Armageddon???? (Part Fifty Up)

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Post by KlavoHunter » 2008-03-14 06:05am

JBG wrote:Mark, if snipers may use 20 mm rounds, should HMGs be replaced by the new generation of light weight 25mm tripod mounted weapons ( one of which has a quick change to a 50 cal barrel feature )?
Quite probably not. The problem for snipers using .50 BMG and needing to fire twice, is that the entire purpose of sniping is a one-shot-kill capability. After all, once your target is shot, he's going to make a run for it, or evade, or do SOMETHING that will mess up your following shot.

Whereas a .50 MG appears to be doing just fine in the "Chop up Baldricks" role, as it fires a great number of bullets in such a way that, sure, the first bullet that strikes an infantrybaldrick might not kill him, but the other 3 that hit him across the next second will leave his body completely nonfunctional, and he drops into the dirt and bleeds out for a while and dies.

Upgrading to 25mm to replace all heavy machineguns would be logistically unwise - those rounds are by far larger (As Sheppard was so kind to illustrate, with the difference between .50 BMG and 20mm Hispano). You would not be able to carry as many rounds around as you would .50 BMG, and you'd run out of ammunition in a drastically shorter period of time - a bad thing, when an Inhuman Wave attack is still coming at you.
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Post by Falkenhorst » 2008-03-14 08:35am

Talen: I always found this resource useful:

http://www.maxwell.af.mil/au/awc/awcgat ... br0001.htm
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Post #114 @ Fri Oct 18, 2002 4:44 pm

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And a lot more than I needed of some things that turned out bad"

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UPF: CARNIVAL OF RETARDS

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Post by Stuart » 2008-03-14 08:40am

Adrian Laguna wrote:Marina, I disagree about how pursuing enemies to destruction is a new thing. All throughout antiquity, the greatest slaughter was always after the enemy army broke, when the victors ran them down like animals. That was one of the primary roles of cavalry, chasing a broken army and killing those who don't run fast enough. It's only when modern professional armies that instituted orderly retreats to back-up positions arrived, that the focus of killing switched to the battle itself. The Hellish way of doing thing, where the two armies disengage after the battle is won, has almost never happened on Earth.
Adrian, I have to agree with Marina on this one. Hounding an enemy to total destruction wasn't normal procedure following a battle for most of our history. Battles were fought to prove a specific point and essentially made that point. In addition, most armies weren't capable of the sort of pursuit and destruction we are seeing here until quite recently. For example, in Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic Wars, he describes how he won a devastating victory over the Helvetii but was unable to start the pursuit for three days because that's how long it took to get his army back together.

But, the model for military conduct here isn't warfare in general but the Condotierrie wars in renaissance Italy. The political environment was much the same, Dukes vying for power, and the constraints were the same also. These were limited wars fought for a limited purpose; armies were too expensive an asset to be frittered away. If one Duke totally destroyed another, his own army would be so mauled that he would be vulnerable to another. So, battles usually ended - if they were fought at all - as soon as one side or the other had gained the uppoer hand. Very often the opposing captains would do a quick troop count, know who was going to win and make a deal. Thus go wars in hell

In Renaissance Italy, Sir John Hawkwood appeared and changed everything because he fought to win and win big. He was loathed by the other mercenary Captains for exactly that reason, he would butcher their armies given half a chance. In this story, humans are Sir John's descendents, we fight to win not to improve the terms of a deal. The culture clash is dramatic.
Darth Wong wrote:One thing that's been bothering me: isn't it a bit odd for a demon who wants to imprison and torture every last human being to be shocked at the ruthlessness of humans who run down fleeing enemies? Or is his shock merely a reflection of his sense of entitlement at being a "superior" being to whom such savagery should not rightfully be applied?
Its the latter. For a human comparison, its the difference between us being appalled by the idea of one human killing another yet we cheerfully kill cattle to make hamburgers. To the demons, humans are just cattle who are essentially being farmed for an asset they can provide. In those terms Hell is a slaughteryard feedlot. The problem they face now is that humans are fighting back and proving very good at it. How would we react if the cattle in a feedlot not only fought back but consistently won?

