The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

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

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-04-01 02:30pm

No, bad Cinnabar, we've had a lot of curbstomps already.

Besides, it is worth noting that the human defences on the ground are very much an impromptu thing. I know it seems like ages because of how long it's taken to write this but in-universe they've had about a day, maybe two, to dig in under the theatre shield. They also weren't expecting the Covenant ground forces to just bypass the ships in space either - or for so many ground forces to land all at once. This is the fun part of writing battles with the humans and the Covenant - both sides are smart enough to surprise and out-think the other which makes things much more dramatic.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

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

Post by fnord » 2019-04-01 08:48pm

There's also a slight matter of not wanting to constrain a starship to such a tiny volume, and the opportunity cost.

Yes, having one of the 304's under the shield means that she can help put the boot into the Covvie ground assault, at the cost of leaving her pinned in place, unable to run, and unable to contribute at all to the big battle. If you don't win the big all-out furball up top, the ground defense is fairly moot.
A mad person thinks there's a gateway to hell in his basement. A mad genius builds one and turns it on. - CaptainChewbacca

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

Post by LadyTevar » 2019-04-01 09:29pm

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2019-03-31 02:43pm
The GSV is Finn McCumhail?!
HAHAHAHAHAHA. No.
Ooops... Spoilers sweetie! Spoiler
How well do you know your BSG?
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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-04-02 12:40pm

Ha, lucky thing your spoiler tag isn't working LadyTevar :)
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

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

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-04-02 12:49pm

fnord wrote:
2019-04-01 08:48pm
There's also a slight matter of not wanting to constrain a starship to such a tiny volume, and the opportunity cost.

Yes, having one of the 304's under the shield means that she can help put the boot into the Covvie ground assault, at the cost of leaving her pinned in place, unable to run, and unable to contribute at all to the big battle. If you don't win the big all-out furball up top, the ground defense is fairly moot.
This is also a very good point. But mostly it's the idea that starships fight starships in space, they don't hover like oversized AC-130's.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

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

Post by LadyTevar » 2019-04-02 07:18pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2019-04-02 12:40pm
Ha, lucky thing your spoiler tag isn't working LadyTevar :)
Feature, not a bug. :-D
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Librium Arcana, Where Gamers Play!
Nitram, slightly high on cough syrup: Do you know you're beautiful?
Me: Nope, that's why I have you around to tell me.
Nitram: You -are- beautiful. Anyone tries to tell you otherwise kill them.
"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" -- Leonard Nimoy, last Tweet

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

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-04-13 12:35pm

And we're back everyone. This update features the British doing something awesome, the UNSC Trafalgar tests out her new upgrades and LadyTevar's alter-ego makes an appearance:

Thunder from the Sky
Defence Perimeter, Menachite Mountains, Reach


The hard charge of the Winged Hussars had broken the back of the forces assaulting position Vienna in ten minutes of furious, lethal combat. The Covenant forces had no air cover to speak of – all their fighters that had made it through the theatre shield were elsewhere trying to locate and destroy the shield projectors and could do nothing to stem the tide of over a thousand gunships and assault craft ripping in to the troops on the ground. Rockets, missiles, cannon shells and tracer fire had gutted the onrushing formations, allowing the beleaguered 17th and 25th Marines to rally and even launch a limited counterattack.

General Sinclair noted with a touch of grim satisfaction that despite the losses his men and women were still raising their voices in song as they charged forward, retaking positions surrendered a short while before until they had once again occupied the initial defensive positions. He was glad they had held, but the aggressive, warlike part of his mind rebelled at the knowledge they had lost the best part of an entire Regiment just to get back to where they started. Covenant bastards he mused, wishing not the first time they could use nukes in this defence. Just one HAVOK could have gutted the enemy formation without a scratch, but the eggheads had warned Sinclair and the other division commanders in no uncertain terms that detonating nuclear weapons under the theatre shield was a bad idea.

He kept one ear paying attention to the command comm net, noting that the Covenant forces feinting at positions Moscow, Kiev and Berlin were withdrawing and regrouping while Lemuria was still holding strong. He wished he had some of the Terran’s Sabre and Paladin tanks for his divisions – his own Scorpions were doing sterling work but their guns had limited ammunition, unlike the light turbolasers the Terran vehicles used.

Above him the huge white dome continued to flare and burn as plasma fire rained down upon it. He wondered how long it could possibly hold against fire that would have slaughtered an entire battlegroup but he was glad for every second it remained active. He had enough to worry about without fiery death from the heavens as well. Then he saw something that turned his blood to ice and his guts clench in terror.

