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New Cold War / Cold War: Month 192-195 Bedu Refugees
« Last post by Kurt on Today at 07:54:29 AM »
Month 192, Bjering Consolidate Territory, Grioll system
The first Bedu refugees arrive on the planet they’ve named New Home.  Their fleet is still en route through the Bjering territories, as are the rest of the refugees. 

 Month 194, Bedu Refuge System “New Home”
The Bedu refugee fleet arrived over their new home planet on Day 7.  The transport fleet immediately began unloading refugees, who joined the refugees that had already made it there via the Bjering ICN.  The new arrivals bolstered Bedu numbers on the planet to just over twenty-four million, a prodigious achievement. 

After the transports were unloaded, almost all of them were turned over to the Bjering.  The refugees could only support a relative few of the freighters, and turning them over had always been part of the deal with the Bjering.  In all, over two hundred freighters and transports were transferred to Bjering control.  As the new refugees are being dispersed to prepared camps on the planetary surface, work begins in orbit on a new shipyard.  Newly constructed ground-based industry, working in tandem with a mobile shipyard that arrived with the refugee fleet and with the Bjering colonists already on the planet, all cooperate to build the new orbital station. 

The survey fleet that accompanied the refugees into exile departs shortly after arriving, to probe a warp chain to which the Bjering have given them access.  The survey groups departure brings to the fore a problem that will become significant in the coming months.  The military ships that accompanied them, four carriers and six destroyers, along with the survey fleet, will require maintenance support that significantly out strips the refugee’s production levels for the foreseeable future.  Virena, newly acclaimed Imperator of the Free Bedu Empire, commissions a study by her staff of the sustainability of the current force levels and the results are dispiriting.  As tremendous an accomplishment as the refugee transfer was, they just don’t have the industrial base to support the ships that came with them.  Worse, the study points out the fact that the new Bedu Empire doesn’t have the population base or resources to conduct independent research and development, or to perform much in the way of construction or colonization without significant assistance.  The problem is not immediate, as the refugee fleet brought enough maintenance supplies with it to support the existing fleet levels for roughly ten months, but study is clear, they will inevitably run out of supplies at that time, and there is little that they can do to remedy the situation.  What they have is what they have. 

Month 195, Bedu New Home System
Empress Virena dispatches the remainder of the Bedu Empire’s combat fleet back to the Bjering Gunnar system to bolster their defenses.  The fleet was doing no good orbiting New Home, and Virena is eager to show the Bjering that the Bedu refugees can be useful.  This has become particularly important given their weak economic situation. 

In recognition of their situation, Virena does a deal with the Bjering Consolidate.  In exchange for transferring the survey fleet they brought from Bedu Prime, the Bjering grant the Bedu refugees the right to colonize a nearby ST world rateed benign/rich.  Empress Virena intends to spread her people to that world to spread out their population.  This move also reduces the maintenance overhead of the Empire, allowing them to support their remaining warships for a little longer. 
New Cold War / Cold War: Months 192-195 Mintek Union
« Last post by Kurt on Yesterday at 08:21:28 AM »
Month 192, Mintek Universal Union
The Mintek government announced on this date two grand triumphs.  The first was the formal surrender of the Bedu to Mintek control, and the second was the acceptance of the Alowan race into full membership within the Universal Union.  The Alowan were conquered several years ago, and since that time Mintek missionaries had worked tirelessly to bring the truth to the unenlightened.  Finally, after years of patient work, enough Alowan had been brought to enlightenment to allow them self-rule and full membership in the Union.  Many of the missionaries will remain on Alowan Prime to continue their ministry, but even now transports are filling up with volunteers to spread the work in the newly liberated Bedu territories. 

The Union has received a massive influx of resources from the conquest of the Bedu, and this is exactly what the teetering economy needed.  The Mintek government immediately sends out multiple colony expeditions to several attractive colony sites discovered over the last several years, and makes a massive investment in building up the nation’s industry. 

In the Bedu home system, occupation forces have arrived and taken control of the major population centers.  Because the Bedu voluntarily surrendered, these forces are in place merely to assure Bedu compliance with Mintek mandates, and to ensure the safety of the missionaries that are even now en route to Bedu territory.  Strategos Brammer is marshaling his forces in the Bedu home system in preparation for making contact with the race that the Bedu had been in contact with for some time.  Initial intelligence reports show that a Bedu fleet, along with numerous colony transports, left through the home system’s second warp point even as Brammer’s fleet entered the system.  Investigation is underway, and the Bedu who negotiated the surrender agreement, along with the entirety of their Grand House, have been detained pending the resolution of this situation.  Brammer is hesitant to make contact with the new race, known to us only as the Bjering, before unravelling the actions that took place in the Bedu home system prior to the surrender. 

Month 193, Mintek occupied Bedu Home System
Strategos Brammer was livid.  It was now apparent that while he negotiated in good faith, some of the Bedu were stripping their economy bare and fleeing through a warp point in their home system that led to a previously unknown race they called the Bjering Consolidate.  They not only evacuated an unknown number of their citizens, as well as their remaining warships, but also their entire CFN, which has crippled their remaining economy.  The cost of replacing the Bedu CFN would be prohibitive, even if the Mintek economy was healthy.  As things stand, there is essentially no way that the Mintek economy, even bolstered by its recent windfalls, could replace the missing freighters and transports. 

When the magnitude of the disaster became clear, Strategos Brammer ordered the arrest of every significant Bedu on the home world, starting with the representatives in their Grand House.  This went against established Mintek policy, which dictated that Mintek occupation be as light and non-intrusive as possible.  However, the level of perfidy was stunning, and the fact that they had crippled their own economy to evacuate a small portion of their population to save them from enlightenment was damning.  In essence, Strategos Brammer was beginning to believe that the Bedu might be irredeemable.  For now, Strategos Brammer has his fleet concentrated over the Bedu home world in a show of force, aside from some small scouting groups dispatched to the warp points in the system.  Once the scope of the disaster is clear, Brammer intends to move to the Bjering warp point and demand the return of the Bedu freighters and transports.   

