Author Topic: Worlds Collide - 2062  (Read 5309 times)

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Offline chrislocke2000 (OP)

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Worlds Collide - 2062
« on: September 07, 2014, 09:47:11 AM »
January 2062

Luyten 1305-10 – High Orbit
Commander Rebecca Woodward stood on the bridge of the CV Princetown watching as the image of Luyten’s principal colony rapidly shrank to nothing more than another light in the sky. Woodward had little time for musing though. A few quick battle drills last month had quickly identified the lack of co-ordinated training received by her two flights of Starfury pilots. She therefore needed to get them up to scratch as soon as possible so they could get back into service with the rest of the carrier group.

The fact that Commander Lewis Davis, captain of the CV Breton and its’ flights of trained Starfuries had already been dispatched to reinforce the carrier group on station in EG 453 was a particularly raw expression of how quickly the Navy had changed its view on the less well trained crews. If she was to stand any chance of promotion she knew she needed to get her men back in the fight.  

Luyten 1305-10 – Navy HQ
Rear Admiral Miller was sat in her office working through the latest ordnance reports. Bringing all of the carrier groups up to a full load of Banshee 5s had left her with little more than 1300 in stock – slightly less than required to replenish just three carriers which meant she was still heavily reliant on the Federation being able to win any sort of war in fairly short order. Something she was not at all convinced of would be the case with the Chigs.

Having already had one run in with Administrator Winter last month she knew she was unlikely to win any more concessions from him, especially when the mineral situation across the Federation was looking less than comfortable. That meant she was probably going to have to manage without any significant improvements in ordnance production for a good six months or so.

Sighing she went back to her data pad looking for some alternative plans to try and at least keep the ships on the front line well stocked.

EG 453
“Sir, all vessels report on station and at condition three. We are 500mkm from the jump point into Anderseriks and have active sensor coverage established. All carriers report fighters are on standby.” reported Stevenson’s XO.

“Very good; please send Rear Admiral Coles my compliments and inform him that Carrier group Delta is in position and ready to assume responsibility for the system” replied Stevenson.

“Aye aye Sir. Oh and sir, we are also receiving a signal from the civilian salvage group that’s now in the system. They are proceeding to the wreck nearest to the Anderseriks jump point and intend to work from there back towards the GJ 1065 jump point”.
“Make sure they have their transponders off and are following required protocols on minimising their engine emissions whilst on station. Please also inform the Boa that she is to break position at the jump point and move in system towards us. I will provide co0ordinates for them shortly”.

On hearing the order Stevenson’s XO turned to speak to him. “Sir, if we order the Boa off the jump point we are going to lose our ability to stay in contact with the rest of the Federation”.

“I’m well aware of that fact” stated Stevenson. “HQ has decided that the potential risk of leaks regarding our operations and those of the salvagers in this system is too great. We will be doing everything to maintain operational security and to ensure any further technology or other finds on the Chigs are properly analysed and assessed before being released into the wider Federation.

I doubt I like the situation any more than you do but those were my specific orders from HQ so that’s what we are going to do”.

Sol - London
Commodore Shaw was taking a well-earned break at the small down market pub he liked to retreat to after a particularly stressful period of work. He was already on his third pint and enjoying the buzz whilst also soaking up from the open fire place that the pub had kept as homage to its’ long history which spanned from well before the war.

Over the last few weeks Shaw had finalised and approved the designs for the new series of Federation AMMs and ASMs which would eventually replace the entire current arsenal. All of them provided a significant improvement in performance versus previous marks given both the improved warhead and engine technology used. The improvements had also meant they could consolidate the role of several types, reducing the variety of missiles in use and hopefully simplifying both the construction and supply chain as a result.

The only down side to the missiles was their added complexity and costs to build. Numbers of missiles coming out of the factories were due to fall by about 20% and that meant yet more investment was going to be needed to ensure a steady supply could be provided.

As well as dealing with the missiles he had also overseen the final delivery of WASP interceptors to the new carriers. Having finally received a full complement of fighters and interceptors the trhee carriers had put out to space immediately to get on with their shake down cruises and fleet training. After the near disaster in EG 453 it was now very clear to him that they could not release any ship into active combat until their training was complete.

Finally he had dealt with the launch and commissioning of three Type 232 close escort frigates and four Type 423 area defence light cruisers, all of which were similarly now going through their work out training.

All in all Shaw was feeling pretty proud of himself and his teams. The Navy continued to go from strength to strength and he was front and centre in helping that happen. Sitting back in his stool Shaw raised his pint glass for a silent toast to the Navy before taking another deep pull of the ice cold beer.

It wasn’t until four hours and an indeterminate number of pints later that Shaw finally stumbled into his quarters to discover a short message from the Admiral requiring him to be at the Plymouth academy at 0730 that morning. Shaw groaned, he had about three to sober up and get on the express; the morning definitely wasn’t going to be a pleasant one for him.

Sol – The Seychelles
Cater was back on his private island enjoying a brief break from the cold London winter. With the salvage rights secured on the huge number of Chig wrecks in EG 453 the stocks had soared, allowing him to mount a hostile takeover of one of the other now struggling salvage companies. With the acquisition complete, not only could he benefit from the enlarged business but he was also able to quickly unstick the final approvals for the two jump capable salvage vessels the company had been building. Both of those vessels were now on route to EG 453 where they would bolster the existing fleet of salvagers and almost half the time it should take to complete the work. Just thinking about the improvement in IRR that would bring was enough to make his mouth water.

He would be back in London in the next few weeks and undoubtedly busy working out how to best benefit from the growing ordnance production issue. For now though he was quite content soaking up the sun and enjoying the spoils of his hard work.

Sol - Plymouth Naval Academy
Shots stood in an 'at ease' stance looking out of a high arched leaded window at the close to empty parade ground in front of the academy's main administrative block. With his hands clasped behind his he was slowly picking at one of his thumb nails with another finger whilst struggling to keep his calm. Behind him, sat an impressively large and old ornate table, were the commandant and senior instructors of the Academy along with Commodore Shaw.

"So let me get this straight Commandant, you did not see it fit to inform HQ that the number of recruits was becoming critically low and that we would have insufficient numbers to man our latest batch of warships. Instead, you decided it would be better to back fill the required crew slots with men and women barely through their second trimester. Men and Women not fully trained or prepared for the rigours of extended time in space; men and women unable to properly fulfil their duties; men and women who may well need to be relied upon to save the lives of the fellow crew  and in turn the ships they serve on. Perhaps you would be so kind as to explain to me exactly why you thought that to be the more appropriate course of action"?

"Well of course" began the commandant in faltering steps that strongly suggested he was not going to be able to do anything of the kind. "The academies have never had a chance to recover from your previous more stringent training requirements and the significant numbers who quite the programme as a result. We may have..".

Shots cut him off mid-sentence, turning around as he did so. "I'm sorry commandant; did I just hear you correctly? Are you trying to tell me that this complete mess is somehow my fault"?

“No no no” responded the commandant hastily whilst making soothing motions with his hands. “What I was trying to say was the massive investment in vessels has left us lagging behind somewhat. We were fully expecting to be able to meet demand but the additional crew that we needed to send off to Luyten for the new orbital weapons platforms and the bulk freighters came somewhat out of the blue to us.

We have been rescheduling the training roster to ensure all of the crew released have at least been through all aspects of the training regime if not in as much detail as we would like. I’m perfectly confident that all of them will be able to fulfil their duties now and that by the time the ships complete their shake down cruises they should be substantially up to speed.

I know that there have been huge pressures on the demands of the Federation’s industry and the Navy to deliver so was trying not to concern you with the need for further large investment projects which, to me, looked like they were very unlikely to get approved in the first place”.

“Don’t you think it is for me to decide if further investment is really required and how hard we need to fight for it?” replied Shots with a menacing tone to his voice.

“Yes of course sir, on reflection I can clearly see how problematic this situation now is and why I should have brought it to you attention far sooner. For that I can only apologise both personally and on behalf of the wider training team here at Plymouth”.

“Fortunately for you Commandant I fear that I have no choice but to accept your apology however if you ever do something like this again I will personally see to it that you end up on some mining planet that makes the old Serbian work camps look like a package holiday. Am I understood”?

“Yes of course Sir, we will do everything in our power to help fix this problem”.

“Yes, yes you will. Now, Commodore Shaw what are our current crew commitments over the next few months… Commodore Shaw?”

“Sorry Sir” responded Shaw in a far more feeble voice then his usual self. “I was just trying to work through it in my head. Our most immediate requirement will be the four littoral light cruisers in production in Luyten. They are due for completion in early February. Each of those has a complement of just shy of 1000 crew. After that we have the next batch of bulk freighters in early March. They each require a complement of 565. After that we have a few months of breathing space before several destroyers and the attendant jump light cruisers are ready for commissioning”.

“And exactly how many trained crew do we have ready to ship to Luyten just now?” enquired Shots.

The commandant checked a few notes quickly before responding. “Well sir, we have nearly ten thousand crew in training at this very moment, some quite close to graduation but in terms of those that have passed out and are ready for assignment we have about 362”.

“My God, that’s even worse than I thought. Well I see no option but to delay the commissioning of the light cruisers and to re-prioritise the construction of at least three further academies to try and regain some ground. With the other strike carriers in production we are going to have little more than 18 months to get this fixed.

Commandant I am going to leave it to you to explain to both Rear Admiral Miller why she isn’t going to be getting her ships any time soon and I shall also be introducing you to the defence secretary so he can better understand the immediate requirements for the new academies. Is that clear to you Commandant”?

The Commandant gulped “Yes, perfectly clear Admiral”.

February 2062

EG 453
7th Feb 2200
“Sir, hostile transits detected. Four groups of three craft each, all massing 8000 tons just made squadron jumps into the system” called out the watch officer to Commodore Stevenson.

“Ok, this is what we’ve been waiting for. XO, bring the task group to action stations and notify the carriers that we will be making a fighter strike as soon as they can get their birds in the sky. We will hold station for the moment. I want regular updates on what those hostiles are doing; inform me immediately if they move away from the jump gate”.

Stevenson paused to take a look at the tactical plot. Most of the new contacts were vessel designs the Navy had already come across so he was confident that his task group could both out run and out gun the relatively small force. He did however need to be cautious given the presence of the civilian salvage group which had only just started operations at the closet wreck to the task group.

“Inform the Boa that she is to make best speed back to the GJ 1065 jump point to re-establish a direct link with Luyten HQ”.
Stevenson was fuming, HQ’s demand for utmost operation security meant that he had no immediate means to inform the rest of the Federation of the incursion. In all likelihood the battle would be fought by the time the Boaa made it back to the gate to make contact with GJ 1065.

A few moments later the watch officer reported back in. “Sir, all ships report condition 1 set. The carriers are reporting an expected launch window of four minutes. The four groups have moved back to the jump point, maximum observed speed was 5500 km/s”.

Stevenson cursed inwardly, realising his tactical mistake. By keeping the jump point under active sensor coverage he had likely immediately given away his presence to the Chig ships. They were now very unlikely to advance into the system where they would subject themselves to the Navy’s withering fire. That meant he was probably going to have to sweep the gate clear of them in a close engagement as it would be the only way to force them off the gate.

“Tell the carriers to keep their fighters on standby once ready. Let’s see if these Chigs want to make the next move before committing themselves”.

 7th Feb 2201
“Hostile jumps detected. Thirty six new contacts detected, several new classes are being tagged by the combat computer”.

Stevenson’s eyes went wide with alarm as his tactical plot rapidly filled with the angry red icons of the multiple hostile contacts. In less than a minute his carrier group had gone from comfortably outnumbering the hostiles to being woefully outnumbered themselves.
Already a veteran of the Union and Followers wars, Stevenson quickly forced his feelings down, clearing his head and allowing him to think the through the rapidly evolving tactical situation.

“Helm, lay in a course for the GJ 1065, speed 4400 km/s but do not execute until my mark. Warfare, I want this task group in formation Epsilon and ready to launch fighters in the next two minutes. I need to know the point at which the Chigs would be unable to make it back to the gate before being intercepted by our fighters; get it on the plot. Nav, inform the Boa that I want her making absolutely best speed back to the gate to re-establish contact with HQ. Also this may well be out best chance to slip a ship back into Anderseriks, inform the captain of the Coral Snake that I want her to manoeuvre around the Chigs if possible and make for in system insertion.

XO, get onto the captains of the salvage group. Explain the situation to them and suggest they break off all activities immediately and make best speed for the Giliese 886 jump point. Inform them that we will be looking to lure the Chigs towards ourselves and away from their group”.

Less than a minute later the watch officer called out again. “Contact update, all hostile ships are moving off the jump point on a bearing of 157 degrees, speed 4400 km/s. Based on current speed and maintenance of separation the Chig fleet will pass maximum safe distance from the gate in fourteen hours and twenty seven minutes”.

“Ok let’s give them that time to get away from the gate. Helm, standby to execute the course on my mark. XO, you better letter the carriers know they can stand down their fighters from launch readiness to 15 minutes’ notice to move. Oh and get me an ETA for Boa to reach the jump point” replied Stevenson.

“Sir, the Boa is reporting a travel time of 2 days 18 hours and 13 minutes sir at current maximum speed of 9166 km/s.

Stevenson grimaced. At their current speed it would take his own carrier group a little over ten days to reach the GJ 1065 jump point. That left very little time for the Boa to get word out to the rest of the Federation and for them to mount some sort of a response. His only hope then was to try and slow down the hostiles as far as possible so that the already hard fought for system with its’ precious wrecks could be defended.

The Chigs continued to advance for another fifteen minutes, allowing the distance between the groups to creep downwards. “Ok, that’s quite enough I think. Helm, please bring us about and engage engines, speed 4400 km/s please. XO, we have a good fourteen hours before anything else is likely to happen. Get the shift cycled, I want the crew of every ship rested and ready for action by 10 hundred hours tomorrow” ordered Stevenson.

