Author Topic: [5] First Battle of Van Maanen's Star  (Read 916 times)

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Offline Beersatron

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[5] First Battle of Van Maanen's Star
« on: June 06, 2010, 07:38:09 PM »
**BEGIN SHIPS LOG [TFNC-CC-John Adams-06022038]

2nd June 2038 04:06:51

Not long after transiting a new Jump Point in Barnard’s Star we detected the approach of 40 small craft of 800 tons each, We have designated them FACs as they are in the similar tonnage of our own Prince of Wales class FACs. Intel as designated them as the ‘Van Maanens Star Aliens’ after the name we christened the system - not very creative, I know, but at the moment we are more worried about their intentions than anything else. Sensor readings do not match with anything we have on record for Precursors, HoL, Menace or pre-Federation Terran crewed ships.

04:10:56

The 40 FACs are closing on our position at the entry JP fast, doing 10k km/s they match our speed so we are left with a conundrum of sorts as they have not responded to our hails. Do we cede the JP and hope they do not follow? Do we stay in system and head in the opposite direction in the hopes that they initiate communications and we can negotiate at least a neutral stance? Or, do we head out to meet them and fire at will, staying at maximum range and retreating to the JP?

04:15:41

I gave the order to advance on the vessels and then about-face when at 190k km. Our first extra solar colony is next door and has no fixed defenses, we can not run the risk of these alien craft jumping in and laying waste to the fledging colony. I can also not risk withdrawing through the JP therefore giving the JPs position away as there is the possibility that they have not performed a survey of this system yet. Intelligence beliefs this is highly likely as we have confirmed this is indeed a Starless Nexus therefore it is highly unlikely they originated from this system.

The Absolution and Acid both fired using their automated targeting routines, Acid missed using all 4 30cm Plasma Carronades but Absolution hit, doing 1 ’point’ of damage per weapon. The sensors report no streaming atmosphere, therefore we presume that they have tough armor or that all 4 shots landed on separate areas of the hull.

04:16:36

It takes 30 seconds to recharge our weapons, it seems like an eternity especially with 40 hostile vessels so close you can almost see their drive flares from a viewport. I have made a note in my logs that on return to Sol I will request either the development of a faster firing Carronade or else refitting of our existing cruisers with some modicum of long range weaponry like the newly development missile launchers that are being deployed in our FACs. We are barely hitting 50% of the time and are only doing 1 ‘point’ of damage per shot. The good news is that we are finally seeing signs of damage from the first target, Teethmangler 001 is apparently streaming fluid - yes, I said fluid! One of the more creative intel weenies has came up with the fanciful idea that these ships could be organic and could infact be native to this system, feeding on solar radiation or that they could be the cause of the lack of any solar debris. I will forgo reprimanding him this time and have chalked it down to the pressure of combat and imminent death.

04:18:11

Two things of note just happened, one was that Teethmangler 001 has taken enough damage that it has finally dropped out of formation. This caused much rejoicing and back slapping on the bridge. The second thing to note was that navigation had set up the autopilot to keep 001 at 190k km, so when it slowed down we slowed down! This caused frantic scrambling and quite a few expletives. We have changed targets to the FAC designated 002 and have setup the autopilot to keep 041 at range as that will be the last target we engage. It is only hoped that the enemy do not catch on to this and split their fleet. We are now  50k km closer to the fleet, at 140k km, yet they have not returned fire.

04:24:41

We have passed the point of no return, the enemy fleet is now between us and the exit JP back to Barnard’s Star. Our current target is Teethmangler 005, 001 through 004 have all been damaged to the point that they have dropped out of formation but we have not been able to get the killing blow in as they fall out of range behind their main fleet. We can only hope that navigation stays on top of everything and keeps us out of whatever their weapons range is.

04:33:06

Our first confirmed kill! Teethmangler 010 was hit 22 times over 3 salvos of 8 shots each. We must have damage it to the point of structural collapse before taking out its engines or before it could drop back out of range.

Now .. Just another 30 targets to go …

05:23:36

There are 3 targets left in range, we can not fathom why they did not break off since it was obvious they could never catch us and could not fire back. As it stands I am taking a gamble and have ordered the fleet to reduce speed to 9k km/s. We will slowly creep closer and see if our short range yet powerful sensors can ascertain more information about their ships. It should also allow us to inflict more damage per shot as the plasma bubble will still be at a higher containment level by the time it hits, thus releasing more energy.

05:24:36

We are now at 120k km and they are down to two ships. At this range we are doing twice as much damage per shot and still not receiving any return fire. If I had tried this earlier then we could have been done with this farce of a battle far quicker. Yet again, if we had closed range and came under fire then we would never have been able to extend the range again as our top speeds are the same. At any rate, it is the sign of a bad commander to second guess himself.

05:26:06

Teethmangler 041 has been destroyed! The final volley was fired at 80k km and bubble containment was such that each shot that landed was doing 3 times as much damage as the first salvos. For now, we will note that 120k km is the closest to approach this class of ship as we may have inflicted damage to their weapons on a previous volley.

I have ordered our course reversed, we will track along the line of engagement and attempt to finish off the FACs that fell behind. My one major worry is that they dropped off our sensors after only 1million kms so if they have vectored of at a tangent we may never find them.

06:34:46

It is finished. I have ordered the fleet to stand down from Battle Stations and we will return to the JP and picket it until reinforcements arrive. I have requested assistance from the 1st and 2nd Cruiser Squadrons and hope that they will be cut orders to move here as soon as possible. We will then perform a sweet of the system although with no celestial bodies to anchor on it is unlikely we will find any form of fixed base.

Below is intelligence’s breakdown of the enemy vessels:
Teethmangler Class FAC
Cross Section 16
Tonnage 800
Thermal Signature 160
Observed Speed 10000
Estimated Speed 10000
Armor Rating 1
Armament:
1x Meson Cannon with an observed range of 105000km
Sensors:
Strength 28, Resolution 1, Max Range of 0.3m km

It appears that 40 out of the original 41 contacts have been marked as destroyed, Teethmangler 015 may have survived. The last reading we have is that it was floating dead in space therefore I am more than willing to let it die slowly…

----------------------------------------------
Rear Admiral Sevastian Komarov
CO CC John Adams
1st Expeditionary Fleet
----------------------------------------------
**END SHIPS LOG
 

 

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