The shield wavered for a just a moment and most of an energy projector beam got through the brief gap. The searing white beam incinerated a frantically evading Pelican as it passed and the thunderclap of displaced air sent two more gunships spiralling out of control, crashing down into the withdrawing Covenant forces in huge fireballs. The beam continued onwards to slam into the mountainside, sending a hail of rock fragments and small boulders storming away from the point of impact.

Sinclair instinctively flinched away from the sight, even though he was far enough away to be in no danger. It was more in fear at what this represented. He grabbed the radio handset and slapped his hand on the “all channels” transmit button.

“All units this is Vienna-Six Actual. The shield is starting to give – repeat, the shield is starting to give. Everyone brace for heavy fire! Marine Six, we need some help from the Fleet here, right fucking now!”

He received a terse acknowledgment but nothing more. Another brilliant flash lit up the sky as the horde of Covenant carriers continued their bombardment. Sinclair had no way of knowing that his frantic call for help had already been answered. He looked out at the distant enemy hulls, fortuitously in just the right direction to see one of them sundered and broken in two, the pieces crashing down to the surface only a few hundred metres below.

UNSC Trafalgar, Ten Minutes Earlier

The massive bulk of the supercarrier was serving as an anchor point for the Reach Garrison and Tau’ri forces holding position around the orbital structures and ODP’s. After the initial terrifying moments of the enemy Supercarriers surrounding them completely things had settled down somewhat. The commanders could only watch as the dispersed Covenant heavy elements had caused havoc and confusion in the Terran fleet as well as Harper and Stanforth’s commands. Ships and people were burning and the Reach Garrison could do nothing – they had their own problems.

The swarm of corvettes, five hundred and fifty strong, was now approaching engagement range of the ODP’s, as were the tens of thousands of Banshee and Seraph fighters that kept close to them. The massive gun platforms would ordinarily be completely wasted on such targets – even in a close formation they couldn’t expect to get more than one or two kills per round given how small the corvettes were, and how nimble they could be. However, the boffins in R&D had been working on something for just this eventuality, and the Covenant were being very obliging in helping with the experiment.

The fighters were sticking close to the corvettes in order to hide within their stealth fields – fields that made them almost completely invisible to standard UNSC sensors. Unfortunately, the ODP’s had the benefit of Terran and Asgard-designed sensors as well as a live data-link from HMS Dreadnought giving the big guns a perfect firing solution for their new weapons.

As the incoming Covenant light forces crossed the intangible barrier that signified effective engagement range, the twenty ODP’s thundered out another volley. But these were not the same solid, capital-ship-killing rounds fired previously, these were new, lighter rounds with different materials and a set of very expensive components at the centre. The rounds hurled onwards and the Covenant just had time to run the numbers through their battle computers to know the losses would be acceptable when the rounds fulfilled their final function.

The core of the rounds was a small equipment bay, holding an inertial damper, a power supply and a repulsor field generator. Surrounding this were fifty thousand solid iron projectiles, each a spherical mass weighing in at fifty kilograms. The inertial damper was there to prevent the enormous stress of the firing process from ruining the other components or turning the iron balls into molten slag. The round bore a strong similarity to canister shot from the Age of Sail, and it would fulfil a similar purpose.

The repulsor generators activated, not pushing the smaller projectiles forwards or backwards but outwards. The small roundshot naturally retained their tremendous forward velocity but now the single shot turned into an expanding cloud of hypervelocity fragments – the R&D teams had turned the ODP’s into the universe’s biggest shotguns.

The Covenant fighters and corvettes had no chance. Instead of having to dodge or evade just twenty fast-moving but unguided rounds they suddenly faced a million fragments storming at them. Seraphs and Banshees evaporated from direct hits or spun away from glancing blows, hopelessly out of control. Corvettes staggered under the impacts of dozens of rounds from multiple angles, their stealth fields ruined and their shields drained completely. Dozens of the light craft exploded from repeated hits or collisions with other damaged ships as the careful formation collapsed in moments.

The Covenant fighter strike was badly beaten – just twelve thousand fighters and two hundred and forty corvettes survived. Realising their cover was blown they scattered their formation and raced inwards at full speed, hoping to close the range before another salvo of canister rounds could be fired. They needn’t have worried – the new rounds were experimental and limited in number, the ODP’s had just fired every round they had available. They had proven the concept quite spectacularly however. The next line of anti-fighter defence was formed of the massed ranks of the UNSC, Terran and Colonial starfighter forces. Thousands of Longswords and Broadswords flew along with thousands more Viper and Cobras, backed up by the two hundred and forty Scythes of Reaper Force.

The human pilots forged ahead to meet the incoming Covenant forces and battle was joined. A massive furball sprang up even as the corvettes stormed past them, only to come face to face with a ship that the Covenant Navy hated almost as much as the Everest. The supercarrier Trafalgar had racked up an impressive (by pre-Sigma Octanus standards) kill tally of twenty-six Covenant vessels while surviving everything the Covenant threw at her across most of the main battlefields of the long war. Her three-kilometre-long armoured hull now made a very effective roadblock for the light ships approaching the Fortress Shield.

