Author Topic: Chronicle of the Rigellian Empire - Part 2  (Read 2686 times)

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Offline Steve Walmsley

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Chronicle of the Rigellian Empire - Part 2
« on: February 04, 2015, 02:31:44 PM »
Gravitational surveys of all eight known systems, including Kawasaki and Kobe, were completed by April Y219, revealing a number of new jump points. In total, the Rigellian Empire was faced with seventeen unexplored jump points; six in Nagoya, five in Kobe, four in Kawasaki and two in Kyoto. Nagoya connected directly to Rigel while the other three systems were all connected to Osaka, which itself linked to Rigel. Despite the alien wrecks and the abandoned and ruined colonies in Kawasaki, there had been no sign of any contemporary alien presence. The weight of scientific opinion was leaning toward a theory that one or more alien races had inhabited this area of the galaxy in ancient times but war or natural disasters had wiped them out. In any event, proof of the existence of aliens, regardless of when they existed, meant there was no longer any argument about the need for the Imperial Rigellian Navy. The Emperor gave permission for High Swordsman Takagi to resume expansion of the Empire’s borders.

By May Y219, the Imperial Rigellian Navy had the following warships and survey ships in service:

Akagi class CV (3): Akagi, Kaga, Soryu
Kongo class BC (12): Fuso, Haruna, Hiei, Hyuga, Ise, Kirishima, Kongo, Kotetsu, Mutsu, Nagato, Tosa, Yamashiro
Nagara class DL (4): Isuzu, Nagara, Natori, Yura
Kagero class DD (14): Atasuki, Akigumo, Arashi, Asagumo, Asashimo, Inazuma, Kagero, Kasumi, Kurushio, Murakumo, Natsugumo, Oyashio, Usugumo, Yamagumo
Matsukaze class DE (9): Asakaze, Harukaze, Kamikaze, Matsukaze, Minekaze, Numakaze, Shimakaze, Tachikaze, Yakaze
Kashima class GSV (6): Kashima, Katori, Kawachi, Mishima, Okinoshima, Sagami
Fuji class GEV (6): Asahi, Fuji, Hatsuse, Mikasa, Shikishima, Yashima
80x A6M Reisen – deployed on Akagi and Kaga

One Akagi, four Kageros and three Matsukazes were under construction, along with two Sakawas, a new scout destroyer class. (PN: It may be of interest to the reader to understand the naming convention of the Matsukaze class. ‘Kaze’ is the Rigellian word for wind so each ship is named after a type of wind, such as Harukaze for Spring Wind, or Shimakaze for Island Wind). In addition, a large number of support ships had been built:

3x Azusa Maru class Tanker
9x Jeneshisu class Terraformer
20x Kamakuta Maru class Colony Ship
11x Kobyashi Maru class Freighter
20x Kobyashi Maru Mod 1 class Freighter
4x Kobyashi Maru Mod J2 class Freighter
6x Kochiku Suru class Construction Ship
10x Nenryo Habesuta class Fuel Harvester

With the addition of recent construction, the warships of the Imperial Rigellian Navy could now be split into three major task groups; the First, Second and Third Striking Forces. The Second and Third each comprised three battlecruisers, three Kageros, three Matsukazes and a Nagara, with the remaining ships in the First Striking Force. For the moment, the carrier arm of the navy, known as the Kido Butai, was not on active service. Due to a huge oversight in forward planning, the 36,000 ton carriers had been launched when the maintenance facilities on the Rigellian homeworld were only capable of supporting vessels up to 15,000 tons. A crash program was underway to increase those maintenance facilities but it would take some time and one of the key minerals needed for that program, Duranium, was in short supply. The Rigellian administrator who had been in charge of fleet maintenance was now eight hundred and forty billion kilometres from home, running the waste disposal facilities on a Rigellian mining colony located in the asteroid belt of Rigel-D. For the time being, the Kido Butai was on training exercises and would enter active service once the maintenance facilities were available and the carriers had been overhauled.

For now, the investigation of unexplored jump points and the protection of subsequent survey operations would be undertaken by the Second and Third Striking Forces without carrier support. The Second Striking Force completed an overhaul and headed back to Osaka while the Third Striking Force left Rigel orbit bound for Nagoya. As survey ships completed their own overhauls, they would be sent to investigate any promising new systems discovered by the Striking Forces. Jump gates had been built from Rigel to Osaka and Nagoya and to the systems adjacent to Osaka, allowing the Kongo class battlecruisers to accompany the smaller warships.

The first jump point probe in the second wave of Rigellian expansion took place in Nagoya. The main body of the Third Striking Force remained in orbit of the small Rigellian colony on Nagoya I while a detached squadron comprising DL Natori, DD Arashi and DE Harukaze transited the system’s innermost jump point. The system which they entered, Kagoshima, was a disappointment with a red dwarf star and three planets, the best of which had a colony cost of 6.01. The small squadron checked the planets just in case and confirmed the system was uninhabited. The second jump point in Nagoya led to Nagasaki, a system that was remarkable only because none of its eight planets were gas giants or superjovians. Although two of those planets were colony cost 2.00, one lacked an atmosphere and the other had a 0.61 atm atmosphere that was 80% methane and 20% nitrogen. Both planets would require a huge amount of effort to terraform. Meanwhile, across known space, the Second Striking Force sent a similar squadron to investigate the two unexplored jump points in Kyoto. DL Nagara, DD Akigumo and DE Asakaze discovered the unremarkable systems of Miyazaki and Fukuoka.

A new Rigellian ship class was launched in early August Y219. The Torimodosu class Salvager was designed to recover intact systems, technology and raw materials from the wreckage of destroyed ships. Its first mission would be to recover the two alien wrecks in the Kawasaki system.

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Torimodosu class Salvager    44,300 tons     399 Crew     1394.2 BP      TCS 886  TH 2700  EM 0
3047 km/s     Armour 1-111     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/11/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
MSP 20    Max Repair 200 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    Spare Berths 3   
Salvager: 2 module(s) capable of salvaging 1000 tons per day

Commercial Ion Drive (9)    Power 300    Fuel Use 6.19%    Signature 300    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 300,000 Litres    Range 19.7 billion km   (74 days at full power)

Nagumo Engineering Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 2520     Range 25.3m km    Resolution 120
Muso-Murakami EM-11 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 11     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  11m km

On August 16th , the exploration squadron from the Third Striking Force transited a third jump point in Nagoya, finding the most interesting system of the second wave of expansion so far. Sapporo was a binary with an orange K6-V primary and a brown dwarf companion, orbiting at one hundred and fifty billion kilometers. Both stars had solar systems and both solar systems possessed Masaki points, making the distant companion star easily accessible. In total, Sapporo had twelve planets, nine of which orbited the primary, and one hundred and twenty-four moons. Sapporo-A II had a nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere that was close to breathable but the surface temperature was -89C. However, seventy percent of the planet was covered by an ice sheet and there was a limited amount of frozen carbon dioxide on the surface. Given the rapid temperature rise that would result from the melting of the ice sheet and the release of the carbon dioxide, a terraforming effort might not be as difficult as the low temperature might suggest.