8th Feb 0931
Stevenson was back on the bridge having spent the rest of the previous evening preparing a number of immediate priority messages for dispatch by the Boa as soon as they made it back to the jump point. From the plot he could see that the whole of the Chig task group had continued to burn for his own task group, leaving the Coral Snake behind them. In another day they should be clear and able to make for the Anderseriks jump gate.

“Sir, the freighters are reporting active sensor pings on their hulls. One of the captains is demanding that we reverse course and provide close escort to them. They are also reporting that the main salvage ship broke formation from them several hours ago and is accelerating away from the body of civilians.

“Please inform the captains that we are unable to reverse course at this stage. Remind them of the plan and note that at present the plan to lead them away from their own ships looks to be working. Make sure that they hold their current course and maintain maximum speed and that they are to keep the comms channels clear whilst we commence operations against the Chigs”.

“Aye Sir, will do but I’m pretty sure they are not going to like it” replied the comms officer.

“I’m sure they won’t Ensign, but they took the money and the risk being here and we have more pressing matters to worry about than some upset civilians don’t you think”?

“Off course, I’m sending the message now”.

8th Feb 1230
“All carriers report fighters have been loaded into their tubes and are ready for launch” stated Stevenson’s operations officer.
“Right, it’s about time we give these Chigs another bloody nose. Launch all fighters and make ready for an immediate turnaround for follow up strikes as I direct” replied Stevenson.

Stevenson knew his attacks were likely to be horribly inefficient when it came to missile usage but, if Chigs’ AMM fire performed as badly as last time he should be able to get enough hits on target to disable their main sensor platforms. That would ensure that the freighters could slip away under a change of direction and the Navy would be far better able to deal with them once reinforcements arrived.

8th Feb  1940
Hale sat listening as his crew completed the final run in checks whilst his fighters tore through space towards the oncoming horde of Chig vessels. Hale smiled ruefully to himself. Just a few short months ago he had been fighting to save both his career and get back into the front line. The investigation into his actions both during and in the run up to the first battle with the Chigs had been picked apart in painstaking detail; his every decision challenged and evidenced. It had been a gruelling two week process yet at the end of it he had come out with little more than reprimand and a requirement to re-write the fleet training manual for fighter crews; something he was still only about half way through doing. At the time he had been elated to come through the process almost unscathed and better yet, able to get back out there. Now though, with his scope full with more hostiles than he had ever seen, he was beginning to think he might not have been quite as lucky as he thought.

A buzz from his weapons officer brought his attention fully back to the present. "Sir, all fighters report ready to fire; targeting cross checks and safety releases confirmed. Handshake is green across the board, all fire controls have authenticated and accepted slave command; master arm is red".

Hale flipped open his firing command panel, this time he was going to make dam sure that crew did their jobs, "Fire control master confirmed, firing in three, two, one, mark". Hale hit the launch icon.

After a few moments his WO began to read off the reported progress of the missiles.

“All missiles have launched successfully, we have green across the board for tracking and performance, estimated time to impact twelve minutes”.

Ten minutes later the WO called out again. “Targets have made a rapid change of direction to a bearing of 48 degrees. Missiles have just under 2.4mkm to run”.

“Sir, AMM fire detected, we just lost two of our birds”.

Hale smiled to himself, if that was the best the Chigs could do EG 453 was about to turn into another turkey shoot.

His smile was however very short lived as, five seconds later, a huge round of small explosions flared across the tactical plot. “Sir, we just lost 195 missiles” shouted the WO.

“That can’t be right” replied Hale.

“Numbers confirmed Sir; in fact we just lost another 119 from another round of AMM fire. We might be facing a lot of the same design of ships here but their AMM has become brutally effective compared to last time”.

Over the next twenty seconds Hale watched on as every missile was destroyed by AMM fire. “Ok, lay in a course for the carrier group, maximum burn. We can also transmit our own sensor packages for analysis just in case the boffins can find some alternative options; we are certainly going to need them to crack this nut”.

8th Feb 2230
Back on board the TFS Long Island Stevenson was sat in the officers’ mess with the other senior officers from the task group. All of them had recently taken the unprecedented action of leaving their own ships whilst in contact with the enemy in order to shuttle over for a face to face meeting. To his right hand side sat Commodore Barnett from the TFS Belorussia whilst around the rest of the table sat Aidan Hayes, Catherine Wong, Mark Barber, Harrison Franklin, Luke Yates and Aidan Booth, the Captains of the task group.

With all of the officers seated and suitably furnished with a selection of light refreshments, Stevenson brought the meeting to order.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, firstly I'd like to thank you all for making the trip to meet in person. Given the gravity of the situation I felt it best that we meet face to face to discuss. I'd also like to make it clear that whatever options we discuss now, the final decision on the course of action taken today will be my choice and my choice alone. However before I make that choice I want to hear about every possible scenario you can think of and every possible plan of action no matter how absurd or aggressive it may be. Time is not however on our side so I have decided to give us until the fighters make it back to the carriers to consider the options and for me to conclude".

Standing up, Stevenson leaned over the large table to activate the embedded projector. After a few quick motions he had brought up the current tactical plot as well as several overviews of Luyten, GJ 1065 and 107 Piscium.

"Now as you are all aware our initial fighter strike against the oncoming Chigs failed completely. Not a single one of our missiles was able to penetrate their AMM fire. Their AMMs appear to be massively more effective, even when considering the additional number of vessels, than previously encountered. Whilst we still retain a significant speed advantage over the Chigs we have limited room to manoeuvre and only a short window of time before we are either forced from the system or into a close engagement.

The initial view from the Intelligence group is that we can expect to be facing significantly better performing ASM fire from them as well. Given the range of past missiles strikes they are working on the assumption that they may hit us from a range of up to 250mkm. We can also assume that their point defence will be at least twice as effective as previously encountered ships given the simple increase in numbers. That means we could well be facing the need to get more than 100 missiles through their AMM fire just to penetrate the point defences. Now, turning to the plots"

"At our current speed we will reach the jump point in a little over ten days whilst it will take the Chigs close to eleven and a half days. If we accelerate now to flank speed and break contact with them we can reduce that time to eight days. I need not remind you that the journey time from Luyten HQ the EG453 jump point is twenty seven days. We know that aspects of the fleet were on training exercises so they may be closer but it is highly unlikely that any vessels from Luyten would be able to reach us before the Chigs make it to the gate.

Our only other assets in system or the Boa and the Coral Snake. Boa will make the jump point in approximately 41 hours at which point we can at least notify fleet HQ of what we are facing. At present I have ordered the Coral Snake to attempt to make the jump into Anderseriks once the Chig task group is clear. That is not however a priority so if we can think of better things to use them for let the rest of the group know. Now turning to GJ 1065":

Whilst we don't have the most up to date ship movements the scheduler indicates that there should be some commercial traffic in system along with the survey vessels we had prepped to start scouting out the Chig home world. Based on current speeds it will take the Chigs seven days to reach our main colony in GJ 1065, seven days to move from there to the 107 Piscium gate or thirteen days to move directly to the gate. Latest intelligent suggests indicates that the Chigs have not yet penetrated the GJ 1065 system and hence will need to spend time completing a survey of the jump points and the planets. This may buy us some time but I'm not comfortable counting on that as a basis for a course of action.

In terms of assets in the system we expect that the TFS Breton should now be on station and waiting to jump into the system. Her sixteen fighters could add 25% to the current salvo size of our strike but she will need one of the jump cruisers to bring her through the gate. We also have Striker Alpha, one of our original frigate task groups, in system. Whilst they should have a full complement of missiles their top speed of just 3000k/ms means they would take close to eleven days to reach the EG 453 gate. They are also substantially slower than the Chigs so will more than likely be outrun if moved forward.

The colony itself is defended by four anti-missile PDCs and should have recently been reinforced by a full division of assault infantry. Unfortunately none of the old Hammerhead fighters have been stationed out there as yet. The good news is that there is a significant stock of over 4,000 Mech AMMs and 2,700 Stirge 5s on the planet to keep the PDCs firing. There are also more than 2,200 Banshee 5 missiles, enough for a full reload of our fighters.

Past GJ 1065 we are not aware of any other mobile assets that might be called upon and hence I believe our planning assumptions should only consider these noted assets as available".

Stevenson paused to look around the table, making sure he had the full attention of all of the officers present.

"You all now have the full tactical picture and have witnessed first-hand just how capable a fighting force we are facing. Please spend some time thinking through our options but I want to start hearing options in the next twenty minutes".

In front of him the table quickly became a hive of activity and raised forces as the officers set to the task with a shared sense of urgency. Meanwhile Stevenson sat back trying to gather his own thoughts on the situation and what options were open to him.
After about twenty minutes of activity Captain Franklin from the Type 422 Light Cruiser, the TFS Hungary, piped up.

"Commodore, if we are to avoid losing this system altogether I believe we will need to take an aggressive stance against the Chigs. They have already shown their ability to deal with our current fighter salvos however that last salvo was stopped less than 50,000 k from target. I therefore believe that we do in fact have enough firepower to penetrate their defences.

My plan is to dispatch one of the jump cruisers now to return to the jump point at maximum speed and allow the Breton to transit into system. The remainder of the fleet will stay in contact with the Chigs, ensuring that they remain directed at our task group rather than the civilians. Once we have rendezvoused with the Breton the destroyer group will fall back towards the Chigs until within 45mkm. At the same time we will launch our full complement of fighters to join the destroyers and make a combined launch. That will deliver a substantially increased salvo and, if followed up by several volleys from the destroyers should easily overwhelm their AMM and point defence.

Whilst I recognise that this will mean we will need to face that fleets own ASM fire past experience has shown that we are more than capable of dealing with their missiles and, given the large stocks of Mech missiles on board I doubt we will have much trouble with any newer designs they may have either. Remember, we only need to do enough damage to destroy those two sensor cruisers to stop them in their tracks".

"I'm afraid I couldn't disagree more" replied Captain Catherine Wong, one of the carrier captains. Whilst I believe that we could manage such a co-ordinated strike the risk of it going wrong is huge. I would also hate to give up own only advantage on speed and ability to dictate when and where we engage them. If our destroyers get that deep into their firing envelope and run into trouble there is no way they will be able to break distance again in anywhere near a short enough time frame. This plan is reliant on the huge assumptions that we can both defeat the Chig ASMs and that the increased volleys will be enough. I think that’s simply too much of a risk.

It will take the Luyten fleet sixteen days to reach GJ1065 and another five to reach the colony; including the time for the Boa to make it to the jump point that’s a total of eighteen days and twenty three days respectively. Even if the Chigs go straight for the colony it will take them more than 18 days by which time the carriers from Luyten will be in range to mount a massive strike against the hostiles.

The only practicable solution is to pull back to GJ1065 and wait for reinforcements to arrive. The colony is heavily defended and with our own vessels I am sure we can repel any form of missile strike from the oncoming fleet”.

“The Navy is not here to run at the first sign of trouble” retorted Franklin angrily.

“I quite agree” interjected Commodore Barnett before Captain Wong could respond. “However an engagement this far from the jump point leaves the whole fleet significantly exposed for a long period of time. At this juncture we still have the speed advantage. I believe we must therefore only engage them when we have every tactical advantage. Retreating to the jump will give us the flexibility to jump out and will force the Chig fleet to hold fire until they are on top of us. That should allow us to both collect the Breton and orchestrate a combined strike from both the fighters and the destroyers.

If successful we should have more than enough time to land the fighters and rearm them in time for a second strike, all the while that the Chigs won’t be able to shoot back. We can then retreat back through the jump gate whereby the threat of us picketing the other side should make them stop”.

“If I may” asked Captain Booth, with a clear tone that meant he wasn’t actually going to wait for an answer.  “It’s an interesting proposition but if the Chigs decide not to stop we could well be faced with over 500,000 tons of hostile ships sat right in our lap with full missiles bay and a freighting number of direct fire weapons to bear. From past experience we know that all of their ships can absorb an inordinate amount of damage before being destroyed as well as having exceedingly capable damage control.
Sitting on the jump point would most likely be suicide for the task group even if we were able to take some of them with us”.

The discussion quickly descended into more of an argument as the suggestions counter suggestions came thick and fast. After another twenty minutes of discussion Stevenson called a halt to the proceedings.

“Thank you everyone that will be quite enough. I have been considering the options presented and concluded on a course of action. The task group will pull back to the GJ 1065 jump point, keeping the Chig fleet in contact at all times. Denmark will detach from the task group and make best speed to the jump point in order to bring in the Breton. We will wait on the jump point until the Chigs are in range for a combined fighter and destroyer strike.  If successful we will attempt to make a second strike before the Chigs get on top of us. Otherwise we will jump back through the gate and bake best speed to the colony where we will rearm and resupply. Our scout assets will maintain passive contact with the Chigs to ensure we know where they are in the system and can direct a counter attack once we are joined by the relief from Luyten.

At present I can see no way to both maximise our chances of slowing down the fleet and protecting the freighters in system so unfortunately they are going to have to take their chances.

If needed we will pull the carriers back from the planet but otherwise the rest of the task group will remain in orbit to protect the eight million civilians who are counting on us.

Now I’m sure you will have a host of questions and we have a huge number of details to organise so I suggest we get on with it”.

10th Feb 1620
On board the TFS Boa Commander Graham listened in impatiently as his crew worked to bring the ship to rest around the jump point to GJ 1065. After several minutes of fine tuning the Boa extended its relay boon and initiated the standard cross jump point data initiation procedures.

For a few moments nothing happened and Commander Graham grew worried that something had happened on the other side of the jump point whilst they had been out of contact. Then, as he was about to order a recheck of the system, the icons on his display turned green.

“Sir, we have confirmed contact and authentication with Explorer Echo. Data base dump has been initiated and we are received fleet updates now”.

“Don’t wait for the sync, override updates and send the package immediately” responded Graham, somewhat flabbergasted that his duty officer would to wait for the usual system updates to run.

“As soon as you have confirmation that the packages have been delivered please signal Commodore Stevenson and let him know. Once you are done stand down from station and report to my day cabin for a full debrief”.

10th Feb 1902 - Luyten
Rear Admiral Miller was sat in the back of her personal car on the way to an evening out with several local dignitaries. It was a job she rarely relished but recognised the need to keep the civilian population as happy as possible with the Federation’s significant and still growing military presence.

