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Commonwealth Space (Semi-Open, Attn GD)

PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:51 pm
by Morrdh
Penzance Spaceport,
Gilbert Colony,
Gilbert V

It was spring and the snows of the harsh Gilbertian winter were receding, here and there the so-called 'Red Grass' was regrowing quickly after dying off during the autumn months. In places the grass grew close to the chain link fence that marked the perimeter of the spaceport. A rustle in the grass betrayed the presence of a Gilbertian Snowcat, an indigenous carnivore with superficial similarities in appearance to a Lynx, stalking some of the planet's native vermin. The snowcat freezes, issues a low growl and then scampers off as a pair of patrolling soldiers in the red and white DPM uniform of the Gilbertian Defence Force walked along the inside of the fence.

Stood a short distance away was Wing Commander Roland MacGregor, a twenty year veteran of the Royal Space Force and captain of the Orca-class frigate HES Dauntless. MacGregor was enjoying an e-cigarette, the high levels of oxygen here and the strict fire safety regulations made it a popular choice over traditional tobacco. The Space Force also strongly encouraged e-cigarettes as well, a ban on tobacco had been in force ever since the Space Force found just how nasty a fire on-board a spaceship could be. Photographic evidence of such a thing was periodically circulated within the Space Force along with leaflets on fire safety, it was usually enough to silence even the loudest critic of the tobacco ban.

The roar of a rocket launch brought MacGregor's attention to the heart of the spaceport, no doubt more supplies were being lofted to the fleet in orbit. The fleet was also the reason for MacGregor's presence, and that of many others, on this world. Space Vice Marshal Richard Paine's task force, to pacify the pirates in the Lycaon system, had chosen Gilbert V as its staging point. Close to a hundred ships of different sizes and types were floating in the void above the planet, all waiting for the word to set forth into the black depths of space. A fair number were combat ships, the rest were transports providing either logistical support or carrying a detachment of the Royal Astro Marines (or 'the Rams' as they were better known as). Some of the ships even came from the wider Commonwealth Space Forces, the space fleets of other Commonwealth Colonial Authority members. MacGregor had seen and met officers that wore non-Morridane uniforms and spoke with foreign accents.

Soon it would be time for the Vice Space Marshal's final briefing.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:35 pm
by Morrdh
MacGregor had started strolling towards the main cluster of buildings when a voice shouted out. "MacGregor?! Ye old bastard!"

"Huh?" MacGregor uttered in confusion before turning to face the speaker, his face broadening into a grin as he did so. "Jake Tanner? Son of a..."

"Hey, watch the language old man!" Mocked Tanner in return. "Fancy seeing you here!"

"Me and a few of the old gang from the academy I reckon."

"Probably, seems like half the Space Force is here." Agreed Tanner. "Hear you've got your own ship now?"

"Aye, the Dauntless." Answered MacGregor. "She's a frigate, so nothing special I guess. What about you?"

"I'm on the Athena."

"She's a carrier isn't she?" Asked MacGregor, to which he got a nod from Tanner. "They weren't dumb enough to give you command were they?"

"Ha! Perish the thought!" Snorted Tanner. "Nah, I run the flight ops. Keeping the pilots in line, etc."

"I can imagine thats fun."

"Oh aye, least now I know how the provosts at the academy felt."

"Speaking of..." Replied MacGregor as he spotted the white-topped cap wearing Space Force Police start directing people towards a nearby large building. "Looks like they're starting to round people up for the briefing."

"Looks like." Tanner agreed. "We'll have to meet up for a pint afterwards."

"Best get seats nearest the exits co's I reckon everyone else will have the same idea."

"I humbly agree." Chuckled Tanner. "I dearsay the Vice Space Marshal has a car ready for the same reason."

PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:23 pm
by Mokastana
FEM Camaxtli
Venture Class Carrier
People's Unified Federation Space Force

Space Commodore Wilson Cordova floated down the length of the Camaxtli, the newest and largest space faring vessel of the Federal Space Fleet. It barely registered as a Capital Ship by CCA standards at 4000 metric tons, but unlike other CCA vessels, she only answered to the Federation. It followed CCA regulation not as a subject, but as an ally.

Despite being the equivalent of a cargo plane cross bred with a submarine, the Camaxtli was quite roomie for having a crew of 52. It probably helped that most of that crew spent their time either in quarters or at the flight deck, but it was the latter he was heading for. A voice spoke into his radio earpiece:

“Commodore Cordova, your flight is here. Bay 6.”

“Copy that St-..Vessel Officer Santiago, Bay 6, on my way.”

Cordova had been one of the first Orca Captains in the PUF, where a crew of six allowed quite a bit of leeway regarding formality. On a vessel of this size however, commanding not only it's crew, but seven other Federal vessels, he had to project the discipline he expected of his men at all times. Not that they needed the encouragement, Federal Space Forces was the most difficult service branch to earn a place in. Every man, from the Vessel Captains to the guy cleaning oil off of the landing bays, earned their place here by beating out hundreds of other applicants. It made Wilson proud to be their commanding officer.

He floated passed a wall of supplies, secured with ropes, and knew he was in the hanger area. Although the aircraft parked on the outside of the ship, various air locks allowed crew members to exit the ship to do basic maintenance, while others hooked directly into fighters and other craft. For major work, hangar bays 7 and 8 could actually be sealed with an entire fighter or dropship safely inside.

“Commodore, Bay 6 is clear for passage"

The Colonial Space Infantry soldier guarding the airlock saluted with one hand while the other held on to the strap that kept him at this post. If it wasn't for the submachine gun velcroed to his chest, it might have even looked comical.

“Thank you soldier.”

Wilson floated passed the guard and into the passageway connecting the Camaxtli and the Coztic Dropship. Named for one of the most famous native groups in northern Mokastana and Tatom, Coztic raiders had mastered hit and run tactics when horses were the peak in mobile warfare, and now the drop ships had been made in their image. Overflowing with weapons and capable of carrying up to 40 men, these ships were the symbol of Federal planetary tactics, which is why the Commodore enjoyed riding one to the Space Port.

“Welcome aboard Commodore, buckle up, we take off in five.”

Wilson knew the pilot would love to show a Commodore how Newton’s First Law worked the hard way if given the chance, so he did as instructed and politely thanked the pilot of the dropship for her service.

Penzance Spaceport,
Gilbert Colony,
Gilbert V

The flight wasn't long, simply from orbit to the Spaceport. Some of his Orcas had already been cleared for landing and resupply, so Federal crews and Infanteria de Colonia Espacio(ICE) were already on the ground ahead of him. He trusted his commanders, and didn't plan on checking in on them. A few, like Senior Vessel Captain Vicente Martinez of the Xipe-Totec and Franco McCormick of the Svetovid would join him in the briefing, plus Senior Company Captain Xiang Jorge of the ICE company deployed with them.

Once on the ground, Commodore Wilson Cordova meet up with his fellow Federal commanders, and headed towards the briefing.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:52 pm
by Morrdh
MacGregor and Tanner continued chatting as they strolled over to the large building where a sizeable crowd had gathered, each one being checked for I.D. papers by the Space Force Police before being allowed in. The vast majority of the crowd were Space Force officers just like MacGregor and Tanner, all wearing dress uniforms in a shade of dark blue that sat somewhere between the uniform colours used by the RMAF and Navy respectively. There were a handful on drab olive uniforms which are easily identifiable as being part of the Royal Astro Marines, the ram's head shoulder patches were also a big giveaway. MacGregor also spotted what he recognized to be Mokan uniforms from the exchanges and joint exercises he'd done with them. Though there were some uniforms that he couldn't quite make out, but he could hazard a guess or two as to who the uniforms belonged to.

"I hear the Haize have sent a ship." Muttered Tanner as they waited in line. "An orion type I believe."

"Orion?" Replied MacGregor with a degree of disbelief. "The black is dangerous enough without nuking yourself halfway across the galaxy."

"Thats what the rumour mill says." Shrugged Tanner. "Though they're suppose to be tagging along as observers."

"Well they'll have plenty to observe, though I wander what they'll make of the RSF once they've had an up-close look?"

"They'll probably come up with some sort of hi-tech duct tape out of sympathy...or embarrassment."

MacGregor chortled with laughter and shook his head before presenting his ID to the waiting provost.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:43 am
by Haishan
Meeting Hall № 5
Ministry of Defence
Icturk Metropolis, Haishan

"We will now discuss the way forward with Haize Interstellar Armed Forces, and its pending activities. I would like, again, to remind our friends that HIMF is a new organization which the Ministry wholly supports. Therefore it is a high time to consider development of associated doctrinal framework through a practical example." The first one to break the silence is Tachi-Korov, the appointed Speaker of the Ministry.

Answering the professionally dressed Speaker is current head of Advanced Space Development Directorate, Miza-Negev, "If the Directorate wasn't mistaken, it was the proposed mission VAN5 correct? Well it is certainly true that only through experience those parametric models can be polished."

"Indeed. Does anyone else have constructive criticism in mind? As you know, the Finance Directorate did have some grievances but I'm sure the Research Directorate would be able resolve the issue. I believe seeing is believing?" Tachi-Korov lightly pushes his eyeglasses. A decade of dealing with variety of Directorates under the Ministry showed him that leading them is as hard as herding a pack of wolves, each wanting a big fat slice of the budgetary pie.

Accompanying his answer is numerous charts and figures, projected grandly in the front of the hall. Every figure was meticulously calculated and verified multiple times but they're just estimates. Models and models that predict but not proved until they're done. Like anyone in his line of work, anyone in the know, know that they shouldn't fully reliant on theoretical simulations. Miza-Negev is right; there must be considerable gamble if one wishes to succeed. Whether it is foolish bravado or bravery is a matter of perspective.

As if informing of a compromise, the Finance Directorate representative, Kamina-Orlov waves her hand, "The Finance conjunction of Strategic Troops did have some grievances but we found an acceptable tradeoff. Mission VAN5 could be expanded to validate the basis of Project 901 technicalities in terms of commercial aspects. The Troops on the other hand would be able to optimize their rearmament plans. If we to take a page of your book Speaker, it is called as dual-use technologies."

"Correct. We will additionally use this chance to further support Haize development in context of GATA. Experience from Mission VAN5 will bring more tidings than profits. Fuermak have informed us that their lease will end soon and so the mission will be a good demonstration our deterrence prowess. " Tachi-Korov has an inkling that she made a snide remark but he decided to ignore the flamboyantly dressed woman. Tis an open secret that the Directorate is hypocrite in their claims, with every personnel suspiciously sport a luxurious watch or a dazzling dress. He had no time to enforce a standard dress code; he did suddenly call them for an urgent meeting.

However not everyone in the hall have fully accepted the implied agreement. The one to voice out is Commandant-General Raizi-Rotov, the presiding head of Haize General Staff as identified by his grey mustache and array of medals on his left breast pocket. "If the powers that be won't see it as an escalation. On the other hand, we knew that a couple of Dienstadi powers are quick on the button by the audacity of live atomic testing and lowering first-use threshold. I suppose the Ministry knew of Colonials movement in orbit and Unified Federation plans, correct?"

The projected imagery changed again, visually focusing on what the Commandant-General had stated; several pictures depict some of Commonwealth Colonial Authority assets currently over Greater Dienstad and the publicly declared launch plans of Mokan Federal Space Navy. Shock over Colts, Mokans and Imbrinium anti orbital attack are still haunting the General Staff but consideration from Intelligence Office put lineup of Haize military leadership in a peculiar position; neither supporting or denying the plan proposed by HIMF. It is true that the General Staff wanted to put these foreigners in place but some are concerned that Haishan would be showing a little bit too much of her cards.