As the economic disaster became increasingly clear, Brammer’s reports back home became more alarming to the central government.  Early in the month, Chancellor Durkhon dispatched Minster Turval to the Bedu home world to oversee their assimilation and to take charge of the investigation of the disaster.   Minister Turval boarded a destroyer orbiting the home world on the 1st, and the destroyer’s captain set out at top speed for the Bedu home system.  Their ETA was day 16, Month 194.  In the meantime, Brammer was ordered to continue his investigation and to remain in orbit over the Bedu home planet until further notice. 

Month 194, Mintek occupied Bedu Home System
By the time Minister Turval arrived, Strategos Brammer had a more-or-less complete listing of the missing assets.  Over two hundred freighters and transports had disappeared into Bjering space, along with an unknown number of military ships and a survey fleet.  In addition, it appeared that the Bedu had managed to evacuate at least fifteen million people into Bjering space, and likely even more than that, although the remaining records were confused. 

Upon his arrival, Minister Turval reviewed Brammer’s investigation of the disaster.  The Bedu arrested by Brammer were uniformly claiming innocence, and were all loudly blaming someone called Virena, whom they claimed had betrayed the Bedu state.  This Virena was apparently the daughter of Consul Thrack, the former leader of the Bedu nation.  Interestingly, this Thrack was in Mintek custody after being captured after the defeat of his fleet.  Brammer had been unable to interview him as, because he was both a military officer and leader of an unassimilated people, he had been remanded to the custody of the Bureau of Mental Hygiene, and once they had someone, he became unavailable to anyone on the outside for some time.  That wasn’t a problem for Turval, though, as the BMH was a part of his ministry, and the head of the Bureau reported directly to Minister Turval.  Once he made this discovery, Turval issued orders to bring former Consul Thrack to his office. 

Shortly thereafter, a pair of guards arrived with now-citizen Thrack in between them.  The difference between the two tall, elegant Mintek flanking the short, ugly Bedu was striking to Minister Turval.  It was a lesson in life, he admitted to himself.  The unenlightened were always ugly, and then, somehow, once they achieved enlightenment they became, if not beautiful, then at least acceptable.  It was enlightenment itself that was so powerful, and it constantly mystified Turval that so many would fight so hard to keep themselves in darkness.  He realized he had kept the Bedu standing at the threshold of his office for several minutes, and gestured to the guards.  “Please bring him in, then leave us.”  Seeing the concern on their faces, he nodded.  “I understand, but do not worry.  I do not believe Consul Thrack wishes me harm.”

The guards moved the Bedu over to the office’s other chair and seated him, then left.  For a few seconds the two looked at each other.  Minister Turval saw what appeared to be a standard Bedu, indistinguishable from the billions of other Bedu, for the most part, dressed in standard detention overalls.  Thrack was clean, and appeared to be well fed.  In fact, Turval would have been shocked if he was anything but that, as re-education by the Bureau of Mental Hygiene did not depend on anything so gross as torture or mistreatment.  Thrack appeared to be content to peer around the office and take things in.  Finally, Turval nodded.  “I reviewed the records.  You are to be commended for surrendering in the face of defeat.  Not everyone can do that, and many leaders find it difficult to relinquish power.  Many will spend all of their followers lives to hang on for just a few minutes more, and the fact that you would rather save as many as you did speaks well for you and your people.”

Thrack watched the Mintek interestedly, but seemed content to watch and offered no response.  After a few seconds Turval realized that he hadn’t actually asked a question and thus waiting for an answer didn’t make much sense.  “There are many things I would like to discuss with you, but today I would speak with you about your daughter, Virena.”

At the mention of his daughter’s name, Thrack sat up straight and leaned forward.  “Is my daughter alive?”

“She was alive three months ago, to my knowledge.  I can confirm that she was not killed by our forces, nor does it appear that she was killed by anyone on your side, but I do not know her current state.”

Thrack looked stunned, then smiled.  “So, she lives.”  He said it like he knew it for sure.

“Presumably.”  Turval watched the Bedu as several emotions chased each other across his face, but wasn’t familiar enough with Bedu mannerisms to understand their meaning.  “In fact, the circumstances of her disappearance are what I would like to talk to you about now.  Your daughter has caused a lot of trouble, and not just for us.  Her actions have destabilized the Bedu economy, and could quite possibly lead to a war, if this isn’t handled right.”

Thrack sat quietly for a few seconds, thinking, then nodded.  “So, she did it.  She escaped with a refugee fleet outfitted to create a settlement somewhere far from here.”

Turval’s interest was piqued.  There was no way Thrack could know about that, as he had been captured long before the Bedu surrendered.  That would indicate that Virena’s plan was long-standing.  “This was your fallback plan all along?”

Thrack shook his head.  “No, but it was a possibility we discussed.  If she’s done it correctly, you’ll never find her or my people. 

“Oh, I think we know where she went.  Some of the members of the Grand House have been very cooperative, and they all agree, the only place that Virena could have gone was to the Bjering.”  Turval watched the Bedu leader for a reaction very carefully, but Thrack sat motionlessly, nothing showing on his face.  When the other said nothing, Turval continued.  “The reason you are here is because she has caused grievous damage to the Bedu economy.  Perhaps unrecoverable damage.  We cannot allow this to stand.”

Thrack looked interested.  “Just what is it that you think she’s done?”

“Your daughter made off with a squadron of warships, a survey group, and around fifteen millions of your people.  All of that we can overlook, at least for now, but the real problem is that she took off with your entire commercial freight network as well!  Around two hundred and thirty freighters and transports!  Without them your economy is crippled.  Even now Bedu are likely dying on your outer worlds for lack of supplies and medical support.”

Thrack shook his head.  “Don’t cry to me about dying Bedu!  You don’t care about them; you only care about the resources you can’t steal from my people now that the freighters aren’t here to ship them.  You can’t expect me to get upset that our stolen resources aren’t reaching your worlds!”

