Author Topic: Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 6  (Read 4373 times)

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Offline Steve Walmsley

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Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 6
« on: November 18, 2008, 08:34:52 AM »
A survey of the London system, in which the alien jump gate was located, revealed three jump points. The European jump ship Oslo carried out an investigation, exploring Edinburgh, an unremarkable binary system, Budapest, a single star system with two planets, and Rome, which had a planet with a breathable atmosphere. Rome II was a desert world, larger than Earth, with a gravity one third higher, a denser atmosphere and a surface temperature of almost seventy-five Celsius. While it was a harsh environment, it had great potential for terraforming as the necessary level of oxygen was already present. Once terraforming installations were built, or some form of mobile terraforming developed, the colony cost of 1.33 could be reduced over time by adding an anti-greenhouse gas to the atmosphere.

On October 25th, the Union of South American Nations launched two jump-capable gravitational survey ships. They left orbit on courses for the Washington and New York jump points. At Cheyenne Mountain, US Space Command monitored all traffic within the Sol system, primarily via thermal sensors based on Earth and Mars although these were supplemented by warships with active sensors in Mars orbit. During wars or times of increased tension, additional active sensors provided a much clearer picture. By international agreement all civilian traffic used transponders, and there were now twenty civilian vessels of various nations operating within the Sol system, so these too were added to the complex picture. As there were no doubt equivalent monitoring stations in other nations, US and European colony ships and freighters headed for the Washington system usually followed a course to Mars before diverting after leaving estimated thermal sensor range of Earth. On this occasion there was no doubt the two USAN vessels were headed direct for Washington and New York. The senior officer at Cheyenne sent a warning up the chain of command and an hour later the US President was in contact with his South American counterpart.

The problem for the Western allies and Russia was that they would have preferred to keep the USAN out of the systems beyond the five closest jump points to Sol. Washington contained a habitable world and was the site of humanity's only out-system colony. New York had two planets with oxygen-nitrogen atmospheres that were home to alien ruins, not to mention being good candidates for terraforming. Lisbon V was the site of more ruins and although these had already been thoroughly explored without finding any new technology, there were a considerable number of abandoned structures that would be recovered once the similar operation on Mars had been completed. Vienna was home to the Tulan and the alien jump gate was in London.

The President of the United States explained to the South American President that those first five systems had been claimed by the countries that would eventually form the Terran Commonwealth and it would greatly aid future relations if the USAN focused its own resources on the outer jump points. Of course, if the USAN decided to become part of the Commonwealth, they would gain access to all those systems. The newly-elected President of the USAN, Constantino Caldeira, was less than impressed with what he regarded as a thinly-disguised threat from the United States. A combination of a fiery temper, an eagerness to make his mark as President and a long-standing distrust of the North Americans, resulted in an immediate dismissal of the US suggestion without consulting his advisors. Furthermore he made it clear that any attempt to restrict his nation's exploration of other solar systems would result in the USAN informing other nations of the existence of jump points. The US President reminded President Caldeira that his country had agreed to keep the secret of jump points in return for the considerable amount of technical information provided by the United States and its allies. President Caldeira responded that he was not bound by agreements made by his predecessor and, in any event, such agreements were null and void once the United States began trying to restrict the freedom of interstellar navigation and started issuing threats.

Matthew Farrell, the President of the United States, was a reasonable man and honestly believed in the benefits that a global government would bring to the Earth. So much so that he accepted that his second term would be cut short by the creation of the Terran Commonwealth, although he was planning to enter the Commonwealth Presidential election. He also had a deeply-held conviction that by protecting the interests of the United States and its allies, he was creating the best possible future for all Humanity. Confronted with a overly belligerent President Caldeira, who was responding far more aggressively than President Farrell believed his suggestions warranted, his first impulse was to tell the South American President to go ahead and send his ships through the Washington jump point where American warships would be happy to blow them away. He managed to restrain himself and instead informed the angry Brazilian that no threat was intended and he was only suggesting ways to avoid future tensions. He still recommended that the USAN avoid Washington as the US and European Union were establishing a colony in that system but accepted the final decision was in the hands of President Caldeira.

Once the call ended, President Farrell discussed the situation with his advisors, with the EU President and with President Vorokov of the Russian Federation. The majority view among the President's staff was that they should guard Washington as they guarded Mars and prevent the South Americans entering the system, by force if necessary. Warships could also be stationed at other key jump points. The President of the EU concurred. President Vorokov reminded everyone else on the video-conference call that the USAN would very likely carry out their threat to inform the Asian Federation and the Japanese Alliance of the existence of jump points and would be pushed into closer ties with the one of the other powers, perhaps as far as an outright alliance. Instead, he suggested that the USAN jump ships be allowed to go wherever they wished. They were no threat to the security of the West and Russia and if a military solution was needed, it could be applied in the future. The alternative was trying to guard widely separated locations against the USAN, the Asian Federation and the Japanese Alliance. However, he did recommend the USAN should be prevented from establishing its own colony on Washington II. The future Commonwealth needed a secure, well-protected base. After a discussion that lasted several hours, the three governments agreed to follow President Vorokov's plan.

The USAN jump ship Rosales entered Washington on October 30th 2031 and remained for an hour before transiting back into Sol and setting course for the Prague jump point, the seventh furthest from the Sun. It appeared the second Rosales class,  en route to the New York jump point, would be carrying out a round tour of the second through sixth jump points. The activities of the Rosales were monitored by the European jump ship Aragon, which held station on the Sol-Washington jump point and escorted all transiting allied colony ships and freighters.

On November 5th 2032, the Asian Federation fleet left orbit. According to the shared data of the Western and Russian intelligence agencies, the sixteen ships included six old 2000 ton Luda class destroyers armed with meson cannon, six 3500 ton Jiangwei class cruisers armed with missiles, and four 5200 ton ships of unknown capability that had been assigned the reporting name of the Kaifeng class. The fleet was on a direct heading for the fourteen ships of the Japanese Alliance, moving in a slow fifteen million kilometre orbit of the Earth. Western information on the Japanese fleet was also of varied quality. Four of the Alliance ships were of the 2100 ton Kongo class, which had fared badly in the Mars Incident against superior Western electronics. Six were a newer 3000 ton design known as the Kongo II-B, which most Western analysts believed must have superior sensors and fire control to the original Kongo. Finally there was four 5400 ton ships of which very little was known, except they were larger and newer than the latest Kongos and presumably had greater capabilities. They had been designated the Nagato class.

As the Federation fleet left Earth and began closing on the Japanese, one of the Jiangweis engaged its active sensor, which had a range of twelve million kilometres. The Japanese force responded with active sensors on one of the Kongo II-Bs. As expected, the Japanese had improved their electronic capabilities and the sensor had a range of fifteen million kilometres. The Japanese fleet also began manoeuvring to try and keep the Asian warships at least fourteen million kilometres away, which suggested that was their effective missile range. However the Asian ships all had a speed of at least 1428 km/s while the first generation Kongos were keeping the Japanese down to 1190 km/s so given enough time the Federation fleet would be able to close in.

