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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-12 06:33pm
by U.P. Cinnabar
Sword Of the Commonwealth. It's the name of a battle cruiser from a near-forgotten Renegade Legion campaign I ran.

Also, Twelve Colonies, Arrow of Athena, Pride of Terra, Bastion, Richard Adar, etc.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-12 06:41pm
by Eternal_Freedom
Those are some good suggestions, though Sword of the Commonwealth is a bit long. Sword of Terra might be a better fit and it was the Arrow of Apollo, not Athena. Twelve Colonies is a nice suggestion though.

Also, Richard Adar? The man who mothballed a third of the Colonial Fleet leaving it stripped of the very non-networked vessels needed to fight off the Clyon assault? I think not!

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-12 06:48pm
by U.P. Cinnabar
History might be kinder to his memory now that he's decaying radiation in Caprica's atmosphere.

Or, perhaps not.

I could've sworn it was Athena, damnit. Never get old, Phil. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't.

Sword of Terra works too. I'll dig up my old Star Frontiers stuff to see if I can come up with more Human but not Earth names for ships.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-12 06:51pm
by Eternal_Freedom
It was the Arrow of Apollo in the Tomb of Athena

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-12 11:02pm
by InsaneTD
Well the ancients did influence and pick up some medieval culture so you could in theory steal some stuff from that. Or at least they influenced Arthurian Lore anyway.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-12 11:18pm
by U.P. Cinnabar
And, the Knights of the Round Table were all space aliens. Oh, wait, no, wrong franchise...

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-13 08:26am
by Eternal_Freedom
I've already got Arthur Pendragon and (had) the Excalibur, Camelot myths have given enough for now.

In other news, next chapter is nearing completion which starts the real crossover, should be up later today.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-13 09:27am
by Eternal_Freedom
Another biggy, 3300 or so words.

Kobolian-Tau’ri Joint Task Force, in orbit of M9Z-359,
One Week Later

Things had settled down somewhat over the days since the battle. The Task Force still held orbit over the enemy world, although the damaged ships had long since returned to Atlantis Base for repairs, along with the wounded and the few remaining bodies to be returned to their families.

Despite the absence of the damaged ships the Task Force remained just as strong as before, if not stronger. Admiral Lethbridge-Stewart had answered Commodore Wallace’s call for the Marines and then some – the Warstar Nemesis had arrived a day later and the First Marine Division made their first ever combat drop onto an enemy-held world. With four cruisers and eight destroyers providing support from the upper atmosphere and squadrons of Cobras, Scythes and Scimitars on call, the Goa’uld and Cylon resistance had rapidly crumbled in the face of overwhelming force.

A chance discovery as the Tau’ri ships scanned the disabled and derelict Al’kesh in orbit had helped immensely. Ba’al had been found aboard his cloaked vessel, surrounded by the butchered remains of his servants and doing nothing more threatening than laughing maniacally, though it was clear to everyone who saw this that the laughter was fuelled more by insanity than anything else.

The potent image of their all-powerful God completely mad and clearly in Alliance custody had a profound effect on the human population of the world. The mentally-programmed Cylons and indoctrinated human soldiers fought on, but with the ordinary population realising they had been duped a massive uprising had begun, sweeping away several Cylon strongholds by sheer numbers and inertia before anyone on the ground or in orbit realised what was going on.

The casualties among the subjugated humans involved in this uprising were, naturally, horrendous – unarmed and untrained civilians assaulting well-armed, well-trained and fanatical human-form Cylons was always going to be very bloody. But with the Terran Marines gaining ground and the air support and uprising cutting off any way for the Cylon strongholds to reinforce or resupply each other things had quickly turned against the Cylon forces.

By day six of the ground campaign, the remaining Cylon forces had been besieged in roughly twenty remaining positions across the planet’s primary continent. Those positions that were isolated had been destroyed by punishing turbolaser fire from the ships in the upper atmosphere, the handful that were in major population centres were holding out but it was only a matter of time now. The Tau’ri had lamented that Ba’al had apparently created a way to block Asgard beaming systems, if not for that the Cylons could have been easily rounded up and dealt with.

In his temporary quarters aboard the Phoenix, Commodore Wallace sat putting the finishing touches on his after-action report, which covered the entire mission since his arrival in Pegasus two weeks earlier. He had been extremely honest, admitting that his plan for the main battle had been overly reliant on brute force, though he also recognised the constraints placed upon the plan by the use of the hyperspace jammers on Excellent.