"We are aware of their movement yeah." Overturning the incoherent General Staff overall stance is Colonel-General Taruya-Beriev from Haize Aerospace Defence Forces with a compelling argument. "But at the same time, HIMF is integral to our national defense. According to the quarterly Standard Meeting, we have just finished the groundwork for national observation but unfortunately we are not yet able to repel a dedicated orbital attack. While we have taken steps to remedy the problem, opportunities like Mission VAN5 is hard to come by."

"Opportunities....right, let's put it as that way. Mission VAN5 not only convey a chance to validate theoretical models we have but also a strong message to polities that might have funny ideas. I get your concerns Commandant-General but I suppose the reasoning provided by Colonel-General is sufficient. " Tachi-Korov throws a business smile toward respective parties, suggesting the position held by the Colonel-General finally breaks the deadlock plaguing the General Staff.

Expectations and glares from other participants in the emergency meeting eventually makes the stubborn Commandant-General abide with present consensus. "I still have some reservation on the Mission; we knew that Project 901 is best to boost ungodly amount of mass to orbit but the proposed parameters severely limit it. Nevertheless considering Mission VAN5 would be instrumental in various ways, the General Staff give its tacit consent for the mission to proceed."

"We are grateful for the General Staff to come up with terms, Commandant-General." Tachi-Korov nods to the Commandant-General before continuing."Is there any leftover outstanding issues?"

"None insofar. The Space Directorate jointly with Research Directorate fully agrees to HIMF proposal."

"The Finance Directorate expresses the same opinion."

"Right. The Ministry additionally would like to apologize for calling for a snap meeting; the Colonials invitation wasn't expected. Well, with the power vested in me as substitute of Chief Minister of Defense Anazya-Mirbel, I declare this meeting shall be adjourned until later date. Thank you for your cooperation."

Briefing Room № 13
Raelizh Space Launch Complex
280 km from Icturk Metropolis
340 Hours before Commencement of Mission VAN5

The air in the room is oddly free of common odors such as deodorants and cigarettes; each room in the greater Operations Complex is rigorously scrubbed clean of any particulates. Instead a telltale sign would be a hint of ozone, the work of powerful filters running throughout the complex. This measure is also extended to the personnel and visitors to the launch complex with no exceptions; Flight Commander Junzye-Arev was caught with scent of cigarettes at the gates. Subsequently he was blasted with decontaminants that one should expect to encounter in operations within hazardous environments.

He fluffs his now partially bleached and disheveled hair, hallmark of cleaning agents used by the gate guards. " everyone here?"

"Navigator Specialist Kamo-Terev here."

"Armament Officer Toko-Razev reporting."

"Communications Specialist Aranya-Heizei reports for duty."

"Medical Officer Anaza-Ratnaz present."

"Engineering Officer Hadazna-Korolev here."

"Hmm....that's all Heads accounted for." Junzye-Arev takes a light step toward the projected hologram display. "We'll begin the particulars for Mission VAN5."

The display immediately morphs into a globe with known orbital lines and proposed parameters of the Mission, growing into multiple lines and branch various texts. Two trajectories out of all others change into green from white, indicative of HIMF mission; one of it a hyperbolic path to Mars and another direct shot to Luna. Seven others turn red, visually representing Mokan Federal Space Navy's declared trajectories.

He takes a small pointer from a nearby desk while ignoring the curious stares directed at his messy hair. A costly mistake. "Since we're short on time, I will only go briefly over the matter. Mission VAN5 will see two Project 901 launches, one to Mars with invitation from Colonials and another to Luna upon General Staff's request. The Colonials term it as a pacification mission but we're yet to privateers."

"Space privateers? Pirates And where's the ninja part, Flight Commander?"

"Haha enough of your jokes, Communication Specialist. As weird as it sounds, yeah, we're supposedly going to observe how would the Colonials combat space vagrants. Vagrants with weapons of mass destruction. Is that right, Armament Officer?"

"Correct. It's safe to assume that they somehow let some of their citizens to have their very own nuclear bombs, figuratively speaking."

"I doubt the Colonials know it or takes it seriously but what are the odds to have live practice?" Junzye-Arev claps his hands together, muttering a disapproval. "Well enough with the interjection, we'll go through the basics again. Command expects this will be a five year mission at maximum and we're the guinea pigs."

The holographic display changes yet again, in concert of the Flight Commander's words. Each party have an unique expression in response; some lightly frowning, some secretly yawning and some hinting at surprise. Well it's natural that there are substantial uncertainties and risks in any space mission, especially one which involves direct space combat. For the nascent HIMF, space combat is all but a theory since there isn't a need (and room) to practice one. Other nations might misconstrue it as escalation of arms particularly in the volatile Dienstadi region.

"Armament Officer, you may continue the briefing."

"Thank you, Flight Commander." The Officer nods to him. "For this mission, General Staff and Research Directorate have given full approval to trial newer tactics and weaponry being developed for HIMF. While it's uncertain what will these space pirates use, we can assume it to be mostly cheap kinetics and standoff drones. They don't have access to proper military-industrial-complex so we shouldn't worry about weapons like our own Device A to appear. Navigations and Communications will play an important role in VAN5, which is to formulate a comprehensive prototype doctrine in terms of interplanetary combat."

"I heard the invitation from Colonials will involve orbit-to-surface phase. Will we play a role in it, Officer?" Uncharacteristically, the female Medical Officer shots an inquiry.

"I believe we won't be involved in it, right Flight Commander?"

"That's right, Armament Officer. Surface action isn't going to be one of our responsibilities. We're going to strictly observe how do Colonials operate. Orders from brass."

"I see. Am I allowed to visit on site regardless? Gilbert Colony should have interesting xeno-species." Anaza shots a wink toward both respective parties in attempt to reel their consent.

While her womanly charm is amplified by the fact, Junzye purposely averts his eyes. "About that....yeah. In fact the top somewant you to go but it's a one way trip. You do know that once you set foot there, you won't be able to return to Haishan in any capacity, right? We would like for you to give some thoughts in it."

"The Directive of Xeno Containment?" She slightly frowns at the Flight Commander before switching to her true intentions. "Oh, it's my lifelong dream to study xeno-species. I'm fully aware of the responsibilities. That will show those bitches in Vaniza School on who's correct !"

"Ahem. I believe that it's her turn to talk her portion, Flight Commander."

"Yeah...I think that's a good idea. Medical Officer, you may proceed to your part now."

"Thank you, Flight Commander." Anaza-Ratnav proceeds to lift from her seat, only to purposely bump her left shoulder into the Armament Officer. "Oh, my...I didn't know you would be bold..."

"That's enough, Medical Officer. We're pressed for time here. No butts or buts. Or you will be relieved from VAN5."

"I apologize for the rude behaviour Flight Commander."

"Hmph, carry on. I would to remind you all that this is a serious mission. The General Staff expects only good news."

With such an awkward atmosphere, Anaza can do nothing than fake a cough. "Uhh....yeah. I would like to explain the Containment Directive; the Health Directorate ordered that anyone that sets foot on Gilbert Colony will be banned from physically setting foot on Haishan. This is to prevent planetary contamination of unknown pathogens and diseases. Subsequently the personnel will be quarantined in Translunar orbit for indeterminate time period. We're effectively, like the Flight Commander put it, guinea pigs. Anyone that breached the directive is liable for chemical solvation."

"That's right. This is a serious matter. I know some of you volunteered to go ground side on Gilbert Colony but it's a one way trip. You won't have a home to return too." The Flight Commander intentionally repeats her statement to convey the gravity of the situation.

On one corner of the room, the brawny Engineering Officer finally voices his opinion. "In hindsight, anyone that did go will get to keep the newest HIMF assisted suit. Though as Flight Commander and Medical Officer put it, we're test subjects. The Engineering will help in its fullest capacity."

"That's good to hear, Engineering. In fact Engineering will get the bulk of the work. Remind me to get you a batch of thirty years old wine for your section after all of these. Please proceed, Medical Officer."

"Okay Flight Commander. The Medical Section will also cooperate with Engineering in terms of monitoring life signs and associated. It might hurt at first but it won't be that bad. The last thing we want is a literal bio-bomb." Anaza manages to slip a suggestive prose when the Flight Commander isn't looking. Knowing a solitary life in advance could do many things to a human, especially for her that have considerable expertise in human psychology.

"For your information, you're banned from physical copulation. You may however relieve yourselves with the tools provided by HIMF." The Flight Commander however quickly put cold water on lustful stares directed at the Medical Officer. He then steps forward, signalling to the Officer to sit. "Thank you for your explanation Officer Anaza. Now, Navigator please take the stage."

"Acknowledged, Flight Commander." Contrary to earlier parties, the Specialist is a man of few words. "Federal Space Navy and Colonials seemed to use standard Hohmann Transfer at two hundred and fifty days considering their NERVA propulsion. Command is worried about space collision on both ways and so we will use minimum time, parabolic with perihelion at Earth. We will get to Mars in seventy days. If it's aborted, it will be two hundred days for Hohmann return trip."

"What about the pacification mission? How much delta-vee budget we have for reserve?"

"I recall Armament Officer signed for reduced weapons authorization to TQ Department so it's safe to say that we have two to five delta-vees in reserve, Communications Specialist."

"That's the limitations with Project 901; we only have around thirty to thirty five delta-vee at maximum so we don't have the luxury for extended missions other than observation. Project 903 have higher margin at ninety extra but it's a blue sky project; we can't technically boost fifty thousand metric tonnes in one go without alarming every Dienstadi nation here. Engineering, I presume the one we have ISRU complex installed right?"

"Yup Flight Commander. And some backup ion propulsion and solar sails for worst case scenario which will give mission duration of five years. That if the natural space anomaly pointed by Colonials have predictable pattern on when and where they appear."

"Hmm yeah. Okay, we will wrap it now. We will embarking on a five-year tour with no internet and significant others. I expect all of us show concerted solidarity for the rest of forty-five Haize onboard. Remember to finalize your will five hours before the mission starts."

Area C
Raelizh Space Launch Complex
280 km from Icturk Metropolis
HVN Naviza, Project 891-class

The situation aboard HVN Naviza is no less than tense; in order to validate complicated launch procedure for Project 901 spacecraft, the crew destined for HVN Aranza and HVN Turzye that are both lead spacecraft of 901-series were instructed to get into orbit via separate Haize single-stage-to-orbit Project 891-class. In short top Haize military leadership remain unconvinced that an atomic-bomb-powered spacecraft will be safe for ordinary crew during launch phase despite being lofted by chemical boosters up to Karman Line and starting periodic detonation above it.

The fear can be substantiated over concern of potential radiation back scatter generation and intense hammer-like G-forces created by periodic atomic detonations. Junzye-Arev on the other hand suspected it's more of a case to quell criticism and risk aversion within Haize military. A whole deal more complex and missing the point of Orion to boost outrageous amount of payload of orbit to begin with. However such is the matter in life; orders are orders and he is instructed to carry it out in full.

"Flight check...OK. Instrument...OK."

"If you don't mind me asking, what did you wrote for your will, Flight Commander?"

"Oh? Nothing special, Armament Officer. Just for my name to be etched on Raelizh memorial."

"I wrote for Base Commander to take care of my two cats."

"Uhmm...that's fine I guess, Engineering? Never knew you have two cats."

"My life and pride, Flight Commander."

"I get what you mean, Head Engineer ! They're so cute ! Too bad the female dorm don't allow pets...wait, the dorms don't allow it at all. How did you have cats?! "

"As far as I know, his nephew is taking care of it, Medical Officer. Well enough chatter guys, we're launching in ten seconds."