There were no Western or Russian warships anywhere near Earth. The three Bayerns and the four Lexingtons were in London studying the alien jump gate while two European Invincibles and an Audacious class scout were in orbit of Washington II. Every other warship, including the four Russian Moskva class destroyers, was in Mars orbit. In fact, other than the Asian and Japanese fleets, the only warships close to Earth were the two South American Valdivia class cruisers. One of the two USAN ships left orbit and began shadowing the Asian fleet at approximately a million kilometres. Desperate to be able to follow events, President Farrell ordered the only Ticonderoga class planetary defence centre on Earth to bring its powerful Guardian active sensor online. The Guardian was huge and mounted only in the Ticonderoga and its two sister bases on Mars. With a forty million kilometre range and a resolution enabling it to detect ships as small as 2000 tons across that entire range, it was ideal for monitoring the developing situation. The drawback was that it revealed the PDC's location.

Twenty minutes after the departure of the Federation fleet, it was thirteen point four million kilometres from the Japanese fleet and its intention was unmistakably to run down the Alliance warships, perhaps to attack them or perhaps just force them away from Earth. They were leaving the Japanese little choice but to either open fire, and thus become the aggressors in a new war, or allow the Asian fleet into active sensor range and hope they didn't open fire. At this point, the four largest Asian ships engaged their own active sensors. Passive earth-based sensors fed the new information into the computers at US Space Command and its European and Russian equivalents, showing that the unknown ships had sensors with very short-range, only 160,000 km at most, and a resolution that would allow them to track incoming missiles. The only explanation was that the mystery ships were some form of anti-missile escort vessel, which triggered great concern among the Western militaries as to their effectiveness. While the European Union had built the three railgun-armed Trafalgar class escorts, they relied on weight of fire rather than accuracy, and the first two Tribal class escorts with their anti-missile missiles were still three months away. The US had no dedicated escort vessels. If the Asian Federation had developed an effective anti-missile system it would have a profound effect on the balance of power.

Around the world, military and political leaders in many nations watched sensor displays, waiting to see how the Japanese would react. Forty-five minutes after the crisis began, they got their answer. The Federation fleet was three point six million kilometres from Earth, with the Japanese ships thirteen point two million kilometres further out, when monitoring stations detected a frantic shout on an open channel in Mandarin that the fleet was under missile attack. Fifteen seconds later, one of the Asian Jiangwei class cruisers dropped off allied sensor displays and was replaced by a wreck marker. At European Fleet Headquarters in Brussels, Admiral Rafaele Perti commented to one of his aides that there was no immediate need for concern over the Asian anti-missile system.

Forty-five seconds after the loss of the Jiangwei, a second Jiangwei fell out of formation, reduced to 1071 km/s. This time Admiral Perti looked a little more concerned. The Asian fleet was out of range of the Kongo class destroyers but it was likely that all six Kongo II-Bs were attacking and possibly the four Nagatos as well, if they were missile-armed. Even if just the Kongos were attacking, the fact the Jiangwei had survived with what appeared to be reasonably light damage was very interesting indeed. The admiral performed some quick mental calculations. The Kongo was believed to have four launchers and the Kongo II-B was almost fifty percent larger, so six launchers seemed reasonable or maybe five to allow for larger electronic systems. That meant salvos of at least thirty Japanese missiles and possibly more, yet somehow the Jiangwei was still there. Perhaps the Asian Federation had a better anti-missile system than he first believed. He just wished that a European ship was close enough to monitor what was really happening almost four million kilometres out in space.

Another forty-five seconds passed and another Jiangwei fell out of formation, this time reduced to 714 km/s. The Asian Federation ships were getting battered but it was taking a lot more firepower to do it than Admiral Perti would have considered possible. The two damaged Jiangweis suddenly came about and headed back toward Earth, leaving the rest of the fleet continuing to close on the Japanese. Assuming the 5200 ton ships were anti-missile escorts, which appeared increasingly likely, then the last three Jiangwei's were the only remaining Asian missile ships and it didn't seem likely they could inflict sufficient damage on the Japanese, even if they survived to get into range. Although Admiral Perti regarded the Federation as a hostile power, he didn't think it was led by idiots so, despite their new point defence, the actions of the Federation fleet made little sense. Unless some ulterior motive was involved.

A shout from one of the sensor operators monitoring near Earth space, quickly followed by an apology for his unprofessional outburst, drew the Admiral's attention. Fourteen Asian planetary defence centres had lit up their active sensors. Three were known Jianghu class meson-armed bases but the other eleven of them were previously undetected bases and four of the new bases had the same sensors as the Kaifeng class escorts. Suddenly, Admiral Perti knew what was about to happen. Before he could speak, the same operator reported ICBM launches from three Asian missile complexes. The Admiral's heart stopped for a moment before the operator confirmed all targets were inside the Japanese Alliance. The results would be cataclysmic but at least the attack was not directed at his own country. His horror grew when the sensor operator reported that the thirty missiles appeared to be US-designed Zeus ICBMs with strength-25 warheads. He knew the US would not have passed on technical information on its most powerful missile to the Asian Federation, which meant that Asian spies had stolen the blueprints. Despite the frantic reports and his own mind racing through the implications, the time from launch of the Trans-Newtonian ICBMs to impact with their targets was only ten seconds. It was the longest ten seconds of the Admiral's life. Three Japanese meson-armed PDCs, ill-equipped for anti-missile combat, did their best to shoot down the attacking ICBMs and to their eternal credit they hit three, which was three more than anyone would have expected of them. That left twenty-seven.

The targets of the Asian ICBMs were Japanese ground units ready to defend their country against a feared Asian invasion. The Japanese Alliance Army comprised fifteen divisions, including a heavy assault division, three mobile infantry division and four garrison divisions, supported by a headquarters unit and several low tech divisions. Every last one was wiped out. Multi-megaton warheads are not precision weapons and the collateral damage from the colossal thermo-nuclear bombardment was immense. The list of destroyed Japanese installations included fifty-eight construction factories, seventy-three mines, three automated mines, ten ordnance factories, seven fuel refineries, seven maintenance facilities, a research facility, the Alliance Naval Academy and a slipway from each of the two Japanese shipyards. Long afterwards scientists would calculate that the amount of dust thrown into the atmosphere from the initial Asian attack would be enough to lower the temperature of the entire planet by two and a half degrees. However, the war was not yet over.

Without waiting for authorisation from his Prime Minister, Tai-Sho Yamahata Takakazu, commander of the Alliance military, ordered the six Japanese missile complexes to retaliate against Asian ground forces. While he had no initial casualty reports, the strength of the Asian attack suggested that his own country was now defenceless against Asian ground attack. The best way to prevent that attack was to eliminate the ability of the Asian Federation to mount it. With no Trans-Newtonian ICBMs in their inventory, the Japanese Alliance had armed their old pre-Trans-Newtonian missile complexes with copies of the European Rapier anti-ship missile. It had only a strength-3 warhead, which was almost insignificant compared to the Asian ICBMs, but it was fast and it was available.

Admiral Perti watched the retaliatory Japanese launch with little surprise but growing concern. Events were quickly spinning out of control and he had no idea where they might eventually lead. His surprise grew considerably when the Japanese missiles were identified. Obviously the Japanese had enjoyed similar success to their neighbours in penetrating Western security. As the Japanese missiles streaked toward their targets, four of the new PDCs engaged them with fast-tracking quadruple meson turrets. Each base mounted four quad turrets, for a total of sixty-four meson cannon. They were backed up by four more PDCs, each of which mounted five meson cannon without turrets and were therefore far less effective. The remaining six PDCs, all of which were of the familiar Jianghu design, attacked and destroyed the three Japanese meson-armed PDCs.