Turval slammed his hand into the desk in front of him.  The sharp sound echoed across the room and Thrack went still.  “I care about every life lost to the truth!  We didn’t invade you to steal your resources, but rather to protect our missionaries who were only trying to enlighten your people.  But, now that we are responsible for your people, we will use their resources to benefit both them and our people.  But we cannot do that if for the next year all of the income of the Bedu people goes to replacing their lost freighters!  It appears to me that you are the one unconcerned with the wellbeing of your own people.”

Thrack looked outraged, but said nothing.  It occurred to him that the Mintek in front of him seemed to actually believe what he was saying.  He did actually appear distressed that Bedu might be in hardships because of this.  Interesting.  After a few seconds he sat back looking around the room, away from Turval. 

Minister Turval stood up and came around the desk.  “Next month I go to meet with the Bjering.  I will be negotiating to bring enlightenment to them, as well as for the return of the freighters they have stolen.  First, we must learn their language.  I am asking for your help.  Help me peacefully negotiate with them, just to get the freighters back!  Just that.  If I cannot do that, then I fear that we may have no choice but to go to war with the Bjering to get what is ours back.  Help me avoid war.  Please!”

Thrack looked at the other for a few seconds, thinking.  Finally, he nodded.  “I’ll help.  For now.”  It had to be better than where he had been before. 

Minister Turval, with former Consul Thrack in tow, departed from the Bedu home world within a matter of hours, en route to the warp point to Bjering space.  Strategos Brammer accompanied them, along with the bulk of the 1st Carrier Strike Group, and the Fast Attack Group. 

Upon arriving at the warp point seven days later, Strategos Brammer sent a series of CD’s through the warp point.  Once on the far side they broadcast, in the Bedu language, a message telling the Bjering that they wanted to meet, and requesting that they send a ship through to the Mintek side to begin the work of learning each other’s language.  After a short period, the Bjering sent a CD back indicating that they would send through a corvette, which then appeared shortly thereafter.  They settled in for the work of learning how to talk to each other to begin.   
New Cold War / Cold War: Month 194-195 Alliance
« Last post by Kurt on October 24, 2021, 08:50:17 AM »
Month 194, Doraz Territories, Alliance 6th Fleet
With the supply depots in the Sheund system coming along, the advance forces of the Alliance 6th Fleet were able to advance into the Revolver system, which was adjacent to the alien’s home system, while the bulk of the 6th Fleet was able to advance to the Sheund system itself.  The supply master’s estimates were that it would still be two months before they could supply the entire fleet in the Revolver system, so Tai-sho Talix was going to have to decide whether or not to advance with just a portion of his forces, or wait for the supply network to build up its capacity.  For now, he was content to wait, as new supply ships were under construction, or being loaded with supplies, and one way or another the supply situation would be remedied. 

In the Aurarii home system, Lord Admiral Dromo, fearing that the invasion effort is flagging and that the indecisive ongoing battle will tarnish his reputation, uses all of his influence in the Court to call up every reserve unit in the Aurarii Republic and get them transferred to his command to reinforce his invasion of Norn Prime.  The new units will arrive before the end of the month.  Dromo is told in no uncertain terms that these will be the last reinforcements he receives. 

Month 194, Alliance Naval HQ, Chruqua Nexus
The Naval Intelligence Strategic Assessment Group was assigned to analyze and integrate information turned over by the various member states of the Alliance finally began grinding away through the information sent by the Zir, and alarms went off almost immediately.  The astrographic information contained both incredible opportunities and incredible threats.  The Zir had discovered a warp nexus with an open, detectable, link to an unknown alien race, as well as three closed links to inhabited systems.  Two of these links appeared to link to human systems, which made them interesting, and potentially useful should hostilities resume with that race, but it was the last link that was the most interesting.  Not only was it to a Mintek system, but it was to a Mintek system that matched the known information associated with the Mintek Home system!  An offensive into the Mintek home system would almost certainly end the long war with that race in one lightning operation.   

A priority message was sent from the head of the assessment group to the chief of naval intelligence, who immediately requested a meeting with the ruling triumvirate.   While the full Council of the Alliance consisted of representatives from every Alliance race, the representatives of the three full members were the only voting representatives, and they were the ones that made the real decisions for the Alliance.  The Triumvirate was quickly informed of the new opportunities and threats, and acted quickly.  The Chief of Naval Operations was tasked with developing a plan to assault the Mintek home system.  Next, the Zir were tasked with building up the defenses of the Villiers system, which was the nexus system that connected to the Mintek Home System.  Additionally, light forces were diverted from several locations in the Alliance to begun a buildup of forces in the Villiers system.  Eventually, the newly formed 6th Fleet would be diverted to the Zir system, once its mission in the Doraz expanses were complete, but for now the Zir would have to shoulder the burden of the defense of the Villiers system.  Finally, construction units across the Alliance were given orders to divert to the Villiers system as soon as their current tasks could be completed. 

Month 195, Aurarii Home System, Doraz Territories
The Aurarii invasion of Norn Prime, bolstered by reinforcements arriving late last month, finally overwhelm the Norn defenders and the Norn Regime formally surrenders on the 1st of the month.  Lord Admiral Dromo graciously accepts the surrender and disperses his troops across the planet to consolidate Aurarii control.  He also loads his transports with loot from the conquered planet, and then takes the bulk of his fleet back to Aurarii Prime in victory.  As his fleet departs, he orders three CVL’s from the newly reactivated reserves over Aurarii Prime to move to Norn Prime and take up watch stations to cover the troops on the ground.  He has several reasons for doing this.  First, his fleet is composed of capital ships only, which means that leaving any behind over Norn Prime would significantly weaken his fleet.  This is something he intends to remedy in the near future, which is increased fame and influence at Court should make possible.  Secondly, the ships in his fleet are commanded by captains personally chosen by him, and thus loyal to him.  The ships of the New Fleet of reserve ships being reactivated over Aurarii Prime are commanded by captains and an admiral chosen by officers not beholden to him, and were likely chosen by factions within the Court opposed to his rise.  While not necessarily enemies, they aren’t his people either, and can’t be trusted.  Weakening the New Fleet slightly, while returning with his own fleet to Aurarii Prime, will ensure his primacy in orbit over the home planet.  With his hard-won fame from defeating the Norn Fleet, and then conquering Norn Prime, along with the Norn loot he can now disperse to his followers and to the Court, he will be politically unstoppable.  With all of that behind him he is sure that he can unseat the Regent and replace her.  And once he controls the child-Emperor, there will be no limit to his reach.  Lord Admiral Dromo is a very satisfied Aurarii. 

