrays that would be transported to a lone comet in the Luhman system.  Governor Rosenstein ordered this automated listening post to be constructed just to have some for of permanent sensor array in what would end up being a rather empty bridging solar system between the future colony.  It was difficult to wrap one’s mind around the idea that what to astronomers was two solar systems extremely far apart from each other were actually linked by a strange dimensional rift.  This truth would have been hard to explain to someone alive before the Yellowstone eruption exposed these exotic materials.

   Deep in the Hunan province in China a similar operation was being undertaken which would load up the older Barcelona freighters with terraforming equipment destined for the Martian surface.  Earth was buzzing with activity as its industry was ramping up to reach out and grab the needed resources to sustain what every human agreed upon was necessary strategic mind state.  Expansionism was going to be the motto of any party that won control of the republic’s government.

   In Washington D. C.  Governor Rosenstein looked at the Krauss Marine Corporations planned diplomatic ship the Isaiah.  This was a main campaign goal that he ran on ten years prior and it would be something he would be using in the upcoming election debates.  He found it strange that while most humans did not believe in the eminent arrival of alien beings, they still used this to undercut his position for reelection.  Politics are something that he could not escape from.

   Six months later those same freighters all embarked from Earth carrying much need infrastructure and supplies for the new base named after an ancient Greek colony in Egypt, Naucratis.  The construction of the first stabilized wormholes had been completed and the Van Allen construction ship should be on its way back to Earth now.  Rosenstein turmoiled over what plan he would present to Darryl Bernhart, the elected governor of the Sol sector, for how he suggested to proceed in the next year.  This was a difficult decision as a new system had been discovered with many planets and moons each one capable of holding the precious blue mineral that their economy relied on more than any other.  The sector governor mostly went with his advice, and the one thing that he did know was that he would be requesting five more Anembo class freighters.

   The applause was loud in the assembly chamber as the first Steven Hawking medal was awarded to Kimani Maythem for his construction of the logistical lifeline to the Groombridge system.  Alexander Rosenstein was honored to be the man that pinned it to his uniform.  After the drinks and food were consumed, he went back into his office to relax over a bit of paperwork.  The colony that would become Naucratis was far away and out of reach of most of his freighters, not to mention the very short ranged military vessels that were already reaching twenty years in age.  Decisions would need to be made in that area but that was not something that needed to be done quite yet. 

   Across the vastness of space people were setting up shelters inside the first constructed dome on the frigid world of Naucratis.  Emilie Amyot stood looking at the ice covered mountains in the distance wondering just why this world was chosen.  Naturally she knew the minerals that lay in this system but everything seemed out of reach.  She disagreed with Rosenstein on his timetable with how fast it would take to begin getting the gallicite to her colony let alone back to Earth where it could be utilized correctly.  Orders were there though and it was still an honor to be the first governor of an extrasolar colony. 
 
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Offline TacticalStats (OP)

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Re: The Blue Stone at Yellowstone
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2020, 08:33:51 PM »
       “Set that over there!” The commander ordered as his hand pointed off towards an empty space of the hangar bay. A directive that seemed obvious to anyone tasked with unloading the Anembo class freighter shuttles of its dissected maintenance facilities. This cargo would eventually allow the small gunboats in orbit to be resupplied when the time was deemed necessary. This was above the paygrade of the private Ike Leysath who just looked forward to the evening when he could see what alcohol existed in this domed city.

   Hours later he had found a bar and was sitting still by himself enjoying a rather strong wine. Prices here were far better than back on Earth so he just indulged himself while he listened to the talk of the room. The locals seemed content with their jobs but worried about the prospects of their freedom. What no one seemed to be screaming for was defense which made sense. If rumors were to be believed, then nine different solar systems had been found with nothing, but barren rocks located in them. One could only guess what minerals were inside.

   A song played over the microscopic speakers located throughout the bar that drowned out the crowd noise around Ike. This gave him the perfect excuse to pay his tab and head to the cargo shuttles that would return to the freighter in orbit the following morning. Several days later he was repeating this process unloading an automated mine on a moon near the sixth planet of the system that held the precious gallicite so desperately needed. This process would be repeated several times over the next year building up the mining potential of this small colony to over a hundred mines. It was incredible how these machines worked once set up properly.

   After finishing the task Ike looked skyward into the blackness of space at the five massive frigates buzzing with activity. Each trip here only brought ten mines, but it was a time-consuming task to unload them. The gas giant loomed in the distance appearing as a peaceful yellow haze that hid the massive storms below its outer atmospheric blanket. As of yet Sorium hadn’t been located in these clouds, a disappointment for the colonies on Naucratis. The fuel capabilities would be small and must be refined on surface. This echoed the cries for more infrastructure to be built. These though were just thoughts for Ike Leysath who climbed back into the cargo shuttles and ascended back to the freighters where small preparations would be done before the return trip to Earth.

   On Earth Alexander Rosenstein sat at his desk staring at a few piles of paperwork all showing various fighter design ideas. He had challenged the various corporations to design a fighter capable of utilizing the technologies that the scientists have discovered. The hope was that this would allow planets to be protected in a limited fashion for a much cheaper cost. If these concepts were to be believed then it would be harder than first imagined. Getting the range that he wanted was impossible so that was clear that it was going to be his first sacrifice.

   The first design was from Raytheon and utilized a ten centimeter ultraviolet light laser that could fire at a rate of twelve shots a minute. This would easily make it the most prolific in the role of an actual fighter. The second design from the Dassault corporation was a hard-hitting plasma carronade chassis. It could only fire three rounds a minute, but they could do some heavy damage. The Russian company came up with a gunship style design that combined railgun weaponry with box launched missiles that would excel in ground combat roles.

         The question was a difficult one and something that would need to go to congress for approval. Rosenstein wanted all three to be built ensuring the return of the planets air forces. It had been since the devastating volcanic eruption since military jets were used properly. In his mind it was the commonsense approach to providing a small bit of protection to new colonies. The only issue was that none of these designs currently had engines and only gave estimations for speeds. He sent an order out to each company giving them permission to begin building a prototype of their designs. This was within his authority and it would be these results that he would present to congress hopefully by the end of 2114.
       
         The next document on his desk was a quick terraforming report on Mars. Oxygen was rising steadily but the temperature of the planet was still sitting at negative sixty degrees Celsius. It would be at least a decade until the project was complete but even that timetable seemed overly ambitious. Ganymede was a much slower process having only one space station sitting in orbit undergoing atmospheric operations. Mars would get the attention first and once the shackles of living under a dome were set aside the true strength of humanity would be unleashed upon the rest of the galaxy. This thought filled the governor with intense pride and fueled his ego for history would remember him as the governor that set oversaw it all. He would not go alone though for the first governor of Naucratis, Emilie Amyot has decided to retire from the public life at 69 years of age. She will forever be remembered as the moon holding the gallicite reserves has been decreed to be named in her honor.
       