A total of sixty Rapiers were fired by the Japanese bases. The Kaga-3, which was the best Japanese-designed anti-ship missile in service, had a speed of 11,700 km/s and was the standard by which the Asian anti-missile defences had been designed. Each quad turret and its accompanying fire control could track targets at up to 9600 km/s without any degradation in accuracy. Against the Kaga-3, their accuracy was diminished only a fraction but the European-designed and Japanese-acquired Rapier had a speed of 18,700 km/s. The Asian defences shot down twenty-three missiles and would have fared much better against the expected Kaga-3, probably reducing the Japanese retaliation to little more than an annoyance. Instead, thirty-seven missiles reached their targets. Eighteen different Asian divisions suffered casualties but the warheads on the Rapiers were nothing compared to the vast destructive power of the Zeus ICBMs. Only one Asian division suffered greater than fifty percent losses. Although collateral damage was far less than that caused by the Asian first strike, it was still sufficient to destroy twenty-four factories and twenty-five mining complexes.

Watching the rapidly escalating Asian-Japanese war in East Asia with fascinated horror, Admiral Perti had almost forgotten there was a naval battle in progress. A sensor operator watching the feed from the European Vanguard PDC and a separate relay from the American Ticonderoga PDC reported that a second Jiangwei class cruiser had been destroyed by the Japanese fleet. Admiral Perti checked the location of the Japanese ships and realised they were seventeen million kilometres away, outside the range at which they could influence events on Earth. The actions of the Asian fleet began to make sense. Without knowing the Japanese had the Rapier missile, the Asian leadership probably estimated that they could wipe out the Alliance ground forces, destroy most of the retaliatory strike from Japanese ground bases and then handle any missiles fired by Japanese warships. If the Japanese fleet had been close to Earth, the combined weight of fire from ships and bases would have been far harder to defend against. Losing several warships would have seemed a small price to pay to conquer the Japanese Alliance. Unlike the other powers, the Asian Federation had built up its ground forces and PDCs even at the expense of its naval forces, concentrating on winning the next war on Earth, rather than in space. With no knowledge of jump points that made a certain amount of sense and for the first time Admiral Perti wondered if concealing the existence of jump points from the Federation had been a wise decision.

While he was pondering Asian strategy and motivations, the war continued. The fourteen Asian meson-armed PDCs attacked the six Japanese missile bases and a Kongo class destroyer undergoing an overhaul, rapidly destroying all seven targets. Based on the information he had available, Admiral Perti believed that not a single Japanese military installation or combat unit remained on Earth or in close orbit. Fourteen Japanese warships, a single Hosho class geological survey ship and the civilian freighters and colony ships making the run to Mercury were all that remained. The wounded but still very functional Asian ground forces prepared to overrun undefended Alliance territory but before that happen they had to withstand whatever the Japanese fleet could throw at them. Western sensors now showed the remaining undamaged Federation warships reversing course and heading back toward Earth to shelter under the protection of the anti-missile PDCs, leaving life pods in their wake.

A third Jiangwei vanished as the Japanese missiles penetrated the Asian defence. Given the range at which allied sensors were watching and their resolution, it was impossible to tell if the Japanese were using Rapiers or their own anti-ship missiles, as something as small as a missile could not be detected. Whatever they were using, it was proving effective. The last undamaged Jiangwei suddenly slowed to 357 km/s, indicating severe damage. As minutes passed without any further losses, the three damaged Jiangwei's fell astern of the six Luda class destroyers and four Kaifeng class escorts that were heading for Earth. Admiral Perti realised the Japanese fleet had fired six salvos, presumably with the intention of sending one against each Federation missile-armed warship, before ceasing fire to await the results. There could already be follow-up salvos on their way.

On board the Japanese flagship Mutsu, Sho-sa Lana Fajardo Nazario, commander of the First Striking Force, tried unsuccessfully to contain her rage. Despite the shame of surrendering her first fleet command during the Mars Incident, she had recently been promoted from Dai-I and given command of the most powerful Alliance fleet in its short history. Since that surrender, when many of her fellow officers believed she should have fought to the death regardless of any chance of victory, she had become desperate to expunge the dishonour that she now believed stained her record, especially as some of the Japanese members of the Alliance military looked no further than her Filipino ancestry in their estimate of her capabilities. When the order came through from Alliance Space Navy Headquarters to engage the Federation fleet, she had eagerly taken the opportunity to finally put the Mars Incident behind her. Three Asian cruisers were now destroyed and three more were damaged and being left behind by the rest of the Federation ships. It should have been a famous victory but the Asian ICBM attack had slaughtered over twenty million Alliance citizens, including Nazario's own family in Manila, now a radioactive wasteland. She wanted vengeance.

New missile salvos were already streaking toward the three damaged cruisers but she intended to hold back as much of her arsenal as possible to strike back against Asian cities. Each of her four Kongo class destroyers was carrying thirty-seven Kaga-3 anti-ship missiles while each of the six Kongo II-Bs, the only Japanese ships that had fired so far, had either twenty-five or thirty remaining Kaga-3s plus ten Kaga-2 bombardment missiles, much slower than the anti-ship missiles but with strength-6 warheads. The four Nagato class ships, including her own Mutsu, had one hundred Rapiers each and could fire them in salvos of fifty missiles. The civilian leadership of the Alliance was in complete disarray after the massive Asian attack and several senior members, including the Prime Minister, had been killed when Federation missiles struck bases bear Tokyo. Tai-Sho Yamahata Takakazu and other senior military officers were either dead or out of communication after the destruction of the Alliance PDCs. For the moment, Nazario was operating alone.

Three five-missile salvos were enough to destroy the damaged Asian cruisers, bereft of the protection from the Kaifengs. Sho-sa Nazario then transferred all the Kaga-2 bombardment missiles from her Kongo II-Bs to a pair of Kongos and detached them with orders to destroy the Asian comet mining colony and wipe out any civilian ships they located en route. While it would reduce the force she could take to Earth, she was well aware the mining colony was of considerable importance to the Asian Federation. The Kaga-2 bombardment missiles with their low speed would be easy targets for the new Federation point defence systems and it would be difficult to coordinate strikes with the faster anti-ship missiles. However, they would be perfect for dealing with slow-moving freighters and undefended mining complexes. The Kaga-3s from the detached Kongos were transferred to the Kongo II-B, bringing all but one up to forty missiles each.

With their superior speed, the surviving Asian Federation warships had already moved outside Japanese missile range and arrived in Earth orbit at 09:05 on November 5th where they took up position to counter any Japanese missile attack. The Japanese fleet moved within missile range twenty minutes later but Sho-sa Nazario was in no hurry. With the Jiangweis out of the picture and no active Asian sensors with a range of more than four million kilometers, she wanted to get closer so she could launch a concentrated strike. At 11:10, with her ships just six point five million kilometers from Earth, she halted the fleet. Her problem was that the two different types of missiles in her fleet made a coordinated attack very difficult, even after unloading the slow Kaga-2s. Rapier anti-ship missiles had a speed of 18,700 km/s while Kaga-3 anti-ship missiles traveled at 11,700 km/. Therefore she decided to launch several waves of Kaga-3s and two hundred Rapiers at a waypoint just outside the orbit of the Moon, and also outside the range at which the Asian sensors could detect missiles. Once the later waves had caught up, the entire missile wave would be released to attack the Asian Federation.

