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Posted by: welchbloke
« on: August 28, 2019, 03:50:21 PM »

2017UST 9th Aug 1974 – Bridge HMS Invincible Lalande 21185 system

‘Helm, all ahead one third, take us in.’

‘All ahead one third, aye.’

Madison Hughes felt the now familiar sensations of the transition wash over her and then she and her ship were somewhere else.
The crew busied themselves about her until her sensor officer spoke. ‘Skipper, astrogation reports we are in the Ross 128 system.’

‘Understood, keep passive scans active let’s take a quick look. Helm take us in system towards the primary.’


A few minutes later the sensor officer spoke again. ‘Skipper we’ve detected 9 wrecks in the system. 6 show as Precusor classes we’ve encountered before, the other 3 are totally unknown. The unknown classes are consist of 2 30050 tonne vessels and a 8250 tonne. The smaller ship is close to planet A-IV, the larger vessels are between the orbits of A-III and A-IV between 115 and 143 degrees. The precursors are spread with 2 close to the unknown wrecks, one is bearing 091 at 1.115 B km from the system primary, the others are spread between 135 and 146 degrees at 1.18 B km. These appear to be have been destroyed while heading towards the Jump Point that we entered the system through.’

‘OK, Helm, reverse course and take us out of the system. We need to call this in.’

1744 UST 15th Aug 1974 – Bridge HMS Invincible Lalande 21185 system


‘Skipper! New sensor detection. Target is directly on top of or target jump point. Thermal readings indicate either high power engines or large vessel size. Ship does not correlate to know Precursor emissions’

‘Understood Sensors, do they appear to have detected us?’

‘No indications of activity and no active EM detections have been detected.’

Madison made a snap decision. ‘Helm slow to optimal thermal management speed and continue to close. Lets see how good the emission suppression systems really are.’

As the minutes started to tick by she could feel the bridge crew tension starting to rise. ‘Skipper, still no movement from the target. No emissions detected.’

‘OK folks, this is starting to feel more like a commercial ship by the minute. Helm continue to close.’

As the minutes stretched into hours and the range continued to decrease the unknown ship continued to do exactly nothing.

0708 16th Aug 1974 – Bridge HMS Invincible Lalande 21185 system

‘Skipper, we are now within telescope range of the target.’

‘Put it on the main screen.’

A large, obviously non-military ship appeared on the screen. It appeared to have a series of framework lattices spreading out from one side.

‘Intel, what are we looking at her?’

‘Skipper, I’m not sure what the ship’s purpose is but it appears to be constructing something.’

At that moment, her new engineering chief spoke up.

‘Ma’am, that looks like some designs I helped work on for a ship that can build a theoretical system called a jump gate. The idea is to open jump points without the aid of a shipborne jump engine.’

‘Interesting, if this building a jump gate, is it sitting in front of the jump point?’

‘No skipper, she’s sitting about 100k km off from the jump point. I’m assuming it will move the gate in place once complete.’

Madison contemplated her options and then spoke.

‘Helm, take us through the jump point, no point in building a gate if there’s nothing on the other side. Comms, transmit my intentions to Fleet Command and include that I’m acting under my own initiative. Right, lets see what on the other side.’

0945UST 16th Aug 1974 – Bridge HMS Invincible Unknown system

As the Invincible’s systems shrug off transit effects, the entire bridge crewed braced themselves expecting a barrage of missiles to strike the hull at any time. Nothing had happened by the time the sensors came back online.

The sensor operator spoke, ‘Skipper, astrogation computers are reporting an error. We have a galactic position but the spectral signature of the star is already in the database.’

‘How is that possible?’

‘I’ve no idea, this is a fault no ship has ever reported.’

‘Run a full diagnostic of the system and recompute our position. In the meantime, Helm take us in towards the system primary.’

As they headed inwards, the sensor officer worked at his station; 8 minutes later he raised his head and looked at Madison Hughes.

‘Skipper, there isn’t anything wrong with the system, I’ve checked everything and used several of the sub-systems independently of the main AI. The reason for the error is because we are in the Sol system.’

‘You mean we are in a Sol-like system?’

‘No Ma’am, I mean we are in a system that is almost an exact clone of our home system. The star has the exact spectral signature, the planets are the same. There’s a clone of Mercury, Venus, Mars, all the planets including Earth.’