To be fair, Junzye appreciated the tact of Armament Officer to open up some idle chatter prior to launch; everyone involved with VAN5 are particularly nervous. What if HVN Naviza fail to uplift itself from the ground? What if Project 901 fail to initiate their procedure and explode on the launch pad? There are numerous things that can go wrong and no one knows it after the fact. He grips the controls of HVN Naviza firmly out of habit of his fighter jet days but releases it a moment after considering these space launches are done autonomously.

Next to him are the aforementioned Section Heads, each strapped down to their seats on their backs. If an ordinary person comes across the sight, it would be absolutely comical; the faces of Section Heads are all that's visible from their bulky bright orange space suits, conveying a scene of toys stitched by some sort of flimsy ropes. Beyond him are the rest of the crew, forty five for HVN Aranza, thirty five for HVN Turzye and five to pilot HVN Naviza back to Earth. When the countdown reaches zero, he feels a deep rumble in his stomach; multiple tens of kilograms of liquid hydrogen rush through eight nuclear light bulb engines of HVN Naviza.

Each engine outputs more than a gigawatt of thrust power, slowly but surely propping the SSTO spacecraft against the swelling gravity of Earth. The entire spacecraft starts to shake; it literally punches through the turbulent atmosphere upon stacks of intense UV radiation and thousand degrees of boiled hydrogen. By the fourth minute Junzye steals a glance to some of LCD screens adorning the cockpit, it seems that things are going well so far. One of it briefly displays both HVN Aranza and HVN Turzye, an odd construction unlike anything he had seen before.

He knows that Project 901 supposedly use Orion type propulsion but none can be seen in the current imagery; they're more like a giant bullet surrounded by smaller sticks. Perhaps there is a good reason why Command barred him and his crew from directly boarding Project 901 from the ground; from the looks of it, they don't seem able to reach orbit by their own power. Riding HVN Naviza was a challenge enough but HVN Aranza? Only madmen would consider riding firecrackers in a can. And those firecrackers are detonating atomic bombs, not tame engines powering HVN Naviza.

Area D
Raelizh Space Launch Complex
280 km from Icturk Metropolis
Ten Minutes after HVN Naviza Launch

"How is it, FO?" Takara-Nevanyy, the director of the operation shrugs. "Are their launch parameters correct?"

Answering the grey haired man is one of his subordinates, manning one of many workstations in the Mission Control Room. "So far so good, Mission Director. Proceed as planned?"

"Proceed as planned. Commence launch of HVN Aranza and then HVN Turzye."

The grand image facing the hall quickly changes its perspective to both examples of Project 901, a new breed of spacecraft explicitly designed for interplanetary combat. Foreign intelligence services might've some clue of their existence but this is the first time they're unveiled to the wide world. Junzye-Arev earlier deduction is correct; the peculiar shock absorbers of Project 901 is nowhere to be seen, hidden by detachable covers that now serve to affix high acceleration chemical boosters. They're, quite literally, no different than giant bullets.

Each booster is custom made to burn out less than one minute and survive acceleration above 100 G, reminiscent of their origin from Haize newest SLBM. Despite so, it takes more than ten of such boosters to loft each Project 901 spacecraft to orbit. One might say they're quite anemic but that's the best compromise Haize General Staff had found to allow the launch 4200 metric tonne monsters. Ignition. Unlike the blinding UV flare of HVN Naviza, HVN Aranza ride on multiple columns of billowing metal fire with whitish-orange colouration.

HVN Aranza is being hurled at more than ten times the G-limit allowed for Haize cosmonauts, breaking through the atmosphere with soaring hellfire that's no less vigorous than hot hydrogen expelled by HVN Naviza. By the fiftieth second, all boosters are explosively detached inclusive the cover protecting the Orion mechanism. The dull coloured spacecraft coasts for a few second as the absorbers are fully extended with help of gravity. In the sixtieth second, the first 0.35 kT pulse unit is ejected through a center channel built into HVN Aranza multi-tonne shock absorber.

One detonation. Two. Three and more, with one atomic pulse unit activated per second. Each pulse unit explodes with the force of miniature sun, pushing the monster ever forward and higher. A rhythmic detonation that could undoubtedly unnerve foreign nuclear explosion monitoring facilities. But if events in the region are used as a yardstick, the top Haize leadership will presume regional foreigners couldn't be bothered or care less; there were no particular outrage when Castille Union detonated a fifty megaton nuke and subsequent tests by Vectorian Republic, followed by unconfirmed tests of Ordenite Reich.

Some in Haize military were deeply concerned over generation of debilitating EMP from Project 901 but that's certainly not the case; each pulse unit was crafted to efficiently direct and couple x-rays to heat their respective propellants. A complete opposite to how one would design an atomic warhead designed specifically to trigger EMP. Current readings collected by the Space Launch Complex and Haize Aerospace Defense Forces over HVN Aranza progress indicate such doomsday scenario is highly unlikely. After HVN Aranza is confirmed to autonomously reach the designated orbit, HVN Turzye is then initiated with the same launch procedure.

400 km Low Earth Orbit
Rendezvous Orbit

"Well met Flight Commander Zanzji. Good luck to you and your men."

"Well met. Tis bit sad that we won't be able to physically toast after all of these are over, Flight Commander Junzye."

"Don't be so sad. You're going to help build HIMF potential right? Do the share of my work, Flight Commander Zanzji."

"Same to you. I heard you will be dealing with space ninja pirates. Take care of yourself."

"Don't tell me my Communication Specialist told you that..."

"Be easy on him, we're all nervous here. Until then. Flight Commander Zanzji departing. "

The meeting quickly died off as soon as it started. The crew onboard HVN Naviza are accordingly split to their combat duties as instructed by HIMF. The crew destined for both HVN Aranza and, HVN Turzye are sequentially transferred by orbital docking between HVN Naviza and respective spacecraft. Their different objectives are further reflected by their mission payloads; HVN Aranza carry the most weapons it can within three hundred metric tonne limit while HVN Turzye is filled to the brim with more than one thousand tonnes worth of weapons and equipment.

As planned by HIMF with advice of Haize General Staff, HVN Aranza will go to Mars while HVN Turzye will park itself in an orbit above the Moon. Both spacecraft take different orbit inclinations respectively to avoid colliding with each other while HVN Naviza continues its journey toward one of established GATA signatories for purpose of trade cargo delivery. It will be a long mission for all involved beings.

HVN Aranza
34 Megametre Above Mars

"Communications Officer reporting. Protocol Test ae-vee-nine successful, Flight Commander."

"Hmm, that's great. We still have latency of some two minutes to HVN Turzye, right? "

"That's correct. We can however get tele conversation if the stars are aligned."

"Right. Have you contacted Colonials' Traffic Control?"

"Just now Flight Commander. But how do I say's bit spotty. I believe we need to keep the message short and concise."

"OK, thank you for your work. I will deal with it from now on. "

Junzye scratches his head over the news; it is to be expected that radio communications would have some sort of degradation due to massive distances involved but on the same orbiting planet? He can't help than wonder on how Commonwealth Colonial Authority manages to keep itself organized when their bidirectional radio communication is a bit, unreliable. That is, according to Haize standards. To give benefit of doubt, Command suspected that the organization have been operating on razor thin budgets. Another factor being considered is Morridane long experience in space exploration.

Perhaps these foreigners have optimized themselves well, to operate with what are only necessary. Extraneous elements are eliminated throughout decades of operations. It's worthy of some respect thought Junzye. Haishan is only a small chick in space exploration but no less prepared. He shakes his head; on other hand maybe the anti-radiation drugs are causing him to imagine all sorts of stuff. The Flight Commander straps himself down to the side of his work console and attaches his communicator unit.

"Colonial Traffic Control, this is HVN Aranza. We've received CCA authorization for Gilbert Colony Pacification Mission, as an independent, foreign, observer."

"HVN Aranza copy. What is the authorization code?"

The sound of a woman. That's a bit of unexpected. . Junzye stares at his work screen. "Bravo-Alpha-Niner-Zulu."

"Code confirmed. Please proceed to the relayed coordinates."

"Thank you Traffic Control. HVN Aranza reporting out."

After a few lengthy minutes, his work station finally received the coordinates of a wormhole supposedly leading to Gilbert Colony. He then alerted the rest of the crew of a course change and ordered for all free hands on work stations. But a wormhole? How come we never seen them before? Unfortunately for Junzye, he's more of a soldier than a theoretical physicist. All of these stuff, real or otherwise is better left to Haize that are more academically-minded.

"Flight Commander, we're arrived at the projected coordinates..."

"I know what you're thinking, Navigator but proceed. To boldly go where..."

"No one have done before, Flight Commander."

"That's right Armament Officer. Come space pirate ninja or whatever, we'll be ready for them."

With the passing of ten minutes, HVN Aranza now enters the world of unknown; the atomic pulse propulsion unit is stopped and HVN Aranza's circumference NERVA engines burst into life. In front of it, a shimmering portal connecting to parts unknown to Haishan. A theoretical anomaly once thought impossible to exist nor traverse. The massive spacecraft calmly enters the wormhole and leaving its sole partner, HVN Turzye that's located 57 million kilometers away.

Gilbert Colony
50 Megameter Orbit
Commonwealth Colonial Authority Area of Influence

"Colonial Traffic Authority, this is HVN Aranze representing Haize Interstellar Armed Forces. Requesting authorization to orbit with following parameters; forty five megametres altitude, orbit inclination of twenty degrees."

"Request...granted. Would you require assistance to Penzance Spaceport?"

Oh, the voice is clearer now. It's still a woman. Maybe all in the TC are women. Junzye checks through his mission list. "No need. We have our own transport. Call sign STONE."

"Acknowledged, HVN Aranza. Welcome to Gilbert Colony. If you have additional inquiry, please do not hesitate to contact us."

"So how is it, Flight Commander?"

"They given it an OK, Navigator." Junzye releases himself from the work station, floating toward a nearby door. "Inform volunteers to get suited and up. We're going groundside. You're in charge until I get back, Navigation Specialist."

"As you commanded, Flight Commander. For home country."

"For home country. Take care while I'm gone."

With those parting words, Junzye hastily moves himself or what's possible anyway in weightless environment to Transport Bay No. 2. Along the way, the rest of the crew wishes him the fortunes to come. He passes through multiple bulkheads until finally reaching the designated area. Bit by bit the rest of his team assemble in the compartment. To the left of him stands numerous multi-environment suits of HIMF, some of the newest equipment in Haishan.

He gives a short salute to the assembled members. " I presume all of you know what you're signed for, right?"

"Yes, Flight Commander !" All of them respond in unison.

Junzye nods at their spirited reply. "Good ! We're to remain in the suits until mission dictate otherwise ! Keep your weapon on you at all times ! For home country !"

Morale are high, eagerness hit all time record but hint of nervousness and fear still exist in the silver of their eyes. It can't be helped; as per Haize Xena-Containment Directive, they will never set foot on Haishan and meet other crews of HVN Aranza for the remainder of the mission. Total containment, similar to solitary confinement sentence in Haize super security prisons. For some odd reason, the Medical Officer decided to stand near the Flight Commander but he didn't pay it no mind.

Apart from her, there are three other men; one from Navigation Section, one from Engineering and the last one from Communications. All of them proceed to seat themselves in a nearby SSTO in no particular order. After the boarding process is completed, the craft disengages from its magnetic clamp and the chamber housing it is pumped to vacuum conditions. This is then followed by opening of clamshell door below the craft's hold, releasing the triangular spacecraft to the planet below.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:42 pm
by Morrdh
Gilbert Traffic Control
Gilbert V High Orbit

Gilbert Traffic Control, or simply 'Gilbert Control' as it was better know, was housed in a large rotating wheel style space station high in orbit above the planet of Gilbert V. Though women made had a large part of its personnel, there was a sizeable potion of men who worked on the space station in technical roles that helped to keep it running. The women onboard generally ran the largest part of the space station's operations, communications, but there were a few men involved in this work as well. It was Senior Spacecraftwoman Edith Perkins who'd spoke to the Haize vessel, HVN Aranza, when it entered her assigned space sector.