The human vessel had been upgraded extensively during her stay docked within the Nidavellir, more so than any other vessel. Her original MACs had been pulled and replaced with hypervelocity guns identical to those mounted on the new Terran Warstar, her point-defence weapons had been replaced with Terran laser cannon mounts and Tau’ri coilgun turrets and her anti-ship capabilities had been vastly improved with the addition of three hundred of the new Tollan ion cannon turrets. It was these that opened up on the corvettes, a hail of blue bolts spat out, shattering the first rank of enemy ships and scattering the rest.

On the human ship’s bridge, Admiral Whitcomb was busy coordinating the defence with Admiral Hood while the ship’s commander looked on in concealed delight as her ship once more bled the enemy. Her name was Commodore the Honourable Lady Kathryn MacLuing and she bore the aristocratic, refined features one would expect from such a woman. She was distantly related to Lord Hood but that had no bearing on her rank or her position – virtually all the remaining families with aristocratic titles were related to some degree. She had an impressive record and a long service career that fully justified this prestigious command. To her family and friends she was warm and loving, to her subordinates she was firm but supportive and to her fellows she was polite but somewhat aloof. In battle, however, she was known as a cast-iron bitch.

Lady Kathryn watched as the Covenant force began to disintegrate before her eyes, a sight she had seen only once before at Psi Serpentis. She’d made her name as a ship commander in that fight, scoring her first kill of a Covenant warship (even if it had been a lowly frigate) with an impressive display of ship handling and ruthless cunning. She spared a glance at the overall strategic situation and grimaced at the icons on the surface. She had an idea about that that she pondered even as the ship’s AI appeared in hologram form next to her. Horatio Nelson in full dress uniform was an intimidating if absurdly anachronistic image, but it fit the ship perfectly.

“Ah, such a delight to make the enemy break and flee! Just like I did to Villeneuve and Gravina back in 1805.”

Lady Kathryn looked askance at the hologram. “That wasn’t you Horatio. Besides, the real Nelson was dying below decks when the combined fleet broke.”

Nelson scowled at her. “Really my Lady Kathryn, must you spoil an AI’s fun with such trivial things as reality? At any rate, I can tell from your eyes you have an idea, most probably to help the Marines on the ground. A touch of naval gunfire support perhaps?”

Kathryn shook her head minutely, even as Admiral Whitcomb walked over. “No Horatio, the Covenant forces are now too close. We might be able to deal with the carriers but that means turning our batteries away from the main forces up here. And I don’t relish the thought of what happens if we miss a target with our MACs or, God forbid, an ODP. I have a better idea, get me Commodore Baird on a priority channel please.”

Nelson nodded and sent the relevant signal while Whitcomb spoke up. “The Marines on the ground are being pushed hard. What’s this idea Lady Kathryn?”

“A moment Admiral, I’d rather go through this once.” A few seconds passed and Commodore Sir Jonathan Baird appeared via hologram. “Sir Jonathan, I have a job for you.”

”What might that be, my Lady?”

“If I remember the briefings correctly, your 304’s are atmospheric-capable, yes?” At the British officer’s nod she continued. “I want you to detach the four of them to assist the Marines on the surface. They have all the elements we need, speed, firepower and mobility.”

Baird nodded slowly. ”I can send them but with Icarus already damaged I just don’t know how long they will last against twenty-one Covenant capital ships. Therefore, I will go with them in Dreadnought.”

Lady Kathryn, Nelson and Whitcomb blinked in shock at the crazy sounding idea. Whitcomb recovered first. “You want to take a mile-long battleship into Reach’s atmosphere?”

Baird gave a self-assured grin. ”Precisely Admiral. A combination of naval gunfire and close-air support. It wasn’t one of the key design considerations for this ship but we did simulate it to see if it would work. It should, and my guns will a lot more effective than the weapons mounted on the 304’s. Combined with surprise on our side we should hurt them badly, and we can always make a hyperspace escape jump if needed.”

Whitcomb and Lady Kathryn looked at each other even as the Trafalgar rocked slightly beneath them as plasma torpedoes from the corvettes splashed against her shields. Whitcomb shook his head at the idea.

“It’s crazy but we don’t have much choice. Go, Commodore, and Godspeed.”

Baird saluted and the hologram vanished. The two UNSC officers went back to work slaughtering the Covenant light forces, each silently wishing their British friend all the luck he needed.