Month 195, Day 15, Aurarii Prime
The victory celebration in the capital had been going on for hours, and would go on for hours more.  Lord Admiral Dromo had been generous with his resources, and had funded food and drink for large celebrations throughout the capital and beyond.  The average citizens loved it.  The Norn had long been a distant threat they had vaguely feared, and with them vanquished, at seemingly no cost, they thought Lord Admiral Dromo walked on water. 

The Imperial Court was celebrating too, and if their food and drink was of a better quality, and they were a bit more restrained than the commoners, they were, if anything, even more relieved at the outcome.  Many of the more minor courtiers had thronged to Lord Admiral Dromo’s side upon his arrival, their keen political sense detecting an ascending star, and the Lord Admiral had been feted and adored throughout the evening, treatment that he soaked up as his due.  The culmination of the evening for Dromo was a personal audience with the Emperor.  The four-year-old didn’t really know what was going on as the adults around him handled the pomp and circumstance, but it wasn’t the boy that mattered to Dromo anyway.  It was his aunt, the Dowager Princess Anastal, Regent for the crown, who mattered in that room.  The Regent was very formal and correct, and effusive in her praise for Dromo’s accomplishments, and Dromo basked in the praise even as he knew it was false.  The Regent knew him for a threat to her position, but there was little she could do about it with his political star ascending and the people and his fleet at his back. 

The celebrations continued into the next day without pause.  Sometime around midnight, Lord Admiral Dromo retired to his suite in the Palace.  He would have preferred to stay someplace else, perhaps even aboard his flagship, but that wasn’t possible.  He was the victor, and staying in the Palace was politically necessary.  The day had been long and arduous.  Dromo had been struck several times during the day with the thought that the Palace was a battlefield every bit as dangerous as the battles he had so recently fought, and perhaps even more so.  By the end of the day, he was exhausted and his stomach was telling him that he had perhaps imbibed too much, or eaten too much of the rich food that had been present in such abundance.  As he entered his suite, which had been swept by his people and was guarded by his personal guards, he just wanted to get a little sleep before getting up in the morning and restarting his political efforts.  Without thinking too much about it he dimmed the lights and collapsed on the ornate couch in the entry way to his suite, not even bothering to take off his dress uniform. 

Sometime later he awoke, bathed in sweat, disoriented, and in pain.  The pain originated in his abdomen and radiated out, and was intense enough that he could do little but groan in distress.  After a few seconds he heard a chuckle nearby.  The sound sent waves of panic through him, and he attempted to find his communicator, but the pain in his stomach was debilitating and he couldn’t move.  He peered around the dimly lit room in fear.  “Who’s there?”, he managed to croak. 

A dark figure sitting across from the couch he was sprawled on shifted and he started.  In the dark hadn’t noticed the other.  After a second the figure leaned close and a shock of recognition raced through him.  The Regent!  He looked around for his guards but no one else was there.  He tried to ask how she had gotten into the room, as there was no way his guards would have let her into the room unescorted, but the pain crested and all he could get out was -”Guards!” in a low croak that couldn’t be heard much beyond the couch he was laying on. 

The Regent chucked.  “Don’t worry, Lord Admiral.  They are on duty even now, diligently guarding you.  This is my home, though, and I know it better than anyone else.  Now, don’t you worry.  The pain will fade soon, and after that you won’t have any worries at all.”  She paused, and seeing the panicked look on the admiral’s face she continued, smiling openly now.  “Oh Dromo, you had such dreams.  I know.  We all knew, how could we not?  You may be a good admiral, but as a courtier or politician you were a beginner.  Your dreams of Imperial purple were there for anyone to see, so obvious was your ambition.  And I can’t have that, can I?  My nephew will be Emperor one day, and neither you nor any of the others who lust after that damned throne will stand in his way.”  Seeing that the light was fading in his eyes she nodded.  “Don’t worry Dromo, your victories have gone a long way towards securing my nephew’s rule, as will your timely death.  Goodbye dear admiral.”  She stood and walked out of Dromo’s line of sight.  A few minutes later Dromo’s eyes closed for the last time. 

The next morning, thinking their admiral had merely slept in to celebrate his victory, Dromo’s guards shielded him from all inquiries.  Finally, a servant was allowed to enter the suite with breakfast, and the guards that escorted her into the suite found Dromo dead on the couch.  Dromo’s own naval medical personnel were called in and verified that he had died early in the morning from heart failure. 

The Regent herself made the tearful announcement to the planet that their hero, the victor of Norn Prime, had died of natural causes after the celebration.  She lauded the Lord Admiral, and announced that his family would be awarded an estate and a title for his service. 

Month 195, Day 15, Aurarii Home System, Doraz Territories
One by one the ships of the 6th Alliance Fleet entered the Stone system, home of the aliens that had recently chased the Doraz contact ships out of the system.  In all, one hundred and nine Alliance ships jumped into the system.  Of these ships, five were supply ships carrying vital maintenance supplies, while the rest were warships of varying types. 