The Second Striking Force moved into Kawasaki and detached its exploration squadron. The three destroyer-sized warships first transited Kawasaki’s second jump point and discovered Kitakyushu, a planetless A4-IV white sub-giant almost six million kilometres in diameter. Given the mass of the huge star, a gravitational survey would have to cover a much larger area than normal. Four days later, the squadron investigated the innermost jump point and entered the system of Kumamoto, a binary comprising a yellow G2-V primary and a planetless red dwarf companion. Kumamoto-A had a solar system of ten planets, split equally between rocky worlds and gas giants, two of which were of particular interest. Kumamoto-A II had a breathable atmosphere, albeit accompanied by a surface temperature of 84C. Kumamoto-A IV was even more promising, with a surface temperature of 9C, ideal for Rigellian physiology, and a nitrogen – oxygen that was close to breathable – a perfect candidate for terraforming. However, the system contained three alien wrecks, two of 16,500 tons and one of 64,000 tons. Given that the wrecks in Kawasaki had not proven to be evidence of an alien presence, the exploration squadron set a course for the inner system of Kumamoto with less trepidation than during the exploration of Kawasaki. Even so, the main body of the Second Striking Force left its station at the Kawasaki – Osaka jump point and moved toward the Kawasaki – Kumamoto jump point in case the squadron ran into any trouble.

On October 14th Y219, the exploration squadron of the Second Striking Force was nine hundred million kilometres from the Kumamoto - Kawasaki jump point when it detected sensor emissions from an alien ship seven hundred million kilometres ahead. This was the first evidence of actual living aliens, rather than wrecks or ancient ruins, so the squadron’s senior officer, Swordsman Morita Juro, immediately ordered a course reversal. The Rigellian tactical computers assigned the new contact the reporting name of the Boreum Planum class. At first it followed at 3363 km/s, giving the Rigellian crews confidence they could outrun it if necessary, before speeding up to 4763 km/s and then slowing down again. The Boreum Planum appeared to be pacing the Rigellian squadron rather than attempting to close in.

As the squadron neared the jump point, emissions from a second alien ship, designated as Von Karman class, were detected almost a hundred million kilometres closer than the emissions from the Boreum Planum. As the sensors on the two alien ships were the same strength, it appeared the Von Karman had just activated its sensors. Swordsman Morita decided to remain in Kumamoto to avoid giving away the position of the jump point and to attempt communication with the aliens. Rigellian hails went unanswered for several hours while the squadron sat on the jump point. The Von Karman continued to close at the startling speed of 7575 km/s, almost twice the 4000 km/s maximum of the Rigellian ships, while the Boreum Planum held position at seven hundred million kilometres.

Suddenly, a third sensor was detected, even closer than the other two. The new ship, a Cerberus Rupes class, was at two hundred and twenty-seven million kilometres and also closing at 7575 km/s. This strength of this sensor was weaker than the others which explained why it had not been detected until it was closer. Still the aliens refused to respond to communication attempts. The Von Karman halted at three hundred and twenty million kilometres while the previously stationary Boreum Planum began heading for the jump point at 11,363 km/s, considerably faster than even Rigellian fighters. Obviously the aliens had far superior engine technology, which was a serious concern should they prove to be hostile. The Cerberus reached one hundred and fifty million kilometres from the jump point, maximum range for Nagara’s sensors, which allowed the Rigellian squadron to determine it was 8250 tons. Nagara also detected three additional ships of 8250 tons in the same location, all of which were of a new class designated as Xanthe Terra. Six alien ships had now been detected in total. Given their high technology and charge toward the jump point Swordsman Morita was becoming increasingly nervous about the situation. He decided to hold his ground but warned all three ships to be ready to jump at short notice.

Asakaze detected inbound missiles at two million kilometres. Each salvo was of six class three missiles approximately fifteen seconds apart. She began launching anti-missiles immediately without waiting for orders from Swordsman Morita on the Akigumo. As soon as Swordsman Morita was made aware of the attack he ordered all ships to transit immediately. However, the ships were not used to operating as a squadron in such a stressful situation and it took time to organize the jump. The first fifteen outbound anti-missiles from Asakaze attempted to intercept the inbound missiles, which were traveling at 27,000 km/s. All fifteen missed. Fortunately, subsequent salvos were more effective, destroying eleven of the missiles from the first two salvos, albeit with hits rates of around sixteen percent. The remaining inbound narrowly missed Akigumo. Concentrating all efforts on the first two waves had allowed the third to approach to within two hundred thousand kilometres without being engaged and several more salvos were following in its wake. The Rigellian squadron finally organised itself and transited with alien missiles only seconds away.

Now the immediate threat of death was removed, Swordsman Morita had time to consider the implications of the brief engagement. It was unclear which alien ships were launching the anti-ship missiles but given they were in single salvos it seemed unlikely to be the three Xanthe Terra class ships, which left the Cerberus or the Von Karman. The latter ship was more than three hundred million kilometres from the jump point but given the technological level indicated by the high speed of the alien ships it could not be ruled out, especially as it was holding position while the Cerberus continued to close. It was also clear that the squadron had been saved serious damage by the presence of Asakaze, fully validating the decision to include an anti-missile escort in the exploration squadron. The squadron refuelled from an Azusa Maru class tanker waiting for them on the jump point then both the squadron and the tanker headed out-system to meet the approaching main body of the Second Striking Force. During the ten hours in which the retreating squadron remained in active sensor range of the Kumamoto jump point, there was no sign of pursuit.

The attack by the alien race in Kumamoto caused serious concern on the Rigellian homeworld, especially given the apparent technological superiority of the aliens. Research into the next proposed engine technology, the Magneto-plasma drive, was given the highest research priority. Unfortunately the issue of insufficient maintenance facilities for the carriers, which now included the recently constructed Hiryu, was not resolved and the Empire was still suffering a shortage of Duranium. Other minerals, particularly Gallicite and Mercassium, was also running low and the automated mines that would be needed soon had not been built because of the need to construct maintenance facilities. For the moment, the Rigellian Empire would have to defend with the forces it already possessed. The Second Striking Force was ordered to guard the Kawasaki – Kumamoto jump point and all investigations of jump points in the systems beyond Osaka were put on hold. The Third Striking Force was allowed to complete its investigation of the unexplored jump points in Nagoya but any newly discovered jump points in the surrounding systems would be left untouched. The aliens were named the Mazoku after an evil race in Rigellian mythology. (PN: Literally ‘Race of Devils’, from the Rigellian ‘Ma’ for Devil or Demon and ‘Zoku’ for Race)

The exploration squadron of the Second Striking Force re-joined the main body. After refuelling from the retreating tanker, the Second Striking Force took up position at the Kumamoto jump point. The three battlecruisers were stationed at one million kilometers, the escorts at two hundred thousand and the laser-armed Nagara and Kageros at point blank range. A Kochiku Suru class construction ship was brought forward to build a jump gate on the Kawasaki side, allowing the battlecruisers to enter Kumamoto if required.

