NATION

PASSWORD

Operation: INDIGO BELL (UCA Only, FT, CLOSED)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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The Federation of Star Systems
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Conservative Democracy

Operation: INDIGO BELL (UCA Only, FT, CLOSED)

Postby The Federation of Star Systems » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:53 pm

FSS Constitution, Republica-Class Battlecruiser
Command Deck
OPERATION: Indigo Bell Staging Point
Kalonda System
0254 Concordia Standard Time





After more than nine months of silence across the Neutral Zone dividing Federation and UCA space, orders trickled down from Nova Arra on the details of Operation: INDIGO BELL, a series of tactical strikes against crucial UCA military outposts and listening stations across nine border systems, devoted to watching out for incoming Federation forces and warning the Colonial brass at Citadel Station. Operation: Indigo Bell was one of nine separate operations being carried out by multiple other fleets in support of Operation: STARDUST SONATA, a massive invasion carried out by every branch of the military, incorporating every available asset to funnel through the systems cleared by the Constitution and her fellow ships and launch out into a spiderweb pattern across Colonial core systems. The stakes for this operation were high. Too high for failure. If any of the nine Operations allowed any sort of warning to reach Citadel, Colonial brass would mobilize every available fleet and shore up the border systems, sending our fleets slamming into a prepared Alliance defense like waves on jagged rocks. Casualties for the Federation would be catastrophic, despite superior technology and firepower. It would transform from an easy one-two combo to UCA core worlds to a bloody knife-fight in a dark alley. The trick that made this operation not as easy as it could be was that Federation brass wanted these stations and listening posts captured, not destroyed. Otherwise, a signal jammer and a few Hullbuster-type missiles would close the book on Operation: INDIGO BELL. Since the upper echelon of the Federation navy liked things the hard way, now they required boarding parties, limiting the use of heavy weapons and preparing the med-bay for casualties. Even the smallest listening post carried a company of Marines and all UCA staff, even the cooks, knew how to operate like a Federation Army grunt. Admiral Booker gave the UCA credit where it was due, they knew how to train their boys. While the brass wanted the stations operational, the same couldn't be said for the personnel inside the station.

Admiral Nathan Booker and seventeen other Admirals sat through a three-hour long briefing on their targets, crucial target points, station defenses, system maps and preferred methods of engagement, even though Booker knew their "methods", opinions more like, were like assholes: everybody had one and they all stunk. Admiral Booker of the Constitution and Rear Admiral Devers of the Dauntless would be responsible for the Catana System, an empty little backwater home to a Class V gas giant circling around an F-Class Star. Stills from FEDINT probes showed the target: a UCA space station, a very big station. The fact that it wasn't something small like the listening post of 4 men and two relay stations that Admiral Stewart of the Fearless and Admiral Marona of the Sovereign received made Booker's stomach sink. Because of how large the station it was and how many men and ships were docked there, he would have to preside over a pitched space battle followed by a bloody fight against at least a full Battalion of UCA regulars, maybe even a few Berserker operators to boot. FEDINT detailed how Onoka Station used to be a commercial trading post that served the surrounding ten systems, formerly home to cutthroats, crime bosses, and mercenaries until Colonial Alliance destroyers and Berserkers "evicted" them, for lack of a better word. Now, it was a border security stronghold, one of three spread out across the border that monitored the smaller stations and posts. There was a silver lining at least. The only ships docked to Onoka Station seemed to be mainly civilian freighters, probably hired by the UCA to drop in supplies so the troops there wouldn't starve. FEDINT targeted one Colonial Alliance shuttle, markings seem to imply it belonged to a high ranking political official, probably getting the grand tour of their border facilities to save face and help him get re-elected to their snobby little conclave full of traitors and back-biters. After Operation: STARDUST SONATA, their days would be numbered. If that shuttle was still there by the time of the launch, Booker and Devers agreed to take it down first, just for kicks.

The entire ship was bustling with activity as the strike force awaited the green light for the Operation. Hangar crews were lifting J4 Halberds and J7 Lancers from storage, getting them warmed up and ready for the whole wing to deploy. Pilots were getting briefed on their formations and attack patterns, hoping to minimize losses and maximize efficiency. They would have to move fast to clear out the Alliance fighters and clear the way for boarding spears to punch through Onoka's armor plating and flood the corridors with Marines. Admiral Booker requested a full company of Legionnaires to help give them an edge, what with home-field advantage an all. His request was denied on the account that "Legionnaire battalions were preparing for STARDUST SONATA and could not be spared." Thanks, Command. Thought Booker as he looked over the strike force roster once more, detailing the two Republica-Class Battlecruisers and Victorious-Class Heavy Cruiser, the Warspite, commanded by Captain John Beckham, a veteran officer with one Liberty-Class kill and three Victory-Class Light Cruisers, all confirmed. An outstanding record. The man would have made Admiral by now if he wasn't so outspoken in his political views. Disagree with the wrong politicians and they'll make sure you're stuck on Captain 'till you retire. The rest of the Constitution was locked down and ready to dance. Marines were already seated in their assault shuttles and boarding spears, pilots were exfilling from the briefing rooms to their crafts, gunners were at station, engineers were standing by for potential damage control, medics were stockpiling stims and surgery kits, standing by with gurneys at the entrances to the hangars, and techs were at station, ready to conduct cyberwarfare operations and jam every system on that station. They wouldn't have much time. They would need to jump in close to the station to get a good jam in. If the station had an Artificial Intelligence, they would have a maximum of thirty minutes to take out exterior defenses, fight through the station to the A.I. Node Core and disable it before the A.I. had the chance to fight through the jam and ping out a distress call to the closest core fleets. Federal Intelligence assured the strike admirals that none of these stations had anything above a Smart VI. It wouldn't be the first time FEDINT was wrong, but were they going to be held responsible for their miscall? Hell no.

The operations were set to begin at 0330, when the Republica-Classes would roll in and establish their jamming wave and take the first step towards a complete decimation of the Colonial Alliance Navy before they even had a chance to organize. But only if every strike force pulled off their objective. Booker ran the scenario over and over again in his head. Rush in, jam, take out fighters and exterior defenses while sending every damn spear and shuttle we got, roll over lazy Alliance defenders, take the station. Nothing to it.
Last edited by The Federation of Star Systems on Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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The Unified Colonial Alliance
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Democratic Socialists

Postby The Unified Colonial Alliance » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:57 pm

Station Central Control
UCA Onoka Station
Catana System, Edge of Unified Colonial Alliance Space
0845 Local System Time




The large bulkhead doors of Onoka's Central Station hissed open as Commander Delin Alune walked in, walking briskly with motivation with each footfall. "Tenshun!" Yelled one of the two Masters-at-Arms that stood at the side of the door, pulse rifle strapped to his chest, black cap pulled down low to his eyes. His abrupt announcement caused all fifteen officers in the room to scramble to their feet, standing as stiff as a door and eyes glued forward. "At ease." Said Commander Alune as he caressed his freshly shaved face staring down at a datapad that detailed a systems malfunction at 0347, briefly shutting down overhead lighting in the Engineering Department. "Does anyone want to explain to me why Engineering had to work with only their headlamps for almost two hours?" Asked the Commander, his hands raised in open palmed "I don't know" pose. The room went quiet. The Commander sighed, "Don't everybody answer at once." His pompous Eborian accent thick as he spoke. A brave command tech stood up from his station and turned to face the Commander, standing in parade rest. "Sir, Engineering reports a repair-in-progress that was incorrectly done. Junior Engineer Private Wyln Cavadora has assumed responsibility, sir." Said the tech. "Ah. I see." Said the Commander as he paced around the room, placing the datapad down onto the desk next to his command chair. "If you cannot ensure an action will be done properly, always request assistance from the Senior officer on duty." Said the Commander, anger beginning to billow from his throat. "Request an enlisted transfer from Citadel for Private Cavadora. Until we get a response, he gets P.T. at 0300 every morning. Master-At-Arms, ensure my order is followed." He said as he turned to the Senior Master-at-Arms, who shot the Commander back with a salute and promptly marched out of the Control room.

Commander Alune always ran a tight ship wherever he went. Since he graduated from the Advanced War Officer College on Harmony four years ago, Alune preaches the UCA Book of Rules and Regulations to all those under his command. And breaking even a single one of his tenants can result in your transfer. He's posed a problem to Colonial Navy brass in the past. He's requested enlisted and non-commissioned transfers 31 times since his promotion to Commander for his two-year command tour of the CMS Alagora. But since his father is the Sector Representative of Home System, the UCA has had no choice but to do what they can to pander to his requests. Commander Alune straightened the buttons on his pristine and sleek gold and blue officer's uniform before sitting down neatly in his command chair, raising the datapad from his desk once more to access Station-wide status updates. He scrolled through each of them, reading them carefully. He was very pleased with how the station was reporting. All thirty heavy ion turrets were operational, kinetic shielding was operating at 100%, the 24th Squadron was carrying out routine patrols, Hangar bays one through four had QRF Preyhunters spun up and ready, pilots awaiting in their cockpits as usual, the regular army's 313th Battalion was running standard P.T. until 0900, then they would conduct routine patrols throughout the station, status reports from Listening Posts Alpha through Gamma reported all clear on the border. He enjoyed this peace and quiet before having to spend the rest of the day with that godforsaken Senator Willsburg, a decrepit old man who still believed the people of his system actually liked him. He'd been here for four days already, inspecting the troops, giving speeches, disrupting his routines. Alune didn't care for it and couldn't wait for him to leave. "It's only temporary. Humor the old man before he gets the rug thrown out from under him back at the Senate." His father had told him after Commander Delin had called wanting to know why a Senator was all the way out here. Commander Alune looked out to the screens displaying external cameras of the station and the space outward from every angle. His eyes stuck to the view of the gas giant, named ZT-8-654, a celestial body not important enough to garner an actual name. He watched as the thick layers of clouds and gas spun and swirled over the horizon. A posting here was boring, but in some ways it was quite beautiful. He arose from his position, looking around at the busy bunch of command staff. "Let's just get this over with." The Commander thought to himself as he turned and walked to the exit that would lead to Portside Batteries, where the Commander had instructed the Senator to wait for him there.
Last edited by The Unified Colonial Alliance on Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby The Federation of Star Systems » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:04 pm

FSS Constitution, Republica-Class Battlecruiser
Situation Room, Bridge
Operation: INDIGO BELL
Kalonda System
0320 Concordia Standard Time




As time trickled down to the green light for INDIGO BELL, Admiral Nathan Booker took a seat in his chair surrounding the table that would host Admiral Devers and Captain Beckham electronic shadow that would suffice as them, lighting them up in a bright blue silhouette of themselves. After what felt like an eternity of pacing back and forth while double, triple and quadruple checking Operation objectives, ship-wide updates and mission critical checklists, ensuring everything was in place, Admiral Devers was the first to join the session. The two Admirals locked eyes and a simple nod was all that needed said. Admiral Devers was a thirty-three year old admiral but the stress of his position gave him the worst crow's feet and wrinkles. Booker could tell this man was being worked too hard. Captain Beckham joined in shortly after. "Admirals." Beckham said in recognition of them. "Welcome, Captain. We don't have any time to waste. Are your ships prepared?" Asked Booker. While Booker and Devers were of the same rank, Federation Operations Command appointed Admiral Nathan Booker as Operation Commander. Booker felt Devers was more qualified after being involved in fourteen operations prior to the nine month long hiatus both sides were enjoying, but once FedOpComm made their decision, they hardly ever withdrew it. "The Dauntless is ready, Admiral. On your lead." Said Admiral Devers confidently. "Warspite is itching for a fight, Admiral. Lead on." Said the Captain, nodding in approval as time ticked down for the start of INDIGO BELL. Admiral Booker nodded to both of them in return. "We know the plan, fellows." Booker said, dropping the proper officer etiquette for a moment before they invaded Catana. "We go in hot, hit 'em with everything we got and take the station. Gods help us." Said the Admiral before ending the session and rising from the seat, the seat's stabilizers re-correcting to a standard upright position.

The doors leading from the Situation Room to the Command Deck hissed and irised open, revealing all the eyes of the command staff, awaiting orders. The entire deck felt quiet as the grave as Booker's footsteps clacked loudly on his way back to the captain's chair. He took a seat and examined his watch. 0328, he thought in his head. "Punch in coordinates and prepare to jump." Ordered the Admiral, receiving an "aye, sir" from the ship's navigational officer. The low hum of the Lightdrive filled every corridor of the behemoth of a ship. It didn't take long for the ship's Lightdrive to warm up and punch in the coordinates for the point of entry into the system. Booker's watch read 0329. "Engage!" Ordered the Admiral with a renewed passion in his voice. The still stars that filled the darkness swirled and spun before the black was replaced with flashing white and blue, a stiff pull jerking the Admiral back as the ship's gravity stabilizers and inertia dampeners worked overtime to keep everyone was splattering against the wall to their backs.

Catana System




After a brief twenty-five second trip through Lightspace, the Constitution and Warspite ruptured space and time around them as they jumped in, one-thousand kilometers from Onoka Station. The Constitution's kinetic barriers and advanced shielding shrouded the entire ship, revealing a thin blue overlay across the ship before it faded and equalized. The ship groaned as it steered to it's portside, revealing the full arsenal of it's GJS-124 30mm guns, capable of tearing rebel fighters apart with minimal effort should they get close enough. "Admiral, the Dauntless hasn't arrived yet. Comms indicate it's having Lightdrive issues." Said one of the techs responsible for Operations Overwatch. Booker stared down the tech as he bit the inside of his mouth. He knew something would happen. He felt it, somehow. "Nevermind that now, initiate jamming, launch all fighters and interceptors and prepare assault shuttles and spears for immediate departure once our flyboys open up a hole. Any ships that try to flee, instruct our squadrons to shoot them down, military and civilian. Looks like Dauntless is just gonna have to miss all the fun. Instruct Warspite to do the same.