‘That’s not possible.’

‘I know Skipper, but that’s exactly where we are. A system that should not exist. And to cap it all I’m getting emissions from the clone-Earth. Emissions that are on a par with Earth. They are not an exact clone though, just similar levels of emissions across similar frequencies but we can’t interpret them.’

Shocked to the core, Madison Hughes looked at her bridge crew as the Helm officer looked at her and asked:
‘What do we do Skipper?’
Posted by: welchbloke
« on: August 22, 2019, 10:01:47 AM »

1212UST 7th Aug 1974 – Bridge HMS Invincible, Lalande 21185 system

‘Helm, take us in.’

As her ship closed on the jump point, Madison Hughes mused on how efficient Survey Group #1 were, ‘they are finding jump points quicker than we can probe them.’ With Sol 2 jumps away, Invincible was supporting the RN’s survey efforts by probing jump points as they were discovered.

30 secs later they were in a new system.

‘Skipper, astrogation computer provisionally places us in the DX Cancri system. Other sensors are coming back online.’
‘Helm, once the sensors are online, take us towards the system primary.’
‘Skipper, planet A-II is a cost 1.7 body that looks very similar to the 36 Ophuchi planet that had a precursor ship.’
‘Thanks Sensors, maintain search.’

1229UST 7th Aug 1974 – Bridge HMS Invincible, Lalande 21185 system

‘Skipper, new contact, Precursor, new class, designate Lotus Blossom 001. Target is close to planet A-II.’
‘Looks like you were right Sensors. Helm, reverse course and take us out of the system. Comms, log the Precursor presence and transmit to Survey Group #1 and Fleet HQ after we’ve made transit.’

1938UST 8th Aug 1974 – RN Remote relay station Russian Steppes Earth Sol System

The relay station was protected by some of the most advanced security equipment in existence. Multi-spectral sensors continuously scanned outside and inside the facility; feeding to state-of-the-art AI protected by the latest encryption that controlled remote gun turrets spread over the facility. The intruder took 0.15 secs to crack the encryption, overwhelm the AI and disable the entire system. Code was then added to the system that would ensure no record of the anomaly would remain. The intruder quickly made their way through the complex until it reached the secure relay hub. Inserting a specially prepared card into a port the they scanned the surroundings. Deep in the RN comms network a recently arrived contact report was subtly altered….
The intruder removed the card, placed it in a pouch at their belt and watched the indicator change colour as the card was disintegrated. Quickly retracing their steps, they reached the security gate they had entered by and pressed a button on their wrist controller. The security AI came back online, registering nothing as the intruder faded into the dark. The intruder reached the dead ground that its stealth shuttle was hidden in. Pressing a hand to the security panel, the door slid open and the intruder stepped inside. To come face-to-face with an almost identically dressed figure without a helmet.

‘Bore da.’

The intruder reached for their pistol, before their hand had travelled half-way to the holster there was a brief, bright flash and the intruder slumped to the ground.
Mabon Peters looked down and keyed his comms ‘Talon 1 to 2 and 3, target eliminated, shuttle secure. RV at extraction point am placing denial charge.’

As he jogged back to their own stealth shuttle, the demo charge he’d left behind reduced the shuttle and the drone’s body to ashes. As he reached the RV point, he saw the 2 other members of his team waiting for him.

As Talon 2 strapped themselves into the pilot’s seat, Mabon keyed the long-range comms and spoke ‘Talon to Liberator, mission accomplished, heading to point Charlie for collection. Over’
Almost immediately, the reply came ‘Liberator to Talon, understood. Out.’

As the shuttle lifted off the newest member of his team, Lu Wi, late of the Chinese Empire spoke in accented International ‘Why didn’t we bring the drone and shuttle back for detailed analysis?’

‘The last time we did that, it cost us the rest of my team and I spent 4 sidereal months in the med bay.’

‘Sorry, I didn’t know.’