         There was one bit of business that remained, a geological study of the Wolf system was nearing completion and the discovery of a large amount of gallicite seemed very promising. Wolf 359-A VI moon 14 held large amounts of duranium, mercassium, sorium and gallicite. A good find indeed but the entire system had a draw back. There were no good colony sites so the effort in mining this system would be incredibly costly. To Alexander this did not matter, there was no choice but to chase after this new economic prospect. Thus, it would fall to the same man as before. A final order was sent out to Lieutenant Commander Kimani Maythem to begin the long process of stabilizing the wormholes out to the star system of Wolf 359.
   
 
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Offline TacticalStats (OP)

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Re: The Blue Stone at Yellowstone
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2020, 02:57:29 PM »
May 2118


   The newly installed jump drive pushed the Mk-1 variant of the Newfoundland science vessel into the Teegarden system. Commander Pisani began undoing the jump safety harness and looked at the computer panel to her right. The system appeared to be average in make up with a few planets and a lot of moons and asteroids for potential mineral deposits. The planets themselves seemed on the small end except for one that appeared to be an ocean world with a rich atmosphere. Would not be worth the effort of terraforming unless this proved to be a rich system.

   “Keep us still. We’ll wait a day to see what activity is here.” These were her orders as things went silent. Twenty-four hours progressed forward with nothing but the hum of the life support systems at work. “Send us in.” She calmly ordered the young lieutenant helmsman.

   The engines heated up into motion as the eight thousand ton vessel lurched forward. For two weeks life onboard was as it always had been on the maiden voyage of this updated class. Jokes were exchanged over meals, and slowly the objects were reached and scanned. Nothing seemed to be in this system but that was usually how exploration went. So far, according to Pisani’s notes, only three systems outside of Sol held anything of real value. Lot’s of the common minerals but another Earth was still only but a dream. May 3rd all of that changed.

   Sitting twenty million kilometers from a gas giant the LSS Thermal Sensor pinged four objects. “Ma’am.” A nervous voice said from the sensor station. “We have contacts.” Words that sent everyone’s heart rate up. “Four ships traveling our way, a hair under five thousand kilometers. Distance,” He paused as he did the math before looking up at a bridge staring at only him. “Forty-six million kilometers.

   “We have time. This is an exciting moment, but we don’t want them getting the wrong idea. Helm, take us on a course back to the jump point. We will get back into neutral space. Communications officer, ready the black box probe.” The commander said as she sat back down in her chair. “Order the ship strapped in.” She gave one last order as she reapplied the jump straps for safety sake. Her computer screens lit up with the information as the internal speakers all over the ship relayed her orders.

   “Roger that commander, new bearing 205.” The helmsman replied as the ship twisted slowly in space. Side thrusters bringing it around before its own engines embarked backwards at the alarmingly slower speed of three thousand kilometers a second.

   “Fire control has pinged us.” The sensors officer said nervously.

   “Hopefully just a warning lieutenant Ertz.” She said calmly but inside her body was as panicked as everyone else’s.

   Ertz watched as the four ships traveled towards them with ease. They would reach them far before the jump point was ever a possibility. If things could just remain…a red light appeared on his screen. “Two groups, 30 plus thousand kilometers.” His voice was interrupted by the strike.

   The small close-in weapon system turret responded faster than any human mind could. Up it swung and twisted pointing towards the incoming salvo of missiles. In a millisecond it identified its target and fired a group of shells out into space, all of them missed. The twelve missiles closed the gap quickly striking into the Newfoundland. Three hit into the engines destroying two of them and the jump drive hidden underneath. The explosion rocked the engineering bay twisting the vessel to its side.

   The second salvo strung up the side of the ship tearing massive holes into its armor. Crew quarters were ripped open venting atmosphere causing the automatic damage control to begin locking sections of the ship down. In some cases, trapping people behind thick duranium airlocks. The small weapon that failed so miserably was completely ripped off the ship and twisted out into space.

      A series of internal explosions further twisted the ship forward before the final engine continued the now futile attempt of reaching safety.
   
      “Speed down under a thousand kilometers!” Screamed the helmsman.

   “Those did not come from the four contacts. Unknown origin, seems to be from the gas giant or a moon.” Lieutenant Ertz yelled.

   “Damage report?” The commander knew that things would be rough, abandoning ship wasn’t even an option this far out in unknown space.

   “Jump drive down, two of the three engines are gone. Armor is at under fifty percent.” A woman yelled from behind the commander’s seat.

   “Any new contacts?” She asked even though her screen remained empty. Where did that come from, she wondered as this instance started some doubts in their thermal scanning technology.

   “No.” Was the only response that came back.

   In the engine room toxic gases poured out as four engineers dressed in their repair suits and entered the engines themselves. With expertise they welded the gallicite interior into shape and as five minutes passed the first engine was repaired and with a green light from computer controls reignited pushing the ship back towards its full speed potential. It would take about twenty minutes to get the second one operational. No one knew if they had that amount of time.

   As a second crew sealed the ship allowing oxygen to flow back into the engine room a spark ignited another explosion killing two more men in the process. Words were rarely exchanged as the work had to continue if anyone were to survive.

   “Engine 1 has been fixed commander we are back to two thousand kilometers a second.” Every eye looked back and forth towards the main screen which still remained empty. All they could do was wait and see.

   Seven minutes passed by when the sensors screamed of new contacts. “Twelve, this time from the four ships themselves.” Lieutenant Ertz’s voice cracked as he knew what this meant. Everyone slumped back into their chairs as they could only watch what was coming. Two minutes of tension and the air was then knocked out of all of them. “Twelve behind them.”

   “Launch the communications probe back to Earth. Do not let it be found.” Commander Pisani ordered. With luck this information would ensure that humanity was not at risk. Peace, it should have been an option. She sat in thought reflecting on the strange hostile fact of nature herself.

   The first twelve missiles closed the gap and struck into the engine room detonating with a blast that ripped the ship in half. This caused a series of internal explosions that worked their way up the spine of the ship. The bridge detonated killing everyone inside. A few escape pods released into space but with supplies for only a few hours their only hope was the same creatures that enacted this attack. The second volley struck what was already a dead vessel splintering it into mere fragments.
 
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Offline TacticalStats (OP)

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Re: The Blue Stone at Yellowstone
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2020, 05:27:00 PM »
   Captain Lucille Simard sat in the waiting room dressed in her navy blue uniform that would look similar to anyone alive a century earlier. In her hands was a thin tablet that she stared at with interest. The data that she perused was on the new Atlanta class ship design that she was granted command of. It was a massive 19,000 ton jump destroyer escort that carried a maximum of four of the newly designed fighters into battle. It was well armored and surprisingly fast for its size.

   Commanding a crew of almost five hundred sailors would be a new experience in her career. Her early years as a freighter commander let her see various comets and eventually Ganymede and Mars become colonized. A promotion saw her travel the stars in the Newfoundland class jump exploration vehicle. It was a strange twist of fate that sent her into an empty system while Commander Pisani traveled into the Teegarden system ultimately claiming her life.

   When the probe showed up near Luna and pinged a covert base in Greenland the news sent shockwaves throughout all of humanity. Most of the information was classified from the public but the mere thought of alien warfare scared the bravest of citizens. There was a boost in recruitment so that was good news if things turned worse.