"Sir," She called out to the Space Operations Officer on duty. "The Haize vessel has arrived."

"Very good." Acknowledged the officer. "Issue a general flight advisory to keep their orbit clear on a half hourly interval."

"Yes sir." Responded Edith before the officer went off to notify Ground Control at Penzance Spaceport.

Two Miles NE of Penzance

Based on the advice received from the Haize Interstellar Armed Forces, a reasonably clear area of ground outside of the colonial capital had been selected as the landing site for the Haize shuttle craft. The area had been completely cleared, the topsoil stipped right down and then thick steel matting was put down. A pair of Nissen huts had been erected for the infantry detachment of the Gilbertian Defence Force that was to be the guard detail for the site, plus their accompanying NBC specialists unit. Lance Corporal Masefield, Royal Astronautical Marines (RAM for short) eyed the NBC personnel warily as they lounged around in their special suits, smoking cigarettes and exchanging banter as they waited for the Haize shuttle craft to arrive.

Masefield's section had drawn the short straw for honour guard detail for the Haize delegation, so they've had to iron their dress uniforms and attached the ceremonial white straps to their wooden stock L1A1 SLRs. Nearby was a convoy of Land Rovers and a small bus that Masefield's section had ridden in, the Land Rovers in particular was a common sight on Gilbert and a fair number served as official vehicles by both the civil and military authorities on Gilbert. The Haize had been notified of this in hopes that they wouldn't be offended. Many high up hoped that the Haize would appreciate the lengths that the Commonwealth authorities was going to in order to accommodate them, which included the special landing site.

The RAMs section stared in amazement as the triangular Haize craft came into view and then landed, the outer hatch opening a short while after the craft had rested on its landing gear. With a barked order, Masefield's section stood to attention as figures emerged from the craft, all seem to be wearing some sort of metallic looking environmental suits. They had been briefed on Haize fears of contamination of alien pathogens and diseases, but they still looked so....odd. The NBC guys quickly got to work conducting sweeps with Geiger counters, it was only when they gave the thumps up signal that a senior officer approached the Haize party and saluted smartly. "Space Commodore Henderson, Royal Space Force. On behalf of the Commonwealth Colonial Authority I welcome you to Gilbert Colony."

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:08 pm
by Morrdh
It took MacGregor and Tanner a few minutes to enter the briefing hall, which was rapidly filling up, and to find some empty seats. It was a large hall with a stage at the far end and rows upon rows of a good hundred or so folding wooden chairs, though it looked like a fair number of people would have to stand. Least it looked like somebody had foreseen the large gathering that was to be crammed into the hall and opened some of the tall windows to allow fresh, cool air to circulate. Whilst there was little danger of the air getting stuffy, loss of hearing was still a possibility from the buzz of idle chatter among those assembled. To be heard over the noise, an announcer shouted through a megaphone. "All raise for Space Vice Marshal Paine!"

Chatter and conversations died away as those gathered got to their feet, the Commonwealth officers amidst the crowd stood to attention as a party of senior officers in RSF and RAM uniforms entered the hall and made for the stage. Once on stage, most of the party stood in a line facing the hall whilst an officer stepped towards the podium and cleared his throat before speaking into the microphone. "At ease ladies and gentlemen, please be seated."

"Most of you know that I am Space Vice Marshal Paine." The man said after the crowd had seated themselves, then added with a grin. "Those who didn't now know."

"Now that we've broken the ice, these fine fellows behind me are my staff. The old goat on the end is Major-General Sturges of the RAMs, my deputy in addition to being the commander of the task force's 'ground' elements." Paine explained. "Though primarily a Commonwealth endeavor, I'd like to extend a warm welcome to the allied detachment and observers who'll be joining us on this venture."

"I won't bore you all with the minute details, you'll be getting all that in your mission packets in the coming days. So you'll just have to settle for an overview of the task that lies ahead of us. Phase One has already been completed and involved the establishment of picket forces guarding the wormholes in the Gilbert and Adlelaide systems respectively that connect to the Lycaos system, this is to stop pirate vessels from trying to escape. Though intel has identified two possible wormholes in the Lycaos system, but these remain unconfirmed."

"Phase Two is establishing a bridgehead in the Lycaos system, this will be through the Gilbert wormhole which is the more reliable one. This will consist of a screening force of frigates and is scheduled to begin in two weeks' time. This screening force will provide cover for the next step of the operation; towing of a space station, call-sign 'Lycan', through the Gilbert wormhole. Lycan Station will serve as the insystem command post and supply base for the task force. It will also provide limited repair facilities, so don't try anything more than scratching the paintwork on your vessels ladies and gents."

"Once the bridgehead is sure and Lycan Station is up and running we can really get down to business. Our priority will be neutralizing the pirate fleet by forcing them to battle, break the pirates' strength by destroying his ships will allow us to locate and then capture the three bases which have been confirmed."

"Our ultimate goal is to bring stability to the Lycaos system, thus to allow the expansion of Commonwealth Space. Now, any questions?"

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:02 pm
by Mokastana
Commodore Wilson Cordova chatted with his fellow Federal Commanders, while most people might refer to all Federal Citizens as Mokans, that was hardly the case. Cordova and Martinez were Mokan, sure, but Franco McCormick was a half Mokan/Wellovian commander, and Company Captain Xiang was as from Mokan as you could get in the Federation as an Anuien. However, as the Mokan tongue was the language common between them, they all chatted away regarding the deployment and any supply issues they had. So far nothing had seemed to worrisome.

When the Haize arrived in their fancy armor and suits, a few snickers could be heard, but Cordova only smiled, he remembered the Rhonddan Bush War, and the mandatory six months quarantine for the soldiers that came back from it. Only when Commonwealth doctors could verify the soldiers had brought nothing back with them were they cleared to rejoin the general populace. He looked over at Captain Xiang, who showed no emotion towards the Haize, after all, he had been one of the ones locked up for six months.

"All raise for Space Vice Marshal Paine!"

The Federal Delegates did as instructed, out of respect, and sat back down for the briefing when the chance came up. So far the Space Vice Marshal seemed like a likable leader, but of course the question was how well could he lead the fleet against pirates. When he made a point to welcome the Federal visitors, they nodded politely, not to take away anything from the briefing.

So Secure the Gilbert wormhole, add space station to wormhole, set up station, then launch full scale attack in the sector. Estimated time, probably a few weeks. So just as he thought, this was going to be a campaign. They had enough supplies for roughly five months, well four minus the weeks it took to get here, but that was not including the supply vessels brought along for the ride.

Finally the time came for questions, the Federales looked at each other, and decided on a few:

“Vice Marshal, Commodore Wilson Cordova of the Federal Space Fleet, forgive my question, but for when I brief my commanders later, what are the rules of engagement we are expecting? What is the civilian presence like in the Sector? Are there friendly colonies, or should we assume all non Commonwealth Fleet vessels are hostile? Will there be pirates willing to work with us for a price? If so, what would they accept as bribes?

When I was a much younger hombre, we hunted Pirates in the Mokan Sea on Speed boats, and one of our favorite tactics was to pit them against each other. Find out what one leader wanted, or needed, and hold it over their heads to make them do our bidding, or similar things. Do we have a team in place keeping them divided or should we assume this pirate group is more allied than that?”

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:01 pm
by Morrdh
"Ah, welcome Commodore...I dear hope you've brought enough cigars for everyone?" Pained asked with a grin, raising a few chuckles throughout the hall. "Regardless, some very good questions...certainly better than what my staff could come up with."

"The system will be blockaded, but it is believed that there are a handful of independent mining outfits." Paine answered, adopting a more serious tone. "Additionally, the system is a popular route when the wormhole that connects the Gilbert and Adelaide systems is closed. Any vessel found insystem that claims to be civilian is to be treated as potentially hostile and will be ordered to submit to an inspection, but no opening fire unless you are fired upon first. Even then, aim to disable rather than destroy."

"That is a possibility, but no allocation within the budget of this operation has been made." Continued Paine. "Instead it is hoped that some will be convinced to turn Crown's evidence since piracy is a capital crime under Commonwealth law. Though how honest they'll be when faced with the prospect of dancing death's jig remains to be seen."

"According to our sources we can expect the pirates to be fairly well unified, seems a so-called 'pirate lord' is their unifying force. The identification, locating and removal of this person will be key to breaking the pirates' unity. We also suspect the involvement of a foreign entity providing support to the pirates. But your suggestion does sound like it has merit, I'll get my staff to clear you later for the relevant intel."

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:41 am
by Mokastana
"Ah, welcome Commodore...I dear hope you've brought enough cigars for everyone?"

Wilson smiled back, “Surely you weren't just expecting cigars, but those are saved for the Victory Day celebration.”

Wilson Cordova had actually managed to bring a few boxes of cigars and some of the finest Mokan Rum with him, but all of those were sealed up tight and secured with his personal luggage for the trip. He may have sounded like he was joking, but he hoped they would be surprised in a few months when he actually brought them in.

With that out of way he began taking mental and physical notes with a pencil and notepad. A recorder had been set up, but the Colonel liked having something he could review on his own.

Mining outfits independent

Gilbert to Adelaide trade route

Unified pirates “lord"?
Foreign involvement?

“Thank you very much Vice Marshall.”

With that Wilson sat back down, when one of his officers leaned over to whisper in his ear, sticking to Spanish to try to limit the amount of eavesdropping.

“Sounds like they may need more agitators among their criminals.”

“This isn't our Sea. We'll follow local procedures.”

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:11 pm
by Morrdh
Space Vice Marshal Paine continued to take questions for another ten minutes before addressing the hall at large once more. "Right then ladies and gents."

"The Lycaos wormhole will be closing at approximately seventeen-thirty-two hours, local time. Our blockade will officially begin at that time, notification of this has already been circled on civilian channels." Paine explained. "The wormhole is estimated to reopen in a month's time, though I must stress that this is only an estimation. The wormhole could reopen at any time, reasons why are best left to those with heads balder than mine."

"If all goes to plan and the wormhole opens when its suppose to then our vanguard will be able to move through, followed by Lycan Station to establish a presence insystem." Continued the Space Vice Marshal. "That gives us at least two weeks to boost Gilbert's economy as we drain its pubs dry."

"Whilst we're on that subject, I'll be hosting a formal dinner tomorrow night for the various captains of the task force. Mess dress or your best blues please ladies and gents." Paine added. "Thank you all for coming and, more importantly, not falling asleep!"

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:39 am
by Haishan
Two Miles NE of Penzance

It wasn't a particularly pleasant ride as the landing craft had never been calibrated for peculiarities of planet Gilbert but its embedded intelligence progressively adapted while firing spikes of obfuscated transmissions to HVN Naviza up above. Junzye-Arev frowned his face; he had never expected to have it tough with rattling there and there as if the spacecraft was being torn apart by buffeting winds and thousand degrees of plasma.

The shaking finally stopped with a dull thump, indicating the spacecraft had deployed its wheels to roll into a stop. The Flight Commander was the first to the door after registering with his feet that the spacecraft stood still on the tarmac.