The conundrum for the Japanese tactical officers was that the six Kongo II-Bs could launch thirty missiles every forty-five seconds and the two Kongos still with the fleet could launch eight more every ninety seconds. The Nagatos could launch two hundred missiles between them but had only one reload and that would take fifteen minutes. The Kaga-3 and the Rapier both had a range of fifteen million kilometers but the Rapier could cover that distance in thirteen minutes compared to twenty-one for the Kaga-3. In this case the range was much shorter and many of the missiles would be burning fuel as they waited at the waypoint but it gave the tactical officers a timeframe in which to operate. The Kongo II-Bs could fire off all their missiles in six minutes and with a travel time of only nine and a half minutes for the six point five million kilometer trip, that meant that all of them could easily be assembled at the waypoint within their twenty-one minute endurance. The trick was then getting the first wave of Rapiers to the waypoint at the right time. If they launched with the first wave of Kaga-3s, they would be out of fuel by the time the last Kaga-3s arrived so they had to launch last. Ideally, Sho-sa Nazario would have liked all her Rapiers in one attack but with a thirteen minute endurance and a fifteen minute reload time that just wasn't possible. She had also considered unloading all the Rapiers to the Kongo II-Bs so she could use them all at once but she wanted to retain the faster missiles for a smaller follow-up strike and use the slower Kaga-3s while she had weight of numbers on her side.

When the final missile wave was assembled just short of the Moon, it included two hundred Rapiers and two hundred and seventy-nine Kaga-3s. Sho-sa Nazario gave the order and the tsunami of missiles burst on to Asian sensors. The Federation had four Kaifeng class cruisers, each with a pair of quad 10cm meson cannon turrets, in orbit and four Jinan class PDCs, each with four quad turrets on the ground. Both designs were dedicated missile-killers. They were backed up by six Luda class destroyers and ten more PDCs with a total of sixty-two more meson cannon but limited anti-missile capabilities. Even as the Asian defences started firing, the Asian leadership was trying to find someone in authority within the Alliance so they could demand their surrender and get them to call off the missile attack. Unfortunately, their own ICBM attack had been too effective and the Alliance government was in chaos. Within a few hours, the Alliance would have sorted out the question of succession and been able to respond but a few hours may as well have been a few years.

The Asian defences did their best but destroyed only forty-four Japanese missiles. Four hundred and thirty-five separate mushroom clouds rose over the cities and industrial complexes of the Asian Federation causing devastation beyond imagination. One hundred and thirty million civilians were killed and eighty percent of Asian industry was obliterated. Four hundred construction factories, three hundred mines, eleven of their sixteen research facilities, all of their shipyard facilities, the naval academy, the civilian space centre, both ground force training facilities, both tracking stations, fifty ordnance factories, thirty fuel refineries and seventeen maintenance facilities. In a moment of cataclysmic destruction, the Asian Federation was reduced to a third rate power. However, it was a third rate power that still had access to a powerful nuclear arsenal.

The Asian leadership was deep within one of their missiles complexes, hidden within a mountain. Unlike the Alliance leadership they had known war was imminent but they had not dreamed the Japanese response would be so devastating, or that the Alliance would launch an attack that almost guaranteed its own annihilation in response. Now the leadership was torn between whether to use its missiles to wipe out the  Alliance or carry out their original plan to capture its industry. The President of the Federation was in favour of a ground offensive that could salvage something from the catastrophe but the Premier of the State Council, Chairman of the Central Military Commission and the Chairman of the National People's Congress wanted immediate vengeance and the total destruction of the Alliance. The rest of the politburo was choosing sides and the argument had been raging for twenty minutes when Sho-sa Nazario's second strike arrived.

This time she sent the second wave of Rapiers from her four Nagatos straight to their targets, not bothering to make use of the thirty-four Kaga-3s that remained on her two Kongos. Forty-two were shot down. The rest completed the destruction of the Asian Federation's industrial power. Another fifty million civilians died and every last industrial complex was leveled. Not a single intact mine or factory remained anywhere within Federation territory. Sho-sa Lana Fajardo Nazario surveyed her handiwork with a mixture of horror and cold rage. She had avenged her country and her family and killed almost two hundred million people in the process. Unable to return home due to the still functioning Federation defences, she ordered her ships out of the inner system and toward the Asian mining colony while she considered her options.

The second strike triggered a brief armed conflict within the PDC housing the Federation leadership. Accusing the President of leading his own country into disaster, the Chairman of the National People's Congress, Zhau Wu Kang, declared he was taking control for the good of the Party and the country. He was backed by the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, who effectively controlled the Army. At his signal, soldiers entered the politburo chamber to arrest the President. The President's bodyguards resisted and a fire fight ensued, during which the President and several bodyguards were killed. Zhau Wu Kang was an ambitious, skilled and ruthless politician who had long resented being beaten to the top by the recently deceased President. He knew how to wield the levers of power within the Asian Federation and was prepared to do anything to achieve his personal objectives. What he lacked was any real understanding of foreign affairs or military strategy. In any event, he had gained power by condemning the President's lack of retaliation against the Alliance so his first act was to order a launch from three more missile complexes, targeting their Zeus ICBMs on Alliance economic and industrial targets. The Japanese Alliance had no military capability left on Earth or in near orbit and was completely helpless against the massive destructive power of the thirty ICBMs. Another seventy-five million people died and the entire industrial capacity of the Alliance was wiped out.

Across the globe, civilian and military leaders in other nations had watched as the events of the last few hours had escalated completely out of control with terrifying speed. Almost three hundred million were dead, dwarfing the death toll of any war in history, and two major nations were little more than radioactive rubble. The background radiation level around the world was growing rapidly and an immense amount of dust had been thrown into the atmosphere. At European Fleet Headquarters in Brussels, Admiral Perti's staff was quickly calculating the effects of the thermonuclear exchange and the news wasn't good. The radiation level was bad enough. People were going to start dying from radiation sickness, a lot of people, and not just those in the countries that had suffered direct attack. Even worse was the amount of dust in the atmosphere. The best guess of the scientists was that the global temperature would drop by as much as thirty degrees over the next few days and that was going to kill even more people than the radiation. Even after the immediate death toll, the global population was expected to shrink by as much as fifteen percent over the next twelve months. In hurried telephone conversations, world leaders agreed that their industry would have to be devoted to building the same kind of infrastructure that was necessary for surviving extreme planetary environments. Earth had just become a hostile world.