Tai-Sho Talix had not originally intended to enter the system in this manner.  For one thing, the supply depots set up two systems back in the Sheund system were not at full capacity yet, and wouldn’t be for several months.  Also, the Alliance Council was still divided on the correct course of action to take with the natives of this system.  While they had chased the Doraz contact group, and forced them to scuttle one of their ships to avoid capture, they had not fired on the Doraz ships or taken any openly hostile actions aside from the aggressive pursuit.  Given that fact that Council had been against opening hostilities immediately, without further negotiation, but hadn’t wanted to risk any further contact ships either.  All of the uncertainty had evaporated when the report from Naval Intelligence on the Zir situation had arrived in the Council’s hands.  That had changed everything.  Tai-sho Talix had received new orders requiring him to enter the alien’s system with as much strength as he felt necessary, and to resolve the situation as soon as possible so that his fleet could be immediately redeployed to Zir space.  To Talix, “as much force as necessary” meant his entire fleet, even if it was at the edge of his ability to support, and so here they were.  His orders covered any possible action he deemed necessary, up to but not including planetary bombardment. 

After reorganizing, the fleet set out for the inner system, leaving the Doraz Contact Fleet behind to guard the warp point leading back to their space.  Their ETA to the inner system of the primary star was nine days.

Four days later the Alliance fleet crossed an invisible line in space and popped up on the Aurarii sensor network.  Admiral Vintari, the new commander of the Aurarii fleet, ordered his ships to leave orbit and intercept the incoming contact.  A day and a half later the Aurarii fleet appeared on the sensors of the Alliance fleet.  Just over a day later the two fleets met in deep space. 

Aurarii Grand Fleet
Admiral Vintari, CO
3xML, 8xSD, 6xBB, 6xCV, 6xCVL, 217xF0 (3,005 Hull Spaces)

Alliance 6th Fleet
Tai-sho Talix, CO
15xBC, 18xCA, 15xCL, 11xDD, 1xCVL, 4xCVS, 19xCVE, 5xCT(pinnace), 16xCTV, 5xFT(Supply), 375xF0, 20xPinnace (4,431 Hull Spaces)

The two fleets closed to fifteen light seconds from each other and then came to a halt.  Shortly thereafter a transmission from the native fleet arrived and was displayed on the command deck monitor on board Tai-sho Talix’s command battlecruiser.  The display showed a humanoid figure, elaborately dressed in what was obviously a uniform with numerous medals and insignia hanging from the jacket.  The native looked rather a lot like a human, with whom Talix had had some limited dealings in the past.  The native’s language was incomprehensible, though, and it would take some time to decipher.  Time Talix didn’t have.  In spite of his orders, though, Talix did not want to initiate hostilities without a clear indication that there was not going to be another alternative.  So, he was forced to wait as the contact team worked to decipher the alien language. 

By the end of the month the Alliance communications specialists had made some headway with the native’s language.  The natives, in spite of their previous aggression, were able to communicate well enough to get the fact that they wanted a peaceful contact with the Alliance.  Indeed, not long after that message was relayed to the Alliance communication staff, all but three of the Aurarii ships turned for home.  The three remaining ships were all cruiser sized, that being the smallest ship in the Aurarii fleet. 

Tai-sho Talix was somewhat relieved, although anxious over the fact that he needed to begin moving his fleet to Zir space as soon as possible.  After conversations with his staff, he decided to withdraw from the Aurarii system, leaving behind a small group of ships to conduct the first contact process.  The Aurarii were warned not to follow the 6th Fleet as it withdrew, as Talix wanted to maintain the secrecy of the location of the closed warp point his fleet had used to enter the system.  The three Aurarii ships seemed content to watch the bulk of the fleet depart. 

Month 195, Day 28, Zir Villiers System
A Zir destroyer group from the Zir Frontier Fleet had been watching the open warp point to the unknown alien race’s system almost since it was discovered.  The fact that the warp point on the far side was open as well meant that at some point the native race in that system may come calling through the warp point, although after all of this time the Zir didn’t think it was likely.  Still, the destroyer group had been assigned to observe the alien system and guard the warp point out of caution.  For all of that time they had sat on the far side of the warp point, observing the alien system, occasionally jumping back to the Villiers system to be resupplied.  Now all of that changed.  The Zir destroyers picked up a drive field contact on a direct course for their location.  Quickly activating their drive fields, they jumped out of the system, in the hopes that the aliens hadn’t discovered the warp point and were merely coincidentally on a direct course for their location. 

Several days later the alien ships had not jumped through the warp point.  For now, the Zir ships would remain in their own system, in case the aliens were waiting on the far side.   
Meanwhile, on the periphery of the Alliance, an exploration fleet probed a newly discovered warp point.  The new system was a binary yellow/orange star system.  The primary system had two type T planets, both inhabited.  Problematically, the entry point into the system was located just seventy-two light minutes from the system primary, and one of the two inhabited planets was within detection range of the warp point when the probe ship entered the system.  Following protocol, the probe ship sent a CD back through the warp point to inform the fleet of the discovery, then began sending contact messages to the two inhabited planets.  Their response was swift, and soon the contact team on board the Rehorish survey corvette were working on deciphering the native’s language.  The native’s appearance was a mystery, as all of the natives that had appeared in the contact messages were covered in a full suit of what appeared to be combat armor of some sort.  From what could be seen they were bipedal, with two arms and two legs, but not much could be seen past that.  By the end of the month partial communications had been established with the Lothar, as they called themselves.  At this point they seemed friendly enough, and had sent a small ship to meet the Alliance survey ship to conduct their portion of the first contact procedure. 
New Cold War / Cold War: Month 191-193 Alliance Interlude
« Last post by Kurt on October 22, 2021, 11:02:13 AM »
Month 191, Grand Alliance
The Alliance Council concludes delicate negotiations with its member states this month.  The negotiations were intended to tighten the relationship between the Alliance and its ‘junior’ members, and for the most part the negotiators succeeded.  The Torqual Free State, Doraz Contingency, Zir Contemplative Union, and Bir all agreed to further integrate their economies and military with the Alliance (partnership).  The Chirq remained aloof for now.  As one of the newest races in the Alliance, the Chirq felt that they should maintain their independence for now, as a way of gaining greater status within the Alliance once they agreed to fully commit to the Alliance.   

