Author Topic: The Eridani Excursion: The Beginning, August 2076  (Read 954 times)

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Offline IanD

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The Eridani Excursion: The Beginning, August 2076
« on: October 23, 2009, 06:10:59 AM »
[center:3roql668]The Beginning[/center:3roql668]

[center:3roql668]The Fourth Battle of Proxima Centauri, 28th August 2076 22:48:36 ST[/center:3roql668].

It had all begun on 28th August 2076 as the Proxima Centauri Battle Group, scheduled to explore the jump points out of the Proxima Centauri system, started to transit one of the several unexplored jump points. Almost immediately after transit the klaxons started blaring. The fourth planet from the star was inhabited by an advanced civilisation and glowed balefully on the thermal imagers! Five seconds later near space lit up with the thermal contacts of a jump point picket, with dozens more just a few million klicks off. Four thermal contacts winked out, Captain Michael Godfrey, Senior Officer of the Battle Group ordered an immediate return to Proxima Centauri.
As soon as the Battle Group emerged into Proxima Centauri, their attached jump cruiser the Fort Austin opened communications to inform them that four alien ships has transited the jump point and opened fire on the Outreach 003. Captain Godfrey ordered the missile frigates to return fire just as the scans stabilised to reveal Outreach 003 breaking up a few tens of thousand klicks away. Charybdis, Diomede, Penelope, Ariadne, Naiad and Argonaut started launching missiles as soon as fire control came on line. The enemy ships were so close that even the lasers of the Escorts were within range, so slaving one turret to point defence, Hipper, Hood, Nimitz and Spruance opened fire on an enemy Kilo class and one of the Foxtrot class. Thirty seconds later the Kilo and Foxtrot were streaming atmosphere and thirty seconds after that the first wreck was visible on scanners. Another thirty seconds and using a combination of missiles and lasers the enemy ships were all accounted for.
Just as the crews began to relax, and only three and a half minutes after the last bogy broke up, five more alien ships transited into Proxima Centauri, these designated Victor Class. The Escorts took the closest Victor under fire, and it immediately began to stream atmosphere. The frigates targeted the more distant ships and started launching missiles. Three minutes later, which seemed like hours to the crew and it was all over, nine new alien derelicts circled the jump point; Battle Group Proxima Centauri was victorious and unscathed!

[center:3roql668]Presidential Offices, Geneva, 2nd September 2076. 08:20:30 ST[/center:3roql668]

Terran Federation President Ethan Hunt looked out the window and mused, “Why does every thing go wrong out of Proxima Centauri?” It was only seven years ago that the Precursor threat had been meet and vanquished in that system. Why were the militant AIs only in that system? Tau Ceti contained an even greater concentration of Precursor ruins, without any AI guardians. One of the systems out of Tau Ceti, Shaka, contained the remains of a Precursor outpost, still without any sign of the alien menace. But now the first jump point explored out of Proxima Centauri had discovered a new alien menace, not a rogue artificial intelligence this time, but flesh and blood, (even if a funny shade of red-blue).  The system was Epsilon Eridani, that much had been established, that and the size of their fleet, 30-40 4000 tonne ships plus several of 8000 and 12000 tonnes. There had been a jump point picket and the aliens first response had been to ignore the Battle Group sitting on the jump point and send two jump ships through the jump point, each carrying a warship, which then fired on and destroyed an unarmed deep space survey vessel that happened to be waiting on the Proxima side of the jump point for the all clear to survey the new system. It gave a new meaning to the term diplomatic initiative! In the face of the fleet that confronted them the Proxima Battle Group had jumped back into Proxima system and quickly annihilated the existing alien threat in that system and the next foray of five more alien vessels. Strangely they never seemed to fire on the warships only the unarmed Outreach 003. Still it was gratifying that the Star Cat Mk II missile had been so effective, as had the new twin turreted 12cm near UV lasers that now equipped the Nelson class escorts. The presidents intercom buzzed, it was his PA reminding him of the Press briefing in five minutes, the President replied, “I will be out in a minute, have my papers ready at your desk.” The intercom clicked off, the President took one last look out of the window over Lake Geneva, then strode out of the office.

[center:3roql668]Terran Federation Presidential Offices, Geneva, 5th September 2076. 14:30:00 ST
[/center:3roql668]

Federation President Hunt was in conference with the Governor of Earth Alfie Ashston and Cheif of Naval Staffs Admiral Jonathan Naylor. President Hunt was asking Admiral Naylor what were the chances that the alien attack was a mistake.