In the Asian Federation and the Japanese Alliance, even that was not an option as they had no industry. The Japanese Alliance was completely shattered and had no way to defend against any further attack or any kind. Sho-sa Nazario's fleet was intact but had few missiles remaining and she intended to use at least half of those to eliminate the Asian comet mining colony. The Asian Federation still had its meson-armed warships and all its meson-armed PDCs plus six more missile bases armed with Zeus ICBMs and a further thirty Zeus and two hundred Agni-10 ICBMs in reserve, although it would take twenty-four hours to load them into the missile complexes that had already fired. The newly appointed President Zhau Wu Kang still intended to go ahead with the ground attack on the Japanese Alliance even though there was no industry to capture. He believed there would still be resources to loot amid the devastation. In the meantime he had to confront the problems of a country in ruins. A galling situation for the proud new President, especially as the Western powers and Russia had been unaffected by the war and now had a huge advantage over the Federation. Several of the more hawkish politburo members suggested using the remaining Asian arsenal against those countries to bring them down to the same level. They could hardly inflict more damage on the Federation than it had already received. President Zhau was struck by the simplicity of the idea. The Federation still had a population of over three billion, more than the combined population of the other major powers, and the Chinese thought in the long term. By removing the industrial advantages of the West, the Federation could rebuild from a stronger base. The radiation and low temperatures that his scientific advisors believed would take years to subside would affect everyone equally. As his mind ran through the scenario, he realised that an alternative was to use the same tactic against the West as against the Japanese. By targeting and destroying their ground forces, the Federation could overrun any remaining industry with its own forces and the soft Western leaders would not bombard Asian ground forces attacking their own territory for fear of collateral damage. He ordered his military to reload three of the empty missile complexes with the reserve Zeus ICBMs and the other three with older Agni-10s then carry out the invasion of Alliance territory. Once that was completed, they would turn their attention to the West.

Twelve hours after the second Asian nuclear attack on the Alliance, the military leadership of the countries that would make up the future Terran Commonwealth met by video-link from secure locations. Fleet Admiral Roberta Armenta Rentería, Fleet Admiral Tyler Morrison and Marshal Helen Belkin agreed to keep in constant contact over the forthcoming days as they attempted to deal with the desperate circumstances on Earth. Their primary concern was that the Asian Federation might be desperate enough to lash out at the West rather than be left behind, especially now the news of President Zhau Wu Kang's ascension had been made public knowledge. A large allied task group was already en route to Mercury, which was currently between Earth and Mars, in case the already grave situation got even worse. As the European Union already had two Barrack class PDCs that would provide shelter for twelve divisions against any Asian missile attack,  the other two allied nations dispatched their own heavy assault divisions to Europe to seek their protection.

In the meantime, a decision had to be made whether to pre-empt any potential Asian action. The locations of all fourteen Asian PDCs had been pinpointed, as had the six missile complexes that had already fired. All ten known Asian warships were in Earth orbit. A strike by the allied missile bases on Earth could eliminate all those targets plus the Asian ground forces but not without increasing the radiation and dust levels and inviting an almost inevitable Asian response. The huge drawbacks to attempting such an attack were obvious but if the attack was not launched, the Federation might reload the missile bases, launch an even larger strike and move its ground forces into one of the allied nations, probably Russia, so that taking them out would result in collateral damage. The choices were attack now and accept huge damage or hold back and hope the Asian Federation would not lash out in desperation, in which case the damage would be greater still. The likely actions of President Zhau Wu Kang were the key to the decision and the available intelligence suggested he was capable of just about anything. The three commanders presented a report to their political leadership with a recommendation that an attack should be launched on the Asian Federation within the next six hours, before the Asian missile bases could be reloaded.

President Farrell of the United States and President Manfred Steiner of the European Union were horrified at the suggestion that they should initiate a new nuclear war with hundreds of millions already dead and several hundred million more expected to die over the next few months. President Vladimir Vorokov of the Russian Federation took a more pragmatic view. He had met President Zhau while he was Chairman of the National People's Congress and agreed with the intelligence estimates of his likely actions. While striking first was an crime against humanity, it would be a greater crime to stand back and allow the Asian Federation to strike first. He voted to attack. The other two Presidents voted against, refusing to believe that Zhau Wu Kang would start a new war after his country had taken such grievous losses. The military leaders did not agree but they lived in democracies and abided by civilian decisions. President Vorokov accepted the majority vote and despite not being a religious man he prayed that the Western leaders were right.

The Asian Federation's invasion of Japanese Alliance territory began on November 6th. With no military resistance possible, the Asian divisions quickly spread across Korea and Taiwan and by the 8th they were landing in Japan and the Philippines. While no organised military forces existed, the local populace was very hostile and the invading forces found it difficult to quell the resistance. The newly appointed Japanese Prime Minister refused to surrender his country and appealed to the West for aid, even if that meant further nuclear strikes on Alliance territory. President Zhau's military advisors informed him that due to the losses on Asian ground forces inflicted by the strike from the Japanese land-based missiles, those forces were no longer of sufficient strength to force the surrender of the surviving Alliance population, estimated at four hundred and sixty-three million. However the Asian losses were being replaced and the Alliance population was being reduced by the radiation and the freezing temperatures so they believed a surrender was inevitable. The President was outraged that his army could not conquer a virtually defenceless enemy and it did not bode well for the chances of subduing the West, especially as his country lacked the ability to build new divisions.

In Europe, the United States and Russia, civilian deaths due to the horrific conditions that now existed over most of the globe were running at an estimated one million per day. Infrastructure was being built but the population was huge and the rate of construction less than seventy percent of normal due to problems caused by working with such a high level of background radiation. Each day enough infrastructure was produced to protect a few hundred thousand but the combined population of the three countries was one point seven billion and that didn't include the occupied Islamic territories. Colony ships were being used to transport people to Washington II and the relative safety of Mars but there were nowhere near enough ships. Europe had a single Mayflower class colony ship with a capacity of 50,000 and the four small Santa Marias that could carry 10,000 colonists each. The United States had six Alaskas with a combined capacity of 300,000 and the Russians had two Karas that could carry 50,000 each plus four civilian colony ships of a similar design. Even combined, the ships could only transport about half a million and it required over a week just for the round trip to Mars. With the problems the Asian Federation was having in subduing the Alliance population, plus the request for aid from the Japanese Prime Minister, the Western and Russian military leaders feared what President Zhau might do and again urged their civilian leaders to consider a pre-emptive strike against the Asian Federation. The allied fleet was now in a fourteen million kilometre orbit of Earth and its weapons could be added to the attack. Once again those recommendations were backed by President Vorokov and dismissed by the two Western Presidents. Their focus was on helping their people survive the nightmare that had been thrust upon them and they had no intention of starting a new war.

With a civilian government functioning again within Alliance territory, the new Prime Minister contacted Sho-sa Nazario, who had just taken her ships through the asteroid belt and was heading for the Asian mining colony on a comet located between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus. The Prime Minister was privately appalled by Nazario's unilateral act of massive retaliation but knew he had to handle his last military asset very carefully. He instructed her to proceed to the mining colony but hold back from destroying it while he negotiated with the Asian Federation. For a moment he though she would refuse but then she saluted and acknowledged the order. He then contacted President Zhau and insisted that he remove his forces from Alliance territory and declare a ceasefire. In return, he promised to spare the comet mining colony and  preserve the last of the Federation's Trans-Newtonian industry. President Zhau informed the Prime Minister that within a few days he and his cabinet would be tried as war criminals and executed, then he cut the connection.