Second Wing, First Squadron, "Gray Wolves"
Assigned to the FSS Constitution
0332 Concordia Standard Time





"Gray Lead to all Squadron Leads, Gray Wolves are taking point. Requesting sound off of all Squadron leads." Said Commander Steven "Lucky" Andrews, a veteran pilot and lead of First Squadron, first out of the hangar, gunning towards Onoka Station with his engines burning low to give the rest sufficient time to get into formation. One by one, the Squadrons would form up and push forth. "Gunfighter Lead, checking in."
"Blue Fox Lead to Gray Wolf Lead, let's kick some ass, Commander."
"This is Knight Lead, let's do it."
"Royal Lead, you boys miss me?"
"Eagle Lead, checking in."
"Red Devil Lead, ready to go loud."
"This is Black Jack Lead, ready to burn some Collies."
"Vampire Lead checking in, and next time just say rebels, Black Jack Lead."
"This is Ghostrider Leader, following you in, Commander."

"All Squadrons reporting in, standby for rendezvous with Warspite Squadrons." Ordered Lucky as he turned his head to see Gray Two coming up on his starboard side, wagging it's wings in at Gray Lead. "Yeah, I see you too, Gray Two." Said Lucky, giving a slight wag in return. Each squadron formed in a four-finger pattern, continuing to approach at a slow speed. From the portside, Gray Lead watched as two squadrons approached. "Reaper Lead to Gray Lead, mind if we join in on the fun?" Asked Commander Vex Artheris, squadron lead for Warspite. "Always, Reaper Lead." Said Lucky as Reaper and Warhawk Squadrons phased into the organized cloud of J7 Lancers and J4 Halberds. "All Squadrons formed up, increase speed." Said Gray Lead, pushing the throttle up to the halfway mark. All one-hundred and thirty-one spacecraft followed suit, gunning right for the station, watching it grow ever larger in their cockpits.

Bridge of the Constitution
0335 Concordia Standard Time





The Admiral watched as his and Warspite's Squadrons would be the first to engage, hopefully knocking down enough Preyhunters to give the shuttles a chance to move to the station without becoming missile sponges. "Any updates on the Dauntless?" Asked Booker to the nearby Operations Overwatch officer. "Dauntless has recorded a critical Lightdrive malfunction. Federation Operations Command has instructed us to continue on without them." A growl emanated deep in Booker's throat. He figured one Republica and Victorious would do the job, but you could never have enough ships out in enemy territory, even if it was just at the border.
Last edited by The Federation of Star Systems on Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby The Unified Colonial Alliance » Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:10 pm

Aft Top Barracks
UCA Onoka Station
Catana System, Edge of Unified Colonial Alliance Space
0914 Local System Time





"As you can see, Senator. We run a very tight ship here. At the edge of Colonial space, we can afford no less. Onoka Station is one of many along the edge of our space that separates civilized territory from unspeakable things within the Neutral Zone. As it also borders with the Federation and since they cannot attack from any other angle except for traveling through the NZ, we also provide watch for any signs of a Federation invasion. Said Commander Alune as he and Senator Willsburg crept through the rows of orderly, neat beds, Marines standing at firm attention on both sides. "Ah, Federation attack, pfft." The Senator scoffed at the idea that the Federation was so brave. "Ever since our Navy sent them running with their tails between their legs at Stanton, we haven't heard so much as a peep from them. We've shown them that, after ten years, you cannot dismiss our ideals so easily, not with the brave men such as yourselves willing to fight and die for them. The found that out the hard way, didn't they?" Said the Senator, loud enough to be heard by every Marine in that company across the Aft Top Barracks, as if he were beginning his campaign now, here, to the Marines of Onoka Station, starting with a bit of asskissing. How ridiculous, thought Commander Alune as he stared down at his feet, shaking his head faintly. "Senator, if we may, I would very much like to show you the gardens lining the halls of the Rec Plaza, it's simply-" His attempt to garner the old man's attention was interrupted by the electronic klaxon of the station's alarms. It nearly caused the old senator to have a heart attack and jump out of his skin all at the same time. Honestly, Commander Alune wouldn't mind that too much at the moment. The Station's announcement system pinged two times before the voice of Lieutenant Commander Jennifer Mallory blasted over the comms. "Commander Alune, please report to Central Control. All personnel to your battlestations. This is not a drill, I repeat, this is not a drill." The room went from silent to filled to the brink with activity as the Marines hustled to the Armories, nearly knocking Senator Willsburg off of his feet before Commander Alune caught him. "You two!" he screamed as two Marines jogged past them, grabbing their attention. "Get the Senator to his shuttle, now! Senator, you must get off the station immediately." Said the Commander before quickly sprinting off towards the right side exit, closest to the elevator that would lead him to Aft Tram System and then to Central Control.

***


Alune rushed through the bulkhead doors, barely giving them enough time to open before he slipped through. "What's going on?" He ordered to Lieutenant Commander Mallory, a full foot shorter than the six foot Commander, her amber hair tied into a tight bun. As he asked the question, his eyes darted to the screens, seeing exactly how bad the situation had become. "Two Federation ships just jumped in, a Republica-Class and a Victorious-Class. They've already deployed Lancers and Halberds, three full squadrons, sir." Lt. Cmdr Mallory reported. Three full squadrons to deal with one watch station? It caused the Commander's head to ponder a bit. Onoka's shielding could withstand a barrage from a Victorious-Class, but certainly not a Republica. He wondered why they didn't rain down hell on the station. "Only Lancers and Halberds, no bombers?" Said the Commander inquisitively. "No sir, just interceptors and fighters." They want to take the station, Alune thought in his head. "Send a distress beacon to the Ninth Fleet, they aren't going to destroy us. I think they want the station." Said the Commander.

"Sir, we can't. The Federation vessels are jamming communications and our arrays aren't strong enough to get even a ping out." Said the station's communications technician, running her fingers all over the keyboards in an attempt to break through manually, which didn't work. The station's QRF force plus the squadron of Preyhunters in the hangars would only amount to 25 fighters. They would wipe them out easily. A thought breached the Commander's mouth. "Get every shuttle and ship with a lightdrive out of here, now. If we can get a ship out, we can warn the fleet. Get them out, now!" Said the Commander, hoping to use the Preyhunters to cover the shuttles retreats. Beside from the Senator's shuttle, which was only just now warming up, there were three independently owned freighters, contracted by the UCA to run supplies to the border stations. The message would be relayed to them. With only twenty-five fighters to work with, it didn't bode well, and all the Commander could do was wait and see. "When the civilians and the Senator launched, get our fighters up there. I want them to buy as much time as they can. Fire everything we have at those fighters, everything. Re-direct all non-critical power to the barriers, and get the Marines ready to repel boarders." The telltale signs were there for a boarding, and as he watched the Republica-Class turn to it's starboard, it was clear now.

***


Corporal Davis climbed up the ladder that would lead to the Aft Turret 4, his posting in the event of an enemy attack, his spotter, Private Moore, climbing close behind him. Contorting himself so he could use his right foot to jump off the wall and propel himself into the seat of his bulbous cockpit, he climbed into the seat and buckled in, flicking on the pod's power systems and warming up the 30mm quad-cannons. The screens and buttons lit up in yellow and orange lighting as he placed his hands around the yoke that controlled the pod's movements and fire. He grabbed the thin headset and placed it on his head, automatically hearing chatter from the other turret gunners spread out across the station. "This is Aft Turret number four, reporting in." He spoke as watched his spotter climb into the seat on the other side of the ladder, where he would call out targets and watch for any enemies looking to try a strafing run on the turret. All gunners, this is Major Sampson, you are cleared for fire. Repeat, you are clear for fire." The deep voice of Major Sampson yelled out through the microphone. Davis looked out at the Federation ships then the cloud of fighters that was slowly making it's way here. Davis held the trigger down tightly, causing the pod to shake with each volley of fire. puh puh, puh puh, puh puh the turret let loose a steady stream of cannonfire as he soon felt the entire station shake as the aft heavy ion cannons opened fire on the enemy fighters. With six turrets and five cannons unleashing a thick unholy wave after wave of massive green ion bolts and depleted uranium rounds. "Now that's a proper welcome!" Yelled Private Moore in response to seeing the fireworks show, courtesy of Onoka Station.

***


"Commander, the Senator's shuttle is uncoupling from the dock, so is the Strontium Mule and Merchant's Grace. Onoka's Shuttle One, Two, and Three are leaving Portside Hangar Bay." Reported the comm technician. Commander Alune stood up from his chair and walked to the cameras. "Send out the fighters, tell the turrets and cannons to clear a lane. I haven't seen any missiles yet. Don't we have anti-fighters?!" Ordered the Commander, watching the screen of heavy turret and cannon fire.

"They're still being loaded, sir. Crews report Battery One and Two will be ready to fire in thirty seconds, Batteries Three and four will be ready in two minutes." Said one of the officers in charge of weapons overview. The Commander hissed back at the officer. "Nothing takes two minutes! Tell them to get them ready to fire in one minute or I'll send them all to the airlock!" Yelled the Commander. Death by airlock wasn't unheard of out here at the Edge. Transporting unruly civilians and personnel all the way to the nearest sector headquarters was costly and involved too much paperwork. Many stations resorted to station-based courts of officers and the Commander of the station as Judge, shaving off the fueling costs for the prisoner shuttle, the need to gather a tribunal session at Sector Headquarters, and the further burden to the UCA's already burgeoning prisoner population. It was much easier to rule a murderer guilty then space him. None of the UCA Command structure or the politicians at Harmony would agree, but as long as these stations kept the Federation from knocking at their front door, they looked over it. The Commander tried to hold himself together, even though he was betting all his cards on just a single ship or transport getting out. If they didn't, there would be no way to contact the Ninth Fleet. He wasn't ready to die or become a Federation prisoner-of-war. He wasn't as brave as Lieutenant Commander Mallory, who commanded the heavy destroyer CMS Resolution at the Battle of Stanton. Her performance there was both awe-inspiring and irresponsible. After a heavy exchange of fire between the Resolution and a Federation destroyer, she rammed the destroyer with her ship, causing both ships to go down. In this war, the UCA needed their ships more than the Federation needed theirs. Her superiors weren't happy, but they recognized bravery. So they gave her the rank of Lieutenant Commander and stuck her out here at the border. She didn't like the posting, but what could you expect after you got thirty-eight crewmembers of the Resolution killed?

Onoka Defense Squadron, "Pit Vipers"
Viper Four


Lieutenant Alisha Banks closed her canopy over her, finally getting the green light to deploy. For what felt like an eternity, she was stuck in her cockpit, waiting to get at the Federation bastards so those ships could get out. Honestly, she didn't need a reason and she didn't care they were outnumbered by a huge margin. She had been wanting revenge for a long time now and as long as she dragged down a few dozen down with her, it would be worth it. She grabbed the picture of her brother, his arm resting around her neck as they took a picture at what appeared to be a carnival in the background, the ferris wheel lit up in yellow, orange and red lights. She kissed the picture of him and placed it back inside her sleeve pocket. "This one's for you, Donnie." She spoke aloud as the Preyhunter lifted off of the ground and bringing it's three landing gears back inside. She pushed up on the throttle and taxied out of the hangar, meeting up with Viper Lead.

"Reading all Vipers up. Form up, position Five! Vipers Two, Six, Eight, Eleven, you're all up for shuttle escort. Get a move on, kids." Said Viper Lead. She watched as the assortment of four Preyhunters detached from their formation and bee-lined to the six spacecraft departing from the Starboard side, hitting their boosters in an attempt to clear the station and punch in the coordinates for the Ninth Fleet. For those commercial ships and the Station's shuttles, it would still take at least forty-five seconds for the Lightdrives to warm up enough to make the jump. The Senator's, well, she wasn't too sure. Living in the lap of luxury allowed them to use cutting-edge technology in all of their ships. She heard from a buddy that one of the transport shuttles on Citadel Station could jump out in eight seconds after undocking. If the Senator's shuttle had the same technology, we'll be seeing the Ninth Fleet here in about two minutes to utterly kick some ass. ""Damn, that sure is alot of Feddies." Said Viper Three. "Cut the chatter, Viper Three. The only action those pilots have ever seen have been the inside of a sim-pod. Let's show these bastards how Alliance pilots even the odds!" Said Viper Lead, smashing down on the boosters, nearly leaving behind the squadron. "Hell yeah!" Yelled Alisha, pushing her boosters to the red, the rest of the squadron following close behind. As the enemies got within weapons range, Alisha held down the trigger, unleashing a fury of red pulse laser fire from her twin T-95 Laser Pulse Cannons, hoping to get the jump on any of the dozen fighters ahead within her helmet's targeting HUD.

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The Federation of Star Systems
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Conservative Democracy

Postby The Federation of Star Systems » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:44 pm

Second Wing, First Squadron, "Gray Wolves"
Assigned to the Constitution
0352 Concordia Standard Time




As the storm of slugs and ion ripped through the formations, Lucky weaved left and right, hoping that he wouldn't catch a slug or green-hued ion bolt right in the cockpit. The squadron unified comm link was abuzz in traffic as pilots called out their moves or screaming out that they were hit, if they didn't explode immediately from the station's deadly screen. "Preyhunters coming in!" Called out Royal Six on the comm. "We just lost Eagle Lead!" yelled out another pilot. Lucky's HUD displayed it as being Eagle Nine. "Knights Four, Six, Twelve and Five are down!" Lucky kept his eyes darting on the station and the space surrounding it. His eyes immediately caught what looked like six larger ships throttling away from the station. "This is Gray Lead, I have eyes on six ships attempting to flee from the station. I'm going in to engage, anyone who feels like playing cat-and-mouse, come with me!" yelled Lucky as he performed a barrel roll, rolling out of the Gray Wolves formation, three of his fellow Wolves following behind. "This is Gray Three, I'm coming."
"Gray Five to Lead, I love cat-and-mouse games.
"Gray Six comi-" Lucky winced at the sound of Gray Six's comm shorting out, followed by a flash and a small shockwave. Gray Six was gone, lost to a rebel's slug. As the three Gray Wolves broke from the main formations, they were followed by two J4 Halberds. "This is Gunfighter Seven, linking up with you, Lead."
"This is Blue Fox Lead, let's take 'em out!" Said the female voice with excitement in her voice. Lucky and the four fighters departed the three squadrons just as they smashed into the Preyhunters, turning into a jumbled mess of yellow and orange explosions, fighters dancing in every direction, and lasers and slugs darting in every direction.