In Nagoya, the Third Striking Force continued its exploration of the jump points in that system. The main body remained in orbit of the colony on Nagoya I while the detached exploration squadron entered jump point seven to discover a binary of two red stars, one of which was a dwarf. Each star had two planets and each of the four planets had a Masaki point. The companion star also had a large asteroid belt, making the system of interest for geological purposes even if none of the planets or moons were habitable. The exploration squadron moved on to jump point six, beyond which lay the system of Tokushima. Tokushima had two, almost identical, G4-V class stars five hundred and forty billion kilometres apart. There were no Masaki points in the system so the nine planets and three asteroid belts of the B component were inaccessible. Six planets orbited the primary, one of which had an atmosphere that was close to breathable and a surface temperature of -38C; a potential terraforming candidate. Rigellian Survey Command was finding a number of terraforming opportunities but the emphasis on using the limited amount of available Duranium for military purposes meant that only nine terraforming ships were in service and any terraforming operation would have to proceed relatively slowly. For the moment those ships were adding oxygen to the atmosphere of Osaka-IV, home to a Rigellian population of two point seven million.

In Tokushima, the three ships of the exploration squadron, DL Natori, DD Arashi and DE Harukaze headed in-system from the Nagoya jump point, located five point six billion kilometers from the primary, to scan the planetary system. As they reached one point seven billion kilometers from the jump point they detected emissions from a Mazoku ship, designated as Olympus Mons class, at a distance of five hundred and sixty million kilometres. The squadron immediately reversed course to run and the Olympus Mons pursued at 7575 km/s. Tokushima was five transits from the other encounter with the Mazoku in Kumamoto, which suggested they were a large multi-system Empire.

The alien ship closed in rapidly but they was still more than three hundred million kilometres astern when Harukaze detected a wave of thirty missiles in three salvos of ten, indicating at least two more undetected alien ships. She began launching her AMM-2 Nova antimissiles in salvos of fifteen. The first eight salvos of AMM-2s, totalling one hundred and twenty missiles, destroyed only nineteen inbounds. Arashi hit another with one of her 20cm lasers. Four missed and the remaining six all struck Arashi. Their strength-7 warheads caused some minor shock damage but did not penetrate her armour. Unfortunately, by now there were five more salvos on sensor, each comprising thirty alien missiles. With no other option Harukaze had concentrated her fire on the first wave which allowed the second wave to get very close to the Rigellian squadron before it was engaged. Only three inbounds from the second wave were struck by anti-missiles and two more by lasers. Arashi suffered a further eighteen hits and was badly damaged, losing two of her three engines.

The enemy salvos were coming in every fifteen seconds and the Rigellian squadron was out of time. Harukaze was seriously damaged after being struck by eighteen missiles from the third salvo. Critically, her missile detection sensor was damaged which meant the squadron could no longer see, or engage, the incoming missiles. Harukaze exploded as she was hit twenty-four times by the fourth wave. The fifth and sixth waves destroyed the Nagara class destroyer leader Natori. The onslaught ceased, allowing the crippled Arashi to rescue the survivors from the other two ships and head for the jump point at 1333 km/s, although with Natori destroyed she had no way to transit into Nagoya. That became a moot point three hours later when a new salvo arrived, obliterating Arashi with no warning.

The Third Striking Force was not expecting the squadron to return for some time so several weeks passed before growing concern reached the point where its commander, Swordsman of Worlds Tanaka Izumi, requested a jump capable Nagara class from the First Striking Force. He also ordered the Third Striking Force to leave orbit of the Rigellian colony on Nagoya I and take up position at the Tokushima jump point. When DL Isuzu arrived on March 30th Y220 Swordsman of Worlds Tanaka assigned DD Asashimo and DE Yakaze to join her in a new exploration squadron. They transited into Tokushima, saw the wrecks of the Natori, Arashi and Harukaze and immediately transited back into Nagoya to warn the Empire. High Swordsman Takagi ordered DL Isuzu to remain with the Third Striking Force and dispatched a Kagero class destroyer and a Matsukaze class escort from Rigel to replace the Striking Force’s losses. The Third Striking Force would stand on the defensive at the Nagoya – Tokushima jump point in the same way as the Second was defending the Kawasaki – Kumamoto jump point. Once again the Emperor placed a moratorium on all future jump point exploration, which would remain in place until the aliens in Tokushima and Kumamoto were eliminated. For the moment, the Empire was unaware that the Mazoku were responsible for the loss of the three ships in Tokushima.

On May 9th, the first two Sakawa class scout destroyers were launched from the Numata Orbital Shipyard. The Sakawas were a conversion from a Kagero class destroyer, with most of the armament removed in order to accommodate a truly enormous active sensor. The Nagumo Engineering AS-1250 System Search Array had an active sensor range of over one and a quarter billion kilometers, at least against ships of 6000 tons or greater. With the Rigellian Empire temporarily on the strategic defensive, High Swordsman Takagi decide to station one in orbital of the Rigellian homeworld and a second in orbit of the colony on Rigel-A II. This would provide active sensor coverage for the heart of the Rigel-A and Rigel-C solar systems. Two more Sakawas were laid down, with the intention that they would be used in future exploration squadrons, where they could provide a much greater warning of alien warships.

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Sakawa class Scout Destroyer    9,000 tons     268 Crew     2085 BP      TCS 180  TH 720  EM 0
4000 km/s     Armour 3-38     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 11     PPV 12
Maint Life 3.34 Years     MSP 1593    AFR 58%    IFR 0.8%    1YR 217    5YR 3253    Max Repair 1050 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 34 months    Spare Berths 0   

Sakurai Drive Systems SDS-240 Ion Drive (3)    Power 240    Fuel Use 56%    Signature 240    Exp 10%
Fuel Capacity 500,000 Litres    Range 17.9 billion km   (51 days at full power)

Tamura Weapon Systems 20cm C4 Ultraviolet Laser (2)    Range 256,000km     TS: 4000 km/s    Power 10-4   RM 4   ROF 15   
Katsumata Design Bureau KDB-128R Beam Fire Control (1)    Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4000 km/s
Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 9    Armour 0    Exp 5%
Nagumo Engineering AS-1250 System Search Array (1)     GPS 126000     Range 1,265.2m km    Resolution 120

By mid-May the maintenance facilities of Rigel were finally capable of supporting ships up to 36,000 tons. The four Akagi class carriers of the Kido Butai, Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu and Soryu, finally went into overhaul.

