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Mercy Does Not Go Unpunished [Mars]

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]
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Northrop-Grumman
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Benevolent Dictatorship

Mercy Does Not Go Unpunished [Mars]

Postby Northrop-Grumman » Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:13 pm

Ah, the overactive mind! Arguably, some might consider it a blessing, enabling one to carefully contemplate a plan’s options before it’s executed; a way to churn over a particular problem so that a solution could be found; or a way to generate a bountiful array of new ideas that build off of one another. It may have its benefits, yes, but on the other hand, there were downsides when it could never really be controlled. You become greatly distracted, unable to focus on a particular topic; other work might suffer; and sometimes you find yourself laying there in bed on a sleepless night.

Alakantar was experiencing the latter; his mind was a constantly spinning whirl of ideas, thoughts, and concerns. He thought about his work as governor of the Grummian Martian colony – it always seemed that new problems were cropping up, from overcrowding to the growing need for additional agriculture on the mainland to strange fractal issues that had been cropping up across the planet. He also thought about his father’s recent death, which he had found it difficult to get used to. It was strange to expect that weekly phone call from him, but when that day arrived, the phone never rang. Alak was gradually coming to terms with it, but still, there were these little reminders all over the place, these little rituals that he had been doing for years now that no longer could happen.

It seemed that his mind never really slowed down, even at night, and even when he was tired. It led to many nights such as this, to the point where he barely got enough restful sleep and, as a result, generally felt awful during the day. But that was not an easy problem to solve or one that could be solved at all. His job was the primary cause of all of this stress, but that wasn’t something that could just be dropped. He had a responsibility to his people, the city, and his mother to do the best job he could.

Sighing, Alak gently squeezed his fiancée, Arielle, against himself, his dark drow arms greatly contrasting with her light roanian skin. He hated having to get up to do something else, to perhaps do something that would keep his mind from worrying until he was utterly exhausted, but laying here in bed wasn’t helping. Aggravated, he pulled himself up out of bed and onto his feet, causing Arielle to stir.

“Mrmhmmm?” she mumbled still half-asleep. “Going to work again?” That was less of a question and more of a statement, since she was well aware of his frequent tendency to do this in the middle of the night.

“Yeah…” Alak whispered, sighing again. “Got a few reports I need to review. I’ll be back in a little while. I promise.”

He leaned over and kissed her, before she rolled back over to head off into peaceful slumber and he donned his robe; the drow then made his way out of the apartment, down the elevator several floors to his office.



Over a thousand feet below Alak and Arielle’s apartment, underneath the so called “ground-level” of the floating city, those manning Central Operations were beginning to perform their monthly maintenance routine on the five large planetary defense gun turrets that were located on each of the “arms” of the city. These tests tended to take place at the middle of the night, for there were less people running about in the event something went wrong and less things happening around the city and out in the water, such as air and sea traffic.

“Number Four, Position Mike November Tango One,” the commander stated calmly, breaking the silence in the room.

The weapons specialist repeated verbatim what her commanding officer stated and started tapping out the commands into the computer console. A digital representation appeared on her screen and his, outlining the position of the south western turret on the vertical and horizontal planes and various statuses like power level, temperature, and others. The numbers then proceeded to change according to the positioning entered into the system, the turret traversing to position it away from hitting the maglev system beneath it and the other city a few hundred kilometers off in the distance, and elevating it to prevent it from going aimlessly off into space or hitting the ocean right next to the city.

“Number Four, Position Mike November Tango One. Traverse: Two Hundred. Elevation: Ninety Five.

The commander nodded after he checked to see if the positioning was correct. “Number Four, position confirmed,” and then he stated. “Number Four, Full Power.”

The same was repeated back to him, as the power output on the display for that particular turret increased to one-hundred percent, and outside the weapon itself began to hum and glow with the energy pulsing through it. That was held for thirty seconds before the commander issued another order.

“Number Four, Ten Percent Power.”

That command was confirmed yet again as the displays numbers gradually decreased down to that particular threshold, and outside the weapon became silent, not readily appearing that it was in any position to fire.

“Number Four, Fire.”

A bright pulse of light burst across the dark Martian sky as the weapon channeled its energy out onto the empty ocean, far away from anyone and anything that might have happened to wander into its path. Out there, it struck the surface, blowing a column of water a hundred feet into the sky.



Sitting in his office, examining the reports that outlaid the need for yet another city expansion, the renovations that would result from it, and the downsides to not implementing it, Alak took note of the weapon firing and glanced over at the clock. 1 a.m. Right on time. He then noticed a pile of papers strewn out across a side table. Samples of wedding invitations, brochures from the various venues he and Arielle had considered, and even some possible caterers.

That had been something that he was having issues getting around to doing. They had been engaged for a few years now, but it always seemed that something would come up that would disturb their plans – from problems on Mars, to Calavyr’s meddling, to his father’s death, to, now, his busy work schedule. Nothing ever seemed like it was coming together no matter how much he tried.

Every day he would probably spend around fifteen hours working, then would head back to his apartment to only have a short amount of time before having to crash into bed to start up the next day. And even then, if he didn’t get enough sleep, the last thing he wanted to focus his waning energy on was a wedding. He needed a much clearer mind for that.

“Dad, what would you do?” he asked aloud, gazing over at a picture of his family from happier times, sitting over on the corner of his desk.



“Number One…” the commander called out, and thus began the next phase of the weapons testing for the northernmost turret with the same procedure that was followed for the prior one.

However, this time would be different as the weapon eventually reached the point where it was to be test fired.



The powerful burst of energy shredded through several commercial and residential towers in its path like paper, not stopped in the slightest by the light armoring that had been built into them. Anything directly on the floors where it struck were blown out, immediately melting the supporting columns and sending whatever remained above it toppling over.

The sounds of explosions rocking the city caused Alak to swing himself around in his chair, eyes widening, as building after building collapsed before him, and then he realized that his was next. He barely had time to react before the beam slammed into the floors above him, instantly incinerating anything that wasn’t metal and blowing a hole right through the center of the tower.

Shockwaves shattered the office windows, propelling him from his seat as metal and glass fragments tore through his office. He had a brief moment of consciousness as the side of his body had managed to bear the brunt of the blast, incredible agony seeming to engulf him as bones cracked and skin burned, before another blast knocked into him again, causing numbness and then nothing. The walls on the floors above him, unable to hold the weight, buckled as the upper portion of the tower tilted over, snapping and sending it crashing into the city below.




“Shut it down! Shut it down, now!” the commander shouted to the weapons specialist as claxons pierced their ears, sounding throughout the room and the city. The turret’s power conduits were then severed, shutting it down completely and sealing it off from the areas around it, preventing whatever malfunction it contained from causing further harm either by it overloading or continuing its path of destruction. The screens in the command center turned blood red and displayed across the outlined representations of the buildings that were damaged or destroyed as reports were transmitted from the sensors inlaid in every structure. Fire suppression systems quickly kicked into place, in areas where the piping remained undamaged, soaking the fires with filtered seawater pumped in. The fire departments had been rapidly notified of damaged areas, what rubble might be blocking their paths, and where they were most needed.

Beyond the city of Valacirca, the remaining five floating cities swiftly went into lockdown mode as the maglevs were shut down and severed from one another and the rest of the system. Blast doors slammed shut across every building and windows were sealed with armor plated shutters. The shields over and under each city powered up, providing protection against whatever threat might have been out there that caused this disaster, if any. And lastly, their defense turrets moved into position, their barrels ready to fire at anyone or anything who dared approach the cities.

OOC: This is pretty much open to Mars residents, allies, and other related folks. If you have any questions, feel free to TG me. Also, I'm planning on posting in here at least once a week, perhaps more, if the situation warrants it.

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Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Northrop-Grumman » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:57 am

The past several months had been rough on Siri as she tried to cope with her husband’s death. Her sister had kept her company throughout most weekends, but during the week, she had her patients to have to take care of so she tended to not be around as much. That had left Siri fending for herself, during which she spent her days just working, from the time she arose in the morning until she turned out the lights at night, pausing only to eat so she wouldn’t waste away. She did nothing more, withdrawing from the outside world as the motivation had been sapped from her – her fencing classes at the academy had been postponed indefinitely, her trips abroad had ceased, and she hadn’t been out in public since the day of the funeral.

It had taken a physical toll on her as well. The healthy, vibrant young-appearing elf had gradually faded away and now all that remained was one that was weakened. Her appearance was one that looked as if she hadn’t gotten sleep in ages, her skin had paled from the lack of sunlight, her hair was disheveled, and her expressions were deadened. But she didn’t care about any of that. What did it matter? So long as she ate and bathed, that was good enough for her.

On this afternoon, she reviewed paperwork on her desk – the drudgery that made up her life now. Oh this time it was talking about a potential reorganization of the capital city under the provisional government as opposed to the mayor model it had now. It contained a list of pros and cons for her determination. But this wasn’t something she was terribly interested in and just tossed the datapad across the desk, sighing. For but a moment, she leaned the office chair back and shut her eyes, trying to clear her mind.

That was interrupted by her computer terminal that had begun to blare its deafeningly shrill alarm and spat out bolded blocks of text onto its screen.

Code: Select all
<<<ALERT>>> EXPLOSIONS IN CAPITAL DISTRICT OF VALACIRCA, MARS. CURRENT STATUS – UNKNOWN. NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS IN EFFECT. HAWTHORNE FD IS TO REPORT TO CENTRAL TERMINAL. <<<///ALERT>>>


The message’s significance barely had a chance to register before she launched herself from her chair, heading for the door, and not giving a damn about work or anything but getting to the terminal and to her son.



Upon reaching the other end of the interstellar gate into the Martian city, Siri simply froze. The gate itself had been moved from its long-standing placement inside the terminal directly beneath the capital tower. Now, it was just clamped into place upon the water’s edge in one of the city’s residential arms. People streamed like water from the portal behind her, flowing around her as the paramedics and firefighters, paying no mind to the elf, headed to their designated areas to lend assistance where it might be needed. Siri gazed upward at the slightly burning, heavily damaged buildings that loomed over the surrounding area, the billowing smoke rising from gaping holes and severed towers. The affected areas had been deprived of power with the only illumination coming from red emergency lights, headlamps, and the fires’ flickering glow.

And then, with the shock that had receded and a renewed drive rising up, Siri bolted towards the capital tower once more, without the slightest bit of concern for anything that was going on around her. She had to find him. There was no way that she would allow herself to stand idly by as another one of her family was in danger, that she could lose someone else. Not this time. She was determined to help, to do whatever it took, consequences be damned to save him.

She darted around between people, bumping into a few who were going about their duties that that same sense of purpose, and then ducked underneath a makeshift barricade that was set up. But then her body was yanked backward as a large gloved hand grabbed her shoulder.

“Madam Chairwoman, stop!” a deep voice commanded her, and she turned to find herself facing a significantly taller man, wearing a fire suit and a helmet, who was staring down at her.

“My son is in there,” she protested, turning her gaze back towards the smoldering tower.

He frowned and sighed, wiping away the sweat from his ash-laden forehead and finding that it did nothing but smear it all over. “I know. We’re getting there.”

“That’s not good enough.”

“Look,” he huffed. “We’re short on manpower and we’re doing everything we can to reach everyone. It takes time.”

“Then I’m going in by myself.” Before he could have a chance to answer her or even react, Siri grabbed his walkie-talkie and bolted for the tower, caring not for what he said or for her personal safety. If this is what it took to help Alak, then this is what she will do.

“Fucking hell…” he muttered, throwing up his hands and looking after her in utter frustration. Damn it, he hated when people never listened to him.

“What are we going to do, sir?” came a voice from one of his men, who had approached just when he saw the elf run off.

“Our damned jobs, that’s what.”

--------------------------------

Meanwhile, down below in Central Operations, the staff there were trying to do their damnedest to direct the fire and medical teams’ rescue efforts by keeping them apprised of structural issues, heat warnings from whatever sensors were still working, and the integrity of the high pressure steam lines. On top of that, they were a nexus for all communications between the various teams, the public works department, and now, the commanders from the other five floating cities of the Martian territory: Acunurba, New Tortuga, Reston, Carrolton, and Ahaluthh Elemmiire.

“What the hell happened over there?” the Lieutenant Colonel Townes from Carrolton demanded of Valacirca’s commander, finding that being left in the dark about this for thing long was making her more and more furious. They were only about a hundred miles apart from one another and not knowing anything was not helping to calm her nerves.