Those jammers received their own section in the report – the Commodore praised the technological skill behind the device and remarked that the prototype had performed exactly as expected. He also included a number of criticisms and comments regarding the tactical limitations it imposed, remarking that if the jammers had not been active, the damage to four of his ships might have been severely reduced or removed altogether as the ships could have made an escape jump once the shields were compromised.

He admitted to himself that he was belabouring the point but he felt it was necessary. This had been the jammer’s first use in combat and the results of the action and his own report would have a massive impact on how the devices might be used in future and by extension, the entire future tactical doctrine of the Combined Fleet. If that were the case he wanted his report to show as balanced a view as possible; knowing that in a future engagement it may well be his own ships and crew in jeopardy was a powerful motivator.

He sighed as he finished the report and sent it off to the Comms team to be included in the next message packet being sent back to Terra. Also included were the letters he had written to the families of the two hundred and eighty seven men and women who had died under his command a week ago. Those letters were, by necessity, largely form letters but he had tried to add a personal touch to each. This was made more difficult because most of the losses had been incurred by the Indomitable and her Battle Group; ships that were part of Second Fleet and thus Wallace had very little contact with beyond Commodore Walker. It was deeply troubling to him that he couldn’t put a face to any of those two hundred and eighty-seven names without their service file as an aid.

He was drawn away from his musings by a call over the 1-MC asking him to contact Fleet Ops. He sighed again, thinking that this was how the whole thing started a fortnight ago, before grabbing the comm handset and pressing the right button.

“Fleet Ops this is Fireman, go ahead.”

”Commander Daniels here Sir. The last of the Cylon positions on the surface just fell, General Warwick reports they’re mopping up now. Casualties are lighter than expected, the wounded are being evac’d to the hospital aboard Nemesis as we speak. Looks like we’re just about finished here Sir.”

“Let’s hope so Commander. Set up a real-time comm channel to HQ at Terra, I need to brief the CINC and probably the President as well.”

“Very good Sir.”

The real-time communication was a complicated process given the distances involved. It required using several of the nav/sensor buoys of the Argus net as relay points, before needing Atlantis to dial Terra’s Stargate and then a final relay was used to link the call to Olympus Base and the Commander-In-Chief.

The entire process took several minutes, but eventually Wallace was face to face with holograms of the Fleet’s senior command, political leadership and Alliance representatives: Admirals Lethbridge-Stewart, Adama and Jellicoe were joined by Presidents Matthews and Roslin, Doctor Jackson and General Hammond; none of the leaders wanted to miss this and had been gathered on Olympus Base for days now watching the situation unfold.

“Mr and Madam President, Admirals, General, Doctor, I have just been informed by General Warwick that the last Cylon-controlled position on the planet has fallen and we’re mopping up any stragglers. The population turning on their “God” went a very long way to minimising our own casualties, though civilian losses were extensive and there is considerable damage to the infrastructure. I would recommend immediate humanitarian support to help get them back on their feet and diplomatic approaches afterwards, this world and the others nearby could be strong allies out here.”

The assembled holograms exchanged glances, this was more or less the same long-term plan they had envisioned. Lethbridge-Stewart leaned forwards in his seat.

”What of our losses Commodore?”

“As I previously reported, the destroyers Sabre and Katana were lost completely. We managed to evacuate most of the crews but still took many casualties. The destroyers Broadsword and Tomahawk, the cruiser Heimdall and the Battlestar Indomitable all lost shields and took considerable internal damage that I am told will require at least a month in dock at Atlantis Base to be made good. We have twenty eight pilots KIA, fifty five Cobras destroyed and seventy damaged. Total casualties are two hundred seventy eight killed and four hundred seven wounded.”

He stopped and took a sip of water, marshalling his thoughts.

“The ground campaign is now concluded and General Warwick reports light casualties, he can give you more exact figures in his report. The wounded are being brought up to Nemesis and her hospital facilities.”

The news of the losses brought a pause to the proceedings. Everyone involved knew the fatalities were but a fraction of those incurred over Terra or Atlantis years before but they were still more severe than anything that had happened since – the skirmishes with the Lucian Alliance had only ever cost a few lives and the Combined Fleet had become somewhat complacent that losses would always be this low.

Wallace took another sip of water before addressing General Hammond, CINC of the United Nations Combined Forces, the collective military arm of the Tau’ri.

“General Hammond, I am pleased to say that your ships performed brilliantly and sustained no losses. The only thing I will add is that having seen your 304’s in battle I am very keen to see that new Dreadnought the British are building in service, having another capital ship available would have been a great help.”