"A pleasure to meet you, Space Commodore....Henderson. As mentioned in our earlier communique-on-approach, I am Flight Commander Junzye-Arev of HVN Naviza from Haize Interstellar Armed Forces." Junzye saluted back to the waiting Morridane while beckoning the rest of the crew to come out. "Pardon our discourtesy of being fully suited up as HIMF do not have established protocols regarding exo-terrestial environment. A notion of precaution if you may. Guys, come and greet our counterparts."

Is this....Gilbert? I had expected they would be better equipped than us. At least they're thorough. The nondescript appearance of Morridane personnel made Junzye to arch his eyebrows in surprise. He gave the Morridane NBC team a simple glance before placing his gaze to metallic huts in vicinity. He initially perceived that Morridane or rather, Colonials in particular would have something more comprehensive than the nascent HIMF.

The tarmac and its surrounding had never been closer than a landing strip one would expect back in Earth's desolate regions. Perhaps this was an attempt to fool foreign intelligence through intentional degradation of necessary facilities? None of them looked like one would expect of a military facility to handle a SSTO spacecraft let alone a military-grade one. Junzye recalled the imagery he saw back then in HVN Naviza after arriving in high orbit.

Majority of Colonial forces seemed to be a curious mix of ill-designed combat spacecraft, either heavily armed but little defense or vice-versa according to Haize perspective on interstellar warfare. Doubt grew in his mind on how did the Colonials operate all these while and the potential outcome of their mission to rout or destroy space pirates plaguing one of their extra-spacial holdings. His momentary trance immediately snapped when Anaza bumped into him on purpose.

"Alright Flight Commander." Anza gave Junzye a sidelong glance before lightly nodding to the Morridane entourage with a hint of sensuality. "I'm Anaza-Ratnaz, Medical Officer of HVN Naviza. A pleasure to meet you boys."

However her bewitching voice was crushed with a firm voice coming from a stout man. "Third in command of HVN Naviza Communications, Degarutov's here."

"Reporting, sir. Officer Tanzik from Core Engineering, HVN Naviza, HIMF." Another Haize paid his respect to the waiting Morridanes, standing a little higher than Degarutov.

The last in the lineup gave a sharp salute. "Third in HVN Naviza Navigations, Officer Eranik reporting in."

"Space Commodore Henderson, please lead the way."Junzye then gave Henderson a light nod after confirming all Haize had introduced themselves.

He didn't focus much at first but a second glance made him even more perplexed. Wooden...stocks? And...ceremonial dress? What on earth.... Clearly the Colonials were very thorough in their intelligence efforts or what seemed like so. Junzye unconsciously touched his left arm, currently being bound by layers of radiation resistant polymers and intricate strings of metal. He shook his head as Henderson invited them to carry on to the designated venue with couple of jeeps.

Designated Briefing Hall

Junzye cannot help it than continue to be amazed; this was no different than on Earth! To put it more accurately, the scene in front of him didn't differ to what Haize once had three decades ago. Wide open spaces, barbed wires, one or two concrete buildings in the distance and numerous metallic huts. He gave Henderson another light nod while alighting from the vehicle; the trip was a quiet one as the Haize group kept to themselves, not knowing what to expect or ask in such manner. It looked like they're taking a visit to the past in contrast of forests of steel and concrete in Haishan.

One of the bigger structures in this grassy plains was a big concrete hall, reminiscent of the old days in yesteryear or in foreign culture, it would be called as the wild, wild, west. The hall was quickly being filled with people, obviously with various nationalities as evident from their uniforms and facial features. Out of all people in the area, only the Haize group was fully equipped with assisted environmental suits. Junzye felt collective awkward stares from the Mokans but he paid it no mind.

Anaza gave him a short message through the suit's personal intercom. "You know, I feel like we're an odd lot around here, Flight Commander. Can I....go socialize ?"

"Medical Officer, you know we're here for not playing. Even your juniors know how to pay attention. Pay attention to the briefing." Junzye eventually settled on one of the wooden chairs in the hall, creaking it in the process. Clearly this chair wasn't built to handle a space-grade suit.

Anaza swiveled her eyes in response. "Huh...okay. I'm just wondering, why are they not equipped like us? No NBC?"

"Hmm, it seems that they might've more experience than us in this space business. We're just a newly established branch of Haize military..." Junzye's sigh can be clearly heard over the intercom, as if he didn't wear his sound-proof helmet.

"I got what you're saying, Flight Commander. I feel like we're being guinea pigs. General Staff is too unreasonable." Apparently Degarutov had the same personality as the main Communication Specialist, lashing out at Haize top echelon through their private channel.

"Yea right, enough chatter gents. We should get as much information from them. Come, let us give acknowledgement to Morridane top echelons." Junzye gave them a stern glare, disapproving their fancy to waste the suit's onboard recorder with pointless speculations. The chair below him finally snapped but with the suit's assist, he continued to hold his posture.

Tanzik, a man of quick wits immediately put another chair for Junzye. A sturdier looking one. "As you commanded, Flight Commander."

When the announcement was heard, all of them rose in unison to pay respect to newly arrived Space Vice Marshal. This time Junzye sat more carefully on his 'new' chair, hoping to not break it again. There was no telling that these Colonials...might sought him for inadvertent property damage. The group continued to listen to the briefing but the way the Space Vice Marshal handled it made the rest of Junzye's team to hold some doubts like Junzye.

"Hmm this seemed more complex than we envisioned. There's little intel...or was it.." He opened a private channel to Tanzik that was sitting next to him.

The one that replied however was Anaza that suddenly grew inquisitive. "As you guessed, Flight Commander. This...might be a trap."

"A trap? We don't know much either Medical Officer. I prefer if we're not forced to play all of our cards. Due to our propulsion, we can only go gung-ho about it. They will know at all times on where we're." Junzye lightly frowned; how did Anaza broke through his intercom? He dismissed the thought while keeping track of now question and answer period.

"Is it that bad, Flight Commander? As I recall, HVN Naviza is adequately armed."

Junzye slightly tilted his head, casting a momentary glance to Wilson that was a few rows ahead. "You may say that Officer Tanzik. What if these so-called 'pirates' get a jump on us? know."

"I can't deny the plausibility but it's premature to point the Colonials are up to no good. Suspicion is good but too much is a caution in itself. This matter is also above my pay grade."

"Lil Tanzik is right. Perhaps we should wait until the end to frame our context, Flight Commander." Anaza laid the groundwork to stop the conversation.

After hearing the answer from Paine on Wilson's query, Junzye finally ended their gossip. "Right. They're more relaxed than I thought."

"Wait. Forgive me for extending the briefing but I do have some questions, Vice Marshal Paine. I'm Flight Commander Junzye from HIMF." Junzye suddenly rose from his chair, while gesturing at Tanzik. "Officer Tanzik, bring it out."

Tanzik responded by leaving the rows of chairs and moving toward one of the walls of the hall. He withdrew a small projector from his external backpack and put it on the ground. The projector then shot four metallic struts, raising it to appropriate level. In the mean time, Junzye took couple of paces forward while the rest of his team moved away. The projector flashed the wall in soft light for a few seconds before displaying an animated representation of Haize space vessel and other unclassified parameters of the spacecraft such as its current orbital trajectory.

The image then morphed to show a cyan-coloured cone as Junzye shot a glance to the Space Vice Marshal. "So Space Vice Marshal, due to our propulsion system, we would like to seek advice on cleared maneuver space for HVN Naviza. I don't want to light up our friends with atomic pulse units by mistake. Stealth would be useless for us either so we're requesting clarification of our position in the upcoming mission. And lastly, are there any requirements or procedures on requisitioning liquid propellants from the Commonwealth?"

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 7:56 pm
by Morrdh
"Of course Flight Commander Junzye." Said Vice Space Marshal Paine with a weak smile. "Shoot."

There were mutterings round the hall as Tanzik setup the projector, soon followed by both shock and amazement from the attendees. Paine seemed unfazed and ignored the excited chatter, preferring to listen to the Haize officer's questions. At last he spoke. "Some very interesting questions Flight Commander."

"We've calculated minimum safe distances and approach vectors based on the data that we were given. However, I'd be happy if one of your team could check over the numbers to ensure that there is a good margin of safety. Though it seems an indepth discussion of the matter at a later time is required."

"As for your next question; far as I'm aware you're here as observers." Paine continued. "You're not expected to be involved in any combat, but we still have to consider your safety. If you've no objections, I'll detail a pair of escort class vessels for your protection."

"Course I'm also led to believe that there is an information sharing agreement in place and some preliminary data on planetary conditions has already been given. I understand that you've been given access to the library and archives of the University of Gilbert."

"Lastly, fuel and other logistical requests can be submitted to my command staff and given priority."

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 6:48 pm
by Morrdh
BSG Deadlock - Colonial Theme

Gilbert V
Gilbert System
Two Weeks Later

High in orbit over Gilbert V, drifting through the cold void was dozens of space stations. The main station housed Gilbert Traffic Control, the ultimate authority over everything that moved in the planet's orbit and easily identifiable by the numerous communication dishes. The rest were mainly commercial hubs or passenger terminals for space-borne liners, though there were a few shipyards that built vessels that were the lifeblood of Commonwealth Space. The largest of the shipyards was Wright Station; named after the 'father' of the Royal Space Force and exclusively built vessels for the Commonwealth Space Forces. For the previous eighteen months, Wright Station had been the cradle for Lycan Station which was now finally ready to leave the place of its birth.

Space Commodore Lewis Sinclair, Lycan Station's commanding officer, couldn't help but marvel at all that had been achieved over the past year or so since he was told he was getting this posting. Lycan was just a shell, its superstructure barely finished, when Sinclair first saw it and now they were making ready for the station to depart spacedock. Lycan still seemed fair from finished, though the aim was to make the station...functional and then complete final fittings at a later date. Right now Sinclair's operations staff were running through various checks, the chatter of their voices cutting through the background hum.

"...Working up reactor, power levels holding steady...."

"...System diagnostic checks complete..."

"...Downloading preliminary data into Navcom..."

"...Green across the board..."

"...All stations report secured and ready..."

Sinclair nodded his satisfaction, walked over to the communications station in his mag boots and spoke into the microphone. "Wright, Lycan. We're ready for departure."

"Lycan, Wright. Roger that, retracting docking clamps. Tugs moving into position."

"Copy that Wright." Sinclair replied, then flipped a switch. "Lycan to Gilbert Control, requesting permission for launch."

"Permission granted Lycan, you're clear for launch and burn."

"Acknowledged Gilbert Control, Lycan out." Answered Sinclair before he flipped another switch that allowed him to address the station as a whole. "Clear all moorings."

"Aye sir, all moorings cleared and tugs moving into position."

Sinclair allowed himself a moment to step back as outside a swarm of space tugs attached themselves to the exterior of Lycan Station before firing their thrusters. The tugs would move Lycan Station clear of the spacedock and align the station onto the trajectory for the Lycaos wormhole. More chatter, more checks, more confirmations. At last, a call sounded. "Lycan in position, tugs detaching and on recall."

"Commence launch sequence." Ordered Sinclair.

"Aye sir," Responded the Flightcom station operative. "Commencing final checks and launch sequence now, engine power up in tee minus thirty seconds."

"Primary vector looks good, Navcom online."

"Twenty seconds!"

"All hands, ready for launch!"

"Engine full power up in ten... nine... eight... seven... six... five... four... three... two... one... engine power up... we have ignition!"

Arrayed in a circle, on the back end of Lycan Station, eight tiny new suns burst into life as the engines thundered into life. Long, superheated flames shot out, the thrust propelling the station forwards. Dozens more tiny suns burst into life as other vessels in the task force ignited their own engines and joined the growing procession of ships leaving the orbit of Gilbert V. Dozens of ships, hundreds of men and women, heading out to fight in the cold depths of space.