Lucky punched his booster in an effort to get within missile range of one of the slower freighters, registered as the Strontium Mule. The four Preyhunter escort broke off, heading right for the pack of Lancers and Halberds, wasting no time in laying down a screen of laserfire, trying to get Lucky and his crew to break off and lose missile lock. It wouldn't work on Lucky as he punched the Booster further, allowing Gray Three, Gray Five, and Gunfighter Seven to break off to return the favor and lay down their own stream of laser bursts while Lucky and Blue Fox Lead powered passed the Preyhunters. The Lancer chirped after gaining a successful missile lock. "Gotcha." Whispered Lucky under his breath as he launched a Valkyrie-Type missile while laying down a stream of laser pulses. Blue Fox Lead whizzed over Gray Lead's Lancer, aiming right at the farthest shuttle, it's light blue thrusters projecting a size three times that of the actual shuttle. As he looked at it, his Lancer V.I. registered it as a Sea Horse-Class Luxury Shuttle, markings and tail code registering it to the Colonial Congress. A high ranking official. "Get 'em, Fox! Take that shuttle down!" Yelled Lucky, continuing to read further into the details placed forth on his HUD by the V.I. A Lightdrive warm-up time of twenty-five seconds. This sent chills down Lucky's spine. If that shuttle were to get away, every operation so far would be registered as a failure. Lucky couldn't wait to see if the missile would impact or not, he switched targets, orienting his Lancer to follow behind Blue Fox Lead's. He saw a single missile accelerate passed Fox Lead's fighter, whizzing towards the shuttle. At that moment, his HUD indicated that Gunfighter Seven was down, followed to the grave by Gray Five. Either more Preyhunters joined the fight or these guys were good. Red-hued lasers hissed passed Lucky's cockpit as a Preyhunter was in hot pursuit of Lucky, alternating between firing at him and at Fox Lead, obviously trying to disrupt their missile locks. He watched to see if Fox Lead's missile would hit.

Bridge of the FSS Constitution




Admiral Booker's attention was glued to Gray Lead and his team attempting to shoot down the escaping ships before they could jump out of system. Booker contemplated in launching six missiles assigned to the ships, but understood that the missiles would never reach faster than Gray Lead's would. The ship vibrated a bit at the ion rounds missing the fighters and impacting the Constitution's kinetic barriers, which were easily absorbed by the almost invisible layer of shielding. While Booker was concentrated on the escaping ships, Captain Beckham of the FSS Warspite pushed forward, coming to bear on their portside flank. The Warspite laid down an impressive field of GJS-124 light cannon rounds testing the station's shields mixed with GJD-272 Heavy Ion rounds focused on their portside to flank turrets, hoping to give the Warspite's boarding shuttles an easier time.

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Postby The Unified Colonial Alliance » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:14 pm

Lieutenant Banks, Viper Four
Onoka Defense Squadron, "Pit Vipers"
0915 Local System Time





Her and Viper Lead were the first to engage the swollen ranks of the Federation's pilots. Her rounds had managed to clip a few Lancers and rip right through the left engine of an unlucky Halberd. As the two forces collided, Viper Four pulled up hard on her yoke, catching the eye of an appealing Lancer that whizzed by her. As she corrected course and tracked down the Lancer, she closed distance, trying to get a firm lock for one of her missiles. Realizing he was being tailed, the Lancer cut right, pulling a fast u-turn. Alisha's reaction time was the fastest out of her entire squad, so it didn't take much to keep the nose of her Preyhunter continuously trained on the unlucky pilot. His movements were erratic as he hit the booster and pulled his Lancer to the right in a wide slow turn. Missile lock was impossible at this moment. Her targeting V.I. needed three seconds to secure a hard lock and this Fed wasn't giving her one. She switched over to her pulse lasers, letting lose a steady stream whenever the Lancer held position in preparation to cut sharply in any direction. As she felt victory was assured in this game of cat-and-mouse, the Lancer pulled it's nose up and dropped engines, forcing Alisha to nosedive to keep from hitting the enemy fighter and it had become evident to her that she just gave her lead to him. Now, the Lancer was behind her and peppering her with it's lasers as she pulled the yoke to the right and up, sending her barreling down and speeding the way she had come. The Lancer kept even pace with her as she dodged and weaved through her fellow pilots and enemy fightercraft as they were destroying and being destroyed. "Shit, this guy's good." She said before yanking the yoke toward her, sending her Preyhunter's nose up and over the Lancer. As she did, she pulled her engine power down while smashing on the booster. The sudden stop and burst of speed allowed her to pull up considerably faster as the Lancer flew past under her chassis and attempted to come back around. His efforts were for naught as she lined up her sights and opened fire. The Lancer's wings were torn through and resembled close to swiss cheese as the laser fire moved it's way upward and into the enemy's cockpit, where she could see splatters of blood as the Lancer's canopy blew open from the sudden change in pressure that literally ripped the pilot from his seatbelt and through the jagged edges of the ballistiplate glass right before the engines ignited and erupted into a ball of flame. "Whoo! Hell yeah! That's for Donnie!" She yelled into her mic, unknowingly leaving her mic unmuted and transmitting to the rest of her Squadron. She reoriented herself to the topside of the station she was close to. Her dogfight had lead her away from the main battleground and closer to the station, where she could see the smaller Federation warship relocating to the side of the station and opened fire. Her head jerked to the left as she watched the escort Preyhunters engage a separate force that was targeting the escape shuttles. She watched one missile strike the Strontium Mule directly on her engines, causing them to explode violently and the explosion creeping up into the spine of the ship where the rest of her ignited, killing what crew had been on board. The second missile launched was going for the Senator's shuttle. She had hoped it would have been gone by now. She didn't know the Senator, but nobody should be killed like that. She watched as the missile impacted with the side of the shuttle, the shuttle disintegrating into a billion little pieces. The four escort Preyhunters had taken down two of the attacking fighters but suffered two casualties of their own, leaving Viper Two and Eleven to deal with them. She looked back at her fellow Vipers, who were falling fast. Even with superior training, quantity outmatched quality. "Viper Lead is down!" She heard over the comm as it was lighting up with casualty reports. The battle wouldn't last another five minutes at the rate her allies were falling. She made the decision to hit her boosters and go right for the escaping shuttles and Merchant's Grace. She watched as the station's portside gunners began targeting the Fed pilots attempting to take down the remaining ships. With Viper Two and Eleven still chasing them down, she would hope to cut them off, locking a missile onto one while re-aiming and raining down laser fire on the other. As she approached closer and closer, her targeting suite beeped with confirmation and sent the missile right at the left side fighter. She jerked on the yoke a bit more to line up her sights with the right side one and held down on the trigger, unleashing an unforgiving spray of laser, hoping it would be enough to stem the enemies.

Central Station
UCA Onoka Station




The station shook as the Warspite laid down a volley of fire on the station's shielding. Bridge staff had concluded that the shields would hold against the Heavy Cruiser for the moment, but a continued barrage of it's known heavier weaponry would be sure to blow the shields like popping a balloon. Commander Alune watched at the battlenet, watching their Squadron of Preyhunters fall fast. Their only ticket to salvation had already lost two ships, one of which was the Senator's. He could care less about the Senator, it was his cutting edge shuttle that meant the world to him, but even that turned out to be just another disappointment. The Command staff had begun showing signs of morale drop as he watched their faces. The look of fear and worry on their faces. The techs had been trying everything they could to break through the jamming, even restarting the communication relay mainframe, hoping that it would break the jamming signals connection and allow them to get a ping out. It didn't work. The station's fate was sealing one destroyed Preyhunter at a time. When the Federation ships would launch their payloads of grunts to try to take the station the old fashioned way, they would face a staunch and prepared resistance, as every minute that passed gave the Colonial Marines more time to plan ambushes, establish barricades in the hallways they didn't want them to pass through, deadly kill traps on those that they did. The station's automated security systems were shored up by additional gun turrets kept in mothball storage deep in the fore section of the station, where only robots worked. Lieutenant Colonel Richard McWorter rallied the 313th Battalion of the 22nd Division from the confines of the Central Barracks, the smaller of the barracks that he reinforced and turned into the command center that would monitor progress. It was at this point that he wished he was given more than the minimal number of troops just to be called a Battalion. The largest ranged from the 109th's eight-hundred men. The 313th was given three-hundred and fifty men. Of course, who would think the Federation would attack Onoka? There were many contingencies that kept the Ninth Fleet nearby to provide assistance in the case something like this did happen, but all were being blocked except for the risky run by the fleeing force. When the boarders would come, he will make them fight for every inch and he would inflict staggering losses. The Battle for Onoka Station would go down in history as the men of the 313th would fight, tooth and nail, till the last man to keep the Federation would breaching Central Command. Lieutenant Colonel McWorter to make sure that they would never forget his name.

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Postby The Federation of Star Systems » Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:42 pm

Second Wing, First Squadron, "Gray Wolves"
0352 Concordia Standard Time





Lucky let out a celebratory hoot as the missile connected with the shuttle, taking it out of play and allowing them to focus on others while dodging fire from the Preyhunters behind them as well as new fire coming from the station. Good to see we're gettin' popular with the locals, he thought to himself. His eye was caught by Fox Lead hitting her boosters and cutting down, disengaging as a missile followed closely behind. A rain of laser fire followed all around Lucky's lancer, taking a few hits to his left wing and central stabilizing unit built under the solid piece of metal behind his cockpit. The Lancer's power systems began to flicker as the fighter V.I. pinged his helmet with multiple alerts. Damaged left wing, damaged stabilizing unit, damaged power inverters. Great. As the Lancer began to lose power, Lucky tried everything to reroute power through undamaged reserve conduits as he also tried to avoid the onslaught of laserfire from this new Preyhunter. "Shiiit!" He yelled out as his Lancer's power systems continued to fail, his engines sputtering to produce a steady stream of ion. From his portside he saw Fox Lead buzz passed his failing fighter, the missile trailing close behind and two other Preyhunters behind that. She dove down towards the other civilian freighter, coming so close that Lucky thought she was about to be dust as she flew a little too close to the freighter's shields, if it had any. Lucky understood her motives now. If she flew so close to the freighter that it gave the missile no time to redirect course and recognized the freighter as the target, that rebel pilot would essentially just shot down her own freighter. As his Lancer finally lost power and fell into a freespin, he called over the comm of his helmet, which even disconnected from the fighter's power, it still kept a reserve source for comms. "All available Lancers, target the fleeing ships. All Halberds target the station's shields! Priority one!" He ordered as he flicked the Lancer's power switch over and over again, hoping something would click. Sadly, it never did and with it's stabilizers gone, it just spun in all directions. He couldn't determine which way was up and which way was down but he remembered the last direction he was flying was towards the station. Without giving it a second thought, he reached between his legs and pulled the emergency ejection sequence lever. The canopy's mini-det charges along the edge of the canopy blew at once, sending the canopy flying off and ejecting the pilot via thrusters located on the bottom, sides and back of the chair, capable of stabilizing him and giving him control. As he flew out, he watched the trajectory of his fighter and five, four, three, two, one. The Lancer smashed against the side of the bottom portion of the station's shielding, a ball of flame igniting and quickly disintegrating because of a lack of oxygen to fuel the fire's rage. There, Lucky drifted, watching as eight Lancers broke off from the battle to engage the Preyhunters chasing Fox Lead.

Bridge of the Constitution




Admiral Booker watched intently at the way the tide was going. His main objective of taking down those fleeing ships was coming along quite well, but if the calculations were correct, they would be making a jump any moment now. It would be close but he trusted his pilots to get the job done. Even now the shuttles were falling like flies and one of the freighters was gone. The rest of the squadrons were engaging what remained of Onoka's Preyhunter squadron. The Station's exterior defenses combined with the experienced UCA pilots were downing Federation fighters quickly, already taking down twenty-eight of his pilots. But even with experienced men such as them, they couldn't shoot down over one-hundred more. "Captain Beckham, initiate second stage." Said the Admiral over the open line of communication between him and the commanding officer of the Warspite. The Admiral looked over to his second-in-command and nodded. "Send them." Second stage was utilizing firing an appropriate amount of force to disable shielding while also remote targeting defenses such as turrets and cannons without inflicting extensive damage on the modules of the station. The Warspite would open up with a volley of Razorback-type missiles and heavy ion cannon fire, enough to take the shields offline and allow Warspite's Marines to breach and begin boarding operations.

Portside Hangar Bay of the Warspite

The Hangar bay was filled with Bravery-Class Shuttles as squads of Marines shuffled in. The Warspite possessed no spearships, shuttles that excelled in piercing the thickest of armor plating to reach decks. That would be up to the Constitution. The Victorious-Class Heavy Destroyer's marines were to land in the starboard hangar bays and clear the hangars, making their way throughout the station, capturing the Reactor and starboard armories. They would be the vanguard of the invasion force and would most likely face heavy casualties as the hangar bays would be the best guarded areas of the station.

"Let's go, Zenith Squad! Those shuttles aren't gonna wait for you, now move!" Screamed Staff Sergeant Hafferty as he chased the squad of fourteen men up the ramp on Hammer Nine, fitting the specialized combat helmet of his Advanced Marine Combat System onto his head. The helmet's HUD booted up in a bright red text format, showing him a radar and squad vitals customized just for the leader of a squad. While not half as advanced as the Legionnaires' helmets, the Marines didn't complain. The new upgrade was a whole lot better than running around in plastic tin cans. Hafferty prayed to God that they never came back in style. Always fritzing out, not getting good connection of M-Comms, or Marine Communications, the premier communications software brought to you by your good friends in the Federation Marine Corps. Hafferty switched over from general M-Comms, crowded with commanders and officers trying to get their shit together to the personal channel for Zenith Squad. "How's everyone doing?" Asked Staff Sergeant Micheal Hafferty to his troops as the shuttle's ramp slowly lifted up behind them. "Just a little nervous, Staff Sergeant. 'Bout to shit my pants, Staff Sergeant." Said the closest Marine to him, Corporal Matthew Malver, nicknamed 'Matty'. "It'll be alright." Hafferty said trying to reassure him that he probably wouldn't get smeared before even taking a step off the ramp. He'd known Matty for a while now, and he always performed well in the field, but being away from the fight for nine months always had a negative impact on the soldiers. "Staff Sergeant, any chance you might know what the pucker factor might look like?" Asked another soldier on the right of Matty. Corporal Raymond Smith, nicknamed 'Bear'. Hafferty grabbed the handle bar at the top of the shuttle. "I'm not gonna lie, Raymond. It's lookin' to be a solid eight point five." Raymond nodded in confirmation. "Yeah, I'm feeling a ten, though." Said Raymond in response.