Hammond nodded in thanks. He too was keen to see the next generation of Tau’ri warships in service, though as a pilot he was more interested in the new American supercarriers than the battleship; he didn’t have the obsession with “big honking space guns” that Jack O’Neill, his immediate subordinate did.

Phill decided that, having given them the good and the bad news, he could push for something.

“With both the space and ground campaigns concluded, I respectfully request permission to turn command over to Commodore Sturdee aboard the Illustrious and return to Terra. I would propose that the Nemesis and Lionheart groups return to the Milky Way as well, leaving the Phoenix group here to supplement Linebreaker’s force for the time being.”

The Terran and Colonial Admirals all exchanged looks before Adama, as Chief of Operations answered him.

”You must be either prescient or a mind-reader Fireman, that’s almost exactly what I was about to tell you, with one change. Arthur is out of the hospital now and he’s heading out to relieve you aboard Phoenix, once he’s there you can transfer to Atlantis and take the Stargate home. You’re needed back here anyway, that Senate bill passed and you’re overdue for an induction ceremony, after that you can finally start your leave time.”

Phill smiled, not at the thought of the ceremony (he was mentally dreading that) but at the time off, and that these two weeks in Pegasus wouldn’t eat up his leave. He had plans involving staying with his brother Robert and his family, a barbeque on the beach and more than a few cold drinks as the sun went down.

“Thank you Admiral, I’ll await White Knight and hand over command. My official report went out in the last message packet so unless there is anything else I’ll sign off.”

The assembled holograms exchanged looks once more, clearly asking if there was anything to add. No one said anything so President Matthews finished up.

”I think that’s everything Commodore, we’ll see you on Terra in a few days.”

Phill came to attention and saluted. “Aye Sir.”

The holograms nodded and then flickered out. Phill sighed deeply again and quickly downed the glass of water still sitting at his side. It was time to go home.

UNSC Everest, near Installation 00,
June 5th, 2552 (UNSC Military Calendar)

It was all so clear to him now. The memories had returned and Admiral Preston Cole knew what had happened. His suicidal plan to lure the Covenant Armada into Viperidae while chasing the lone human cruiser and then obliterate them, him and the planet in a micro-nova had apparently worked.

Well, from what he had since learned from the Monitors, the part about destroying the Covenant and Viperidae worked. The “suicidal” part clearly hadn’t. He hadn’t intended to survive. He hadn’t wanted to survive. His life had been long and painful and ultimately empty. His marriages had ended, his children didn’t reply to his letters, one of his ex-wives turned out to be an Insurrection leader, and he’d spent eighteen years fighting this bloody war. He had seen a final way to hurt the enemy, the fact that it would cost him his life didn’t really matter.

Simply, he’d had enough of fighting and the UNSC would never allow him to retire, not in the midst of a war for survival. His sense of duty forbade him from simply disappearing, it needed to be some way that the higher-ups wouldn’t come looking for him.

So blowing himself up along with the Covenant fleet and most of a planet seemed a fitting way to do it. What he hadn’t expected was just how determined to protect him the Everest’s AI, Hilary, was. Even now, after the jump, the recovery, the conversations with the Monitors, he still couldn’t believe the madness that his AI had perpetrated.

A slipspace jump inside the atmosphere of a planet about to explode, deep into the gravity well and long past the point of no return. The fact that it had worked at all was astonishing, the Everest hadn’t exactly been in perfect condition when the AI triggered the slipspace drive.

That wasn’t the only astonishing thing of course. It had long been known that slipspace jumps could occasionally have strange temporal effects, but this one took the cake. He had regained consciousness on his wrecked bridge, only to look out the viewport and see the vast structure of Installation 00, as he would later learn it was called, hanging there before him with the Milky Way galaxy, in all its glory, forming the backdrop.

He would soon discover that not only had he travelled about 260,000 light years outside of the galaxy, but he had moved eight years forward in time as well. His heart had damn near broken at that. The war had been going badly enough in 2543, he dreaded to think what the situation was in 2551.

Was Earth even still there? Was the UNSC still fighting the good fight? He had no way of knowing, there weren't any active Forerunner installations near Earth that could tell him anything.

His ship had been dragged to a docking port on the massive structure’s surface by countless drones, drones that had then swarmed through the ship searching for any survivors. They had been accompanied by the floating, glowing ball of a Monitor, one that had been astonished to find Admiral Cole standing on his bridge all alone.