Not all would be destined to return.

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 12:33 pm
by Mokastana
Gilbert V
Gilbert System

"Attention all craft, this is Space Commodore Wilson Cordova, today we begin a campaign of interstellar warfare against an organized pirate force, who may be almost as well armed as we are. No Intel suggests the pirates have Casaba missiles, but expect the unexpected. In addition, i don't want anything of ours falling into enemy hands. As part of the Federation's nuclear deterrent force, we have a duty to destroy our vessels if the enemy will capture them. Last thing I want is to give these pirates the nukes to fight back, so keep sharp out there.

That said, the pirates have only been dealing with Commonwealth forces, and don't know ther full extent of our ship's combat abilities. We have ther most advanced weapons in the Federal arsenal piloted by the best crews in thre Federation, so we'll be heading home with plenty of kills on our lists.

Alright. All ships report."

The Commodore held onto the dashboard as the man besides him spoke up into his own microphone:

"FEM Camaxtli. All systems green.Two on standby."

'Two on standby' referred to the number of fighters ready to launch at a moment's notice. The other six would need a few minutes to load up, but the Carrier had two on deck in case of trouble. With that, their head sets began to regurgitate the words being broadcasted on ther Federation's own encrypted network.

"FEM Taranis, systems green. Two Golden"

This time, the 'two golden' referred to how many missile tubes were loaded with Casaba Howitzers, the nuclear shape charge warhead used by the Federation as the ultimate 'whatever it takes to kill it' missile. Most missile Orcas would have two loaded at all times, just in case.

"FEM Svetovid, all systems green. Two Golden"

"FEM Xipe-Totec, all systems green."

"FEM Ullr, all systems green."

"FEM Dazhbog, all systems green, cargo locked and healthy."

"FEM Hermes, all systems green, cargo locked and healthy."

"FEM Borrum, all systems green, cargo locked and healthy."

"All vessels are in the green, let's move out. Commence travel to next rally point. Maintain formation."

With that order, the small PUF fleet began lighting up theit engines and launching after the Lycan Station.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:32 pm
by Morrdh
It took two to three weeks for the task force to burn its way across the empty void from Gilbert V to the Lycaon wormhole. Leading in the vanguard was a flotilla of escort vessels, the majority were Orca-class frigates. The Orcas formed the backbone of the Commonwealth Space Force and performed a wide variety of roles, a maritime navy would probably consider them a general purpose vessel. Among the vanguard was MacGregor's Dauntless, a vessel that was the atypical Orca-class round 300ft long with a crew of 69 officers and men. It resembled a submarine with 'wings' on either side, for carrying external munitions, and rocket engines at the rear. Internally it was hard to tell the difference from a submarine of a similar size, save perhaps for the reactor space and the absence of gravity.

Though as MacGregor reflected, a spacer's life wasn't that much different to that of a submariner; both were stuck inside a tin can for weeks or even months on end and both found hull breeches more than a little uncomfortable. The lack of gravity may be the only real difference, both suffered cramped corridors, both ate in similar galleys and both utilized the 'hot-bunking' system to maximize space efficiency. There was even a periscope to allow the crew to visually see outside the ship, though the vessel had radar in lieu of sonar for its main sensor system.

Right now, MacGregor was in the control room or 'bridge' of the Dauntless. The crew were either strapped into the seats at their stations or were wearing mag-boots so that they didn't float about in zero gravity. The vanguard flotilla was angling on an approach to the Lycaon, they were to be the first ones through so that they could act as a picket fleet insystem until the rest of the task force had transited through. There was a mixture of excitement and anxiety, wormhole travel was never a smooth thing and some people never quite got used to it. Even after years of service, MacGregor still found his stomach tying itself into nuts at the mere thought of going through a wormhole. Well, once more into the breech...

"All hands, this is the captain." MacGregor called out over the ship's tannoy. "Brace for transit."

He then strapped himself in as the control room crewmen ran through final checks moments before a bright, slightly off-white light filled his vision...

...MacGregor blinked a few times and then immediately wished he hadn't as a wave of nausea hit him.

Everyone experienced wormhole travel differently; for MacGregor it felt like his innards had been removed from his body, twisted multiple times before being squeezed back in through his nose. He was also pretty sure that his stomach was somewhere on the other side of the galaxy. The rest of the crew around him suffered similar symptoms but to varying degrees, most envied the XO who always seemed to be completely unfazed by the experience.

MacGregor gave himself a few moments to recover as the control room crew checked that all systems were in the green and confirmed that they'd arrived in the correct system. The XO, Lieutenant Branner, peered through the periscope and grinned back at MacGregor. "Tis quite a view skip."

"Alright, shift yer arse outta the way!" Grumbled MacGregor as he got to his feet and slowly made his way over and took over the periscope. "Bearing?"

"Two-seven-four skip."

"Got it, thanks...damn, knew there was a reason why I joined the Space Force!" MacGregor called out as he peered through the periscope and saw a nebula stretching across the distant stars. It was green, but in a pleasant way with wisps of different shades coiling along the length of the nebula. "Get a few snapshots if you can please Mr Branner."

"Aye aye skip."

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:36 pm
by Morrdh
Moon OST - Welcome to Lunar Industries

The problem with detecting other objects in space was partially to do with distance and partially, from a military standpoint, what type of sensors you used. Active radar made sense logically as it helped to prevent flying blindly into something, though since it actively transmitted a signal it showed up like a lit flashlight in a dark room. Passive radar worked better for military vessels when operating in a designated combat zone, though it required a signal from a third party source and despite being less likely to give the ship away it was less reliable at detecting other ships. Distance, however, was the biggest issue.

With no horizon in space, radar ranges were theoretically infinite. The vast distances involved meant that it would take time for the signal to travel back and forth, plus the further it had to travel the weaker it tended to be. Infrared was another way of detecting ships; electrical systems produced heat, reactors produced heat, the ship's crew produced heat and it all had to go somewhere. The third type of sensor used was LIDAR, a pulsed laser light based system used to supplement radar by being able to produce a 3D image of whatever it bounced off. All three acted as the 'eyes' of the ship, allowing it to 'see' what was around it. RSF officers were taught not to rely on a single sensor, but to use the other sensors if possible to make a solid contact. Typically it was radar that picked something up first and the other two sensors would then be used to supplement and confirm the contact.

So when a cry rang out, it surprised everyone. "Con, Lidar. New contact, designated Lima One. Bearing three-three-six, range four angels."

"Understood." MacGregor acknowledged, quickly working out that 'four angels' was four thousand kilometres and bordering on being uncomfortably close. "Radar, Thermo...anything?"

"Con, Radar. Getting a faint echo and thats its."

"Nothing on thermos skip." Answered the crewman on 'Thermo', the station for the infrared sensors. "Whatever it is, seems to be dead cold."

"Odd..." Muttered MacGregor. "Lidar, can you get a course? Mr Branner, see if Daedalus and Dirk have also picked up our mystery contact."

There was acknowledgements from both men as they set about their respective tasks; Lidar came back first by declaring that the contact seemed to be drifting whilst Branner reported that the Dauntless' sister ships had also detected the same contact. Though MacGregor wasn't the squadron commander and so had to listen over the radio as the captain of the Daedalus spoke to the flagship Athena. A fleet-wide alert went out and MacGregor found himself being ordered to close with the mystery object and investigate it. Lima One's relative distance hadn't changed much and MacGregor calculated it would probably take the Dauntless round ten, maybe twenty, minutes to cover the distance. Though the Athena would be launching a pair of space fighters to assist, plus the Dauntless would be covered by the rest of her squadron.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:14 pm
by Morrdh
MacGregor counted down the minutes as the Dauntless closed the distance to the unknown contact, the ship's sensor crew busied themselves with firming up the contact in order to try and gain an idea of what they might be dealing with. They were starting to get some radar returns as well, the signal originating from the pair of starfighters launched by the Athena and then bounced off the contact. But it was Lidar that was proving to be the most effective, already they had matched the profile of the contact to that of a freighter. Though she appeared to be drifting, refused to answer hails and remained dead cold on the Thermos. But there were to be even grimier news. "Con, Lidar. Picking multiple smaller contacts, looks like a debris field skip."

"Acknowledged." MacGregor said grimly, already drawing his own conclusions." "Mr Banner...?"

"I'll pick a couple of volunteers to suit up sir." Banner replied, seemingly reading his commander's mind.

"...T-thank you Mr Banner." Replied MacGregor before he turned his attention to directing the fine maneuvering of the ship as it closed to within a few kilometers of the contact.

Half hour later, after informing the Daedalus that they would be performing a spacewalk to conduct a close-up visual check of the contact to determine its identity, a couple of the Dauntless' crewmen were drifting across the void. Both men had maneuvering units attached to their suits with thrusters able to be fired in a number of different directions. The bridge of the Dauntless remained quiet so that the two crewmen could be heard over the radio, though the sensor crews manned their stations and kept a watchful eye out.

"Definitely a freighter, looks like an ore hauler...probably a Venture class." Crackled the voice of one of the men, a Flight Sergeant Tim Rourke. "But feck, she's been through the wars."

"Understand, but can you find a name or hull number?" Asked MacGregor.

"Yeah, gimme a moment...wreckage everywhe-...FECK! Feckfeckingfeckingfeckfeckfeck!!"

"Rourke?! What's happening?"

"Feck...sorry skip." Replied Rourke. "Looks like the crew didn't get out... poor bastards..."

"Shit..." MacGregor muttered, surprised even though his gut instinct had forewarned him.

"Yeah, hell of a way to go..." Rourke grimly replied. "Found a name; Beaufort."

"Beaufort? Recall something about her being reported missing a few months back." Banner said. "Least overdue arriving at Adlelaide colony skip."

"Least her fate is now known." MacGregor said. "Pirates would you say Mr Banner?"

"I'd say that was a fair assessment skip." Banner answered.

"Aye, notify the Athena of our discovery and then recover our two lads."

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:44 pm
by Morrdh
The recovery of the Beaufort and its deceased crew was grim business, though reminded the task force what they were up against. The vessel itself was to be towed back to Gilbert Colony, there its fate would be decided by its owners. The crew were given a port-mortem, which revealed that they'd been killed before they were exposed to the cold hard vacuum of space. Like the Beaufort, the dead men were transported back to Gilbert Colony for burial and their next of kin notified. Though it was kept quiet that the number of bodies did not tally up with the Beaufort's crew list, that there were crew members unaccounted for.

Lycan Station was towed through the wormhole and made operational, allowing Vice Space Marshal Paine to setup this command there. With Lycan Station established, the task force began to aggressively patrol in an ever-increasing radius. Various contacts were detected and analysed, allowing the task force intelligence staff to build up a picture of the pirates' strength and assets. The task force's first target, Objective Able, was selected and an attack date of two months time was declared.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:35 pm
by Haishan
A man once asked the Heavens,
Where else than riches of Earth?
Heavens answered, go forth unchained
Unbound from Earth where riches awaits,
Great riches awaits the bold and brave.

Related OST - In Search of Life

Nine lances of incandescent hydrogen, each forty times the speed of sound marked wakes of the metallic giant. There was no atmosphere in space and Newton Third's Law reigned supreme in the cosmos. Each pillar of flame gnawed at massive momentum of HVN Naviza, compressing and creaking huge shock absorbers connected to equally large NERVA thrusters, cauldrons of such fiery eruptions. The spacecraft had turned on its head, presenting its butt, the gargantuan pusher plate toward the direction of travel.