   “Captain, the sector governor is ready to see you.” A young man said as he opened the door to the spacious office. An entire wall of windows showed downtown San Diego in all its glory. She stood and walked inside taking a seat opposite the large wooden desk.

   “Captain Simard.” Alexander Rosenstein said as he waited for the door to shut leaving the two of them alone.

   “Governor.” Lucille responded quickly. She waited for things to be explained to her as she was naturally uncomfortable in situations with politicians. Events that were becoming more common as she progressed up the chain of command.

   “I know it has been a hassle to get here but I asked for you in person for a reason. I am assuming you have had time to read the file that I sent you and you have become acquainted to our Atlanta class vessel. You also know of the loss of Commander Pisani. You will now learn of a loss of a second vessel a diplomatic mission that met similar results.” Governor Rosenstein selected a few options that dimmed the windows in the room allowing the wall behind him to display the Teegarden system with the second planet highlighted. “This here is an ocean world with small thin land masses. It is the only logical home of these aliens that refuse to communicate with us unless it’s with their missile technology. This leaves us no choice but a military assault.”

   The captain’s expression changed a bit at this. “Are we in a position to do an assault without jeopardizing our defenses?” Her knowledge of the navy didn’t seem to give them hope in defending Naucratis without significant upgrades. Mines and sensor stations would be an expensive endeavor.

   “No doubt we are stretched thin but have allotted for a fleet of twenty ships to hit this planet. Our intelligence has five ships there plus whatever installations are built planet side. Once you secure the space, we will send in the ground forces.”

   It should not have surprised her that she would be selected to lead this operation, after all why else would they have dragged her to San Diego? It was still a bit unexpected and her thoughts took a bit of time to catch up to the situation. Once they did though, her mind absorbed the information quickly. “This Atlanta class would carry twenty fighters as well as untested missile frigates.”

   “Yes,” the governor interrupted, “along with three corvettes, four destroyers and four kinetic gun boats. It is a force with a variety of weapons that should be able to deal with what we expect them to throw your way.”

   “How much intelligence have we gathered?” The captain asked as she saw the limited information on the display. Her data pad sat on the desk still displaying the same intel on the Atlanta vessel that she had long since memorized.

   “We have thermal scans of the system there is nothing else there.” The governor answered.

   Lucille’s thoughts turned to her gathered fleet, the variety of ships and the included fighter craft. “I’ll need six months of training to get this fleet ready for combat.”

   Alexander Rosenstein just shook his head negatively. “You will go straight into battle. The fleet has been gathered in orbit and a shuttle craft is ready to take you right away.”

   “That is extremely rash. We have never, as far as I am aware, launched and recovered fighters. These ships have never traveled with each other, let alone operated while in combat. Hell, we haven’t even been in combat while in space.” Lucille Simard was beside herself at the governor’s plan.

   “I knew you would reject this idea. The people though want results. The public wants action. You will outnumber them, and you have a lot of space to get your commanders combat ready. My mind is made up on this.”

   
   It was twenty days ago when she had that conversation and the denial of a training mission still angered her. The four system jumps passed by quickly, and she knew that too many of these crewmen were green. Still here they were seeing the Teegarden system for themselves in person. “Bring the ships in tightly and take us on a direct path towards the second planet from the sun.”

   “Aye, Captain.” The helmsman said as the communications officer relayed the order to the fleet. This style of communication was always a problem in naval combat once battle began but she was hopeful that things would progress easily. It was November fourth, galactic time at eight pm, an idea meaningless in space, when the sensors detected a lone contact. “Goliath class vessel moving towards the designated planet by itself, Captain.” The sensors officer stated. Military intelligence had named each known vessel but had little else to explain about their capabilities.

   “Take us in on an arching path in between the remains of our two previous vessels and prepare for combat. Remember your time in the flight simulators and do what you were trained to do” Lucille knew this would be tough on all involved and as the time passed she could sense the fear on her bridge and could only imagine what was going on throughout the rest of the fleet.

   “Their sensors are locked on us.”

   “Find their missiles.” She ordered awaiting the Turcotte-Bison Active Search Sensor to identify these targets. The technology promised a range of thirty million miles well beyond their own missile ranges of fifteen and seven. For a full minute nothing showed until a red dot appeared, and the bridge turned active. “Missiles, six million miles out.” How did these weapons evade their detection for this long was a question that needed resolved and quickly. “Six contacts moving at thirty-three thousand kilometers a second.”
“Fire the AMM’s” She ordered knowing that this was something the commanders of the UEF Hurricane and Firedrake should already be doing themselves.

   On board both ships this order indeed did happen almost simultaneously as targeting control identified this missile salvo and each frigate fired all five of their launchers sending ten missiles towards the incoming six. They struck with ease sending all twenty bridge crews into a quick cheer. “Eighteen size four contacts on sensor screens” Was a sentence stated in various ways across the command bridges. Another salvo of ten AMM’s roared quietly out of their launchers branching out towards the missiles striking eight. The mechanical reloading operation happened automatically but took ten seconds to fully complete before firing another salvo of five missiles from each frigate.

   The dance was growing tighter as another salvo of eighteen appeared on sensor scans and ten seconds later another eighteen behind them. Things were growing tense as the two frigates fired off another salvo this time targeting the missile groups further away. It was a complicated game of taking out as many as possible but knowing when to skip over so that the shorter ranged weapon turrets could perform mop up duty. The first of these weapon platforms were the twenty centimeter dual laser turrets of the Rathburne class frigates and they easily trimmed the descending missiles down to three.

   Lucille watched this on her bridge and felt good about the results so far. The final layer of defense was the gauss cannons that were spread out across not only her Atlanta class ships but also the specified area defense corvettes of the Chaffinch class. “The Goliath vessel has reached Teegarden A-II and sensors are reading large contacts.” As the sensor officer spoke this sentence his words slowed down considerably. “Five sixty thousand ton, I believe they are space stations.”

   As the sensors updated to all twenty bridge crews Lucille spoke up. “Focus on the immediate threat, get that gauss blanket up.” She ordered.

        “Aye.” The weapons officer spoke as the three missiles closed to forty thousand kilometers. The dot signifying all three missiles continues to tick closer and closer before vanishing as it reached the fleet. The bridge went into a frantic pace as what exactly just occurred was an unknown. After several seconds the weapons officer spoke up. “Gauss cannons did not fire. The UEF The Sullivans took three direct hits. Armor held.”

        “Find out what went wrong and fix it.” The captain said sternly knowing that they did not have time before the next salvo reached them. The AMM’s were having worse odds missing entire groups of missiles completely before running out of fuel. With the screen reading six groups of eighteen missiles each the secondary fire screens needed to work and immediately.

        “The Philadelphia was hit with three missiles and the Battleaxe with a further two. The Rathburne frigates can’t fire their laser turrets this quickly.” The weapons officer stated as his hands were a blur across the computer screens attempting to figure out why the various gauss platforms remained silent.