Colonel Lunsford’s hazel eyes flicked back and forth between the displays containing the five commander’s faces and what the computers were feeding back to him regarding each and every system aboard the city-ship. “We…attacked ourselves, in a manner of speaking. Every system we have here is insisting we test-fired one of our defense placements out over the ocean, but…” he trailed off, leaving the obvious to be unsaid.

“Have you had a chance to examine the gun yet?” interjected Acunurba’s Lt. Colonel Devin.

Lunsford shook his head and glanced over onto another display. “No, we’ve had more pressing matters to attend to; all we can really do at this point is speculate, at least until we get a handle on everything that’s going on.”

Lt. Colonel Callahan from Ahaluthh Elemmiire then started throwing out questions there, hoping that they’d have all their potential causes out on the table so they could decide what their next course of action would be. “Could it be a calibration error?”

“It’s possible.”

“What about a straight up malfunction?”

“Also, possible.”

“A bug in the code?”

Townes then stated, much more calmly now that she knew that they weren’t under siege or anything like that. “My main concern and fear is that it’s a problem inherent in the system. Do we go ahead, disconnect ours, and leave ourselves vulnerable or hope it’s just an isolated problem?”

“I don’t know,” answered Valacirca’s commander sincerely – his information was very limited at this point, so all he could do is handle the crisis one step at a time. “We’re going to be taking ours all offline, just in case whatever it is affects any of the other systems or if the problem goes deeper than we thought. The last thing we need is one to start firing on its own.”

Throwing out his remaining speculative thought, Callahan asked that dreaded question, “Could someone have hacked into it?”

“…God, I hope not.” Lunsford visibly cringed, along with one or two of the others. That was always their worst fear, because then whoever it was might try again, everyone starts pointing fingers at each another, and investigations bog everyone down.

“I know you can’t do it yourselves, but maybe we can send over some folks from our side to have a gander at it, so we can be sure. No sense of letting ourselves speculate into paranoia. We’ve got the manpower,” Devin offered, wanting to drag everyone back into finding solutions.

“No, I’d rather not have anyone going to poke at it until we have the right experts here.” Lunsford pinched the bridge of his nose and shook his head yet again. “If it’s a malfunction or a bug in the code, I’d rather not have someone who doesn’t know what they’re up against messing with it and wind up losing the cause of it or make it worse. No offense, but I’d rather get in touch with the folks who built the system. And if it was deliberate…I don’t see it being wise to have an internal party getting a chance to wipe away the crime. We’re all suspects at this point.”

Devin nodded. “Understood, but that still doesn’t help us figure out the problem.”

After all this time, Reston’s Lt. Colonel Sparks finally spoke up with his own offer. “Well, I’ve an idea. We’ll be the ones and throw ourselves out there. We’ll decouple one of ours entirely, lift it out, and have it set up over on the mainland. If it works there, it’s not the gun itself. I’ll see what I can do about hauling out some of the spare systems from the Yards, same model and code and all. At least then we can maybe narrow it down.”

“Works for me,” Lunsford stated.

“Alright then, keep us apprised of what you find,” added Townes before she asked yet another question to the Valacircan commander. “On another note, do you need assistance with search and rescue?”

“Honestly, anything would be a great help.”

“The safest and probably most secure way would be dropships instead of the maglevs. We can probably have everything ready in about an hour. We’ll liaise with your ground teams to see what we can spare for them.”

“I appreciate it. I’ll keep you all in the loop. Lunsford Out.”



Not too long after the conversation had concluded a statement had been transmitted through the Grummian telecommunications network to each and every terminal, which included getting picked up and released by news agencies to the wider galaxy.

Code: Select all
16:55 HST SEPTEMBER 23 (VALACIRCA) (MARS): MILITARY OFFICIALS REPORT THAT A MISFIRE OF A PLANETARY DEFENSE CANNON IN THE COLONIAL CAPITAL HAS KILLED AN ESTIMATED 20,000. GOVERNOR O’NEILL IS AMONG THE MISSING. THE CAUSE OF THE DISASTER IS STILL UNKNOWN.
Last edited by Northrop-Grumman on Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Scolopendra
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Postby Scolopendra » Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:35 pm

Deimos

Not so long ago, Mars Theatre was a hotbed of activity. While the Mars Theatre Fleet was de jure dedicated to patrolling Triumvirate interests throughout the Asteroid Belt up to Jupiter, it was de facto dedicated to Mars' clockwork diplomatic blowups, armed skirmishes, invasions, and terrorist attacks. Ever since the Second Pilonese Incident, however, things had calmed down dramatically. When she thought about it, Sky Marshal Tandra Fani-Kayode was--very silently, mind--a little wistful about it. Once she retired, she knew that the TYCS would fold the once-vital Mars Theatre into Earth Theatre and officially form an Inner Solar Theatre, much as the Jupiter Theatre merged with the Saturn Theatre to become the Outer Solar Theatre upon M'sha's retirement. The Triumvirate was generally going interstellar, and the outsystem Fleetbases were actually more secure. They could always rush back in if they had to, but...

Well, boots kicked up on her trusty old desk deep inside Deimos fleetbase, she figured everyone in the old stomping grounds had earned some peace. Sky Marshal deflation was a good thing, all told.

Her once-blonde now silver-haired aide threw open the office door.

They looked at each other.

Fani-Kayode nearly jumped out of her desk.

*-*-*

"Big board's clear, ma'am. Nothing out of the ordinary."

"Intel."

"Again, nothing out of the ordinary. Special Services, Ess-Eye-Ess, Em-Eye-Ess, Oni... nothing on the threat boards."

The tall, dark woman glanced towards her shorter adjutant. "Black Swan angles--knights-errant?" She would be extremely disappointed in herself if she'd allowed proper terrorists posing as Knights-Errant run freely on Mars.

"Dread Pirate Roberts is crunching the numbers now, ma'am, but so far all signs point towards no."

"Set Event Condition Three throughout the fleet, Event Condition Two within Mars Engagement Sphere. Cancel liberties, as usual." She thought for a moment. "Marishiten is on maneuvers... recall her. New Vancouver's component just pulled in for repple-depple, she still hot?"

"Yes, ma'am," the commander by her side nodded, once-blonde silver hair bobbing. "Hasn't even offloaded crew yet, other than a few weekend passes."

"Panthera?"

"HAMSTRs cold, but could be gridded back up posthaste. Thing is that the Fourteenth Heavy Carrier component's technically uncrewed for shore rotation."

Tandra sighed. Only a few short years ago she'd have an absurd amount of resources to throw at this. Instantly. Now she had to wait."

"Right. Sixty-Third Battleship's in the lead, then. Get Vancouver moving."

*-*-*

TO: Martian Northrop-Grumman Authorities
FR: SKYMSL Tandra FANI-KAYODE, CO, MTF
SJ: Incident Response

The TYCS stands ready to assist, if it is desired. We can equip the 63rd Battleship Component (BB NEW VANCOUVER, CRD LIBERTY, MFF SILIVREN, DD+ GENOVI, DD+ LANCESHIRE) for emergency humanitarian response operations--simply tell us what you need, where to put it, and how to get it there.
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Postby Northrop-Grumman » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:08 am

Inside another apartment tower, metal structural supports – their numbers having been thinned by the last – began groaning under the pressure from above. Sensors, embedded inside these walls, picked up these changes, directing the information back into Central Operations, where computer systems analyzed the information and decided upon the next course of action. And that was to sound whatever alarms remained inside the tower and the streets and other buildings around it, with a computerized voice that directed people to leave that particular address, along the ones around it, and proceed to a safe location at least two blocks away.

That same information had been channeled to one of Lunsford’s displays; he tapped his fingers tensely against the console, watching the little dots representing detected people scattering from the general vicinity. But there were still quite a few more inside and even more in the surrounding ones who had been slow to evacuate, and while he remained quiet, his mind screamed at those people to hurry up and get the hell out of there. However, their time had run out as the supports, finally reaching their breaking point, twisted and snapped, tipping the thirty-two floors above over and sending it smashing into a nearby apartment block. Fires erupted and even more alarms sounded as debris dropped into the streets below.

Lunsford watched the little dots just vanish from the display, hoping futilely that that was simply the sensors being severed from the grid. But he knew the truth; everything was gradually coming apart around him, despite the rescuers’ best efforts. There was only such much time and only so many resources they had right now. Every time they thought they were getting something accomplished, the bottom dropped out from under them, making everything so much worse. Now there were even more people who needed to be helped and there wasn’t enough people to help them, which was made worse by the fact that some of those people had been in those buildings.

It was about that time that the message from the TYCS had been relayed through to his console via the Grummian Martian Defense Fleet, since the long range communications arrays had been built into the central tower, and that was gone. Lunsford read over it, with a quirked eyebrow, and then tapped out a response back to the Sky Marshal.

<:: Encrypted Transmission ::>
<:: Priority – Alpha ::>
<:: Sender: Colonel Milton Lunsford, Central Operations, Valacirca, Mars ::>
<:: Recipient: Sky Marshal Tandra Fani-Kayode, CO, MTF ::>
<:: Subject: RE: Incident Response ::>

Your assistance would be much appreciated. The two most difficult challenges we’re facing right now is the stabilization of damaged buildings and the overall rescue effort. Anything you could spare in those two areas would go a long way towards helping getting the situation under control. I will attach an overview of our current situation.

In regards to where and how assistance should be sent, right now, our main staging area is out on the southwestern arm of the city, as I will indicate on the overview. Currently, we are receiving materials and people through the interstellar gate from the mainland, but it could be possible to reconnect the maglev system once more (though, due to security concerns, that would preferably be as a last resort), use the ocean-level docks, or the landing pads for smaller craft.

We can work with you on whatever you decide.

<:: Text Ended ::>
<:: File Attached ::>
<:: Transmission Sent ::>


The transmitted file that accompanied the message was basically a snapshot in time of the damaged areas of the city, the buildings’ current conditions including weakened areas, and where rescue crews had been positioned. A large swath of the city, from the turret position on the northern arm down through the residential and commercial districts and finally ending just a little beyond the central tower was inside the damage zone.

While he had his mind focused on this particular task, that had sparked an idea and he hammered out yet another message, this time to the shipyards at Criun.

<:: Encrypted Transmission ::>
<:: Priority – Alpha ::>
<:: Sender: Colonel Milton Lunsford, Central Operations, Valacirca, Mars ::>
<:: Recipient: General Walter P. Ellis Shipyards, P3X-719, Criun ::>
<:: Subject: Request for Assistance ::>

As you already know, we recently had an incident with one of our defense emplacements, causing significant damage to the city. We are continuing to have problems maintaining structural stability in many buildings, so what I would like is to borrow your structural engineers, metalworkers, and any spare materials you have laying around and see if they can devise a way of ensuring that these buildings remain standing. I will also send along a detailed file of all our records within the past 24 hours to assist you and can provide more if requested/needed.

<:: Text Ended ::>
<:: File Attached ::>
<:: Transmission Sent ::>
Last edited by Northrop-Grumman on Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Northrop-Grumman » Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:38 pm

Heavy boots clomped up the capital tower’s staircase, illuminated by the emergency spotlights that provided the only light inside as the main power had been turned off. The utilities were concerned both about sparks from severed or crushed cables that might ignite flammable materials or fallen cables that might electrocute survivors or rescue crews. And that was also for the best as the floors were sopping wet from the discharge of the sprinklers and the water combined with ash from the upper floors, resulting in a sludgy mess that drained down the stairs.

Siri continued to trudge her way upwards, her breathing heavy from her weakened condition and the air being thick with smoke and soot. But her body’s failings could not hamper her determination in pushing herself onward. It just made her want to move quicker to find him. Though, when she had reached the eighty-first floor, her ears perked up when she heard coughing that, for once, wasn’t hers, breaking the silence, echoing from one of the adjoining office hallways.

The elf paused briefly on the staircase’s landing and cautiously peered down the dimly lit corridor. “Hello?” she shouted her question and found it only being answered with pained groaning. Someone was down there, but who?

Hesitating for a moment, she glanced back upward to the stairs leading to the next couple of floors, knowing that her son was up there and still needed her, but she could not leave someone alone down here, not when they most certainly could use her assistance. Cursing, she took off down that hallway, calling out that same greeting and listening for any sounds that were made so that she could figure out where it was coming from.

After a bend in the hall, she found a man lying there, facedown, a portion of the drop ceiling and the floor above it having crashed down onto him, but still managing to leave his upper torso and his head relatively unharmed. Though, a severe concussion wouldn’t be unexpected at this point. Siri removed the smaller, unconnected pieces of metal, trying to clear the area around him, and then started to yank at and heave the larger ones away. Finally the man stirred a little more.