One week was spent to bring the four thousand plus tonnes of machine up to speed halfway across Gilbert's system. Another week to decelerate the mammoth and avoid overshooting the designated spatial path on the other side of Lycoas wormhole. By now, HVN Naviza had dropped from ten gravity (ten times of one's perceived weight) to one and half gravity, just amicable for Haize cosmonauts. Three gravity would've been the ultimate limit if not from aid of experimental anti-acceleration devices on the spacecraft.

However no lunch is truly free; the price was to be sunk in a viscous fluidic bed and breathing in specially prepared respiration liquid akin to fish in water or rather in a jelly. As the spacecraft normalized into usual one and an half gee, the breathing liquid was drained out from each of HVN Naviza's crew personal pod. A shot of stimulants and relevant compounds followed after, along with numerous coughs as they wake up in unison. Whilst the liquid was tasteless and odorless, it was rather unpleasant as if one had just brought out to life from being drowned.

Flight Commander Junzye was one of few that woke up early, coughing out phlegm and leftover breathing liquid. This is always the awkward phase but being the leader of the spacecraft, he needed to lead by example. The fluidic bed below him pushed him outwards and the soft exoskeleton wrapped around him flexed into action. Multiple nimble metal appendages descended along with curtain of light, removing any excess liquid spilled out of his rebreather and scanning him away.

The man grabbed one of railings lining the personal pod as the sedatives that were injected inside him began to lose their effectiveness. It felt like getting smashed and churned inside a blender as reality hit him. Another shot pounced through, jolting him up from the terrible hangover. This is just the acceleration test...he couldn't imagine the effects of when HVN Naviza is forced to maintain the same pace during combat maneuvers. Junzye wiped off snot from his miserable face with pair of sponges; the liquid rebreather was simply too awful.

One and an half gees, tolerable for men like him. Junzye moved about, retrieving a pair of augmented reality googles stowed in a nearby locker. He was half naked with the soft exoskeleton covering his arms, legs and the important bits. The metallic tentacles that roamed on his pod then withdrew into the depths of the room, turning the bed inside shining as new. The Flight Commander wore his elastic space suit sans the helmet under a minute, completing another phase of the test.

"How are you, Flight Commander?" A flashing icon entered his view, Medical Officer Anza was on the line.

Junzye tilted his head around, there was some liquid residues in both of his ears. "I'm bit dizzy but otherwise fine, Medical Officer. Sitrep, please."

"Right. Out of forty-five, twenty reported some sort of sickness of varying degrees. Five were unconscious, others either puked or reported light-headiness."

"Not bad. Tell Engineering to keep watch on the acceleration closely. While the test was successful, we cannot maintain it for long huh." He nodded in response. At least none of his crew were in critical condition.

The voice on the other end grew elated. "On the bright side, we managed to raise the G-limits from two to ten, Flight Commander. That's a significant achievement."

"We need to work more on it. I'm still concerned about the acceleration limits. Keep me posted though." Junzye wore a pensive expression. Long term acceleration under combat conditions will be another mountain to cross.

"Acknowledged, Flight Commander."

Junzye tapped on the googles, initiating contact to a different person. "Coms, nothing wrong?"

"All up and in order, Flight Commander. Coms clear and out."

"Hmm, great." He nodded again and then switched to yet another person, "Weaponry, all running in order?"

"Reporting, Flight Commander. All parameters were within tolerable limits. No events of concern."

"Good." By now Junzye stood opposite to a mirror, ruminating current events. "Science Section, anything to report?"

"We're still collecting data, Flight Commander. It will take a while, on these 'wormholes'."

"Any estimates? And our shielding scheme held up, right?" His ears perked when the word wormhole was mentioned. If the Junta can find them independently, then they wouldn't need to rely on the Colonials to open up secrets of space.

"Hard to say, Flight Commander. It could be days or months, or never. Regarding shielding integrity, all verified and true. Should Science Division send someone out?"

The news soured his face. He willed a clock to come into view. "Our circumstances do not permit that. We're going to start accelerating again."

"Acknowledged, Flight Commander. We'll be on the lookout for new events."

"Attention personnel, we're entering the transfer point. Strap yourselves down."

Junzye put away the googles and decided to bunk himself in the fluidic bed again. Previous experience through similar anomaly off Mars told they were subjected to unpredictable gravitational forces in a brief instant. No crew can accurately recall their experience in full but they came to conclusion that it was worse than getting caught in a tornado. Another jab entered Junzye's skin, a cocktail of drugs to keep his blood vessel elastic and his mind in barely working state.

On the other hand, the transit was historically short and thus precluding the need to strap down the liquid rebreather. Who knows however on whether each and every wormhole encountered would be as short as before? Junzye kept his mind turning, to distract himself from the groaning pain sourced to his muscles and bones. If Haishan are to explore these anomalies, some countermeasures will be required or otherwise bizarre gravity fields within wormholes will irreversibly reduce a healthy man to senility.

HVN Naviza mysteriously appeared in Lycoas System for god knows how far from Gilbert System. Majority of the sensors bristling around the large spacecraft were as confused as their human masters. Behind titanic plasma of hydrogen trailing off the spacecraft's thrusters was a hole in the sky, a tunnel of sorts to Gilbert System. A natural anomaly that cannot be explained by Haize know-how.

The spacecraft had moved head first, as a gesture to nearby Colonials that it meant no harm; pointing the atomic buffer plate toward a contact was considered as escalation assuming the Colonials knew the peculiarity of Orion-type spacecraft. HVN Naviza's sensors shrieked in pleasure on returning into normalcy as they greedily collect new found data on passive listening mode. This is different than Gilbert System all right, with unique celestial bodies and notional background radiation.

HVN Naviza lurched forward, establishing its proximity to both Morridane and Mokan spacecraft assembling to certain point in space. Soon after, short bursts of tight radio transmissions from the Haize machine linked to relevant Colonial assets for further verification means. Junzye had long stood up, in his attempt to acclimatize to weird movements of space. While the geek in him demanded on studying Lycoas System with no stone left unturned, the duty inculcated within Junzye provided restraint.

This is not a scientific mission but a combat one. He wore the interactive googles yet again as he tried to gain his bearings. Force of acceleration provided some sense of usual gravity but he was unwilling to take any chances, activating his magnetic boots in advance. No windows were in sight as Junzye made his way out of his isolated cell given HVN Naviza was built for space combat; fancy viewports would attract structural failure under combat stress.

"Greetings Flight Commander. Our preliminary analysis on biome of Gilbert V had yielded some results."

"Oh? What can you make out of it, Science Division?"

"The biome is slightly different than what we knew, especially the 'Red Grass' that Medical Officer Anza had brought. The samples are mainly carbon-based but the way they're arranged are unique."

"Interesting. Can we make use of them?"

"Hard to say, Flight Commander. We're still running tests. Most of them don't take kindly on our present situation. Our last acceleration for example, killed a number of retrieved cell samples for some odd reason."

"Hmm...we might need to request the Colonials some permission for ground side site. Keep at it."

"Orders received."

Despite being a thoroughbred pilot, the talk of alien lifeform fascinated Junzye. He was interested on whether these organisms would prove useful to Haishan, similar to one's expectation on encountering a pristine forest. Hidden treasures and pharmaceutical compounds await the bold to discover. For Junzye, he stressed on the practical aspect; if any of those xenos prove useful to reduce harmful effects of space combat, they could be a great boon for him and his crew.

Maneuvering at excess of tens of gees while having the lights knocked out doesn't bid well with his raging topgun spirit. He can endure it for a few minutes thanks to his training but a week under such forces? It will surely turn anyone into mush even if that person have a heart of steel. No amount of willpower is going to defeat the bad and ugly of physics. A male voice broke Junzye out of his stupor, his googles flashed in response.

"You may want to see this, Flight Commander."

"Hmm? What is it?"

"It seems like the Colonials are doing something, they sent out their drones to tug...a space debris. We're also picking up multiple unknown contacts, Flight Commander."

With a wave of hand, the data expanded into his vision. Colonials' assets and aforementioned objects were in view. HVN Naviza was not in range of the derelict Beaufort and thus can only make educated guesses on what it might be and its significance to the Colonials. The derelict was tagged as non-military due to lack of visible armaments while the unknown contacts were too far to be fully observed. Other motions of Colonials were closely monitored through passive acquisition means.

"Looks like the debris is important to them. Anything on the unknowns? Numbers, nationality, delta-vee?"

"Insofar Intelligence can confirm it is more than four of them out there, more to be verified. Their signatures don't match with what we have. Advice, Flight Commander?"

"Keep current course and continue minimal burn. We should hide our full capabilities from them, as long as possible."

"Acknowledged, Flight Commander. Should we hail the Colonials about the contacts?"

"Not for now. They should've seen the same thing. They already provided some data to us, so it is clear on what Intelligence had detected."

"Pirates, Flight Commander? In this day and age?"

"Perhaps. We can be never be too sure. Keep watch on Colonials' movement and report any anomalies immediately."

"As you commanded, Flight Commander."

Junzye took a light sip of the purified air. A storm is brewing on the horizon; later updates informed him that there were more of such unidentified contacts out there. They seemed to not notice HVN Naviza yet but it was a matter of time for them to recognize the huge thermal signature emitted by the entire Colonial space fleet. Preliminary analysis put them skimpier than the economized Colonials, with impressive delta-vee but little in a way of structure or armour. Perhaps the assertion on them being pirates that strayed off from Colonials' rule might be true after all.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:36 pm
by Morrdh
BSG Deadlock OST - Skirmish 3

Objective Able had been identified as an asteroid base used by pirates, located on the edge of the system's asteroid belt. Denying control of it to the pirates would help weaken their forces whilst at the same time provide the task force with a forward base to supplement Lycan Station, thus allowing the task force to deploy in a more aggressive stance rather than shuttle back and forth to Lycan Station. Objective Able was also considered a prime target for gaining intelligence on the pirates and the system as a whole. The actual capture of Objective Able would be the job of the Royal Astro-Marines (plus their allied counterparts), but they still had to reach it.

That was were the task force came in.

So far it had remain unbloodied, despite a number of contacts being detected on sensors. Though a possibility, it wasn't thought that the pirates were still unaware of the task force's presence. It seemed like the pirates, so far, were unwilling to challenge the Commonwealth's incursion into the Lycoas system. For Vice Space Marshal Paine's intelligence staff it would be both a puzzle and a source of concern. Why hadn't the pirates attacked yet? Where were they? What did they have planned?

As the task force closed in on Objective Able, very few new contacts were detected. The ones that had been picked up and tracked disappeared into the asteroid field where they were lost among the rocks and space debris. Caution was urged as the task force approached the asteroid field, plus small craft and spacefighters were launched to probe the field to see whether there were any pirate vessels laying in wait. A series of skirmishes would break out, the beginning of a long-running battle for control of the asteroid field, as patrols ran into pirate vessels lurking amidst the rocks. Theses skirmishes were sided very much against the pirates, but they weren't entirely without losses for the task force. Slowly but surely the casualty list hit double figures in the two week leading up to the attack on Objective Able.

The asteroid field present its own problems; not only did it help obscure the pirate vessels it also the restricted the task force in what ships could be used and how it approached Objective Able. The frigates of the task force were maneuverable enough to reach the target without too much hassle, even if harried by the pirates. Larger vessels like the carriers needed to take greater care as their mass meant they couldn't maneuver as easily, meaning they had to crawl through the asteroid field. Vice Space Marshal Paine's plan for taking Objective Able involved speed, so the burden would fall upon the task force's spacefighters and frigates to achieve the task force's goal.