‘It was before your reality existed, don’t sweat it, I’ve had plenty of time to come to terms. I encountered the first drone you know? It was before we knew the Enemy was using human clones to do their dirty work. It was also before we realised they knew about us and had begun to actively target us. A booby-trapped Precursor ship damaged the Hub, so we started to take everything to a Beta site for inspection before taking it back to the Hub. That worked for a while then the drones and their ships started to be booby trapped so that they only exploded when they translated to the Bulk. So now we don’t take anything unless there is a pressing need and we take it to another location in the host reality and remotely analysis it.’

‘Makes sense.’

Mabon grunted and then settled into his seat for the flight back to the Liberator.

2017UST 8th Aug 1974 – Bridge Human Warship Liberator, Point Charlie Sol System

Mabon stepped onto the bridge to be greeted by a smile from Liberator’s captain.

‘So what was that drone up to Mab?’

‘I have no idea Amy, it penetrated an RN relay facility and spent no more than 5 minutes inside. I’m assuming it accessed the network for some reason but there are no obvious changes that we can detect. Maybe the intel folks in the Hub can work out what it was up to.’

As he walked past Amynedd Grunna, Mabon spoke in Celt ‘Dinner when we get back?’

Amy replied ‘Stop flirting with me, I’m on duty.’

‘We are the only 2 people in existence who can understand this, no one knows.’ With an impudent grin he headed off to his cabin and a well deserved sonic shower.
Posted by: welchbloke
« on: August 20, 2019, 04:58:23 PM »

0900UST 17 Dec 1973 – HQ Royal Navy, London, Sol System

Morgan Lewis, took a sip from his tea and then looked at the officer standing at the lectern ‘Go ahead Tom.’

‘Good Morning Sir, today we are going to cover the Battle of 36 Ophuchi and our in-depth analysis.’
He continued to prevent his audience from jumping in ‘Analysis indicates that the alien ship destroyed in the 36 Ophuchi was a beam armed destroyer, energy beams were detected attempting to engage our missiles but there is insufficient data to determine the exact type. Close analysis of the remaining debris indicates that vessel is likely to be over 250 years old. A lack of organic residue in the debris suggests that the ship was computer controlled and is likely a remnant of a long dead civilisation.’

He paused, mentally counting to 10, before he reached 5, Adm Knowles chimed in.
‘So, we appear to have precursor civilisation ship defending a system without any habitable planets; it seems a sloppy analysis to me,’

Careful not to show his annoyance at the dig at the professionalism of his staff, he continued ‘Granted Ma’am, some of this is speculation but it best fits the facts we do have. Also, the system has yet to be surveyed and it may contain an abandoned facility.’
Adm Knowles pulled a face; neither of them knew it but in 21 days, Survey Group #1 would discover alien ruins on planet A-II, vindicating the junior officer’s analysis.

Grace Knowles was renowned for her temper and she struggled to keep it under control as she turned towards the First Space Lord ‘Sir, I protest at this poor analysis and suggest you replace the entire intel team.’
Raising an eyebrow, Morgan Lewis replied ‘What’s really on your mind Grace? The intel report is just drawing your ire, there’s something behind it.’
‘If you must know Sir, I’m at a loss to understand why all 3 flag officers in the ‘so called’ Battle of 36 Ophuchi have been awarded immediate OBEs. It seems – excessive.’

A wry smile appeared, ‘so that’s it. If it makes you feel any better, 2 of the 3 officers you mentioned initially declined their medals and I ordered them to accept them.’
Holding up his hand to stop the expected retort, he continued ‘The PM wants to laud the Royal Navy in this election year and I’ll take any positive publicity I can before the next financial year’s plan and it’s significant expansion in shipbuilding hits the Armed Forces Committee. We need those extra ships and I’ll take any help I can get.’

As he watched Grace Knowles close her mouth, say nothing but continued to glower, Morgan decided that she had started to become a little more politically savvy; 6 months ago she would have continued to argue about the ‘outrageous PR stunt’.
Posted by: welchbloke
« on: August 20, 2019, 04:31:53 PM »

0512UST 4th Nov 1973 – Ross 154 system, Bridge Agincourt Class Missile Cruiser HMS Crecy

Commodore Naomi Davis looked up from the TacSit at her station as the last ship in her squadron flashed green indicating ready for jump. ‘Take us in Helm, combat transit.’
‘Helm acknowledges, we are linked to Snowden and Agincourt for combat transit. In 3, 2, 1 engage!’