“Stay still,” she directed him, not wanting any movement from him, lest he cause the debris above to crush him even more.

Siri keyed her walkie-talkie, keeping everything short and to the point and not really caring about propriety. “This is Chairwoman O’Neill. I have a badly injured man here under a pile of structural metal. Eighty-first floor, capital tower. Requesting assistance, please.”

“Copy that, Chairwoman,” came the static filled response.

She knelt down beside the man, laying her hands upon his shoulder, and closed her eyes, concentrating upon determining what damage had been done internally. She followed the course of his circulatory system from his arms through the trunk of his body and down to his legs, looking for internal bleeding, broken bones, and lacerations. His ribs had been shattered puncturing one of his lungs, his hips were disclosed, and his legs had been pretty well smashed. She made an attempt at trying to stem the bleeding, internal and external, and just tried to keep him stable enough, but all she could do at this point was keep going until help arrived.

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Postby Northrop-Grumman » Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:21 am

The rescue crew, while not necessarily being the most expedient because of the long climb, had come as promptly as they could with a stretcher and anti-grav clamps that would help move the debris off of the man. Once there, they made quick work of removing him from beneath the metal, sliding him onto the stretcher, taking him carefully down the staircase, and leaving Siri all on her own once more. She resumed her original task, making her way higher and higher in the tower, more and more anxious about what lie ahead of her.

At around the one hundred fourteenth floor, she could go no further. The blast damage and severing of the remaining floors had collapsed the stairwell upon itself, leaving the way permanently impassible. Siri’s heart almost stopped when she laid eyes upon the rubble, and she started fretting, realizing that her fears had come true, that her son had been taken from her. She tossed bits and pieces of the stairwell behind her, sending them clattering down the stairs, in a futile attempt to go further.

Her mood fluctuated between helplessness and anger, as the cold hard reality bore down upon her; in frustration she took a few punches at a concrete tread, scraping and bloodying her fists, and then slumped against the wall, at a loss about what to do. Once again, there was nothing, absolutely nothing that she could do. It started with her parents, then Jack, and now Alak. Every time something came up she was always too late or too helpless to prevent harm from coming to them, and she only blamed herself for it. Then, in an attempt at keeping her sanity, her mind grasped at anything that would give her the slightest bit of hope that perhaps he could be alive somewhere. Maybe the remains of the upper tower managed to hold together when it fell. Maybe there were still floors above that collapsed stairwell. Maybe…

Suddenly realizing that his office was only a floor below her, she pushed those thoughts away and bounded down with the last shred of hope that maybe, just maybe, he had been down there this evening. She found his office door dented out and inoperable, forcing her to use the manual crank to pry it open just enough for her to squeeze through. And when she finally did, she was shocked at the sight of the room before her.

The office had been thoroughly demolished as the paneling that once hid piping and electrical and telecommunications cables had been completely torn from the walls with whatever remained partly melted and scorched. Metal tables, thrown across the room, were in pieces and the heavy desk had been turned over several times. Strewn about and mostly having turned to ash was the paperwork that he had been working on. The carpeting was soaked and blackened, burned from the heat that had torn through here.

Over nearest the wall where she entered was a seemingly lifeless body. Lying on his side, Alak was barely recognizable, severely burned, with some portions of his skin being a bloody, oozing mess, while other portions, namely the right side of the body since it had taken the brunt of the blast, were heavily charred and no longer looked as if it belonged to any living person. Siri crouched down beside him, not really believing that this could be her son, and checked his pulse; it was barely noticeable and his breathing, she noted, was shallow. He was still alive, but barely. She immediately keyed her walkie-talkie once again, praying that help would arrive in enough time and she had not taken too long in getting up here.



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21:32 HST SEPTEMBER 23 (VALACIRCA) (MARS): UPDATE: MILITARY MOBILIZING FOR RELIEF. TYCS WILL LEND ASSISTANCE IN RECOVERY EFFORTS. GOVERNOR O’NEILL FOUND AND IS IN CRITICAL CONDITION.

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Scolopendra
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Scolopendra » Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:24 am

TYWS-BB New Vancouver, currently docked at Deimos Fleetbase
Command Compartment


"Goddammit," Admiral Lambruschini growled as he turned the door into the command compartment, folding up his duty flap with both hands, "why aren't we moving?"

"We're still taking on supplies, sir," the ship's avatar, the humaniform elk acting as officer of the watch, replied. "Even with all portside hangars, rapid replenishment doors, and cargo displacers operating at full throughput--"

"Thousands of tons of cargo, I know. Relief MAM pods."

"All designed to be ditched, sir. Floating city."

"Then ditch 'em in the goddamn water."

Occasionally, when angrily outbursting, the admiral could have good ideas.

*-*-*

Loki New Vancouver-Ten

"Valacirca ATC, TYCS Heavy Thirty-Three-Ninety carrying humanitarian goods. Need vector to available water berth coordinated with port authority. Standing by for vector and authority change at your need."

*-*-*

And that was how a dozen gull-winged Lokis approached the city with their unusually drab green cargo pods, highlit with roundels internationally designating non-combatant medical equipment. Meanwhile, drone-carrier cruiser Liberty, missile frigate Silivren, and destroyers Genovi and Lanceshire coordinated with the aerospace defense command to integrate into their defensive posture. If the Grummians were willing to admit that their guns were silenced, then TYCS guns would be ready to take their place in high atmo stationkeeping over the floating cities.

*-*-*

High Orbit

In the beginning there was nothing. Then there was a supercarrier. Far, far off in the distance, well beyond the range of sight, there were also a missile frigate and two destroyers.

Aboard Supercarrier Marishiten, Admiral Weber had already been briefed and already come up with something approximating a plan. The standard operating procedure for urban relief called for cap drops outside the city, getting into the city on the bounce, and securing vital infrastructure and routes for later supply drops. Unfortunately, the standard operating procedure didn't work either for floating cities or cities where buildings were collapsing with approximate regularity. Thus, in the hours it'd taken to wrap up maneuver evolutions and recall to Mars, the Admiral and her strategic staff had developed new procedures.

Rather than the old TYCS standards of drop capsules and Lokis, this operation would rely on the ubiquitous but underloved Scarab tactical airlift shuttles. Ground crews refitted several Marishiten's shuttles for firefighting duty with pumps and tanks and sprays; other shuttles were now intended for reinforcement work with extra powerplans and heavy-duty field generators rolled into their cargo bays. They couldn't do anything fancy, but, as directed from detailed on-orbit structural scans by the WarShips in orbit, they could act as mobile stanchions at the very least. The rest of the unmodified shuttles would be doing their day job: carry down SEELE Mobile Infantry, kick them out the back, then orbit for medivac and quick-response duties. The M.I., once thrown bodily out of their transports, would flip out their birdwings and start patrolling with the best mass-produceable tactical sensor suites Triumvirate money could buy to find survivors and Superman them out if at all possible.

The only hitch would be convincing the Grummian authorities to allow a polite aerial invasion by four Mobile Infantry divisions. Admiral Weber prepared to do so as politely and thoroughly as she could, calculator at hand to explain the scope of the operation as necessary to sell it.
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Dread Lady Nathicana
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Ex-Nation

Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:11 pm

“Unacceptable,” Naiya was stating emphatically as the details – or what little was known – filtered in. “I want eyes on anyone who had close involvement with the troubles last time, anyone with a personal grudge with the family, moreso with any of those with a strong anti-human agenda. Don’t leave out the Roanians. That was touch and go there. And someone get me in touch with Nesar. I don’t care how you do it, but I want a line to him, now.”

It wasn’t an unfamiliar picture of course, but the firmness with which the young Imperatrice delivered her instructions had a particular edge to it that most day to day business lacked.

“And our forces currently on Mars?” asked Cesare in a calm voice, watching her carefully.

“Make them available within reason, along with any assistance we’re capable of offering. Coordinate with local allied states and friendlies for supplies, and other needs, make other arrangements as needed. Obviously, we can’t take any direct action without their permission, not without running roughshod all over our alliance agreements, especially now. Which brings me to the next point,” she answered quickly, glancing over at Christof, head of her mixed security group.

“Efforts are underway to curtail the flow of news to your mother, yes,” he confirmed. There was no comment on the fact. It was common enough knowledge that the former leader was still in a delicate frame of mind, and further trauma was the last thing wanted in that situation. It was understood that the others would continue to work in conjunction. The last thing they needed was a loose cannon operating independently, especially a capable and potentially imbalanced one.

“Good. I’ll need to get a message to Siri in the meantime. I’ve no idea how she’s handling all of this, but if Jack’s death was any indication,” Naiya began, her expression softening. She left the statement hanging, and moved on. “Is Arielle safe?”

“Unknown. We’re still trying to get more information,” Patroni confirmed via the vidlink. “It’s a goddamn mess there by all accounts. I’m just starting to touch base with other local reps, working to keep the calm. They’ve got Alakantar, but he’s in bad shape, as you can see. I’ve no more details than you do on that either as yet.”

“Then we’ll keep up our efforts behind the scenes, and do what we can to assist if assistance is wanted. I there’s any indication at all in local matters going back over the past couple years, we want to hear it on this end, Vasco,” Naiya stated, going back to typing up the next of the personal messages she had been working on. “While they take care of the immediate crisis, I’d like to get to the bottom of why this happened. Only two kinds, gentlemen.”

The observation was a touch wry, all things considered. But it was a sentiment that had become rather ingrained with the upper echelons over the past several decades. “Let’s keep in close coms. I don’t want anything slipping through. Cesare, start working on our public face, if you please. We’ll need a statement once this all becomes more public.”

“Understood, Imperatrice.”

The chatter in the room increased as everyone got back to their portion of the task at hand, running down information and pouring over details, down to any publicly available building plans on up as they searched for reasons.

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Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Northrop-Grumman » Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:59 am

“Looks like it’s time,” Lunsford’s second-in-command finally stated, seeing the news report coming through.

The Colonel nodded; he had been putting it off for a while now, hoping that Governor O’Neill had managed to survive very well intact, but the reports flowing in suggested otherwise. Now everything appeared to have fallen onto his shoulder, so it was just a matter of him stepping up to the plate. But it was not expected that he wouldn’t, for that was how the Grummians did things. Whenever whatever authority was in place could no longer act, the organization would shuffle itself around quickly enough and shove another person into leading it. That had been how the late Chairman, who was simply a mid-ranking general at the time, got pushed into leading the entire country.

Slapping on a headset so that he could walk and talk as opposed to staring at a single screen all the time, he ordered, adjusting the microphone, “Alright, comm, put me through to the others then.”

“Yes, sir,” his communications officer confirmed, his fingers gliding quickly over his keys. “You’re on.”

“Governor O’Neill has been recovered but is incapacitated for the short-term. With no civilian leadership here, I am assuming the position of Acting Governor until otherwise directed by the Chair or until the Governor recovers. Since we are, in essence, the highest ranking authorities in the colony, I am asking for your support and full system control. We are going to have a fair amount of international activity here soon, so we cannot be meeting every single time something needs to be done and our current arrangement makes it difficult to have uniform, efficient, and timely responses. What say you all?”

The larger viewscreen mounted over upon the wall displayed the outline of the capital city with each of the other five smaller floating cities arranged around it not unlike a star. Each one began glowing green as their command and control was passed over to the City of Valacirca, giving his staff the ability to just about control every system if need be – from shields to weapon systems to the water filtration.

Then Lunsford nodded towards the other viewscreen which showed the TYCS supercarrier in orbit, urging his comm officer to proceed. “Hail them. Let’s see what they have to say.”



Ordinarily the Valacirca Air Traffic Control would be stationed at the very top of the capital tower, giving them a panorama of the entire city, its landing pads, the docks, and everything beyond. But that was no longer the case. Instead, one staff member down in Central Operations, which was in contrast a windowless bunker, was handling everything from now on – not that there was much to handle though. The airspace had been very much closed ever since the city went into lockdown and she had simply kept monitoring the skies, making sure that everything up there was accounted for and maintained their distance. But with the offer of help from the Triumvirate of Yut, that had all changed.

The display showed the direction of the incoming crafts, which she started plotting out to the course to the best available berth. “TYCS Heavy Thirty-Three-Ninety, turn left heading 30 degrees,” she responded and activated the beacons to help guide the crafts in, which were the only ones that were operating. They were cleared for landing and directed to docks 58 and 59 on the southwestern corner of the city.