"Launch in forty-five seconds, gentlemen." Said the pilot of the Bravery-Class, sitting at the back of the shuttle, separated from the Marines by a wall.

"This is where we flourish, Marines. We do this fast, tactical and we KTF, hooah?" Said the Staff Sergeant. He received a "Hooah, KTF!" in unison.

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Postby The Unified Colonial Alliance » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:11 am

Central Control
Acting Exterior Operations Command





Commander Alune gnawed and gnashed his teeth as he watched the operational statuses of the escaping ships blink to red from white on the holographic operations map located in the center of the room. Lieutenant Commander Mallory occasionally darted her eyes towards the Commander from across the other side of the table, watching his anger levels rise starting from the destruction of the Senator's shuttle. Activity was abuzz across the room as techs and officers sounded off on reports from the dwindling Preyhunters. The station shook from the Victorious-Class destroyer's constant hammering of the shield. "Shields at fifty-three percent!" Called out one of the security officers standing over an operations officer's terminal. Commander Alune had begun to lose hope that the remaining shuttles and freighter would successfully make it out. "Our one chance to let the lifeguard know we were drowning was nearly gone." Delin Alune thought to himself. A young officer, still wet behind the ears called out to the Commander to inform him that only eight of the remaining twenty-five Preyhunters were still operational. Not enough to establish space superiority, but enough for the Fed pilots to have a shooting gallery. Commander Alune smashed his fists onto the operations map table, causing the table to shake and the projection to momentarily flicker. "Fuck!" Yelled out the Commander, no longer able to control his emotions. Some of the command staff looked back at the Commander, watching what he would order next. For their commander to visibly and audibly sound his frustration lowered the staff morale. Lieutenant Commander Mallory looked back at the watching crowds and screamed out at them. "Mind your stations! This battle isn't over yet!" The command staff knew better than the to disobey her. She'd space the lot of them just to watch their bodies pop and decompress out in the vacuum of space. The Lieutenant Commander walked around the table to meet her Commander. She spoke softly to him, trying to get him to calm down. "Take a breath, Delin. It's alright. There's no way a single squad of those cowards'll get aboard this station, not with the Lieutenant Colonel standing in their way. We got this. And if we don't....well. We still have the Equalizer." She said, saying that last bit in a whisper. Delin's eyes met with hers and his anger slowly dissipated. Aside from his harsh opinion on her career history, she and him were close while off-duty. They became friends as long as work was never brought up in their countless closed-door operations meetings, that if Alliance Naval Command ever caught wind of, they would be discharged from the Alliance Navy. The Commander cleared his throat and spoke softly in return. We use that Equalizer, it'll level us as it takes out that destroyer and it won't do enough damage to the Republica-Class to take it out of action." He said.

"If the Federals breach the Three-One-Three's defensive perimeters and gain access to the reactor or power systems, or even Secondary Command, we detonate it right inside. We deny them the use of Onoka Station and we take some Fed filth with us." Her plan was morbid and fear flashed in the Commander's eyes. He gulped as he thought about getting out of this alive. The Lieutenant Commander was as serious as a heart attack, and the Commander shaped back up. "Yeah. If it comes to that." He replied. She repeated his statement and moved back over to the other side. The Commander took a deep breath and as he was about to issue another order, the station quaked as the above lighting flickered, knocking many, including the Commander, off of their feet. "Commander, shields are down to twenty-three percent! Shields won't hold against another volley from that destroyer!" The security officer reported. The Commander got to his feet and dusted off his uniform. "Inform Lieutenant Colonel McWorter he's going to have company and withdraw the Preyhunters!" Ordered the Commander as he continued watching the white blips flash red. The Federation would win the space battle easily, but the boarding operations would prove to be a challenge.

Central Barracks
Acting Interior Operations Command





From what the Barracks looked like now, you wouldn't tell that this was formerly just a place for the Marines to sleep and enjoy their off-duty time. The beds, couches, tables, including the beloved pool table that dated back two hundred years, were all thrown into mothball storage, and gave way to combat lockers, a holographic table laying out every level of the station with real-time activity sensors, including blue bars at strategic areas of the station, indicating manned barricades home to five Marines, four armed with standard D-3TC blaster rifles and one armed with a D-4G Heavy Machine Gun and two stationary repeating fire Avenger turrets, firing .30-06 rounds, enough to suppress incoming Federation Marines. In McWorter's mind, the barricades were to harass the Marines every step of the way. The real fights would be outside of the Reactor, Power Systems Central Station, Shield Generator Core, the AOOC and the AIOC, where the three companies that made up the Three-One-Three would be stationed with permicrete barricades, D-4G HMG placements, Avenger turrets and bubble shields. With only three-hundred and fifty men to work with, Lieutenant Colonel McWorter was itching to get out there and fight alongside his men. He had a little surprise for them, courtesy of his ties in the Alliance Marine Corps and Alliance R&D.

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Postby The Federation of Star Systems » Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:03 pm

FSS Warspite, Victorious-Class Heavy Destroyer
Bridge
Operation: INDIGO BELL
0401 Concordia Standard Time





After the destruction of Onoka Station's last chance to warn their weak and scattered fleets, the exterior dogfights died down as the pilots of First, Second, and Third Squadrons allowed the remaining Preyhunters to cower back to safety of their station's defense cannons. The fighting had been heavy, but Captain Beckham's work hadn't even begun yet. He had just been ordering the Warspite weapons control to lightly tap on the station's shields, letting them know they were still out there. The station's defenses made contact with the Warspite, but every round was curved away due to the ship's deflector technology. But now he had gotten the order the light the station up like Unity Day now with the exterior fighting, for the most part, done. Every Heavy Ion Cannon and every missile launcher was now aimed at the station's portside section. All at once, the Warspite ceased light cannon fire and opened up with every ion round while launching twenty Razorback-Type high Explosive missiles. The missiles impacted at one location and Captain Beckham could see the external lighting flicker just a bit as the shield's once vibrant blue outline was now a dim sky blue, signifying that the shields were about to pop. "Hold off further missile fire and concentrate fire above the hangar bay!" Ordered the Captain, happy that the shield was nearly knocked out in one volley by his fantastic warship. The ion fire erupted and spread out in a web-pattern as it hit the shield before finally, the shields dissipated slowly before finally losing it's strength, allowing Marines to board before the shields would reboot, which would happen in two minutes, unless they had very good engineers. Then it would be closer to forty-five seconds. Beckham prayed that they didn't. "Launch the Marines." He said solemnly to the bridge staff.

Zenith Squad
Portside Hangar Bay





The red tactical floor lighting that replaced the bright white fluorescent still kept the hangar bright enough just to see your hands in front of your face. All the squads from the twelve Assault Shuttles were closed up in their shuttles when every shuttlemaster was given the green light to launch. The floor inside the shuttle shook as the four engines burst to life, the troops within feeling the momentum of the lift even with artificial gravity stabilizers. Information on Hafferty's HUD transmitted in direct from Operations Command on the Bridge, as it did for most squad leaders assigned to boarding operations. It detailed Zenith's primary objective: reinforce Echo and Hotel Squad as they assault the command center, located in the upper levels of central district, if intelligence reports were true. Hafferty's screen cleared momentarily just to paint another box detailing Secondary Objective if Echo and Hotel Squads are compromised: Link up with Staff Sergeant Javier Menendez's Dagger Squad and Sergeant Benjamin Walker's Jackal Squad to assist in capturing the Reactor Core. Instead of explaining all this, Staff Sergeant Hafferty believed in fast-tracking information such as this to his squad's HUDs, as well, even if it was slightly against squad regulations. "This is Hammer Nine, getting alot of chop here! Got Preyhunters moving to intercept! We can't take this kind of interference!" Yelled the Shuttlemaster through his helmet's HUD. An explosion rocked the deck of the Bravery-Class. "Shit, Hammer Four's down." Said the Pilot, whether he knew his helmet's audio receptors were on or not. "Yeah, pucker factors at a thirty now, boss." Said Bear through all the shake of the shuttle. Hafferty smirked under his helmet, turning his head briefly to order him to stay quiet and get ready to KTF. "Hey, Staff Sergeant." Asked a voice from the back of the pack of twelve Marines. It was the new guy, transferred from the 108th Military Police Battalion on Concordia due to "annual transfer requirements". Hafferty saw through that, though. It was just another way of saying that he pissed off the wrong Colonel and was phased out. His new nickname given to him by his fellow Marines was "Cop". "What, Cop?" Said Hafferty while checking the magazine in his Behring SR-7 CQC Rifle, ensuring that all thirty-two rounds were ready to go. "What does KTF mean?" Quiet laughter followed Cop's question, even raising a smile from under the Staff Sergeant's helmet. "Tell you what, Specialist. If you survive this, I'll tell you." Said Hafferty, slamming the clip back into his rifle and pulling a round into the chamber.

"Twenty seconds till landing!" The Shuttlemaster's words pierced the area heavy and all laughter and cut-up died off as the soft white light of the shuttle turned off to reveal red floor lighting. "Sound off, Zenith!" The twelve man team would call out their readiness status. Matty, Bear, Cop, Worm, Toad, Scarecrow, Boxer, Airman, Pvt. Jorner, Pvt. Caleb, and Corporal Swanson. Only the old timers of Zenith, which mean't five to seven years of service, were "issued" nicknames. "Ten seconds to-dammit!" The shuttle shook violently as a lucky hit from a Preyhunter impacted with the side of the shuttle, causing extensive damage to the front starboard engine. They could feel the shuttle jerking to the left, the Shuttlemaster struggling to control it. "Gaahh!" The Shuttlemaster groaned as he tried his best to keep the shuttle from going into a heavy left swing into the side of the hangar bay entrance. Zenith could feel the shuttle shake and vibrate before a loud smashing sound was heard where the flooring was, followed by the patter of gunfire, sounding similar to sheets of rain on a tin roof. "Well, we've arrived at our destination, Zenith. Sounds hot and heavy out there." Said Hafferty, adjusting the straps on the bottom of his helmet. "Exterior cameras are picking up twenty hostiles facing our front in front of permicrete barricades, I think I see an N-60 spraying the shit out of our door." Said the Shuttlemaster. "Fuck, an N-60? That's some heavy shit." Said Bear on the firepower on the LMG capable of tearing a squad apart in seconds. "We can't step out there with that shit. Bear, you got that torch?" Asked the Staff Sergeant, asking for his cutting torch. "Never leave the house without it." Replied Bear, stepping forward in the line. The Staff Sergeant pointed to the door that would ramp down and reveal his squad. "I want you to cut a fragger-sized hole in this here piece of titano-tungsten plate. Cop, you're on ear-popper duty. When that hole's cut, chunk a ear-popper in there and follow it with a fragger. Gonna take their ears and eyes away from 'em before we send a fragger up their asses, hooah?" Said the Staff Sergeant to Bear and Cop, both replying with the same.

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Postby The Unified Colonial Alliance » Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:57 pm

Central Barracks
Acting Interior Operations Command





The Lieutenant Colonel bit the inside of his lip so hard that he drew blood, the coppery taste light on his tongue. He watched the feeds coming in from the four forty-five inch terminals hanging above the strategic holo-map of the main level of the station. The exterior defense weaponry managed to take down one, but those Bravery-Class shuttles were difficult to take down. They were more than capable of taking small-arms fire all day, and even standard laser and bullet anti-air weaponry, but a direct hit from a ion cannon was a different story. The few Preyhunters left didn't have the missiles, and barely enough primary cannon ammunition to dent a few of them, so now it was up to the Three-One-Three to repel this enemy. With multiple armories on three decks, they had enough ammunition to last twenty-four hours of continuous battle between every member of the Three Hundred and Thirteenth, so outlasting the enemy wasn't a problem. When he first arrived with his Battalion four years ago, Alliance Command determined that the use of three armories was a waste of funds, but they'd be a fool to turn down a favor called in by the Beast of Boromae. They owed him a favor for the hellhole called Boromae they left him and his regiment on after disguising it as a "tactical withdrawal", another term for a colossal fuck-up during offensive operations in the Boromae system. McWorter still hadn't let his commanding officers forget that they forgot an entire regiment when they abandoned the system and left them there for three weeks surrounded by the Federation Army's One-Eighteenth Division and a Fleet hanging above their heads. So they owed him a favor, and his favor was three armories. He had already drawn up the battle plans and his men were coordinating their actions between the three Companies, labeled Victory, Bravery, and Honor Companies. The fifty men Third Platoon led by Lieutenant Neville Algara from Victory Company would welcome the Federation visitors at the Portside shuttle deck, the only deck the Feds were close to, as the others still had a sizeable defensive cannon layout, capable of knocking their shuttles out of operation on approach. Second Platoon led by Lieutenant Mathis would be spread out across the station's main deck situated in ten checkpoints of five men each while First Platoon led by Captain Forgreth would be in charge of securing the Main Armory, which would act as a secondary rally point if Bravery and Honor Companies failed in their objectives, which were to secure the Reactor, Power Systems Station, Shield Generator Control, and the two Command centers, a lot of targets to cover for just a Battalion. They would be stretched thin, and would most likely have to recall five of the ten checkpoints, but they would hold, the Lieutenant Colonel would make sure of it.