Davis felt the otherworldly sensation of transit sweep over her body and then her she heard the smooth Canadian voice of her science officer. ‘Ma’am, transit complete, astrogation computers are calculating our position.’

Her sensor operator then chimed in. ‘Ma’am, we are in a system with 3 K-class stars, main sensors coming online, we are linked to HMS Amazon and will have revised information once their systems shake of the transit effects.’

Over the next 5 minutes, the sensors of the Cruiser Group deduce they are in the 36 Ophuchi system and there are 2 colony cost 1.7 (using the newly instigated Zarnecki planetary colonisation scale) orbiting at distances of 63 Mkm and 128 Mkm from the system primary. There are also 2 planets with colony costs of 1.7 and 2.13 orbiting the B component; the second of these also has a colony cost 2.98 moon orbiting it. Finally, the C component has a colony cost 2.89 planet orbiting it. There are planets in the system but these were the most interesting. What had really focussed the crews was the detection of a 64 650 wreck close to planet A-II.

0519UST 4th Nov 1973 – 36 Ophuchi system, Bridge HMS Crecy

Naomi Davis had been reviewing the system data and made her decision. ‘Helm, take us towards the system primary, all ahead full.’
‘Helm acknowledges, system primary all ahead full.’

0538UST 4th Nov 1973 – 36 Ophuchi system, Bridge HMS Crecy

Commodore Davis looked up as her sensor operator spoke, at least it would break the monotony of checking logistical status for the ships in her cruiser group.

‘Ma’am, data-linked track from the fleet scout, active contact designate River Stone 001 , range 2.213 billion km, bearing 301.’
‘Copied, XO, contact the group instruct them to hold position. Comms, contact Survey Group #1 command, give my compliments to Captain Gibbs and instruct him to gather his ships back on the Ross 154 jump point.’

She waited until until her XO and the Comms officer completed their calls and then continued ‘OK, people our orders are clear, we wait until the survey group is back on the jump point then we fall back to join them until we are joined by reinforcements. We don’t have any missile defence ships so we’ll jump out the minute we detect any vampires. Comms, contact fleet command, send an updated contact report and request further orders.’

2358UST 6th Nov 1988 – 36 Ophuchi system, Bridge Castle Class Escort Destroyer HMS Castle

Commodore Connor Weston shifted in his seat as the effects of the jump wore off.

‘Skipper, Commodore Davis is on channel.’
‘Put her through.’

The holoscreen in his chair flashed into life and the faces of the CO of HMS Crecy and Commodore Olivia O’Brien of Battlegroup #1 appeared. ‘Connor, Olivia, welcome to the 36 Ophuchi system. The alien ship is continuing to close at 5184 km/s and is over 2 days away from our position. Survey Group #1 has left the system. We have been sending continuously to the alien since it was detected but no reply has bene received; as per RN Standing Order 31 I designate River Stone 001 as hostile. Commodore O’Brien I relinquish command of RN forces in this system to you.’
Olivia O’Brien’s Irish lilt came over the link, ‘Transfer of command acknowledged. Connor, I intend to use your fighters to prosecute the target; when do recommend we launch?’
Connor hit transmit ‘I recommend launching when the target is 900 Mkm from our combined position. I will launch all Hurricanes and test the alien defences with a launch from 2 squadrons first then follow up if required.’

‘Sound plan, lets configure ourselves before this alien gets too close.’

As he closed the link he could see his XO looking at him quizzically.
‘Something bothering you George?’

‘Yes sir, why the formal language on the link?’
‘Two reasons; firstly, we are about to conduct the first combat in the history of the space going Royal Navy and this engagement including all the communications will be dissected and analysed for years to come. Secondly, Olivia O’Brien is establishing her command in a combat environment, she’s always been a bit up tight and she’s reverting to type while under pressure.’

‘OK Skipper, does that mean future generations of officers will be questioning why you are leading a Carrier Group from an escort destroyer?’
‘Probably, I guess I’ll have to put the reason in my autobiography.’
As the XO gave a soft chuckle, Connor thought to himself ‘How do I explain I prefer the cramped but comfortable surroundings of my first command over the CIC of a carrier? I’m no pilot and I have plenty of those to run fighter operations for me.’