The Monitor had recognised he was human, triggering long-dormant programs that called him a Reclaimer, the Heirs to the Forerunners. The Monitor, 010 Dying Light, had spent weeks with Cole, explaining the forgotten history of humans, their ancient San ‘Shyuum allies, the Flood, the firing of the Array, the resettlement of humans and countless other sentient species after the blast wave swept the galaxy clean.

Then Dying Light had explained how the surviving Forerunners, believing this galaxy should be allowed to develop on its own without the potentially deadly involvement of the Forerunners, had decided to leave and start again elsewhere. They boarded their last Keyship and used the slipspace portal to travel to another universe.

Cole had been able to understand the feeling that drove them to leave, it wasn’t far removed from his own intentions over Viperidae. He then asked what had happened to the Forerunners. Dying Light had appeared sad at that, the ball rotating so it’s “eye” was looking away and down, the tone becoming one of desolation.

”Twelve thousand years ago, the alliance you know as the Covenant discovered a Forerunner artifact, a Keyship containing our greatest traitor and began learning and developing their technology inspired by what the traitor told them. This automatically triggered an alert from a nearby monitoring station that I received aboard the Ark. I sent a signal to the Forerunners, begging them to return as they would be needed. They made their preparations and left the other universe, telling their new allies they would return eventually.”

Cole had waited expectantly for a minute or more for Dying Light to continue the tale, eventually asking the Monitor to finish.

”Something went wrong with the interuniversal portal, I do not know what as all previous crossings had been perfectly safe. The ships they had built in the other universe were lost in the endless depths of the cosmos, never to return. I only hope the crews suffered the same fate as those aboard the original Keyship, being left alive but adrift is not a fate I would wish on anyone.”

Cole had pressed the Monitor again, keen to know if this Keyship and its crew survived, thinking that a Forerunner ship could go a long way to saving Earth and the Colonies.

”The Keyship returned to the Ark, but whatever affected the portal had a similar effect on the crew. They were irradiated, burned, twisted, warped. There were no survivors. The Forerunners are dead.

At that, the Monitor went silent, clearly mourning its creators. Cole’s mind was racing, and within him burned a feeling that he had almost forgotten. Hope. He spent a day formulating his plan and then went to Hilary to double-check his thought process, learning that the AI had managed to compute the current date as March 7th, 2551. Cole fumed for a while at how much time had passed and wondered if there was anyone left to save with his new plan. He crushed that thought, he had to assume there was someone left. He went back to Dying Light and laid out his plan.

If the Forerunners were dead then humans were their Heirs, the Reclaimers. Humanity was under threat and needed help, and he would give it. The Monitor had been aware of the on-going war but, bound by its orders and programming to not leave the Installation, was unable to act. Luckily, Cole could do something about that.

He had ordered the surviving Keyship, the Shield of Eternity, be made ready for service, with a duplicate of Dying Light taking command it would be sent through to the other universe to round up the Forerunners’ allies and bring them back to the Ark, from their they would travel to human space and bring help to whatever was left of the UNSC. The Everest would be refitted and upgraded by the Forerunner drones as much as possible and would head for one of the Outer Colonies to begin hitting Covenant forces as soon as possible and keep them distracted and off-balance.

The plan was now ready to proceed. The Everest was barely recognisable from the ship that had arrived here months ago. Her external appearance remained the same but almost everything within her armoured hull had changed. Her guns, her missiles, her engines, her reactors, all had been replaced and improved with Forerunner technology. Hilary had been running simulations and now felt that this one super-heavy cruiser could engage a Covenant Assault Carrier on an equal footing now.

The time had come. The original version of Dying Light, still in control of the Installation, triggered the slipspace portals. The Shield of Eternity went first, passing through the huge black interuniversal gateway. There was a moment’s delay before a message came through from the copy, they had made it and were proceeding according to plan.

Cole gave the next order and another portal opened, this one set for Harvest. The Protocol he had written prevented giving away the coordinates for any inhabited world, but Harvest was long since destroyed by the Covenant and thus a safe place to arrive. The Everest passed through the gate and appeared over a familiar, dead world.

Admiral Preston J. Cole was back from the dead, and the Covenant would once again fear his name.


Boom. Cole is back and his ship is badass.

You may question what this "something" is that affected the interuniversal portal 12,000 years ago is. Short answer, I don't know yet. I'm leaving a few things open for Book III, if I get that far. Suffice to say that this "something" is almost certainly the same "something" that corrupted the Asgard genetic database and forced them into their time-bubble and may in fact be the same "something" that originally made the Wraith and the Flood evolve. Some unseen big bad lurking in the shadows and playing a very long game.