Meanwhile, Alakantar had been transferred out to St. Mary’s Medical Center in the Grummian capital city of Hawthorne on Earth and was currently in the midst of surgery. In the waiting room, Siri fretted, constantly wringing her nervous hands as she paced back and forth. She knew that the results would be bad, very bad; she had seen it with her own eyes how badly his body had been broken. And at the same time, she didn’t know how much help the physicians and healers could possibly be. There was only so much they could do. That had always been her largest concern, as she had managed to become quite resilient due to three hundred years’ worth of effort, but Alak on the other hand was considerably less magically inclined and experienced.

Then into the corner of her eye stepped a dark-robed figure, staff in hand, just gazing at the double doors leading into the operating rooms. Something inside Siri’s mind just snapped, causing her to storm over there and thrust a finger into Ire’arra’s chest. “How dare you show your face here!” Siri fumed, her face reddening in anger. “You caused this; you did nothing but stand by with your own smug self-satisfaction.”

“As I have always stated, I will not interfere in the affairs of others,” the ancient drow stated flatly, not rising to Siri’s ranting.

“Bullshit. You’ve always meddled behind the scenes, nudging everything to go down your preconceived path, but will you actually lift a finger to help anyone but yourself? No!”

Ire’arra’s face remained expressionless. “My actions are not for personal gain.”

“I don’t care. You knew Jack was dying well before I did. You knew Alak and Arielle were going to be hurt today, and yet you did nothing. How the hell can you have that on your conscience?”

“I cannot assist a man who does not wish for his continued life. Regarding Alak –”

Siri’s fist shook, ready to strike the woman, until a man cleared his throat and peered over his thin-rimmed glasses; he had managed to approach without being noticed – by Siri at least – and had been waiting until he could manage to get a word in. “Excuse me, Madam Chairwoman.”

“Dr. Brown. I’m your son’s physician,” he introduced himself, extending his hand for a brief shake and then gestured down the hallway. “Could you please come with me?”

After passing through a labyrinth of halls, the doctor ushered her into his office. Very spartan in terms of personal effects, the wood-paneled room was mainly filled with shelves upon shelves of various medical journals, hardcover medical texts. Paperwork was piled along the outer edges of the room, leaving only a small pathway to walk around the desk. The furniture itself, probably dating to whenever the hospital was built, managed to stay in relatively decent shape, and Siri settled down hesitantly into a vinyl-covered armed chair when she was offered it.

Taking off his glasses, Dr. Brown took a seat right beside the Chairwoman, instead of behind the messy desk. “We finished surgery just a few minutes ago. Alakantar will recover. However…” he paused briefly. “The injuries sustained to his right arm and leg – ” he gestured to his own without even thinking about it. “ – were too great and needed to be amputated. His right eye also sustained heat damage and it would seem that his eyesight on that side will be limited, in a best case scenario, or non-existent, if not.

“With his broken bones and the damage to his spinal cord – ” He refrained from going into too much detail and just covered the main points. “ – he’s been sedated to allow some time for that to heal. As for his mental faculties, we will not know until he wakes up.”

And there it was. She had her answer.

Opening her mouth as if to speak, she could find no words to really convey what she was feeling and just hung her head, staring at her bandaged fingers. She realized that she did not find him in time. She couldn’t keep him from being hurt yet again. And who really knew if the Alak that woke up would be the one she last spoke to a few days ago. The elf felt her chest tightening as she tried to keep her composure for maintaining some appearance of control.

But the doctor could see beyond that; no matter how hard people tried to keep themselves together, he could always see those cracks appearing in their mask. It would never be easy to break this kind of news to families no matter how many times he had to do it, but if he didn’t do it, who would?

He laid a hand gently on her shoulder. “Do you need…?”

Suddenly Siri’s emotions took an abrupt turn and she leapt up from her seat with a resounding “No!” She didn’t need help and she didn’t want help. This was her pain to bear, her responsibility, and she wasn’t about to start crying on someone else’s shoulder. Her pride wouldn’t allow it, especially not in front of someone else like him. Before he got another chance to speak to her, she slammed the door to the office behind her and stormed off; she wasn’t going to sit there, feeling sorry for herself, when there was something that she could possibly do that wouldn’t make her being here an entire waste.



Meanwhile, assistance from the Dominion had been gladly accepted as always. They had managed the bail the Grummians out of some very sticky situations in the past, and their help was always greatly appreciated. So when the offer had come, Colonel Lunsford requested assistance in taking on some of those who were injured who could manage the trip and those whom time was no longer such an issue. The biggest problem that they were facing now was the lack of medical facilities that could take the numbers of people who needed the help. Some had been offloaded by train into the other colony’s cities and through the gate into the mainland, but the problem there had always been that the gate was a bottleneck. It could handle passage only one way at a time, so with all the supplies and help coming in, there wasn’t a whole lot of time to shut it down and reconnect in the opposite direction. So that had left the Grummians to use ships, which there weren’t a significant quantity of.

And of course, the Dominion was trying to obtain information about what was going on, which aside from the sparse broadcasts that were transmitted through text, was quite limited. The Grummians weren’t trying to stonewall anyone; they were just too damned busy trying to keep the city from falling apart around them to brief anyone about anything. Finding out the causes of the disasters were also placed on hold, so that efforts could be focused on rescuing people, but for the time being, they had pulled down a shuttle of Marines from their battlecarrier, NGSS Thomas Jones, who sealed off and guarded the offending defense gun until time could be taken to inspect it thoroughly.



Code: Select all
04:09 HST SEPTEMBER 24 (VALACIRCA) (MARS). COLONEL MILTON LUNSFORD, COMMANDER OF VALACIRCA CENTRAL OPERATIONS, BECOMES ACTING GOVERNOR. CONFIRMED DEATH TOLL: 3,283. ESTIMATED DEATH TOLL: 21,000.

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Scolopendra
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Scolopendra » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:44 am

Supercarrier TYWS-SCV Marishiten

Admiral Weber took the call from the strategy table in the aft end of the supercarrier's command compartment, surrounded on three sides by the technician gallery and bordered to the fore by the back end of the officers' arch. The holotable displayed a starship-resolution map of what was left of the central Grummian city, with paths outlined in blue, green, yellow, and red as the admiral and her strategic staff plotted ideas. Certain buildings were also color-coded based on estimates of structural integrity; icons pointed out high-value 'targets,' with 'value' being measured in civilian lives. The admiral herself was, for the Combined Services, actually not stereotypically military, eschewing the usual high-and-tight for a short bob haircut that avoided forward bangs and kept her silvering brown hair from touching her collar, as per regulations. Beyond that, from her ambiguously brown skin tone to facial features, her ethnicity would be a complete mystery to most observers as she looked up at the camera. "Colonel Lunsford, Marishiten Actual. We've developed a plan to assist with emergency rescue, but it will require a bit of trust on your part. Due to the urban density of the disaster zone SEELE suit units are our best option: they can fly without jump jets, react at near mechanoid-speeds, and are relatively low-mass. We can deploy them with Scarab shuttles, which can then orbit the area to accept refugees and ferry them to Lokis standing by at high altitude or, in case of medical emergency, to Marishiten. We've outfitted additional shuttles with field projectors to locally reinforce buildings sensitive to collapse, and through the sensor grid penetration we'd achieve through operational scale we can probably identify casualty signatures in the rubble and start displacer-mining for them.

"There is, however, a catch." She motioned towards the color coded model of the city. "Secondary fires and collapse debris damage make this a time critical manner. We've determined that in order to get an optimal coverage--trading off lives saved for operational complexity, given how we're going to have to maneuver shuttles in tight spaces--we'll need to deploy the equivalent of four Em-Eye divisions, borrowed from across Marishiten's complement. That'll be over two thousand foreign battle-armored troopers in your territory--they'll only be authorized sidearms, but that's still an appreciable force--and due to communications limitations we'll have to manage their air traffic control. The best we could coordinate on short notice is operational volumes; we can keep you informed on individual location tracks but even then we can't guarantee exactly what path a trooper will take on her own initiative.

"We've also established an operational priority list based on what data we could compile from here, public records, and Deimos Fleetbase; this will of course be shared and you get veto power to rearrange as necessary. Once we launch operations on a particular target, however, things may get too delicate to abandon that operation to react to some other contingency, especially if field reinforcement is required--"

Conference Call

A very Dominion-looking man--black hair, firm features--split-screened into the conversation. "Grummian authorities, Marishiten Actual, New Vancouver Actual. Deimos Fleetbase just patched me through. Battleship New Vancouver has completed taking on supplies and now we just need to know where you need 'em. Figures that we should coordinate this with any city rescue op so we don't clutter the skies too much."

"Actually, you could be useful, Admiral," Weber said quickly as she started poking at her strategic map, calling up a scale model of a Supreme Emperor II-class battleship. Its size was not negligible compared to the situation. "How are your volumetrics?"

"Volume I've got. I've even got some floor space. My problem is throughput; I had to finally convince Fleetbase that we've taken on enough for one go. Don't want to sink the city under supplies."

"Think you could act as an offshore refugee barge and hospital ship for people who've already fled the city center?"

"Can do, Admiral," the Dominioner grinned, "though the master-at-arms isn't going to like it. I was planning on having my Lokis ferry from the docks to NewVanc anyway. No reason they couldn't take passengers on the up-side journey."

"That's just it," Weber explained, "vertical airspace is going to get very crowded very fast. I'm thinking moving more in the horizontal."

Lambruschini calculated for a moment. "I know NewVanc looks like a boat... and she's watertight. I could float her, though we'd have to be careful to not overflow the tub, so to speak. Could get the Marines to redneck engineer some piers out of floating bridgeworks. Yeah, it'd work."

"Well then, Colonel," Weber turned back to the camera, "there's another option for you. Assuming of course you're comfortable with a battleship within spitting distance."

*-*-*

Operations

In any circumstance, Battleship New Vancouver slipped her moorings from Deimos Fleetbase.

The medical relief Lokis settled easily into the water next to the piers indicated, and exoskeleton-wearing Marines started hauling off emergency goods as soon as the ramps dropped onto the piers.

The rest of the local WarShip component stood ready to assist Grummian defense efforts.
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Tarasovka
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tarasovka » Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:10 am

Krasgorod, Kingdom of New Gardarika, Taraskovyan Empire

Krasgorod, the Beautiful City from its Slavic etymologic origins, the capital of Taraskovyan holdings on Mars, built upon the ruins of the previous Martian Confederacy. A symbol of Taraskovyan triumph, a megapolis destined to shine upon all Martians with its exquisite Imperial architecture, tall skyscrapers. At least, maybe it once was. As with the rest of the Kingdom of New Gardarika, decades of political uncertainty and all sorts of cataclysms on Mars took its toll upon the city. New Gardarika was drained of its population as Taraskovyan citizens left to find much greener pastures. After all, why struggle on Mars when the Empire had so many other cosy corners? Think of Belovodie, think of New Crimea! New Gardarika, one of the largest landholders on Mars (if all the parts were considered together), was an empty shell of just about five hundred million.

Krasgorod was a good example. Whilst the government and the business districts were quite flamboyant, peripheral residential and many industrial districts lay abandoned. Life abandoned such districts, but not the authority. With obstinate and stubborn Taraskovyan snobbishness, maintenance crews of humans and droids continued to polish the streets clean, maintain the outer facades of buildings. Such “ghost towns” in fact seemed far creepier and scarier in such a state than in those countries where the local authorities just let them crumble. Clean streets, clean buildings and silence all around.

In the recent months, New Gardarika hoped for, pretty much, a new hope. As the Taraskovyan Empire joined the Triumvirate of Yut, the spread out Kingdom was, finally, integrated into a single economic and security space, as you could now get to any part of the Kingdom through Yut territory. This facilitated things. The security situation was improved and the local government hoped New Gardarika would become attractive for internal and maybe even external immigration again.

This wish of the local government was, of course, fully supported by the Taraskovyan Empire. As such, any incident on Mars that involved about 20’000 deaths caught the eye of the imperial authorities. Any such incident had the possibility of cancelling any possible immigration patterns towards New Gardarika and scare people away. As such, these incidents had to be resolved as quickly as possible.

In less time than many in the universe would consider necessary for such a procedure (Taraskovyans were quick and efficient in their overcomplicated, yet systematized bureaucracy), the situation was analyzed, decisions were made, marching orders were passed, funds were allocated, waivers were signed, purchase orders were executed, service requests were issued, action plans were drafted.

The Empire decided against offering assistance to the Grummians directly. Instead, the situation would be employed by the Taraskovyans to their own benefit (sort of, Taraskovyans always sought to get the most benefit out of any situation) to start working out interoperability with the TYCS by placing a batch of TNDF under TYCS command. This would be the first such experiment.

