[COLLABORATIVE STORY] Solar Skirmish, a space battle

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[COLLABORATIVE STORY] Solar Skirmish, a space battle

Post by stardust » 2017-06-22 06:30pm

Situation: Pirates have overrun the garrison defending the planet Central, the regional hub for commerce and trade within Sirius Sector. Planetary population held hostage and system is effectively blockaded.
Opposition: Approximately two battlegroups of pirate cruisers, raiders, and boarding carriers, led by an old assault carrier, the Acheron. Planetary defenses and civilian reports confirm pirate forces are concentrated in and around planetary orbit, but sufficient strength present patrolling the outer system to prevent a sneak deployment in the system’s outer regions.
Assets: 1x starship of no greater than capital-type designation (battlecruiser, battleship, dreadnought or assault carrier; anything larger would be a titan, but anything smaller would be a cruiser) max per player, plus attendant assets such as fighters, mecha, boarding craft, etc.
Restrictions: Limited use of strategic weapons (antimatter bombs, dimensional interrupts, etc.) no godmodding and no superweapons. Or anything like Neo's bullet-stopping tricks in The Matrix; but use of the Force to deflect ordnance coming at you, or something akin to that, should be fine as long as it's not overdone.

Any character from any universe welcome - this is cross-universe, so Mass Effect, Star trek, Star Wars, Stargate, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, WH40K etc, and your own creations are welcome.

Potential roles are those in ships in the space engagement, and those who go down to the surface to fight the pirates on the ground, urban combat setting. General flow is to have it be revealed over the course of a number of posts that the 'pirates' are in fact mercenaries hired on by protagonists'/players' enemies, who seek redress for past grievances. There can be a diplomatic parlay in the early stages, to see if the 'pirates' can be reasoned with or otherwise bought, but it will be doomed to fail. Players are outnumbered but not necessarily outgunned; superior tactics will carry the day more than brute force will, unless yo

For some more info and discussion about this, please check out this thread - http://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=166548

****PLEASE NOTE**** If you wish to join in, or have any questions, please PM me! First try at this on an actual active SF forum, so be gentle! And I promise not to bite. Nibble, maybe...
War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left.

I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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stardust
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Re: [COLLABORATIVE STORY] Solar Skirmish, a space battle

Post by stardust » 2017-06-22 06:41pm

I'll be using my own OC to start, Admiral David "Stardust" Turcotte; the ship I'll be using is here - http://high-guard.deviantart.com/art/Th ... -135472992

Stardust and the executive officer, a Nahydran warrior named Kai'a Sovv, are here. http://suthnmeh.deviantart.com/art/Hellfire-274196938
All arts belongs to others, but the chars are mine. Except the Sword; that's all my own creation.
War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left.

I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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Re: [COLLABORATIVE STORY] Solar Skirmish, a space battle

Post by stardust » 2017-06-26 02:51pm

Breathe.
The background hubbub of the ship’s gym dropped away, and Stardust’s perception seemed to become hyper-aware of his surroundings:
The steady whoosh of a group of the battlecruiser’s Nahydran fighter pilots, practicing flying in a full G, holding on to supports to keep from slamming into the overhead.
The steady cadence of a handful of human runners on treadmills.
The occasional grunt of someone straining to lift weights.
Taking a deep breath, Stardust launched himself at the sparring dummy with a flurry of jabs and kicks, sending it skidding across the non-slip mats laid down to prevent such from happening. Leaping into the air, he finished with a solid roundhouse kick to the side of the training dummy’s head, actually knocking it over onto its side.
[They are not supposed to be easily knocked over,] a Nahydran voice cawed, and Stardust blinked to see Sovv standing a few feet away. He glanced down at the dummy and then back at her, and shrugged.
“Just working off some energy,” he said simply. “What’s up?”
[CENTCOM has retasked us.]
That caught Stardust’s attention. “We’re not linking up with a Xargon Peacekeeper detachment for exercises?”
[Negative. We are to proceed at once to the trade hub of Central and eliminate it from pirate scum that have seized control of the system. I have already directed the helm to do so; I wished to inform you of the change.]
Stardust shrugged again. “Sure. What’s our ETA?”
Sovv looked him up and down, her wings indicating amusement. [You have time to bathe. Sir.]
Stardust ignored the implied comment that he stank – he had been exercising rather vigorously for over an hour. Taking a deep breath, he shifted his feet and stretched, feeling the burn in his muscles.
“Okay then,” he said. “I’ll hit the shower and get refreshed; can you make an announcement and arrange a stealthy insertion into the outer system?”
Sovv nodded. [Central has extensive deep-space and hyperspace tracking; permission to take us off the grid on our approach?]
“Granted. I’ll be in the CIC in half an hour.”
War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left.