         Lucille was furious but remained silent as she watched their AMM’s eliminate a group of ten missiles and the laser cannons took out another three. The five that remained slammed into the fleet striking out at targets in a seemingly random pattern. The sensor screen withered the red dots down to just one reading a group of ten after the first group of AMM’s struck into them. She and her bridge crew had grown accustomed to watching the sensors in a somewhat detached manner until this salvo vanished simultaneously to the entire Atlanta vessel being pushed to its side in a powerful explosion. Whiplash took its effect on her as she yelled. “Damage report.”

        “Armor has held, two missile strikes.” The sensors officer said as he checked through a multitude of settings to confirm this.

        “Halt the fleet.” Lucille ordered as the inertia wave progressed through the ships. “Set a course two million miles backwards.”
   
         “Aye captain.” Both the helmsman and the communications officer stated.

   “We have significant damage on the Battleaxe frigate. She took several hits severing her armor and knocking out her power plant and laser turret. Several dozen crew members are dead or injured.” The communications officer spoke in a state of shock. “Her engines are operational but unless we reach torpedo range she is out of this fight.”

   “How many ships have been hit?” She snapped as she moved her hand across the computer pad to her right.

   “Eight damaged ships, mostly minor armor impacts. Only the Battleaxe has suffered internal damage.” The officer replied.

   “What is going on with our gauss defenses?” The captain screamed towards the weapons officer.   

   “Gauss telemetry isn’t working.” The officer stated knowing it was rather obvious. All twenty bridge crews were working quickly to figure things out but the information they were getting was not quite solving the problem. Meanwhile deep in the reactor chamber of the Battleaxe repair crews were hard at work to get things operational for their lives depended on it. They needed their laser turret back online for other than the AMM’s it was the only working so far.

   “We have mechanical failures to the Firedrakes missile tubes and Battleaxe is out of commission for at least thirty minutes.” The communications officer said quickly.

   “Contact screen is empty.” The sensor officer said calmly.

   Captain Simard sat still in thought letting a full minute pass by. The enemy had fired everything their way and they only damaged one frigate. Did this mean that they were out of missiles? This planet was small for a colony and might just be short on supply as well. After a bit of time she decided that she still had to be aggressive. “Order the fleet to move at full speed towards the target planet. Open fire with all anti-ship missiles, target Orc class ship.”

   Three missile launchers on each of the Vicksburg class frigates launched their size three missiles into space towards the planet before the internal mechanisms began to work the next missile up into the launcher for the following salvo. This process was repeated six times before the fleet’s sensors watched the first group of missiles reach the planet. “Energy impacts indicate none of our missiles have made it through.” The weapons officer on board the UEF Texas told her commander.

   “Relay that information.” Commander Honorat Raczka told his communications officer.

   On the Atlanta Captain Simard watched all of this unfold trying to figure out how to proceed. As the second and third volley failed to reach their targets it was overtly clear that their missile tech was not up to par with this threat. What exactly were they dealing with though? The enemy was out of missiles and seemingly outnumbered. Lucille looked at this pondering in thought. Would a life form not reach out at this moment? That was answered quickly though as they reached a distance of seven million kilometers from the planet.

   “Captain, new contacts. Twenty size five missiles moving fast. Forty size one traveling at almost seventy million kilometers a second.” The sensor officer stated in shock.

   “All back full, get us to the jump point.” She had seen enough and was not going to risk this fleet any further. “They trapped us. Weapons officer what is the status on our gauss turrets?”

   “Still working on it.” Was the only response.

   The missiles moved in quickly as they dodged the countermeasures launched by the two small frigates before striking deep into the fleet. The UEF Philadelphia took three hits before two missiles struck into the stern of the Chaffinch severing the entire front end of the corvette. Further strikes hit into several other ships armor causing minor damage.

   Thirty of the forty smaller missiles struck throughout the entire fleet causing further worry to the crews but none of them struck further than armor damage. The weapons officer aboard the Dewey moved through menu after menu digging through him brain to revert to his training. Things seemed to be exactly as they should be, target controls were set, beam fire controls were active, and the quad and single barreled turrets were assigned. Everything was as it should be. Then it struck him the beam fire controls were set to cease fire mode. His had slid and tapped it switching it to read open fire and turning the beam control to orange in color.

   Seven of the short ranged enemy anti-ship missiles survived the fire pattern of the laser turrets and targeted the damaged Battleaxe frigate. Sensors were scanning them the entire time sending the quad barreled gauss cannon into automatic motion. The gears churned loudly to those inside as the rapid firing cannons one after another eliminated the missiles in short order.

   As the sensors across the entire fleet registered this a data packet reached all weapons officers informing them of this setting error. Finally, as the retreat order had already been given the last line of defense was working.

   “Captain gauss is active!” The weapons officer aboard the Atlanta explained with enthusiasm.

   “And why did it take till now?” She asked as calmly as she could muster.

   “Ahhh, the fire control measures weren’t activated.” He embarrassingly responded with.

   “Keep them on and get us home. These creatures won’t be following us.” This was exactly what she warned the governor about almost three weeks earlier. These were the mistakes that could be worked out in military drills. That was why they existed and instead an election ploy was pushed into her lap. This was exactly why she hated politics. Thankfully, she would not have to explain the loss of any ships but still, however many had died on board the Rathburne was one too many in her mind.
   
 
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Re: The Blue Stone at Yellowstone
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2020, 09:30:19 AM »
   “Firedrake has been struck with six missiles, Admiral.” The sensors officer relayed forward.

   Two years of training and the resignation of a governor and still it wasn’t enough. The lull in missile fire from the colony was just a ploy to lure them into their shorter ranged barrages that were near a hundred missiles each. This volume of fire was too much for the now Admiral Lucille Simard’s fleet to handle. Begrudgingly she was forced to order a retreat. It was as her ships turned around that five of the enemy vessels broke off from the planet and began to chase after them.

   “Three beholder class vessels and two chimeras moving our way. Further missile contacts identified from the colony.”

   “Keep us moving away from the planet.” She ordered her fleet. Her mind analyzed the situation as it unfolded in exactly the same manner as their last incursion. Things appeared almost automated and maybe this could be a good point to set a trap. “Deploy the fighter wings and have them escort us for now.”

   Deep in all five of the Atlanta jump destroyers the hanger bays became active. Naomi Elford had been sitting in the cockpit of his F-101 for three hours now waiting for this moment. His stomach was growing tighter as the deck crews fled to various airlocks. As each airlock was secured a green light flashed from a corner of the spacious room. Eight total light blinked before the massive hangar bay door slowly began to open. It was a heavy piece of ship armor that had to be moved out of the way with massive hydraulics. As it shuddered to a stop a final green light outlining the entire open activated alerting to him and his fellow pilots to launch.

   The drop out into space was turbulent as the oxygen in the room traveled with them helping push them from the still traveling vessel. This was intentional and aided in keeping the ship from destroying the fighter crafts the moment they severed their connection inertially. Naomi could only think how this did not aid his nervous gut.