BY the way Mike, welcome to the world of Armageddon and thank you for your insights so far. If you want to contribute a few parts (perhaps from a Canadian or engineering perspective) feel free. Pmail any bots to me and I'll blend them into the storyline.
White Haven wrote:I have to admit that I started to twitch when the demons began whinging to themselves that Humans were so terrible. Yes, they should be shocked and stunned by this new approach to warfare, but, as has been stated, they make their afterliving by torturing billions en masse. I can't tell if it's the human in me or the editor in me that it offends, but it irritates me to no end that none of the demons even so much as ponders /why/ the humans would want to eradicate them so totally. Like I said, though, I recognize that I'm empathizing with the human characters to a sufficient degree that I can't tell if it's the writing that bugs me or the demons that bug me. :)
The intention is that its the demons who bug you. Do we ponder why cattle might hate us for killing them for us to eat? Their reaction is that of the typical bully. You remember the kid in school, the one who would pick fights with smaller kids but if they fought back he'd run to the teacher wailing "he hit me". Some people never grow out of that - we had one person on HPCA who would habitually pick on somebody, start insulting them and if they responded, run to the administration demanding we ban them for insulting him. In the end he was persuaded to leave and not come back.

The demons are the same way; they regard themselves as being a superior species who have the right to do what they want, when they want to the inferior humans. Now humans are hitting back, very hard, the demons feel all sorry for themselves and angry at the nasty evil humans who have dared to fight back.

The historical model for this attitude is the Indian Wars on the American First Frontier, particularly the Pequod War. (They're the guys who now own Foxwoods Casino and they have a fabulous museum of Pequod history and culture - by far the best such museum I've ever seen). The Pequods and Mohegans (Mohegan Sun Casino :) )have long had a fairly deep-rooted tribal rivalry which today is expressed by who can build the best Casino. In the 17th century it was expressed by limited warfare - the odd ambush, a "battle" that ended as soon as the point was made, the sort of limited warfare that took place in Renaissance Italy. Then the Pequod War with the settlers started in a way that reflected no credit on anybody. The settlers allied with the Mohegans and attacked the Pequod settlement. The Mohegans were expecting a siege where they fired a few arrows at each other and then struck a deal when food started to run short. What they got was the settlers atatcked the settlement, use dtheir guns to shoot the defenders off the walls then breached the defenses (paying for it in the process) and proceeded to burn down the settlement killing the occupants as they fled their burning homes. They destroyed the settlement completely, killing hundreds of Pequods (something like 600) and hounded the rest through the swamps killing them as they ran. The survivors were handed over to the Mohegans as slaves. In other words they did what General Tilly did at Madgeburg.

The Mohegans were stunned, horrified. They'd never seen total war before; they'd never seen people fight this way before The sheer savagery of the attack, the idea of wiping out an opponent - and taking losses to do it - was alien to them. Yet, it was teh way Europeans fought, the settlers thought nothing of it, it was just the way things were done. You had an enemy, you killed him. If he backed down, fine, if he didn't WHAM. In their eyes, the Pequods had their chance to strike a deal, they didn't. The Museum conveys this sense of horror on one side and "business as usual" very well. This is what I'm trying to do (believe it or not, the fighting between humans and baldricks in Iraq is modelled on the Pequod War), convey the utter disbelief with which a people who have grown up with the "limited war for a limited purpose" doctrine experience when they get hit by a people who take total war for granted. And yet, note the humans aren't fighting total war by their standards.
Last edited by Stuart on 2008-03-14 09:07am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2008-03-14 08:44am

Will the humans totally wipe out the Baldricks? Won't they, like, allow some to make it back to spread the word and inspire fear and terror amongst those in Hell and maybe give Satan something to think about?

EDIT:

And man, how the hell did frickin Baldrick become the name of the endless horrible legions of hell's army of darkness?

Will Satan be codenamed "Blackadder" or "Edmund"?
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Post by DarthShady » 2008-03-14 08:58am

Will the humans totally wipe out the Baldricks? Won't they, like, allow some to make it back to spread the word and inspire fear and terror amongst those in Hell and maybe give Satan something to think about?
I don't think that we want Satan to know our military capabilities, we want to surprise him.

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Post by Stuart » 2008-03-14 09:19am

Shroom Man 777 wrote:Will the humans totally wipe out the Baldricks? Won't they, like, allow some to make it back to spread the word and inspire fear and terror amongst those in Hell and maybe give Satan something to think about?
Keep reading and see :)
And man, how the hell did frickin Baldrick become the name of the endless horrible legions of hell's army of darkness? Will Satan be codenamed "Blackadder" or "Edmund"?
Because when The Message was first received, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown went on the radio with a Prime Ministerial broadcast that replied to The Message by saying "Sod off Baldrick" and went on to reveal he had a cunning plan to deal with the situation. He didn't, of course, not then, but it was the sort of morale raising speech that goes down well and the Blackadder references hit the right note. Brits started calling all the occupants of heaven/hell "baldricks" and Condi TRice heard the term, liked it and started using it to distinguish between mythological demons and the reality they were facing. The usage caught on and became standard.
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Post by The_Last_Rebel » 2008-03-14 09:36am

