Author Topic: Chronicle of the Rigellian Empire - Part 5  (Read 3566 times)

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Offline Steve Walmsley

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Chronicle of the Rigellian Empire - Part 5
« on: June 09, 2015, 10:48:00 AM »
On November 9th substantial reinforcements arrived for the Third Carrier Striking Force at Tokushima III, including two carriers, two battleships, both Takao class battlecruisers, two destroyers, a scout destroyer and a destroyer escort. The carrier and battleship already with the Third both headed back to Rigel for overhaul as the maintenance facilities at Tokushima III could only handle ships of up to 15,000 tons. By this point, those ships of that size in the Third Carrier Striking Force had all completed their own overhauls. The force gathered at Tokushima III was now the most powerful Rigellian fleet ever assembled outside the Rigel system. The complete order of battle was as follows:

2x Akagi class Carrier: Akagi, Hiryu
2x Yamato class Battleship: Musashi, Shinano
2x Takao class Battlecruiser: Atago, Takao
4x Kongo class Battlecruiser: Ise, Kotetsu, Nagato, Tosa
1x Nagara Mod 1 class Destroyer Leader: Isuzu
4x Kagero Mod 1 class Destroyer: Asagumo, Asashimo, Kasumi, Murakumo
5x Matsukaze Mod 1 class Destroyer Escort: Isokaze, Minekaze, Nadakaze, Tachikaze, Yakaze
2x Mikura class Destroyer Escort: Awaji, Miyake
2x Sakawa Mod 1 class Scout Destroyer: Yahagi, Yubari
3x Aratama Maru class Ammunition Transport: Myoko Maru, Nachi Maru, Senko Maru
72x A6M3 Reisen Strikefighter

All ships in the Third Carrier Striking Force had full magazines of the latest missiles and were fully fuelled. Each of the three Aratama Marus carried three hundred Meteor II anti-ship missiles. An additional stockpile of ordnance on Tokushima III included a further one hundred and fifty Meteor IIs, nine hundred Meteor Is, nine hundred Nova III anti-missiles and fifteen hundred Nova II anti-missiles. Twelve million litres of fuel were also available on the planet. Everything was in place for an offensive against Omuta, with two exceptions. Unfortunately, no jump gate had been built on the Tokushima – Omuta jump point, which meant the capital ships could not transit into Omuta. That oversight was being corrected with the deployment of a Kochiku Suru class construction ship to the jump point. In addition, High Swordsman Takagi wanted to know the results of the mission of the Tama class scouts to ensure no new threat materialised just as the Rigellian Empire committed itself to a major offensive.

Tama began her mission by transiting the fourth jump point of Kagoshima, which led to the Kanazawa system, comprising a  yellow G2-V main sequence star and ten planets. Three of the planets had nitrogen-oxygen atmospheres, although one was a high gravity world (1.95G) with a dense atmosphere that was unsuitable for Rigellians physiology. The other two planets were colony cost 2.00 and 4.60, with both having thin atmospheres and temperatures of -43C and -107C respectively. Tama moved into the inner system to investigate. There was no sign of any alien presence. Meanwhile, Kuma entered the fifth jump point of Nagasaki and found the planetless brown dwarf system of Nagano. Across the Empire, the last of the twenty-eight Rigellian fuel harvesters was towed into orbit of Kumamoto V by one of the three Ojima class tugs now in service.

On December 20th Y232, Kuma transited Nagasaki’s second jump point and arrived in Yokosuka, an unremarkable single star system with a K5-V primary and five planets. The only unusual feature was that the jump point was just seventy-four million kilometers from the star. Kuma scouted all five planets and found no sign of an alien presence. She returned to Nagasaki and set course for the next unexplored jump point. She had travelled one hundred and seventy million kilometres on her new course when she detected the emissions of two alien ships close to the Yokosuka jump point. Whether they had emerged from Yokosuka, after remaining undetected during Kuma’s time in that system, or were already in Nagasaki, and their proximity to the jump point was a coincidence, was unknown. However, their active sensors were powerful and they were also emitting shield signatures of strength-600. Fortunately, they did not appear to have detected Kuma and were on course for the inner system. In any event, they could not have caught the Rigellian scout due to their apparent maximum speed of only 1100 km/s.

A battlegroup of five ships, including a Kongo class battlecruiser, was in the adjacent Nagoya system. However, it was guarding the jump point to the Toyohashi system, home of the nebula-dwelling Seiun Imperium, and could not abandon its station. The Second Carrier Striking Force had completed its overhaul at Rigel Prime so it was ordered to head back to Nagoya in case the new aliens proved hostile. Any advance into Omuta to confront the Arachnids would have to wait until the potential threat in Nagasaki could be assessed. In the meantime, High Swordsman Takagi ordered Kuma to continue with her mission and look for other signs of an alien presence in the systems surrounding Nagasaki.

Kuma entered Nagasaki’s third jump point on December 25th and discovered the unremarkable Toyama system, which comprised a single star and eight planets. She returned to Nagasaki and headed for the inner system, trying to reacquire the two alien ships. By this point the Second Carrier Striking Force was in Nagoya en route to the Nagasaki jump point. Kuma detected both Genghis class ships on January 6th. Both were still moving at 1100 km/s and one was on course for the innermost jump point, which remained unexplored by the Rigellian Empire. Kuma opened the range to avoid detection while she awaited the Second Carrier Striking Force, which arrived in the system two days later. Meanwhile her sister ship Tama explored the last two jump points in Kagoshima, finding the systems of Fukoi and Sendai, neither of which had any distinguishing characteristics.

By January 14th The Second Carrier Striking Force was closing on one of the 60,000 ton Genghis class ships. There was no sign of the other, which had presumably entered the innermost jump point. Communication was attempted once again but there was no response from the aliens. Swordsman of Stars Terakado decided to monitor the alien ships from ten million kilometres, which gave the option for a missile attack or to close quickly for an energy engagement, and continue communication  attempts. Kuma was ordered to move around the slow-moving alien behemoth and transit jump point one to confirm the location of the second alien ship. The Genghis in Nagasaki attempted to close on the Second Carrier Striking Force. While the Second could easily stay out of range, at some point fuel would become an issue.

Kuma transited Nagasaki’s innermost jump point on January 16th and discovered the Iwaki system, comprising a yellow G9-V primary and fourteen planets, an unusually large number for a single star. Iwaki IV was an ideal habitable world with a temperature of 11C, a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of 1.02 atm and gravity of 1.06G, the closest to Rigel Prime in terms of environmental conditions of all the planets discovered to date. There was no immediate sign of the Genghis that was believed to entered Iwaki so Kuma briefly transited into Nagasaki to inform Swordsman of Stars Terakado of the situation then returned to Iwaki and set course for the ideal habitable world. Two days later she detected the 60,000 ton alien ship a quarter of the distance from the jump point to the inner system. The Genghis attempted to close on the scout but Kuma moved around it and resumed communication attempts. There was still no response.