The first Rigellian troop transport was launched in June Y220. The first mission of the Taisho Maru class would be to deliver four newly trained construction brigades to Kawasaki-B II, site of the ruined alien colony and now home to a small Rigellian settlement. The construction brigades would attempt recovery of the seventy-one installations identified by the xenology team.

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Taisho Maru class Troop Transport    82,500 tons     517 Crew     2105 BP      TCS 1650  TH 3300  EM 0
2000 km/s     Armour 1-168     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/11/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
MSP 16    Max Repair 75 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    Spare Berths 3   
Troop Capacity: 21 Battalions    Cargo Handling Multiplier 10   

Commercial Ion Drive (11)    Power 300    Fuel Use 6.19%    Signature 300    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 550,000 Litres    Range 19.4 billion km   (112 days at full power)
Muso-Murakami EM-11 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 11     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  11m km

By October Y220, the ships of the Second and Third Carrier Striking Forces were in serious need of overhaul. As the aliens in Kumamoto and Tokushima had shown no desire to enter Kawasaki and Nagoya respectively, the Emperor allowed High Swordsman Takagi to replace them with picket squadrons of Kagero class destroyers, fresh from Rigel. In November Y220, a breakthrough was made in propulsion technology, allowing the development of magneto-plasma drives. However, as the Rigellian Empire was suffering resource shortages and the resources that were available were needed to covert manned mines to automation, the navy could not yet take advantage of the new technology. Therefore, High Swordsman Takagi instructed his scientific advisors to turn a necessity into a virtue and begin immediate research into internal confinement fusion drives.

In December Y220 the Empire was struck a considerable blow by the death of Doi Reiko, one of the greatest scientists in Rigellian history. His research into construction and production technology laid much of the foundation of the Rigellian economy at the dawn of the Trans-Dimensional Age. Six months later, another even more critical figure passed away. Kuga Mamoru was the senior administrator of Rigel for almost twenty years, bringing his huge expertise to significantly boost almost every area of industry and the planetary economy. The loss of these two almost legendary Rigellians would have a serious impact on the current and future productivity of the Empire.

The lull in Rigellian naval activity continued throughout Y221 and into Y222. The only item of note during this period was the emergence of alien combat robots from an underground bunker on Kawasaki-B II. They were apparently disturbed by the efforts of seven construction brigades on the planet to restore damaged alien installations to working order. A Rigellian infantry brigade based on the colony, known as the Gyoku-Ryodan (PN: Jade Brigade), fought off the alien assault then launched a counter-attack that annihilated their mechanical foes. Rigellian tradition was that ground forces had a formal designation, in this case the 5th Infantry Brigade, plus an informal but commonly used ‘call-sign’, such as Gyoku-Ryodan.  In May Y222, a team led by Tsushima Kintada completed research into Internal Confinement Fusion Drive technology. After consultation with the Emperor, High Swordsman Takagi decided to delay still further the upgrade of the fleet until Tsushima could complete a new project to improve fuel efficiency, which meant it would be Y223 before new engines could be developed and shipyards retooled.

High Swordsman Takagi intended for the future upgrades to be primarily based on engines; partly because sensor and weapon technology had not significantly changed in the previous few years but mainly because the projected cost of engine upgrades was very high. Making extensive changes, such as replacing the composite armour of early designs with more modern ceramic composite, would make the cost prohibitive. However, recent events had driven Takagi to insist on one major change to Rigellian design philosophy that would be included in many of the proposed refits. Each warship would be given a small hangar for one or more lifeboats, giving the crew a much better chance to survive the destruction of their ship than simply waiting for rescue in their life pods. A larger than normal lifeboat with jump capability would be assigned to survey vessels in order to improve their chances of reaching home with a warning if they were attacked.

In April Y223, the last of the alien installations on Kawasaki-B II were recovered. Some had proven beyond repair and some were only storehouses for minerals, fuel or wealth. The rest were a mixture of small installations, including factories, mines and fuel refineries. Most were transported to Rigel on freighters, except for automated mines which were sent to a recently established mining colony on the twelfth moon of Nagoya VII. While only four minerals were present on the planet, three of them, Duranium, Mercassium and Gallicite, were in short supply on Rigel. The deposits of Mercassium were relatively small but 200,000 tons of accessibility 0.8 Duranium and almost a million tons of accessibility 0.9 Gallicite would ease those shortages. The single Taisho Maru class troop transport began transferring the available construction brigades to the site of the abandoned alien colony in Kawasaki, located on the twenty-second moon of Kawasaki-C I, which had six times as many installations identified for potential recovery.

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Chronicle of the Rigellian Empire - Part 2
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2015, 02:36:08 PM »
The first Fusion Drive Rigellian warships became available on November 9th Y223 when the four Kagero class destroyers Akigumo, Inazuma, Kagero and Yamagumo, completed their refits to the new Kagero Mod 1 design. The most obvious upgrade was the replacement of the three ion drives with the same number of the new Sakurai Drive Systems SDS-420 Fusion Drive. The SDS-420 was a boosted engine, adding five percent to the total power output in exchange for a thirteen percent penalty to fuel efficiency. Despite that, due to improvements in fuel efficiency technology, the SDS-420 was still more efficient in terms of fuel per engine power hour than the old SDS-240 Ion Drive, which meant the Kagero Mod 1 gained a twenty-three percent increase in range in addition to a seventy-five percent increase in speed. The second major change was the upgrade of the beam fire controls to cope with the much higher maximum speed of the Kagero Mod 1. Unfortunately, Rigellian fire control technology had not kept pace with the advances in propulsion and the existing fire controls were still the best available. Therefore, the only way to improve tracking speed was to increase the size of the fire controls by seventy-five percent, solving the problem through a brute force approach. Finally, a small boat bay was added to hold a Kyumei Boto class Lifeboat (see details below).

The addition of the larger fire controls and boat bay meant that either the hull size of the Kagero has to be increased or some of the existing systems had to be removed. As the Kagero was intended to operate with the 9000 ton jump-capable Nagara, the latter was the only realistic option. Although some space was saved by the replacement of seven gas-cooled reactors by four new fusion-based Tokamak reactors, the armament had to be reduced by one 20cm laser. Overall though, the high speed and tracking capabilities of the Kagero Mod 1 class more than made up for the small reduction in armament. In addition to the combat-related changes, increases in crew accommodations and engineering space improved the endurance of the Kagero so it would be able to remain on station for longer.