The Lieutenant Colonel looked over through the crowd of bustling officers and few authorized civilian contractors to see a soldier standing still, looking back and forth to the people passing him, a look of honest confusion on his face. McWorter stroked the back of his neck, soothing the aching muscles from staring up at the live security feeds from across the station. "Hey! You!" He yelled out towards the soldier's direction. The soldier's neck snapped towards his direction. A soldier half his age, clean shaven, not a winkle on his hard jaw nor a grey in his dark brown hair. He motioned the soldier to come his direction, and he did without hesitation. "Yes, sir?" Asked the soldier as he stood at attention and saluted to the rank McWorter held. "At ease, boy. What's your name?" Asked the Lieutenant Colonel. The soldier seemed nervous, either because of the battle coming, in the presence of the commander of the battle, or both. "Co-Corporal Anthony Daniels." Said the soldier, unsteadily. "Well, Corporal. You're coming with me." Said the Lieutenant Colonel, motioning Major Turnbull, second-in-command for the Battalion to take over charge for a moment. The door leading to one of the hallways irised open, revealing a squad of four soldiers jogging past towards their designated location. McWorter led the Corporal towards the elevators and both climbed in one of the cramped little turbo-elevators. Six seconds later, they arrived in the Officer's Barracks, more importantly, the bedroom of Lieutenant Colonel McWorter.

***


They entered the spacious room of the Lieutenant Colonel, home to a queen-sized bed, small desk and chair, a couch with a holo-display and a lounge area with a bookcase and wet bar, the best luxuries a man could afford on Onoka Station. The masterpiece, though, was the pristine suit of Mark III Federation Legionnaire armor, painted blue and gold, almost in a flashy fashion. The Corporal marveled at it. "Whoa...sir, how did you-" "How did I get a suit of Legionnaire armor so clean? I'll tell you about it if we survive this." The Lieutenant Colonel said as he threw off his officer uniform in favor of a sleek black neoprene tightsuit that would fit underneath the Legionnaire armor. He began putting the suit on piece by piece, starting with the leg modules. The suit came around the Lieutenant Colonel's body with the help of the Corporal. As the Lieutenant Colonel finished up clipping in the chest-piece and shoulders, the Corporal kept the helmet held close, staring into the depths of the blue and gold striped helmet. "Sir, why are you gearing up?" Asked the Corporal, as the Lieutenant Colonel grabbed the helmet from the soldier. "Way I see it, Corporal, is that we've got Marines about to pour in from both those ships. You think those ships carry less than three-hundred and fifty Marines each?" Asked the Lieutenant Colonel sarcastically. The Corporal shook his head ever slightly. "Right, thought so. So we're gonna be outnumbered. Even the Officers are gonna be called to fight eventually, but I don't plan to wait until then. I'm taking what men can be spared from Central Barracks and Control and I'm gonna be hammering any Fed squad I see. They want a fight, the Three-One-Three'll give 'em one. He said as he slid the helmet over his head and a hissing noise could be heard, signalling that the helmet's suction system was cutting off exterior airflow and relying on the suit's interior filtration system. "Been itching to use this against 'em. I've heard how a Legionnaire could handle an entire company. Let's see if they were telling the truth." Said McWorter through the helmet's microphone system, distorting his voice.

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The Federation of Star Systems
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Founded: Jan 10, 2018
Conservative Democracy

Postby The Federation of Star Systems » Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:17 pm

Zenith Squad
Onoka Station, Portside Hangar Bay
0406 Concordia Standard Time





Cutting through the tough, thick plate of the shuttle was a time-consuming process. A combat torch was standard gear on the team's demolitions expert so it could cut through heavy duraplate doors standard on most ship and station interiors easily within thirty seconds. Cutting through titano-tungsten inner plate and the titanium-50 exterior was a different story. They are made to withstand heavy cannon fire on warships, and a typical torch would take a while. Luckily, Bear knew his way around it and knew how to adjust the power systems to way beyond safety parameters. The torch was using a charge pack every forty-five seconds but was cutting through the doors easily, even if there was a chance the thing could blow up in his hands. By the time he finished the cut and kicked in the hole, Cop was waiting with a concussion grenade in hand and primed. "Go for it." Bear simply said as he moved away from the hole and unclipped a two-stage fragmentation grenade from his belt. Cop turned to the side, cocked back and chunked the grenade clear through the hole. Woulda been messy had he missed Bear thought to himself as he primed the fragger. The deck erupted in a flurry of white light and loud thundering booms that even disoriented Zenith as the three-stage concussion grenade, or ear-popper, did it's work. The constant barrage of fire had stopped, signalling Bear to finish the attack. "'Nade out!" Yelled Bear as he got much closer to the hole than Cop did, decreasing his chances of missing the whole and dooming Zenith to hell before they even started their mission. They moved clear of the hole in case some shrapnel would make it's way through the breach. One loud boom followed closely by a louder boom, one for close targets and another for ranged ones. Fraggers were a hell of a weapon. "Dropping!" Yelled the Shuttlemaster as the door's magnetic locks disengaged, allowing the door to fall downward and reveal the mess of enemy Marines. Forming a single line, Hafferty, Bear, Matty, Worm and Toad fired off their rifles on full automatic towards the clump of enemy hostiles, still trying to regroup after such a devastating attack. With deadly precision, the five members of Zenith laid waste to the Alliance marines, with Cop, Scarecrow, Boxer, Airman, and the three newbies bringing up the rear and dispersing into teams to disembark off the side of the ramps and secure the sides of the hangar. The firefight continued on for some time after as Alliance marines off to the sides were mainly unaffected by the ear-popper. The short fight ended in Zenith capturing the hangar, but also losing Private Caleb to a neck-shot and Airman to a shot to the head.

Zenith formed up at the main door, which was open and revealed a long hallway with two doors on each side, closed shut. Matty and Worm knelt at both sides of the main door, rifles raised and watching for any activity while Staff Sergeant Hafferty patched into the main battlenet established by Warspite Operations Command. They had learned that Hammer Four carried Hotel Squad when it went down and Echo Squad was taking casualties as it was moving it's way towards the Central Command Station. Operations Command changed up the plan and now Zenith was to carry out their mission with Echo to capture the Central Command Station. "Alright, squad." Said Hafferty after closing out a conversation with Sergeant Gregor, former second-in-command, now commander of Echo Squad after Staff Sergeant Wilder was K.I.A. The fight was looking bad for Echo. They had already lost their Staff Sergeant and five other men to the few checkpoints they met with, forcing them to take a slower alternative route through engineer catwalks and tight crawlspaces just to get a wing over. "Hotel went down with Hammer Four so OpCom has assigned Zenith to take their place. We rendezvous with Sergeant Gregor and Echo Squad here in the southwest corridor of Hallway 34." Hafferty patched over a map of their current floor, with a red dot marking where Echo Squad was holding position to the helmets of his squad so they could all see the plan. "We wade through shit and soldiers and reach them. Once we do, we continue on with the assault on the Central Command Station, located here." A yellow dot appeared on each soldier's HUD, marking the objective. "It's a long hike through heavy resistance, but it's not a matter of choice. It has to be taken, gentleman, at any cost." The rest of Zenith squad gave their mixed approvals and switched out their charge packs and slug magazines. "I'll stay here and watch your asses, keep the shuttle clear. She's hurt and now she's gotta hole, but nothing a little duct tape and a qualified pilot can't handle. If Zenith needs a way out, we are always ready to assist." Said the Shuttlemaster, stepping out of the shuttle with a SR-7 CQC Rifle in hand, a fresh clip ready to go. Hafferty nodded." Appreciate it, Lieutenant." Then Zenith marched out, following the lead of their Staff Sergeant.

***


Zenith had been on the move, tactical leapfrogging each other through the halls and avoiding Marine checkpoints the best they could. But after thirty-five minutes of careful walking, they were engaged by a squad of enemy troops who stumbled into them by accident. The battle lasted eight minutes and Zenith came out victorious, but took another K.I.A: Private Jorner, another of the newbies, leaving Corporal Swanson as the last Zenith rookie. They listened to the Battlenet as Dagger and Jackal Squads moved to take the reactor, taking heavy casualties as they went. OpCom had requisitioned Kilo and Yankee Squads to reinforce them, but Kilo Squad was rendered zero team viability shortly after disembarking their shuttle and Yankee Squad was bogged down by a Marine checkpoint set up to cut off Dagger and Jackal from retreating back to their hangar. The boarding operation was becoming costly, but they were holding ground, not losing it. The Alliance forces only had a few hundred to work with, while the forces of INDIGO BELL still hadn't utilized the one-thousand Marines aboard the Constitution. For now, Captain Beckham and Warspite were in charge of boarding while the Constitution provided overwatch and fighter support, but kept their Marines on standby in case the resistance aboard the station required a heavier hand. All forces involved in the strike were at play, even if they weren't fighting Marines, patrolling the space around the station, or manning a console. The Operations Commander of IB was passing along information on other Operations around the border just to keep Admiral Booker informed. So far, it was turning out to be a success. Some Operations cleaned up faster than others, but several of the Operations had finished and were holding position in the newly captured systems. The Catana System was turning out to be one of the tougher Operations in the spiderweb known as STARDUST SONATA.

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The Unified Colonial Alliance
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Founded: Apr 05, 2018
Democratic Socialists

Postby The Unified Colonial Alliance » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:06 pm

Portside of Onoka Station
Approaching Hangar Bay 06





Gathering the team McWorter currently possessed wasn't as difficult as he had initially thought. He failed to consider the Marines who retreated back from the embattled checkpoints and defensive clusters after losing most of their squads, content with sitting back and regaining their strength, hoping to get away with being able to sit it out until the Federal Marines came to put them in shackles. As they made their way towards the bulkhead door leading to Portside Bay 06, McWorter jerked his hand towards the air and formed a fist. The rest of his six man team froze in anticipation for perhaps an oncoming battle. McWorter used the tongue-toggle on his helmet's receptor to enhance the sound of the door ahead of him with a flick of his tongue upwards. He heard the roaring sounds of a shuttle entering it's landing sequence, the familiar sound a Bravery-Class makes as it hums it's way gently onto the deck with it's four oversized engines. "Better have your safeties off." Said McWorter coldly, even though he knew Alliance protocol called for safeties to always be off in a combat zone, which Onoka had turned into. McWorter continued his slow walk, his SAB-50, normally a pain for an young grunt to even carry, was raised with relative ease thanks to the Mark III Armor's exoskeleton shrouded around the exterior plating, allowing an old man like the Lieutenant-Colonel to lift it like it was nothing. He aimed the SAB Light Machine Gun at the door and heard the shuttle's engines disengage. "Engage." Said McWorter as he jogged to the door with the weapon still raised level. The bulkhead door irised open, revealing the shuttle and it's contents, twelve Federal Marines pouring out of the front, immediately noticing the six-foot-five soldier wearing the armor. He heard as the Marines were thrown off, remarking on how it closely resembled an older version of the armor their Special Forces wore before opening fire. McWorter unloaded an entire magazine of thirty rounds into the Marines as he calmly walked towards the rear of the shuttle, dropping three of the Marines before he took cover, receiving several dozen hits to his armor's kinetic barrier generators, an addition he made during his uneventful days as the Station's Marine commander. The rest scrambled to the other side of the shuttle, shielding themselves from the secondary fire from McWorter's marine team. McWorter let the empty magazine fall to the floor and slammed another in, the SAB-50's ammunition counter on the side of the weapon returning from red to yellow to green. He could hear the Marines making their way to the aft of the shuttle, marching right towards him. McWorter decided he wanted the opportunity to see exactly what his armor was capable of. As the Marines inched closer, he waited until he saw the barrel of his fourth kill breach the corner. He wrapped his armored gauntlet tightly around the barrel and ripped it from his hands, sending a massive boot into the Marine's chest, the gears of the exoskeleton whirring slightly as the body flew backward at the sound of a deep crunch. He had most likely just collapsed that sorry bastard's chest cavity. McWorter stepped out of the corner's protection and revealed himself as he threw his SAB-50 sideways to the next Marine, causing him to lose his balance and fall from the weight of it. McWorter took hold of the enemy Marine's rifle he snatched away and oriented the barrel towards his next marine, who was already unloading on the armor's barriers. A single trigger pull and his fifth kill was down as he dropped the rifle, unsheathed the blade on his right thigh and slammed it down through the Marine's helmet as he attempted to raise his rifle at McWorter from his prone position, blood and sparks filling the hole he left in the helmet from the knife. In a single motion, he slung the blade into his seventh kill's chest and sprinted forward, picking up the body as it collapsed and slung it onto the Marines beyond, who were now scrambling to fall back to their original entry point, unloading their magazines onto the Lieutenant-Colonel. The body thrown missed it's target, the man identified as their team leader by the rank adorned onto his chest. The suit's HUD sent out a warning, notifying him that his armor's kinetic barrier generators were about to overload and take his shield offline until it could recharge. Falling back now would still leave five Federal marines the possibility to fall back and either keep fighting against McWorter's team or retreat out of the hangar. "You're all mine." McWorter thought in his head as he set himself onto the dead sprint into the middle of the five Marines, who rushed the armored beast, knives drawn. It would be interesting to see how the barrier would react to knives, not that it would turn out well for them. As the team leader went in for a thrust into his gut, McWorter watched the knife stab the barrier, shrouding the knife in blue before shattering the blade, causing the Marine TL to drop it. He listened as four more stabs were met with destroyed knives and their return to using their guns while backing up inside the shuttle. The gunfire was met with the additional fire from the shuttle pilot, who sent slugs from his pistol into the chest barrier. Warnings began to klaxon inside his helmet as the shield finally lowered, forcing the Lieutenant-Colonel to dart to the side close to the opening of the shuttle to avoid the rounds being thrown at him. He was confident that the Legionnaire armor could protect him well enough, but the bruising and pain caused from it wasn't something McWorter felt like dealing with at the moment. He turned back to look at his squad, who were just standing there, guns lowered and staring at the awesome force their team leader was putting up. "Raise your guns, you idiots. At least look like you're ready to fight!" He ordered. His soldiers jumped back into their minds and knelt with guns raised. He unclipped the two fragmentation grenades on his belt and shrugged his shoulders as he primed them. "Fire in the hole, I guess." He said jokingly. He chunked both of them in towards the back of the shuttle, where the enemy were closest. He pulled his old heavy DC8 blaster pistol from the magnetic plate on his left thigh, the design based on an ancient handgun called a Python, it's origin and manufacturer lost to time. He listened as the enemy panicked with shouts before two loud explosions back to back flashed, McWorter stepping out from his hiding place and entering within. Six shots rang out consecutively before he reappeared, discarding the spent charge pack and inserting another in behind the barrel.