Kuma reached Iwaki IV on January 24th without any further sign of an alien presence. The deserted planet was obviously not the alien home world. After checking the other inner planets and avoiding the Genghis on the return journey, Kuma arrived back in Nagasaki on February 6th. Her next mission was to return to Yokosuka. There was no sign of any alien ships during her previous visit to the system but given the first appearance of the aliens was close to the Nagasaki – Yokosuka jump point it seemed at least a strong possibility that Yokosuka was the origin of the two Genghis class ships. Immediately after entering the system she detected a new class of ship from the same alien race. The Timurad class had the same sensor as the Genghis but a shield strength of 1500 compared to 600, suggesting it was even larger than 60,000 tons. Despite their relatively low speed, the aliens’ shield technology was formidable. The Timurad began heading toward the jump point so Kuma transited back into Nagasaki. Kuma was down to three percent fuel so the Second Carrier Striking Force set course for the Yokosuka jump point with the Genghis trailing behind. The aliens, which still did not have an official designation, were now present in three connected systems; Nagasaki, Iwaki and Yokosuka.

Kuma’s sister ship, Tama, arrived in Kochi, adjacent to Nagoya, to begin investigation of its six unexplored jump points. Jump point seven led to Mito, which comprised a yellow G5-V primary with nine planets and a planetless brown dwarf companion. The fourth planet had a breathable atmosphere, acceptable gravity and a temperature of 53C, giving it a colony cost of 0.73. In Tokushima, three more Zosensho class maintenance vessels arrived at the fleet base on Tokushima III, enabling the colony to maintain ships of up to 24,000 tons. The two Takao class battlecruisers would no longer need to return to Rigel for overhauls.

By February 24th a tanker had refuelled Kuma and the entire Second Carrier Striking Force. Kuma departed Nagasaki to perform scouting duties in other parts of the Empire, leaving the Second Carrier striking Force and the tanker on the Yokosuka jump point. There was no sign of the Timurad transiting from Yokosuka but the Genghis in Nagasaki was closing in and was only hours away. Despite many Rigellian attempts to communicate over a two month period there was still no response and the Genghis continually attempted to close the range. While the Second could easily move away, it was burning fuel and the situation was not changing. Terakado requested permission to engage the Genghis and the other alien ships in Iwaki and Yokosuka. After consulting with the Emperor, High Swordsman Takagi gave that permission.

The Genghis had already closed to ten million kilometres so, assuming it had hostile intentions, it seemed unlikely to be missile-armed. Therefore a Rigellian missile attack seemed to be the best option. However, the Second Carrier Striking Force was much weaker than the Third, with only one carrier, Soryu, and three Kongo class battlecruisers. In addition, the alien shields were strength-600 and a ship of that size almost certainly had some form of point defence. Finally, the reloads on Soryu and on the single ammunition transport accompanying the Second were older Meteor I anti-ship missiles. The alternative was an energy attack but Terakado was concerned that his energy combatants, four Kagero Mod 1s and two Nagaras, were out-massed by the alien warship even before considering the Nagaras had reduced armament to allow for their jump drives. If the alien ship was energy-armed and had comparable range, they could be in serious trouble.
Swordsman of Stars Terakado decided to close to 600,000 kilometres and launch a combined strike with his thirty-six fighters and three Kongo class battlecruisers, followed up by additional Kongo salvos. If that proved insufficient, his force would close to within energy range. One hundred and forty-four Meteor IIs were launched. There was no anti-missile fire and only nine were hit by close range point defence. The strength-9 warheads of the other one hundred and thirty-five missiles all detonated on target. The destructive energy released was powerful enough to overcome shields twice as powerful as those mounted by the Genghis. Even so, the mighty 60,000 warship sailed through the explosions without reducing speed and its shields began to recharge. Behind it trailing a steam of fluid rather than atmosphere, almost as if the ship was bleeding.

Suddenly, twenty 750 ton craft, designated as Kublai class, launched from the Genghis and headed straight for the Second Carrier Striking Force at 10,666 km/s. Concerned that taking pressure off the Genghis would allow it to recharge its shields, Terakado ordered the Kongos to continue firing on the alien mothership. Every other warship in the Second Carrier Striking Force targeted the twenty Kublais, although most were out of range for the moment. The four Kageros each targeted two enemy ships, the three Matsukazes targeted one each with AMMs while the two Nagaras and the single Sakawa targeted one each. Even the two Mikura with their short-ranged gauss cannon began targeting the incoming fast attack craft.

At 360,000 kilometres, three Kublai were destroyed by AMMs from the Matsukaze, although it had required two full salvos totalling ninety Nova IIIs. Strangely, there was no sign of wreckage. There was also no return fire. Another salvo of Meteor IIs from the Kongos reached the Genghis; only eighteen hit with the others being shot down by point defence. The Genghis remained at full speed. As the Kublais reached 212,000 kilometres, three more were destroyed by AMMs and several suffered minor laser hits. Amidst the confusion, the Rigellian fighters landed safely. The first fire came from the FACs at 112,000 kilometers, as the battlecruiser Hyuga was struck twice by some form of meson weapon that bypassed her armour. One missile launcher was destroyed, along with part of her crew accommodation. At 94,000 kilometres, three more FACs were killed by anti-missile missiles and a fourth was left dead in space when it was struck by Kagero’s spinal laser. Ten remained operational.

Hyuga was hit again as the range fell to 75,000 km, losing a magazine. Fortunately, the ordnance was ejected safely without causing a secondary explosion. Hyuga and her sisters launched a new salvo against the Genghis, scoring only twelve hits and still failing to cause any obvious damage. At 57,000 km, each of the four Kagero class destroyers simultaneously killed a Kublai with laser fire; a fifth was destroyed by AMMs and a sixth crippled by lasers  The alien fast attack craft continued to concentrate their fire on Hyuga. An engine was hit was by meson fire but remained intact. At just 20,000 kilometres, Kagero destroyed another Kublai, AMMs from the Matsukazes killed two more and Yamagumo seriously damaged the last FAC capable of movement. Seventeen Kublai had been destroyed and the other three no longer posed a threat.