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Kagero Mod 1 class Destroyer    9,000 tons     280 Crew     1939.8 BP      TCS 180  TH 1260  EM 0
7000 km/s     Armour 5-38     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/11/0/0     Damage Control Rating 6     PPV 44
Maint Life 3.41 Years     MSP 876    AFR 99%    IFR 1.4%    1YR 115    5YR 1722    Max Repair 210 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 24 months    Flight Crew Berths 0    
Hangar Deck Capacity 125 tons    

Sakurai Drive Systems SDS-420 Fusion Drive (3)    Power 420    Fuel Use 45.19%    Signature 420    Exp 10%
Fuel Capacity 500,000 Litres    Range 22.1 billion km   (36 days at full power)

25cm C4 Ultraviolet Spinal Laser (1)  Range 256,000km  TS:7000 km/s  Power 16-4  RM 4  ROF 20
20cm C4 Ultraviolet Laser (6)   Range 256,000km     TS: 7000 km/s     Power 10-4     RM 4    ROF 15
Katsumata Design Bureau KDB-128R-7 Beam Fire Control (2)    Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 7000 km/s
Tokamak Fusion Reactor (4)     Total Power Output 32    Armour 0    Exp 5%

Muso-Murakami MM-75 Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 7560     Range 75.9m km    Resolution 120
Muso-Murakami EM-11 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 11     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  11m km

Strike Group
1x Kyumei Boto Lifeboat   Speed: 8750 km/s    Size: 2.4

The Kyumei Boto class Lifeboat was the result of High Swordsman Takagi’s desire to improve the survivability of Rigellian crews. With a size of only 120 tons, the Kyumei Boto would be hard for hostile forces to detect while its speed of 8750 km/s would allow a speedy exit from the area of conflict. Even with its small size and high speed, the life boat could still carry up to two hundred crew members within its emergency cryogenic transport module and had a range of more than thirteen billion kilometres. However, it lacked a jump drive so the Kyumei Boto would have to remain within the same system unless a jump gate or a jump-capable vessel was available.

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Kyumei Boto class Lifeboat    120 tons     1 Crew     20.5 BP      TCS 2.4  TH 21  EM 0
8750 km/s     Armour 1-2     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 0     PPV 0
Maint Life 0 Years     MSP 0    AFR 24%    IFR 0.3%    1YR 1    5YR 19    Max Repair 10.5 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Spare Berths 1    
Cryogenic Berths 200    

FD-21 Lifeboat Fusion Drive (1)    Power 21    Fuel Use 55.92%    Signature 21    Exp 10%
Fuel Capacity 5,000 Litres    Range 13.4 billion km   (17 days at full power)

On the 19th of January Y224, the carriers Akagi and Kaga completed their own refits. This was much simpler than the Kagero upgrade as only the engines were updated. Like the SDS-420, the Sakurai Drive Systems SDS-840 Fusion Drive was a boosted engine, which enabled the carriers to maintain the same top speed as the much smaller destroyers. The other two carriers, Soryu and Hiryu were immediately taken into the yards to begin their own refits.

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Akagi Mod 1 class Carrier    36,000 tons     617 Crew     5373 BP      TCS 720  TH 5040  EM 0
7000 km/s     Armour 3-97     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 25     PPV 0
Maint Life 1.95 Years     MSP 2379    AFR 406%    IFR 5.6%    1YR 822    5YR 12336    Max Repair 420 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Flight Crew Berths 125    
Hangar Deck Capacity 12000 tons     Magazine 1200    

Sakurai Drive Systems SDS-840 Fusion Drive (6)    Power 840    Fuel Use 33.89%    Signature 840    Exp 10%
Fuel Capacity 2,250,000 Litres    Range 33.2 billion km   (54 days at full power)
ASM-4 Comet Anti-ship Missile (240)  Speed: 28,800 km/s   Range: 52.9m km   WH: 9    Size: 5    TH: 96/57/28

Nagumo Engineering AS-150 Area Search Sensor (1)     GPS 15120     Range 151.8m km    Resolution 120

Strike Group
40x A6M Reisen Fighter   Speed: 8149 km/s    Size: 5.89
1x Kyumei Boto Lifeboat   Speed: 8750 km/s    Size: 2.4

As with the Kagero, the upgrade of the Matsukaze class Destroyer Escort resulted in a sacrifice of combat capability in order to add a small boat bay for a Kyumei Boto, in addition to new Fusion Drive engines. However, Rigellian designers firmly believed that the ten percent reduction in magazine space would be more than outweighed by the introduction of the AMM-6 Nova III, a missile with twice the speed of its immediate predecessor. It would take a while though to build up stocks of the new missiles, especially when production had to be shared with a new anti-ship missile.

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Matsukaze Mod 1 class Destroyer Escort    9,000 tons     199 Crew     1756.76 BP      TCS 180  TH 1260  EM 0
7000 km/s     Armour 4-38     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 4     PPV 15
Maint Life 2.27 Years     MSP 549    AFR 144%    IFR 2%    1YR 144    5YR 2166    Max Repair 210 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 16 months    Flight Crew Berths 1    
Hangar Deck Capacity 125 tons     Magazine 555    

Sakurai Drive Systems SDS-420 Fusion Drive (3)    Power 420    Fuel Use 45.19%    Signature 420    Exp 10%
Fuel Capacity 500,000 Litres    Range 22.1 billion km   (36 days at full power)

Tamuro-Soga Heavy Industries Dragon-1 Missile Launch System (15)    Missile Size 1    Rate of Fire 10
Nagumo Engineering FC-20 Missile Fire Control (3)     Range 20.8m km    Resolution 1
AMM-6 Nova III (555)  Speed: 70,000 km/s   Range: 6.7m km   WH: 1    Size: 1    TH: 326/196/98

Muso-Murakami MM-75 Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 7560     Range 75.9m km    Resolution 120
Nagumo Engineering MD-2 Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 189     Range 20.8m km    MCR 2.3m km    Resolution 1

Strike Group
1x Kyumei Boto Lifeboat   Speed: 8750 km/s    Size: 2.4

The refit of the Kongo class battlecruisers followed a similar pattern to the Matsukaze class. Magazine space was reduced, restricting the Kongo to thirteen full strength salvos rather than the previous fourteen, in order to incorporate a small boat bay. Once again though, overall effectiveness was greatly increased by new engines and a new missile, in this case the ASM-5 Meteor II, capable of 45,000 km/s.