I have a question regarding aircraft. How hard would it be to redesign airliners into bombers? I think I read somewhere the B-52 was based on the 707 airframe. Could they do the same with a 747 or A300? Since stealth isn't a concern I don't see why they couldn't take an airliner design and make it a bomb truck. I would give it the same equipment found on a B-52 or B-1-same defensive capabilities, radar bombing, terrain tracking, etc.
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Post by JN1 » 2008-03-14 10:10am

All of his stuff is worth consideration. Keegan's "A History of Warfare" is sublime. In my most humble opinion anything by John Keegan is worth adding to your library.
I'd agree with you there, Jonathan, except regarding his history of The First World War, which would be an excellent book if it had been written forty years ago. As it is it ignores all of the scholarship of the last twenty-thirty years and is firmly in the largely discredited 'Lions led by Donkeys' camp.
Keegan has also been on record as saying that a quick German victory in 1914 would have been better for Britain, which is certainly not true.
I think I read somewhere the B-52 was based on the 707 airframe.
The design of the B-52 predates the 707 by quite some time, AFAIK, dating back to the late '40s, when it first appeared as a turbo-prop powered design.

Another exellent chapter, Stuart. Nice to see Hell being introduced to just how ruthless us cattle can be when fighting a war of survival.

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Post by Edward Yee » 2008-03-14 10:31am

Shroom Man 777 wrote:I want to ship Memnon and Abby.
*In the tune of "encouraging a dare"* Dooo it dooo it dooo it dooo it~

Seriously, at this point I'd actually be interested. That's how awesome the world of Armageddon has become. :lol: Although it's no surprise to me that the demonic side is the more interesting, since the humans are basically just a present-day version of our real world adapted for the premise, while the Hell side is totally different, yet all so recognizable.
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Post by Stuart » 2008-03-14 10:51am

The_Last_Rebel wrote: How hard would it be to redesign airliners into bombers?
Its not hard to use a transport aircraft as a bomber. Prior to the Second World War most British bombers were actually designed to be used in either role. During the football war fought by El Salvador and Honduras in 1969, the Salvadorean Air Force used C-47s as bombers, rolling the bombs out of the aft cargo door (accuracy was extremely good, all the bombs dropped hit the ground. Somewhere.) More recently the USAF has used C-130s and repordely even C-17s as bombers, rolling the bomb out over the aft cargo ramp.

However, turning a transport aircraft into a good bomber is much harder. Essentially, the aircraft needs an entirely new fuselage, A high wing is good as well so the bomb bay can be unobstructed. the wings need to be stressed differently as well. If we're going to spend real money on bombers, its probably better to design from scratch. Better still to take something already in production and ramp up the production line.
I think I read somewhere the B-52 was based on the 707 airframe.
No, not so. The B-52 long predates the 707 and the two are quite different. What happened was Boeing designed a jet transport which was then developed further in two ways, one of which became an Air Force tanker/transport (the KC-135) while the other became the Boeing 707. The two are siblings rather than versions of each other.
Could they do the same with a 747 or A300? Since stealth isn't a concern I don't see why they couldn't take an airliner design and make it a bomb truck. I would give it the same equipment found on a B-52 or B-1-same defensive capabilities, radar bombing, terrain tracking, etc.
The fuselage needs to be entirely different with the bomb bay doors along the underside meaning great structural changes. Oddly, airliners convert into maritime patrol aircraft much better than bombers do but converting an A-300 into a real heavy bomber isn't really a viable way of doing things. By the time we've changed all the things that need changing there's nothing left of the original fuselage and the result is compromised by its ancestry.
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Post by JN1 » 2008-03-14 11:14am

What happened was Boeing designed a jet transport which was then developed further in two ways, one of which became an Air Force tanker/transport (the KC-135) while the other became the Boeing 707. The two are siblings rather than versions of each other.
Didn't Boeing briefly designate a civillian version of the C-135 as the 717?

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Post by Agent Fisher » 2008-03-14 11:26am

Speaking of a Cattle revolt. Cows with guns.