A new salvo from the Kongos arrived at the Genghis but its point defence appeared to be improving and only twelve Meteor IIs hit their target, which still maintained its original speed of 1100 km/s. Concerned that his ships were wasting missiles, Swordsman of Stars Terakado decided to close the range and add the firepower of his energy combatants. The range of the alien meson weapons appeared to be relatively short. The three crippled FACs were picked off as the Second Carrier Striking Force moved toward the Genghis. Two more missiles strikes went in, inflicting a total of thirty hits and finally causing the Genghis to slow slightly. At 150,000 kilometres, the seven laser-armed Rigellian ships began scoring hits. The next missile salvo went in unopposed, presumably the laser strikes had taken out something vital, and all thirty-five missiles struck the Genghis, dropping its speed to 805 km/s.

Terakado decided to conserve missiles and ordered the Kongos to cease-fire. There was obviously a problem with either the sensors or the targeting system of the Genghis so he ordered his laser-armed units to close to 80,000 kilometres. There was no response from the Genghis and a barrage of lasers tore it apart. When the Genghis finally disappeared from sensors there was no sign of wreckage. After a brief discussion, the consensus of the Rigellian science officers within the Second Carrier Striking Force was that the lack of wreckage and the fluid that streamed from damaged alien ships suggested the aliens could in fact be some form of space-dwelling life form. Aratama Maru filled the partially empty magazines of Soryu and the three Kongos with Meteor Is then detached from the Second Carrier Striking Force and headed back to Rigel. Hyuga began repairs on her damaged systems. The Second Carrier Striking Force could enter Yokosuka and Iwaki to engage the Timurad and second Genghis respectively as jump gates had been constructed on the Nagasaki side of both jump points. However, it could not return until gates were also constructed in the destination systems. A construction ship and a jump freighter were both dispatched to Nagasaki, with the latter being sent as insurance in case the construction ship had to retreat before it could complete a jump gate.

On March 4th Y233, In Tokushima, a jump gate was completed on the Tokushima – Omuta jump point, allowing the Third Carrier Striking Force to enter the Arachnid home system. Before sending the whole of the Third Carrier Striking Force into Omuta, Swordsman of Stars Tanaka dispatched a mission to determine the feasibility of constructing a gate on the far side, or confirm if a gate was already in place, before committing to an all-out assault. A jump-capable Nagara and a Mikura class escort were sent to join the two Kagero class destroyers on the Omuta jump point. The reinforcements were four hundred million kilometers from the jump point when a 16,700 ton Arachnid cruiser, a new type designated as Velsharoon class, transited into Tokushima.

The two Kagero Mod 1s on the jump point, Asashimo and Kuroshio, locked on and opened fire within five seconds of the transit, scoring two strength-16 hits with their spinal lasers and a dozen strength-10 hits with their main battery of 20cm lasers. Two strikes penetrated the cruiser’s armour and the Velsharoon slowed to 3017 km/s. A Kochiku Suru class construction ship on the jump point attempted to run. Fifteen second later the destroyers fired again, inflicting a further twelve hits - eight of which caused internal damage. The 25cm spinal lasers of the Kageros were slower to recharge and fired after a further five seconds. The Velsharoon, which was trying unsuccessfully to open the range, suffered a pair of strength-16 hits. The Arachnid cruiser had still not returned fire. A third volley from the Rigellian destroyers resulted in a massive strength-62 magazine explosion and the Velsharoon blew up. A Kyumei Boto picked up two hundred and eighteen Arachnid survivors and headed for Tokushima III to drop them off.

Two days after the brief engagement, DL Isuzu, DD Asashimo and DE Miyake transited into Omuta. DD Kuroshio remained on the Tokushima side of the jump point. There was no sign of Arachnid ships on the Omuta side of the jump point. More importantly, there was already a gate in place, presumably constructed by the Arachnids to give them access to Tokushima. A message was relayed back to Swordsman of Stars Tanaka and the Third Carrier Striking Force broke orbit of Tokushima III. The Third transited into Omuta on March 9th and detected three Arachnid destroyers, designated as Talona class, at five hundred and thirty million kilometers.

The Third Carrier Striking Force headed for the inner system. The Arachnid destroyers set course for the Rigellian task group, travelling at 9485 km/s, much faster than other Arachnid ship types. Once they reached four hundred million kilometres they activated powerful sensors and held the range open, indicating they were probably some form of scout class. Swordsman of Stars Tanaka ordered a fighter strike, sending eighteen A6M3 Reisens against the Talonas. At 04:50 on March 10th, they launched fifty-four Meteor IIs with strength-9 warheads. Twenty hits were scored, causing a series of secondary power explosions that destroyed two Talonas and crippled the third, reducing its speed to 3448 km/s.

Ninety minutes later a new Arachnid population was detected on Omuta II, two billion kilometres ahead of the Third Carrier Striking Force. While it had a signature only one quarter that of the huge population on Omuta III, it was still of considerable size. Two hours after the detection of the population, seven new ship contacts appeared at the edge of sensor range. A 16,700 ton  Velsharoon, the same class that recently entered the Tokushima system, three Gehennas, a new class of 16,700 tons, a Malcanthet, a new destroyer class of 8350 tons, and two Lucifer class battleships, the largest Arachnid class seen so far at  25,050 tons. All seven ships were moving at 3449 km/s. The Arachnid task group was too distant for a fighter strike so the Third Carrier Striking Force continued on course, recovering the fighters that attacked the Talonas at 09:36.

At 12:53, seventeen Arachnid fast attack craft, designated as Kali class, were detected at just thirty-four million kilometres.  Although they could be detected, none of the missile combatant fire controls could target them due to the resolution of their fire control system. In fact, the range would have to fall to four million kilometres before they could be engaged by shipboard anti-ship missiles, which was unlikely as the FACs had a speed equal to that of the Rigellian ships. Swordsman of Stars Tanaka dispatched a message to High Swordsman Takagi, stating that a lack of effective sensor and fire control systems when faced by fast attack craft was a serious flaw in the Rigellian fleet mix that had to be addressed in future designs. With little hope of engaging the FACs with his ships, Tanaka launched a strike of fifty-one A6M3 Reisens. Despite their even more myopic fire control systems that could only engage at two million kilometres, they could at least close on the FACs until those systems were in range.

Seven minutes after the launch of the fighters, the five Matsukaze class escorts detected an incoming wave of two hundred and eighty-two missiles moving at 36,000 km/s. They immediately began launching Nova III AMMs. Given the huge size of the incoming wave and that the destroyer escorts had ‘only’ seventy-five launchers between them, Swordsman of Stars Tanaka ordered a 1vs1 engagement. Even with the 70,000 km/s speed of the Nova III AMMs, each missile still had less than a 30% intercept chance so Tanaka also ordered a course reversal to increase engagement time.