Month 193, Zir Contemplative Union
One and a half months ago, the Zir government, such as it is, agreed to closer ties with the Alliance.  In practical terms, this meant a large influx of Alliance personnel, and a much greater degree of information sharing and joint operations.  For the most part this has gone well, however, there are several areas where the Zir government has been dragging its feet.  One area has been in regards to full disclosure of the extent of its exploration efforts and its discoveries during its expansion.  While the Alliance has previously written this off to the standard Zir inefficiency, in reality, the Zir have been struggling to come up with a strategy to deal with their discoveries and have feared the Alliance’s reaction once full disclosure is made.  Almost two years ago, Zir survey ships working int eh Villiers system, discovered that the system possessed no less than twelve warp points, in addition to their entry point.  When added to the five type T planets the system possessed, the Villiers system became incredibly valuable.  It was what was found through the new warp points that left the Zir in such a quandary, though.  Four of the systems found through the warp points in the Villiers system were inhabited.  Two of the new systems were inhabited by humans, the third by Mintek, and the fourth by an unknown race. 

This momentous discovery both elated and scared the Zir.  They were elated because more than anything else they wanted to make contact with new races and befriend them.  It scared them because they knew the D’Bringi and their Alliance had made a habit of going to war with the new races they met, and the Zir had no interest in bringing war to a new race.  Worse, the humans had been at war with the Alliance in the past, and the Mintek were currently at war with the Alliance.  The discovery led to a great debate within first the government, and then in the real centers of power on Zir Prime, the colleges and universities.  Everyone had an opinion, and very few of the opinions matched.  Some wanted to forget that they had discovered the new races and bury the information deep, along with the locations of the warp points that led to their systems.  Others wanted to make contact with the new races and use this opportunity to make new friends, perhaps even defusing the war between the Alliance and the Mintek.  Yet others wanted to divest themselves of the responsibility and turn the information over to the Alliance.  The debates cycled endlessly, and nearly two years later the Zir were no closer to deciding on a course of action than they were when the discovery was new.  And then those who wanted to turn the information over to the Alliance saw an opportunity in the Alliance’s diplomatic efforts to create a closer union.  They pushed for agreeing to the Alliance’s proposals, without ever mentioning the consequences of a closer union, and managed to gain enough support to push the measure through the government. 

Now, seven weeks after the agreement was signed, the Zir government turned the astrographic data over to the Alliance as agreed, after dragging their feet.  The data was turned over in a single large data-dump, without special emphasis or notation.  It would take some time for the Alliance to realize what it had. 
New Cold War / Cold War: Doraz Contact Attempt Pt 3
« Last post by Kurt on October 21, 2021, 11:15:39 AM »
Month 190, Aurarii/Norn System, Doraz Territories
Lord Admiral Dromo, who, by the grace of the Emperor, was commander of the Grand Fleet of the Republic, looked over his glittering bridge in satisfaction.  “In the Emperor’s name, we will defeat the Norn scum who have plagued us for too long!  On to victory!”  There was a swelling cheer that rang across the bridge, and if the cheering was a bit uninspired, well, Lord Dromo still accepted it as his due.  Dromo, the very figure of a dashing Aurarii admiral, at least in his own mind, carefully fluffed his tall fringe of hair, making sure that every strand was in place.  It wouldn’t do to appear sloppy at his final victory.  Of course, it wasn’t like his majesty would really appreciate the victory, given the fact that the current Emperor was a drooling baby, but the Imperial Court would care, and that was where the real power was exercised.  Dromo had chaffed under the limitations placed upon him and his fleet by the Court, which, in his opinion, was dominated by vacillating fools.  Aurarii technological superiority had been obvious for some time, and their fighters and superiority in capital ships had made victory certain, at least in his mind.  In spite of this, the fools in the Court had dithered, allowing the despicable Norn to insult the Republic again and again.  Their arrogance and disrespect were intolerable!  All of that was over, now.  The appearance of the aliens had finally allowed him to panic the Court into approving military action against the Norn, lest they gain an advantage by allying themselves with the new aliens that had appeared into their system.  This victory would vault him into the upper reaches of the Court, and from there little would be out of his reach.  Perhaps even the throne!

The easy destruction of the Norn contact force by a task group from his fleet had emboldened Dromo and the Court, allowing him to take this next step.  And he needed a major victory after his task group lost the alien ships in the outer system.  He had counted on capturing at least one alien ship to learn their secrets.  Their escape would make him look bad, unless he had a significant victory under his belt.  Fortunately, the barbarian Norns were available to give him that victory. 

The Aurarii fleet was arrayed before the Norn fleet, which stood in between them and their home planet.  The Norns couldn’t retreat without exposing their planet, and maneuvering would merely allow his ships to make a bombardment run at the planet unopposed.  Dromo had them exactly where he wanted them.  The Aurarii Grand Fleet was composed of three light monitors, six superdreadnoughts, three battleships, and five carriers.  Arrayed against them was the Norn fleet, six battleships, three battlecruisers, and nine destroyers.  Behind them, orbiting the planet, were six defensive bases, each approximately superdreadnought sized.  If he was the Norn, he’d want to retreat under the guns of the orbital bases, but doing so would put the planet within reach of the Aurarii missile launchers, something the Norn were obviously reluctant to risk.  So, their fleet stood in between the Aurarii and the planet, waiting for the Aurarii to make their move.  So deep was the enmity between the two that neither considered talking.  A battle was going to be fought here today, and both knew it, and neither really wanted to avoid it. 

The Aurarii fleet was made up of heavy capital ships.  Aurarii doctrine called for the use of missiles, and now fighters, to assist the main hitters of the fleet, the capital ships, to get into range of their heavy beam weapons, at which time the enemy would be pounded to pieces.  Only the latest monitors even had missile weaponry, and that had been included largely because the designers, and some admirals, had been concerned that the slow monitors might not be able to reach beam range.  All Aurarii capital ships were equipped with engine tuners, to give them an extra boost to close with their enemies. 