   “Fighters are free and hanger doors are closing.” The communications officers relayed this vital information to their respective captains and on the Atlanta Lucille nodded. This news was important for if that plate of armor was not back in place before the next salvo of missiles these ships were beyond vulnerable.

   Rapid accurate fire quickly dispatched the group of sixteen slower moving missiles displaying the skill that the training program aided in. Military drills would be a necessity from this point forward if humanity were going to stand toe to toe with villains as this. The crews were fast to turn their attention to the smaller but faster and more numerous group of missiles moving towards them. Computerized software tracked and fired striking target after target, but it was too much. Two dozen struck into the armor of the Atlanta just as the door settled back in place. The damage was minimal, but the entire ship showed scars from the strike.

   “Weapons officer determine the first launch of these weapons and inform the helmsman. We must skirt their reach if we are to engage the vessels heading our way. I guarantee they have some weapons of their own, but they’d be firing missiles if they had any. I’d bet my car on that one.” Lucille made this wager mostly with herself. No one on this bridge knew of her prized fifty year old mustang sitting in her garage at home.
 
   The gauntlet was ran and the salvos stopped leaving only groups of the larger missiles that could be handled easily by point defense weaponry. “Skies are clear.” The sensor officer informed.

   “Bring us around and order a missile strike on these ships. Let’s see what they have.”

   Twenty AMM’s raced out towards this small fleet with several salvos behind them. The sensor panels on all twenty ships were watched intently to see exactly what they were dealing with. As the distance was reduced the two chimera class vessels erupted with a gauss barrage that was almost unbelievable. The ships had eight turrets with unknown barrels amounts across them blanketing the fleet and making easy work of the small group of missiles. It would take a lot to overcome them and how they could carry that much weight while still traveling at five thousand kilometers a second was a testament for some serious engine technology.

   “Fire control range is met. Our ships are waiting for synchronized fire.” The weapons officer informed.

   “Fire at will!” She hoped their weapons would be strong enough.

   The Rathburne class frigates fired their massive carronades as their twin twenty centimeter laser turrets discharged rounds into space. The speed of these weapons was insane, and sensors indicated five strikes to the lead beholder vessel. As the fleets closed in a bit more it was the Malik class gunboats with their twenty centimeter railguns that all found success. It appeared it was all just armor damage, but they could be hit which was a good sign. Then the monitor on the Atlanta erupted with a bright white that blinded the bridge crew temporarily. “What just happened?” Lucille asked as she looked down shielding her eyes.

   “The Philadelphia is destroyed. Massive energy impacts, reading the data now.” The sensor and weapons officers were in near panic mode as they absorbed this information. “These beholder class ships appear to have twenty laser turrets and what looks like a single central superweapon. They concentrated their fire on the Philadelphia destroying it almost instantly.”

   “Any signs of life?” The admiral asked almost devastated.

   “A few life pods.” This was the solemn answer given in response. It was surprising that anyone managed to escape the exploding vessel.

   Naomi watched with shock as the Philadelphia exploded to his right. The bright flash was intense, and it caused him to jerk his fighter away from its view diminishing the blinding light that filled his cockpit. “Quiet.” He ordered the panicking voices on his radio. “Tighten up for our attack run.” He said as the sensor panel turned the alien fleet red in color. Their orders were now given.

   In the distance the ten Mi-X2 attack bombers were organizing themselves for their strike. “Give us cover.” They asked of the F-101’s

   “As best as we can.” Naomi replied as he led the charge forwards. Twenty missiles streaked out in front of him exploding as the blanket of flak fire kept the fleet safe. Rail gun strikes continued to slam into the closest beholder destroyer. “Keep away from the smaller ships and focus fire on that lead ship.” He ordered to the nine other pilots traveling with him.

   The first laser strikes hit into the armored destroyer buckling panels of duranium steel revealing thick armor. “Try and strike where our destroyers and frigates have hit already.” Naomi heard from a pilot with a Philadelphia call sign. Turning his fighter to the right he descended down towards the destroyer identifying just a spot to do that. His laser cut into the exposed armor plate causing minimal damage. “It’s going to take a lot of work, but we can keep the pressure up.” His expression went into shock as the three enemy capital ships fired a simultaneous laser barrage.

   As the fighter squadron lifted up over the beholder the two chimera frigates came into view and the flak barrage began. Six fighters exploded immediately. He twisted his fighter backwards to flee this threat. Three survival pods pinged on his sensors indicating some of his friends had survived this. He fired another strike into the closest destroyer, but it was becoming clear that they were just fleas attacking a lion.

   The laser barrage impacted the front of the Atlanta melting the thick armor plating. It dug into the crew sections burning rooms with ease, eating its way into the reactor room before coming into contact with the Esikuri jump drive. The resulting explosion crippled the vessel in a similar manner as the Philadelphia minutes earlier. The small sun that resulted from the exploding damaged systems destroyed the ship completely. Both the Philadelphia and the Atlanta only had time to save a few of the engineering crews operating the ion drive engines, neither command staff managed to make it off to safety.

   “This is Captain Sibilia of the UEF Hurricane. I am assuming command. Press the attack.” Everyone heard this message leaving a bit of shock as to what this exactly meant. Naomi watched as the plasma carronades struck the lead chimera causing massive damage, but the ship continued forward with the fleet. “Fire pattern green.” Another voice echoed across the radio traffic as the Mi-X2’s released their anti-ship missiles.

   “Provide cover for those missiles.” He ordered the remaining three fighters to assist him. Turning back towards the fleet he saw the railgun strikes ricochet off the lead destroyer along with the larger laser cannons buckling armor plating. The flak targeted his fighter as he twisted back towards his fleet. The missiles came in fast and hit the destroyer with massive detonations killing it immediately. Everyone screamed with excitement at this turn of events. The flak caught up with his small fighter and as the ensuing damage destroyed his engines and chewed through his limited armor the computer initiated the automatic life saving charges. The small detonations lifted his self-sealed cockpit away from his exploding fighter sending him out into space still at risk in the combat zone.

   His life pod sat motionless in space as he could only watch the fight continue around him. The small frigate was dropping out of the enemy formation as his fleet focused fire on it. The missiles could not get past the flak screen, but the railguns and lasers were tearing holes into the internal mechanisms. This vantage point allowed him to see details that he would have missed from before. The inside of the ship seemed to be relatively hollow with components exposed in large open sections. There were not hallways or crews, atmosphere was not even needed leaving the ship ice cold inside. This technology was clearly decades above what they had capabilities of.

   The alien fleet was now traveling back towards Teegarden A-2 still firing their superior weaponry back towards them. The UEF Firedrake limped forward grabbing a few life pods as it fired another salvo of its small AMM’s. Plasma carronades struck at the wounded gauss frigate along with the railgun weaponry. It was the UEF Quickmatch that reached and saved Naomi Elford. His mind was unsure how his fleet would be able to perform rescue missions while in the middle of the combat zone.

   Once out of his life pod he fell to the floor of the resupply room that every vessel had. “It’s alright now.” He heard voices say as he composed himself. These men left him with a bottle of water as they went back to damage control measures on the wounded frigate. The battle was still raging out there but there was not much more he could do without a fighter. He stood and went into the hallway. “How can I help?” He asked an engineer running towards what he assumed was the engine room.