I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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Re: [COLLABORATIVE STORY] Solar Skirmish, a space battle

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2017-06-26 03:39pm

The bridge of the ship was a place of peace and ordered calm: officers and enlisted sat at their posts, going about the routine as the ship towards its destination, the monotony of the trip a pleasant change from the brutal months that had only recently ended. Outside the armoured viewports the swirling tunnel of hyperspace provided a constant reminder that theirs was a ship that travelled the stars. But she was not a ship of peace or commerce of exploration.

She was a warship.

A battleship, Victory class, the largest and most powerful design in the Imperial fleet, one of the Two Thousand.

Or rather, one of the survivors of the Two Thousand. The Fifth and Final War had ended mere weeks ago, the final confrontation with humanity’s very own worst enemy; other humans. The Tienari, or the Terra Nova Republic as they were once known, had fought four vicious wars against the Terran Empire, beginning back in the late twenty first century when interstellar travel first began.

Every war had been a victory for the Empire. Every war had seen the Tienari pushed further and further back, made weaker and weaker. After the Fourth War, when the ship’s commander had first joined up, the enemy had seemed beaten for good. There had been talk of peace after three hundred years of bloodshed and fear.

How wrong they had been.

Somehow, the Tienari had rebuilt themselves, far stronger than before, and far more violent. Where once worlds were invaded and captured, the Fifth War had seen worlds burned to the ground and billions slain. Planet-killers hurling huge relativistic slugs at populated worlds until the crust cracked and the surface became a sea of fire and lava.

At the plot table, the man in charge could not help but remember those days, the sights he had seen. The pre-emptive strike at the enemy shipyards, the loss of the Royal Sovereign, the legion of enemy ships sent against Schrodinger in retaliation.

The world burning, battleships shattered and vaporised as they tried to defend it. The desperate retreat as the man’s immediate superior, Rear Admiral Benson had thrown away her entire division to buy time for the rest of First Fleet to escape.

The campaign that followed, the Tienari assault all along the Frontier. The Fifth Fleet under Admiral Cain on the Pegasus wiped out over Molecay, the Second and Third Fleets retreating from Deliverance, Heisenberg, Red Sky Lost and a hundred other worlds.

The desperate counterattack over Tartarus, destroying the last planet killers, the supply base at Bastion, the enemy fleet rallying for an all-out assault on Earth. The near-suicidal last stand that his Task Force and a hundred others had made to break the back of the enemy fleet.

Taking the offensive, pushing into Tienari space, seeing whole planets of civilians choose to die rather than surrender. The war had ended, not because the Tienari capitulated, but because every single Tienari preferred death to surrender.

And then, finally, they had found the reason why.

A hyperspace portal, leading to another universe. The Tienari had found it after the Fourth War ended, and explored it, finding a planet called Central, a hub for interuniversal portals leading to countless other universes and realities. Including a reality where they had won the war and ruled supreme. This other reality had helped them, given them technology and materials to help this universe’s Tienari defeat the Terran Empire.

That other universe had suffered its own fate shortly before the war began, a force of alien locusts had descended upon them, devouring them all. The ship’s master couldn’t bring himself to care about them at all, they were just as guilty as the Tienari he had fought against and defeated.