By November 15th, ten days after the Federation - Alliance war began, the Federation ground forces had still not successfully forced the Alliance to surrender, despite occupying much of its territory, and President Zhau was becoming increasingly frustrated and extremely short-tempered. If his military could not conquer an undefended and irradiated land, how could he expect to prevail against the hated West. After remaining up all night with his advisors, he decided to revert to his original plan and destroy the industry of the other powers so that the Asian Federation could begin to rebuild on an equal footing. Several of those advisors tried to talk him out of such a drastic step, pointing out that the Earth could be rendered virtually uninhabitable by another nuclear exchange and that whatever happened, the Western colonies on Mars would survive intact. He had them taken out and summarily shot. One hour later, the Asian Federation launched a war that would plunge the Earth into the darkest period in human history, both literally and metaphorically.

The twelve Asian missile bases had a total of ninety Zeus ICBMs with strength-25 warheads and thirty Agni-10s with strength-6 warheads. Based on the relative industrial strengths of the other powers, The United States and the European Union were each targeted by forty Zeus ICBMs, the remaining ten Zeus plus ten Agni-10s were fired at Russia and the other twenty Agni-10s were launched against South America. While the Asian Federation had no particular quarrel with the USAN, President Zhau was not prepared to leave any power intact. One hundred and ninety Agni-10s remained in reserve and these would be loaded into the missile bases as soon as possible. The Asian meson-armed PDCs opened fire on the two old Russian Krivak class recon satellites, the four Russian Sovremenny class PDCs, the American Ticonderoga class PDC and the European Vanguard class PDC.

The sudden launch from the Asian missiles complexes was detected instantly across the world as all nations still had their active sensors engaged. Western and Russian military leaders, who had feared the dangerously unpredictable President Zhau might launch a suicidal war once his nation's dire situation became apparent were all safely in hidden PDCs or missile complexes. As too was President Vorokov, who had led his country for the past two weeks from a missile complex in Siberia. President Farrell was in Washington and President Steiner of the EU was in Brussels. Both died without even knowing their countries were under attack, as did almost all the Western political leadership. With only ten seconds between launch and impact, only those already underground were safe.

Immense thermo-nuclear explosions blasted the world into radioactive ruin, lighting up the entire atmosphere and smashing cities that had stood for hundreds of years in an instant. New York, London, Paris, Moscow, Berlin, Buenos Aires and countless others vanished in nuclear fire. Immediate casualties exceeded a hundred million in the United States, a similar number in Europe, thirty million in Russia and twelve million in South America. Industry across the globe suffered massive damage, particularly in the West, but President Zhau failed in his attempt to wipe it out entirely. Within the future Commonwealth countries, industrial losses included almost fourteen hundred factories and mines, twenty-six research facilities and three complete shipyards and several other slipways, unfortunately including all those building colony ships. Even so, almost half their original industry survived for the moment. Tactical surprise was total and the allied PDCs targeted by the Asian Federation were all destroyed without firing back.

Stunned and appalled by the devastation, but not surprised, President Vorokov attempted to contact the governments of the United States and the European Union but could find no-one to take his call. Instead he contacted the military leaders of all three allied nations in a joint conference call and asked Fleet Admiral Rentería and Fleet Admiral Morrison if they were in contact with any civilian authorities. Their headquarters were in chaos and they too could not find any senior government officials within their own countries. Fleet Admiral Morrison remarked acidly that even if they could figure out who was still alive within the order of succession, he wasn't sure the Secretary of Agriculture would be the ideal person to lead his nation under the current circumstances. Realising an historic moment was upon him, President Vorokov reminded the allied admirals that within eight months their countries would be joining together. He asked them if they could accept a rather shorter timescale for the formation of the Commonwealth, such as right now. Would they follow his orders as the senior elected official within any of the three allied governments until the current crisis was past and formal elections could be organised? Morrison and Rentería asked for a few moments and them conferred privately. When they re-entered the conference call, they both saluted and informed President Vorokov that as the senior officers of the Commonwealth armed forces, they awaited his orders. He ordered them to use whatever means were necessary to destroy all military forces of the Asian Federation. He also asked all three senior military officers to use their forces to commandeer any surviving broadcast facilities within the US, Europe and Russia and inform the public of the situation, including the fact the three countries were now working as one to defeat the Federation and save as many Commonwealth lives as possible.

The first task of the Commonwealth armed forces was to eliminate all Asian warships, PDCs and missile complexes. As they had no meson-armed units to accomplish this, a brute force approach had to be used. Six Scharnhorst class missile cruisers opened fire from fourteen million kilometers away with Sabre anti-ship missiles, firing waves of forty-eight missiles every forty-five seconds. Their first target was two of the four Kaifeng anti-missile cruisers, each of which was targeted by twenty-four missiles. With all four Kaifengs firing their own quad turrets and supported by the PDCs on the planet below, they proved a difficult target. Fourteen missiles from the first wave scored hits and only one of those penetrated armour. As the second wave of missiles closed in, the Scharnhorsts concentrated their fire on a single target. Eleven more missiles hit, blasting through the damaged armour and wrecking both quad turrets. The third salvo blew the cruiser apart and the Scharnhorsts changed targets to the other Kaifeng that suffered hits from the first salvo..

Only nine missiles in total from the fourth and fifth salvos penetrated Asian defences but the second cruiser died when hit fourteen time by the sixth. A third cruiser died after eight salvos and the last Kaifeng vanished from allied sensors after the tenth. Four hundred and eighty top of the line anti-ship missiles had been needed to destroy four Asian ships and only three more salvos were inbound from the Scharnhorsts, which now had empty magazines. On orders from Fleet Admiral Rentería, those salvos ignored the six Luda class destroyers in orbit and streaked toward the first of the Jinan class PDCs. She was determined to eliminate the highly effective Asian anti-missile capabilities. Unfortunately, each missile that was used against the well-armoured PDCs increased the already catastrophic radiation and dust levels on Earth but there was little choice. Once the Asian Federation was defeated, the Commonwealth could turn its attention to saving lives but in the short term victory was more important than environmental concerns, however serious they might be. Fifteen Sabres struck the mountain under which the first Jinan was located and penetrated far enough to take out one of its four turrets. The second salvo completed the job, blowing the top clean off the mountain and leaving nothing but a smoking crater. The last salvo from the Scharnhorsts was directed against three Asian missile complexes, obliterating them all. The pre-Trans-Newtonian bases were far less well protected than their modern counterparts.

With the Scharnhorsts out of missiles, it was the turn of the ten American-built Flight III Arleigh Burkes, each one of which carried one hundred and thirty-three Trident missiles and could fire them in salvos of eight. The Trident had the same strength-4 warhead as the Sabre, despite being only two-thirds the size of the European missile, but it was shorter-ranged and slower which made it an easier target for the Asian point defence system and was the reason the Commonwealth admirals decided to use the Scharnhorsts first. Despite their slower speed, the waves of eighty missiles overwhelmed the rapidly diminishing numbers of Asian point defence systems and the first three waves took out the last three Jinans. The Arleigh Burkes were each assigned one of the remaining ten Asian PDCs with orders to engage the Luda class destroyers once their targeted PDC was destroyed, then take out the surviving missile bases and use any remaining missiles against the Asian ground forces in Japanese territory. By the time the ninth wave of Trident missiles had arrived, every Asian PDC, warship and missile base had been annihilated and the Asian ground units had been severely battered with several divisions wiped out entirely. Eleven million Japanese citizens had been killed during the bombardment of the invading Asian army. Fleet Admiral Rentería ordered he ships to self-destruct the missiles still inbound towards the Earth.