Please don't pester me with questions about what this something is though! I haven't a clue yet. I'm going to get this story finished before even thinking about what it might be.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-13 09:46am
by U.P. Cinnabar
Besides, the story will dictate who this malevolent agency, as you continue writing it. That's the way it usually works anyway.

I await with bated breath.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-13 11:16am
by Eternal_Freedom
Indeed. In my original plot it was going to be still-living Furlings/Forerunners on the Shield of Eternity arriving in the Milky Way seeking aid after being finding the Covenant had located Installation 05 and were perilously close to releasing the Flood.

But then you gave me the idea about Cole and the Everest and this seemed a better idea. Plus having the Furlings/Forerunners still alive but not doing anything for 12,000 years would be hard to justify. This way, they can help but only when the Monitors are told to by a Reclaimer.

Oh, and as a hint of the Everest's capabilities, she now mounts 40 Forerunners hardlight cannons around her hull, and her 3 MAC guns are have been replaced with dark-matter singularity cannons. Shields won't stop them and they'll either punch through a ship completely or evaporate via Hawking radiation inside the target. Nasty. And yes they are based on Point-Singularity Projectors from Andromeda...I like the idea and have adopted it...this does NOT mean the Magog are showing up for Book III though, I just like the idea.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-13 12:39pm
by U.P. Cinnabar
Eternal_Freedom wrote: or evaporate via Hawking radiation inside the target. Nasty.
Not just the PSPs, but also the meson guns from Traveller. The "certain death" weapon indeed.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-13 12:45pm
by Eternal_Freedom
Never learned much about Traveller, so any similarity is coincidence.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-13 12:53pm
by U.P. Cinnabar
I know it was purely unintentional on your part. It just popped into my head, as I was reading your description of the dark-matter singularity weapon.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-13 01:32pm
by Eternal_Freedom

On another unrelated note, I may be approaching ever more deadly levels of nerd-ism. Since Fnord hasn't updated the story's TVTropes page since the Nemesis first appeared, I have taken it upon myself to add a few updates.

I'm now updating my own TVTropes page. I think my brain just broke.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-15 09:20pm
by fnord
Well, in terms of definitiveness, your edits have a major advantage over what I added - they're Word of God, to use the trope. Eg, I thought Battleaxe was the Terran flag's callsign, not The Moustache's.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-16 12:17pm
by Eternal_Freedom
Thanks. Felt quite fun adding things like Apocalypse how and Greater Scope Villain (even though we only have hints of it for the moment).

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-18 12:05pm
by Eternal_Freedom
Annnnd we're back:

Pomp and Circumstance
Elysium Base, Earth Orbit
Two Weeks Later

A grand ceremony was underway on Elysium Base, the huge station in geostationary orbit over Africa. The structure was second only to Olympus Base at Terrain size and capacity. Intended as both Earth’s main Fleet Base and a potent defensive battlestation, the base followed the same design as the other Terran Fleet Bases – a central, cylindrical hub a kilometre across and half again as tall, with six capital-scale construction and refit berths radiating out from there, each one capable of holding anything up to a Phoenix-class Heavy Battlestar. Docks for smaller ships were attached to the outer hull of each capital berth, allowing entire groups to be serviced at once. From the top and the bottom of the central core spread huge disc-shaped sections, each reaching out to cover much of the capital berths in the centre section, the discs being nearly four kilometres across.

These held storage bays, component fabrication shops, hangers for small craft and manufacturing facilities for them as well. They also contained defensive and offensive weapons and all the other paraphernalia of a combat base. The entire structure was protected by a Terran theatre shield, modified to form a complete sphere that covered not only the base but any nearby ships, giving them a safe haven to fire back at any potential enemy.

In the six capital berths were the next-generation Tau’ri warships - three American CV-305 Yorktown class supercarriers, two Russian BC-307 Potemkin-class heavy battlecruisers and the single British BB-306 Dreadnought-class battleship.

It was the last vessel that was the focus of today’s ceremony as the new ship was being commissioned into the Royal Navy. Every available observation gallery was filled with spectators, among them the families of the crew, the dockyard workers who had built her and various senior officers and VIP’s that couldn’t be excluded for various reasons.

It was not simply a British affair however. The United Nations Secretary-General, Dr Samuel Hayden, was present, as was the President of the UN Defence Council Sir Basil Charleston. General Hammond, in his new role as Commander, UN Combined Forces rounded out the senior Tau’ri figures. The Terrans were represented by Admiral Lethbridge-Stewart, who had travelled here to see the occasion, the CO of Elysium Base Commodore David von Erich, and Ambassador Henry North, brother of the legendary Captain Franklin North who had died in battle over Terra years before.