As such, the TYCS Mars Theatre was contacted by the TNDF Mars Theatre with offer of assistance from specifically selected and designated Taraskovyan military and Civil Protection units on Mars. Such elements would be placed under TYCS command for the duration of the relief operations. If so required, the Taraskovyan Empire would seek to obtain right of access and passage from the Grummian authorities through its diplomatic channels before pursuing further operations under TYCS command.
Last edited by Tarasovka on Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:13 am, edited 3 times in total.
Links: Nation Maintenance Thread and various Bits and Pieces

INCORRECT SPELLING - DOES NOT EXIST:
Adjective: Tarasovkan

CORRECT SPELLING:
Noun: Taraskovya (formal, high flown) ; Tarasovka (routine)
Adjective: Taraskovyan

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Northrop-Grumman
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Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Northrop-Grumman » Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:56 am

Far away from Sol, out in the Criun system, one of the Grummian Air Force’s space carriers was being used, not to hold the usual fighters and bombers, but instead construction equipment, essentially the one-man craft that were used to do anything from welding to moving heavy partly constructed pieces of ships about. The vessels were incapable of breaching the atmosphere, much less being able to have the range to make it to the orbital gate or the capabilities of FTL travel. However, they had constructed and repaired many of the nation’s space-faring vessels and all of their city-ships, and the crews that manned them had the knowledge and experience to be able to stabilize the floating city’s buildings.



“Doesn’t look like I have very much of a choice, do I?” Lunsford answered, giving a crooked smile.

That had been less of a question and more of a statement of fact. The Grummian Army was having an extraordinarily difficult time trying to mobilize to provide any sort of relief. Its focus was still to maintain order back in the capital city, which it was doing quite successfully and didn’t want to jeopardize it, and was keeping a small, but noticeable, presence elsewhere in the mainland, so their assistance would be limited. The city’s own security force was already getting stretched to the limit with keeping the ramped up level of security in all their cities, especially around that orbital turret. Meanwhile, the Air Force was keeping a close watch over everything from above.

The decision wasn’t a difficult one to make for Lunsford either, even with their being a potentially significant number of armed foreigners. The precedent had already been established back in Hawthorne with the NDA Task Force and the Knights, so it would not be making too much of a leap to allow TYCS forces into Valacirca. Not that he was overly thrilled to do so, being a man who took the safety and security of his city and now colony very seriously, but again, he didn’t have much of a choice. With the city in pieces, resources being stretched thin, and with very little help that could be mounted on such short notice, allowing the TYCS in was the obvious answer.

“We have nothing in the skies for now and neither does anyone else, so your units will have free reign and you’ll be able to send them wherever you wish,” he said, basically accepting their help without stating such and just getting down to business.

“We should be receiving construction craft within 3.5 hours to be able to both stabilize more of our buildings and move some of the larger structural components, but I will make sure they coordinate with your units first and foremost, since you have the greater numbers and better ATC capabilities. We just have a one man operation in that area, and I can’t spare anyone else to assist. But I’ll have Lieutenant Sterling coordinate with your people in that regard.

“We can also provide the readings that are coming off of what’s left of our sensors, including structural strength and temperature, and whatever we’ve managed to scrounge up from the fleet’s own sensors. It’s not much, but it’s all we have right now

“Now, as for the battleship, we can find a place for it…” He glanced over towards Sterling who was going through the list of available docks based on size, capacity, and availability.

“Dock 33 is available, sir,” she said after a short moment, sending all the information to one of the main monitors in front of her commanding officer. “We’ll have to decouple a few docks and move some ships out of the way but we can manage it. I’ll be sure to have the beacons set up for their arrival.”

Lunsford nodded his head and spoke back into his headset. “Dock 33 would be the best place for it, then. It would also seem that we have a number of barges in that area that could be repurposed for pier work, if you want them, and, if need be, the other docks could be scrapped too. We can always put everything back together after the fact. It’s all up to you, of course.”



Above the command center at street level, the situation continued to be very fluid. There was minimal direction from above, namely providing information of where there would be the most casualties, but beyond that, the rescue teams largely acted autonomously. Paramedics teamed up with firefighters that came from all different cities on Mars and the mainland and searched through the buildings and the rubble to find anyone who might be still alive, and many times those that weren’t. Their supplies at times ran low, depending on where they were in the city; sometimes they just did not have to time to head back to get some, knowing that by the time they returned, the person might very well be dead, either from wounds or the building collapsing on them. But they made do with whatever they had, because like so many others, they had no other choice.

For the hospitals, they had rapidly become overcrowded, and in some attempt to alleviate the strain, started trying to pressure those living and working in surrounding buildings to leave, so that casualties would have some shelter away from the elements. Of course, that only solved one half of the problem, because with the all these new patients, the medical staff were already vastly understaffed in comparison to what they really required.

Now, as for the Taraskovyans, they hadn’t needed much permission from authorities to be able to enter onto Grummian soil, or in this case, water and metal; Northrop-Grumman had always maintained fairly friendly relations with them for quite a long time now. And it was made even easier by the fact that they were working through the TYCS operation.



Clank…clank….clank…

Siri’s crowbar repeatedly struck the paneling of the fallen tower, which had landed in the middle on the street surrounding the capital building. But since the estimated number of people inside was on the low side in comparison to almost all other structures in the city, it had been repeatedly passed over by rescuers. So here it sat, a twisted heap of metal comingled with a crushed street car and debris from surrounding buildings. The elf had no real plan on how to get inside, so she had grabbed whatever tools she could find on her way here, which happened to be a very basic crowbar.

She used what little strength she had to try to knock bits and pieces of metal off to get inside, hoping that perhaps the structural integrity inside had held up when it came crashing down. Though, she knew inside, at that height, whoever that could be in there would not have survived, for the force of it impacting the ground undoubtedly crushed them. Still though, as hopeless and as pointless as this task might very well be, it was far better for her to be here, doing something at least, taking out her frustrations on a lifeless building and keeping her mind away from the cold hard reality around her, than to sit back in the hospital for hours and days, stewing in her own emotions.

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Postby Scolopendra » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:21 am

Marishiten

Admiral Weber nodded at the Grummian's implicit permission. "Acknowledged. Thank you, Colonel. I'll have the appropriate portions of our operation coordinate with yours. We'll also see what we can do with regards to your A-Tee-Cee shortage. Marishiten Actual, out."

With little in the way of words to the rest of her strategic staff, she returned to futzing with the hologrammatic models on her table. Any speech or orders she subsequently had to deliver to anyone not in the room she transmitted silently via her headware and the supercarrier's network. As this was her usual mode of operation, no one minded overmuch.

*-*-*

Regarding new members

One disadvantage to the rapid, almost surprise Taraskovyan accession to Triumvirate of Yut membership was that the various Yut 'federal-level' services had effectively no time to figure out how to slot Imperial resources into their current force structure. As it stood, the TNDF's initiative in saying 'here's what we got, now where do we put 'em' in certainly better-chosen words was appreciated, but the resources of Deimos Fleetbase and Marishiten were mildly taxed in trying to figure out an answer to that offer. The Sky Marshal was still the local point-of-contact for the Theatre and thus the TNDF, but operational command of the Grummian relief operation had been delegated to Admiral Weber due to her embarked forces making up the lion's share of the operation and the non-negligible probability that, on the strategic side of things, someone could attempt to take advantage of the local chaos to do something untoward.

It was Fani-Kayode's job--along with the rest of the Fleet--to make sure that such an attempt would be a most highly ill-advised one.

As such, various minds uploaded, partially-uploaded, connected, and just chatting on the stratnet juggled the TNDF Mars Theatre's offer until the evolving situation sorted everything out naturally:

Any offered tactical aerospace assets were assigned (diplomatically 'requested') to integrate into the Fleet's increased alert state over Mars, primarily in the form of combat air patrol over the Grummian colony and orbital picket everywhere else.

Any offered airlift assets were again assigned/requested to coordinate with Battleship New Vancouver, as the operation had become two-pronged: Admiral Lambruschini had evolved into the joint naval component commander, for reasons which would quickly become obvious, in charge of relief. Admiral Weber retained official overall command and functionally acted as the joint aerospace component commander, responsible for rescue operations.

Most importantly, the TNDF may have had assets that the TYCS proper didn't, particularly in terms of actual wet-hull naval assets. Boats, ships, sealift, naval infantry, naval engineers. That last would turn out to be most handy and were again pointed in the direction of New Vancouver, albeit to the lieutenant colonel in charge of the Marine battalion aboard her. In this way, Lieutenant Colonel Soucy had become the local joint naval component commander. Somehow.

*-*-*

New Vancouver

Over the years, large starships were more or less the norm when it came to Solar design. As such, the Supreme Emperor II-class, at about two kilometers long, was not exactly excessive when it was in space, particularly when considering that by the traditional Triumvirate WarShip philosophy of capital vessels being 'system ships' capable to maintain both positive and negative combined-arms military actions independently if necessary had a tendency to encourage large volumes.

Descending carefully out of the skies like a much, much, much smaller zeppelin of old, on the other hand, it was far too excessive. A small ironclad-shaped landmass of steel should not float and settle like a somewhat denser cloud.

The Grummians had indicated Dock 33 as an appropriate berth for her. Out of a professional excess of caution, Battleship New Vancouver settled into the water well away from there. Ignoring the relatively antlike waves lapping at her sides, the landed (sea-ed?) WarShip looked like a stylized, streamlined monument to a pre-dreadnought battleship. Her spiked linegun turrets atop the dorsal surface of her hull, abaft of her tumbledown ram prow, and the additional turrets sitting on projecting sponson only reinforced the image.

Deep within her armored hull, in the command compartment, the mechanoid mind of the ship acting through an anthropomorphic stag shook their head. "I never thought I'd have to do this. Landed, sir; gravs just warmer than standby to maintain buoyancy."

Back outside, bay doors near the waterline opened up to reveal a number of exosuited Marines and various pontoon gear. The latter were unceremoniously chucked into the water, then leapt down upon by some of the light-armor Marines to latch them to space-suit rails on the hull and commence the construction of a dock of its own.

The plan, as it turned out, would be relatively simple. Boats--Grummian and TNDF--would ferry supplies from New Vancouver to the stricken city and refugees back from the city to the WarShip. Amphibious airlift would do similar; non-amphibious airlift would ferry materiel and refugees between the crisis area and either friendly shores or orbit after staying well out of the way of the other operation.

*-*-*

The Other Operation

It wasn't usual for Scarab shuttles the size of tactical airlifters of yesteryear to cloud the sky like a swarm of their eponymous beetles, but today was a highly unusual day.

The first coleopteran craft down into the heart of the ravaged city were the reinforcement shuttles, following their navigation waypoints and flying above the streets to eventually approach the most damaged buildings and prop them up with shimmering force fields. The second wave were troop transports, their side and aft doors opening to release carefully measured flocks of snakehead SEELE suits in birdflight. As the transports stood by, their disembarked squads entered buildings--usually by converting windows into doors--and started searching for the trapped survivors.

The final wave were firefighting vehicles heading not necessarily towards the worst conflagrations but rather the ones that risked the most lives, dowsing them with fire retardant foam and using projected spherical fields to isolate the flames and choke them. Once the foam ran out, they would carefully weave back up out of the city, take on seawater, and move back in.

The vast majority of this work took place well above street level. Street emergency response, well, that was the Grummian field of responsibility. Foreign bodies would probably just add still more confusion--though occasionally a Scarab would dip down to take on survivors or move wreckage out of the way with fields, especially if a request for air support came through the ad hoc coordination system developed between the TYCS and the Grummian authorities.
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Postby Tarasovka » Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:44 pm

The very wet Taraskovyan Martian Navy

Mars Theatre - Taraskovyan National Defence Forces did indeed possess a blue water component under the poetic title of the Martian Sea Fleet. It's strategic value as a stand alone asset was somewhat extremely limited due to the intricacies of modern spacedy-orbital-surface warfare, but within the overall organisational system of the TNDF, the blue water, ice-capable navy had a role to play. Its transport and VTOL carrier (including the amphibious assault component) would certainly be of assistance to the operation.

Part of the Martian Sea Fleet was the Taraskovyan naval infantry. Modern Taraskovya, being Taraskovya, could not avoid being somewhat complicated even in such matters as marine infantry. What most countries just called "Marines" and put on spacedyships in infantry and assault infantry role, the Taraskovyans actually called the Strike Infantry and subdivided it into Airborne and Naval. In practical terms, both bodies were the same thing except for one major difference. Naval infantry still trained in purely naval wet water things, including abordage, which gave them a certain added romantic value and allowed some to call them more "elite" than the usual Airborne. There were also considerably less Naval Infantry units than there were Airborne units. Very elite.