President Vorokov and his military commanders would have preferred to finish off the Asian ground forces by bombardment but the assault on the Asian Federation had inflicted significant additional damage on the biosphere. The scientists monitoring the situation now reported that radiation levels on Earth were so high that the surviving industry would be operating at barely twenty percent of its full capacity. The dust that was now blocking out the sun entirely had started a period of eternal night that would last for years and reduce global temperatures to fifty degrees below zero. The whole world would endure an Antarctic winter all year round. The best estimates were that seventy-five percent of the Earth's surviving population would be dead inside a year and within two years barely one in twenty people would still be alive. Radiation levels would not return to their pre-war levels until the early years of the twenty-second century. To deal with the remaining Asian ground forces, President Vorokov directed his military commanders to send the combined ground forces of the Commonwealth into what was left of the Asian Federation. That meant abandoning the occupied Islamic territory but a revolt in that region of the world was now the least of the Commonwealth's problems. The Asian forces were forced to pull back from their attack on the Japanese Alliance and defend their own territory. Once that operation was underway, the President finally had time to review the status of the Commonwealth and its surviving assets.
 
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Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 6
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2008, 08:35:56 AM »
Within the territory of the Commonwealth, which included Europe, the Russian Federation, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Israel, an estimated 1460m people were still alive. The combined Martian population was forty-one million and the US/European colonies on Washington II totalled twelve point seven million. The remaining economic assets are shown below. The figures for Earth were deceiving as they suggested a reasonable production capacity remained from the remnants of the three founding powers of the Commonwealth. However, the radiation reduced the effectiveness of that capacity considerably and it would not be long before the population was reduced beyond the point where the installations could be effectively manned. The future of the Commonwealth lay on Washington II, and to a lesser extent Mars. Only there could a new industrial base be established by transferring mines and factories from Earth and building new shipyards. The problem was manpower. The small existing colonies could not provide enough so the population would have to be transferred from Earth. It would be a slow process with the limited number of colony ships and irradiated shipyards that could only build new ships very slowly.

Earth
Population: 1462m
Wealth: 8032 (reduced due to radiation)
Shipyards: 8 / 14
Research Facilities: 31
Construction Factories: 715
Mines: 769
Automated Mines: 117
Ordnance Factories: 111
Fuel Refineries: 70
Maintenance Facilities: 11
GFTF: 4
Financial Centre: 8

Mars
Population: 41.5m
Wealth: 1046
Shipyards: 1 / 1
Research Facilities: 2
Construction Factories: 83
Mines: 3
Automated Mines: 32
Maintenance Facilities: 74
Terraforming Installations: 12

Washington II
Population: 12.7m
Wealth: 304
Construction Factories: 91
Mines: 57
Automated Mines: 8
Maintenance Facilities: 32

The situation in terms of shipping was much better. The fleets of the Commonwealth powers had survived the cataclysm intact and the order of battle for the new Commonwealth Navy was as follows:

Warships
6x CA Scharnhorst
10x DDG Arleigh Burke III
2x DDG Arleigh Burke
3x DE Trafalgar
4x DD Invincible
4x DD Moskva
4x DD Lexington
1x DD Kongo II
1x FF Bayern II
2x FF Bayern
4x SC Audacious

Planetary Defence Centres
3x PDC Guardian (Mars)
2x PDC Ticonderoga (Mars)
2x PDC Barrack
50x Missile Complex

Jump Ships
2x CJ Aragon
2x TJ Copenhagen
2x JF Nautilus

Survey Ships
2x GV Baltimore
2x GV Dunkerque
3x GEO Spruance
2x GEO Montcalm
2x GEO Udaloy

Freighters
8x FT Atlas
4x FT Portland
2x FT Sverdlov

Colony Ships
6x COL Alaska
4x COL Santa Maria
2x COL Kara
1x COL Mayflower

Realising there were other sources of ships that could boost his efforts to evacuate Earth, President Vorokov broadcast a message throughout the Sol system on the emergency channel, offering amnesty and a place on the Mars colony to the crews of any Asian Federation colony ships, freighters and geo survey vessels if they handed over their ships. He also offered to pay for any civilian ships if the owners were prepared to sell and to resettle those owners and their families on Mars. Ten Asian Yinchuan class freighters en route to the comet mining colony and three Xian class geo survey ships out in the Kuiper Belt accepted the offer of amnesty and Commonwealth Fleet Headquarters was contacted by the commanders of the two Asian mining ships requesting a similar deal. Several private sector companies from several different nations were only too eager to accept his offer to buy their ships. Over the next few days, the Commonwealth secured the use of seven more freighters and eight colony ships.

Next he turned his attention to the Japanese Alliance, particularly the group of warships that was last seen heading into the outer system. First he contacted the Japanese Prime Minister and apologised for the civilian casualties caused by the Commonwealth bombardment of Asian ground forces. The Prime Minister was grateful for the assistance and waved away the need for an apology. In such unprecedented times, the loss of two percent of the surviving Japanese population was seen as a price worth paying to prevent an Asian victory. President Vorokov asked if the Japanese intended destroying the Asian comet mining colony. If so, he asked that the mines be spared as they were a valuable resource needed if Humanity was going to survive the current crisis. In return, he promised to transfer twenty-five construction factories and twenty-five mines to the Japanese Alliance so they could try to save at least some of their population by building infrastructure. The Prime Minister pointed out the automated mines on the comet would still be under the control of the Asian Alliance, even if he could prevent their destruction. President Vorokov accepted that situation as he was confident he could eventually land ground forces on the comet and capture the mines. Sho-Sa Nazario was still reluctant to spare the Asian colony but could not bring herself to disobey a direct order from her Prime Minster. According to her personal code of conduct, obliterating the industry of the Asian Federation while she was out of contact and forced to act on her own was acceptable but now she was in contact with lawful civilian authority so she had to obey orders.

President Vorokov was aware of the past conversations between the now deceased President Farrell and the President of the USAN, Constantino Caldeira, regarding USAN access to the inner jump points. Now that the situation had so radically altered and there was no longer any need to keep jump points secret from the Asian Federation or the Japanese Alliance, President Vorokov contacted President Caldeira and bluntly informed him that the USAN Navy should keep out of the first five systems or his ships would be fired upon by the Commonwealth Navy. Vladimir Vorokov was well aware that President Farrell and President Steiner had both been strong advocates of a united human government and, had they lived, would very likely have asked both the Japanese Alliance and the USAN to join the Commonwealth in Mankind's darkest hour. He had no intention of making a similar offer, at least for the moment. The vast majority of the Earth's population was going to die over the next couple of years and, with all the goodwill in the world, only a fraction would be saved. He intended that fraction to be from his own country and from those nations that had stood with it. Once the situation had stabilised, whenever that might be, he would attempt to honour their legacy and bring all surviving humans into the Commonwealth.