Her first thought therefore when the priority alert came through was relief at the fact she had a reason to cancel the engagement. However, it took only a few moment of reading for that relief to turn to cold dread as she took in the details of what was unfolding in EG 453.

“Driver, get us to Navy HQ this instant” called out Miller before turning to her assistant. “This is a major emergency, I need every one of my command staff back at HQ within the hour and inform the ops team that they are to immediately put every asset we have in system on high alert. I want carrier group Bravo ready to break orbit in the next hour at the most”.

With a response in motion Miller quickly typed out a response to Stevenson. Message received and understood. Hold if possible but 107 Piscium the priority. Support being dispatched now.

11th Feb 1420 - Sol
Admiral Shots stalked out from war office. He had finally obtained parliamentary approval to release Carrier Group Charlie from its defensive duties about Sol so that it could head to GJ 1065 to support Miller’s own task group.

It had however taken over a day of arguing and wrangling with parliament get final approval for the release. Too many of the MPs had been nervous about releasing the main active force in the sol region leaving the whips unwilling to call a vote whose outcome was so uncertain.

Shots had been forced to meet one to one with over twenty MPs over the last 24 hours to get the swing votes confirmed and provide enough comfort to the government that they could win the vote. As it was the margin had been just 11 votes with 16 abstaining. It was enough but it didn’t bode very well for any future plans for operations against the Chigs.

For now though he needed to get the vessels out of orbit as soon as possible and that also meant breaking some of the Federation’s oldest Harpy Mk1 missiles out of storage to at least give the destroyer group a full set of magazines. Once this latest panic was over he knew he would have to push even harder for improved ordnance capabilities.

11th Feb 1523 – EG453
“Sir, the salvage group report that they are no longer being actively scanned by the Chig fleet having now moved far enough off axis from their advance. Looks like we have managed to keep them interested enough to get out of the way” reporting Stevenson WO.
“That’s great news but given the heat those engines give out I wouldn’t assume they are home free just yet. Please inform the captains they are continue at best speed to the designated waypoint before shutting down all but essential systems. They are to stand by for further orders once we have completed our strike”.

12th Feb 2350
Stevenson is sat back at his command chair watching the plot as the Coral Snake completed its’ slow run up to the Anderseriks jump point and made the combat transit in system. Stevenson had deliberated continuing with that part of the mission for several days but had finally decided it was worth the risk to ensure there was not an even greater build-up of military force behind this one.
The recon would however be very limited as there would be no way to contact the Coral Snake once jumped and, if the Chigs decided to take a U-turn a with the previous encounter they could well get trapped. He had therefore given them just three days to scout the near space before jumping back into EG 453 and reporting on findings.

17th Feb 0352
Five days later Stevenson lay in his bunk struggling to get some sleep. It has been two days since the Coral Snake was due to report back in but as yet there was no word from them. He knew he know had to assume that the vessel was either caught or destroyed in an ambush on the far side of the jump point.

It was therefore very like that a further military force was still sitting on the other side of the jump point, perhaps something that the Chigs did not want the Federation seeing at this point. The very thought of that sent a chill down his spine. If this fleet was just a prelude to something else then the Federation was in serious trouble indeed.

At least the Denmark had been able to make it back to the jump point and bring in the Breton which meant he finally had a full complement of 64 Starfury fighters to throw at the Chigs.

18th Feb 2027
“Sir, all vessels report on station at the jump point and deployed ready for engagement”.

Stevenson looked up to check his plot, with his own task group now stationary the Chig fleet were quickly eating away at the separation between them. The huge swath of contacts dwarfed his own task group and not for the first time Stevenson considered conceding the system without a further fight whilst he still had the chance to jump and pull out of contact range with the Chigs before they themselves jumped through.

Miller’s own message to him had indicated that the critical defence was 107 Piscium and its link between the tree main colonies of the Federation. Stevenson could not in all good consciousness just leave the eight million civilians in GJ 1065 to the mercy of the Chigs.
“Thank you for the update. All vessels are to maintain position and prepare for our next attack. I want all ships and fighters running fire simulations now and double checking all command routines, we can’t afford to have a mistake in the launch when they come in range” replied Stevenson.

19th Feb 1971
“Contact contact, twelve new hostiles detected, range 225m/km. Cross section size indicates they are approximately 4000 tons. The computer has tagged four of them as matching the hulls we engaged in the previous encounter. We should now be within firing range of their main missile vessels” reported the sensor officer.

“XO, set condition 2 throughout the fleet, bring the fighters to launch standby and activate point defence system. All jump ships to spool up their jump engines and be ready to execute a fleet transit on my command” ordered Stevenson.

Stevenson sat back in his chair, after several weeks of running and now days of waiting his task group was now less than a day away from putting his plan into action. Until then all they could do was continue to double check their readiness and be ready to react to any attacks. He knew the pressure on his crews was going to be immense but he had no alternatives now.

20th Feb 0147
“XO, I want all our fighters up and in formation within the next five minutes. Initiate cross task group fire control handshakes, weapons checks and arming sequence. I expect to see that we are ready to fire within the next ten minutes” ordered Stevenson.
“Understood Sir, issuing fighter launch signal now” replied his XO as elsewhere across the bridge his crew scrambled to prepare the task group for combat.

20th Feb 0611
“Sir, the Chig fleet just closed to within range of the Banshees” reported Stevenson’s warfare officer.

 “Understood, all stations are to hold fire until they have reached 45 million kilometres, we need to be sure they can’t turn tail and outrun our missiles” replied Stevenson.

Over the next forty minutes Stevenson sat, transfixed to the plot, watching as the enemy fleet closed with his own small task group. Despite the cool command room Stevenson was sweating heavily and small trickles of sweat were running down his back, sending involuntary shivers through his body. He knew he had to time this exactly correct. If the Chigs decided to make a launch and did so before him he could well have to retreat through the gate before his own missiles made contact, potentially ruining the strike. If he left it too long the Chigs could well end up on top of them on the other side of the gate. Stevenson licked his lips, trying to get some moisture into his suddenly bone dry mouth.

“WO, please confirm that we have master arm set and all slaved fire controls are green” croaked Stevenson.

A few moments later his WO reported back, “master arm confirmed sir, slave control reconfirmed, all missile systems are showing green and ready to launch on your mark. Fire controls show all targets are locked and painted. Hostiles are now at 46.6mkm and closing”.

“Thank you, release safeties and stand by to fire on my mark”.

“Safeties released, ready to fire on your mark”.

“I’m showing green lights for launch, safety disengage confirmed. In three; two; one; fire”.

A few moments later Stevenson’s WO reported in. “Sir, all missiles have cleared their tubes, arming cycle is complete and target locks confirmed; estimated time to impact fourteen minutes and 16 seconds”.

“Excellent, reconfirm that the destroyer group are to launch two follow on salvos; all fighters to standby for emergency landing and immediate jump and I want close monitoring of all spooled jump engines”. With his immediate orders issued Stevenson looked down to the plot to watch the progress of the salvo of nearly 600 missiles streak towards their targets.

20th Feb 0642
“Sir, hostile fleet has changed direction to a bearing of 337 degrees, they’ve almost certainly picked up our missiles, estimated time to run 49 seconds”.

Twenty five seconds later the plot ballooned with multiple explosions as the Chig’s AMM fire once again started to carve great swaths of the Federation’s own missiles out of the sky.

“One hundred and six missiles destroyed, twenty four seconds to run”

“One hundred and eleven missiles destroyed, nineteen seconds to run”

“One hundred and eighteen missiles destroyed, fourteen seconds to run”.

 Stevenson gripped the arms of his chair tightly, willing the remaining missiles on.

“One hundred and four missiles destroyed, nine seconds to run”.

“Ninety eight missiles destroyed, four seconds to run”.

“Strike Strike, multiple explosions detected, system is filtering results now.”

Around the bridge the tension was palpable as everyone waited for the results of their massed strike.

“System has cleared. We lost a final eighteen to further AMM fire and another 76 to point defence fire.  Sensors are showing fifteen hits against Jormungandr three but spectrographics are not picking up any evidence of hull breaches. The second salvo of Harpies has thirty two seconds to run".

Fifteen seconds later the WO again began to report the destruction of the inbound missiles. Although already within a million kilometres of the hostiles Stevenson already knew that the strike would be ineffectual as eighty eight missiles were torn apart in the first wave of hits alone. At least he hadn’t wasted any more Harpies thought Stevenson ruefully.

“Sir, all missiles destroyed, no further hits achieved. Enemy task group is coming around again” confirmed the WO.

Stevenson stared at the plot for a few moments as the reality of the situation sunk in. He had thrown everything he had at the enemy yet it had barely broken their stride as they continued their advance across the system. Now, with just 43.5mkm between them, it would take his task group more than fifty hours of running to reopen a safe distance. He now had to decide if it was suicide to run when he would be caught in open space or suicide to stay put on the far side of the jump point where he might have just few moments of jump blindness to inflict enough damage on the huge task group to prevent a point blank retaliation. Whatever the decision he needed to make it quickly as every moment brought the hostiles closer.

After a few more moments Stevenson reached a decision. “Comms, please send a final message to the salvage group. Instruct them to make for deep space before shutting down all but life support and wait for rescue. Likewise I want the Boa maintaining tabs on this jump point for when we return. XO, go ahead and get the task group back into GJ 1065”.

Stevenson thumbed the fleet wide broadcast icon on his console “this is Commodore Stevenson, as you are no doubt aware our efforts to date to halt the advance of the Chigs have been unsuccessful and we shall shortly be making the jump back into GJ 1065. You will also know that there are over eight million civilians on our colony in GJ 1065 who are counting on us to protect them, something we cannot do if this hostile task group is allowed entry into the system. It is therefore my intention to keep the task group on the jump gate and engage the enemy before their sensors have time to recover from the jump.

It will be imperative that we act immediately in order to win this fight and I must therefore ask all of you to dig deep and make sure we are ready. You are the Navy’s best and I have absolute faith that with your skills and dedication to duty we will win through; Stevenson out”.

20th Feb 0915
Stevenson spent a few moments to double check his plot. Over the past few hours he had split his task group in two, with the destroyers and some of the light cruisers remaining on the jump point itself whilst the carriers and their close escort frigates had moved off to a point 744,000km from the gate. All of the carriers had now launched their entire complements of fighters and interceptors which hung in space around the carriers.

At that distance it would take the Banshee missiles just under 15 seconds to reach their targets ensuring that they would remain blind
"Sir, all ships, fighters and interceptors report in position and standing by. All weapon systems show handshake complete and acceptance of slave command protocols confirmed. Master arm is amber, pending fire control assignment and target designation" reported the WO.

"Thank you WO; if I may have quiet on the bridge for a few moments please" responded Stevenson.

After a few moments the frantic activity paused and an uneasy hush settled on the crew, leaving only the sounds of background  chatter filtering through the open comms lines. When Stevenson felt he had adequate silence he stood up from his chair and turned to face his OX before addressing him in a formal tone.

"XO, at this stage I believe it appropriate that we consider the engagement of the A.I. My assessment of the situation is that the risk of civilian casualties is low and the risk of false positives are also low. We have the necessary containment procedures in place and an active, independent, kill switch facility at our disposal. The circumstances show that human lives will unnecessarily be put at risk if weapons control is left with human operators. I therefore believe that article 23 of the artificial intelligence convention has been met and that it is appropriate for me to provide control to the on-board AI for target identification, targeting allocation and weapons release. XO do you concur?".

"I concur Sir. Engineering please start the weapon's AI boot sequence, upload current situational awareness package and test and confirm kill switch operational and ready for arming" ordered the XO.

Across the deck the officer at the engineering station started rapidly tapping out commands through his MFD and after a few moments reported back to the XO. "Sir the Whiskey 974 Cyberdyne AI is now online and confirms acceptance of situational package and readiness to take weapons control. The kill switch shows green and is armed".

Striding across the bridge to the engineers’ station Stevenson pulled a small key from a chain around his neck and slipped into a slot on the control panel. Taking one last look around the bridge Stevenson turned the key to engage the AI. Much like the rest of the crew Stevenson was always loath to take the human out of the equation, even for a short period of time. All of them had received detailed briefings on the 2021 massacre of thousands of civilians when a flight of AI controlled drones had concluded it was necessary to destroy a convoy of fleeing refugees in order to allow for a quicker advance. The atrocity had led to the establishment of the AI convention and the strict controls over when it could be used.

“Sir, AI confirms it has control of the fleet weapon systems, master arm remains amber and all systems remain nominal”.
With nothing else to do Stevenson returned to his chair to wait as the as the timer in-front of him counted down the last few minutes. Across the bridge almost everyone’s eyes were similarly glued to the timer which represented the expected time it would take the Chig fleet to reach the jump point.

It wasn’t long before the final countdown from ten began.

“Standby all stations, standby all stations” intoned Stevenson as the counter hit zero.

Offline ExChairman

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Re: Worlds Collide - 2062
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2014, 11:29:01 PM »

Very good reading :)
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Offline Shinanygnz

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Re: Worlds Collide - 2062
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2014, 03:43:13 PM »
Talk about a cliffhanger!

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Re: Worlds Collide - 2062
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2014, 11:16:51 AM »
I hate cliffhangers >:(
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Offline chrislocke2000 (OP)

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Re: Worlds Collide - 2062
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2014, 02:49:19 PM »
I hate cliffhangers >:(

Sorry couldn't resist that one. Needless to say I've played out the rest of the month and will do another post once I've finished off March.

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Re: Worlds Collide - 2062
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2014, 11:29:39 PM »
Veni, Vedi, Volvo

Wargame player and Roleplayer for 33 years...

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Re: Worlds Collide - 2062
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2014, 11:15:49 PM »
Sorry couldn't resist that one. Needless to say I've played out the rest of the month and will do another post once I've finished off March.
Soon I hope ...  8)

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Re: Worlds Collide - 2062
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2015, 04:47:48 PM »
So, having been thoroughly distracted from this game for well over a year I've been getting a somewhat nagging urge to find out what would happen to Thornton, Shots, Foster and Carter as the Federation worked to meet the looming threat of the Chigs. The recent death of my latest game therefore gave me the perfect excuse to dust of the covers, dig through the records and get this game moving once again (probably making it the longest spanning single game I've ever played). So if you are interested in seeing what happens to them to please read on.