0023UST 9th Nov 1973, 36 Ophuchi system, Bridge HMS Castle

Cheers range through the bridge as the results of the missile strike were relayed. Connor Weston reviewed the data, 56 Hurricanes and 8 Ocelots launched a little over 12 hours ago under the command of the CO of 4 Sqn. 1 and 2 Sqns had opened fire with 48 Arrows. In the end it had only taken 18 Arrows to kill the target.’

He surveyed the bridge with a grimace and made eye contact with the XO.

‘What’s the matter Skipper? We won.’

‘I know, we’ve faced our first alien and won, but it was smaller ship than this destroyer and with our BBJ, 2BB, CVJ, 3CV, CJ, 2CG, CLE, 3FSC and DE we outmassed it by at nearly 34-1. What’ll happen when we meet a mirror of ourselves?’

He had no idea how prophetic those words would be.
Posted by: welchbloke
« on: August 14, 2019, 03:59:32 PM »

23 Jan 1972 - Sol System, Earth, London, HQ Royal Navy

First Space Lord Morgan Lewis strode into the briefing room, waving at the assembled personnel to keep their seats before they could stand as protocol required.

Looking at the briefing officer, he said ‘Morning Tom, what have you got for me today.’

‘Morning Sir, before the daily briefing there will be a deep dive on the current survey efforts.’


Taking his cue, the briefing officer, lower the lights and enabled the holosphere displaying the discovered systems and their links.
‘As you may be aware all 3 jump points in the Sol system have been explored by HMS Invincible, the last on 13 January. These lead to the Ross 154, WISE 1506+7027 and Proxima Centauri systems. The jump point to the WISE 1506+7207 system already had a structure that we are now calling a jump gate on both ends. As a result, despite the fleet’s lack of jump tenders, Survey Group #1 has been able to enter the system and has completed a full survey of the system. Although the system contains nothing more than a Brown Dwarf star it does contain 2 more jump points that have been found to lead to the EG372 and Gliese 687 systems. The Gliese 687 system was discovered yesterday by HMS Invincible. These contain a White Dwarf and Red Dwarf star respectively. The Gliese 687 system does contain a planetary system but it none of the bodies are suitable for colonisation or easy to terraform. Of the other systems accessible from Sol, Ross 154 and Proxima Centauri are both Red Dwarf systems, both of which have terrestrial bodies with Proxima Centauri containing 2 planets that are colonisable with terraforming, planet 1 is the more hospitable of the two but only has a trace atmosphere, whilst planet 2 is beyond the ‘Goldilocks zone’ for this class of star. Until jump tenders are built to support survey operations no further information can be collected. HMS Invincible has investigated all of the systems and there are no signs of any aliens. Any search for planetary ruins will have to wait until survey ships can enter the systems.’

As soon as the briefing officer paused, Adm Knowles spoke up. ‘If I understand you correctly, the only alien presence is the jump gates on the both ends of the WISE 1506+7027 link?’

‘Apart from the ruins currently being explored on Mars, you are correct Ma’am.’

Adm Knowles was about to snap something about smart alec comments at the briefer when the First Space Lord interrupted. ‘Grace, I expect Tom to be accurate so don’t be surprised when he corrects erroneous statements. As we all know, the ruins on Mars are why we equipped Invincible with the best stealth tech we have and why every system is to be swept before the survey ships start work.’