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Post by Stuart » 2008-03-14 11:46am

Agent Fisher wrote:Speaking of a Cattle revolt. Cows with guns.
One of my favorite songs and a definite inspiration
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Post by Stuart » 2008-03-14 11:50am

JN1 wrote: Didn't Boeing briefly designate a civillian version of the C-135 as the 717?
I'm not sure; they may well have done. The military version of the commercial Boeing 707 was the C-137; the fuselage of the C-135 and C-137 are quite different. There was a cut-down version of the 707 called the Boeing 720 but that came out of the 707. I'm not sure about an early 717; the current Boeing 717 is a MacDac design
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Post by R011 » 2008-03-14 11:56am

JN1 wrote:
What happened was Boeing designed a jet transport which was then developed further in two ways, one of which became an Air Force tanker/transport (the KC-135) while the other became the Boeing 707. The two are siblings rather than versions of each other.
Didn't Boeing briefly designate a civillian version of the C-135 as the 717?
Not quite, that was just Boeing's model number for the aircraft. The B-17, for instance was the Model 299 and the B-52 is the Model 464-67. They've since redeignated it internally as the KC-135 so 717 can be used for the MD-95.

See the Boeing website.
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Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2008-03-14 12:31pm

Stuart wrote:
JN1 wrote: Didn't Boeing briefly designate a civillian version of the C-135 as the 717?
I'm not sure; they may well have done. The military version of the commercial Boeing 707 was the C-137; the fuselage of the C-135 and C-137 are quite different. There was a cut-down version of the 707 called the Boeing 720 but that came out of the 707. I'm not sure about an early 717; the current Boeing 717 is a MacDac design
I believe that 717 was skipped originally because of the 720, even though the 720 was never designated 717.
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Post by Stuart » 2008-03-14 12:46pm

Central Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Inspector Richard Doherty was a veteran police officer, having been in the Police Service of Northern Ireland, or Police Service of Northern Ireland (incorporating the Royal Ulster Constabulary, George Cross) to give it its full name, since 2001 and had served in the Royal Ulster Constabulary for twelve years before the change of name. He was one of the 20 percent of the service’s officers who were Catholic (well, ex-Catholic and it was about 15 percent since The Message), though as a veteran RUC man he thought of him as an eight percenter, 8.3 percent of the old force having been Catholic. The Message had hit Northern Ireland harder than the Mainland; around a quarter of the population had just lain down and died, or committed suicide, including many of the Province’s religious leaders and some of the political ones. Sadly for the police about ten percent of the service had been amongst those who had died.

Like many of his co-religionists he represented the fact that Catholics had been promoted in numbers well out of proportion to the percentage of total officers. He still remembered the days when becoming a police officer, or soldier, was a very dangerous choice for a Catholic. Not only were you likely to be shot in the back, or blown up while carrying out your duties, but your family was also at great risk. Only now, times had changed.

The appearance of the armies of Hell in the desert of Iraq and a baldrick attack in America had really stepped up the level anxiety for the public. To reassure the population, the PSNI had put a strong armed presence on the streets of the Province. Backing them up were a couple of regular army infantry battalions, who would soon be joined by the recently re-formed Home Service battalions of The Royal Irish Regiment. Men and women (known as ‘Greenfinches’) who had served in these battalions had flocked back to the colors when the decision to re-form them had been announced. Fortunately the army still had enough equipment and uniforms in storage in Northern Ireland to equip them.

The Inspector was in charge of a Police Support Unit of twelve officers, mounted in a pair of armored Land Rovers, known as the Tangi. Once upon a time the Tangis of the RUC had been painted grey, now they were painted in the same orange and yellow checkered ‘Battenberg’ high visibility scheme worn by similar vehicles on the Mainland

Doherty shook his head as he saw a man and a woman, both carrying Armalite rifles, walked past as they did their shopping. One of the first acts after the British Government had declared a State of Emergency was to repeal all existing gun control laws. Illegally held weapons were now appearing openly on the streets. It was quite amazing how many of them there were. But then, the various groups of Irish terrorists had been notorious for burying stashes of guns all over the countryside.

“Few years ago we would have been arresting that pair, or worse, Sarge.” Doherty commented.

“That’s right, to be sure.” Sergeant Chris Ryder replied. “I don’t think I’ll ever get use to seeing ex-Provos or Loyalists walking about with their guns openly.”

“Yeh, I know what you mean, Sarge. If I had my way half of them would still be in the Maze; murderous bastards the lot of them. Those rifles won’t do them much good anyway; I hear that a full thirty round magazine of 5.56mm rounds only slows a baldrick down.”

Doherty had every reason to be bitter about the terrorists. One of his friends had been shot in the back by an IRA gunman while administering First Aid to a woman injured in a road accident, while another had been crippled by a blast bomb thrown by a Loyalist mob.

Suddenly a series of loud screams caught the attention of both officers. Doherty and Ryder turned towards the sound, just catching the sound of two ‘pops’, pistol shots. They were just in time to see one of the police support unit personnel, Glock 17 still in his hands, being eviscerated by a three meter high demonic apparition.