   “Not sure.” Was the only answer he got in return. Naomi had never been on a Firedrake class frigate before so knew not of where to go but he hated being useless. He was slammed to the ground as the ship twisted to its side from some impact. With fear he jumped back to his feet as the hallway’s lights went out. For a moment he couldn’t tell if he was alive as the blackness seemed darker than space itself. As the emergency lighting turned back on the internal speakers started to repeat a message to abandon ship. Where were the life pods?

   The only thing he could think of was to climb back into the one he already had so he made his way back into the supply room. He just had to figure a way to get it back into space. In the room he saw equipment on its side, including a forklift. None of this would work. To the side of the room he saw a door with a sign above it that said control room, so he walked there. As the door opened, he heard an explosion in the distant section of the ship. Internal systems were now definitely compromised.

   The control room was small but, in the corner, he saw a panel marked life pod. Grabbing the built-in handle he pulled with all his might, ripping the metal sheet out of the way. It was a tight fit, but he squeezed himself into the small pod and strapped himself into the claustrophobic seat. A quick pull of a lever and he was back out into space as the ship fell silent behind him.

   The battle was over as the enemy fleet retreated to its programmed defensive point. Two of its five ships were destroyed but half of the human fleet was gone. Computer analysis showed a less than one percent chance of failing in defense of the station. No further assets were needed to be risked. The station still fired missiles towards the human fleet targeting vessels that strayed away from their inferior gauss defenses.

   This break in combat allowed now in charge Captain Abraham Lueckenhoff to gather all the surviving life pods before giving the order to scuttle the two compromised missile frigates. As these operations were being completed his gauss cannons continued to provide a defensive screen from the incoming missiles. They would not be assaulting this base anytime soon. As they limped back towards the jump point the damage was assessed. Four Atlanta class jump frigates were destroyed along with all four firedrake missile frigates. Sixteen of the twenty fighter craft were also destroyed. An admiral and five captains were killed in action along with over three thousand naval officers. This was the bloodiest day in history for the Federation of Earth.
 
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Offline TacticalStats (OP)

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Re: The Blue Stone at Yellowstone
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2020, 06:19:18 PM »
        The failure in the Teegarden system caused a wave of fear to spread across the colonies eventually even hitting the population centers on Earth itself. Speeches were given with elaborate funerals for all men and women involved in the combat actions. Governor Osterman spent a month giving daily detailed briefings explaining the intelligence information on the alien species that caused so much damage. Slowly the public relaxed as it became obvious that these robotic drone ships had one goal in mind, the protection of a base on the water world. There was something to be gained if humanity were to capture that base but to do that many scientific breakthroughs were needed.

         The first of these would be the magneto-plasma drive. This sparked a series of discoveries that would postpone any attempts to push back into the hostile system. Various companies across all of the colonies submitted numerous designs for sensors, weapons, fully designed spaceships and finally a new fighter concept. All of this was studied with final decisions given by the defense department to update the entire fleet bringing it up to par with the lone threat in Teegarden.

          The decision of the upper brass was heavily influenced from studying the results of the previous battle. It was clear that the missile defense shield was not adequate, so a new ship was invented with eight single turreted gauss cannons capable of tracking a missile at twenty-five thousand kilometers a second. This would greatly improve the protection of the fleet. The two things that became clear was the uselessness of the Atlanta class jump destroyer. While her Mi-X2 fighter crafts proved to be effective in battle the ship itself was cumbersome and an easy target in combat. This was decided to be an overdesigned ship that couldn’t really fulfill a role in battle. The new concept was a dedicated carrier ship thus focusing on a timed strike to eliminate a ship as was done so many years before. The other ships performed well but were upgraded with modern weapons and engines to increase their effectiveness.
       
       The risk in the newly proposed plan was to stabilize the jump point between Teegarden and Proxima-Centauri. While this would put Earth and her colonies at risk if the assessment of a preprogrammed robotic defense force was incorrect, it would allow for the number of strike craft to be as much as humanity could muster. This risk was deemed worth taking.

        This became further so when the news of another lost survey vessel reached Governor Osterman’s desk. It occurred deep in the outer regions of the 40 Eradani system. While the idea of contact with alien life was deemed inevitable it was the last three lines of code that sent the intelligence offices into a flurry of activity. The ships that performed this attack matched the same class designs of the ships in Teegarden. Whoever built these robotic defensive fleets were further spread throughout space than initially thought possible. Did they happen to see Earth herself so long ago? This question would not be known but what was clear was that the third strike into Teegarden would commence as soon as possible.
 
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Re: The Blue Stone at Yellowstone
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2020, 08:02:03 PM »
   A shiny blue desk with two well dressed men sitting behind it dominates a television screen is brightly lit bar. Closed captions stream across the bottom right of the screen. “Hello citizens of Naucratis it is six o’clock galactic time.” The newscaster said to the viewers of this tidally locked planet. Time was an odd concept to one living under perpetual twilight or darkness depending on one’s location. The image was ignored for the most part as nothing new seemed to occur on the predominantly mining planet.

   “News from Mars has come in with the announcement of a completion to the decade old terraforming project.” The screen displayed grass fields and forests from an altitude stretching to the horizon with flowing water leading to lakes. A man in the back of the bar asked for the volume to be enhanced as this peaked a few ears interest. “The assembly of planets has been deliberating on the decision for exactly where to send these facilities to next.” The screen switches to the council chambers on Earth. Several hundred various leaders from all across the federation sit quietly waiting for the results of the voting procedures. The speaker of the house eventually speaks up. “It is with the democratic process of this chamber that I can announce with a vote of four hundred and seventy two to two hundred and twenty eight that the planet Naucratis will receive these facilities.”

   The bar erupted into a roar of applause and elation overtook most present. The news anchors took back the screen as they spoke. “Ten million job opportunities will available when this process begins, a much needed prospect four our fifteen million unemployed adults. Governor Rosenblum has asked for all interested to sign up at terraformnaucratis.gov as soon as one can.” The graphic at the bottom of the screen displayed this website clearly. The other anchor spoke up. “A much needed boom to our planets place in this federation. Proving that we are not a back-water planet after all.”

   “Maybe we will get some water of our own.” The other anchor lightly joked even though everyone knew that this process would take decades. Clearly the goal was possible to complete on this frigid planet.

   “Indeed. In other news we take you to orbit where right now the fleet is gathering.” The image switched to sheer darkness with dozens of shining silver craft. Some were sleek in shape while a few were massive. Five stood out among them as the largest of the vessels on screen. “Refueling efforts are underway as we will watch the best of our engineer’s constructions with our well trained crews head back into the Teegarden system for the first time in two decades.” The bar went silent as the information set in. “The new Lexington class carrier will deliver the aged but lethal Mi-X2 strike craft into combat to discover what exactly is hidden on this ocean world.”