All of this marvelous stuff was headed by Captain-Commodore (a rank simply called Commodore in all the less title-frenzy nations) Helena Tromp, of Utharian extraction. Placing assets much larger than a TYCS battalion under a TYCS battalion commander, and placing a Taraskovyan officer under the command of a TYCS officer two steps lower than her, was seen as somewhat a tricky diplomatic moment. As such, it was requested by the TNDF that Lieutenant Colonel Soucy be instead relocated with her battalion aboard the Taraskovyan blue water ships to serve as a direct liaison between the Martian Sea Fleet and the TYCS operational command.

In practical terms, however, Commodore Tromp was, as most Utharians, much more utiliatrian and far less pride-prone than most other Taraskovyan officers of different other extractions, namely of Tarathian and Ros extraction. In fact, this utilitarian approach to matters was the reason why there were so many Utharian commanding officers in the Mars Theatre. As such, given the circumstances, on the ground Soucy would be able to coordinate most things without much hindrance.
Last edited by Tarasovka on Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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INCORRECT SPELLING - DOES NOT EXIST:
Adjective: Tarasovkan

CORRECT SPELLING:
Noun: Taraskovya (formal, high flown) ; Tarasovka (routine)
Adjective: Taraskovyan

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Postby Scolopendra » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:20 am

What happens when obnoxiously utilitarian people meet

The TNDF went 'wait, a commodore under a light colonel HAVE YOU THE BRAIN WORMS' albeit nicely, as the Taraskovyans were a classy crowd.

The TYCS looked at the situation. As far as the not-entirely-accurately-named Ground Forces were concerned, there were the Mobile Infantry--who fought everywhere and did everything--and the even-less-accurately-named Marines, who were primarily around for fleet defense, force protection, space boarding (when M.I. or Beaducafas are not available), and hard-surface combat. Water ops were not really their bailiwick, or at least not their strongest suit. As such, it made more sense for the local member ranking officer to be in charge.

Therefore, the order came down from Fani-Kayode that, congratulations, Captain-Commodore Helena Tromp was now the joint naval component commander and was to coordinate with the TYCS operation via Lieutenant Colonel Soucy, who would be dispatched immediately to Tromp's flagship as requested as a liaison officer. Soucy's purpose, both the light colonel and the captain-commodore were tele-briefed, would be to translate TNDF operations-speak into TYCS operations-speak as necessary and advise the new JNCC about the Combined Services' capabilities. This was in addition to directly commanding (now effectively via his executive, a major) the TYCS light battalion-cum-harbor crew around New Vancouver.

Admiral Lambruschini shifted into the logistics component commander slot and the 'ground' component commander remained (but now officialized) M.I. General Schuchard of the Marishiten's complement.

Thus the org chart stabilized:

Code: Select all
Command Authority
SKYMSL Fani-Kayode (CO MPTF)


Ops Command
ADM Weber (CO Marishiten)

├──────────┬──────────────┬─────────────────┐
JACC       JGCC           JLCC              JNCC
ADM Weber  GEN Schuchard  ADM Lambruschini  CCDRE Tromp
                                            [liase via LTC Soucy]


Notably, this changed operations on the ground and, really, even in planning not at all. The situation hadn't evolved enough to require major revision of the OPLAN and so some chair-shuffling at the top had no influence, just this instant, on the centralized-command-decentralized-execution that the TYCS was pathologically good at.
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Postby Tarasovka » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:46 pm

Mars Sea Fleet

Lieutenant-Colonel Soucy would be met aboard the Triglav, a trimaran VTOL carrier with a huge landing platform and hanger in the aft, the command & control structures to the center and all kinds of weapons systems in the forward (as well as some to the port and starboard and then there were some in the aft, too). She was the lead of a class specifically modified from other Taraskovyan designs for operating on Mars, where the Taraskovyans decided to establish a proper blue water navy rather than rely on all sorts of levitational-gravitational constructs. The names for the special Mars designs, in a twist somewhat unusual for Taraskovya, were chosen from the Slavic Gods of old: Triglav, Svarog, Dajbog, Stribog. A fifth, [i]Simargl[/i], was cancelled before its hulls were laid.

The TYCS would come to learn many things about how the TNDF operated. One thing was that most TNDF aerospace capabilities were constructed on a VTOL basis, or at least making the landing run as close to a VTOL as possible. Whilst this made individual aircraft more costly, the Taraskovyans appreciated the capability to deploy airbases pretty much everywhere. This surely stemmed from the fact that the historic cradle of Taraskovya was in the middle of mountains. This habit was transferred to the sea and, with the technologies offered by space travel, became the norm for the TNDF. All of this was simply to say that the Triglav usually carried an impressive assortment of all sorts of assault and strike aircraft enough to wage a local war anywhere but on Mars (since the militarization levels on Mars were simply celestial). Such carriers, as well as many other TNDF ships on Mars, were by default ice-capable with ice-breaking capability. One would only have to look on a map to see why the TNDF valued this capacity even if some ships, in fact, seldom ever used it.

For this mission, however, the embarked aviation would be scaled more towards the transport & rescue capability, with most strike aircraft being redeployed to New Murom-on-Mars, a major Taraskovyan naval base on the Île Sanguinolente* (Bleeding Island, Sanglanti had a kick with such names) to the north of the Taraskovyan Sanglanti Coast. The Triglav and her Amphibian Assault Squadron comprising several smaller amphibian assault ships and various escorts, were out at sea somewhat relatively not that far away from the disaster zone, prompting CCDRE Tromp to move her flag from the Svarog (the OOB flagship for the Mars Sea Fleet) to the Triglav. The Svarog itself, being on scheduled stop in Novogardinsk (a major port in Daedalia, between the Kaenean and Zero-One held real estate), was also being dispatched for the mission in all urgency, but it would still be there only second after the Triglav.

In fact, the Commodore and her crew of staff officers did not arrive all that much earlier than LTC Soucy. And, in fact, as Soucy hopped out of the dropship that ferried him aboard, he'd see not only a Marine him in full combat gear rushing to greet him, but also the Commodore's rank pennant being hoisted.

"Pan** Leitenant-Polkovnik, star-..." the marine saluted and began the presentation before remembering to switch on the auto-translator. "Senior marine fusilier Pavlov. Her High Ancestry the Captain-Commodore will see you now. Please, after me."


*-*-*

*Creative license used for the name based on known Sanglanti preferences. Will need to double check with Sunset. It is that island to the north of the continental part of the Sanglanti Coast under Taraskovyan administration.

** For all practical purposes Pan is equivalent to "Sir" and Pani to "Ma'am".
Last edited by Tarasovka on Thu May 01, 2014 11:38 am, edited 7 times in total.
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INCORRECT SPELLING - DOES NOT EXIST:
Adjective: Tarasovkan

CORRECT SPELLING:
Noun: Taraskovya (formal, high flown) ; Tarasovka (routine)
Adjective: Taraskovyan

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Postby Scolopendra » Fri May 02, 2014 8:35 am

Aboard Triglav

The TNDF's sea capability and emphasis on VTOLs would come as no surprise to TYCS strat-planners who had to know that sort of thing. Indeed, it made sense through a combination of prior art, via Territorian thinking of 'less power for propulsion means more power for guns' and the Gyrinidae-class of submersible battle-monitors, and the realization that all standard TYCS aerospace craft are technically VTOL due to their onboard gravitics (though their use as such is discouraged in order to keep them primed for surprise use at war emergency overthrust throttle). As part of Mars Theatre, Soucy was briefed about this some time ago and reminded on the trip here. However, there is a difference between knowing that someone operates floatyboats and being aboard floatyboats.

To wit, they are big.

Triglav probably wasn't as big as New Vancouver, technically, but starships do not tend to be built on an open planform where one can easily step out and see how big they are. Wet-hull warships in general and aircraft carriers in particular cannot help but be open, what with all the deck operations and capstans and ropes and flags and bunting and stuff that they need to operate and/or maintain proper naval traditions. As such, one can stand on their decks and see just how big they are. This makes the aft end of Triglav a big flat area large enough to park aircraft which is bounded to the fore by relatively tall superstructure and to the sides by the secondary hulls, which is all very big and open under the sky.

The light colonel luckily managed to get over her awe quickly enough to return the fusilier's salute with one of her own--the steeply-angled fingertips-to-brow borrowed from the Titanian nations--and nod. "Lead the way, Marine." From the name alone one could probably tell that Itzel Torvald Soucy was a full-blooded Halishi, as conscious a contradiction in terms as that was. If that wasn't enough, the combination of straight blonde hair (currently little more than high-and-tight fuzz under her fatigues cover of grey digitized smoke-clouds), blue eyes, broad Mesoamerican features and a mahogany tone to her skin could provide more data in that direction. As she moved, she gave the impression of wearing light armor under her basic field uniform. That just came from lifting weights.

As she followed, she multitasked. She scanned her external memory to check her catalog of downloaded langsofts, confirmed that Russian was indeed among that list, installed it into active memory in her headware and put it on standby for her voicejacker. Depending on how the Taraskovyans operated, it would probably be better to work alongside them in their own language. If she were a meditative woman this would be the point where she may muse on the creeping transhumanism of the Segments.

She wasn't.
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Postby Tarasovka » Fri May 02, 2014 10:34 pm

Aboard Triglav

And so the marine led the way, guiding the TYCS Lieutenant-Colonel through the deck, hitch-hiking a ride along the way with one of the service vehicles ferrying something on the deck between the hangars and the various aircraft. The ship's aft was a hive of activity that certainly made sense to somebody who knew what was going on and made no sense to somebody who did not know anything. But overall everything was quite simple. The Triglav was on the move dumping most of her strike and offensive capability in favour of search, rescue and assistance capabilities. Most combat aircraft judged unnecessary for the mission were already all the way in New Murom-on-Mars. What Soucy witnessed was the Triglav exchanging her complement of amphibian marine assault in favour of amphibian, yet again, search & rescue. Battle levitanks were being taken away by heavy dropships and instead other heavy dropships ferried in engineer amphibian vehicles along with, obviously, engineers.

Something like this had never been done before by the TNDF on Mars. A naval squadron had never before switched from offensive to humanitarian relief in just a matter of hours. The very decision for an entire carrier group to part with combat aircraft in favour of relief aircraft was unprecedented as, after all, a carrier group had to always be ready to defend the Empire. Given, however, Taraskovya's accession into Yut, this was yet again deemed by the higher ups at the Generalstab in Amal as a good exercise, something that could serve as a good precedent for any future missions, something lessons could be learned from and, most importantly, something that was only a comparatively minor risk to Taraskovya. After all, with the TYCS on high alert, reinforced as it was with select TNDF elements, it was estimated that the Triglav would have ample combat support should anything go wrong.

And since something like this has never been done before by the TNDF on Mars, the entire activity seemed a bit chaotic. In fact, it was almost certain that among all the people running about there were a couple slackers running about doing nothing just to make seem they were doing something in order to actually avoid doing something. But this mattered not.

Senior marine fusilier Pavlov and Lieutenant-Colonel Soucy vanished somewhere around the entrances to the structures. Several staircases and corridors later (there were elevators, but apparently those were somewhat busy), the pair were at the bridge, where a group of officers in service uniforms were busily ordering things around. One of them, a rather small redhead woman, seemingly in her early thirties (but in fact somewhat older than that, she simply looked younger), seemed to be ordering around those that were ordering things around.

"Your High Ancestry," fusilier Pavlov barked out in Russian as he snapped a formal salute in typical Taraskovyan fashion by clacking his heels together and raising a hand outstretched to his right temple. "Lieutenant-Colonel Soucy of the TYCS on bridge!"