"Corporal Daniels. Be a sport and get my SAB for me, would'ya?" He asked as he returned the DC8 blaster to his magnetic plate. Corporal Daniels nodded in disbelief at the lethality of the Lieutenant-Colonel as he jogged to the aft of the shuttle to retrieve McWorter's heavy weapon. "I think I still got it, Marines." He said, letting out a slight chuckle as he watched the HUD display his kinetic barrier recharge timer, which was already showing eighty-six percent recharged. McWorter switched his comm to the Interior Operations Command. "Outlaw Actual, this is Outlaw One. Bay Zero-Six is clean. Need orders on where to go." Asked the Lieutenant-Colonel to Major Turnbull. "Outlaw One, Sergeant Oberas is reporting Lieutenant Algara is K.I.A and seventy-percent combat ineffective. Oberas is abandoning the Hangar defense and moving his Marines to reinforce Honor Company at the Reactor. So far, the Armory, Reactor, Power Systems, and Commands and Shield Generator are secure. Everything's holding at the moment, but we've got an enemy squad moving to link up with another squad at Hallway 34. I'm assuming they're gonna push for Exterior Command." Reported the Major as he heard a flurry of voices and activity in the background. "Copy, Actual. We're heading to cut them off, over." Said McWorter. The comm buzzed again with another response incoming from Command. "Oh and Outlaw One? We all watched on the terminals what you did at the Hangar, sir. One hell of an entrance." Said the Major. "I aim to please." Said the Colonel before clicking off the comm channel and to Commander Alune and his staff. "Firebird Actual, this is Outlaw One. Be advised, you've got at least two squads making their way to you. "I'm heading to cut them off, but you might want to lock it down, just in case. Get your talons out." Commander Alune's voice was distinct in his response. "Acknowledged, Outlaw One. McWorter, why aren't you at your Command center?" Asked Alune. "So much for callsigns" thought McWorter as he smirked at the Commander's question. "I've never been one to let men fight my battles. And I'm more prepared than most. I'll be alright." He said, checking his SAB as he moved down the hall, his Outlaws scanning their sectors as they moved. "Hmm. Copy, Outlaw One." Really? Make up your mind. McWorter clicked off his comm as he motioned for his squad to double-time it towards the enemy squads, who were being tracked through the station's security cameras and relaying their positions to his HUD.

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The Federation of Star Systems
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Founded: Jan 10, 2018
Conservative Democracy

Postby The Federation of Star Systems » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:26 pm

Zenith Squad
Onoka Station, Hallway 34
0425 Concordia Standard Time





The journey to Echo Squad had been relatively peaceful. No enemy checkpoints, no random Colonial squad marching past on their way to a more important defense point. Nothing but the footfalls of Zenith as they made their way through the winding halls of the Station. It brought upon a sense of dread by how quiet their approach had been. For a station to be put on high alert and prepared for enemy boarding, a path of empty hallways, not even an automated defense turret, was never a good sign. Eight minutes prior, communications had dropped between Staff Sergeant Hafferty and Sergeant Gregor. The connection showed it was good, yet Gregor wasn't responding, neither were the others in Echo Squad, though his HUD indicated that they were still there, waiting. "Empty halls, Echo ain't respondin', somethin's not right.". Hafferty held up his fist and bent down on one knee, the rest of his squad following his lead. Hafferty switched over comm to Operations Command. "Command, this is Zenith One. We can't reach Echo and things are looking a little too quiet for my taste. Request OpCom to page Echo One and notify him to make their way to us, over." A brief silence washed over the interior of his helmet as he awaited OpCom's response, which would turn out to be nothing but more worry. "Zenith One, be advised, we cannot establish comms with Echo One or the rest of Echo Squad. Your orders are to investigate Echo's last known location and then proceed on with your objective of capturing their command post." Hafferty couldn't help but scoff a bit at his orders. They weren't Legionnaires, just Marines, and sending in a squad of Marines to probably one of the most heavily protected objectives of their mission was a suicide mission. "OpCom, we are three men down, and if we don't have Echo Squad backing us up, my observation is that you're sending us on a suicide mission. Any way we could get some more back up?" Asked Hafferty, in a way that would be displeasing by almost every officer forming the backbone of Operations Command aboard the Warspite. "Zenith One, you have your orders. We can't spare anymore squads to assist. Do you're job. OpCom out." That got the message across the Hafferty, who switched off the comm as soon as he heard the end portion. "Let's go, Zenith." Hafferty ordered, as he jumped off one knee and continued forth with closing in on Echo.

It was just as he feared. Echo had been torn to shreds, their helmet's transponders untouched and relaying the readiness ping. Hafferty and his men secured the hallway and counted the dead. All of them, gone. Whatever had done this to them was either using Echo's corpses as bait or moved on. Either way, Hafferty collected what charge packs and magazines were left over and moved towards Central Command.

FSS Warspite, Victorious-Class Heavy Destroyer
Bridge
0426 Concordia Standard Time





Captain Beckham paid close attention to the status updates of the marine squads fighting for control of the valuable objectives targeted by Operations Command as Priority One Capture. His Marines were falling one by one and the battle was becoming an even fight, one that could go either way. The plan between Admiral Booker and him was that Warspite's Marines would soften up the Alliance's ranks before the Constitution sent in dozens of hullbreachers and attack shuttles to overwhelm what remained. It was supposed to be easier than this, but no plan ever really survived contact with the enemy. He should have expected this, but he didn't, which was unlike him. At this point, he wanted Booker to send in his Marines and get this battle over with. He had received an update that only a single Squad was being sent to capture one of the two command centers, and he didn't like that too much either. There were no exterior defenses left now, Warspite's missiles took care of the ones that posed harm to the Constitution's boarding craft. The Preyhunters were long gone now. This was all interior attack now, a place where Captain Beckham couldn't control the way the battle would go, only watch and hope Operations Command next door knew what they were doing. He had stayed in contact with Admiral Booker, talking over updates pouring in from the remaining Marine squads, giving Beckham the chance to persuade the Admiral in sending his Marines in early. "It's not the time. Just be patient. Have faith in your Marines." Booker would say, not allowing Beckham to have a reprieve from the anxiety he was feeling about the possibility of the enemy repulsing the Marine attack and forcing his Marines out from the ground that cost so much to keep. It made his stomach turn because he didn't take casualties lightly. Each one was a son or daughter that wouldn't go home to their moms and dads, or wives and children, or friends-turned-close family. Captain Beckham was making widows and widowers with each update coming in.

Central Naval Complex Alpha-1
Sublevel 08
Concordia, Home System
Four days before Operation: INDIGO BELL





The Operations that were apart of the larger STARDUST SONATA only took the better half of a week to formulate as the highest echelons of the Federation Army, Navy, and Legion Corps sat around a table, holographic displays showing current Alliance fleet activity recorded by vigilant Night Ops agents operating deep inside Alliance space, concocting the plans based around when each border station would be re-supplied, when civilian activity was lightest, when the stations carried out crew rotations. Everything had been planned out down to the smallest detail to ensure nothing would go wrong and that the Federation could finish off this War in one single blow that would devastate every rebel system and render their capital of Harmony a smoldering ruin twenty-four hours after STARDUST SONATA was activated. Every Federation fleet would participate, including the Defense Fleets aside from the First Home Defense Fleet, who would be in charge of ensuring the safety of Concordia. Everythng would be mobilized after the start of STARDUST SONATA. Every fleet, every wing, every division, every man and women would be sent rampaging into Alliance space, hoping to overwhelm the Alliance fleets before they could realize what was happening. It would be full scale invasion at it's finest. At least, that was the plan. But again, no plan ever really survives contact with the enemy. This would be proven true by the account of Admiral Adam Köler, former Commander of Sector 001 and Director of the Federation's premier intelligence agency, Night Ops, who leaked the details of Operation: STARDUST SONATA and it's accompanying missions to Alliance spies, resulting in catastrophic losses for the Federation, and the renewed conflict within the Colonial War, that was set to last another ten years.

***





Upon the completion of the final eight hour session on perfecting the method for which the Operations would execute on, Admiral Köler was finally released from the clutch of Naval Command, allowed to return to his hotel room for the day until he would be called upon by officers at "The Playground", the nickname for the Night Ops Command Center on Concordia, a private island located out in the middle of the Jurisden Sea, secluded and only accessible by shuttle. The only reason they call the Director is for operational observation on a mission that may or may not end in the deaths of a Federation governor or an Alliance representative, depending on the day. When Missions called for Night Ops involvement, no-one was safe from them. Not a Federal Admiral, General or even the President. And any collateral damage done by the secretive organization was always swept under the rug, no matter how many people had to "disappear". Aside from being the Director of Night Ops, he was also the Commander of Sector 001, or the four systems surrounding Concordia that made up the original colonies that the mythical ship Eternity had settled so long ago. A much simpler job, all he had to do was check in for a few hours at Command Station 001, accept a few improvement requests, deny some requests for leave, agree to allow a certain Destroyer or Cruiser to be requisitioned by Night Ops for a mission outside of Federation space. He was the most influential officer in the Federation's military and civilian echelons. He owned multiple estates on multiple worlds, invested in more business fronts operating in Alliance space then he wished to admit, and even maintained a mercenary company operating in the Neutral Zone that he could call upon at any time to deal with threats that didn't require naval or Night Ops attention. For all the money he acquired, favors he accumulated from even the President, people he killed, missions he ran for the Federation, it was all a front. He was never loyal to the Federation or it's corrupt government that preferred to bask in extravagant feasts, parties, orgies, rather than send out relief aid to it's more unfortunate colonies. After all, that was the entire reason as to why the Unified Colonial Alliance was born. From the people sick of being ignored by a government to fat and swollen to function. They wanted reform, and they got martial law. That's where Adam Köler sympathized. When the Colonial War started, he was a Commander, second-in-command to Captain Weaver of the FSS Illustrious, an Ajax-Class Cruiser that was stationed on the borders. He served through six battles along the front, including the Battle of the Shed before becoming a Captain himself, taking on the responsibility of keeping the Illustrious in the fight after Captain Weaver retired after thirty-five years in the service. He sent young men on both sides to their deaths, fighting for a side he didn't believe in, against a force he had more in common with what with being the son of a tungsten miner out in the Neutral Zone, before it was called such. He slowly progressed past the Illustrious, promoted to Rear Admiral, switched from the public side of the military to the more shadowy sections, including Night Ops. His military career was the fastest to progress and he had become a model officer, the pride of the Federation Navy. But it wasn't for him.

After what felt like hours of waiting outside at Alpha-1's pavilion, his skycar arrived, painted black with tinted windows, straight from the government's hundreds of convenience hangars for their high ranking officers. It's whining sounds hung in the air as it slowly rested on the concrete, it's passenger door opening automatically, revealing an empty car, black leather seats lining the interior. Köler removed his navy blue and white officer's cap before falling into the seat, revealing the stress off his aging spine and muscles. The Federation was renowned for it's military prowess but not for it's taste in seating with good lumbar support and staying seated for eight hours with only five ten minute breaks in between made his back feel like it was on fire. "Gonna need another massage before this is all over." Adam Köler thought to himself. He wouldn't be able to relax long. He was to meet a special someone on the Edge in two hours to relay what he had learned, the last move he would make before leaving it all behind. He had enough of playing both sides. If he lived past his meeting, he would sign his letter of resignation, recommend a successor for both Night Ops and Sector 001, and leave colonized space on a mission to see the Galactic Core, where he would spend his remaining days in peace. He already purchased the starship: a top-of-the-line Negata Star-Explorer Mark V, outfitted for long-range travel with extended rations that would last him five years, as well as an industrial-level fabricator to build himself his dream home, staring out at an assortment of moons that filled the skies of Dagomere IV, a small Terran-Class Moonlet first surveyed seventy-five years ago by deep-space exploration probes. If everything went according to plan, he would be long gone by the time STARDUST SONATA failed and the leak would be identified. No amount of searching would find him, but he never underestimated his Night Ops agents. They may find him eventually, and if they did, it wouldn't bother him. He wouldn't allow them to take him back, and that's where he threw in an armory aboard his ship. He would fight and die.

***


The trip to the edge was relatively uneventful. He departed his hotel using a private taxi, then transferred from the taxi to a blacked-out private skycar that took him to the other side of the planet, to Nara Vega's starport, where he was picked up by a small cargo freighter, called the Odysseus. The freighter took him to the Naxus System, twenty-nine star systems from the Edge, where he was dropped off and picked up by a sleeker, newer starship, identified as the Corellius. When he arrived to Tarus, a backwater swampy world at the Edge, he walked 1.2 miles through the swamp on a beaten path made by private mining scouts to the underground bunker installed nearly two-hundred years ago during some system-wide war between two syndicates vying for control over Tarus' natural resources. Now, it was under Alliance control, as evidenced by being frisked by four Alliance Army troopers upon entering the bunkers thick stone doors. Köler walked down nearly three flights of crumbling stairways that looked too unstable to be used by anyone, much less five men. At the end, he saw a dark room illuminated by torches adorned on the sides of the rectangular room, a massive square terminal adorning the center of the room, a man wearing black fatigues with a grey Alliance patch on the left shoulder working on the ancient electronics inside of it to get it working again, he assumed. None of them spoke for a moment, staring at each other for a moment in mutual admiration. "Lightning." The older man muttered to him with a smile on his face. "Thunder." Köler replied before approaching him with a warm embrace like brothers who haven't seen each other for years. "It's good to see you again, Adam." Said the man as he stepped back and patted his shoulder. "You too, Scott."