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Kongo Mod 1 class Battlecruiser    15,000 tons     381 Crew     2638.68 BP      TCS 300  TH 2100  EM 0
7000 km/s     Armour 5-54     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/33/0/0     Damage Control Rating 7     PPV 60
Maint Life 2.25 Years     MSP 825    AFR 240%    IFR 3.3%    1YR 220    5YR 3307    Max Repair 210 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Flight Crew Berths 1    
Hangar Deck Capacity 125 tons     Magazine 780    

Sakurai Drive Systems SDS-420 Fusion Drive (5)    Power 420    Fuel Use 45.19%    Signature 420    Exp 10%
Fuel Capacity 800,000 Litres    Range 21.2 billion km   (35 days at full power)

Tamuro-Soga Heavy Industries Dragon-5 Missile Launch System (12)    Missile Size 5    Rate of Fire 40
Nagumo Engineering FC-150 Missile Fire Control (2)     Range 151.8m km    Resolution 120
ASM-5 Meteor II Anti-Ship Missile (156)  Speed: 45,000 km/s   Range: 146.2m km   WH: 9    Size: 5    TH: 150/90/45

Nagumo Engineering AS-150 Area Search Sensor (1)     GPS 15120     Range 151.8m km    Resolution 120
Muso-Murakami EM-33 Passive Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 33     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  33m km

Strike Group
1x Kyumei Boto Lifeboat   Speed: 8750 km/s    Size: 2.4

By October Y224, the Gallicite deposits on Rigel were almost exhausted and the stockpile of previously mined Gallicite was less than a thousand tons due to the huge amount used during recent refits. The mining colony that had been established on the twelfth moon of Nagoya VII was providing some supplies and the number of automated mines had reached two hundred. However, the vast majority of those automated mines had been converted from manned mines, which had in turn reduced the number of mines on Rigel itself. Some mines, both manned and automated, were being recovered from the abandoned alien colony in Kawasaki but these were not enough to make a significant difference to the situation. Less than half of the Imperial Rigellian Navy’s combat units had been refitted so the Gallicite shortage posed a serious to the long-term security of the Empire. Most of the refits underway had to be temporarily halted until fresh shipments of Gallicite arrived from Nagoya. Even then, only a few ships at a time could be refitted and new construction would have to wait. Duranium was also still an issue, although the minerals from Nagoya were enough to maintain the conversion of manned mines into automated mines.

In January Y225 the Rigellian terraforming fleet, comprising twelve Jeneshisu class ships, completed the task of transforming  Osaka IV into an ideal habitable world, the first such world apart from Rigel Prime. Rather than simply bringing the conditions barely within Rigellian tolerances, the temperature was raised close to that of the Rigellian homeworld, making the planet a truly desirable destination for prospective colonists. The population had already grown to seven million in the ten years since the colony was first established and the planet had become an important refuelling point for ships operating in the systems beyond Osaka. Three Zosensho class maintenance vessels, built in Y222, had been assigned to Osaka IV so it could serve as a forward survey base. All twelve survey ships were in orbit, having completed all possible surveys within known space, and were awaiting an end to the moratorium on Rigellian exploration which had been in place for almost five years. The escort Shimakaze was deployed at Osaka IV to provide protection, which was not an ideal role for the ship. The need to protect the growing number of small Rigellian colonies was leading senior Rigellian naval officers and ship designers to consider some form of orbital defence base. Unfortunately, given the critical resource shortages plaguing the Empire, that would have to be a long-term goal.

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Zosensho class Maintenance Vessel    85,000 tons     835 Crew     3698 BP      TCS 1700  TH 900  EM 0
529 km/s     Armour 1-172     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
MSP 27    Max Repair 200 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    Spare Berths 0    
Maintenance Modules: 15 module(s) capable of supporting ships of 3000 tons

Commercial Ion Drive (3)    Power 300    Fuel Use 6.19%    Signature 300    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 300,000 Litres    Range 10.3 billion km   (224 days at full power)
« Last Edit: February 04, 2015, 02:41:38 PM by Steve Walmsley »

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Chronicle of the Rigellian Empire - Part 2
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2015, 02:41:17 PM »
The Rigellian Empire was stunned in April Y225 by the death of Emperor Jimmu after an illness lasting several months. The Emperor had led the Empire throughout the quarter century of the Trans-Dimensional Age and guided the first steps into interstellar space. A week of mourning was declared throughout the Empire, after which Emperor Suizei ascended to the Imperial Throne. While criticism of the Emperor is not forbidden within the Rigellian Empire, it is considered to be extremely dishonourable behaviour, especially among naval officers. That fact should be taken into consideration when analysing the comments of naval officers during the last five years of the Emperor Jimmu’s reign. Several senior officers overtly praised the Emperor for preventing any risks to Rigellian naval vessels by avoiding contact with the aliens that had attacked Rigellians without warning in Kumamoto and destroyed three Rigellian warships in Tokushima.

Emperor Suizei was a very different character than his father. Rumours persist regarding an incident three months before the death of Emperor Jimmu. Suizei was the son of Emperor Jimmu’s chief wife, Isukeyorihime, which made him the crown prince. The eldest son of the Emperor’s third wife, Ahiratsuhime, who was reputed to be jealous of Suizei and believed himself to be a far better candidate for Emperor, invited Suizei to dine with him in order to “discuss and resolve their differences”. The son of Ahiratsuhime did not survive the meal. According to the official press release at the time, the unfortunate prince stumbled and fell on his own ceremonial dagger. Suizei suffered what could be viewed as a defensive wound on his forearm but this was officially classed as an accident, caused by Suizei attempts to assist his mortally wounded half-brother. The incident was given further prominence when the newly crowned Emperor Suizei decreed that the name of his half-brother be removed from all official records, including this one.

Emperor Suizei’s first official act was to instruct High Swordsman Takagi to remove the alien presence from Kumamoto and Tokushima as soon as was practicable. How that was accomplished was up to Takagi. However, Emperor Suizei pointed out the Imperial Rigellian Navy existed not only to defend the Empire but to expand its borders and eliminate any potential future threats. He would not place blame on the High Swordsman for future ship losses as long as the Empire was aggressively pushing outwards.  High Swordsman Takagi decided to act on the new direction from the Throne as soon as possible. All the ships of the Second Striking Force has been refitted, with the exception of its single Nagara class destroyer leader. Takagi added a refitted Sakawa class scout destroyer to its order of battle and ordered the Second to enter Kumamoto and determine the strength of the alien forces.