"Thank you, dismissed," the Captain-Commodore nodded to the marine as she looked away from a holographic projection in front of her. The marine vanished nearly instantly as Tromp made a light salute to Soucy to respect the formalities, but not too much. "Welcome aboard, Pani Lieutenant-Colonel," she spoke in a somewhat Utharian-accented Russian. "I understand that you are able to use Russian, technology be thanked. I expect you to do just as well, since everybody here will be doing that." She grinned before continuing. "Now, sorry for not showing you to your quarters first, but we need to start acting as soon as possible... Now, I do understand you were briefed, but I need to reiterate that this squadron and the Svarog's along with it, once ready, will be acting as per the instructions from Sky-Marshal Fani-Kayode and Admiral Weber, bypassing the usual chain of command of the TNDF Mars Theatre. This means, Pani Lieutenant Colonel, that decisions will be taken quickly and executed quickly as long as I can coordinate all this Salvation Armada efficiently with your people. Which has not exactly ever been done before. Not wanting to make you feel under pressure, but that's where you come in. The rays of our success will shine through the highest of echelons! Needless to say what stuff we'll be getting drippling down on our heads if we fail."
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INCORRECT SPELLING - DOES NOT EXIST:
Adjective: Tarasovkan

CORRECT SPELLING:
Noun: Taraskovya (formal, high flown) ; Tarasovka (routine)
Adjective: Taraskovyan

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Postby Northrop-Grumman » Sat May 03, 2014 6:13 am

With the TYCS providing assistance on everything that was above street level, some of the pressure had been taken off of the Grummian rescue crews and allowed them the opportunity to scour through the rubble to find those that might be still alive – and those that unfortunately weren’t. The Grummians no longer needed to be climbing up the seemingly never-ending flights of stairs, especially in instances where the stairwells had been blocked and needed to be cut through, which was both time consuming and labor intensive, as the TYCS was not hindered by such issues as they could just go around the problem outside.

One of these relieved teams had come upon Siri, who was still taking labored swings at the capital tower’s remains lying in the middle of the street. Five members strong, they consisted of the team lead, a civilian equivalent of a combat engineer, a medic, and two additional people to serve in whatever role was required of them, whether it be extinguishing a fire, lifting debris out of the way, or anything else.

“Ma’am, need help?” the leader asked, flipping up the clear visor from her helmet, while the combat engineer evaluated the structure with his scanner, looking for weaknesses, voids where potential casualties might be, and if there were any hazardous materials contained within, like a pocket with flammable gas.

Siri sighed tiredly, letting the dinged crowbar slip from her fingers as she stepped away from a panel on the outside of the tower.

“Nelson, if you’re ready…” the leader directed the engineer.

He nodded, turning on his power saw, and started slowly cutting through the panel as Siri and the team lead looked away from the sparks flying out.

“We’re getting too used to this,” she remarked aloud, half to herself and half to the Chairwoman, who didn’t respond.

Her and her team had been there when the Grummian capital city had been invaded by an otherworldly foe, which had heavily damaged much of the central portions of the city, particularly the Financial and Market districts. They had also been there when the stadium in Hawthorne had been mostly levelled in a terrorist attack, spending weeks on end, going through the collapsed steel and concrete structure and underground levels, searching for the thousands who had gone missing. They were there during the more dangerous days of when martial law was in effect as churches, schools, and homes had been attacked and destroyed.

Now, the shock and horror they had felt in those early days had no longer persisted, and it had showed. Their procedures had been hammered down pat, and they conducted their business with the utmost professionalism and care no matter the circumstances.

Once he had finished cutting through the metal, Nelson powered down his saw, fastened some clamps to the panel, and yanked it away from the remains of the building. They were met by nothing but darkness within and a vague smell of smoke. Nelson entered the structure first, and then along came Siri and the team leader. The entire team had wanted to argue against the Chairwoman tagging along, but none of them followed through on it, because they were well aware that their protests would fall on deaf ears.

The building’s internals were unrecognizable with metal beams skewing whatever remained of the hallways and rooms, conduits and wiring strewn everywhere, and a number of the walls completely collapsed. The engineer constantly scanned around the areas they were walking through, making sure that the structural integrity stayed intact enough; a few times they had had to divert through another path or stop for a moment for him to brace the walls before proceeding. While he did so, the team leader looked around with her flashlight for anyone who might have gotten caught up in there, but since the building had been mostly used for offices, she had not found anything.

Through their travels, they had stumbled upon whatever was left of what was a bedroom at some point. A dresser’s fragments and vanity mirror that had once rested upon it, now lay crushed under a heavy piece of piping. The carpeting was covered by a layer of soot and some powder from broken ceiling panels and concrete scraping against concrete. Siri then spotted an object that reflected the flashlight’s light back onto them and picked it up, brushing off some of the dust. It was a car’s headlight but not one that was from any recent decade, and it was that fact that made her certain that they had found the place she was looking for. However, from the sight of things here, there was no longer much hope for life still being in the rubble.

And then Nelson spotted a hand sticking out from beneath a collapsed floor from the next story up, almost obscured by that same thin layer of dust that stuck on everything. He knelt down next to it, scanning for any signs that the person was still living, and then once he had found none, pressed a finger against the reader. The device didn’t take long to get a result and pinged.

Nelson stood back up and shook his head, showing the display to Siri, and said, “I’m sorry, Madam Chairwoman.”



The Grummians unfortunately had become a people accustomed to disasters such as these, and as a result, their method of releasing the names of the deceased was as straightforward as it could be. When a certified medical practitioner verified that the person was dead both through examination and through a scan, the Universal Network for the Integrated Transactional Economy (UNITE), the nation’s database network, automatically updated, freezing bank accounts, credit cards, and anything else associated with that individual’s identity. And then it would push out a notice – simple, concise, and, according to outsiders, damned cold-hearted. But that was the way things were done. Time and resources were better spent trying to uncover the victims and help those who still could be saved, than trying to worry about what next of kin to track down and notify.

Code: Select all
06:51 HST SEPTEMBER 24 (VALACIRCA) (MARS). DEATH NOTICES:

NAME: SHELLEY DAVIDSON SPEARS…RESIDENCE: VALACIRCA, MARS…AGE: 35…OCCUPATION: AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER

NAME: MARK ANDREW CLINE…RESIDENCE: VALACIRCA, MARS…AGE: 53…OCCUPATION: DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

NAME: ARIELLE NMN HAKOEN…RESIDENCE: VALACIRCA, MARS…AGE: 31…OCCUPATION: AMBASSADOR, MARS PORT AUTHORITY

NAME: MÁRANÓNO NMN AVANINE…RESIDENCE: VALACIRCA, MARS…AGE: 291…OCCUPATION: AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER

NAME: BRIDGET SAMANTHA ATKINS…RESIDENCE: ALBERTVILLE, MARSHALL TWP…AGE: 28…OCCUPATION: ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT,

NAME: KATHERINE ROBERTSON MASTERS…RESIDENCE: RESTON, MARS…AGE: 42…OCCUPATION: MANAGER, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

NAME: BENSON THOMAS KIRBY…RESIDENCE: VALACIRCA, MARS…AGE: 63…OCCUPATION: STREETCAR DRIVER
Last edited by Northrop-Grumman on Sat May 03, 2014 6:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Scolopendra
Minister
 
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Scolopendra » Sun May 04, 2014 11:52 am

Triglav

Both services were probably well outside their comfort zone. All previous TYCS relief efforts had been well inland, particularly during the Volarian Impact. A floating city was a new problem, which made the TNDF's marine elements so welcome.

Welcome from a strategic level, at least, and this is what Soucy kept in mind as she endured the requisite culture shock on the tactical level while remembering customs-and-courtesies with regards to saluting superior officers. The high-ancestry stuff and the warrior poetry were definitely new animals to her; even the MIDF tended to tone down its aristocratic heritage. The colonel knew from recent history that this was not a comparison she should breathe aloud.

"Well understood, ma'am," she replied in transhuman Russian. The third generation of voicejackers were really quite good; they'd finally nailed making it sound natural. "On the operational side of things, my Marines--though you'd probably consider that a misnomer--are acting as dock crew around the piers we're building around New Vancouver. We know battlefield engineering well enough, but any direction you can give around creating an actual port would be much appreciated, especially since your ships are going to have to work with it. As far as the TYCS operation is concerned, everything between the shores of Valacirca and New Vancouver is your domain; activities in Valacirca get coordinated with General Schuchard and aboard New Vancouver with Admiral Lambruschini. Aerospace operations are coordinated with Admiral Weber."

It seemed appropriate for her to add something. "And I am your humble coordinator." She bowed shortly in the 'Pendran fashion. "Through my headware I can get a direct line to all other component commanders and any unit we need to speak to directly.

"Currently, intra-atmospheric operations are choking around Valacirca. It's run out of airstrips and its air traffic control is operating past capacity. DropShips from New Vancouver have been using port space in the interim; if you wish for them to cease doing so, ordering them away is your prerogative. Valacircan ports still have excess capacity, being relatively undamaged by the incident and with most support coming via atmo and rail transit corridors. Said transit corridors are also operating at capacity."

She barely paused to breathe as she continued reporting the situation. "Taking Valacircan port capacity into account, the sealift operation will probably be choked by what we build around New Vancouver. The TYCS currently has... imperfect projections on this based on limited model validation and as such defers to your expertise. Strategically, at this phase in disaster response the order from Admiral Weber is to concentrate on evacuation, triage, and emergency medical supplies: the goal is to minimize the body count. Logistical support of survivors and sorting out the rubble comes later. That is the situation as we perceive it, ma'am."

She may be a spacedy jarhead, but apparently she's no dummy.

*-*-*

Valacirca

The snake-headed SEELE platoon--twenty-two troopers--could perhaps be mistaken for extremely large birds. They had wings and flew in a V rotated along its axis to form a cone; behind them dragged their supporting Scarab. With arms back against their bodies and legs together, their humanoid nature would be less obvious. In any other operation, the patterns on their smooth skins and matte combat smocks would be shifting to match their surroundings; right now, all were glowing a very visible safety orange. 'Glowing' was not inaccurate, either; at least along their skins, their active camouflage's candlepower intentionally exceeded the environmental baseline, just to make them stand out more.

Inside their tacnet, a high-speed conversation ensued. Next obj, coords XYZ, sitch crit, three-twenty-seven civs trap'd upper floors, fire damage b'low, struct crit.

Plan?

'Nounce, setup zipwire, ferry to 'crab.

Can't get three-twenty-seven into 'crab.

Stuffing x-cise.


The formation banked right around an intersection as their objective hove into view: a modern skyscraper of glass and steel, smoke rising from a hole about halfway up where its concrete facade had fallen down into the street. Down at the rent hovered another Scarab pumping seawater from its tanks into the hole, eventually to run down pooling at the base of the 'scraper and into the street. It seemed to be having little effect.

How bad?

Partial clapse prob'le. Can't predict extent.

Shit.


The buttressing Scarabs could only really work their magic on buildings that used their outer layers for support; then the shuttles could use their fields as stanchions and directly reinforce the material. Skyscrapers built on a spinal core philosophy, on the other hand, were on their own. With internal fires, this was only worse in that as the heat rose, the material properties of the architectural steel decreased. Once they got low enough...

As the troopers approached, their IR sensors picked up the heat signatures of survivors through the glass and mostly open architecture of the building. Only a couple stragglers remained on the uppermost floors; most had collected as far down as they could until the stairwells had been blocked by debris, smoke, and fire. Kolb, Patel, Pomp, upper floors. Rest, on me.

The inside of the thirty-fifth floor was mostly dark, lit only by beyond-emergency tritium lighting pushing through the smoky ceiling. With the central air systems down, it was deceptively quiet except for the low rumble of fire from stories below. A subsonic thrum slowly made its way through the double-paned exterior windows as the bulky form of a Scarab hovered outside, then a section of cubicle farm flashed brightly into spotlit contrast. "THIS IS EMERGENCY RESPONSE," the windowpanes echoed loudly, "STAY CLEAR OF THE LIT AREA."

After the third repetition, the windows exploded inward with over a dozen orange bodies, two meter tall aliens. Blocky pistols at their sides, they fanned out through the floor and moved towards the core of the building while two stayed behind to catch grapples fired from the Scarab and affix it to an interior column. The announcement and the shattering brought the attention of bedraggled office workers, coughing and smudged with soot.

"Citizens," the lead suit said due to lacking a better word, "please come to the lit area. Bring anyone who cannot move themselves."

"We've got a guy here who had a nasty fall," someone replied, "and maybe a dozen collapsed from the smoke."

"Clear the way and bring who you can," the lead suit replied. As victims moved away from the core and towards the evacuation zone, SEELE troopers moved in as they could to help move the overcome. A near-IR look at the fall casualty indicated that her spine was still intact, so she simply got draped over one shoulder.

Moving people from building to Scarab was an unfunny parody of a theme park ride. The two grapples on the building end made an embarkation area where troopers helped civilians into zipline harnesses; these survivors were then winched around the loop to inside the Scarab's bay, where the loadmaster quickly unharnessed them and other crewmen guided them towards the foreward end of the bay. People were encouraged to stay as close as possible and hold onto the cargo netting; those who couldn't stand on their own were unceremoniously propped up with their limbs through the netting. Round and round the loop went, tighter and tighter were the survivors packed into the shuttle.