For forty-five minutes, the two talked over a canteen of Valduran Ice Vodka and two plastic shot glasses on top of the old terminal that the Alliance officer failed to get working, it's wires and circuitry probably dissolved beyond use after two-hundred years of inactivity. It would take hundreds of credits of parts that are no longer available from a company that probably went bankrupt or shut down a long time ago. "I don't know how you've stood it for so long, Adam. I would have nuked it along with myself if I had to deal with everything you've gone through." Said Scott, taking another long gulp from the contents of his shot glass 'till it was empty. "It wasn't without it's perks. Parties, women, more money that I knew what to do with. Did you know I run a mercenary company out in the Zone? Yeah, Mickie's Maulers. Small outfit, but full of former Legionnaires. And that Mickie, whew, got a fire in her, if you get my meaning." Adam said as he downed the contents in his glass. With a heavy sigh, Admiral Köler nodded to his Alliance counterpart. "Guess it's time?" He asked, with Scott nodding as well. At that point, Scott pulled out his recorder as Köler spilled everything knew about Operation: STARDUST SONATA. The times of operations, ships involved, frequency codes for classified Federation channels and codewords to use to keep from being recognized by coders responsible for keeping the channels secure, outcomes from the operation and most importantly: how to counter-attack. By the end of it, the Alliance officer knew as much as any Federation Admiral or General present in the briefing. Upon completion, the Alliance officer turned off the recorder, shook the man's hand and instructed the Marines to escort the Admiral out. It was good catching up with his childhood friend, but spending too much time together might convince him to join the Alliance, instead of disappearing. Which would result in him being assassinated by a good Night Ops Kill Team. Night Ops was too good to be stopped by the best of Alliance security, and he knew it. Training to be on a Kill Team only took the best of the best, only Legionnaires, and even then the training was brutal. Only half of the thirty candidates passed and they were all trained Special Forces killers. If Night Ops wanted you dead, you were dead, no matter how big of an army you had. You could hide, but they'd eventually find you. If you ran, you'd die tired. Now, his last mission was done, he could move on with his plans, sign his papers from the privacy of his Star-Explorer he called "The Silence".

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The Unified Colonial Alliance
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Democratic Socialists

Postby The Unified Colonial Alliance » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:42 am

Portside of Onoka Station
Outside of Elevator Shaft 34





The ambush was set up just how McWorter wanted it. Two of his squad hanging at each corner of the room, their rifles pointed right at the doorway that would lead from Hallway 34. If any Federation squads would come through here looking to take Central Control, they would have a nasty surprise. Two more Marines were stationed inside two supply closets close to Hallway 36, where they would be deployed behind the enemy, keeping them boxed in. McWorter would be the kill strike, dropping down from the ceiling his boots had him clamped to and slaughter the surprised Fed squad. It was a simply ambush, nothing too spectacularly complex, nothing close to what McWorter had locked away in that tactics archive he called a mind. A communications ping erupted in his helmet as well as every other Colonial Marine's helmet, an emergency comm report direct from Outlaw Actual.

"All Marine units, be advised. First Sergeant Elias is reporting that Honor Company at the Reactor is being overwhelmed. Honor Commanding Officer is reported KIA. Any available Marine squads are advised to reinforce Honor Company at the Reactor. Uhh, All units be advised, Third Plato- standby....All units be advised, Third Platoon, Honor and Second platoon, Victory is one-hundred percent combat ineffective, we've lost Power Systems and Shield Generators. I repeat, Power Systems Control and Shield Generator Control are in enemy hands. Any squads not actively defending Commands are ordered to reinforce Honor Company. We cannot lose the Reactor. Outlaw Actual out." Said Major Turnbull. He could hear the anxiety and fluster in his voice as he sent out status updates. He had good reason to be. Shield Generator Control wasn't an important defensive point after we lost the exterior battle. Shields were only desperately needed if enemy ships were firing on us, which they had been given strict instructions not to, hence why they are trying to capture this station the hard way. But Power Systems was a more serious matter. As soon as he said that, overhead lighting flickered out, replaced by the red emergency lighting running along the edges of the floor.

"Shit, that complicates things." With Power Systems Control out of Alliance hands, they could shut down lighting, elevator control, airlock control, and with a techy in their squad, they could access Life Support Systems, shut down air filtration. With all remaining platoons deployed to the Reactor, McWorter and his squad would be the only ones in position to potentially retake it. But that would leave the main elevator access open to enemies, where they could access Engineering, Residential, and both Central Commands.

"Alright, Outlaws. You're all staying here, defend this elevator. I'm going to retake Power Systems." Said McWorter. Corporal Daniels rose from his crouched position at the right end of the room. "Sir, this deck is crawling with Federals. Are you sure you'd be able to make it?" McWorter rolled his eyes inside his helmet as he dropped from the ceiling to the elevator shaft. "Don't think I know that? I'm taking the path less traveled. Good luck." He said, forcing open the elevator shaft doors, revealing a long stretch of tubing, illuminated by the same red lighting as everywhere else, it's bottom unable to be seen due to it's long length. At the bottom of that shaft would be Engineering, it's subsections being Tram and Elevator Repair, Emergency Generator Control, Life Support, and Commercial Cargo Bay. Protocol indicated that all of Engineering would be put on Emergency bulkhead seal, enclosing the entire deck in Titanium-A Battleplate to protect Life Support from enemy contact. But his Marine code would work and allow him access through a small maintenance port right outside the main door. If he could get in, he could use the Utility Tunnel System used by Engineers and Technicians to quickly access every area of the station, also locked and sealed tight. If he could access that, it would take him to the Power Systems Control Subdeck. McWorter jumped down the shaft, falling at a faster and faster speed, the red lines dotting past him turned into a single line as he increased speed. Hitting the deck at this speed would turn a Human to jelly as every bone in his body crumpled up as it hit the ground. Luckily, McWorter's armor had emergency thrusters in his boot that slowed his speed in situations like this. He used the tongue toggle to activate the boot thrusters, sputtering to life and illuminating the shaft with a white light as the thrusters used every bit of power to slow his descent. Even with his thrusters, he smashed into the bottom of the shaft, his armor's exoskeleton whined as he was forced down onto one knee, cracking the metal deck underneath his feet. He also felt the strain on his old bones and they felt like they were on fire for a moment as his helmet's HUD sent warning pings to his screen, indicating he used 94% of his suit's power to slow his fall and that it needed a new charge pack immediately or the armor's exoskeleton would lock up, making it a hard process in getting out of the armor. He reached for one of the three power packs attached to the back of his suit and unclipped it. He ripped the charge pack out from the back of his armor, his HUD flashing a countdown to shut down set for ten seconds. He slapped in the charge pack and the HUD turned green, confirming the connection was good and that he was back to 100% power. Next time he'll remember to use the thrusters intermittently to keep his speed under control.

***


After having to smash an access panel at the bottom of the shaft, rip open a security door, and bypass security turrets, he finally arrived at the entrance to Engineering and the small panel located off to the right of the door. He input his security code into the small holographic screen in the middle of the panel, causing it to iris open. He barely managed to fit into the enclosed space with his armor on. He could hear the armor scratch and grind against the several access panels and tool kits on each side of him.

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The Federation of Star Systems
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Conservative Democracy

Postby The Federation of Star Systems » Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:39 pm

Caldura Spaceports Docking Cradle #763
Outskirts of Caldura City
Caldura, Vega Eidura System
Two days before Operation: INDIGO BELL


Preparing the Star-Explorer Mark V for it's long journey wasn't the hardest part of preparing to depart from all he ever knew, it was turning out to be having to explain why he needed a "prolonged vacation" at such short notice to his superiors so close to the initiation of the Federation's baby known as STARDUST SONATA. After backtracking from the Neutral Zone to his hotel room on Concordia, he took all day yesterday to ensure the private renovation companies in charge of ensuring his ship, The Silence, was ready to travel while having to make thirty-four calls to different Admirals and Commanders in charge of STARDUST SONATA's sub-operations to inform them that his work was finished and that he wished to take time for himself. Many he called believed it was something he desperately needed, as he had never missed a day of work in his time serving, not even for the days he felt deathly ill. He popped immuno-boosters and fever reducers and marched in, every time. He trusted the Alliance would do what needed to be done against the Federation's blitz plan, and he hoped his "allies" would burn in their homes. He checked out from his hotel early that morning and headed to Concordia Intersystem Spaceports, using his array of trusted workers to forge documents that claimed he was heading to the Rhada system, to throw off any who were tracking him. He couldn't be too careful, especially after what he did on Tarus. Even serving as Director, he never trusted Night Ops, and knew they were keeping tabs on everyone, including him. No-one was safe from the Federation, even those closest to it were at stake of whispering to the wrong person or bumping into the wrong shoulder and never being seen again. Instead he made his way traveling on a public shuttle to Caldura, one of the many pleasure-worlds built to satisfy the desires of the Federation's highest echelons of politicians, CEOs, and military leaders. Caldura City was the only city on the entire planet, with several thousand farms, factories and lakes dotting the landscape, all serving to keep Caldura City stocked. Half of the city was made up of brothels, theaters, high-class bars and nightclubs. The rest were employee residences, thirty-story tall lounges, and Caldura City Security Force stations, who only served those who could pay high enough for them. "A disgusting display of power" as quoted by Admiral Adam Köler himself years prior during an operation to catch a drug runner who had just got paid for a successful shipment. He departed the public shuttle, another cover for him as all Federation officials preferred to travel via private luxury space-yachts to their destination. Once upon a time, the Federation may have been a galactic force for good, but now, it served few but it's own upper echelons, going so far as to "permanently loan" government luxury yachts to Admirals and Generals with successful careers, including a bonus that could eliminate poverty on four worlds for five years. The Federation wasn't without it's officials that actually cared, though they were few and far between and continuing to diminish with time. He remembered one, Senator Darron Scarborough. He was a good man, donated his entire salary for the year to Carrenia, a poverty-stricken world that existed at the edge of Federation space, a world that much of the Federation had forgotten. He saved over two million children from starvation that year, before he died. Then, those children died anyway from starvation as the money ran out and poverty returned. Remembering the old man nearly sent him into his feelings. He thought of Senator Scarborough as a father figure. Adam shook his head to clear his head and place his focus back onto his current task: re-configuring The Silence's registration code to show the ship built on Herados, a backwater world known for it's private shipyards, instead of one of Concordia's many massive ship-building yards, a fact that would raise alarms to Federal customs ships at the border of Federation space that he would have to fly to after departing Caldura. He would soon be leaving Caldura, his next stop being Gregor V, the last stop before leaving Federation space forever. There, he would meet another one of his contacts to hand off a highly advanced Artificial Intelligence unit, smuggled away from one of the Federation's most secured, most secluded military research station. Turns out anything can be stolen with the right crew and Night Ops skeleton key codes. That was by far his sloppiest action. The key codes would eventually be detected by the coders on review of how a tier-one project was stolen out from under their noses and their Night Ops signature would be identified. Luckily, they wouldn't know who used the codes, only that the codes were Night Ops-registered. The project was the prototype of an A.I. designed for use by the Federation Navy, capable of running a Republica-Class utilizing 50% less human crew, freeing up more room on the ship as well as saving the Federal Navy tens of millions. The one captured by Köler's hit squad was the first in a line of hundreds that would revolutionize space combat. The Federation's navy would no longer be hampered by human error and slow reaction time. When the A.I.s were mass produced for the Navy, decisions would be made in micro-seconds and without the baggage of a human conscious. If STARDUST SONATA failed to scatter the Alliance to the wind, these AIs would prove to be the turning point and would eventually wear down the fight the Alliance put up. Now, the A.I. would serve Köler, maintain functionality on The Silence and accompany him to the void.

FSS Constitution, Republica-Class Battlecruiser
Situation Room, Bridge
Operation: INDIGO BELL
0447 Concordia Standard Time





The once crowded and heavily active Bridge of the Constitution had returned to it's peaceful silence as the hustle and bustle of battle withered away, returning a sense of ambiance among the command staff. Admiral Booker watched live updates from the Warspite's OpCom as her Marine complement had now gained control of Power Systems and Shield Generators, allowing the Constitution's hullbuster breach-ships to smash into the station at all angles, flooding the ship with a thousand Marines and finally overwhelming the station defenders, ending the battle and opening up this sector to Federation control. This was his signal. His signal to mobilize everything the Constitution had on her. He would give the order and watch as shuttle after shuttle, hullbuster pod after pod jettison from the Republica-Class. It would soon form into a cloud of vehicles, all prepared to rain hell down upon Onoka Station.

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The Unified Colonial Alliance
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Democratic Socialists

Postby The Unified Colonial Alliance » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:45 pm

Central Control
Acting Exterior Operations Command





Commander Delin Alune watched the central holographic table as the positions of both Federal and Alliance troops moved across the layout of the Main Deck of Onoka Station. Where Alliance Marines had once been holding steady against the invaders, they had now been faultering, slowly being pushed back or eliminated all together, as was the case with Shield Generator Control and Power Systems. But even with losing more than 46% of the Battalion, they still inflicted heavy casualties on their opponents, matching their casualty lists almost identically. For every Alliance Marine that perished, two went down with him. While the odds weren't looking too good for his own security forces, they were looking just as bad for the Federals. But for as much as he hoped, they would not win this battle, considering the behemoth known as Constitution was lingering in the back, waiting to deploy enough force to wipe out every soul on this station, including his own. If they pushed too far, they would unleash that monster, the monster that begged, nigh, demanded their surrender. Commander Alune considered on giving it to them for a split moment. Ceding the station and everyone on it to the mercy of the Federation ships, hoping they would just take them all in as Prisoners of War, allowing them to live out the remainder of the war in a comfy, padded cell on some backwater penal colony deep in Federation space, or traded back to the Alliance for some big-wig Admiral who played a heavy hand with his Fleet and lost. Like that would happen. Or maybe, they would all be lined up in the Hangar bay and shot, or taken to the airlocks five at a time and spaced, or made an example of and videotaped declaring this system under the control of the Federation, have it broadcasted through Alliance territory then nuked. The possibilities really were endless with the Federation. Then again, he could say the same for his own government. The radar officer erupted into frantic panic as he reported what the station's radars were picking up. "Commander, picking up multiple enemy shuttle craft from the Constitution! Twelve, twenty, I'm picking up alot, sir!" The report confirmed his suspicions that the other Federation forces were just waiting for a foothold before pulling out their final card. However hard the Alliance Marines were fighting, it would all be for naught. Soon, the Federation would take this station. Silence took hold over the circular central station as they all watched dozens upon dozens of Federation transports inch closer with every moment that passed. Alune looked over to his Lieutenant Commander, who had turned to look from the two Weapons Systems operators she was hovering over. Their gazes met and they gave respectful nods to each other, acknowledging that their fight was about to be over. What followed would either be a swift surrender or a prolonged slaughter, depending on how the Lieutenant Colonel was feeling. He would always choose to fight, as was his nature. Delin didn't want to die going down in a blaze of glory. He would rather survive and live to fight another day, if that was a possibility. The Commander made up his mind. There was no point in a useless slaughter, as defeat was swiftly assured. As Commander of this station, it was his duty to defend those under his command, and he would do what was necessary. One call through the Station's intercom system would seal their fates, be them good or bad. The Commander walked over to the Station's control panel adorned into the arm of his chair. The staff around the room watched him move, understanding that he would decide their fates. Alune stared at the button for a brief moment before moving to activate it.