The first wave of AMMs from the Matsukazes killed twenty-eight inbounds and the second killed twenty-seven more, by which point the Arachnid missiles had covered more than half the distance from the initial detection point to the Rigellian task group. The Third Carrier Striking Force had turned and was running at 7000 km/s as the missiles closed in. The reduced closing speed allowed just enough time for three more defensive AMMs volleys, reducing the total inbounds to one hundred and twenty-nine. The Matsukazes had expended one sixth of their ordnance. The close-range point defence of the Third Carrier Striking Force was considerable with four gauss cannon turrets on each of the two Takao class battlecruiser and the two Mikura class escorts plus two turrets on each of the Yamato class battleships. In addition the four Kageros, two Sakawas and the Nagara each set their offensive lasers for defensive fire.

Unfortunately, the crews of the four capital ships were relatively inexperienced and mistakenly linked their gauss cannon turrets to the fire control systems intended for their offensive lasers, which reduced their effectiveness. Even so, the defensive fire accounted for almost fifty inbound missiles, leaving eighty-one to make their final attacks. All the Arachnid missiles were targeted on the two Rigellian carriers. Akagi was struck twelve times by strength-6 warheads, suffering significant armour damage. One of her engines and a hangar bay were hit by blasts that partially penetrated the armour but both survived intact. Hiryu suffered thirty-two hits that wrecked her armour and should have caused massive internal damage but somehow she escaped relatively lightly. Despite eight hits penetrating to her engines, only one was actually disabled. Two hangar bays were damaged with two more hit but still operational, part of the engineering deck was damaged and a single magazine was destroyed, fortunately without any secondary explosion. Given that the carrier could quite easily have been destroyed by the weight of fire that came her way, her crew considered themselves very lucky. For the moment though her speed was reduced to 5833 km/s.

The Kali class FACs reversed course and moved away at 7000 km/s. Tanaka held position to protect the damaged Hiryu and ordered the fighters to complete their mission. A Mikura and a Sakawa were detached to keep the FACs on active sensors. Six fighters launched against two of the FACs to test the effectiveness of their Meteor II anti-ship missiles. Only nine missiles were needed to destroy both Kalis with the remaining missiles self-destructing. Given the problems caused in the past by missile shortages, Swordsman of Stars Tanaka decided to try to kill the FACs as efficiently as possible. Each fighter was ordered to engage a single Kali. In total, only seventeen fighters were required to destroy the remaining fifteen fast attack craft.

By the time the fighters landed at 15:14, damage control teams on Hiryu had repaired her hangar bay. An hour later the disabled engine was operational again and the carrier’s maximum speed was back to 7000 km/s. With the Arachnid FACs eliminated and the Third Carrier Striking Force having far superior speed than the Arachnid main fleet combatants, Swordsman of Stars Tanaka decided to continue with the mission despite the armour damage to both carriers. The Third resumed its previous course toward the inner system. Tanaka also ordered the battlecruiser Ise to launch a single salvo against the Talona that survived the earlier fighter attack. It was closing on the Striking Force and had reached a range of one hundred and twenty million kilometers. All twelve Meteor IIs hit and the target was destroyed. Rigellian attention now turned back to the enemy task group closing from ahead, comprising a pair of 25,000 ton battleships, four 16,700 ton cruisers and a single 8350 ton destroyer.

At 22:40 another Arachnid population was detected, this time on Omuta IV. The EM signature was similar to Omuta II. Four hours after the new population was detected, a full strike of seventy-two A6M3 Reisens was launched against the enemy task group at a distance of seven hundred million kilometers. At 06:46 on March 11th, with the fighters still only half way to their targets, two more Arachnid ships, a 16,700 ton Malagard and an 8350 ton destroyer entered Rigellian sensor range. At 11:24 the Rigellian strikegroups launched two hundred and sixteen Meteor IIs at the main enemy force, targeting the four cruisers and the lone destroyer. For this initial strike the battleships were left alone. As the missiles reached six hundred thousand kilometers from the Arachnid ships, thirty-four strength-1 detonations were detected. Further defensive AMM fire reduced the Rigellian missile wave by more than half but a hundred Meteor IIs reached their targets and exploded. Two Gehenna class cruisers and the Velsharoon were blown to pieces by secondary explosions, the Malcanthet class destroyer was left dead in space and the surviving Gehenna retreated toward the inner system at a reduced speed of 3016 km/s. Both Lucifer class battleships began withdrawing all full speed. The Rigellian fighters headed back to their carriers.

At 14:37, with the fighters ten minutes from landing, the Matsukazes detected a wave of thirty-six size-6 missiles heading for the Third Carrier Striking Force at 16,200 km/s. Further salvos of the same size followed at intervals of 625,000 kilometres. It appeared the Lucifer class battleships must have launched the missiles, albeit from more than three hundred million kilometres, which was double the range of Rigellian ship-launched missiles. The Third Carrier Striking Force did not reverse course as Swordsman of Stars Tanaka was confident the new missile attack would be much easier to handle than the previous one. He even considered conserving his AMMs and allowing the task group’s close-in defences to handle the attack. However both carriers had armour damage and could not afford to suffer a single lucky hit. Instead the Matsukazes engaged the inbounds on a 1v1 basis to ensure no defensive missiles were wasted. The Rigellian defences faced sixteen waves of thirty-six missiles each. Due to the high intercept rate, the close-in point defence was not required.

Although the five Matsukazes were now down to fifty-two percent of their ordnance load, the threat level was relatively low. On sensors were two retreating battleships, a damaged cruiser and a crippled destroyer from the original seven-ship Arachnid task group, plus the cruiser and destroyer near the edge of sensor range that had only recently been detected. The Third Carrier Striking Force was one point three billion kilometres from the nearest Arachnid population. The ammunition transport Senko Maru transferred the last of the ordnance she carried then broke away and headed back to the jump point to pick up new missiles at Tokushima III. The fighters landed and began rearming.

Two hours later the damaged Gehenna class suddenly reversed course and began approaching the Third Carrier Striking Force. Presumably some key system had been repaired. Swordsman of Stars Tanaka ordered new fighter strikes, sending forty-eight A6M3 Reisens against the two battleships and eight more in total against the damaged cruiser and destroyer. With the fighters en route to their targets, the Rigellian task group moved within active sensor range of Omuta II. In orbit were six Baphomet class ships of 28,850 tons, an Acheron of 16,600 tons and a Belial of 16,500 tons. All were previously unseen classes. There was also a shipyard of 152,000 tons. An hour later, four Adramelech class ships were detected further within the inner system. These were 41,750 ton ships moving at 3449 km/s, the same speed as Arachnid warships, but their size indicated they were most likely freighters. Even so they were moving in the general direction of the Third Carrier Striking Force.