Despite the assembled mass of the great and powerful, most people’s attention was locked on the figure that stood at the podium in the main observation deck. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second was here as the ship’s sponsor, a role she thoroughly enjoyed, even if the sensation of being in space and looking down at Earth took some getting used to. Now she had come to the pivotal moment:

“…I name this ship Dreadnought. May God bless her, and all who sail in her.”

A button was pressed and a bottle of fine champagne was ejected at speed from a nearby launcher, flying straight and true across the several hundred metres of empty space to smash spectacularly across the ship’s huge nameplate on the upper-port bow, which bore the legend:

HMS Dreadnought SDN-01, “Fear God and Dread Nought.”

This was the cue for the new ship’s manoeuvring thrusters to fire, slowly backing the big vessel out of the berth and towards free space.

The ship itself was an impressive sight. She was sixteen hundred metres long, almost the same as a Lionheart class Battlestar, but this new ship was armed purely for anti-ship combat; she carried no fighters. The hull took the form of a flattened cylinder, four hundred metres across for most of the length. The upper and lower hulls were smooth, utilising the same superconductive armour as Terran and Colonial ships. The upper and lower surfaces extended slightly passed the ship’s edge, giving a centreline trench similar to Colonial ships and with the same purpose, much of the ship’s weaponry was concentrated here.

The ship’s bow was only half was wide as most of the hull, and no taller than the midships trench, the flattened cylinder shape tapering outwards and upwards for the first quarter of the ship’s length, giving the ship a distinct wedge-shaped forward hull again reminiscent of theLionheart class. The only thing that marred the smooth hull was the superstructure three-quarters of the way towards the stern, a squat ziggurat-like structure that rose five decks above the armour layer and contained a number of sensor and communications systems.

The real interest for the ship though was the guns, and in this the new Dreadnought lived up to her namesake. Along both the port and starboard midships trenches were five groupings of three turrets each. The centre turret of each grouping mounted a pair of Asgard plasma-beam weapons, the same as those on the 304’s. The outer two turrets contained twin scaled-up versions of the heavy coilgun turrets also mounted on the smaller ships, these were designed for punching holes in capital ships – each gun could hurl a five-tonne slug at fifteen hundred kilometres a second. The forward-most group of turrets on each side were in the curved section of the trenches, allowing them to fire forwards along with the main battery.

This gave the ship a potent broadside and good arcs of fire, but the main weapon was in the bows. In a small cluster were four heavy plasma beam cannons, scaled-up versions of the Asgard weapons that were able to burn through the heaviest armour or the strongest shields in a few shots. Rounding out the ship’s weaponry was eighty of the 304-standard coilgun turrets, these were spread out evenly along the dorsal and ventral hull, giving the ship a heavy all-around punch while still allowing them to focus in on any targets engaged by the heavy guns if needed. Finally there were the five hundred Terran laser cannon point-defence mounts, again spread evenly.

This ship was a brawler, a ship-killer, a beast. With the strongest available Asgard shields back up with multiple linked neutrino-ion generators, it was believed by the ship’s designers that she could take on anything short of the Warstar Nemesis or the Battlestar Phoenix in a pure gun duel and come out on top.

The new HMS Dreadnought was now out in free space and was quickly joined by the other British ships – HMS Conqueror, recently returned from Pegasus after the final defeat of Ba’al, and the newly-commissioned HMS Warrior that was just finishing her shakedown cruise. It was a potent battle group and a reminder that while the Royal Navy may no longer be the dominant fleet on Earth, they still should never be underestimated or overlooked.

In the VIP observation deck the formalities were concluded and the even had devolved into a meet-and-greet event as many of the British delegation had had little contact with those from Terra. General Hammond was quietly talking shop with Commodore von Erich – even commissioning ceremonies did not stop such things for long. Elsewhere the Queen was discussing a possible State Visit to Terra with both Lethbridge-Stewart and Ambassador North. Alistair was in full dress uniform, which after the Senate bill passed now included the sword and medal of a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Kobol. This was something the British appreciated and took in their stride, addressing him as Sir Alistair came naturally to them even if the Terran Admiral was still somewhat uncomfortable about the situation.