The Martian ruins had been discovered 11 years before as the first wave of true settlers expanded from their initial landing sites; buried under at least 1500 years of sand, no one had yet deciphered the markings or identified who the aliens were. The shock to mankind had been profound and, with no understanding of jump point theory the assumption was that they had arrived using normal propulsion to cross the gulf between the stars. Trans-newtonian technology had been in use since 1941, by the British at least, and provided engines capable of travelling inter-stellar distances. Once World War II had been concluded in 1943 and the Soviet Union defeated in the 2-day war of 1945, the exploration of the Solar System had been the focus for the unified nations that had come together under the banner of the British Empire. The discovery of the ruins had led to a renewed effort in engine and combat technologies to ensure that Mankind wouldn’t fall prey to an alien threat. Significant effort was put into fuel efficiency and then sensors so that any approaching alien threat could be detected in good time. Then, in 1965, a smart young post-graduate student at Cambridge University proposed an entirely new concept for interstellar travel based upon their black hole studies and those of a veteran researcher from the American Colonies concerning the interaction of trans-newtonian elements with singularities. It appeared that, if these jump points existed, then it should be possible to open them and make them traversable with trans-newtonian technology. A ship would be required to detect the gravitational anomalies associated with the proposed jump points. The first of these ships was commanded by Group Captain Morgan Lewis RAF and his ship discovered all 3 jump points that had been explored in the last month. Proof of the jump points had led to further investment in design and construction of a stealthy scout to check for aliens in the systems joined to Sol, it also led to the creation of the Royal Space Navy from the merger of the Royal Navy and RAF. The ‘Space’ was quickly dropped and new space-going Royal Navy would lead mankind into the universe, commanded by the best and the brightest all under the rapidly promoted Morgan Lewis.

Turning to the admiral in charge of shipbuilding, Morgan asked ‘Harry, how long before we have jump tenders to support our survey ships and jump capable warships?’

‘Sir, we’ll have jump drive equipped consorts for our battleships, carriers, cruisers, destroyers and survey forces by Nov 1973.’

Morgan grimaced internally as he spoke, ‘I’ll need to explain to the PM why it will be nearly 2 years before we can start our expansion. Harry, please get your staff to provide me with some suitable briefing material for the Cabinet, make sure it could be understood by an 11-year-old, these are politicians we are talking about.’ Waiting for the sniggers to die down, he spoke again. ‘Right Tom, lets move onto the rest of today’s brief.’
Posted by: welchbloke
« on: August 12, 2019, 03:31:48 PM »

‘Computer, begin Log entry
To Fleet Command: Post Mission Report HMS Invincible, Capt Madison Hughes Commanding.
Executive Summary: HMS Invincible successfully completed the Royal Navy’s first Jump Point transit at 0230UST on 2 May 1972. Jump drive operated as expected, transit appeared to be instantaneous. HMS Invincible discovered system that astrogation confirmed is the Ross 154 system. Full system details are contained in main report. Only system body of note was a terrestrial planet orbiting very close to the star with a surface temperature of 932 Celcius. No alien presence was observed. Full report to follow.
Computer cease log entry’

Madison Hughes looked at the recorded text and marvelled at how clinical and sterile the report looked. It didn’t convey the sense of uncertainty that she had felt from her bridge crew, despite their iron discipline there had been nervous glances and overly formal exchanges of orders that highlighted the suppressed nerves. They had performed admirably and made her proud.
‘Computer Log entry addendum.
The entire crew should be commended, they all performed at the highest standards expected from Royal Navy personnel.
Computer cease addendum.’

The countdown to transit had been nerve-wracking and she had decided that, in-future, it wouldn’t happen. It would be displayed on the control screens but there would not be a verbal countdown had caused such tension amongst her 379 crew. The report also failed to convey the sense of wonder she had experienced as she looked out at the faint star in the centre of the Ross 154 system. It definitely did not convey the ‘otherness’ of the transit through the jump point; she had struggled to explain it to the psychologist who had accompanied the mission. They had all been interviewed following the transit, and not one person had reported the same effects. There had been similarities, the sense of stepping outside your body, the nausea and the flashing lights on the retina. Other than that, people had reported varied effects including terror, euphoria, sexual stimulation, cold flushes, hot flushes and many more.
She looked at the clock on the display screen and realised in just over 1 hour they would be going through the same thing again. Time to be the Captain she thought to herself, turning to the mirror in her cabin she checked that she looked the serene, confident skipper. As she turned to leave her cabin, she touched the intra-ship communicator on her wrist and spoke.
‘Bridge, Captain, summon all senior officers to the bridge, I’ll be there in 5.’
‘Captain, Bridge, they are all here skipper.’
Smiling, she signed off with ‘of course they are.’
Posted by: welchbloke
« on: August 12, 2019, 03:22:57 PM »

After a short break (7 years, how time flies!) I've decided to start posting about my latest campaign. I'm 15 years into Pax Britannia within game time and I now feel like I've got some material to write about. Once I've remembered how to create a child board for the campaign, I'll start posting a mix of fiction, ship designs and battle reports.