At 18:39 six A6M3 launched on the damaged Gehenna. Six hundred thousand kilometres from their target three Meteor IIs were hit by AMMs, followed soon thereafter by five more. The Gehenna was plainly an escort cruiser. Despite its defensive efforts, the surviving missiles were sufficient to destroy the Arachnid cruiser due to two large secondary explosion. The six fighters headed for home. Fifty minutes later a single fighter engaged and destroyed the crippled Malcanthet class DD then reversed course, along with a companion still carrying its ordnance. The main strike was against the battleships; forty-eight fighters launching almost a hundred and fifty missiles. The battleship point defence was limited, shooting down only eight Meteor IIs. Both Lucifers were buried under an avalanche of missile detonations and blew up after several secondary explosions.

The Third Carrier Striking Force continued toward the inner system. On March 12th at 01:55, sixteen 18,750 ton Beshaba class ships were detected close to Omuta III. Given their size combined with a speed of 2132 km/s, they were most likely colony ships. Forty-five minutes later the fleet’s active sensor envelope reached Omuta III, by far the largest Arachnid population in the system. Nine more Beshabas were in orbit, along with four more 16,500 ton Belials and four more 16,600 ton Acherons. These last two classes were most likely some form of orbital defence base. Also in orbit were four units of a new type, the 31,350 ton Vhaeraun class, and a huge shipyard of six million tons that was almost certainly the primary Arachnid ship construction facility.

Over the next four hours, nine more Vhaeraun class ships were detected on courses between Omuta III and Omuta IV. The Omuta inner system was a hive of activity and a target-rich environment for the approaching carrier striking force. The two undamaged Arachnid warships, both over half a billion kilometers away, were now on diverging courses. The Myrkul class destroyer was heading back to the inner system while the Malagard class CA was on a course that would take it astern of the Third Carrier Striking Force. In any event, they were a minor distraction and nothing stood between the Rigellian task group and the Arachnid commercial traffic. At 07:20 Omuta IV was within active sensor range. Two more Acherons and two more Belials were detected in orbit, reinforcing the belief that these were orbital defence bases, along with five more Vhaeraun.

Thirty minutes later, one of the four Adramelech class ships in the inner system, that were believed to be probable freighters due to their size of 41,750 tons, engaged a powerful active sensor. If they were warships, which now seemed likely given the sensor emissions, they were larger than any Rigellian warship class. Even so, there were only four ships and a fighters strike could be launched against them once they were within the operational range of the A6M3s. Nine minutes after the sensor emissions were picked up, a wave of eight hundred and ninety-six missiles was detected closing from dead ahead at 36,000 km/s. There was no sign of any possible attacking ship within conceivable Arachnid missile range.

Swordsman of Tanaka was struck by the horrified realization dawns that the Adramelech class could be Arachnid carriers and the colossal missile wave was probably from their fighters launching outside Rigellian detection range. The Imperial Rigellian Navy was now on the receiving end of the type of attack it was used to inflicting on others, except on a far greater scale. Tanaka ordered an immediate course reversal to improve engagement time and the Matsukazes began desperately launching AMMs. However, given the damage inflicted by the much smaller attack from the Kali class FACs, Tanaka feared his fleet was in serious trouble. He ordered all fighters and nine lifeboats to launch in case their motherships were hit.

One hundred and twenty-seven inbounds were struck by AMMs and point blank defence accounted for just twenty-three, mainly because they were in small individual groups and the number of defensive fire controls was limited. The ships of the Third Carrier Striking Force could do little more except try to evade the incoming tsunami. Only six ships were targeted and they were struck by over three hundred missiles with strength-6 warheads. The carriers Akagi and Hiryu were simply obliterated by overwhelming damage. Less than two hundred survived from their combined crews of over twelve hundred. The battleship Shinano lost two-thirds of her armour, forty percent of her missile launchers, one of two gauss cannon turrets, her primary active sensor, her laser fire control system and two of her five engines. Her sister ship Musashi suffered similar armour damage and lost both gauss turrets, eighty percent of her fuel storage, her laser fire control, three missile launchers and one of her lasers. The battlecruiser Atago had sixty percent armour damage. Three of her four gauss turrets were knocked out, along with her active sensor, a 25cm laser and ninety percent of her fuel storage. The battlecruiser Takao also had sixty percent armour damage but fortunately did not suffer any internal damage. Only the huge armour belts of the 36,000 ton battleships and 24,000 ton battlecruisers prevented the loss of one or more capital ships.

The totally unexpected attack eliminated the long-range strike power of the Third Carrier Striking Force and seriously damaged three of the four remaining capital ships. Swordsman of Stars Tanaka could see little option but to retreat to the jump point. The Arachnid fighters would most likely re-arm and launch a second strike and Arachnid warships had demonstrated shipboard missile ranges greater than the Rigellians. Before the enemy fighters could launch that second strike, which would no doubt inflict serious losses given the state of the Rigellian capital ships, Tanaka believed the Rigellians had to use their superior speed to escape. Tanaka himself was fortunate that he was not on one of the capital ships or the destroyed carriers. Instead, he continued to command the Third Striking Force from the Kongo class battlecruiser Kotetsu, which had been his home for eight years.

The Third Carrier Striking Force retreated toward the jump point at 4200 km/s to maintain pace with the battleship Shinano until she could repair her engines. Swordsman of Stars Tanaka briefly considered sending the seventy-two orphaned fighters in a suicide attack against the enemy carriers, which lay well beyond their normal operational range. However, the Imperial Navy had the new carrier Shokaku in service and her sister ship Zuikaku was several months form completion. The former had a small strikegroup of twenty-eight newly built A6M4 fighters but her hangar bay could accommodate up to seventy-two A6M3. She could take the strikegroups from both Akagi and Hiryu and leave her new A6M4s for Zuikaku, along with further A6M4s that would be built by the time Zuikaku was launched. Rather than send in the fighters on a one way trip against the Arachnid carriers and leave the Empire without enough fighters, Tanaka elected to attempt to get the fighters back to Tokushima where they could live to fight another day. Shokaku departed Rigel immediately, bound for the Tokushima system.

The Malagard class CA and Myrkul class DD both changed course, trying to close in on the Rigellian task group, and the Adramelech class carriers continued outward from the inner system, moving to meet their returning fighters. Even so, the Third Carrier Striking Force still had the speed advantage. The question was whether that would be sufficient to move outside operational range of the Arachnid fighters in time. Hours passed without an attack and Shinano’s crew repaired first one and then both damaged engines. By 16:00, six hours after the Arachnid fighter strike, Shinano was back at full speed, although repairs continued on other damaged systems. Musashi and Atago were also carrying out repairs on their internal systems. Extensive armour repairs were needed for all four capital ships but that would require a shipyard. The Third Carrier Striking Force continued to  retreat at 7000 km/s and with each passing hour the threat of a follow-up attack receded. It was possible the Rigellians had moved outside Arachnid sensor range.