   “That is not the only new technology going into battle. Details are sketchy but we have been told of new laser and plasma weapons capable of doing extensive damage to any known materials including what was discovered so many years ago. Our thoughts and prayers are with these naval officers and we hope they have the best equipment that we can give them.” The screen focused on the four carrier crafts but to the right sat an even bigger ship. Its shape did not indicate a military purpose but clearly it held a role for the fleet. Everyone in the bar saw it but the news never explained its purpose. As the screen switched back to the two anchors the bar switched the screen back to closed captions and the bar went back to normal. Conversations switched between job opportunities and fear for the fleet embarking on a dangerous battle with autonomous crafts. A place that none of them wanted to sit in.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 07:58:38 PM by TacticalStats »
 
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Re: The Blue Stone at Yellowstone
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2020, 07:18:25 AM »
I will follow your story for sure.  Great - although desastrous - start, thanks for sharing with us!
 
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Re: The Blue Stone at Yellowstone
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2020, 12:00:56 PM »
   Kimani Maythem watched as the wormhole linking him back to a path towards Earth finally stabilized. This ended a three year journey of which the last hundred and eighty days had him and his crew of this rust bucket sitting in the outskirts of an enemy controlled system. Every minute spent watching outdated technologies searching for signs of hostile ships. They all knew that if anything were to appear, they would be helpless to defend for their ship. The fifty year old design did not have the ability to travel through wormholes, only stabilize them. Now that this mission was complete the white haired commander would bring the ship back to Earth where she would be decommissioned and he would retire at the ripe age of seventy.

   Rear Admiral Crafton sat strapped into his chair in the flag bridge watching a massive table displaying the intelligence gathered from the advanced sensors placed on the intelligence ship the UEF Washington. His fleet which was modernized was fast approaching the famed second planet. The sensors displayed the positions of all the destroyed ships from the two previous attempts to displace the defenders of the unknown installation. Each of these derelicts were tombs for the brave sailors enclosed within.

   The tactics for this mission were practiced extensively for two years and with twenty-two dedicated gauss defense ships the fleet was better prepared for the incoming barrage. “Incoming eighteen anti ship missiles.” The sensor officer relayed to the rear admiral. The battle was starting exactly as the others did. “Keep us in formation and moving forward.” He ordered. The larger vessels sat in the center of the fleet as the Chaffinch and Wyvern class gauss ships spread out around them to give a three hundred and sixty degree field of fire. Two decades previously it was only the Chaffinch class ships dealing with the missile salvos and even then, they handled these anti ship missiles with ease. The true test would be the hundred smaller and faster missiles coming in behind them.

   The first group of missiles were targeted and destroyed with only a few making it through. They struck into the UEF Hanson with minimal damage to its hull. The second wave was destroyed completely showing that they indeed did have the ability to finally overcome the missile barrages and get in close to the planet. The minutes went by with a flurry of activity. On all ships present, supercomputers were working in overdrive to track and target these missiles. The cooling systems were being pushed to the maximum of their designed abilities in keeping the computers operational. When the heat reached a critical level, the computers were reduced in operational compacity to allow the cooling systems to work. It was in these gaps that the few missiles snaked into the defense shield. Explosions dented the hulls of the four missile ships. It was assumed the were targeted for they were the only offensive ships currently firing and presenting a potential threat to the enemy.

   At four hundred thousand kilometers in distance to the planet Rear Admiral Crafton spoke. “Target the two beholder class ships and fire at will once in range.” They all knew the capabilities of these ships and with the missiles being mostly controlled the only real threat was the massive laser weapons that these two ships held.

   “Plasma carronades online. Firing pattern in three, two, one.” The communications on his flag bridge had to be concise. A lot of information was present for the correct decisions to be made. “Course correction new heading three dot four dot five.” This was the most challenging part of combat for altering course while the fleet was in this close of proximity had led to a few collisions while in training. If it were to happen in combat the results would be catastrophic.
 
   The first of the plasma weapons struck into the beholder vessel as the return fire hit the Hanson causing internal damage. Her hull’s armor was not going to be enough. The railguns joined and eventually the laser weapons as well. The whole fleet was now engaged in combat with the enemy. On the surface of the planet massive installations fired laser cannons into the sky, the target was the twenty thousand ton Washington intelligence ship. Blue colors flared out all along the ship in a sphere before meeting on the opposite axis vanishing from sight. The newly invented delta shields were put to the use for the first time. “We’re the only ones with them.” The admiral said as he studied the tactical map displayed on the table in front of him. “Bring the Rathburne’s laser turrets to target the beholders.”
 
       This order changed the newly designed turret to a frontal firing perspective creating a hole in the defense grid. The Wyvern class ships tried to maneuver to close this gap but with precision the alien missiles recognized this weakness. The hundred missiles formed up and descended towards the ships taking a reduced amount of concentrated fire. Twenty-one detonated along the battered hull of the Hanson destroying the ships one of the fuel of tanks almost breaking the ship in half. Amazingly the vessel remained intact and fired a salvo of its AMM’s.

   A thirty-five centimeter tungsten slug was lifted into a chamber lined with electromagnetic coils. It took thirty seconds for this process to complete before the massive railgun was ready to fire. The targeting system focused on what was known as beholder 002 and the slug was fired. Kinetic damage required immense speeds and it closed the three hundred thousand kilometer gap in less than one second. The sleek alien design ignited its engines and lurched forward out of the railguns target solution sending the slug into the planet’s atmosphere. At this speed when it slammed into the ocean it vaporized millions of gallons of water instantly sending a shockwave out across the planet. A hundred and thirty foot wave spread out across the small thin land strips that existed on this mostly water world.

   “We have movement.” The sensors displayed this fact to the rear admiral as just like the previous engagement the alien fleet waited for their ships to reach a certain distance before joining the fight. “Prepare strike wings to launch. Hold off for my order.”

   The second salvo of alien missiles traced forward in the same trajectory as before hoping for the same result, but the twenty-two gauss defense ships had by now adjusted their positions and successfully destroyed this next threat. The newly redesigned Rathburne class ship the UEF Battleaxe got a bit of revenge from that previous battle when its larger and more accurate laser turrets struck deep into the beholder vessel causing confirmed penetrative damage. “Eleven direct hits.” Her weapons officer screamed with elation. The joy was short lived as the two beholders targeted her specifically striking her with a full broadside. Twenty-seven hits across her hull devasted the internal mechanisms of the ship damaging nearly everything at the same time. Abandon ship orders were implemented immediately.

   “Launch the fighters.” Rear Admiral Crafton ordered. “I want those two ships struck as quickly as can be.”

   In the hanger deck of the four Lexington class carriers flashing orange lights went green as the fighters began launching down the small tubes leading them to the removed hull plate and into the combat zone. Lieutenant Commander Clark Rade sat strapped into his piloting chair of the Mil Mi-X2 strike craft. As his speeds increased, he was met with the chaos of space for the first time. Arching tracer fire from the Wyvern destroyed the small missiles that his eye could barely make out. He heard his commander order the Lexington fighters to remain back while his moved forward.