“Jesus…I mean bloody hell! ….. I mean, oh shit!” Doherty exclaimed as he watched the baldrick kill a civilian who was too slow in running. His mind seemed to be running in slow motion and he had time to reflect that The Message had eviscerated the English language’s stock of forceful expressions.

“Get the rifles out of the Tangis!” He yelled to the remainder of the unit, then “RUN! RUN!” to the nearest civilians.

Doherty and Ryder both drew their pistols and opened fire, even though they knew that the 9x19mm rounds would probably do little more than piss the baldrick off. The baldrick turned as he felt the new stinging impacts, he turned and saw two more of the humans dressed in green and wearing those funny hats pointing their outstretched arms at him, as if praying, or begging for mercy. He marveled at their apparent stupidity, praying had not saved the last green clad human.

The two police officers retreated towards the Tangis, changing the magazines in their pistols. Several other members of the unit had also opened fire, but to Doherty’s horror he could see that although the baldrick was bleeding from multiple wounds it had not even been slowed down. All he could do was continue to fire until he ran out of ammunition, and hope for the best.

At this point an armed civilian joined the battle, engaging the baldrick with an AK-47, the demon paused, ignoring the police officers for a moment to take hold of the civilian, tear out his heart and throw him through the air.

Finally the two officers assigned to the task managed to get the six HK33 rifles that were held in lock boxes in each Land Rover and threw them out. Doherty dropped his Glock and grabbed the rifle from the police woman with a great deal of gratitude. He had no hesitation in selecting full auto, raised the rifle to his shoulder and opened fire. Now that the surviving officers were armed with rifles, even ones firing 5.56x45mm NATO rounds, the baldrick finally began to show that it was feeling the effects of the gunfire. It began to stagger back under the effect of the massed gunfire, especially now that several armed civilians had joined the fight. Two of them had pump-action shotguns and the heavy slugs produced the first real impacts on the creature.

They drove it back, the bullets pounding on its body. Finally it collapsed to the street, dead. Doherty and Ryder advanced on the body cautiously, changing the magazines on their rifles. To their relief it was very dead.

“Score one for the good guys.” One of the armed civilians was loading his shotgun with more heavy slugs. He looked sadly at the street where a police officer and two civilians were down, in crumpled, lifeless heaps. “Cost us though.” Then he grinned at the police officers. “Still, its good to see true fighting Irishmen all on the same side at last.”

Cabinet Office, White House, Washington D.C.

“We must anticipate that there will be further attacks of this kind. In view of what that monster told us…” Secretary Warner was interrupted by a tangible shudder that ran around the room. Memories of the succubus’s presence at a meeting were all to fresh. “these attacks have been going on for a long time and we see no reason why they should stop now. In fact, with the destruction of the baldrick army in Iraq, they might well pick up in tempo. So, as a line of defense against such attacks, I propose the formation of a local defense force that will protect areas where there are large gatherings of people. Malls, sports meetings etc. The personnel will be drawn from all citizens between the ages of 18 and 50 who are not currently serving in the armed forces. Obviously, we’ll give priority to people whose industries are not needed for the war effort, they can serve one of their work days. We’ll arm them with the new .458 rifles we’re putting into production. I propose the new force be called the Local Defense Volunteers.”

“Local Defense Volunteers.” Secretary Rice’s voice was thoughtful. “LDV. You know what they’ll be called don’t you? The Look, Duck and Vanish.”

“Look, Duck and Vanish?” Warner thought for a second. “I suppose so. How did you come up with that?”

“The British had a similar force back in World War Two. Originally they called it the Local Defense Volunteers but they changed it to ‘Home Guard’ because of the misinterpretation of the acronym.”

“How did you get Local Defense Volunteers anyway John?” President Bush’s voice was curious.

“I was looking at a picture of the Civil War and it made me think of the U.S. Volunteers. The new group is for Local Defense so I put the two together.”

“What’s wrong with U.S. Volunteers?” Bush was curious. “Sounds good to me. We can revive all the names of the Civil War units for the local forces. Add a sense of history to the undertaking. We can even call on some of those re-enactor people to start them off. They’ll have to use their own guns to start with of course.”

“I’d love to see the effect of a minie ball on a baldrick.” Rice’s voice was droll. “They might like the smell of black powder though. Lots of sulfur in it.”

“So, we’ll get the bill written and pushed through. U.S. Volunteers it is. So decided?” Bush looked around. There was a unanimous nodding of heads. “So be it. Next issue?”