At midnight on March 15th, sixty-four hours after the loss of the carriers, the Third Carrier Striking Force transited into Tokushima. Musashi, Shinano, Atago and Takao all set course for Rigel Prime for repairs. The fighters from Akagi and Hiryu headed for Tokushima III along with Yahagi, one of two Sakawa class scout destroyers in the task group. All the other ships remained on the jump point, guarding against an Arachnid counterattack. The assault on the Omuta system had been  proceeding according to plan until the overwhelming missile wave arrived. Now the Empire would be on the defensive until repairs could be made and plans developed to counter the Arachnid carriers. The only silver lining was that Rigellian losses were limited to the two carriers were lost and the Imperial Navy had enough hangar bays to take their orphan fighters. A successful Arachnid second strike would have been catastrophic. On April 7th, more than three weeks after the battle, the carrier Shokaku arrived in Tokushima and picked up the strikegroups from Akagi and Hiryu. There was still no sign of an Arachnid counterattack. Five days later the magazines of the Matsukazes were refilled, although the Empire was running short on Nova III AMMs.

Meanwhile, the Second Carrier Striking Force was still stationed on the Nagasaki – Yokosuka jump point, ready to confront the Timurad class alien ship in Yokosuka. A jump gate was already in place on the Nagasaki side so a newly arrived Kochiku Suru class construction ship transited into Yokosuka and began constructing a matching gate in Yokosuka. A Kobyashi Maru mod J2 class jump freighter that had accompanied the Kochiku Suru into Nagasaki held position on the Nagasaki side of the jump point so the construction ship could escape if attacked. Within a few hours the Timurad appeared on passive sensors and the Kochiku Suru was forced to retreat. If the Second Carrier Striking Force wanted to enter Yokosuka it would have to destroy the Timurad and then wait for a gate to be built before it could leave. As the Second had been deployed for more than four months, if it wished to carry out the mission, it would have to be sooner rather than later. Half the missiles for the three Kongo class battlecruisers were the older Meteor I ASM, as were all of the carrier reloads, and no ammunition transports were present. Two Kagero Mod 3s had arrived to reinforce the Second though, boosting the task group’s energy combatants. Despite these problems, Swordsman of Stars Terakado requested permission to attack. After all, the Timurad was just a single ship, even if the shield strength of 1500 recorded by Kuma during her last visit to Yokosuka presented a formidable obstacle.

On receipt of the request, High Swordsman Takagi dispatched the ammunition transport Nachisan Maru to Nagasaki with the Empire’s last two hundred and fifty Meteor II anti-ship missiles plus fifty Meteor Is and instructed Swordsman of Stars Terakado to launch his attack when the missiles arrived. Given the events in Omuta, Takagi wanted to eliminate as many threats as possible to give the Imperial Navy time to rebuild. The Second Carrier Striking Force entered Yokosuka on May 19th. Its order of battle was as follows:

1x Akagi class CV: Soryu
3x Kongo class BC: Fuso, Hyuga, Yamashiro
2x Nagara class DL: Abukuma, Nagara
2x Kagero Mod 3 class DD: Hatsuzuki, Suzutsuki
4x Kagero Mod 1 class DD: Inazuma, Kagero, Kazegumo, Yamagumo
2x Mikura class DE: Mikura, Nomi
3x Matsukaze class DE: Matsukaze, Asakaze, Kamikaze
1x Sakawa class DSC: Sakawa
1x Aratama Maru class AMT: Nachisan Maru
36x A6M3 Reisen Strikefighter

The Timurad was at two hundred and fifteen million kilometers. The shield strength was confirmed as 1500 and now it was on active rather than passive sensors, it’s size could be determined; two hundred thousand tons, more than three times the size of the Genghis. Despite the Timurad being even larger than feared, the Second had no choice; it has to defeat the Timurad before the Kochiku Suru could build a gate. Given its size, Swordsman of Stars Terakado estimated the Timurad mounted significantly more effective point defence than the smaller Genghis and its massive shields would recharge even faster. It could also carry three or four times more Kublai class fast attach craft. The AS-1250 System Search Array on the DSC Sakawa could detect 750 ton craft at just under twenty million kilometres so Terakado decided to close to that range, attempt to draw out any small craft and destroy them, then close to extreme energy range and engage the mothership, assuming of course it was a carrier and not some form of huge battleship.

A single salvo of thirty-six Meteor Is was launched from nineteen million kilometers, trying to provoke the Timurad into launching its FACs. Two-thirds were destroyed by PD and three more missed. The remaining nine struck the shields. The Timurad immediately launched eighty Kublai class FAC - at the upper end of the possible strikegroup. Unfortunately, while the active sensor on the Sakawa could detect the FACs, the fire controls of the Kongo class battlecruisers could only lock them up at just over two million kilometres. The Matsukazes could engage the Kublais at six point five million kilometers as their fire controls were designed to engage much smaller targets. In fact, the range of their Nova III AMMs was the limiting factor as their fire control could track the alien craft out to twenty million kilometres.

The three Matsukazes engaged at enemy at their maximum range. Unfortunately their magazines were at less than eighty percent capacity due to previous combat and each ship had only four hundred and thirty-five missiles. Each Matsukaze fired a full salvo of fifteen missiles at a single target then immediately moved on to a new target, only returning to the original if was still underway after the missiles struck. After the expenditure of more than thirteen hundred Nova III AMMs, thirty-three of the Kublai class FACs had been destroyed with a further fifteen crippled and dead in space. Thirty-two FACs continued toward the Second Carrier Striking Force.

The three Kongo class battlecruisers began launching Meteor IIs at one point nine million kilometers. Each battlecruiser used both fire controls in order to split its twelve launchers between two targets. While this could be considered overkill, the Kongos had a forty second reload time between salvos so there was little time to be precise. One hundred and eight-four Meteor IIs were expended in a total of six salvos. Twenty-three of the intact enemy FACs were destroyed and the other nine were crippled. The battlecruisers reloaded their magazines from the Nachisan Maru. There were insufficient Meteor IIs to fill their magazine so each ship had an ordnance loadout of ninety-six Meteor IIs and sixty Meteor Is. All thirty-six A6M3 Reisens on board Soryu were loaded with Meteor IIs. As the fighters were unlikely to launch two strikes during the coming battle with the Timurad, the two hundred and forty anti-ship missiles in the carrier’s magazine, all of which were Meteor Is, were transferred to Nachisan Maru, giving the ammunition transport a total of two hundred and eighty-four reloads.