   He swung his fighter into position, and they headed out towards the combat. They had to move out beyond the fleet before they could fire their six large ant ship missiles. An intense light show could be seen out in the distance as the laser cannons found their targets the results he could only guess at. As his squadron traveled forward the beholder’s struck once again destroying another vessel from the previous battle. The UEF Firedrake took the damage in a similar fashion as her sister ship did, with life pods fleeing for relative safety in space.

   The sixteen Mi-X2s spread out and fired their box launchers emptying them completely before swinging back towards their carriers. As they were now out ahead of their defense shield the alien missiles reacted accordingly. Clark Rade watched as his alert systems went active forcing him into a series of maneuvers trying to shake the advanced targeting abilities. The dance lasted several seconds before the alert systems went quiet. He was unaware of whether his actions had any effect or if it was just the gauss cannons below him that saved his life. Not all his squad mates were so lucky.

   His missiles found their target striking into the beholder detonating deep within its internal systems bringing the threat to an end. A bronze star would now be in his future when he returned to Earth.

   “Shields are failing.” The engineering officer on the bridge yelled to his captain as the rear admiral watched. “Where is that fire coming from?” He asked the sensors officer. The delta shields were working quite well but would not hold on for long.

   “The planet’s surface it appears.” The sensors officer responded with. It was not necessary to order the weapons to respond in kind as the railguns began to fire on these stationary platforms. Twenty targets were selected and slowly they were destroyed one by one. As the shields failed the massive weapons proved to be highly effective as the Washington took intense fire. The armor peeled back as if it was aluminum. The ship shook with distress as explosions in her engine room brought her to a standstill. The abandon ship orders went out quickly.

   As the life pods swung out into space the damage to the fleet was adding up. Four Rathburnes were destroyed along with four Chaffinch class ships. The enemy surface abilities were finally destroyed leaving only entrenched ground targets to deal with. As the fleet focused on the remaining ships it was clear the battle was finally won. Three attempts across two decades and now humanity could find out what exactly was being protected. As the news came in the Rear Admiral was confirmed deceased and now the fleet was under the control of Captain Juanita Klindt. Her orders were to wait for the ground troops and provide the needed orbital bombardment support. More blood would need to be shed but soon this system would be under the United Federation of Earth’s control.
 
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Offline TacticalStats (OP)

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Re: The Blue Stone at Yellowstone
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2020, 09:10:28 AM »
   Intense winds swept over the rolling hills as lightning traced across the sky towards the horizon. The liquid methane ocean steamed like dry ice as it slowly shrank in size from the sudden swing in temperatures. This swing, directly a result from the orbital strikes, was measured to drop the temperature by four hundred degrees Celsius. This bottomed the planet, now named after Admiral Simard, to negative three hundred and twenty degrees killing any life that may have adapted to live here. A renewed series of kinetic strikes indicated that this process was not finished.

   The speed from shells struck into the ground lifting dirt and debris dozens of meters into the air before the ensuing explosion vaporized the impact zone. The dust created was propelled high into the atmosphere adding to a new layer that continued to make it difficult for the suns rays to reach the surface of the planet. It would take a scientific study to determine how long this dust would take to fall back down to the surface and a warming period could begin. For now, it was acceptable because these strikes were saving the lives of the hundred thousand men and women now fighting in this alien environment.

   They fought without proper equipment and inferior weapons. Limited intelligence was very costly in the first two years as the robotic centurions could hide in the smallest of gaps. When the first few bunkers were located the praetorian mechs as the grunts called them chewed through men and armor the same. The hundred square kilometer battle zone was nicknamed devil’s paradise.

   Major Odis Accardo was here to change this fact. His regiment was newly researched and given specialized equipment to battle not just the defensive installations but the extreme weather itself. Every soldier had a heated suit, every vehicle was specially insulated, and his command center could keep communications going through the most intense of storms. It was in this center that he now sat watching the assault take place.

        The intelligence given to him by the other majors was vital in setting up his attack strategy. This final orbital strike was accurate in breaking what looked like the enemy’s final front line. His 35c variant tanks were in the lead as the Agariste and Fe-212s fell in behind. The infantry would all be made up of his specialized squads and they were moving in as autocannons and artillery began to fire.

   Devil’s paradise was a scene out of no man’s land missing only the barbed wire. The terrain was difficult to pass and gave the enemy plenty of high percentage shots. Dozens of tanks were sacrificed to get over this obstacle and it was difficult for Accardo to watch. This was true even if there was no other way to make it to the few bunkers that were left. On the other side of this small ridge sat the ruined city that started all this bloodshed.

   Radio communications became increasingly difficult to keep track of as the squads of infantry made it into the bunkers. What was clear was the effectiveness of his equipment. No longer slowed down from heating sources with limited operational time frames the battle could continue. The reports were promising as instead of a few robotic defenders incapacitated the casualties became more even.

   “We are in.” The voice came through the comm as the final bunker was breached. Rifle fire could be heard, and two distinct explosions followed. “That is it. The command center is destroyed.” Major Accardo leaned back in his chair allowing himself to exhale for what seemed like the first time in hours. It was over.   


   Six weeks later Odis Accardo found himself walking through the ruined city. “Was it worth it?” He spoke somberly towards the scrawny man digging through rubble.

   The man pushed the stones aside seeing that this section of the ruins had taken a laser strike from orbit. “Hopefully, it wasn’t all destroyed.” He stood up and turned towards the major. “The navy could have done a better job with avoiding this destruction.”

   “We all have a lot to learn from this planet. It did take over a hundred thousand lives to get us to where we are at.” He looked down what he assumed was once a street. Towards the end of the path sat a large circular building with a gaping hole in its domed ceiling. “How old is this?”

   “That is a difficult question to answer. The robotic defense force seemed to maintain constructions to present day while this area is tens of thousands of years in age. If we could find some bones, then we would have an accurate date to announce but so far that gem has eluded us.” The scientist continued to walk forward towards the intimidating building ahead of them.

   The two men walked through the small opening to the circular building and made their way through a series of rooms average in size. Most were completely empty until they entered the fourth. The wall was eaten by a mold that surprisingly still seemed to carry life with it even after this sudden drop in temperature. “Definitely going to get samples of that.” The scientist said pointing to the left. “I’m curious what paint was used.”

   “Paint eating fungus?” The major asked as he instinctively stepped away from the wall.

   “Not just paint, computers as well it would seem.” He pointed to the metal ledge that had a series of small rotted square frames still lying on it. “We are going to find things here, but it is going to take a long time.”

   The idea of finding a working computer seemed impossible to Odis as he looked at the decay in front of him. It had to be tens of thousands of years old. “Who were these people?” He asked out loud.

   “They are the Verdon Ka and we are very close to deciphering their language.” The scientist said this as the major stepped into the large central room. An octagonal concrete pathway made up the exterior as a three foot high metal fence lined the edge. Looking over this edge saw a drop of over fifty meters to what at the bottom looked like piles of various rocks. In the center sat a massive pillar that stretched up all the way to the ceiling with a series of walkways that led into this structure. This was something industrial and in good enough condition that something useful would come from it.
 
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