But the Empire couldn’t resist this chance. They too travelled to Central, establishing a diplomatic presence there, taking Earth’s first steps out into a wider multiverse. For four weeks everything had gone smoothly. Now though, all contact had been lost. This ship had been sent to find out why.

The man in command wore a standard duty uniform, his collar bearing the three stars of his Vice-Admiral rank. He still thought of himself as a Commodore though; the only reason he held the higher rank was because so many senior officers were dead. Rear Admiral Benson had died over Schrodinger, leaving the Commodore in command of what was left of the division. Then Vice-Admiral Reynolds and the Bellerophon had gone down over Deliverance. Admiral Cain, Admiral Sawyer, Admiral McGann…even Fleet Admiral Janson, his father in law, was gone. The Commodore turned Vice Admiral was the senior surviving officer from the entirety of First Fleet, four hundred ships, eighty task forces, and he was the highest ranked survivor.

His name was Sir Philip Wallace. It was a name ascribed to a Hero back on Earth and a thousand other worlds, the Breaker of Tartarus, the Defender of Heisenberg, the Hero of Earth and countless other sobriquets. He did not feel a hero. So many friends were gone, so many ships lost, so many worlds burned. It was estimated that nearly half the Fleet was destroyed or damaged beyond repair, and the Empire had lost twenty-eight percent of its population, which before the war had number a hundred and forty billion.

But he had survived. His ship had survived. Most importantly for his sanity, his wife had survived. Dame Jessica Wallace, who also happened to be a Captain and his Executive Officer aboard his flagship.

The ship dropped out of hyperspace near the listening post built at the mouth of the hyperspace portal. The latest data was transmitted; still no contact from the diplomatic mission on Central, but scattered radio messages screaming about “them” had been received. It was enough to change the Admiral’s mind-set immediately. This was no longer a search-and-report mission.

This was search and rescue in a potentially hostile environment.

The crew were called to Action Stations, the shields were raised, the weapons armed. Admiral Wallace informed his crew of what they had learned, ending with a passionate promise:

“…Our people are there, and we have lost far too many already. Whatever happens, we will bring them home.”

The ship moved into the portal. Three and a half kilometres of armour and firepower. The ship was shaped like a flattened cylinder, with the forward section narrowing around the ship’s main battery, while the aft section flared outwards slightly to accommodate the four massive sublight engines. Lines of turrets graced the ship’s flanks, whilst at the rear a heavily-armoured conning tower rose twenty decks above the main hull to give a commanding view.

The ISS Eternal Freedom was once more sailing into harm’s way.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: [COLLABORATIVE STORY] Solar Skirmish, a space battle