Admiral Ashton replied. “Absolutely none, they seemed to be laying in wait for our transit, there was a warp point picket, and jump ships with a war fleet behind that. There is also the fact that there were two distinct incursions.”

The President interrupted, “what of our other Battle Groups?”

Admiral Naylor ”They have already been dispatched on my authority Mr President, Battle Group Sol will be in position in two days relieving Battle Group Proxima Centauri for re-supply. Battle Group Tau Ceti is already covering Proxima II.”

Governor Ashton broke in. “What assets have we covering Earth?”

Admiral Naylor. “Just the two alien Longswords we captured back in ‘68, if any hostiles find Sol now we are almost completely uncovered. However, the Longswords use technology far ahead of anything we currently have.”

President Hunt again. “What of new construction?”

Admiral Naylor “Until Battle Group Sigma Draconis completes construction and fitting out in early ’78 there is nothing. We have to fight this war with what we’ve got!”

Ethan Hunt asked “what of the ground bases on Proxima II.

“There’s no chance they will be ready in the short term,” replied Admiral Naylor, “we only have four engineering divisions on the construction project. There’s more chance of Battle Group Sigma Draconis leaving the slips than those bases completing.”

“I would like there to have been some truth in the press statement that I made earlier this week that all was under control and the incident would be sorted out peacefully.” Stated President Hunt.

“I’m sorry Mr President” Admiral Ashton stated “but we must regard this as an act of war.”

“Is there anyway of containing this menace?” Asked Governor Ashton

Admiral Naylor considered his reply. “Well there have been no further incursions so it is contained for the time being, but I can’t say for how long”

[center:3roql668]Chief of Staffs Meeting, Naval High Command, The Pentagon. Early October 2076[/center:3roql668]

Intelligence Chief, Commander Lucas Birch  “We have the scan data from The Proxima Centauri Battle Group and salvage data from the Prince 001 salvager. The alien fleet that transited into Proxima Centauri consisted of three classes, two designated [/i]Foxtrot[/i] class which were 4000 tonne jump ships, two designated [/i]Kilo[/i] class, also 4000 tonnes armed with six plasma carronades and five designated [/i]Victor[/i] class, 4050 tonnes armed with gauss cannon.” They all appear to be lightly armoured and easily penetrated by our missiles and lasers. There was no evidence of missile use”
“That gentlemen, concludes the good news, we have completed analysing the scan data brought back from the Epsilon Eridani system. We have active scan contacts for the following fleet: one India class of 8100 tonnes, two Charlie class of 8100 tonnes, one Juliet class of 8100 tonnes, fifteen Mike class of 4050 tonnes, one November class of 4050 tonnes, five Oscar class of 8100 tonnes, one Papa class of 4000 tonnes, one Quebec class of 8100 tonnes, one Romeo class of 8100 tonnes, fifteen X-ray class of 4050 tonnes and four Zulu class of 12100 tonnes. That is a fleet massing well over a quarter of a million tonnes, even after their combat loses! In comparison the Proxima Battle Group masses 75,000 tonnes.”

Chief of Operations, Lieutenant Commander Garrett Silvio chipped in “With Battle Groups Sol and Tau Ceti we should have approximate parity. But that leaves us without cover almost everywhere else”

There were long faces around the table as the predicament they were in sunk home.

The Intelligence Chief continued his briefing. “The bright spots are the total lack of damage to Battle Group Proxima Centauri as it dealt with the Eridani incursion into Proxima Centauri, the alien ships were easily destroyed by 3 or 4 salvos of Star Cat Mk II missiles which achieved a hit rate of better than 90%. In addition there was no Jump Gate on their side of the jump point. There was also no evidence of long range weapons, the Kilos and Victors were armed with close in weapons, not unreasonable if you expect to deal with a close-in opponent such as a jump point guard, they made short work of the Outreach 003.”

Chief of logistics, Lieutenant Commander Lily Adams broke in to point out the stocks of Star Cat Mk II missiles were still building and not sufficient for a prolonged engagement, and most of that stock was on Earth!

 “Well gentlemen” said Admiral Naylor. “We have available eighteen Dido’s and eleven Nelson’s currently disposed in three Battle Groups. We face a fleet of some 48 ships, at least one of which is jump capable. What we need is a plan to not only contain this threat but also deal with it permanently if we can.”