“Aircraft production Sir. We’re getting the B-1 production line set up now. It’ll be starting work in around three months time, expect to see the first aircraft off the line this time next year. It’s good we kept the tooling. The first AT-45Cs are coming off the Boeing line now. They’re a minimum-change armed version of the T-45C, they’ll keep the line running until the single-seat D model is ready. F-111s and B-52s are re-entering the fleet from Davis Monthan now. A lot of older aircraft as well, we’ve got some like the F-4 being assigned to wings, more as placeholders than anything else. The rest we’re going to use for tests. To see what sort of aircraft can fly in Hell-like conditions.”

“Any F-102s?” Bush spoke with a mixture of nostalgia and enthusiasm.”

“Yes Sir, nine were preserved, we can make two flyable. Not enough for issue so we’ll be using them for experiments.”

“No you won’t.” Bush spoke firmly. “This is a Presidential directive. Get those two flyable F-102s down to Andrews and designate them the Presidential Fighter Flight. And get somebody to check me out on them, it’s a long time since I flew a ‘102.”

In the background, the Secret Service Presidential Bodyguard detail went white at the thought of a President flying a death-trap like the F-102. The President might think he was going to fly one and the aircraft might be sitting at Andrews with a pretty paint job but he would get in the cockpit over the Secret Service’s collective dead bodies. From the expressions around the Cabinet Room, they weren’t the only ones with that in mind.

‘PINDAR’, under the MoD Main Building, Whitehall, London.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown looked across the table at his new Deputy Prime Minister. God (he’s have to remember not to use that name again), that grinning idiot got on his nerves, he’d strangle him if he asked Brown to call him ‘Dave’ again. Well, it was the price of coalition politics he supposed, and there was not a great deal he could do about it. The PM did reflect on the fact that Deputy Prime Minister David Cameron did rather remind him of a poor clone of his late, unlamented predecessor. Who could have imagined that Tony Blair had been so devout? It had come as quite a shock, even to this son of the Manse.

Given his Scots Presbyterian upbringing, his father had been a Minister in the Church of Scotland, The Message had hit Brown hard. He felt angry and betrayed, but could not help wondering if this was some kind of supreme test by God, or maybe the creature claiming to be Him was in fact not the Supreme Being at all, but some kind of imposter. The latter had certainly been the opinion of the Moderator of the Church of Scotland when Brown had spoken to him.

In the first couple of days after The Message there had been a great deal of uncertainty in the United Kingdom. Those who were most religiously devout, around a tenth of the population, had died; some had just lain down and given up, others had committed suicide in a variety of imaginative ways. Some religious leaders had spoken to the Prime Minister, demanding that Britain surrender to the inevitable; those that were still alive were now residents of HMP Belmarsh, which was rather empty now that most Islamic fundamentalists were gone.

While a smaller proportion of the population of Britain had died, the deaths had been largely concentrated in a few areas. Parts of Leicester and Bradford had become ghost towns and at least a couple of the smaller Western Isles had been totally depopulated. Clearing up the bodies before they decayed and caused a disease outbreak had been quite an undertaking. The government had called in the army, who had assisted in clearing up the corpses and building the funeral pyres used to dispose of them. Facing economic and social chaos on a scale never before seen, Brown had declared a State of Emergency and had signed Queen’s Order Two, mobilizing the entirety of Britain’s Armed Forces. ‘Entirety’ included all reserve forces, service pensioners and all cadet force personnel over sixteen.

Britain was going to need everybody who could hold a rifle, or train others to do so. One largely unknown fact was that the Army Act and its counterparts covering the RAF and Royal Navy allowed for the reintroduction of conscription without any new act having to be put before Parliament. In his second speech to the British people Brown had announced the immediate reintroduction of National Service for everybody between 19 and 55. Finding enough equipment, uniforms, or personnel to train the millions of men and women who would now be inducted into the army, navy and air force was another matter, and would take some time.

The next step had been to examine existing Emergency Powers Bills that had been prepared for potential wars and see what was applicable to this particular situation. While all of the anti-terrorism related emergency plans were up to date those doing the research were rather alarmed to find that the last time the plans for General War (the closest scenario to this one) had been updated was 1992! This set of plans and Emergency Powers Bills had served as the basis for those that had just been rushed through Parliament along with a declaration of war on Hell, which along with Britain’s devolved parliament and assemblies, was now prorogued, the remaining members having dispersed to their constituencies.

At least now with Parliament prorogued Brown would now only have to deal with his Cabinet and the three First Ministers, though they could be something of a pain. At least many of the government’s emergency powers overrode much of their authority. The Prime Minister realized that the Minister of Defence was speaking and tried to look like he had been listening all along.