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Re: Worlds Collide - 2062
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2015, 05:02:43 PM »
February 2062

GJ 1065 – Deep Space

Stevenson rubbed at his now bloodshot eyes. After more than 76 hours at full alert he could feel his body slowly rebelling against the effects of the powerful stimulants all of the crew had been taking to keep them poised and ready for action. He had already burnt through the fleet bible’s proscribed limits on both dosage and duration. The time was fast approaching when he would have to start rotating out ships and crews to give them time to recuperate.

Looking around the bridge he could see that his crew were subdued. The immediate adrenalin rush of expected combat had worn of many hours ago, leaving tedium and exhaustion to set in. Even with the stimulants he doubted if the crew’s reaction time would now be at its’ best and there was a growing risk of potentially fatal errors creeping in. Stevenson was also acutely aware that, however bad it was on the ships, it would be far harder on the crew of the fighters and interceptors who were stuck in their cramped cockpits.

With a final rub of his eyes Stevenson turned to motion his XO over for a private conversation.

“Right, this position is fast becoming untenable for us. I’m going to need to change our posture soon or we are going to be left hanging out to dry. Before I take a decision I’d like your thoughts on the current position”.

The XO, looking as equally haggard as Stevenson, thought for a few moments before responding. “It’s a tough one. We still know very little about the Chigs and importantly have no idea how they think. Hence making any decisions based on expected human reactions may be very dangerous. What we do know though is that they will attack without apparent provocation and have ignored all previous attempts to engage in communications. The Chigs that we have recovered are entirely non communicative as well and seem to act more like domesticated animals rather than a Trans-Newtonian race.

All of our intelligence teams agree that they must have spotted our transit out of the system and will be aware of the jump point for GJ 1065. By our standards, they have also had more than enough time to organise their ships and prepare for a combat jump into this system. That then leaves us with a few options. I’m not going to try and order them as that’s a little bit beyond me at the moment but my thoughts are:

One, they have achieved their objective of reclaiming the system and are either content just to sit defending or are now waiting for further orders from back home.

Two, they are being methodical and are now completing a survey of the rest of the system for other jump points before deciding to attack. They might also be trying to find and hunt down our salvage group in there before jumping onwards.

Three, they are now waiting for further reinforcements before making the assault or are bringing forward supplies to refuel and rearm that massive task group before pushing forwards.

Four, they know just how large a salvo of missiles we can launch at them and are unwilling to suffer that level of casualties. In the engagement before last we saw them largely do nothing but retreat when they lost the first of their ships so perhaps they are actually very adverse to losses.

And finally five, perhaps they have an understanding of our own phycology and physiology and know that by simply waiting it out on the other side they can skew the engagement in their favour meaning we could expect to be hit around the 90 hour mark.

I’m afraid that’s about all I can think of at the moment but whatever the situation I agree that we will need to do something as the crew are getting down to their last legs”.

“Ok thank you for the input. I’ve been sat here wrestling with all these permutations for the last couple of hours and can only conclude that they are not actually coming through anytime soon. We have no intelligence on them capturing any humans so I’m minded to discount your last option even it is a chilling thought. What I want to know is how long it would take them to leap frog another task group from the entry point to Anderseriks down to the GJ 1065 jump point. We had no contact from the Coral Snake after they probed the point and I think it likely that they met with another Chig force either in system or on the gate. I also need estimates on time for them to complete the grav survey of the system.

For now though we will push everything we can onto the AI and get the crews stood down from action stations. We will do a double rotation in the next 24 hours to get the crews fed and rested before going to a normal rotation. We will have to do the same with the fighters although I want three wings in space and another on launch alert at all time. That’s going to hurt them for longer but I don’t see a better way of maintaining fighter coverage. Finally we will need to cycle the shifts so we can go back to action stations around the expected time for any reinforcements to arrive and whenever our best guess on them completed a grav survey is.

I’m going to head down to my cabin to formalise my orders and provide an update for fleet. In the meantime please get the rotations underway”.

GJ1065 – Union Colony

Colonel Foster bent forward, trying to ease the strain in her back from the bulky long duration survival pack she was wearing in place of her usual basic environment suit. She had been out in the parched environment of one of the planet’s desert regions on the equator ever since the Boa had bought the news of the fast approaching Chig task force.
That news had spurred Thornton to order the immediate cessation of all civil work by the engineering brigades and their redeployment around the globe to complete the installation of two additional planetary defence centers.

With the lack of a breathable atmosphere and any significant permanent housing facilities the work had been brutally hard going on all of the engineers and they likely still had more than a month of work ahead of them to complete the bases. Foster just hoped that the Chigs gave them enough time to actually complete them all.

Despite her own discomfort Foster still however felt sorry for the rest of Thornton’s troops. The lack of any properly designed and installed troop shelters had driven him to order half of his men to start the construction of a complex series of trenches and other temporary fortifications about the major urban conurbations and likely assault paths. With limited appropriate resources those men were likely suffering even more than Foster’s relatively well equipped engineers.

The other half were on full time patrol, trying to contain the rising panic within the population of Unionists as well as keep the POWs guarded. From all accounts most of them were lucky to be catching just a few hours’ sleep a day at the moment.

If they did manage to get through this, they would need to seriously consider Thornton’s demands for some proper troop shelters on the planet.

Sol - London

The bank of monitors cast a dull red glow across Carter's office, indicating the rapid deterioration in the stock price of his conglomerate's recently acquired salvage business and the many associated industries. In less than three hours since the news of the second Chig invasion had made its’ way to Earth more than a billion pounds had been wiped off the value of those businesses and the bloodbath was showing no sign of letting up.

Rapid buying was having little impact on the vociferous hedge funds as they continued to short the stocks whilst others closed out their positions. Carter could only look on as he waited for his requests for the stocks to be suspended to be actioned.

Around the office members of his team raced, working frantically to try and stem some of their losses. Meanwhile Carter sat quietly, a dark cold fury building, as he watched months of work and massive investments disappear.

Sol – Navy HQ

With the remaining carrier groups already racing across the vast distances of space to reinforce Stevenson’s task group Shot’s was left with little that he could actually do to affect the course of events unfolding in GJ 1065. 

It was particularly galling to him that the time lag on comms from so far away meant that any battle would have likely been fought and decided by the time he even heard it. His attempts to date to move forward and take command of the Sol Carrier group had also proved to be futile as the Secretary of Defence had expressly prohibited it.

As a consequence, Shots was now buried in a pile of crew rosters and command assignments, determined to do what he could to free up his more experienced officers to take command of the newest batch of warships. With the critical lack of trained crew coming out of the academies he knew those ships would need the best officers he could deliver and he was determined to make sure they got them.

Eta Cassiopeiae

Dominic Shah was sat in his office listening exasperatedly to the most recent round of grievances raised by the council representatives. Despite the apparent very real threat of the Chigs in GJ 1065 the local population could still think of nothing better to do then to gripe at their apparent poor treatment by the Federation.

As far as he could make out the council were now complaining about the delivery of additional auto mines to the mineral rich outer planets in the system. The increased flow of minerals had in turn lead to the federation upping the number of freighter trips being made to move those minerals back to Sol and this had started to deplete the stock of minerals the planet had built up over the past few years. Somehow the council now looked upon those minerals as their own, despite being a mining colony!

Sitting listing to the latest stream of complaints, Shah decided that enough was enough. He had given a large chunk of his life up for these people and had bent over backwards to help meet their often unreasonable demands having orchestrated the delivery of the fighter squadrons, the construction of the PDCs and even setting up several ordnance factories.

If they still weren’t happy then it was time for someone else to waste their time on them. As soon as the meeting finished he would put in for a transfer. Any place had to be better than this one.


GJ 1065 – Deep Space

“Sir, message from Commodore Webster on the El Salvador; he sends his compliments and notes that carrier group bravo is now in formation and ready to receive instruction. He also has new orders from Admiral Miller for you and is forwarding them directly.”

Looking down at his plot Stevenson watched as the three additional carriers, two area defence light cruisers, a jump light cruiser, four missile destroyers and two point defence frigates slipped into position. The arrival of the carriers meant he now had 96 fully trained Starfuries at his disposal along with 60 Wasp interceptors.

“Thank you” replied Stevenson with a broad smile on his face, “Please return my compliments to the Commodore and ask if he would be so kind as to shuttle across so we can discuss the current tactical situation in more detail. In the meantime please transfer Admiral Miller’s orders to my ready room; I will head down to read them now. XO you have the bridge”.

Half an hour later Stevenson was back on the bridge and making a fleet wide broadcast.

“All hands, this is Commodore Stevenson. As you are all no doubt already aware we have now been joined by Carrier group Bravo. With the additional vessels and fighters we can now be assured of repelling any attempts by the Chigs to enter this system. We will therefore maintain our current station until further notice. I am sure you will all be relieved to know that the additional man power also means we can return to a more normal shift pattern and give all of you some much deserved rest. This is not however a time for complacency. The Chig fleet is in all likelihood still operating within EG 453 and more than capable of making us having to fight hard for this system. Take the time to rest and recuperate but be ready to perform your duties at a moment’s notice.”

GJ 1065 – Union colony

Thornton was back at the main military landing site watching on as a stream of shuttles quickly disgorged the twelve newly arrived battalions of assault infantry. Thornton had to admit that he was impressed; the troop carriers had continued their journey from Sol despite the apparent Chig fleet next door. Being stuck in one of those slow, thin skinned cans of a transport in a system which could likely get very active at any point took some balls.

The twelve battalions were going to massively relieve the pressure on his existing stretched forces and would also greatly improve his ability to cover the vast areas of ground he had to protect in the event of an invasion. He was therefore keen to get them operational as soon as he could get them acclimatised to the planet.

Although the additional troops were going to put additional strain on his own command structure he knew that that should only be temporary as the command elements that were being trained in Luyten were now also en-route and should arrive in April. That would leave him with two full divisions of troops plus the engineers and ten battalions of light infantry, a considerable defensive force.

Sol – Navy HQ

Admiral Shots sat with Commodore Shaw and the commandant of the Plymouth academy, a sprawl of data pads spread in front of them on the briefing room's ancient oak table. For the past two days they had been reviewing a swath of permutations on the Navy's projected crew requirements and had listened to an even wider range of possible solutions from the planning staff.

Unfortunately all but one of the options presented to date came close to helping them solve the fundamental problem of a huge surge in shipbuilding and historic chronic underinvestment in the Federation's training facilities. Even if no more vessels were laid down now it would still take the current academies close to three years to fully crew them. They simply did not have the current capacity to catch up with demand and would continue to create a more rapidly widening gap as ship construction outweighed training rates.
The whole situation was even more frustrating because they had hundreds of thousands of young people looking to enrol in all of the armed forces as a result of the ongoing hostiles with the Chigs.  That made it even more apparent to Shots that he would have to take the plunge down one of the least palatable routes they had open to them.

"Ok, as much as I absolutely hate the thought of sending poorly trained crews into the front line I see no option but to take Captain Redford's proposal forward to form volunteer cadres across the globe. At this stage we have a far more pressing need for operational ships rather than well trained crews and we simply can't leave all of our shipyards clogged up with non-commissioned ships waiting for hands. All of the ships will continue to undertake full fleet training and shakedown cruises before being released for active operations and I expect that will substantially help to reduce some of the impact of poorly trained crew on board.

As suggested we will provide minimum training to all of the men and women who join so as not to further limit the throughput of fully trained crews out of the academy and accelerate training on the first wave of volunteers so that we can get the current backlog resolved.

We do still however need to do everything possible to minimise the number of combat vessels in operation that are not 100% effective. Therefore as of today all new civilian hulls will be crewed first and foremost by our new volunteers and will only receive staff from the academies if there is a clear surplus of resources, something I don't expect to see for a long time.

Commandant, if you would please start to make the necessary arrangements for redeployment of some of your instructors I would like to see this new scheme operational by the end of the month. Commodore, please go ahead and instruct the Luyten shipyards that they can expect the first batch of crew for the new litoral class light cruisers to be with them in the next month and that they should move to complete the vessels now.

One more thing commandant, I'd like to see weekly updates from you on progress with training and, based on the current building schedule, notification of any ships that may end up commissions with very high proportions of volunteers. I will keep open the option of holding back individual commissions if we think some areas are going to hit particularly hard.

I think gentlemen that is all for now".

Both Shaw and the Commandant nodded in agreement with the proposed change of plan and stood to leave.

"Sir, there is one other matter I'd like to touch base on with you now if I may" asked Shaw.

"Of course" replied Shots, "Commandant, thank you again for your time over the past couple of days and your invaluable insights. We will speak again very soon no doubt".
Once the commandant had departed Shaw sat back down at the table giving his face a rub with both hands as he did so. "Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I saw the latest construction reports from the fighter factories last night. As you know we recently started the build on the new squadrons of Starfuries and support craft for the second carrier strike group. It's another area where we are simply behind the curve on supporting infrastructure to support new ship construction.

With all of the factories flat out current estimates are close to two years to complete the new fighters, an awfully long time to have those ships parked in orbit waiting for their compliment of fighters. One good bit of news is that I've heard from the R&D team that they are getting close to resolved several new composite construction techniques which should significantly improve output. However, unless the government is ready to divert more resources into the construction of further fighter factories we are looking at a lead time of probably two and a half years before the second strike carrier group will be ready for operational deployment".

Shots grimaced, "That's certainly longer than I was hoping for but I agree it makes little sense to start the shake down cruises of the new carriers until they have their full complement of fighters and can train as a cohesive force. I will make some further enquiries with the minister of defence as to whether we can squeeze a few more production facility projects into the.

For now though let’s just focuses on trying to get a resolution to this crew situation. The press are going to have a field day when they find out we are sending poorly trained crew off to fight so I need to spend the rest of the day with the PR team working out how the hell I'm going to deal with that".