The Second Striking Force was commanded by Swordsman of Stars Terakado, famed as the commander of the survey ship Fuji when it made the first ever Rigellian jump point transit. The previous commander of the Second, Swordsman of Stars Morimoto, had been promoted to Swordsman of Many Stars and now led the Kido Butai from his flagship Akagi. The order of battle for the Second Striking Force comprised three Kongo Mod 1 class battlecruisers, three Kagero Mod 1 class destroyers, three Matsukaze Mod 1 destroyer escorts, a Sakawa Mod 1 class scout destroyer and a Nagara class destroyer leader.

On June 11th Y225, DL Nagara, DD Akigumo, and DE Asakaze transited the Kawasaki – Kumamoto jump point with orders to confirm the Kumamoto side was clear of any Mazoku presence. After several uneventful minutes they were joined by the other destroyer-sized ships of the Second Striking Force. A jump gate had been built on the Kawasaki side but the Kongos would be unable to return if they transited. The eight Rigellian destroyers remained on the Kumamoto - Kawasaki jump point to test the alien reaction and learn what they could about any reaction force. The presence of the Sakawa with its huge active sensor would serve as a beacon for any Mazoku ships in Kumamoto. Three days after arrival, the 8250 ton Boreum Planum class that had been detected during the previous first to the system appeared at one and a quarter billion kilometres, the edge of Rigellian sensor range. As before, it was moving at the incredible speed of 11,363 km/s. After closing to 425 million kilometres, it moved back out to 700 million and held station.

Two days later, with the Rigellians still holding at the jump point, an alien task group comprising two 16,500 ton cruisers and five 8250 ton destroyers, moved into sensor range. One of the cruisers was the previously detected Von Kamen class, while the other was a new design, designated as Daedalia Planum class. The destroyers included three Xanthe Terras and a Cerberus Rupes, all of which were known ships, plus a single new type – the Sacra Mensa. The Mazoku ships approached at 7575 km/s. While they were still faster than their Rigellian counterparts, the difference in speed was now much less and the A6M Reisen fighters would actually have a speed advantage. Three hundred and fifty million kilometres from the jump point, the Mazoku halted their approach and held position. As the Mazoku were probably launching missiles and the Rigellian force had already accomplished its task of assessing the enemy, Swordsman of Stars Terakado ordered his ships to retreat into Kawasaki.

After receiving a request for reinforcement from Swordsman of Stars Terakado, High Swordsman Takagi authorised the use of the Kido Butai. Hiryu and Soryu broke orbit of Rigel and headed for Kawasaki. They arrived on July 13th Y225, and became part of the re-designated Second Carrier Striking Force. DL Nagara, DD Akigumo, DE Asakaze jumped into Kumamoto and confirmed there were no hostile forces within one hundred and fifty million kilometres. The rest of the destroyers followed while the carriers and battlecruisers remained in Kawasaki.

On July 17th, the alien scout re-appeared, closed to seven hundred million kilometres and halted, presumably to monitor the Rigellian ships on the jump point. The 5th Strike Wing, comprising 20 A6M Reisen from Soryu, transited into Kumamoto and headed for the target at 8149 km/s. While the alien ship was significantly faster that would not be an issue while it remained stationary and the fighters would be difficult to detect at their maximum launch range so there would be little warning. The A6Ms first attempted to launch at thirty-five million kilometers but the target had active ECM and their fire controls were unable to get a lock until they moved within twenty-six million. Sixty Comet anti-ship missiles were launched in a single wave. As the scout was capable of over 11,000 km/s and the speed of the missiles was 28,800 km/s, the chance for any individual missile to hit was relatively low, which meant a large number of missiles were required to ensure sufficient hits. The Boreum Planum class scout suddenly went to evasive manoeuvres when the missiles were thirty-five seconds from impact. It was too late. After suffering only nine hits, the scout exploded. Presumably its high speed came at the price of limited armour protection. There was no sign of any life pods. As the 5th Strike Wing headed back to the jump point, the alien task group of seven ship appeared on Rigellian sensors.

Swordsman of Stars Terakado ordered Hiryu and Soryu to launch the 60 A6M fighters of the 6th, 7th and 8th Strike Wings and send them through the jump point against the approaching alien fleet. As with the scout, the maximum range at which the fighters could achieve a fire control lock was twenty-six million kilometers. For the initial attack four targets were selected. The 6th and 7th Strike Wings targeted the Von Kamen and Daedalia Planum class cruisers respectively while the 8th Strike Wing split its fire between the Cerberus Rupes and Sacra Mensa class destroyers. Twenty-five seconds after the missile launch two Rigellian fighters were each struck by several missiles with strength-1 warheads, blowing them to pieces. Moments later a third fighter was crippled by four hits. The strike leader, Samurai Sunada, ordered the fifty-seven remaining Reisens to reverse course immediately and head for the jump point. Confusion reigned as the carefully laid-put strike plan came apart. The Rigellian pilots were in action for the first time and were not used to manoeuvring under such pressure. Eight more fighters were destroyed before the three Strike Wings began opening the range to the alien task group. Meanwhile, the outbound Rigellian missiles began to self-destruct due to the loss of their controlling fighters.

Even as the Rigellian fighters retreated, the enemy missiles continued to arrive every few seconds, killing fighter after fighter. The constant hail of fire gave the Strike Wings no time to escape. By the time the incoming missiles ceased only three crippled, immobile fighters remained out of sixty. All one hundred and eighty offensive missiles had self-destructed due to loss of control. A disaster for the Kido Butai and the Rigellian Navy. It was now obvious the Mazoku could detect and engage Rigellian fighters beyond the range at which they were able to respond. The Sacra Mensa class destroyer broke away from the main Mazoku task group and headed for the inner system, perhaps to reload. The three surviving Reisens were picked off within fifteen minutes so if the Sacra Mensa was reloading, it meant at least one other Mazoku ship was capable of engaging the fighters. With no reason to remain in Kumamoto the Rigellian ships withdrew. Of the eighty fighters sent into Kumamoto only those of the 5th Strike Wing had survived. Once again though there was no sign of pursuit. The Mazoku seemed content to hold Kumamoto without venturing into Kawasaki.

An upgraded version of the A6M, the A6M2 Reisen, was already in production with thirty-five in service. However, the new fighter had been designed around the new Nakajima Sakae Fighter Fusion Drive, giving it twice the speed of the A6M, and had the same fire control as the A6M, which meant it would also be vulnerable to the Mazoku. A new fighter would have to be designed with a greater engagement range. Unfortunately, the Gallicite shortage was still causing severe issues, with the refitting of existing warships progressing slowly, and Gallicite was also an essential resource for the production of fighters and missiles, which meant such production was on hold for the moment.