"Wait....Co-Commander! Commander! I'm picking up Alliance transponders! It's the entire Ninth Fleet!" The Radar Operator said jubilantly as every officer in the Command jumped up from their stations with joy, screaming and laughing, embracing one another. Commander Alune turned slowly to the Radar Operator, in shock by his words. He couldn't believe what he had heard. Salvation. Salvation had come for them.

C.M.S. Salvation, Justice-Class Cruiser
Flagship of the Alliance Ninth Fleet
Idnbura System, 7 Star Systems from the Catana System





Mobilizing the entire Alliance Navy inside 72 hours had been a logistical nightmare for the crew of the Salvation and for the entire Fleet. Rear Admiral David Stamper was too old for this kind of maneuvering, yet High Command begged him to continue leading the Ninth Fleet. His service as a Commander in the Federation Navy had been far too valuable for retirement. Now, he was preparing to participate in Operation: Feint, a version of the Federation's Operation: Stardust Sonata, leaked to them by a certain high ranking officer whose name was kept top-secret. So top-secret that even Fleet Admiral Tanner was denied it's knowledge. But the information was valid and it came from a very trust-worthy source, as told to him during a brief operational meeting between the Admirals of the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Fleets who would participate in Feint, looking to strike the first blow against the Federation by leap-frogging through the Outer Systems and countering inside the Inner Systems, targeting Fleet Shipyards, planet-side installations, capital ships, anything that could cripple the Federation enough to recall their little soon-to-be genocidal campaign against the Alliance and level the playing field. It was a big risk. The Alliance would essentially be deploying it's entire Outer Battlegroup, save for the C.M.S Freedom and an escort of ten Heavy Corvettes, into thick Federation space, leaving Outer Alliance Colony worlds to fend for themselves. The Federation could continue forward with Stardust Sonata, and if that was the case, swathes of Alliance space would be captured before the Outer Battlegroup could return, making any fight against the Federation that much more costly. Rear Admiral Stamper had his doubts about the success of the mission, but the Federation wasn't expecting an attack of any kind, and he heard rumors that the Fifth Fleet had a weapon of some kind, capable of shutting down an entire fleet, entrusted to them because they would be deployed over Caldura, the Federation's sinful jewel of the Inner Systems.

The Ninth Fleet was entrusted to liberate Onoka Station from the Federation ships Constitution and Warspite, and destroy them. Once they were destroyed, the Ninth Fleet would link up with the Eighth Fleet in the Kalonda System and remain in reserve in-case the other Fleets required reinforcements or a chance to jump out without losing half of their ships. It would be a series of hit-and-run attacks, no doubt. Targeting what infrastructure they could hit for the first two minutes, then jumping to another target, hoping to scramble Federation QRF ships and catch them all off-guard. This would be the spark that re-ignited the Colonial War.




The Ninth Fleet jumped in to witness Onoka Station under heavy siege by the two lumbering Federation warships. The Salvation jumped in first, followed by a wave of fifteen Crusader-Class Heavy Corvettes, and twenty Victory-Class Cruisers, enough to burn an entire planet. From the Combat Information Center of the Salvation, Rear Admiral Stamper smirked at the disadvantaged Federal ships, who had once been so confident in their victory. "Admiral, picking up dozens of marine shuttles en-route for Onoka, ETA: forty seconds." Said one of the many officers sitting below the Captain's Nest, a sealed area of the CIC home to the Commander only, screens floating around him displaying data on every important aspect of this mission.

"Let's give them a warm welcome. Scramble their comms, order the Fleet to pick a warship and give 'em hell. The Salvation'll take care of those shuttles. Launch all Z-72s and Z-21s. Prepare the Heavy Bombers for strafing runs. Open fire when ready, Weapons Officer." The Admiral said calmly. The Salvation opened up all 32 laser cannons onto the shuttles while missile batteries locked onto the Constitution and launched over three dozen anti-ship missiles, barreling towards the Republica-Class. Ten of the Heavy Corvettes and fifteen of the Cruisers broke formation in the fleet and made their way to the Warspite, opening up with Fore cannon fire, peppering their shields. The remainder of the fleet joined with the Salvation and stampeded towards the Constitution.

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The Federation of Star Systems
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Postby The Federation of Star Systems » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:51 pm

FSS Constitution, Republica-Class Battlecruiser
Bridge, Command Deck
0456 Concordia Standard Time





There was no time to stand in awe or shock at the sudden arrival of an entire Alliance fleet, the swift guillotine that put Operation: INDIGO BELL to death. As the shuttles were one by one reduced to a sudden splash of yellow and white light followed by a cloud of debris, Admiral Booker ordered the remaining eighty-nine interceptors and fighters of Second Wing from the Constitution out to defend the remaining shuttles as they broke off current course and smashed their accelerator buttons, trying to scurry back into the safety of the Constitution. The Gray Wolves of First Squadron would lead the attack, while Black Jack and Vampire Squadrons would break off to intercept Alliance fighters and craft making their way to Warspite, where the surviving half of Reaper and Warhawk Squadrons were already engaged. As per operational protocol, Admiral Booker ordered the withdrawal of all Federation forces inside of Onoka Station and prepare to jump out of the system. The communications lines between Constitution Actual and Warspite Actual was filled with static, barely able to hear what the other was saying. No doubt an attempt by the enemy forces to block comms from each other, which was countered by the Constitution's counterelectronic measurements, allowing a continued connection, even if it was weak. Sadly, all communications from the Constitution outside to the surrounding systems was blocked, cutting them off from OpCom. The closest ship outside of the Catana System was the FSS Dauntless, the third ship assigned to INDIGO BELL that was forced to sit on the sidelines after a critical Lightdrive failure. It was most likely still there, her engineers working tirelessly to repair it while the ship was reverted to a system patrol ship for the time being. Admiral Booker could always use another Republica-Class ship. Then he could add the destruction of the Alliance Fleet under his belt. "Brace!" Yelled the Admiral at the incoming missiles launched by the lead Alliance ship, a Justice-Class cruiser. Not as large as a Republica, but was loaded down with capital killers, capable of downing two good Republicas in a battle. The ship's advanced defense matrix aimed her Point Defense Cannons at the missiles, letting loose a never-ending storm of lighter rounds, destroying 17 of the missiles, but because of their already close proximity, the ADM couldn't work a miracle. The remaining fifteen missiles slammed into the ship's fore shielding, causing the kinetic barriers to shake and light up in a bluish hue. The explosions rocked the ship, overloading a few non-critical systems and causing dozens of injuries across the ship. "Shields holding at 12%!" Reported the shaken up ship's technical officer. "We can't take another hit like that!" Ordered the Admiral, standing up after being knocked down from the violent shaking of the ship. He landed hard on his right hand, and he could hear something snap. It was followed by extreme pain and his inability to use his right hand. He ignored the pain, holding it onto his torso, gritting his teeth. He watched the tactical viewer on the central station, watching as enemy corvettes were moving in on the Warspite. Those Corvettes had the ability to swarm that heavy cruiser, wear down the Warspite's shielding while targeting any shuttles bringing Marines out of the Station. The Constitution could handle a hell of a pounding, even with the barriers down. Victorious-Class Heavy Cruisers could to, but with less advanced kinetic barriers and thinner battleplates, the odds of the Warspite getting knocked out of action were considerably higher than that of Booker's ship. At this point, the most logical move would be to thin out those heavy corvettes and divert his squadrons to assist with defending the escaping shuttles until Captain Beckham could jump out while the Constitution soaked up the damage, hopefully able to pull out afterwards. "Launch all Razorback missiles at all enemy ships moving for the Warspite, divert all squadrons to assist the station withdrawal. Forward at 25% engine power and open up on that lead ship with every ion cannon we've got! Divert all non-critical system power to forward kinetic barrier generators." The Admiral's orders bristled through the Command deck as officers relayed orders or moved to fulfill his orders.

Second Wing, First Squadron, "Gray Wolves"
Gray Two, Acting Gray Lead





Since the loss of Gray Lead, or Lucky, as his friends called him, Gray Two, Lieutenant Kasper "Ghost" Dogden was placed in temporary command of Gray Squadron for the entirety of the rest of the operation. Their objective was to prepare to face off against multiple squadrons of Alliance fightercraft, who appeared as a giant cloud of red dots on his Lancer's radar screen. The roll call had already been announced and everyone was ready for a hard fight. "Gray Lead, this is Con Actual. Be advised, new orders are to disengage current course and re-direct to the Warspite's battlespace and provide additional security for withdrawing shuttles aboard the Station. Repeat, re-direct to Warspite and provide security." Kasper sucked his bottom lip as the orders grinded in his mind, causing him to glance out over to the two dots out a ways, Onoka and Warspite. "Copy, Actual. Redirecting to Warspite. All birds, new orders are to redirect to the Warspite. On my lead!" He ordered to the other squadrons following close behind him. He turned his Lancer and hit a hard turn, bringing his central targeting scope directly onto the Warspite, engaging his boosters, forcing his head back as his cockpit shook. The squadrons followed suit almost identically, leaving the battlespace between Constitution and the ship registered as the Salvation clear aside from the Alliance warbirds blazing towards Kasper's home. He didn't like the idea of letting those Alliance bastards go to town on his flagship, but he figured the Admiral wouldn't order something without thinking. He had a plan and Ghost had to trust him. Ghost nearly jumped out of his skin as he watched friendly Razorback missiles flood past above his squadrons, barreling towards the enemy ships closing in on Warspite. "Give 'em hell! Yeah!" Yelled one pilot, Eagle 11, causing the others to erupt in celebratory cheers at the sight of so many missiles about to reduce the enemy to smoldering ruins. "Hey, shut it! All of you! This battle hasn't started yet, stay focused!" Yelled Ghost into his microphone, causing them all to go quiet with confirmations and yes sirs.

FSS Warspite
Bridge, Command Deck





The ship's lighting flickered as a volley of anti-ship missiles slammed into the Warspite's portside barriers, reducing them to 36% and causing several life-threatening injuries aboard the ship. Captain Beckham gave the withdrawal command three minutes ago and sent shuttles to every hangar bay with four Marines each to give the Marines aboard a chance to get out. The ship's squadrons had deployed and advanced early on to try to haggle the enemy warships, but were only facing heavy casualties as thirteen fighters went down in twenty seconds. The Captain looked out to see another volley of missiles hurdling at them, Portside PDCs attempting to destroy as many as they could. The volley was successful in busting the barriers, allowing the rest to impact, causing massive explosions across the Portside. Catastrophic damage followed as dozens of fires broke out across the left side of the ship. Casualty reports began flooding in as hallways and portions of decks were compromised and venting oxygen, equipment and crewmembers. Waves of laserfire peppered the entire ship as the Warspite launched back it's entire payload of Razorback Ship-to-Ship Missiles, fifty missiles in total, followed by every cannon opening fire on the nearest enemy vessel, focusing fire onto a singular point, hoping to blow clean through the entire ship within ten seconds. Captain Beckham was surprised to see that Constitution missiles were in-bound on the enemy ships, as well. The lights flickered once more as another volley hammered the ship, this round focusing on the central portion of the ship. With another round of missiles came another round of casualty reports, damage control warnings, and multiple non-critical systems offline. Beckham had seen his share of enemy fire, taken down quite a few Alliance vessels with the Warspite, but this with this magnitude of concentrated fire, he was afraid the Warspite would begin to come apart at the seams as more and more holes were blown into it. He gave the withdrawal time ten minutes. Ten minutes to withdraw all Marines and safely exit the Catana System. Ten minutes.

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The Unified Colonial Alliance
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Democratic Socialists

Postby The Unified Colonial Alliance » Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:27 pm

C.M.S Salvation, Justice-Class Cruiser
Flagship of the Alliance Ninth Fleet
Catana System


[hr]

Fire between the Salvation and the Constitution had increased to a fierce shootout as the enemy's squadrons redirected to assist the increasingly overwhelmed Warspite. Rear Admiral Stamper would make them pay by ordering the three squadrons of Preyhunters to surround the Constitution and hammer their shields with missiles and turretfire until the squadron of Heavy Bombers are deployed, which the hangar crew boss predicts them to be out the door within three minutes.

The deck shook as the fore shields took a massive hit from one of the ion rounds being sent in an endless rain from the Constitution. Once the deck returned to relative peace, the Admiral's eyes focused on the dozens of anti-ship missiles launching out from the Constitution's portside launchers, sailing straight for the thirty-five Alliance vessels steaming past Onoka Station, looking to surround the Warspite and cut her off from jumping or the support of the Republica-Class Battleship. "Admiral, Resolution, Victory, Relentless, and Timid are down! Valor and Kelonza are heavily damaged, requesting permission to fall back?" Said the ship's operations officer, monitoring the damage being taken by the enemy missile attack.

"Negative. Inform them to push forward and launch everything they have! We take out that ship now!" The Admiral said.


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