An ominous creak resounded through the building as structural members began to yield. The troopers rushed a few more loads from the diminishing crowd onto the loop when suddenly there was a jolt and--

the two suits stationed at the grapples cut them loose--

the Scarab pulled away--

the rest of the platoon scooped up whoever was in arm's reach and with the bark of jump jets threw their armored backs through the exterior walls--

the side of the building to the left of the evacuation point gave way, collapsing into the empty street below in a shower of glass, concrete, and fragments of steel.

The troopers carried their armloads to the ground and pointed them to the nearest emergency checkpoint, then leapt back up to finish the job, ferrying armloads from the dust-choked floor to street level as the Scarab retracted its cabling and flew off to orbit.

Everyone got out of that one, but only due to luck.
Idealism at All Costs! . . . Welcome to the Segments, the happiest libertarian socialist nationalists you'll ever meet.
People is people, whether they be the guy down the street, a scary and/or sexy space alien, a giant doom robot, or a candy-colored pony.
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Zero-One
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Capitalizt

Postby Zero-One » Sun May 04, 2014 11:57 am

There was no love lost between the citizenry of the Queendom and the Grummians. They didn't really see eye-to-eye on many things.

S.H.O.D.A.N., on the other hand, knew Alakantar all too well. With news going from bad to worse, she simply had to do something. Her previous assistance, however, had been kept particularly quiet given the aforementioned official relationship between the two nations.

So she did what she could: drop a simple message into a private account set up between her and her Drow patient for a different sort of emergency.

If you need anything, I am here for you.

~Shodey


Friends of the family deserved all the help they could get.

Sadly, they too often needed it.

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Northrop-Grumman
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Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Northrop-Grumman » Sat May 17, 2014 5:46 am

While Siri had been absent for a few hours, the nurses had moved Alak into a different location in the hospital where he could have some visitors, despite still being sedated. A couple of his closest friends and some distant relatives had assembled together here, taking turns in keeping him company as they waited for him to awaken. Siri, on the other hand, had kept away from the crowd and the waiting room, resigning herself to a plastic chair out on the hallway, alone in her thoughts.

She toyed with an engagement ring, rolling it around between her fingers as the diamonds sparkled underneath the overhead lighting. The elf then gazed quietly up through the large window that looked into Alak’s room. Her son’s body, up to almost his shoulder, was thankfully obscured by a bed sheet, making it difficult to detect – at least from her angle – the loss of two of his limbs, but his head still remained clear to see, with its hair virtually burned off and his face heavily bandaged with the most being on the right side.

That caused her to stress all the more about what she should be doing next. Those in the room hadn’t known about Arielle’s passing as they were too preoccupied with the drow’s state. So it seemed to be left completely on her shoulders to be the one to tell him. For her to be the harbinger of bad news, especially concerning Arielle, was not on the list of things she wanted to do, considering her history with the woman, but his visitors hadn’t had the experience of losing a spouse – or in this case a potential spouse – which had left her with no real alternatives. But then again, she still had time before he recovered enough to be coherent, time to think things through, and maybe time for someone else to step in in her stead.



Max climbed over the collapsed building, his nose to the concrete searching for the scent of anyone, living or dead, who might be buried beneath the tons of metal and other debris. The black and white border collie had already had a few successes so far this night, finding a few survivors who had managed to cling to life and be lucky enough to find themselves in a protected air pocket inside the rubble. But he’d been at this for quite a number of hours already, and with the dawn light rising on the horizon, he and his handler, Tom, were about to call it quits to get some much needed rest.

But then, there it was – the smallest trace of a living being – and he quickly bounded over the metal beams that jutted out all over the pile, back towards Tom who was also combing through the rubble with a scanner. The dog barked at his handler and pawed at his leg.

“Show me,” Tom instructed and immediately followed as Max escorted him to the other side of the collapsed building.

When the dog indicated where he had smelled the person, Tom and the rest of his crew started carefully lifting chunks of metal and concrete off of the pile and called in a backhoe to assist with in with the larger, heavier pieces. Meanwhile, one of the crew members listened for sounds as they dug and monitored the stability of the pile, lest they move the wrong thing and wind up crushing the poor soul.

He listened in on an earpiece carefully and furrowed his brow. “I’m hearing someone,”

As soon as that happened though, alarms rang out in their vicinity as another building was becoming too structurally unstable and was at risk of collapsed. They received notifications instantly, directing them that a nearby residential tower was the culprit. That one was still smoldering and groaned and creaked as it swayed in the morning wind.

“How long do we have?” Tom shouted back to the one monitoring their dig site.

“Minutes. Maybe more, if we’re lucky,” came the response.

Tom gazed upward at the red flashing lights dotting the tower and shook his head in frustration, getting back to work. There was still someone who needed to be saved, and by God, he was going to spend every last possible minute trying to do his job. “Keep an eye on it.”

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Northrop-Grumman
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Founded: Dec 28, 2003
Benevolent Dictatorship

Postby Northrop-Grumman » Sun May 25, 2014 5:58 am

The Grummian space carrier descended into the atmosphere over the expansive northern Martian ocean, keeping clear of the territorial waters of any nation. It had been decided that this was the best way to approach the colony, instead of dropping straight down from above into the fray, lest the presence of such a large vessel caused a hectic mess as everyone scattered out of the way. This way, they could approach from a distance and get everything sorted out with local authorities beforehand and also maintain a height where they were not interfering with the other flying craft.

The ship itself had been partly repurposed as a cargo vessel, as it carried an assortment of metal beams and panels that had been grabbed from the shipyard, so that temporary repairs could be made to the city’s skyscrapers. It also contained the one-man construction ships, sitting in the internal launch bays, and their crews. Of course, this would be a different sort of work that they were doing; the fleet was generally built at the shipyard’s leisure, but this would require the crews to assess and make repairs on the fly.

As they approached just northwest of New ArAreBee, the commander of the vessel, Colonel Rita Dressler reviewed a tactical map of the surrounding city, including the locations of where the TYCS and other associated ships were positioned, on her side console. It was the busiest that she’d ever seen this place, she admitted to herself. The various vessels just seemed to be a swarm of bees from her screen, darting about busily between different locations all over the city.

“Helm, full stop,” she commanded, finding that venturing any further before giving folks a heads up would be unwise.

“Yes, ma’am,” her helmsman nodded and replied, as he brought the 4.6 km vessel to a halt.

Dressler’s hand deftly worked at her console, punching in the voice communication’s destination, as she put herself through to the TYCS commander. “This is Colonel Rita Dressler of the NGSS Pulaski. We have approximately one-hundred twenty construction craft, capable of repairs, new construction, or repurposement, and ninety thousand tons of metals of various shapes and sizes for your perusal. An inventory list is being transmitted to you now. Please advise.”



After toiling for several minutes, Tom’s rescue team had managed to uncover a woman who was badly battered and barely conscious; she attempted to move every now and then as she drifted in and out of consciousness. But she could only groan in pain, as at least a portion of her body had been crushed beneath one of the now-removed concrete blocks.

They attempted to ensure that they could move her body without causing her too much additional harm, but it wasn’t as if they had a decent alternative. It was either take her away as quickly and as carefully as they could, or leave her here to her fate when that tower fell. So ultimately they ended up gently hoisting her up onto a stretcher. Though, it was then that the steady creaking coming from the building next door had begun to intensify.

Tom’s head jerked upward at it as the warning lights flashed even more brightly, indicating that their time had finally run out. He shouted to his men and his dog. “Go! Go!”

They scrambled over the debris pile; some stumbled as their feet either got caught in gaps or the unstable pieces of metal and concrete slid beneath them, but with the adrenaline pumping through them, that had barely hampered their speed. When they reached the smooth, flat surface of the sidewalk, they took off running, stretcher in hand, for a nearby alleyway as the building itself came crashing down with a loud roar as walls and floors buckled, windows shattered, furniture slammed together, and elevators slid down their shafts. A cloud of debris billowed from the area around the building, pushing outward and covering the surrounding streets and structures with a layer of grey dust.
Last edited by Northrop-Grumman on Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Tarasovka
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Two major project tender processes in parallel: BWAAAH

Postby Tarasovka » Mon May 26, 2014 12:46 am

TYCS Joint Naval Component

Soucy would surely need some time at adaptation to the deeply rooted aristocratic traditions of the Taraskovyan military. So deeply rooted, that the forms of address to the higher ranked commanding officers were still from the time when such positions could only be held by members of nobility. Those days were long gone and, in fact, Tromp was the daughter of a lower-tier middle class factory mechanic, hardly a "High Ancestry". But the table of ranks dictated what it dictated. Lower end rank & file had to address the higher end commanding officers for the first time in a conversation in a specific manner. After which all conversations dropped down to the much more usual equivalent of a "sir" or "ma'am".

But the TYCS officer would have ample time to get used. She was included into Tromp's état-major de camp, assigned her quarters, involved into the running of the operation relaying CCDRE's orders as part of JNC and her recommendations to the other joint components. As the TYCS command set the goal of minimizing the body count, Tromp provided resources to this.

Field hospitals were deployed aboard Taraskovyan carriers and amphibian landing craft to facilitate initial processing of casualties, after which they were forwarded and evacuated onwards to the Taraskovyan military base at New Murom on Mars, where a temporary shelter was established. The base also included a top-class medical facility to provide all services as required.
Last edited by Tarasovka on Mon May 26, 2014 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Links: Nation Maintenance Thread and various Bits and Pieces

INCORRECT SPELLING - DOES NOT EXIST:
Adjective: Tarasovkan

CORRECT SPELLING:
Noun: Taraskovya (formal, high flown) ; Tarasovka (routine)
Adjective: Taraskovyan

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Scolopendra
Minister
 
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Founded: Antiquity
Civil Rights Lovefest

Herman Kahn Logic

Postby Scolopendra » Mon May 26, 2014 6:05 am

Admiral Weber folded her arms and frowned as she watched the tower collapse on her strategic board, all in extremely grim detail thanks to the proximity of the landed battleship's sensors and the phased-array effect of all the networked shuttles and troopers feeding data into the system. Individual survivor icons in green fell along with the structurally coded red wireframe, turned to red, and then extinguished. She had no interest in the locations of the dead; outside of being a public health hazard, they had no operational impact.

Her job was to keep the living alive. This was being made more difficult by the non-zero risk of cascading failures, where one collapse could damage another nearby building and lead it to collapse as well. Stanchion-Scarabs could only do so much; now it was buildings with damaged cores that were the problem. She'd nearly lost a platoon section with one partial collapse they'd become lucky on; she'd had to feed that back into her models and adjust her target lists with a more conservative--and therefore pessimistic--of structural strength based on sensor results. This sometimes meant that those most at risk were now simply off the recovery plan because the risk of losing assets, and therefore decreasing the survivor recovery rate and overall survivor count, was too great.

Pulaski's arrival could be a benefit, however. She didn't off-hand know the capabilities of Grummian constructors but threw in a conservative estimate and put those into her models, watching the plots in front of her update in slowed-down time as she used her headware for full effect: encephalon for bullet-time, comms for direct connection to the strategic analysis software in Marishiten's databanks, visual cortex interrupts for on-vision data overlays. As her fovea slowly focused in meat-time on new things, she kept the data she needed tracking along with it and left the rest neatly filed behind in a mental sleight-of-hand trick.

At sped up rates, her own voice sounded unnatural to her. She didn't have to worry about it, though; that was what the voicejacker buffer was for.

*-*-*

"Colonel Dressler, Admiral Weber. Depending on your level of acceptable risk, the best use for your construction vehicles appears to be in situ repair of compromised structures in order to prevent collapse and maximize opportunity for survivor extraction. Hacked to this signal is a list of compromised structures ranked by an intersection of survival count and structural criticality in terms of estimated time to failure to form an estimate of likelihood of mass loss of life. If the damage control mission is within Pulaski's capability, then please return list of repair operations so our extraction target list can be updated.

"Failing that, I will poll our logistics and naval commands as well as Valacircan civil services to find optimal use of construction and repair assets.

"My apologies for my terseness, but as you can probably see our problem is not currently a lack of available disaster-response resources but rather volume in which to fit them in. Rest assured that if there isn't space immediately available for your assistance there certainly will be after efforts move from extraction to cleanup and recovery."
Idealism at All Costs! . . . Welcome to the Segments, the happiest libertarian socialist nationalists you'll ever meet.
People is people, whether they be the guy down the street, a scary and/or sexy space alien, a giant doom robot, or a candy-colored pony.
Caught you peekin!

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