Now, the Aurarii fleet launched its fighters, engaged its engine tuners, and began closing on the Norn fleet.  The Aurarii ships and fighters raced towards the Norn fleet at their best speed, which meant that the fighters raced ahead, while the monitors fell behind.  The Norns began modulating their engines to make themselves harder targets.  The Aurarii ships began their charge at eight light seconds from the stationary Norn fleet, and fifteen and half-light seconds from the Norn bases and planet. 

The Aurarii Fleet was made up of three light monitors armed with a mix of advanced gun/missile launchers and capital force beams, six superdreadnoughts armed with capital force beams, HET lasers, and plasma guns, and three battleships armed with capital force beams.  In addition, the Aurarii had 150 fighters charging ahead of the fleet.  The Norn fleet was made up of six battleships armed with primary beams, three battlecruisers armed with advanced gun/missile launchers and capital missile launchers, and nine destroyers armed with advanced gun/missile launchers. 

The Norn battlecruisers were the only ships in their fleet with the range to engage the Aurarii fleet, and they sent a total of twelve capital missiles towards the charging fleet, all targeted on a Aurarii battleship.  Only one of the missiles hit its target, causing minor shield damage.  The Norn fleet continued modulating its engines as the Aurarii charged.  The next exchange of fire took place once the Aurarii SD’s and BB’s reached five light seconds, and the Norn BC’s were able to fire standard missiles to bolster their capital missile salvoes.  The Norn DD’s also fired their internal launchers, adding a total of eighteen standard missiles in two salvoes to those of the battlecruisers.  The targeted Aurarii battleship absorbed the few missiles that got through her defenses, although her shields were seriously weakened.  The Aurarii capital ships were able to return fire, now being within range of their capital force beam turrets.  The massed capital force beam fire causing heavy damage to the hapless Norn BB.   

At this point the Norn fleet, recognizing its severe disadvantage, turned back towards their planet (and bases) and began retreating, careful to keep their enemies out of their blind spots.  The Aurarii continued charging ahead, and the SD’s and BB’s actually managed to close on the retreating enemy thanks to their engine tuners.  The slower monitors weren’t able to close, but with their engine tuners they were able to maintain the range.  The Aurarii concentrated their fire on a second battleship, while the damaged and slowed BB is destroyed by capital force beam fire from the monitors.  Norn return fire is light, and only manages to cause medium armor damage to the same Aurarii BB. 

The Norn fleet continues retreating towards the planet.  The Aurarii capital ships, now at four point two five light seconds range, concentrate their fire on two Norn BB’s, damaging both.  The Norn BB damaged before is destroyed by the monitors.  In return the Norn concentrate on the same battleship, which loses most of its armor. 

The damaged Aurarii battleship turns away from the battle and drops back while its fellow squadron mates continue their charge towards the enemy.  The Aurarii fighters have now closed to one point two five light seconds from the retreating enemy fleet, and the Norn begin firing on them with their capital point defense emplacements.  Nine fighters are destroyed, but the Norn have diverted point defense away from missile defense to destroy them.  It seemed a safe bet, because so fare the Aurarii hadn’t used missile weapons.  The Norn BC’s fire their capital missile launchers on the retreating Aurarii BB and damage it further, and the rest of the Norn fleet shifts fire to an Aurarii SD, causing minor shield damage.  In return the Aurarii destroy three Norn battleships and damage the last. 

The charging Aurarii ships are now within range of the BS4’s orbiting the planet.  They concentrate their fire on the same SD, knocking its shields down and damaging its armor.  The Aurarii BB’s and SD’s, their capital force beams growing increasingly effective as the range drops, now turn their fire on the Norn DD’s.  Eight of the nine small ships are damaged in a matter of seconds.  The Norn, in exchange, focus their fire on the attacking fighters, which are now just a half of a light second behind the fleeing fleet.  Thirty-one fighters are destroyed in an orgy of destruction, but that still leaves one hundred and nineteen left to close on the fleet. 

The Norn admiral, perhaps realizing that his time left was measured in seconds, ordered his fleet to turn and charge one the Aurarii fleet, which accepted the challenge and continued its own charge.  The fighters arced around behind the Norn fleet and then raced up behind them, unleashing their close attack missiles at point blank range.  The Norn focus all of their fire on the damaged Aurarii SD and cause heavy internal damage, but in response the Norn fleet is wiped out by close attack missiles and heavy capital force beam fire from the Aurarii fleet. 

The Aurarii now close on the Norn bases, which are all that’s left.  The damaged SD is attempting to retreat, but the Norn focus all of their fire on the hapless capital ship, destroying it before it can get too far.  The return fire from the Norn fleet heavily damages three BS4’s, breaking up the base’s data groups.  Thirty seconds later the battle is over as the fighters close to point blank range and the remaining Aurarii SD’s and BB’s inundate the survivors with capital force beam fire. 

With the Norn defenses eliminated, the Grand Admiral Dromo broadcast a demand to the Norn to surrender.  The Norn refused.  Aurarii Imperial troops began landing within the week.  By the end of the month fighting had engulfed the planet.  The Imperial troops were outnumbered, but had superior technology.   

Month 192, Aurarii Republic
Minor Aurarii reinforcements are shipped to Norn Prime to bolster the forces there trying to take control of the planet.  The fighting is going well, and the defenders are weakening.  Still Grand Admiral Dromo is impatient and wants the fighting to end so that he can return home in triumph. 

Month 192, Day 1, Doraz Prime
Word of the disastrous contact with the natives of the Stone system has made its way back to the Doraz home planet.  Based on the ships seen in the Stone system, it is clear to the Doraz leaders that they may not be able to deal with the natives themselves.  Fortunately, the warp link leading to the Stone system is closed, so the natives will not be able to find it, but they will undoubtedly begin looking for the Doraz.  Therefore, the Doraz send a message to the Alliance Council, invoking the mutual defense treaty and requesting assistance. 