Kai peered at his watch through slightly bleary eyes. It was getting close to one in the morning, he'd been working hard for the past 17 hours and he still had at least a few more hours ahead of him. It was a situation he was growing used to having spent the last couple of weeks running at the same frantic pace which had been spurred on by the news of an imminent invasion in GJ 1065.

Since then all of his carefully laid plans had been torn up and thrown in the bin. New immediate priorities on furnishing the planet with additional defences for the growing troop population had meant that his original promise to the Admiral on directing some of the planet's resources to accelerating the orbital weapons platform programme was now on ice. It also meant that he was having to look again at his supply lines and the very exposed mining planets which were currently providing all of the minerals for both the Followers and the Union.

Similarly the ability of the merchant navy to now recover the huge wealth of industrial assets and research facilities based in GJ 1065 was now looking in doubt. With several groups of freighters still running to GJ 1065 Kai had had to take the very difficult decision not to turn them round at this stage. Whilst a large risk, he believed that the planet was sufficiently far from the jump point such that if the Chigs were successful in breaking through they would have sufficient time to evacuate the system.

Things certainly looked like they were going to be tough for the foreseeable future. About the only positive thing that had come out of it was that he had been able to short the stock on Carter's salvage business and build up a decent working fund to help him with his further efforts - not that he had any time to do anything with it at the moment.

107 Piscium

An almost unperceivable change in the background vibration of the ship told Commodore Thorpe that her task group had come to a halt several moments before her XO reported in.

“Ma’am we’ve reached the GJ 1065 jump point. All ships are reporting that they are on station and are ready to make the jump. Czech Republic and Deutschland are spinning up and we will be ready to make the transit in just under two minutes time”.

“Thank you XO but that won’t be necessary. Our orders are to maintain station here and protect this system should the Chigs somehow manage to break through the defences in GJ 1065. Please tell the Czech Republic to spin down her jump engine. I will be sending the Deutschland through to act as our forward contact with Commodore Stevenson so please inform Captain Hodgson that he should make the jump as soon as he has her jump engines spun up and ready to open the warp point.

In the mean time I’d like to you to work up a crew roster and ship rotation plan for picket duty. We should have more than enough warning if anything is coming our way so no need to solve for anything other than condition 3. We will however need to make sure the active vessel on the roster is being just as active on this side of the jump point as we have orders to keep all of the Sol civilian traffic, including the pile of salvagers, out of GJ 1065 for the time being”.

“With all due respect” replied the XO a little cautiously, “keeping our forces split up over two systems seems to be one of the surest ways of giving the Chigs a chance to break through in 1065. Surely we would be better off joining forces to help spread the load on such a high alert picket duty and make sure we can bring the maximum fire power we have to bear at the same time?”.

“I’m not going to disagree with you on any of those points. However, we are likely in this one for the long haul and that means we’ve got an equally important task of keeping the civilian populations happy and productive. We need a visibly active presence here to let them the people back home know there is more than just space between them and what might be considered the war zone so until we manage to push the front back into Anderseriks and beyond we are going to have to manage that.

I know every one of the crew is itching to get into the fight but for the mean time we have to consider the bigger picture and hang tight here”.


GJ 1065: Union Colony

Thorton was for once sat in his office within the army’s main command bunker rather than being out at the space port to oversee the arrival of final command elements and battalions of the 3rd Assault Infantry Division. He was however still keeping a close eye on the proceedings.

A flashed message on his screen informed him that Brigadier Patterson had arrived and was outside waiting to meeting him. A quick check of his chronometer showed Thornton that it had taken Patterson little more than 35 minutes to get to him despite him having been being well out of the city limits inspecting the latest batch of area defence PDCs that Colonel Foster’s very capable Engineering units had recently finished assembling.

After taking a few moments to straighten up his uniform Thornton buzzed his adjutant and asked him to show Patterson through to his office. Almost immediately the door swept open and Patterson, who had been Thornton’s 2IC for many years, strode into his office.

“Giles, so sorry to pull you away from your survey work at such short notice, I hope the flight over here wasn’t too frantic for you?” asked Thornton whilst shaking Patterson’s hand.

“No problem at all” replied Patterson. “As a matter of fact I was pretty much done when the call came over the net in any case. Foster has done her usual excellent job pulling those PDCs together and with the 5th one now up and running we now have significant overlap in our available fields of fire. Any Chigs wanting to make a landing on the planet are going to have to fight their way down”.

“That’s excellent news, make sure we get sufficient stocks of the AMMS over to them straight away I don’t was to have to be moving ordnance about if we do end up with enemy ships in orbit”.

“Of course, that wasn’t why I rushed you all the way back over here” continued Thornton. “I thought you’d be interested to here that the last elements of the 3rd Assault are in the middle of making planet fall as we speak.  That’s finally going to bring us up to full strength with two divisions on top of our other attached units”.

“That’s great news” replied Patterson “although I fear that getting that lot into some semblance of a proper fighting force is going to be keeping us working into the small hours for a good while to come”.

“Ah yes, I fear that you are mostly right in that respect Giles. These freshly trained units are going to need some real world training now that they are on the front line and a real demonstration on how it’s done. That I’m afraid brings me to the matter of your uniform. As you know, I’ve always set out to maintain the highest standards for our men and women and expect the senior officers in my command to be exemplary examples of this. I’m disappointed therefore that you’ve decided to let yourself go somewhat in that respect”.

With a look of alarm on his face Patterson took a swift look over himself but saw nothing amiss. “I’m sorry sir I don’t quite follow you”?

“Very well, if I must spell it out to you” sighed Thornton. “Clause 33.4 of section 15 of Army Regulations state that when not on combat, counter intelligence or peacekeeping operations all officers should clearly display their badge of rank. You my dear fellow have the wrong badge of rank on and if it wasn’t for the fact that I happen to have this spare set of 2 stars to hand for you to borrow I’d have to cite you for breach of regulations”.

Reaching under some papers on is desk Thornton pulled a pair of rank slides and passed them to Patterson with a shake of his hand whilst Patterson, who had quickly cottoned on to what was happening beamed a smile back.

“Well done Giles, it’s been a long time in coming but you thoroughly deserve this. I can’t think of a better person to take command of the 3rd Assault. Of course you will have to tell me who your replacement should be but in the mean time I’d strongly suggest you get your butt over to the space port so you can oversee the arrival of the rest of your troops”.

“Thank you, you had me going for a few moment there, can’t quite believe I fell for one of the oldest tricks in the book. I fear that next month’s wages are going to go on the mess bill though once the rest of the contingent hears about this. Anyway, if you will excuse me it seems that I have a Division to go and get sorted out”.

“Of course, of course, we can celebrate to together later on. All the best Major General Patterson” replied Thornton as he gave a casual salute.

“We can indeed” responded Patterson before making a sharp about turn and heading for the door.

With his office quiet once again Thornton turned back to his desk and the piles of work still ahead of him. For the first time in a long time however he had a broad grin on his face.

GJ-1065: Deep Space

Commodore Stevenson strode down the length of the Long Island’s port hanger deck looking on at the frightening number of fighters that seemed to be in various states of disassembly. Beside him strode the CAG, Alexander Hale, who was briefing him on the current situation.

“Quite aside from the sheer logistical challenges of keep men in ships for weeks on end when they were designed for days on time at a maximum is the burn out rate we are experiencing on a lot of the systems. Most of them simply weren’t designed to be run flat out for weeks on end either and that’s pushing the number of tech defects through the roof. The deck crew are doing their best but without proper periods of down time and a fuller servicing schedule we could well end up with a multitude of fighters unavailable to fight”.

“I quite understand the situation Commander but you of all people know just how critical it is that we have as many of our fighters ready to make an immediate strike should the Chigs come through the jump point. If they get even 30 seconds we could well find ourselves facing another wall of anti-missile capability whilst our own ships are well and truly in striking distance of their own” replied Stevenson.

“Yes, and that’s exactly why I’m recommending that we start rotating a 2/3rds of our fighters out of position because if we don’t, the projections show that in a few short months we aren’t going to be able to get even half of our fighters into space. We can always work with a third on immediate launch readiness whilst the other 3rd are in shut down and maintenance. That will still give us substantially more fighters in space within 20 seconds of jump in then we had in our last encounter and I can guarantee they will all be available”.

Stevenson stopped pacing and turned to take another look at the hanger deck for a few moments whilst he weighed up the options.

“Ok, you have my approval to start rotating the fighters off station but I absolutely want those standby fighters to be by the tubes and ready to go at a moment’s notice”.

Sol – Navy HQ

Although the main briefing room was crammed full of almost all of the most senior officers currently stationed on Earth there was almost no noise as everyone sat transfixed watching the holo vid of the proceedings currently happening in parliament.

After several months of debating, arguing, accusations and recriminations about what was to be done in response to the Chig’s taking of EG 453 it had come down to a final vote as to whether the Federation was willing to actively engage in another interstellar war or if it would take a defensive stance. With no clear consensus across any of the political parties all of the political commentators were seeing the vote as too close to call.

Knowing that, whatever the decision was today, would likely change the course of all military activity it was no surprise that the tension in the room was palpable as the results loomed.

"Order, Order!" bellowed the Speaker above the din of a packed House of Commons whose members were behaving just as rowdily as their 20th century fore bearers.

"Order, Order!" shouted the Speaker again, finally bringing the room to a hushed whisper. In front of her chair the four tellers advanced to provide the verdict on the vote.

After all of the tellers had nodded their heads in time honoured fashion the lead teller spoke up. “Madame Speaker, the ayes to right one hundred and seventy three, the no’s to the left one hundred and thirty four”.

A huge roar erupted across the commons as the result was read out; drowning out the Speakers efforts to bring order back to the room. However, by that time no one at HQ was watching as an equal wave of noise had erupted in the briefing room.

Admiral Shots sat back in his chair letting the implications of the vote fully sink in. They were going back to war and this time it was against a race that had proven itself to be more developed, better resourced and capable than any other race they had encountered since man started to explore the stars.

Having given his staff a few minutes to absorb the news themselves Shots stood and motioned to the room for quiet. Like a ripple those about him immediately fell silent first whilst others took longer as they were distracted, locked in their own conversations. However Shots finally had the room and the full attention of everyone in it.

“I don’t need to tell anyone of you the huge implications of what we have just heard, for ourselves, our men and our family and friends. We are likely about to embark upon a road on which there is no turning back, once we have begun we will have to see it through to the end.

This road is likely going to be a hard one to travel, one on which we know our fair share of losses and grief and one that will demand the utmost commitment from all of us if we are to see it through.

As you know we have been planning for this decision for many months but it now falls to us to enact our plans as quickly and effectively as possible so that we can take this fight back to the Chigs and protect all that we have already fought so hard to do.

Take the rest of the afternoon to yourselves, spend it with family, friends or as you see fit because when tomorrow comes and we are ready to start I want you all to remember why we are doing this and just what we are fighting for.

There will be a full briefing at 0630, until then – dismissed”.

Sol – Mars Shipyards

It had been less than two days since Parliament had approved the retaking of EG453, the advance through Anderseriks and whatever else was beyond. Already the level of activity around the yards had reached fever pitch as staff working to re-organize the existing construction queues and begin preparing the slipways for a new generation of fighting vessels.

An in depth analysis of the Federation’s combat vessels shortly after the defeat at EG 453 had shown them to be ill equipped to deal with combat around jump points and even less capable of mounting a successful jump point assault.

Most fighting vessels had limited armor, relying instead on their well-developed area and point defense capabilities as well as formation fighting where those more specialized vessels could provide broad protection. Having never had to fight through a jump point and deal with the effects of jump blindness the Navy’s designers had sacrificed jump capacity and range for greater endurance and ordnance capacity. Finally, with the exception of the fighter wings, the majority of combat vessels were built around the concept of engaging multiple targets over an extended period of time, rather than mass single salvo engagements.

The review concluded that the Navy would need a new class of jump assault vessels that were heavily armored, capable of independent operation and able to deliver the majority of their offensive punch in a single blow whilst weathering the periods of jump blindness.

The vessels, whose objective would be to create an effective beach head that would allow the wider Naval assets passage into a system, would also need to be supported by a new generation of jump leaders to maximize the number of vessels able to combat jump and an industrial support base that meant damaged vessels could be returned to the front line as quickly as possible.

Having also considered the existing construction capabilities of the Federation, the requirements of each new hull and build times it had been decided that the light cruiser hull would be used as the platform for them.

The review committee also reached a number of further conclusions and recommendations:
1)In the event that the Navy was called upon to field such vessels at short notice both shipyards in Luyten would be turned over to production of main combatant, allowing ten to be laid down in a single batch.
2) The 3rd Nav Shipyard on Mars would be retooled to construct the jump leader.
3) A new jump engine would need to be designed and brought to production that would allow a squadron of five vessels to make a combat jump
4) New shorter ranged missile with strong passive sensors designed to inflict maximum damage would be used as the vessels primary weapon. These would retain the Navy’s standard size 4 configuration to allow for backwards capabilities across the fleet.

A sub-committee, chaired by Commodore Shaw had gone on to produce initial designs for each of the vessels. During the design process there had been a huge amount of debate and challenge on but ultimately the committee had concluded that any jump point battle would be won or lost in the first 30 seconds of a jump. Consequently secondary weapon requirements would be limited along with reduced tonnage dedicated to propulsion as speed not expected to be important in the engagement and less critical to deployment times. Finally they had taken the difficult decisions to limit close range point defense and AMMs as they were considered more than likely than not to be useless. Instead they opted for a super heavy armor belt to take the blows and box launchers to ensure they could maximize the offensive punch of each vessel.

The results were the Type 441 light cruiser.