That still left the question of the Tulan Confederation. The alien race in Vienna was still not prepared to reveal any more information about itself and the Commonwealth would certainly not be bringing the Tulan up to speed on recent events. Trade negotiations were going nowhere and President Vorokov shared the view of Lieutenant Commander Lamarliere that the Tulan were stalling for time, possibly because they were indeed at a pre-Trans-Newtonian level of development and were trying to conceal that fact while they  raced to catch up. A drastic option was to remove the problem by attacking and conquering the Tulan. However that solution was considerably more appealing before Humanity decided to try and wipe itself out. It would also be seriously embarrassing if the Tulan turned out to be powerful but shy. Besides, several of his senior scientists were concerned that missiles would not function in the Vienna nebula, which took away the primary weapon of the Commonwealth. All in all, the situation with the Tulan would have to remain as it was for the foreseeable future. There wasn't any realistic alternative. He just hoped that Humanity's current difficulties didn't give a potentially hostile but low-tech alien race the opportunity to become a major threat.

The ground invasion of the Asian Federation began on November 20th 2031. Commonwealth ground forces outnumbered their Asian opponents and the Asian divisions were still recovering from bombardment by both Japanese and Commonwealth missiles. The Asian army fought hard but was steadily forced back with heavy losses. President Zhau exhorted his army to defend the Federation against the Western invaders but the President was quickly becoming an irrelevance. He ruled over an desolate, irradiated nation of three billion with no industry, no space capability and a rapidly shrinking army. He was effectively powerless and had no way to save the vast Asian population from the deadly environment. His advisors and supporters slipped away one by one to try and save themselves or their families and the President was reduced to ordering non-existent divisions to fight a futile campaign.

On January 5th 2032, seven weeks after the Asian Federation launched its assault on the rest of the world, the last Asian division was run down and destroyed by Commonwealth ground forces. President Vorokov had no desire to occupy the Asian Federation; he just wanted to ensure that it was no longer any danger to any of the other powers on Earth. With that task complete, the Commonwealth ground forces withdrew. By then, the population of the Commonwealth on Earth had fallen by one hundred and fifty million. Less than six million had been transported to Mars and Washington II. Despite all of the many tasks requiring his attention, the President had also spent time consolidating his position. Within Europe and the United States, many junior politicians had argued against Vorokov's assumption of power without any formal elections and several had put themselves forward as the true leaders of various parts of the Commonwealth territory. Their efforts were in vain. The senior military commanders all supported President Vorokov, partly because they regarded him as the senior surviving elected official within the three allied nations but mainly because he had demonstrated leadership and acted decisively in a time of great crisis. Despite the terrible conditions on Earth, a sizeable majority of the surviving civilians supported him as a well known face who appeared to be doing the best he could to save as many people as possible. As time passed, Vorokov's executive power was readily accepted, even though the Commonwealth legislature had yet to be elected and convened. With the survival of the human race in the forefront of everyone's mind, organising elections was a very long way down the list of priorities.

to be continued...

Steve
 
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Offline vergeraiders

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Re: Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 6
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2008, 11:09:22 AM »
Oh my, one of these got completely out of control.
So the western secrecy was either the cause of humanity's darkest nightmare or the best hope for its salvation.

What an opportunisitc coup by the minority.

So to add insult to injury when are the next asian mineral packets due to arrive, or is the mass driver still operational?
 

Offline Cassaralla

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Re: Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 6
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2008, 11:34:11 AM »
Superb write up.  One of the best I've ever read of a game.  Keep up the good work.
 

Offline Kurt

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Re: Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 6
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2008, 06:32:58 PM »
Ouch!  

Big changes.  Fortunately there are off-world colonies.  

Kurt
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 6
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2008, 07:55:41 AM »
Quote from: "vergeraiders"
Oh my, one of these got completely out of control.
So the western secrecy was either the cause of humanity's darkest nightmare or the best hope for its salvation.

What an opportunisitc coup by the minority.

So to add insult to injury when are the next asian mineral packets due to arrive, or is the mass driver still operational?
It turns out I didn't include mass drivers in the list of possible installations that can be damaged by planetary bombardment so the Asian mass driver survived. Millions of people saved by a bug! :)

Steve
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 6
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2008, 07:58:51 AM »
Quote from: "Cassaralla"
Superb write up.  One of the best I've ever read of a game.  Keep up the good work.
Thanks! This campaign is a lot of fun, which always makes it easier to write-up reports.

Steve
 

Offline Charlie Beeler

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Re: Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 6
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2008, 09:17:20 AM »
Holy Armageddon!!

This is truly weird.  I’ve been working up stats for a starting campaign that has around 20 alliances/governments that have a terrestrial war for global dominance.  The obvious outcome being a devastated homeworld that needs to rapidly expand to non-terrestrial colonies for survival.  

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the next installment.
Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics - paraphrase attributed to Gen Omar Bradley
 

Offline Kurt

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Re: Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 6
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2008, 11:29:43 AM »
Quote from: "Charlie Beeler"
Holy Armageddon!!

This is truly weird.  I’ve been working up stats for a starting campaign that has around 20 alliances/governments that have a terrestrial war for global dominance.  The obvious outcome being a devastated homeworld that needs to rapidly expand to non-terrestrial colonies for survival.  

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the next installment.

That will be interesting.  I'm having trouble keeping track of six governments, especially now that they are expanding into interstellar space.
 

Offline Charlie Beeler

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Re: Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 6
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2008, 04:14:42 PM »
Quote from: "Kurt"
Quote from: "Charlie Beeler"
Holy Armageddon!!

This is truly weird.  I’ve been working up stats for a starting campaign that has around 20 alliances/governments that have a terrestrial war for global dominance.  The obvious outcome being a devastated homeworld that needs to rapidly expand to non-terrestrial colonies for survival.  

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the next installment.

That will be interesting.  I'm having trouble keeping track of six governments, especially now that they are expanding into interstellar space.

It's going to be an exercise in ground combat and ICBM bases.  No ships.  No Trans-Newtonian tech if I can help it.  Of course V3.2 would help...but i'm not going to push....much.

Hey Steve!!!  :D
Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics - paraphrase attributed to Gen Omar Bradley
 

Offline James

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Re: Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 6
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2008, 05:30:49 AM »
I really enjoyed this chapter. Can't wait for the next one.
 

Offline IanD

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Re: Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 6
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2008, 03:04:03 AM »
Steve - What mechanism were you going/are going to use to merge the different nations into one in your campaign (the ones you haven't conquered)?
Regards
IanD
 

Offline SteveAlt

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Re: Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 6
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2008, 07:40:11 AM »
Quote
Steve - What mechanism were you going/are going to use to merge the different nations into one in your campaign (the ones you haven't conquered)?
(no idea why the quote marks aren't working)

You can transfer fleets to another race using a button on the Fleet window. That creates classes for the destination race and changes the ownership of the fleet and the ships, The entire officer corps can be integrated into that of another race using a button on the commanders window. Any additional tech can be checked and moved across on the Tech Compare window. Populations can be transferred using a button on the Economics window, or you can combine them using the SM Mods window.

Steve
 

Offline IanD

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Re: Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 6
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2008, 11:12:58 AM »
Thanks for the pointers Steve, hope there is not a long wait till the next instalment.
Regards
IanD
IanD
 

Offline eidahl

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Re: Trans-Newtonian Campaign - Part 6
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2010, 04:50:42 PM »
Wow, just wow. I had a hard time choosing sides while I was reading, though.. the succession by the Russian president was a nice surprise.  :P

I've recently discovered Aurora, and this is getting me motivated to continue the game I started as part of the tutorial.
 

 

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