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A6M2 Reisen Mod 1 class Fighter    300 tons     3 Crew     87.4 BP      TCS 5.99  TH 100  EM 0
16694 km/s     Armour 1-3     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 0     PPV 2.25
Maint Life 0 Years     MSP 0    AFR 59%    IFR 0.8%    1YR 5    5YR 69    Max Repair 25 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 0.2 months    Spare Berths 0   
Magazine 15   

Nakajima Sakae Fighter Fusion Drive (2)    Power 50    Fuel Use 489.16%    Signature 50    Exp 25%
Fuel Capacity 20,000 Litres    Range 2.5 billion km   (40 hours at full power)

TSH Dragon-5B Missile Launch System (3)    Missile Size 5    Hangar Reload 37.5 minutes    MF Reload 6.2 hours
Nagumo Engineering FC-40 Missile Fire Control (1)     Range 38.0m km    Resolution 120
ASM-4 Comet Anti-ship Missile (3)  Speed: 28,800 km/s   End: 30.6m    Range: 52.9m km   WH: 9    Size: 5    TH: 96/57/28
Nagumo Engineering AS-10 Active Sensor (1)     GPS 1008     Range 10.1m km    Resolution 120

Even though the return of the Imperial Rigellian Navy to Kumamoto would be some time away, High Swordsman Takagi decided to take advantage of the presence of the Second Carrier Striking Force in Kawasaki to investigate the system’s two remaining unexplored jump points. Swordsman of Stars Terakado formed an exploration squadron comprising a Kagero, a Matsukaze, a Nagara and a Sakawa, all of which except the Nagara had the new fusion engines. The squadron transited jump point four on August 18th and discovered Takamatsu, a quaternary system with an F6-V yellow-white primary star. Only the seven planets of the primary were realistically accessible because of the distance of the other stars and the lack of Masaki Points in the system. The third planet had a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of 0.21 and a surface temperature of -67C, making it a potential terraforming candidate, so the three fusion drive destroyers moved in-system to check out all the inner planets while the jump-capable, ion engine Nagara remained at the jump point.

As the Rigellian destroyers approached the inner system, two Mazoku destroyers of the previously unseen Syria Planum class appeared at maximum sensor range on an intercept course from outside orbit of the fourth planet. With the old ion drive ships, the squadron would have been easily caught by the Mazoku. Now, they had time to hold their course, scan the third planet from maximum sensor range and then reverse course to head for the jump point. Of more concern than the immediate tactical situation was the fact that the Mazoku were present in two systems adjacent to Kawasaki. The identity of the aliens who destroyed the three Rigellian ships in Tokushima was unknown but most Rigellian officers believed that it was also a Mazoku system. It was indeed fortunate for the security of the Empire that the Mazoku did not appear to have any interest in expansion.

With the fusion drive destroyers halfway to the jump point, Nagara detected a pair of strength-250 thermal contacts at just five million kilometres out-system from her position on that jump point. Despite a maximum sensor range of one hundred and fifty million kilometres she could not detect any active contacts, which meant the thermal signatures must be from very small ships. Nagara was armed with three lasers, including a 25cm spinal mount, but she was almost certainly too slow to enter weapon range unless the two new arrivals, designated as Aeolis Mensae class, allowed her to do so. Her commander, Swordsman Matsuzawa, informed the inbound ships of the situation and declared his intention to jump into Kawasaki. Nagara would then use her jump drive to open the jump point when they were scheduled to arrive. Before departing, she tracked the new class at 13,157 km/s. That was fighter speed, but the thermal signatures were five times larger than the A6M Reisen,

Half a billion kilometres from the jump point, the rest of the exploration squadron, DD Akigumo, DE Asakaze and DSC Sakawa, detected six size-3 missiles inbound from directly ahead. There was no sign of any launch platform despite Sakawa’s primary sensor having a range well in excess of a billion kilometres. However, the lack of an launch platform was of minor concern compared to the missiles themselves. The inbound anti-ship missiles were travelling at 58,000 km/s, almost as fast as the Rigellian Empire latest anti-missile missile and much faster than the first and second generation missiles that still formed the bulk of the Empire’s AMM stockpile and the loadout of the majority of destroyer escorts. Fortunately, the Matsukazes  of the Second Carrier Striking Force, including Asakaze, were equipped with the new Nova III. Even so, only five of the six incoming ASMs were shot down and Asakaze suffered a single strength-7 hit. Approximately four hours later, another salvo arrived, this time of four missiles. Three were destroyed by Nova IIIs and the fourth missed its target. There was still no sign of the attacking ships, which were presumably fighters or some other relatively small craft.

A third attack took place after a further four hours; this time comprising eighteen missiles. Due to the sheer speed of the inbounds and the low chance to hit for the defensive missiles, only seven were shot down. One Mazoku missile missed and the other ten slammed into the Kagero Mod 1 class destroyer Akigumo. The first nine detonations were entirely stopped by the destroyer’s armour, along with 70% of the impact of the tenth. The blast that did penetrate the armour damaged one of the three SDS-420 Fusion Drives, which blew up in a colossal strength-105 secondary explosion that completely obliterated the Akigumo. The crews of DE Asakaze and DSC Sakawa were stunned by the loss of their sister ship but had little option but to keep running for the jump point. A lifeboat from Asakaze rescued one hundred and forty-five survivors from Akigumo’s life pods.

Fortunately, there were no further attack and the two chasing Syria Planums were too far away to catch the fleeing Rigellians. Asakaze and Sakawa retreated through the jump point to rendezvous with Nagara. Swordsman of Stars Terakado ordered the three ships to defend the Kawasaki – Takamatsu jump point against any attempt by the Mazoku to pursue and detached the two remaining Kagero Mod 1s from the main body of the Second Carrier Striking Force to reinforce them. The loss of Akigumo and the subsequent hasty retreat from Takamatsu were yet another setback for the Imperial Rigellian Navy. Even so, Emperor Suizei kept his word and placed no blame on High Swordsman Takagi. In fact he issued a statement of support for Takagi, declaring the Empire was trying to expand into space that was occupied by an alien race with apparently more advanced technology. Under those circumstances, the Rigellian crews should only be honoured for their bravery in facing the alien foe, not criticised for suffering casualties. Privately, High Swordsman Takagi and the Emperor agreed to resolve the industrial problems facing the Empire, primarily the Gallicite shortage, and develop a new strikefighter before the Navy returned to either Kumamoto or Takamatsu.

to be continued...

Offline Jakalo

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Re: Chronicle of the Rigellian Empire - Part 2
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2015, 03:17:18 PM »
Action is ramping up.

Offline Hydrofoil

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Re: Chronicle of the Rigellian Empire - Part 2
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2015, 01:21:07 PM »
Hot dayum Empire plagued by resource shortages an alien menace on its door steps that is far more powerful than your own. Hard times ahead for the Empire.


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