Code: [Select]
Type 441 class Light Cruiser    12,000 tons     689 Crew     2469.6 BP      TCS 240  TH 1000  EM 0
4166 km/s     Armour 16-46     Shields 0-0     Sensors 16/22/0/0     Damage Control Rating 15     PPV 96
Maint Life 4.55 Years     MSP 707    AFR 209%    IFR 2.9%    1YR 55    5YR 832    Max Repair 115 MSP
Magazine 480   
MCF Drive E5 (8)    Power 125    Fuel Use 50%    Signature 125    Armour 0    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 150,000 Litres    Range 45.0 billion km   (125 days at full power)
20cm C5 Ultraviolet Laser (4)    Range 256,000km     TS: 5000 km/s     Power 10-5     RM 4    ROF 10        10 10 10 10 8 6 5 5 4 4
Fire Control S06 128-6000 (1)    Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 6000 km/s     96 92 88 84 80 77 73 69 65 61
MCF Reactor 10-1 (2)     Total Power Output 20    Armour 0    Exp 5%
Size 4 Box Launcher (120)    Missile Size 4    Hangar Reload 30 minutes    MF Reload 5 hours
Missile Fire Control FC106-R50 (6)     Range 106.9m km    Resolution 50
Active Search Sensor MR110-R120 (1)     GPS 8640     Range 110.4m km    Resolution 120
Thermal Sensor TH2-16 (1)     Sensitivity 16     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  16m km
EM Detection Sensor EM2-22 (1)     Sensitivity 22     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

Having set out the base design several months back Shaw was now scrambling to finalize the plans, put the production schedules into motion and liaise with the myriad of civilian contractors  who had been brought in to support the production efforts through the pre-construction of many of the base components.

Much as with the submariners of old, Shaw had also been working with the academies to commence the additional training for the volunteers who would crew these vessels in what would probably be one of the most dangerous roles in the Navy.

In the mean-time almost all of the Industry at the three major planets had been turned over to building the components for two batches of ships in order to bring the Navy to a target strength of 25 vessels in as short a period as possible.

Despite the huge workload to achieve all this Shaw new he wasn’t the only one with a massive headache on his hands. The still recovering economies of the Follows and the Union were likely to take a battering from the military focus and put their plans back years whilst the demand for ground troops would stain those training facilities as well. The Navy itself also had to reorganize itself and move ships to the front line to ensure they could repel any attacks from the Chigs in the mean-time and give them the time to get on the offensive.

Sol - London

In stark contrast to just a few short months back when the stock market was crashing and his personal wealth seemed to be evaporating around him, Carter was in a jubilant mood. The huge slug of contracts for the civilian sector had caused a rebound in pricing and demand and the prospect of a protracted war with the Chigs was something he was relishing for the opportunities it would undoubtedly bring.


Sol – Mars Shipyards

After a month of hard work Shaw was enjoying a rare afternoon of relative calm alongside admiral Shots as they both took to the observation deck to watch the launch of the latest Type 303 destroyer leaders along with several other ships.

Able to facilitate a combat jump of five ships at once and equipped with the latest in close support gauss cannon and high res sensors the new Type 303 would lead the latest destroyer wings. These wings would now have the capability to serves as close support for the carrier groups, act as independent combat groups and enable a limited jump assault capability in their own right.

Code: [Select]
Type 303 class Destroyer    9,000 tons     772 Crew     2242 BP      TCS 180  TH 1125  EM 0
6250 km/s    JR 5-100     Armour 7-38     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/22/0/0     Damage Control Rating 19     PPV 31.3
Maint Life 5.41 Years     MSP 1401    AFR 72%    IFR 1%    1YR 80    5YR 1202    Max Repair 360 MSP
J9200(5-100) Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 9200 tons    Distance 100k km     Squadron Size 5
MCF Drive E5 (9)    Power 125    Fuel Use 50%    Signature 125    Armour 0    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 295,000 Litres    Range 118.0 billion km   (218 days at full power)
Twin GC 20r8 (2x8)    Range 20,000km     TS: 20000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 2    ROF 5        1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Fire Control S06 48-20000 (2)    Max Range: 96,000 km   TS: 20000 km/s     90 79 69 58 48 38 27 17 6 0
Active Search Sensor MR5-R1 (1)     GPS 48     Range 5.2m km    Resolution 1
Active Search Sensor MR201-R16 (1)     GPS 5760     Range 201.6m km    Resolution 16
EM Detection Sensor EM2-22 (1)     Sensitivity 22     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22m km
ECM 10

In addition to the Type 303 being launched, two further type 403 jump light cruisers were being commissioned which would greatly enhance the Navy’s jump capabilities. These would however be the last of their type for some time as the slipways were already in the process of being converted for the new type 441 mod j light cruisers now that research into the upgraded jump engines had been completed and the designs finalised.

Code: [Select]
Type 441 - ModJ class Light Cruiser    12,000 tons     878 Crew     2654.1 BP      TCS 240  TH 1000  EM 0
4166 km/s    JR 5-250     Armour 16-46     Shields 0-0     Sensors 28/28/0/0     Damage Control Rating 17     PPV 60
Maint Life 3 Years     MSP 1002    AFR 158%    IFR 2.2%    1YR 167    5YR 2499    Max Repair 400 MSP
Magazine 240   

J12000(5-250) Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 12000 tons    Distance 250k km     Squadron Size 5
MCF Drive E5 (8)    Power 125    Fuel Use 50%    Signature 125    Armour 0    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 120,000 Litres    Range 36.0 billion km   (100 days at full power)
20cm C5 Ultraviolet Laser (4)    Range 256,000km     TS: 5000 km/s     Power 10-5     RM 4    ROF 10        10 10 10 10 8 6 5 5 4 4
Fire Control S06 128-6000 (1)    Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 6000 km/s     96 92 88 84 80 77 73 69 65 61
MCF Reactor 10-1 (2)     Total Power Output 20    Armour 0    Exp 5%
Size 4 Box Launcher (60)    Missile Size 4    Hangar Reload 30 minutes    MF Reload 5 hours
Missile Fire Control FC106-R50 (3)     Range 106.9m km    Resolution 50
Active Search Sensor MR110-R120 (1)     GPS 8640     Range 110.4m km    Resolution 120
Thermal Sensor TH2-28 (1)     Sensitivity 28     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  28m km
EM Detection Sensor EM2-28 (1)     Sensitivity 28     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  28m km
ECM 10

Whilst the Navy turned out all the pomp and ceremony that was to be expected for the launches Shaw felt that, on this occasion, it was somewhat less than honest given that most of the crew on the light cruisers were drawn from the emergency auxiliaries rather than fully trained academy crew. He certainly felt sorry for the commander who would have to get that lot in shape and on a par with the wider Navy.

In the meantime Shaw was at least happy that they could make use best use of the axillaries on the new Type 451 light cruisers. These new vessels would enable the fleet to operate for longer periods away from base and ensure the tempo of operations could be maintained for longer periods – something that was considered to be critical given the likely longer and longer supply lines the Navy would be forced to operate along as they advanced into Chig space.

Code: [Select]
Type 451 class Light Cruiser    12,000 tons     720 Crew     2027.4 BP      TCS 240  TH 1500  EM 0
6250 km/s     Armour 3-46     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/28/0/0     Damage Control Rating 16     PPV 15.65
Maint Life 4.25 Years     MSP 634    AFR 192%    IFR 2.7%    1YR 56    5YR 844    Max Repair 144 MSP
Magazine 2160   
MCF Drive E5 (12)    Power 125    Fuel Use 50%    Signature 125    Armour 0    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 300,000 Litres    Range 90.0 billion km   (166 days at full power)
Twin GC 20r8 (1x8)    Range 20,000km     TS: 20000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 2    ROF 5        1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Fire Control S06 48-20000 (1)    Max Range: 96,000 km   TS: 20000 km/s     90 79 69 58 48 38 27 17 6 0
Harpy 6 (480)  Speed: 62,500 km/s   End: 21.6m    Range: 81m km   WH: 8    Size: 4    TH: 291 / 175 / 87
Stirge 6 (240)  Speed: 63,100 km/s   End: 2.8m    Range: 10.8m km   WH: 1    Size: 1    TH: 694 / 416 / 208
Active Search Sensor MR5-R1 (1)     GPS 48     Range 5.2m km    Resolution 1
EM Detection Sensor EM2-28 (1)     Sensitivity 28     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  28m km

ECM 10

Delta Trianguli

Administrator Coles sat in his offices working through the latest round of updates from his industries minister. The teams had made incredible progress with the completion of the 200th dedicated ordnance factory and they were already making good inroads into the huge batch of MCF engines which would eventually be shipped to Luyten for fitting to the next batch of jump assault light cruisers.

It seemed to him that despite the protracted and costly past war with the Union the more militant nature of the Followers meant that they were more than accepting of the refocusing of the economy onto a military footing. Having worked for so many years to bring peace and prosperity back to the planet after the Federation’s own invasion and occupation, Coles could not help but be saddened by the most recent turn of events and how quickly such a change was accepted.

Delta Pavonis

Deep within the operations center of the main mining facilities Conor Benson was impatiently listening to the latest detailed reports from the terraforming team. With the long time lines involved in terraforming the team were clearly a patient and carefully methodical bunch, something he would normally be happy with. However, following the news he had received earlier he was anxious to get the briefing over and done with. After all, whilst the team had now managed to remove all traces of ammonia from atmosphere it would take them the best part of a further two years to do the same with the methane content and a year or so beyond that to finally make the planet a hospital environment for the millions of colonists based there. That was not something he was going to be about to see though. Instead he was heading for the major league and the biggest challenge of his life as the regional governor of the Delta Trianguli and Luyten cluster.


Laura Bolton sat taking a last look at her now cleared office, trying to prevent the white hot rage she felt from noticed by the workmen who were half apologetically loading the last of her belongings into a container in preparation for shipping back to Sol. It  had been just two days ago that she had received a short note from Carter congratulating her on her new appointment as lead coordinator of the major civilian minor complex on Titan.

Despite the effective dismissal and massive demotion Carter hadn’t even bothered to thank her for all the time and effort she had spent patching together the Followers and Union home worlds and bringing them somewhere back to a semblance of normality after the Federation’s invasion. Nor was there any mention of the many crisis she had navigated and the wealth and trade built back up from scratch.

In short Laura had gone from being one of the most powerful civilians in the Federation to just a small time administrator without so much as a thank you; and to cap it off she was being replaced by Connor Benson, one of her old students.

Groombridge – Mining station

Joanna Howl trotted through the myriad of underground walkways that had become her home over the last few years. Whilst the ongoing expansion of the mining operations was causing a few headaches she was more than happy with all that she had achieved on the rather desolate planet which would never be a candidate for terraforming.  Her close knit team of staff were performing better than ever and their latest projected yields were putting them well ahead of any projection curves. She was therefore somewhat concerned to have received an urgent communication from Earth central as she couldn’t quite fathom what they could be concerned about.

It was close to another 15 minutes before a then slightly breathless Joanna made it to the operations centre and her personal comms station. After authenticating herself and uploading the short message she was shocked to see the smiling face of Carter in front of her. The last time she had seen anything from him was when she had been shipped to Groombridge in what looked to be the end of her career before it had really started.

“Laura, such a pleasure to be able to see you” boomed the smiling face of Carter. “I thought you would like to know that we’ve been hugely impressed with all that you have achieved with what was quite frankly a bit of a backwards operation out there. Your numbers are off the charts and I have to admit way past all of our expectations.
I’ve also seen some of your more recent work on how we could be converting those mining efficiency practices into operational efficiencies and retail improvements. It’s all great stuff and therefore quite apparent to me that your talents are being largely wasted out there.

I’m therefore delighted to inform you that the board has decided to reassign you. With immediate effect you will be taking up the role of administrative lead from Connor Benson on Delta Parvonis. Our colony has made great strides forward under Connor but now it’s time we inject some fresh energy and we think you are just the person to do so.

Congratulations and all the best Joanna”.

Joanna rocked back in her seat can’t quite believing that they were sending her back to Delta Parvonis where it had all begun for her and where she thought it had ended.


Delta Trianguli

Coles watched on as the assault shuttles from the 2nd Troop Transport Wing worked to take the men of the 1st Assault Division back into orbit and on to GJ 1065 where they would join the growing build-up of ground troops. It was yet the latest sign of the growing moment behind the war effort against the Chigs.

It was funny thought Coles that not long ago he had been campaigning for the transfer of the troops in an effort to help return the planet to one of peace. Now, with the threat of the Chigs looming, he would have been far happier if the Federation was leaving at least more than just several garrisons on the planet.

More worrying to him was the concurrent uplift of many of the planet’s fleet maintenance facilities, also for onwards transport to GJ 1065. Whilst having GJ as a full forward operating base made sense, the lack of facilities to service the largest of the federations military vessels back home made him worry for the longer term future of the planet. It was also sitting pretty unwell with most of the local population who had a growing concern that their planet was being left behind in favour of the Union’s planet in Luyten.

Coles knew he couldn’t however complain too much having earlier discovered that a pre-war contract with one of the main civilian mining contractors based on one of the systems more distant moons in had continued to run silently through the Federation’s invasion and onwards. As a consequence he now had access to over 29k tons of Duranium, 32k tons of Boronide and 22k tons of Mercasium.

It had been a sheer fluke that he had discovered the contract and the reserves. He was sure that some of the local administrators has been hiding the operations from him and had been busy skimming off the top. However, given the massive boost it brought to the region and the elimination of one of his major headaches he had decided not to get too upset about the situation. Particularly as Mercasium was one of the two missing minerals on their main mining out post in Iota Persei.

Coles had wasted no time appointing Nicholas Sanders, one of his best mining engineers, to the facilities to help further boost production and to freeing up several freighters to bring the prize back to the planet and its’ ever mineral hungry industrial facilities.

Sol - Plymouth

Admiral Shots stood at the steps to the newest naval academy listening to the applause from the crowds around him as he cut the ribbon to mark its opening. Despite all of the smiles from the politicians in attendance it had taken a huge amount of his own political capital to get the ministers to approve the investment in this and several other academies. Hopefully however it was the first of several tangible steps to help the Navy address its’ ongoing major staffing problems.

Even now he knew that the first of the new massive jump carriers, which he saw as a key tool to bring the fight to the Chigs, was sat waiting for  more crew so that it could actually be commissioned into the fleet and to free up the slipway for the next one.