The Second Carrier Striking Force reversed course and picked off the twenty-four crippled FACs with lasers. When only the Timurad remained, Swordsman of Stars Terakado ordered his task group to close to 150,000 kilometers and open fire with lasers. It soon became apparent that the combined firepower of two Kagero Mod 3s, four Kagero Mod 1, two Nagaras and a Sakawa was insufficient to overcome the recharge rate of the Timurad’s formidable shields at that range. This was partly because the Timurad mounted very effective ECM that significantly reduced the accuracy of Rigellian beam fire controls. While, for the moment at least, the Timurad could not catch the task group at its maximum speed of 4400 km/s, the Rigellian ships would eventually run out of fuel. Terakado ordered the launch of Soryu’s strikegroup. The thirty-six fighters combined with the three Kongos to fire a salvo of one hundred and forty-four Meteor IIs, which had strength-9 warheads. The range was so close that the missiles hit before the Timurad’s point defence fire control could lock on to them. The shield strength of the Timurad was dramatically reduced from strength-1500 to strength-175 but was recharging very quickly.

All three Kongo class battlecruisers continued firing, supporting the firepower of the nine laser-armed destroyers. Their second volley struck the Timurad when it’s shields had recharged to strength-273, knocking them down completely and inflicting the first armour damage. The third volley hit with the shields recharged to strength-98 and the fourth at strength-152. Despite armour damage being inflicted, the shields were still negating a substantial portion of the damage. Swordsman of Stars Terakado detached the four Kagero Mod 1s and the Nagara, ordering them to close to 110,000 kilometers. Those five ships had very experienced crews and Terakado was confident they could carry out his orders in the heat of combat without any confusion.

The fifth missile salvo hit with the shields at strength-137 and the sixth at strength-65. The increased firepower of the ships at 110,000 kilometers was helping and the armour of the Timurad was being reduced with each salvo. Terakado was tempted to give the same order to his two Kagero Mod 3s, especially given their more powerful lasers that included a 38cm spinal mount,  but they had inexperienced crews and he was concerned they might panic and stray into range of the meson cannons that he assumed were on the Timurad. The seventh salvo struck with the shields at strength-96. Each battlecruiser only had enough Meteor IIs for one more salvo so Terakado ordered the three Kongos, along with the Nachisan Maru, to close to 110,000 kilometers. The Meteor I had a speed of 24,000 km/s, compared to 45,000 km/s for the Meteor II, so without the reduction in range, the Timurad would have sufficient tracking time to use its point defence. The last salvo of Meteor IIs yielded the first sign of damage, as the Timurad slowed from 4400 km/s to 4312 km/s. This was presumably shock damage as there was no sign of fluid streaming from the hull, which was the usual result of internal damage for this alien race.

The first salvo of Meteor Is scored only twenty-five hits from thirty-six missiles. While the battlecruisers were close enough to avoid point defence, the alien behemoth was fast enough to avoid some of the slower missiles. The second Meteor I salvo struck with the shields at strength-66. There was still no sign of any internal damage. The next salvo didn’t penetrate the armour either but the Timurad slowed to 4268 km/s, once again due to shock damage. Even with the reloads on the Nachisan Maru, the Rigellian missiles would run out eventually and Terakado was becoming concerned that the armour of the Timurad was even more formidable than its shields. He decided to risk detaching the two Kagero Mod 3s, despite their inexperienced crews, so they too could close to 110,000 km/s. The two ships strayed dangerously close to the Timurad, with the range falling to just 80,000 kilometers, before they sorted out their formation and moved out to 110,000 km/s. The fact they did not come under fire at 80,000 kilometres was useful information for the future.

The ships of the Second Carrier Striking Force were now split into four groups, surrounding the Timurad. Group one included all four Kagero Mod 1s and a Nagara, group two comprised the three Kongos and the Nachisan Maru, the two Kagero Mod 3s formed group three and all the remaining ships, including the carrier Soryu, were in group four. Group four was still out at 150,000 kilometers while the other three groups were at 110,000 kilometers. The next two salvos of Meteor Is scored a total of fifty-one hits and exhausted the original ordnance loads of the battlecruisers. Reloads had been moved over from the Nachisan Maru, giving each Kongo enough Meteor Is for eight more salvos. The next two salvos, the fourteenth and fifteenth overall, scored fifty-three hits and the speed of the Timurad was slightly reduced. Despite the continual laser fire from nine destroyers and more than six hundred missiles from the battlecruisers and fighters, there was still no sign of internal damage. Although the shields continued to recharge, the Kagero Mod 3s were making a difference now they had closed the range. The sixteenth salvo hit with the shields at strength-25. Even so, that salvo and the following two salvos still did not penetrate the armour.

One of the thirty-six Meteor Is in the nineteenth salvo of anti-ship missiles finally broke through and caused a solitary stream of fluid to trail behind the Timurad. Unfortunately, there were only enough missiles for two more salvos. After that, the shields would be able to recharge as they were still able to outpace the damage caused by laser fire. Two missiles penetrated from salvo twenty. Swordsman of Stars Terakado considered the extremely difficult situation in which he found himself. The alien mothership was still virtually undamaged and the Second Carrier Striking Force was almost out of ordnance. The firepower of his laser-armed ships was unable to overcome the alien ship’s shields, at least at their current range. Running was no use as the Timurad would close in when the Rigellian ships ran out of fuel and even scattering would only delay the inevitable. The smaller ships could escape due to the jump drives on the two Nagara class ships but they would have to abandon Soryu and the battlecruisers. He could see no option but to risk everything in an attempt to finally destroy his colossal foe.

Swordsman of Stars Terakado ordered all ships, whether they had weapons or not, to charge the Timurad and attempt to reach point blank range. Only the carrier Soryu was excluded from the order. Those ships without functioning weapons would provide a distraction for the Timurad while the laser-armed ships employed their devastating point-blank firepower. The ships of the Second Carrier Striking Force mounted a ragged charge, with the more experienced crews reacting more quickly to the order. As they charged, the last salvo of the three Kongo class battlecruisers yielded a single internal hit. The Timurad had a large battery of rapid-firing turrets, designed for point defence. Two volleys, separated by five seconds, tore Nachisan Maru apart as the unarmed ammunition transport gallantly charged an alien warship twenty times her size. A third volley ripped into Yamashiro, the battlecruiser flagship of the Second Carrier Striking Force. One of her damaged engines exploded, causing a chain reaction of secondary explosions that blew the ship to pieces. Swordsman of Stars Terakado did not escape.