Post by stardust » 2017-06-27 08:07am

Aboard the Sword of Vengeance, a somber conversation was playing out between Admiral Turcotte and Star Marshal Dean, aboard Solarian Skywatch, via subspace ansible.
“A full review of Central’s defense strategy is underway,” the Star Marshal was telling him, “but your priority is driving back or destroying the pirates holding the planetary population hostage.”
“Understood, ma’am,” Stardust said. “Are there any other friendlies in-system?”
"No intel at present, but that doesn't mean you won't see anyone."
“Copy that.” A tone indicated imminent realspace reversion. “I have to go. We’ll see you on the other side.”
“Good luck, Admiral. The other human governments will be watching the situation closely.” At a gesture, the Star Marshal terminated the link.
“Great,” Stardust murmured. “Just what I need. A show.” Switching to the intraship comms, he contacted the bridge. “Matriarch Sovv, are we ready?”
[Approaching coordinates now,] the Nahydran replied.
Stardust stopped himself from reminding his flag captain of the need for discretion, while they ascertained the situation directly. To that effect, the battlecruiser emerged into normalspace in a vast field of ice particles several hundred AU from the blazing white light of Sirius A. Sensors peered starward, and monitored the tense exchange between the Ram and the Archangel.
Stardust felt a tightness in his gut, one he normally associated with imminent action against entire fleets, which he found odd as he was leading only a single starship.
Probably because the regional trade hub and its billions of noncombatants are down there, he thought. One wrong move and they can start dropping nukes or kinetic impactors into the cities.
“Set yellow alert,” Stardust ordered, and the battlecruiser shifted to a heightened alert status.
Sovv added, [All internal security teams to combat stations. Prep for hostile boardings as well as counter-boarding operations.]
Stardust repressed a smile. Trust Kai’a to think one step ahead of him.
A flashing light on his console indicated a private coms request; ID was Sovv. Tapping the accept button, the system linked them together.
“Yes?”
[We will not approach the planet?] she asked.
“No,” he answered. “I figure we hang back and see who and what shoes up and how it all plays out, and when the shooting starts, we can flank that carrier and hopefully get between the planet and anything they try to drop on Central.”
His choice of words was not lost on her. [When, indeed.]
“Any group that can amass the firepower to overwhelm an entire planetary militia doesn’t truly need whatever they may be asking for, nor will any sane organization part with whatever it is they really want. This entire show is all window-dressing. Eventually, they’ll start shooting, and I intend to cut them off from the planet, and cripple the Acheron. Preferably at the same time.”
[Should they have control of the surface weaponry, we will have no room to maneuver.]
“We’ll make that flight when we get to it,” Stardust soothed, paraphrasing an old Nahydran saying. “Until then, we watch, we wait, and we prep for hostile action.”
War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left.

I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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Re: [COLLABORATIVE STORY] Solar Skirmish, a space battle

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2017-07-17 06:34pm

The battleship emerged from the interuniversal portal with none of the usual spectacular displays of spatial distortion that accompanied her usual hyperspace exits. In fact, the transition from one universe to another was almost casual; one moment the powerful vessel was in an obscure corner of a conquered enemies’ territory, then with no indication of movement at all, the environment totally changed. The star patterns shifted wildly, as if the vessel had traversed a galaxy in the blink of an eye, and she was surrounded by cold balls of ice and dust.

This location had been carefully picked; the portal’s spatial location in this foreign universe was on the inner edge of the Sirius’ systems Kuiper Belt. Hundreds of thousands of icy planetoids let her hide from any sensors or optical telescopes that might be looking her way. The entire effort was for one purpose: to ensure no one, hostile or otherwise, noticed the battleship’s arrival in the system.

On her bridge, Vice-Admiral Wallace turned to his Operations Officer, Commander Bracewell.

“Edward, begin scanning, passive systems only. We have no idea what we’re dealing with. Prepare two comm drones, one to head back through the portal and signal for reinforcements. I doubt the rest of TF 171 can be spared but FleetCom should be able to whistle up one or two other ships just in case. Have them wait at the relay station for orders.”

Bracewell nodded and passed on the orders to his tactical team. “And the other drone Admiral?”

“Rig that one for active scans and send it towards the planet Central at maximum acceleration. Have it broadcast to our delegation on the surface as well, make it look like a standard whats-going-on probe.”

The drones were duly launched, and over the next twelve hours the tactical crews gathered vast amounts of data. It all painted a picture that on the surface was grim indeed, but as the ship’s senior officers learned at a briefing, was nowhere near as bad as it first appeared.

Commander Bracewell stood before a screen showing a schematic of the system. At present, the planet Central was highlighted.

“This is the planet Central. Whether that’s its actual name I have no idea. Our last contact with our delegation was three days and four hours ago. The last message was fragmentary and referred to “them” arriving in orbit. “Them” is in fact a large force of vessels that have seized control of the orbital space around Central and have deployed patrols in the outer system. This force is centered around this vessel:”

The screen changed to a display of what was quite clearly a carrier of some type.