The message arrives on the primary home worlds of the Alliance within hours, thanks to the Alliance ICN that links the major systems of the Alliance together.  The Council, eager to demonstrate the benefits of membership to the various races within the Alliance, approves a major response almost immediately.  Ships will be sent from the various home worlds and the existing fleets, and the resulting reaction force will deploy to the Stone system and establish contact with the new aliens from a position of strength, rather than allowing them to explore the warp network unfettered and perhaps discover an undefended Alliance system.  The leading elements of the new Alliance fleet reached the Doraz home planet by the end of the month.  In all, just over one hundred Alliance warships were on the move, converging on the Doraz system. 

Month 193, Doraz Territory
The Alliance ships sent to the Doraz territories have been re-designated as the Alliance 6th Fleet.  Although not all of the ships have arrived, enough have assembled that supply is becoming an issue.  The bulk of the new fleet is located in the Doraz Whever system, one jump beyond the Doraz home system and three jumps from the new aliens that threatened the Doraz.  As currently constituted, the 6th Fleet consists of 15xBC, 1xCVL, 12xCA, 6xCAV, 4xCVS, 15xCL, 19xCVE, 9xDD, 2xDDV, 16xCTV, 5xPinnace Carrier, 20xPinnace, and 375xF0.   The support element for the fleet currently boasts 5xSupply Ships, 3xFT(200 replacement F0), and 1xRS(Repair Ship).  Additional support elements have been promised.  The 6th Fleet has enough supplies on its supply ships to support the entire fleet for approximately one month, so the bulk of the fleet is limited to operating within the Alliance supply network, which doesn’t extend very far past its current location.  Fleet Command has directed the assembly of several supply depots in the area to bolster the supply network, however, this will take time to accomplish.  In the meantime, the 6th Fleet’s commander, Tai-sho Talix, the highest ranking T’Pau in the Alliance navy, has detached a large group of ships to move forward to the limit of the supply network.  The Doraz report that no alien ships have approached the warp point back to their territory, and, given the fact that it is closed, they believe that the aliens won’t be able to find it.  However, Tai-sho Talix’s orders are to resolve the situation at his earliest opportunity.  Given the supply situation, this will take time, unfortunately. 

Meanwhile, in the Stone System, the Aurarii ground forces are having increasing difficulties on Norn Prime.  The Norn defenders have rallied, and, while they aren’t pushing the Aurarii back, they are giving them a run for their money.  In desperation, the Aurarii send reinforcements to Norn Prime, but they are scraping the bottom of the barrel on their home world and few reinforcements are available (note: the Aurarii are complacent and mildly corrupt, and will have problems enlarging their ground forces). 

In the aftermath of the battle in month 191, the Aurarii sent out their ten frigate class survey ships to re-survey the system.  Early in their expansion throughout the system, Aurarii scientists had developed a theory of interstellar travel involving something they called “Warp points”, which connected to “Warp Lanes”, which would allow ships to travel between star systems.  The Aurarii fleet had surveyed the system at that time, looking for the warp points, but had found none and the theory was put on the shelf while the Aurarii focused on settling the system.  With the intrusion of the aliens, the Aurarii pulled the old theory out and went looking again.  By the end of this month, though, the Aurarii have come to the conclusion that if there are any warp points in their system, they cannot find them. 
New Cold War / Re: Cold War Comments Thread
« Last post by misanthropope on October 20, 2021, 11:12:16 PM »
ive got this slug circus maximus image stuck in my head now, im trying to imagine what should be pulling the chariots.  i think porcupines would be pretty metal- i mean, given a slug's frame of reference for "fast".
New Cold War / Re: Cold War Comments Thread
« Last post by Kurt on October 20, 2021, 01:17:01 PM »
Good one Kurt, though the mental image of the slugs on their hover chariots with their eyestalks poking over the rim of the chariot side makes me laugh.  This is a very real case of first contact going side ways.  I'm not sure we have had such in our campaign though I think there was a few very odd ones.

When SA assistant generated a system with two different native races, I thought I'd make it into something interesting rather than just another first contact situation.  In a cold war situation, which is what these two races were in, then an alien race blundering into the system introduces a big instability into what was up till then a relatively stable situation.  After all, even if one side isn't interested in the aliens, they cannot allow the other side to establish contact and maybe gain advanced technology.  Neither can afford to ignore the aliens, or the actions of the other side. 
New Cold War / Re: Cold War Comments Thread
« Last post by Kurt on October 20, 2021, 01:08:39 PM »
sounds ta ME like the death snots caught some luck.  stead of having to blow up two fleets, they only have to deal with the remaining fraction of one.  and one of their new pets probably has good loot.

New Cold War / Re: Cold War Comments Thread
« Last post by Kurt on October 20, 2021, 01:07:52 PM »
An interesting series of events. From the ending explanation it sounds like there is a distinct possibility that the Doraz end up in a war assisting the Norn, since the Aurarii are not interested in alien contact so there will be little choice of a faction to "work with" if the Doraz wish to expand the Alliance.

Interesting tactic by the Aurarii in using military speed to pursue a faster force, even if they could not catch the Doraz force the possibility to induce breakdowns and eliminate the stragglers is a useful tactic. Maybe Starfire veterans are unsurprised but I found this clever. I have wished many times that Aurora had a similar mechanic, instead of commercial/military engines having strategic/full-speed movement would I think add an interesting mechanic and this encounter shows one reason why.

That could be done in Aurora, I think.  Perhaps if Aurora ships had a "maximum safe speed", instead of just a maximum speed.  Say you could push a task group up to ten to twenty percent over their maximum speed, but you run the risk of damaging your engines the faster you go.  I'd think that'd be doable, within the programming constraints, but only Steve would know that for sure. 

New Cold War / Re: Cold War Comments Thread
« Last post by Paul M on October 20, 2021, 12:49:20 PM »
Good one Kurt, though the mental image of the slugs on their hover chariots with their eyestalks poking over the rim of the chariot side makes me laugh.  This is a very real case of first contact going side ways.  I'm not sure we have had such in our campaign though I think there was a few very odd ones.
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