“…And the news from Iraq certainly seems to be good. The baldrick attacks on Allied Forces have been totally defeated and their army is in headlong retreat towards the Hellmouth.” Admiral of the Fleet Lord West was saying. “Damn all good it will do them because the American 1st Armored Division and the Iranian armored division have cut off their line of retreat.”

Appointing Admiral West as the new Secretary of State for Defence had come as a development of the horse-trading that had taken place during the formation of the Coalition government. The Service Chiefs as well as the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats had made it very clear that they had no confidence in West’s predecessor, Des Browne, so he had to go. The Admiral was already the Parliamentary Undersecretary for Security, so he had experience of working in government, he had great experience of military matters and was highly respected by both the Services and politicians.

“The 4th Mechanized Brigade has performed very well against the baldrick army; I think our retention of rifled guns for the Challenger 2 has finally proven its worth.” The Admiral said, continuing his briefing. “They’ve demonstrated an ability to strike the enemy at a greater range than the smoothbore guns on the American tanks.”
“That’s certainly true.” General Sir Richard Dannatt, the Chief of the General Staff, agreed. “Our HESH rounds have also proven to be somewhat more effective than the HEAT rounds used by the Abrams, though we do need something like the canister round they have. There was a canister round produced for the old Challenger 1, and if we have any left they may be compatible with the Challenger 2.”

“Talking of shells, ammunition is one thing that Major General Binns has expressed concern about.” Admiral West told the Prime Minister. “A great deal of ammunition was expended in stopping the baldrick attack and while the stockpile in theatre is in no danger of running out just yet he is beginning to run short.”

“I take it we are moving further supplies to Iraq?” The Prime Minister asked.

“Yes, Prime Minister.” West confirmed. “We are moving stocks of ammunition from the UK and Germany to Iraq. The remainder of the 1st Armoured Division is moving to ports of embarkation in Germany in case it is needed in Iraq, and we have alerted 3 Division to be ready for possible deployment, though we may need them at home.

“Immediate reinforcements for our forces in Iraq will come from Afghanistan, where the threat has disappeared overnight. In fact the senior surviving Taliban commander has sent a message to the commander of ISAF offering the support of his men in fighting the war. Iran has agreed to assist in the movement of our troops, and other contingents of ISAF from Afghanistan to the theatre of operations.”

The Prime Minister nodded, indicating that he understood.

“What progress is being made regarding the restarting of tank shell production?” Brown asked. “I don’t think that we can rely on supplies from South Africa, as memory serves they were somewhat shoddy anyway.”

“We have sent a Ministry team up to the site of ROF Bishopton, along with some chaps from BAE. It seems that the factory is still largely intact, so restarting production should not be too difficult, if a bit expensive.” West replied. “Fortunately the plans to build houses on the site were delayed, so no demolition has taken place and most of the equipment is either there, or was put into secure storage. The initial estimate given by my people is that the factory should be up and running within two months.”

“Good.” The PM replied. “I trust there will be no problems regarding finance, Alistair?” He asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

“Not at all, Prime Minister.” Alistair Darling replied. “Defence and industrial projects related to the Defence of the Realm will get all the money they need. The Bank of England is printing more money so that we can continue to pay our bills; that does, of course risk the most appalling economic downturn when the war is over.”

Gordon Brown laughed, the first time he had done so in a long time.

“Only if we win, Alistair. If we lose then I don’t think it will be a problem.” He turned back to Admiral West. “Admiral, if at any point BAE drag their heels, either over Bishopton, or increasing production of aircraft, tanks, rifles, or whatever, tell them that should they continue to bugger us around Her Majesties Government will nationalize the company and sack the management, thus making them eligible to be conscripted into the army.”

“Certainly, Prime Minister. I shall certainly look at sending them somewhere nasty if that happens.” West said.

“I’ll deploy them to Iraq.” Dannatt commented. “My soldiers need more equipment as soon as possible, so I’ll not have them putting their lives at risk any more than they are already. There is one thing that we do need to ask your permission to do, Prime Minister. The SA80, along with all rifles chambered for 5.56mm NATO rounds have proven to be less than effective at dealing with baldricks. They will kill them, but it takes a great deal of ammunition, and has resulted in soldiers being killed before the baldrick dies.

“We have found that the .338 Lapua round used in our sniper rifles is far more effective, so we would like to start immediate and rapid development of a rifle chambered for this round to replace the SA80. My staff have identified the old SLR as a suitable basis for this weapon, so we would like to arrange for production facilities to be set up as soon as possible.”

“An Urgent Operational Requirement I take it, General?” Brown asked. “Then by all means do whatever is necessary to get this weapon into the hands of our soldiers.