The State Visit in question would have to wait for a little while, the United Colonies had a far more solemn occasion happening the very next day – the fourth anniversary of the Battle of Terra, where the Combined Fleet had tasted combat for the first time – and also taken its worst-ever losses as twelve of their twenty ships were destroyed or damaged beyond repair and eight thousand men and women had died.

There would still be a Tau’ri presence though as it was also the fourth anniversary of first contact between the two human civilisations, and the original SG-1 team would be on hand to commemorate the occasion.

With the completion of the Dreadnought, attention on Elysium Base would now shift to the Yorktown, the first of the American carriers that was nearing completion, closely followed by the Russian Potemkin. The Tau’ri space forces, under the overall command of Lieutenant-General O’Neill, would soon be the second most powerful force in three galaxies, something everyone on Earth was proud of.

The Citadel, Lemuria, Terra,
The Next Day

It was the anniversary of the Battle of Terra (although it was technically the First Battle of Terra, everyone referred to it as simply “the Battle” as the second was the brief massacre of Gerak’s rebel Jaffa that lasted only four minutes) and the Citadel was decked out in martial finery for the occasion. Banners and standards of the fourteen Battle Groups in the Combined Fleet lined the walls, whilst the assembled marching Marines carried the standards, trimmed in black, of the twelve lost ships – the Battlestar Barham, the Battlestar Galactica and the destroyers Valkyrie, Vendetta, Defiant, Valiant, Stalwart, Champion, Resolute, Daring, Ranger and Avenger.

Throughout the hall, the stirring strains of the Colonial Anthem gave way to the Colonial Fleet’s Victory March, the pounding drums and crashing cymbals reverberating around the huge space while the piercing brass notes captured everyone’s attention perfectly.

When the March finished, the parading Marines had reached the centre of the hall and as one came to attention. The two banners for the Commonwealth Navy and the Colonial Fleet were bowed in respect, while the standards of the fallen ships remained defiantly raised. Silence descended across the assembly and continued for three minutes until the Sergeant-Major of the Commonwealth Marine Corps ordered the rifle salute.

To one side were seven Marines, a mix of Terran and Colonial troops, holding the traditional projectile rifles still used for such events. At the Sergeant-Major’s order, the rifles were brought to the ready, aimed upwards towards the cavernous ceiling. The first salvo of blank rounds crashed out, echoing dramatically. A pause, a moment as seven hands worked the actions and then came the second salvo. Another pause and the final salvo came, ending the traditional salute.

On the podium were gathered the two Presidents, the Speaker of the Senate, the Leader of the Quorum of Twelve and the High Command of the Armed Forces, all in dress uniforms of course. Lethbridge-Stewart stepped up to the podium and began his short speech.

“On this day, four years ago, the men and women of the Combined Fleet, a Fleet that was still in its infancy, stood and fought against a terrible enemy that sought to annihilate us all. This enemy had overwhelming numbers and the relentless energy of machine beings, every single one of which was focused on destroying the last remains of the Children of Kobol.”

A brief pause came, as the Admiral remembered those dark and terrible events.

“But we had something infinitely stronger at our backs. We had the knowledge that we were defending the innocent and that is a motivation for a warrior stronger than any other. We stood firm and we held the line. The losses were terrible, as can be seen here from the black-trimmed battle standards, but we triumphed against the odds.”

“Eight thousand four hundred and twenty eight men and women gave their lives that day, but here on Terra not a single civilian was so much as injured by the battle. I cannot speak for the dead but had I been among the fallen, I would consider that outcome to be worth the price we paid.”

The Admiral stepped back into the line of other Admirals while respectful applause rippled around the hall. More speeches followed, from Admiral Adama who spoke of the price of wearing the uniform but the rewards it brought, from Admiral Jellicoe, from President Roslin and others.

President Matthews had just finished his own speech and concluded the event when an aide stepped up beside Admiral Lethbridge-Stewart and whispered something urgent in his ear. Alistair paled and then turned to the other Admirals to pass on the news. They were needed on Olympus Base immediately.

To avoid stirring up suspicion and panic, the assorted officers and politicians stepped off the podium and out of sight before the beaming system whisked them away to deal with the urgent situation that had arisen.

Panopticon Control, Olympus Base, Terra Orbit
A Few Minutes Earlier

Panopticon Control fulfilled the same function for the Milky Way that Argus Control did for Pegasus, controlling the vast network of sensor and nav buoys and monitoring system traffic. Unlike Pegasus, the Milky Way contained a great deal more ships moving around, the Kobolian ships, the Tau’ri, the Lucian Alliance, the Jaffa, the Hebridans and many others. This meant the programming involved was more complex, avoiding unnecessary alerts where possible.