Chief of Ground forces, Major General Gordon Braithwaite, complained that there were only two troop transports in the fleet with a lift capacity of four divisions between them, and they were not exactly assault ships.

Chief of Construction, Commodore Lin Pan Ki, noted that once the current construction cleared the Alstom Leroux Yard in early ‘78 then more transports could be laid down, but which does the Navy want, more Escorts or more Transports? They would also take 18 months to complete.

The meeting continued with the other Department Heads giving a report on their readiness (or not) to face the alien menace. The briefing wound down as they covered the transport of combat divisions, missile stocks and the other minutiae of war.

[center:3roql668]The Plan. Federation Presidential Offices, Geneva, 5th September 2076. 14:30:00 ST[/center:3roql668]

There was a tap at his door, his PA opened it and showed Admiral Naylor in. “Well” said Hunt “looks like we should have authorised those assault jump cruisers after all.” Admiral Naylor replied, “There’s is no denying they would certainly have been useful.”  The admiral continued brusquely “I have the initial plan for the invasion of Epsilon Eridani. The Stellar Causeway, Fort Austin, Fort George and Fort Grange will transit with eight Dido class in the first wave. The Nelsons will transit 60-120 seconds later via the jump gate. Battle Group Sol will Transit after the all clear to secure the jump point, after which Battle Groups Proxima Centauri and Tau Ceti will reform and proceed to Epsilon Eridani IV.”  

“What of negotiations” inquired the President?

“We are still no further forwards in communicating with the prisoners.”

The short briefing continued for a few minutes before President Hunt gave his reluctant consent. The date for the invasion of Epsilon Eridani was fixed for the 2nd January 2077.

[center:3roql668]Broadcast by Terran Federation President Hunt, Earth, Sol System 1st January 2077 12:00:00 ST[/center:3roql668]

“Last Week we transmitted to the Epsilon Eridani IV aliens an ultimatum, to which if we did not receive a satisfactory reply by noon today, then a State of War would exist between us. It is my solemn duty to report that no such reply has been forthcoming, and thus we are at war with the inhabitants of Epsilon Eridani IV.”

Admiral Naylor, listened to the Presidential broadcast and muttered curses regarding the diplomatic corps and their ability to communicate with the alien prisoners captured as a result of the battle last August. God knows what sort of gibberish was broadcast into the Gate in Proxima Centauri and if the Eridani aliens would realise what it was even if they detected it!

[Technical note. In this universe a Gate over a jump point even if on only on one side of a jump point can transmit radio frequencies through the jump point, but this is not a two way process without a Gate on the other side.]

[center:3roql668]To be Continued (whether you like it or not :) )[/center:3roql668]
« Last Edit: October 26, 2009, 06:25:54 PM by IanD »
IanD
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: The Eridani Excursion: The Beginning, August 2076
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2009, 07:45:09 AM »
Looking forward to the next episode. It's always good to see after action reports!

Steve
 

Offline Beersatron

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Re: The Eridani Excursion: The Beginning, August 2076
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2009, 12:01:46 PM »
Nice writeup. Any maps? Maps are good! And ship stats, they are also good. :)
 

Offline IanD

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Re: The Eridani Excursion: The Beginning, August 2076
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2009, 12:19:38 PM »
Quote from: "Beersatron"
Nice writeup. Any maps? Maps are good! And ship stats, they are also good. :)
IanD
 

Offline Beersatron

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Re: The Eridani Excursion: The Beginning, August 2076
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2009, 01:54:41 PM »
Open the Galaxy Map and press alt+printScreen on your keyboard.

Open up Paint and just it ctrl+v.

Crop the image a bit to take away the buttons on the left and top and then save as a jpeg.

You can then upload the image direct to your post without needing to host it on flickr or anything.
 

Offline IanD

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Re: The Eridani Excursion: The Beginning, August 2076
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2009, 02:51:10 PM »
Quote from: "Beersatron"
Open the Galaxy Map and press alt+printScreen on your keyboard.

Thanks Beersatron, I was missing the Alt key!
Regards
IanD
 

Offline IanD

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Re: The Eridani Excursion: The Beginning, August 2076
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2009, 06:45:53 PM »
[attachment=0:37cpxlsg]August 68 B.jpg[/attachment:37cpxlsg]


Terran Federation known space as 28th August 2076. Colony cost 2-2.9 planets are shown.
Jump point Data for Epsilon Eridani obtained by interigation during the January offensive.
IanD
 

 

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