Almost equally frustrating was that he was now also grappling with the past under investment in the Federation’s fighter factories. Although the 100th Mk II Starfury had recently rolled off the production line to great fanfare they were well behind on the production rates they would need to supply the new carriers that were getting close to completion.  Not that he could actually authorise there commissioning for some time either.

It would all mean more delays to their response to the Chigs and which gave them an increasing window of opportunity to make the next more and push them further on the back foot.
At least they had been able to get the yards retooled and construction underway for the new fleet colliers that would play an equally critical role in the months and years to come.

107 Piscium- Deep Space
Commodore Thorpe was sat listening as her crew made ready to get the carrier group underway and back to Earth. Whilst she could more than understand the frustration Admiral Shots had shown when he had issued the orders she could also understand the concerns of the politicians having seen most of the Federation’s Naval forces depart for distant operations, leaving the home world far less well defended than in recent history. Also after nearly four long months of doing little more than remaining stationary in space she knew not only her crew but herself included were ready for the change and the chance to get back home, even if it was only for a short period of time.

GJ 1065
Whilst Commodore Thorpe was busy making preparations to leave, Colonel Foster was in the process of finishing further work to stay well and truly put. Around her, her own team were running through the final checks before powering up the sixth recently assembled planetary defense centers. Once operational the planet would have one of the most formidable close defence networks across the whole of the Federation and, once stocked with sufficient anti missiles, would be capable of repelling a greater missile salvo that could be launched by an entire carrier strike group.

At the same time, the ongoing efforts of her other engineering teams had enabled them to strip down and ship yet another of the research facilities they had managed to recover from the ruins of the planet. The facility would soon be shipped back to Luyten for re-assembly and commissioning to further strengthen the Federation’s development capacity.

Finally her men had also been preparing the ground for the significant maintenance facilities that were due to be shipped in shortly. Once complete the facilities would again rival those of any home world and would enable the permanent establishment of a fleet base in the system.

Consequently, despite being exhausted by the constant punishing tempo of the work Foster was feeling exceedingly happy with all that they had achieved and the security they had brought to the planet. So much so in fact that she had all part forgotten about her prior wish to delve deeper into space in search of the next great discovery.


Connor rocked back in his chair with a sigh. Since making the journey across the Federation to Luyten he hadn’t stopped. Whilst Laura had clearly been doing an adequate job for the past few years he had immediately spotted quite a few areas where improvements in productivity, tax collection, mining efficiency and shipyard management could be made. He’d therefore thrown himself at the myriad of work needed to implement the many changes.

The workload for that was brutal enough, let alone all of the further time he had to dedicate to building relations with the wider government, the local military forces and the wide range of local dignitaries.

Somehow in that time he had also managed to accelerate the retooling of the main shipyard for the new Type 441 assault light cruisers and start the mammoth task of building nearly 500 box launchers to fit them with.

Connor could see that his time in Luyten was going to be massively stressful and hectic but if he played his cards right he had just the ticket to head back to Earth and the great opportunities that would bring.

« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 05:17:02 PM by chrislocke2000 »

Offline chrislocke2000 (OP)

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Re: Worlds Collide - 2062
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2015, 05:03:32 PM »

Sol – Plymouth

Admiral Shots was back at the main naval academy to open the newest wing to the now sprawling campus. Once fully staffed the campus would now be seeing more than 12,000 students through its doors every year. However, despite the impressive numbers, Shots knew they would need yet more capacity if they were to keep up with the rate of expansion of the Navy’s shipyards and the ongoing vessel build programme.

Unfortunately it would be at least six months before any more inroads into the training issue could be made. Earth’s economy was about to be turned towards the construction of components for the newest series of jump assault light cruisers and in turn new mines and other infrastructure to ensure that industry and the shipyards could be adequately serviced. They also needed to build the infrastructure to support the forward deployment of the fleet and expand munitions production enough to ensure their ships and fighters had teeth. Just thinking about the logistical challenges and the forward planning needed to mount the far distant operation was enough to give him a headache.

It also meant that Shaw had had to take the painful decision to accept less well trained crews for the foreseeable future, something he had vehemently opposed for years. He could only hope that those men and women could make the most of their work out training before they were sent to the front line to fight.

Sol – Mars Shipyards

Shaw was back in what he now considered to be his home office, working through the latest batch of construction schedules having just returned from Earth orbit where he had finalised the release of the Type 232 frigates the Jamaica, Japan and Java for forwards deployment to GJ 106.

Shots’ relaxation on training requirements meant that he had been able to release a number of further frigates for completion and into shake down training. It also meant he no longer had the headache of trying to juggle both training schedules and production schedules.

More importantly he had also received the go ahead to add further slips to the three dedicated destroyer shipyards. Shaw had a long term plan for the creation of larger destroyer squadrons which could better act as independent elements from the carrier groups and this was a first step in achieving that plan.

He was also working hard on a new combat scout role for the frigate squadrons. The squadrons, which were likely to be made up of a compliment of four ships, would act as the forward eyes of the carrier groups and would be capable of completing gravitational surveys in hostile systems. These were however just rough plans at this stage as he needed the scientific establishment to complete further research on lower emission engines and other passive defences before the vessels could be designed.

Shaw couldn’t however complain too strongly about the scientific team’s lack of progress in these areas as they had just finalised the revised fabrication techniques for the Federation’s fighter factories. These changes would rapidly speed up the production process and knock more than three months off of the existing timetable for the completion of the second carrier strike group’s large complement of fighters, tankers, interceptors and scouts.  Whilst there would still be several months of delay before the carriers could commence shake down training it was a good step improvement.

Luyten – South Continent

Brigadier Jamie Crawford, the most senior member of the military land forces on Luyten, stood on the unfamiliar parade ground of the Union’s military academy waiting to take the salute of the six newly trained battalions of assault infantry. Watching the troops approach he had to admit that the training looked to have been more than effective with the smart rows of Unionists marching precisely instep with one another.

The troops would provide a huge boost to the offensive capability of the Federation’s land forces and would hopefully help to ease some of the pressure on the long remote deployment times of the Federation’s own troops. Long term it was hoped that they would be able to deliver full divisions of Union troops into the field to fight alongside the men and women from Earth.

Not for the first time however Crawford thought about the downside risks of their efforts. Historically there had never been a war where the aggressor had so quickly retrained and rearmed the local population and, with more of the Federation’s forces now deployed in GJ 1065 there would soon be greater numbers of Union troops compared to the Federation. Crawford could only hope that the civilian authorities really had a good grasp on the opinions of the Union citizens and that they were not lining themselves up for a significant fall in the not too distant future.

In the meantime Crawford could only concentrate on getting the current troops out of his facilities and the next batch of willing recruits in to start the whole process again.

Luyten – Civilian HQ

Connor was sat in his office working through the latest round of updates from his reports. After more than a month of frenzied activity he was starting to feel he had more of a grip on the situation and some of the peculiarities and the requirements of the local situation.

Under his guidance both production and mining outputs were up and he had been able to cajole more of the Union tax inspectors to do their jobs properly – helping to boost the flow of funds to the Federation’s coffers. He had also been able to accelerate the production of components for the new assault ships and had in turn taken some of the original scheduled jobs back on from the Followers’ to enable Delta Trianguli to focus more on the build-up of infrastructure and mining facilities to feed the factories of both planets.

The revised schedule meant that he would be able to start the production of the first four assault vessels a month earlier than expected and would also be ready to start work on the next six as soon as the last batch of orbital weapons platforms cleared the slips.


Sol – London

Despite it being past three in the morning Carter was wide awake and working intently on his latest plan. Several weeks ago he had discovered that the Diplomatic corps would be sending a new team to the Republic of Caleb in order to strengthen the continuing improvement in relations between them and the Federation.

It was hoped that with the first ever Federation embassy on alien soil the team would be able to more rapidly reach agreements with the Caleb that would lead to trade agreements and in turn the possibility of an alliance to support the Federation as it fought with the Chigs.

Carter had initially looked at the opportunity with relish however it had very quickly become apparent that, with the extended distances between the planets – even Luyten and Delta Trianguli, the capacity for profitable trade runs would be very limited and unlikely to lead to too much in the way of gains for his conglomerate.

What had however struck Carter was the sharp contrast in all his business projections when compared to those arising from the past wars with the Followers and Union. Whilst there had been disruption to the economies of both worlds the reparations received from both of them had been substantial, not to mention the huge later contracts for the rebuilding of their industry, the salvage of wrecks and the replacements of their civilian arms. The reality was that war paid well and peace was pretty unexciting and unfortunately the war with the Chigs wasn’t either going to be happening any time soon or had anywhere near the obvious chances of success as the last two.

Carter had no illusions that even he would be able to engineer the start of a war with a race that had been peaceful towards them for years. The diplomats were good at their jobs and therefore the chance for a catastrophic cock up on their part was more than likely to be nil. However the establishment of an embassy on their planet did open up a wide number of other opportunities and gave him a chance to get some of his own people on the ground to better understand the situation and see if there was any further advantage to be gained.

He was therefore furiously working towards getting people in the right place before the mission was announced and the team shipped off as he had some longer term plans in mind as well that might well deliver the war he wanted and the returns he expected it would bring.

Sol – Earth Shipyards

For once Shaw was back at the commercial shipyards orbiting Earth. Whilst he had limited input on their workings and production he had over the last few months been heavily involved in the retooling of one of the main yards in preparation for the laying down of the newest troop transports, the first of which would be going down that day.

The last war with the Followers had shown that the existing troop transports were far too slow and ill-equipped to support the Federation’s fighting men. The result has been a protracted battle as reinforcements took far too long to move into place and the reduced fighting effectiveness of the in theatre troops as they were unable to quickly replace casualties.

Given that any war with the Chig’s was likely to be fought over far longer distances, greatly amplifying the issues previously encountered, the Navy knew it had a pressing requirement to address the problem. As a consequence Shaw’s team had designed a new breed of transports with far greater speed, range and capacity of previous versions.

Code: [Select]
Object 1102 class Troop Transport    37,000 tons     481 Crew     1748.4 BP      TCS 740  TH 3094  EM 0
4181 km/s    JR 2-25(C)     Armour 5-98     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
MSP 30    Max Repair 100 MSP
Troop Capacity: 5 Battalions    Cargo Handling Multiplier 30   

JC37K Commercial Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 37500 tons    Distance 25k km     Squadron Size 2
MCF Drive E0.6 (9)    Power 343.75    Fuel Use 6%    Signature 343.75    Armour 0    Exp 2%
Fuel Capacity 350,000 Litres    Range 283.8 billion km   (785 days at full power)

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes

Code: [Select]
Object 192 class Troop Transport    37,000 tons     381 Crew     1868 BP      TCS 740  TH 3094  EM 0
4181 km/s     Armour 6-98     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 1     PPV 0
MSP 32    Max Repair 86 MSP
Troop Capacity: 9 Battalions    Cargo Handling Multiplier 10   

MCF Drive E0.6 (9)    Power 343.75    Fuel Use 6%    Signature 343.75    Armour 0    Exp 2%
Fuel Capacity 350,000 Litres    Range 283.8 billion km   (785 days at full power)

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes

With a squadron of one jump leader and two troopers they would be capable of delivering a full division of troops along with [3] support battalions outside of the jump network.

Additionally Shaw was particularly proud of the fact that they had been able to design the vessels in such a way that a single shipyard would be able to produce both types of ships without the need to retool. It meant that they would be able to more quickly replace the current lift capacity and ensure that their ground forces were fully supported when the new offensive against the Chigs began.


Connor was more than pleased with himself. The retooling of both slipways had been completed ahead of schedule and he had been able to juggle the shipping manifests to free up one of the bulk transport groups so that the engines being produced on Delta Trianguli could also be picked up ahead of schedule.

Overall it meant that he was now looking at being able to rebalance the planet’s output back towards expansion of the civilian sector sooner than expected meaning that he could soon be in command of an economy that outpaced Earth’s own.

Delta Trianguli

Coles was fuming. Not only had he been forced to ship more of the planet’s maintenance facilities off to GJ 1065 but he had also lost half of the engine construction contract to Connor and the Unionists. Consequently he had been relegated to the production of yet more automated mines which would ultimately be more for the benefit of Luyten and its huge number of factories than for the Followers.

Whilst the Followers were not the easiest bunch to get along with he had grown quite attached to his team on the planet and many of the wider government figures he had come to work closely with over the last few years. He was therefore keen to see the local economy flourish and for the Followers not to be a poor third amongst the three home planets that made up the core of the Federation.

If that wasn’t going to happen Coles knew he would have to do some significant re-planning before things slipped further.

Sol – Mars Shipyards

Both Shaw and Shots were together once again to finally mark the launch of the first of the Project 111 Strike Carrier Leaders. Equipped with the Federation’s largest and most complicated jump drive yet, the carrier was capable of moving its’ own huge 24,000 ton bulk and its attendant other strike carriers and support vessels across systems without the need of a jump gate network.

As well as its’ jump capability, its’ own contingent of tankers and interceptors would further complement the capabilities of the strike carriers, greatly increasing the range of their fighter squadrons and enhancing their close range protection.