This time however, the programming was spot-on, something very important had happened.

Warrant Officer John Matheson was monitoring buoy 7451, covering the galactic core. The region was usually quiet; there were no interstellar civilisations in the area and very few ships passed through it. The computer squawked at him with an alert. He checked the screen, then looked away, blinked a few times and then looked back to make sure he wasn’t imagining this.

A ship, a massive ship had appeared right in the middle of the sensor coverage, seemingly out of nowhere. The power readings were almost off the charts, and that was before something flared and the vessel began moving, through a sub-strata of hyperspace that was rarely used. John entered the command to compute the contact’s course. The result almost had him falling out of his chair.

The unknown vessel was on a direct course to Terra.

His hand slammed down on the emergency alarm without any conscious thought. This was far too important to waste time with calling someone more senior over. Throughout the control room and the rest of the huge Fleet Base the klaxon sounded, bringing more than a few worried looks or shouts of surprise. Matheson knew what he had to do next. He set his intercom for the 1-MC and made his report.

“This is Panopticon Control, we have a large unknown vessel on direct course to Terra, ETA six hours. Contact is approximately…oh frak me, contact is five times the size of Nemesis, power levels off the charts! This is not a drill. I repeat; massive unknown contact on direct course for Terra, ETA six hours. This is not a drill.”

Given the seriousness of the report, not even the Commander in Chief would reprimand him for his less than professional language.

End of Act 1: Overture


So Act 1 ends and soon Act 2 will open. The crossover has begun, the Dreadnought has been launched and will join in the fight, and Battleaxe is now a Knight.

It should be evident here that the two timelines do not match up exactly - the Forerunner ship being detected by Panopticon Control is only minutes after she left in the previous chapter, the Terran part of which was two weeks earlier. I kept the slight discontinuity because it helped keep things interesting.

From the UNSC perspective, this chapter takes place on June 5th 2552. Sigma Octanus IV is about five weeks away, and Cole is just beginning his prowl around the Outer Colonies - more of which next time!

For those curious as to what Dreadnought looks like, my main image is based on the human warships seen in "The Fifth Element" - best seen here. The superstructure is smaller and further back on the BB-306 and the bow tapers inwards from the sides and top as I mentioned, but this is the general shape I'm picturing. Plus she has lots of guns :D

Oh and "SDN-01" is intended to be "Space DreadNought-01," though it does make a good shoutout for the board. The Conqueror, Warrior and Ark Royal will be SBC (Space BattleCruiser)-01, 02 and -03. And yes they will all share mottos with the historical ships of the same names.

EDIT: As fr Elysium Base, yeah it's big. Same size as Atlantis Base in fact. Olympus Base is bigger though - same design, but it has twelve capital berths in two rings of six. And a nice big theatre-shield to protect it, which I'm going to name a Fortress-shield, borrowing a term for a similar concept from Nexus: The Jupiter Incident.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-18 01:04pm
by U.P. Cinnabar
Whoa. Dude, she's big. Hopefully she lasts longer than the first Dreadnaught, and doesn't have the engineering issues of the second.

(good lines, by the way)

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-18 02:21pm
by Eternal_Freedom
She should last longer than the 1906 Dreadnought, which was actually the eighth English/British ship with the name) and as far as I have read, the nuke sub Dreadnought was actually well-liked and thought reliable by her crews.

And yeah she's's one reason why Britain is only building 3 of the 304's, a lot more funding/resources have gone into the battleship - and various Commonwealth states have contributed as well.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-18 09:20pm
by fnord
I can see why Fireman wanted Dreadnought on hand - lots of dakka.

How long until some Tau'ri wiseass calls her a Star Destroyer?

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-18 09:42pm
by U.P. Cinnabar
Destroyer? That would be the Aganemmnon.😊

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-19 12:45pm
by Eternal_Freedom
They won't call her a Star Destroyer because she carries no fighters for one thing. Second, they know she's called Dreadnought and that's cool enough :D

And Agamemnon is one of the four 304's under construction by the Yanks, so no dice there.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-19 04:54pm
by U.P. Cinnabar
Commanded by Colonel John Sheridan?

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-19 05:50pm
by Eternal_Freedom
U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-05-19 04:54pm
Commanded by Colonel John Sheridan?
Nope, I've already got a Commodore John Sheridan, callsign "Babylon," that's close enough :D

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2018-05-19 06:50pm
by U.P. Cinnabar
Okay. That will work too.