Paine's plan called for the frigates to push through the asteroid field, then unleash a barrage of missiles soon as Objective Able came up on their scopes. The spacefighters would fly support, providing different angles to attack from and hopefully reducing the effectiveness of the target's defenses (if any existed). There would be a handful of frigates fitted out with ECM gear to provide a jamming ability to further reduce the effectiveness of the enemy's defenses. A second of specially fitted frigates would follow, each one carrying what looked like a pair of oversized missiles. These were effectively boarding torpedoes; an armoured nose cone and powerful rockets to help it penetrate a target for the squad of marines inside to then board. The marines themselves were strapped into harnesses and crash nets, additionally they wore pressure suits under their armoured space suits to help cope with the stress of high-g forces.

The marine's part of taking Objective Able involved a vanguard force in boarding torpedoes to force a boarding of the asteroid base and then secure whatever the base processed in way of a hanger bay. Once the hanger bay was secured, a second wave of marines would be ferried across in shuttles to relieve the vanguard and then capture the asteroid base. It was expected to be a long and brutal fight, one corridor at a time in what was effective a close quarter battle. The Commonwealth's Royal Astro-Marines would be armed with 9mm SMGs, a weapon better suited for CQB environments than the Commonwealth's standard infantry weapon the SLR. The RAMs would have grenades, but nothing much in the way of heavy weapons other than light machine guns.

Paine's planners were protecting a 60% casualty rate for the marines, much higher for those in the vanguard action.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:54 pm
by Mokastana
FEM Dazhbog
Combat briefing

“Cosmonauts, pay attention. As you all know, while the Commonwealth forces lead the bulk of off the fight and keep the pirates distracted, we're going in through the back. Our pilots will use the asteroids to shield us and drop us off on the target. We're going to be escorted by four fighters and the Ullr.

Once we hit the target, its going to be up to us to crack open the tin can. We don't have the fancy horns the RAMs use to slam into the side of the station. We're going to be approaching on foot. That means ground spikes and rope from the LZ to the target. When we get there, we'll blast a hole in the side of the complex and if we're lucky they will still be pressurized and the breach will do the hard work for us. If not we'll toss in phosphates until it's safe to enter. Once we're in, we'll seal the hole behind us with a portable air lock. From there its clearing the base airlock by airlock. Make sure ballistic shields are always on point.

I think you understand by now that this is a buttoned up operation. I want all suits secured, and buddy check each other's armor. Make sure plates are secured and rifles ready. We load up in 5 minutes!”

When it came to space combat, or any combat for that matter, soldier survival was always top priority. In this case they started with an advanced semi-rigid space suit withshort range radio communication and 8 hours of life support. This was coated with Lyran ‘Arachne’ fabric giving the suit at least a IIIA rating, protecting it from most 9mm rounds used by commonwealth forces. On top of this base, pockets and hooks attached ceramic ballistic plates to key areas on the chest, shoulders, and legs. Armor rated to stop 7.62mm rounds, the largest common round in space. Even the helmet had ballistic glass on its outer layer rated to stop up to .50 caliber rounds. It was a bulky suit, and heavy, but in space any bullet could be an instant kill, so it was more important to stop them.

For in station combat, the theoretical tactics would be put to the test today. Squads were 8 men each: two powered armored units carrying ballistic shields for airlock penetration, 4 SMG riflemen, and 2 heavy rifleman. The powered armored units and SMG riflemen would carry Vityaz-SN 9mm submachine guns, while the two heavy riflemen would carry Kel-Tec RFB in case of armored targets. Thermal weapons and grenades would be spread among the squad. In total, 32 of these heavily armored soldiers would be joining in the siege of the station.

That’s because the attacking force was small, meant to sneak in during the chaos. Four escort fighters from the Carrier, a single Orca Class fitted for Interdiction duty, and one Coztic dropship. The dropship was traditionally used for space to atmo drops, meaning that it would be handling even more like a block of wood in this environment, but it was the best mass transport the PUF had for the battle. Luckily, the escorts would be able to strike first at any potential threat. The fighters each had duel 30mm guns, one on each wing and enough fuel to spin themselves in any direction, while the FEM Ullr has 3x 30mm guns it could rotate in any direction, plus 4x missile tubes and enough countermeasures to protect itself and the Coztic dropship. The latter of which was armed only with a 25mm gun and a pair of anti-craft missiles.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:01 pm
by Morrdh
Operations Room 'Ops'
HMMS Athena

"...Victor Squadron...BREAK! BREAK! BREAK!..."

"...Red Two! Ye gots one on yer tail!..."

"...Sabre Leader is gone! I repeat, Sabre Leader is gone!..."

"...I see bandits! Half dozen at two-five angels, high!..."

"...Green Three sitrep, answer me dammit!..."

Tanner sighed and took off the headphones and placed them on a hook under the plotting table, though the latter was looking as bewildering and chaotic as the radio chatter. The plotting table, and the Perspex panels for the 'air' plots, were as equally chaotic looking as the radio chatter sounded. Though it was his job to try and make some sense of it all, thankfully his training helped with that regard...up to a point. Thanks to the asteroid field, the Athena had to rely on sensor data relaid from other vessels. It was Ops' job to sort out that data, removing duplicates where possible, but it still seemed to be a jumbled mess. The task force's spacefighters had made contact with their pirate counterparts, that much was clear, though it had rapidly turned into a dogfight amidst the giant tumbling forms of space rock. It was a dance that Tanner was glad he didn't have to dance, craft from both sides had fallen foul of the asteroids they were trying to dart around.

"Bombers now in range, commencing barrage."

The announcement brought Tanner's attention back to the main battle, it meant that the designated 'bomber' or missile armed frigates were now in firing range of Objective Able. He watched as each frigate confirmed missile launches in turn, noticing that his friend's ship the Dauntless was among those assigned to 'bomber' duty. The various plots were continuously updated as the flight of each missile was tracked; some stop short as they fell prey to the target's defences, but close to two-thirds made it through. Tanner noted approvingly that the number of missiles hitting the target gradually increased after each successive hit, indicating that the target's defences were being knocked out.

"Ewes making final approaches, lambs away."

A smile came to Tanner's over the callsigns chosen for the frigates and craft for the Royal Astro Marine's assault on the target, somebody somewhere had chosen them based on the RAM acronym of the Marines. It had apparently met with a mix response from the Marines, particularly when the association was made with 'lambs to the slaughter'. Most, thankfully, had taken it in their strive as part of military banter. But that didn't stop Tanner dwelling on the association...

Clad in his armoured space suit and held tight by crash straps, Lance-Corporal Masefield tried to control his breathing as he felt the 'kick' of the craft's rockets firing. He wasn't sure how many Gs he was pulling, but the pressure suit he wore helped keep the blood in his head and thus prevent him from passing out. Corporal Gage, the section's commander, had his personal coms tuned into the task force's main coms channel to keep him appraised of the wider tactical situation. Though the corporal had remained tight-lipped, only switching to the section's own coms channel to let them know when their craft was about to be launched from its mothership.

All Masefield could do was wait, wait as the assault craft rocketed across the void towards Objective Able. Time seemed to pass agonizingly slow until, at last, a buzzer sounded to warn the section that the craft was about to impact its target. The reinforced and hardened tip of the craft was driven hard into the asteroid by its powerful rockets. Masefield felt the straps bite and stop him from going flying as the craft suddenly decelerated amidst the screaming and grinding of tortured metal upon rock. Once the craft had came to a complete halt and Masefield had a moment to recover his wits, he slammed the quick release button for the straps with his fist before grabbing his weapon and making sure it was ready.

Corporal Gage was standing by to pop the craft's hatch, until they did so it was uncertain where they'd ended up. They could be on the asteroid's surface or they could've been driven deep enough to reach the base's interior base, though that was unknown until somebody popped their head through the hatch and had a look. The craft also carried mining drills in case they found nothing but rock once they'd opened hatch, thankfully the hatch was bale to be opened inwards if this was the case. Though, after quickly checking the tactical net, Gage was able to report that some of the other RAM sections had managed to penetrate the asteroid.

Masefield's tensed up and gripped his weapon tightly as the Corporal counted down the hatch being opened. "Three... Two... One... NOW!"

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:43 pm
by Mokastana
The Morridane barrage had worked, and their RAMs had charged in. Now, the PUF would bring in the heavy infantry. Upon getting up close, the FEM Ullr would fire missiles at any point defenses that might threaten the landing party, flanked by the four fighters that released smaller guided missiles to disable enemy guns. The Ullr coordinated the fire as the LZ was cleared, while the fighters remained on call providing covering fire with their 30mm Armor piercing rounds.

It wasn't long before the transport ship was attempting a quick landing. Opening the rear door, the powered armored units stood, shields up protecting the troops in case of enemy fire. Behind them cosmonauts fired metallic spikes into the asteroids surface, getting a connection that the troops could use to get grounded. Once the lines were secure, the first squad made land fall, its two powered units landing first and kneeling, acting as a shield for the following soldiers. The rest came after, securing the initial spike with a few more, securing an anchor before moving forward and planting another spike 10 meters away. The cosmonauts leap fogged like this, planting spikes every ten meters, building a rope to the target location and keeping them secured down, much like a team of mountain climbers might have ropes connecting them all to the wall and each other. Each squad would have its own line, and once all were away from the transport, the initial lines would be cut and the transport headed back to the FEM Ullr where it would be escorted back to friendly lines. For now, the heavy infantry was on its own.

Now came the breach.

Rather than breaking down the airlock, they had targeted an exposed wall, a sonar scan revealed it was thin enough to blast through, so the first shape charges were set. Positioning themselves away from the blast, they detonate the charge, and the explosive decompression told them that the breach was good. A large man sized hole now existed in the wall and the first squad took up breaching duty. A few flash bangs and frag grenades were tossed in first, before the massive armored bodies of the powered suits went in, shields up followed closely by the rest of the squad. Sub machine guns ready to clean out any possible defenders in suits. Once they had secured the entrance, a crew would attach the "instant airlock" to the hole, creating a seal on the wall with fast acting hardening foam, one on the outside, and one on the inside.

They had broken in, now all that remained was to clear it out.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:50 pm
by Morrdh
Masefield's section hurried down the passageway, managing to cover a fair bit of ground as they met very little in the way of resistance. The pirates seemed to be slow to react, the few that the section had encountered barely had time to don any sort of armour and had grabbed the first available weapon. It also meant that the pirates hadn't mounted a credible defence, thus things were going very strongly in the favour of the RAMs as they advanced deeper into the asteroid base. Corporal Gage, in between listening to the tactical net, reported that all the vanguard teams had managed to breach the base and were moving to secure the hanger.

Going TOO well... Mused Masefield, though no sooner as the thought occurred there was a cry up ahead. Another member of the section, a lad named Bramley, had stepped round the corner and had a hail of gunfire erupt right in front of him. Rounds pinged off Bramley's armoured space suit like an angry hailstorm, ricocheting bullets bouncing off him and the walls as the corridor was filled with hot lead. Bramley fell back, the torso of his armour blackened and dented with what looked like hundreds of hammer blows. The lad was also screaming, one or two rounds from the sustained bout of fire had managed to pierce his armour due to the punishment it received.

"Contact! Wait out!" Corporal Gage called out over the tactical net, though the channel was filling up with similar calls from other sections as they ran into the first serious resistance they'd encountered. Masefield risked a glance round the corner and yanked his head back as more gunfire hammered down the passageway, thankfully a quick glimpse was all he needed. The pirates had setup a barricade at the far end of the corridor and dug in behind, they also had what looked like heavy machine guns and perhaps an autocannon. Enough firepower to be a very serious problem for Masefield's section, they'd take serious casualties trying to get through. It was also a problem that the other sections of the vanguard were encountering, something that was making the casualty estimate of the Vice Space Marshal's staff an optimistic figure.

They needed to do something before the assault ran the real risk of being halted in its tracks...