Code: [Select]
Project 111 class Carrier    24,000 tons     1742 Crew     5141.8 BP      TCS 480  TH 3000  EM 0
6250 km/s    JR 3-50     Armour 5-74     Shields 0-0     Sensors 55/70/0/0     Damage Control Rating 35     PPV 31.3
Maint Life 4.62 Years     MSP 4348    AFR 184%    IFR 2.6%    1YR 332    5YR 4973    Max Repair 900 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 4000 tons     Magazine 900   

J24000(3-50) Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 24000 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3
MCF Drive E5 (24)    Power 125    Fuel Use 50%    Signature 125    Armour 0    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 1,400,000 Litres    Range 210.0 billion km   (388 days at full power)

Twin GC 20r8 (2x8)    Range 20,000km     TS: 20000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 2    ROF 5        1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Fire Control S06 48-20000 (2)    Max Range: 96,000 km   TS: 20000 km/s     90 79 69 58 48 38 27 17 6 0

Griffin 1 (180)  Speed: 50,000 km/s   End: 6m    Range: 18m km   WH: 4    Size: 2    TH: 383 / 230 / 115
Banshee 5 (270)  Speed: 50,000 km/s   End: 17m    Range: 50.9m km   WH: 4    Size: 2    TH: 200 / 120 / 60

Active Search Sensor MR5-R1 (1)     GPS 48     Range 5.2m km    Resolution 1
Active Search Sensor MR201-R16 (1)     GPS 5760     Range 201.6m km    Resolution 16
Thermal Sensor TH5-55 (1)     Sensitivity 55     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  55m km
EM Detection Sensor EM5-70 (1)     Sensitivity 70     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  70m km

Strike Group
8x Starfury Mk2 (T) Fighter-bomber   Speed: 15000 km/s    Size: 5
12x Wasp Mk3 Interceptor   Speed: 22727 km/s    Size: 3.3

Missile to hit chances are vs targets moving at 3000 km/s, 5000 km/s and 10,000 km/s

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

These vessels would be in the vanguard of the offensive against the Chigs so Shots was particularly happy that they had both been able to crew her with fully trained staff and complete the full complement of fighters which meant that as soon as they were collected the Argonaut would be able to join the Okinawa, Puget Sound and Tripoli in build-up training.

Delta Parvonis

Joanna Howl was sat amongst a huge pile of reports, action plans and schedules. Since touching down on the planet several weeks ago she had barely stopped as she worked continuously to get her improvements in mining efficiency rolled out to the manned mining stations.

Unlike the automated mines she was used to where she could simply have the systems reprogrammed, she had to visit each mining facility and work with the crew to ensure her changes were enacted as required. That was making the task somewhat more of a Herculean one than she had first expected and was taxing some of her powers of diplomacy to the limit.

However, despite the huge wall of work and demands on her time, unlike last time she was in charge, Joanna was more than happy she had a good handle on what was needed and how to achieve it. She might have hated Carter when he dismissed her from the very same role blast time but she had to admit he had probably made the right call and this time round she wasn’t going to let anyone down.

GJ 1065

Deep below the planet’s Southern Ice cap Foster stood in the control room of the latest planetary defence centre which her engineers had completed less than two days previously. With the crew in and operating they were now just running through the last wave of snagging before formally handing it over to the Navy.

With GJ 1065 now having full spectrum coverage of the planet the PDC was the last she expected to build for quite some time. That meant she could finally go and focus further on some of the few remaining ruins on the planet and with any luck make some more interesting discoveries before the last of them was gone.

After that she was more than likely going to be reassigned to one of the other ruins dotted about the Federation space. A prospect that would have once filled her with excitement but now left her worrying she would hugely miss the rock that she had called her home for longer than she cared to think about.


GJ1065 – Deep space

“Sir, Jamaica, Japan and Java are reporting on station and ready to receive combat net link instructions and master slave weapons command” reported the warfare officer on board the El Salvador.

“Thank you, initiate fire control handshake, cross verify uplink and command acceptance” replied Commodore Webster. “Oh, and please don’t forget to welcome the latest additions to our task group”.

Webster eased back into his chair watching as his crew worked to complete the integration of the escort frigates into the point defence network. Although hardly the most powerful vessels in the Federation, the fast tracking triple gauss cannons they were armed with were a very welcome addition to his small group.

Luyten – High Orbit

Conner was back up in orbit for the first time in several months as part of a small contingent wheeled out to see off Scott Barton and his small team of diplomats who would be heading for the Caleb home world in an effort to further build relations with them.

With the mission still heavily under wraps he had only been made aware of it less than 24 hours ago when he had received a briefing from Scott. For him the opportunity looked fantastic as it was a great chance to further build on the strength of the Luyten sector and further enhance his own career. However given how sensitive the mission was he realised he would have to play it very carefully for the time being.

He had already started looking at the current civilian shipping lines and what support they might need to best capitalise on the planned trade agreement  and which trade items could most profitably be run between them.

With that in mind he was keen to get the last of the formalities done and Scott and his team on their way.

Luyten – Survey Vessel 1102-002

Naomi Shaw stood to attention just inside the airlock of the scout ship with five of the other security detail whilst listening to Scott’s team getting their final send off from Conner and the rest of the small contingent of dignitaries in attendance.

With limited space on board the scout ship, the trip to the Caleb’s home world was likely going to be a crowded affair that would give her very little chance to work with her own team on their immediate plans once they had actually received the rest of their instructions and they were planet side.

That didn’t give her much cause for concern though as her sponsor had given her both the funds and the freedom she wanted to hand pick her team for the assignment. She knew all of them well from past jobs and was happy she would be able to count on them in the months to come.

In the mean time she had already been able to upload the sophisticated worm provided by her sponsor to the ship’s core which would allow her to piggy back and receive messages undetected off of the highly encrypted and carefully monitored diplomatic communications. Whoever her sponsor was clearly had significant resources and wealth to hand and that could only be a good thing for Naomi and her crew.

With her one message sent to confirm they were in place, all she had to do now was suppress the urge to go and drag the diplomatic team onto the ship so they could go and get on with the mission.



For once it was Kai’s time to be up in low orbit at the planets main shipyards. Connor was manically running about as always and wasn’t available for the trip so had deputised Kai instead. On this occasion Kai was more than happy to make the trip; the couple of hours in the shuttle gave him some relative peace and quiet – something that had been sadly lacking since Connor had arrive to take on the sector governors role.

It also meant that he would finally get to see first-hand the results of all of their hard labours with the laying down of the first assault light cruisers. With the upfront investment they had made in constructing parts it would take the slipways less than a year to turn out the first of what was likely to be at least twenty such ships.

It also gave him a chance to be shown round the latest maintenance facilities which could now support the heavy cruisers. They had been completed not a moment too soon as by all reports the cruisers were nearing the finalisation of their shake down training and would be looking for an overhaul before heading to the front line.

All in all Kai was feeling pretty confident about the progress they had been able to make and the growing importance of Luyten the overall wealth and wellbeing of the Federation.   

GJ 1065

Thornton looked out across the small barren training ground and shoddy buildings in front of him. The Union had taken the facilities on to complete the training of their new forces and whilst it wasn’t much to look at the training team were not letting it slow them down.

In a few short minutes Thornton would be taking the salute from the latest garrison battalion to be trained and thereafter would have one more unit under his command to help further bolster the planet’s defences.

However, despite the frantic building of the anti-missile defence centres Thornton was still concern that the engineers had not done enough o help shelter his troops in the event of a planetary bombardment. He still felt all too exposed in the thin atmosphere and resolved to push harder for suitable troop bunkers to be shipped.

Sol – London

Shaw sat in one of the corner booths of his favourite East end pub watching the vid feed from Mars as they covered the launch of the latest batch of combat vessels from the Mars shipyards. Unfortunately Shaw had been tied to his desk on Earth for the last few weeks as he tried to finalise the designs for the new combat scout frigates and hence had been unable to attend the launches.

Shaw ruefully took another sip from his pint of lager, given the she scale of the launch there would no doubt substantial party to follow and whilst he was less comfortable with the polite socialising aspects of his work it would have been a great opportunity to catch up with some of his peers and pick up any fresh morsels on what was happening at the front. 

Instead he had to settle for the comfort of the pub and watching the spectacle of the simultaneous launch of four type 511 heavy cruisers and five type 313 missile destroyers on the vid screen.

If there was one consolation it was that it would not be the last time such a spectacle occurred as another full replacement batch of vessels would be getting lain down as soon as the current ones were free of the slips.


85 Pegasi

“Sir we are detecting multiple new contacts in situ at the jump gate. Thermal signatures match those of other Caleb vessels and the combat AI has tagged them as neutral. We are also picking up a large number of wrecks with signatures matching those of the Caleb and the Golems” reported the warfare officer to Captain Kai Hewitt.

“Ok, everyone please remember we are here on a diplomatic mission. Let’s keep our sensor emissions to minimum for the moment. Nav, please lay in a course for the 4th planet. Helm, take us in slowly at 3,000 kms once you have the details, I don’t want us spooking them” replied Hewitt.

“Oh and security please inform Mr Lyons that his presence is requested on the bridge. I’d like at least one of his team up here from now on in, just to help ensure there aren’t any misunderstandings”.

“I’ll pass the message to him straight away” replied Naomi from her position near the Bridge entrance.

Naomi took one last look around the bridge, committing as many of the details from the screens to memory as she could before heading through the hatch. The continued presence of the large number of the wrecks since the Federation’s last visit would undoubtedly interest her employer, as would the apparent substantial blocking task group that was stationed on the jump gate in system.

After a pretty boring and uneventful couple of month’s things were looking like they were about to get a whole lot more interesting.

Two days later Naomi was back at her post on the bridge watching as the crew brought their small vessel into the planets orbit. The trip in had been largely uneventful with the large contingent of vessels staying put on the jump gate rather than escorting them in.

What had been of interest though were the readings being picked up from the Caleb’s main planet. With a Thermal signature of 40,282 and an EM signature of 111,979 both the population and industrial output were a factor above any of the Federation’s own planets. The planet also seemed to have comparatively limited shipping in orbit and only a small number of defensive platforms which seemed odd to Naomi given the industrial base and the large number of ships they had left behind at the gate.

“Sir, we have active sensor contacts from their orbital platforms. They are low res signatures, look to be anti-missile fire controls” called out the Warfare office.

“Ok, not to worry” piped up Marcus Lyons. “We’d more than likely be doing the same thing if we had a foreign vessel in orbit of our main population. Captain, if you don’t mind, I’d like to suggest that once you’ve dropped us off you make for deeper space. We don’t know the Caleb very well as yet so I’d rather remove any potential points of concern as early as possible. We will keep you up to date with regular messages for onwards transmittal back down the network.

“As you wish Mr Lyons” replied Captain Hewitt. We will remain in orbit just long enough to ferry you down to the surface and to get confirmation you are safely in your new embassy down there.

Sol – Low Orbit

Shaw stared through the viewing platform’s reinforced glass at the huge bulks of the Bulk Lift Bravo freighter group. With each of the five vessels capable of hauling 50,000 tons of material on their own the new freighter groups were proving their logistical worth.

Across the blackness of space Shaw could just make out the glowing lights of the attendant tugs and the loaders which were busily shipping the latest batch of components up from the factories to the waiting vessels. Once completed the freighter would head to Mars and the waiting shipyards there.

The ship yards would then have almost everything they needed to start construction on the first of the jump assault light cruisers which would be leading the offensive against the Chigs. With so much of the vessels already pre-assembled Shaw had estimated that it would take them little more than six months to finish the first batch whilst the number of components received meant they would be able to immediately start the second batch. That would mean they could have the full planned complement of jump leaders constructed within a year – a pace he would not have thought possible even six months ago.

Sol - London

Carter was back in his office poring over the reports he had been receiving from 85 Pegasi. To date the small special ops team he had planted in the diplomatic team’s group were proving to be a sound investment. He had already obtained a good idea about the population and industrial size of the Caleb’s home world as well as their military strength simply from the rich data of the scout vessel’s advanced passive sensor arrays.

What was more surprising to him was the Caleb’s apparent lack of interest in the huge number of wrecks still littering the system. With a number already identified as belonging to the Mech’s Carter knew there was potentially rich pickings in the system to be had. He had already ordered his currently idle Salvage group to head towards the system in the hope that the diplomatic team would be able to maintain relations strong enough for him to capitalise on the opportunity.

It was a small step which would ultimately likely yield very little real value for his conglomerate but it at least helped him feel he was taking positive steps whilst he continued to work on his longer terms which he hoped would deliver the true pay day he was after.


Sol – Mars Ship Yards

Shaw was finally back at Mars, having hitched a ride on the bulk freighters from Earth to help manage new vessels and new construction. The huge vessels were now in the final phases of unloading their prodigious cargoes and the first two of the Type 441 light cruisers had already been laid down.
At the same time the latest three Project 101 Striker Carriers the Bogue, Copahee and Card, were being finalised and made ready for their short trip to Earth. Unfortunately, and much to the ire of most of the Naval command group, they would likely spend the next six months parked in orbit as they waiting for their final compliment of fighters and other support craft to be built. Although the Federation had made great strides in fighter production they were still some way behind the more prodigious demands of the Navy and the shipyards. At least further investment was now being made in fighter factories so with any luck they would soon be closer to pace.

Not that it actually mattered too much though as there would be a still longer delay in the launch of the next Project 111 jump carrier which was not scheduled for completion until the end of the next year.

Finally Shaw was also looking at clearing the last three of the most recent batch of Type 232 point defence frigates from the slips so a full new batch could be laid down. Shaw had originally earmarked the slips for the production of the new scout frigates but with development on necessary components still some time off HQ had decided it would be better to immediately start on the 232s rather than leaving the slips idle whilst the plans were finalised.


Kai stood on the steps of the newly assembled research facilities that had just been shipped in from GJ 1065. Slightly ahead of him stood Benson who had spent the last ten minutes droning on with some terrible speech that Kai has lost interest in listening to. He was more interested in working through the next steps for the planet.

With the seventh and last research facility shipped in from GJ 1065 Luyten now had 31 facilities at its disposal, all of which were currently focused on improving research methodologies and terraforming techniques. Whilst they were good longer term goals Kai was keen to ship them more to the economy as soon as possible to see if, come the New Year, he would be able to further stretch the economic dominance of the planet and finally get himself into a position to act against Carter.

Offline Sematary

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Re: Worlds Collide - 2062
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2015, 02:14:37 PM »
I am really glad to see this continue.

Offline chrislocke2000 (OP)

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Re: Worlds Collide - 2062
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2015, 08:57:15 AM »
Good to hear you are still enjoying it. Most of the last year was relatively quiet but hopefully things will start to pick up some more in the coming years.

Steve also very kindly helped me resolve the sensor bug I was experiencing so should be making a lot better progress going forwards.

Offline MarcAFK

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  •'s so simple an idiot could have devised it..
Re: Worlds Collide - 2062
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2015, 12:11:00 AM »
Good to hear about the bug, it really is terrible when a good fiction heavy game like this falls apart due to bugs after so much time and detail has gone into it.
" 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.  "