“On another matter entirely I have heard that the Americans have managed to make contact with some of their soldiers in Hell and are in the process of starting an insurgency. Are we engaged in a similar undertaking?”

He saw the Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, smile in very cat like way.

“We most certainly are, Prime Minister. Our Special Forces people are working very closely with the Americans on this. If possible we’d also like to try to contact any of our personnel who have ended up in Hell. We believe that if we can organize all of the ex-military personnel who have ended up in Hell, or even just a small proportion of them, then we may be able to get quite a rebellion going.”

(Thanks to Jan who wrote the beginning and end of this part)
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Nations survive by making examples of others

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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-03-14 01:06pm

“Jesus…I mean bloody hell! ….. I mean, oh shit!”
I look forward to the International Conference on Nonreligious Profanity, and its results. :P
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Post by Raesene » 2008-03-14 01:12pm

Her Majesty seems to have survived - probably as the only head of a church :-)

I'm amazed at the speed this story is growing - good writing by all authors, keep it going at this speed !

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Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2008-03-14 01:13pm

I demand to see Russian action! Vladimir Putin versus SATAN!

Seriously, Vladimir Putin's plan to replace Hell's Demon Lords with the Russian Mafiya! What an awesome subplot!
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Post by Academia Nut » 2008-03-14 01:15pm

If I'm reading this right, does that mean that we will soon see the SAS deployed to Hell? I... I almost feel a twinge of pity for the baldricks. They're currently getting the shit kicked out of them by helicopter pilots, actual special forces would be just ugly.

Although I do get this amusing picture of some sort of bizarre reverse-Predator scenario where the humans are the invisible, implaccable hunters and the baldricks are the badly out matched prey. Only the humans won't intentionally cripple themselves to make the hunt more exciting.
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Post by Sidewinder » 2008-03-14 01:44pm

A good chapter. It's interesting to see how the rest of the world is doing regarding the Baldrick threat.

By the way, shouldn't the British and the Americans standardize ammo for logistical purposes, i.e., choose either .338 Lapua or .458 Winchester Magnum, but not both, so American and British troops can use each other's ammo and magazines if necessary? And what about crew-served weapons, i.e., machine guns? Will a M60, M240B, or MG3 variant be designed in .338 Lapua, .458 Winchester Magnum, or some other hard-hitting round?
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Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-03-14 01:56pm

BTW, Stuart, did you have any particular reason to pick Tony for taking his own life, or was it a bit of a 'even all around' sort of thing?
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Post by JN1 » 2008-03-14 02:07pm

Excellent to see my little contribution up, I appreciate it being included, so thanks, Stu. I liked the middle part of the chapter, it was pretty funny to see SecDef Warner find out the alternative meaning of LDV. :lol:
Doherty had every reason to be bitter about the terrorists. One of his friends had been shot in the back by an IRA gunman while administering First Aid to a woman injured in a road accident, while another had been crippled by a blast bomb thrown by a Loyalist mob.
For anyone who might be wondering the first incident is real, and there are many similar ones where RUC officers were carrying out peaceful humanitarian tasks when murdered. The second is a composite of several incidents where RUC officers were seriously injured by Loyalist mobs.

For those interested, a couple of pics of PSNI Tangi armoued Land Rovers.
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BTW, Stuart, did you have any particular reason to pick Tony for taking his own life, or was it a bit of a 'even all around' sort of thing?
That was my idea, Chewie. Blair has converted to Catholicism, I figured that only someone pretty devout would do so. He didn't do it to gain political capital. It's also just a bit of a joke on my part.
By the way, shouldn't the British and the Americans standardize ammo for logistical purposes, i.e., choose either .338 Lapua or .458 Winchester Magnum, but not both, so American and British troops can use each other's ammo and magazines if necessary?
Ideally I'd have thought so, but we already use different 120mm tank rounds and the Bradley and Warrior use different ammo too. In this case the British Army have looked towards an existing calibre in their inventory to use.
It's not the first time we've used different rifle calibres. In both WW1 and WW2 we used .303in while the Americans used .30in; we seemed to manage then.
If I'm reading this right, does that mean that we will soon see the SAS deployed to Hell? I... I almost feel a twinge of pity for the baldricks.
General Dannatt would certainly like to deploy men from the SAS and SBS, and possibly SRR to Hell. Air Chief Marshal Stirrup has the idea of trying to organised all British military personnel killed recently into some form of insurgency. Whether that would work is another matter.

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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-03-14 02:20pm

You know, this fic is really making me want to run with my own idea from a few years ago, called 'Christ the Destroyer', where during the temptation of Jesus in the desert, he DOES bow down to Satan in order to take dominion over all the nations of the world.

A very bleak concept.
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