“Transponders indicate she is the Assault Carrier Acheron, though she is closer in size to a light carrier by our standards. Slightly over 1.5 kilometres bow to stern, she carries a number of heavy weapon mounts in her bows and smaller turrets on her flanks, as well as what appear to be missile tubes. No estimate on her air wing, but comparably-sized vessels in the Tienari fleet could carry up to 160 fighters and bombers. Weapons appear to consist of turret-mounted coilguns and what we think are x-ray spectrum lasers. The missiles are presumably nuclear-armed or equivalent.”

The screen changed again, showing sensor images of four distinct vessels. “The Acheron is accompanied by no less than seventy-two escorts and light ships. There are four of these 1,000 metre vessels tentatively classed as cruisers, twelve of ships of 600 metres in length classified as destroyers, twenty-four 300 metre long “frigates” and three dozen 150 metre long vessels that appear to be gunships or raiders.”

The Admiral spoke up. “What is their disposition?”

“At present, Acheron and the four cruisers are holding a geosynchronous orbit over Central. The destroyers and frigates are divided into three-ship patrols, one destroyer and two frigates in each. Six of these groups are in various orbits around Central. The other six are scattered around the outer system, presumably to keep watch. The gunships are similarly disposed; there are twelve three-gunship groups with half of them at Central and the rest patrolling the outer system.”

The ship’s gunnery officer, Commander Brian Fischer, spoke next: “Do we have an estimate on their tactical effectiveness?”

Bracewell paused and took a sip of water before continuing. “As you can see, all these vessels are substantially smaller than what we would usually call cruisers, frigates etc. Their weaponry appears substantially less advanced than our own but we have no indication as to whether they possess shields or not. Based on observed accelerations and drive spectra, their sublight engines are approximately one-fifth as powerful as our own, correcting for differing ship masses. They do exhibit FTL comms and sensors, but the propagation rate is barely 10c. Frankly gentleman if I wasn’t aware we were in another universe, I’d swear we were looking at a mid-Second War era Tienari fleet.”

The Admiral nodded. “Individually then none of those ships are a match for us. But even I am sceptical about odds of 73 to one.” There was a chuckle at this given the Admiral’s war record. “Especially if we don’t have solid information on shields or missile yields. Edward, did we pick up any messages from the surface before the comm drone was destroyed?”

“Yes Admiral, we picked up a number of distress calls, in a dozen languages we can’t even begin to translate. We were able to get one clear message though, apparently one of the other universe’s speaks English just like we do.” That generated some bemused looks. “According to this, the force now in orbit are pirates, here to plunder and pillage. As Central is supposedly neutral ground, there are no indigenous forces to repel such an attack.”

The Admiral’s expression turned grim. “Pirates. Typical. Well, the Empire’s policy on pirates is clearly documented: Hostis Humanii Generis. Gentlemen, we will engage and destroy this threat so that our diplomatic mission can continue. Edward, did we get any word on reinforcements?”

Bracewell nodded. “Yes sir. FleetCom has cut orders to the Lexington and the Thermopylae, they will hold station on our side of the portal awaiting orders. ETA is three days.”

The Admiral absorbed this and factored it into his plans. “Very well. Gentlemen, we will begin hit and run strikes against patrols in the outer system. We’ll start with one of those destroyer/frigate groups, the furthest one from Central. Nav, plot us a short-jump so we drop out in effective weapons range. Guns, full alpha strike, let’s not hold back. Edward, prepare to jam all transmissions from those ships and watch the planet like a hawk. If there is any sign of them preparing to fire on the surface, we will jump in and engage Acheron with every gun we have. Understood?”

The officers all nodded their understanding, and their agreement with both the tactical plan and the general sentiment. Piracy was abhorred in the Terran Empire, no matter what universe they were from. Defending civilians was also a deeply held practice; these officers had seen far too many worlds burned recently to allow such a thing to happen again.

The Admiral rose and dismissed them. Once he was alone, he walked over to the screen and switched back to the view of Acheron.

“Better start praying to whatever Gods you people believe in, because we’re coming for you.”
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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