His crews faithfully carried out his last order. All six Kageros were now at point blank range, their lasers tearing great chunks out of the Timurad’s armour and the 38cm spinal mounts of the two Mod 3s penetrating deep into the heart of the vast alien ship. The Timurad fought back ferociously, concentrating its fire on the battlecruiser Fuso. The Mikura class escorts, Mikura, and Nomi, moved within ten thousand kilometres of the Timurad. Between them they mounted eight twin gauss cannon turrets capable of almost eight hundred shots per minute. Although not intended for close ship-to-ship action, they were massively destructive when employed at such ranges. Fuso was hit by a second volley but somehow survived. She stayed in range, continuing to draw fire away from her smaller companions. The Kageros fired again and were joined by Sakawa and the two Nagaras. Fluid was streaming away from the alien behemoth in all directions. Suddenly, the Timurad turned and charged directly at Fuso. The battlecruiser was too damaged to evade its approaching doom and both ships vanished in an immense fireball.

The Second Carrier Striking Force had vanquished the Timurad but the cost was high. The battlecruisers Fuso and Yamashiro had been destroyed, along with the ammunition transport Nachisan Maru. Swordsman of Stars Terakado had been killed in action and every single item of ordnance had been expended. The Second was no longer an effective fighting force and was trapped in Yokosuka until a gate could be built. Abukuma and Nagara could use their jump drives to escort the smaller ships out of the system but the escorts would not abandon Soryu or the battlecruiser Hyuga. The Kochiku Suru waiting in Nagasaki transited into Yokosuka and began construction of the gate. Even after leaving Yokosuka, the Second Carrier Striking Force would have to return to Rigel for overhaul and to load new ordnance. With the Third Carrier Striking Force also temporarily out of action, the Empire would be in a difficult situation for almost a year. The threat from the alien race with the monster ships remained, with one Genghis still active in Iwaki (adjacent to Nagasaki) and Rigellian Naval Intelligence still had no idea of their origin. However, RNI did finally decide on a designation for the aliens. Henceforth, they would be known as the Jishin-Namazu, after a giant from Rigellian mythology.

On June 12th, three weeks after the battle in Yokosuka, the recently constructed third ship of the Tama class, Kitakami, carried out an investigation of the two unexplored jump points in the Fukui system, three jumps from Rigel via Nagoya and Kagoshima. The first transit led to Otaru, a planetless brown dwarf system. The second led to Hachinohe, a system with a yellow G0-V main sequence star, ten planets and more than one hundred and fifty moons. The jump point was only one hundred and twenty-three million kilometers from the primary so Kitakami was able to detect a large alien population on the second moon of Hachinohe III, which was an ideal habitable world by Rigellian standards. The population had an EM signature one third greater than that of Rigel Prime. In addition, emissions from an active sensor were detected just outside the orbit of the twelfth planet. Kitakami remained on the jump point for twelve hours, until she then detected a new set of active sensor emissions heading in her direction from the alien population, then transited back into Fukui and headed home to report.

Six weeks later, on July 25th, Kitakami’s sister ship Tama was exploring the jump points of Otaru when she discovered the Morioka system, five transits jumps out from Rigel via Nagoya, Kagoshima, Fukui and Otaru. The primary was a G5-IV sub giant orbited by planetless brown dwarf companion. The second of the primary’s five planets was close to habitable although on the upper edge of Rigellian gravitational tolerance. The atmosphere had a pressure of 2.66 atm, with oxygen pressure at 0.33 atm, which meant it would have to be reduced a little to make it breathable. In line with her orders to scout potentially habitable worlds, Tama approached the planet and detected a population of another new alien race. The population had an EM signature almost double that of Rigel Prime. The whole area of space beyond Nagoya seemed to be filled with new alien species. Tama reversed course and headed for the jump point to Otaru. The survey of the Otaru system was still underway and six jump points had already been found. As all the recently discovered alien species would have to pass through Nagoya to reach Rigel, that would have be the forward base for defending the Empire if they proved to be hostile.

High Swordsman Takagi decided that it was time to move the six hundred automated mines in Nagoya to a safer location. After a lot of discussion, Osaka II was chosen as the new Gallicite mining colony. There were other potential sites with higher accessibilities of Gallicite but Osaka was in the heart of the Empire and the Gallicite deposits were substantial. It would take a long time to move the automated mines, given the Empire’s total lift capacity and the distance between the two sites.

Osaka-A II Mineral Survey
Duranium 683,698  Acc: 0.7
Corbomite 14,907,210  Acc: 0.1
Vendarite 5,475,062  Acc: 0.5
Gallicite 11,511,590  Acc: 0.8

In recent months the security situation for the Empire had deteriorated significantly. Both the Second and Third Striking Forces had suffered losses. The Third had been forced to retreat from Omuta and even though the Second had destroyed the huge Jishin-Namazu mothership, it was a pyrrhic victory, given the losses in ships and the expenditure of ordnance. Six alien races had been encountered so far and the Empire was engaged in hostilities with three of them; the Arachnids, the Mazoku and the Jishin-Namazu. The other three races, the Seiun Imperium in the Toyohashi Nebula and the newly discovered aliens in the Hachinohe and Morioka systems, had so far not carried out any hostile actions, although in the latter two cases the contact was so brief the alien intentions could not really be determined. The coming months would be challenging, as the Rigellian Empire attempted to replace its losses and build up its defences against the multitude of threats.

to be continued...
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Offline Anarade Relle

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Re: Chronicle of the Rigellian Empire - Part 5
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2015, 06:52:16 PM »
Quite the turn around. Makes things interesting, happily enough.

Offline xeryon

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Re: Chronicle of the Rigellian Empire - Part 5
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2015, 07:29:01 PM »
896?  I could completely envision Tanaka's heart stopping when he saw that on the scanner.

Offline chrislocke2000

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Re: Chronicle of the Rigellian Empire - Part 5
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2015, 08:21:32 AM »
Excellent update, great to see you have the carriers working.

Offline TheRequimen

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Re: Chronicle of the Rigellian Empire - Part 5
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2015, 11:45:19 AM »
More please.   :)

Offline MarcAFK

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  •'s so simple an idiot could have devised it..
Re: Chronicle of the Rigellian Empire - Part 5
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2015, 02:26:27 AM »
NPRs are a magnitude more dangerous now they can handlecarriers, and the Swarm making an appearance here was quite the unwanted twist. The  near future of the Rigellian empire will be quite interesting.
" Why is this godforsaken hellhole worth dying for? "
". . .  We know nothing about them, their language, their history or what they look like.  But we can assume this.  They stand for everything we don't stand for.  Also they told me you guys look like dorks. "
"Stop exploding, you cowards.  "

Offline Garfunkel

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Re: Chronicle of the Rigellian Empire - Part 5
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2015, 09:49:20 AM »
Fantastic update!


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