HMS Dreadnought

The huge British battleship was preparing to do something mad, but the crew were not afraid. Some of the Royal Navy’s greatest victories had come from abandoning the prevailing tactical orthodoxy and taking a chance, this would be no different – and they had simulated it during construction and shakedown trials so they weren’t completely in the dark. Baird passed the orders with a claim efficiency that would have impressed Commodore MacLuing and Admiral Whitcomb had they seen it:

“Helm, new course one-eight-zero, minus twenty, full thrust. Take us down into the atmosphere and hold position in range of those hovering Covenant ships. Main battery, those are your targets, fire for effect but make them count. Secondary batteries, you are free to engage targets of opportunity on the ground – repeat, on the ground. This is the CAS mission from hell ladies and gents.” He then grabbed the comm handset and toggled the right switch. “All hands brace for atmospheric entry and close combat. Repeat, brace for atmospheric entry.”

Observers on the ODP’s and the orbital structures watched in shock and then awe as the Tau’ri force suddenly turned and dove down into atmosphere of Reach. Flames appeared to lick over their shields as the four lighter ships raced ahead of their larger companion. The ships were briefly hidden from view as the flares of ionised gases surrounded them and then they were clear, racing across the blue skies of Reach and straight for their unsuspecting targets.

Back on the battleship’s bridge, Baird released his grip on the plot table as the turbulence ceased and smoother flight resumed. He glanced at the sensor displays and mentally began computing firing solutions – he knew the computers would do the same far faster than he could but it was a good exercise for his brain. Then one officer called out.

“Main battery has firing solutions on four targets, secondary batteries have solutions on ground targets. The 304’s are beginning their attack runs.”

Baird grinned fiercely. “All batteries commence fire, break their backs!”

From the Dreadnought’s bow came four brilliant blue plasma beams as the main guns spoke. The beams burned into the shields of a light carrier that had been caught completely by surprise, so focused on bombarding the theatre shield that the crew didn’t even notice the British ship’s approach until it was far too late. The shields collapsed, leaving the ship vulnerable to a volley of eight heavy coilgun rounds that tore through the carrier’s midships section, breaking it in two and leaving the remains to crash to the ground, witnessed by a very surprised General Sinclair.

From the flanks came more plasma beams and coilgun rounds, claiming another three light carriers either destroyed outright or damaged enough that they began a final, terminal descent. The Conqueror, Warrior, Gagarin and Icarus had split up to batter and blast another two Covenant ships, throwing the bombardment force into disarray and halting their fire on the greatly-strained theatre shield. Fifteen targets remained that began to turn to bring their weapons to bear.

Baird once again grabbed the comm handset, but this time he made a general call on UNSC frequencies.

“Marines, this is Dreadnought, we’ll take care of the carriers then we’ll be on-call for fire support as needed.”

On the surface, General Sinclair and his men could only watch in wonder as the theatre shield changed from a mass of fire back to its normal almost-invisible white, revealing a Covenant force frantically turning away while a mammoth warship and four escorts rained death upon them. The Covenant ground forces looked up as well, but in fear not wonder. They knew it was just a matter of time until those ships turned their guns on the surface. They had to advance, immediately. They had to take the defences or at the very least be close enough that the theatre shield would protect them too.

Orders rang out and the Covenant army once more charged at the UNSC and Terran defenders. This time there were no feints, it was an all-out assault.

========

Yop, turns out the RN are still pulling crazy-awesome ideas. Close-air support from a battleship. That's new.

And also, yes, I turned the Super-MAC's into shotguns for one volley - like it says though, those were the only volley of those rounds they have available. Good proof of concept though.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

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

Post by LadyTevar » 2019-04-13 02:03pm

Damn fine Proof of Concept, and I adored it. Who says Old Dogs can't learn New Tricks?

EDIT: Also corrected a typo
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Nitram: You -are- beautiful. Anyone tries to tell you otherwise kill them.
"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" -- Leonard Nimoy, last Tweet

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

Post by fnord » 2019-04-13 09:32pm

What will the Covenant come back with after Baird finishes nicking a page out of Wallace et al's book?

Awesome work - cutting between dirtside and highside, a new 'umie trick, yet more dakka, and Tev's alter-ego. I want to see what tricks Commodore MacLuing has got up her sleeve.
A mad person thinks there's a gateway to hell in his basement. A mad genius builds one and turns it on. - CaptainChewbacca

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

Post by DKeith2011 » 2019-05-24 08:04pm

*knock knock*

Anybody home?

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

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-05-25 09:34am

Yeah, I know it's been a while everyone, my apologies for that. I have another chapter half-written so should have something up soon.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

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

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-06-07 05:34pm

Haha! Surprise ye scurvy sea dogs!

Ok I'll stop that. Being in Portsmouth and in and around HMS Victory has finally allowed my brain to finished the WIP chapter, so here we are!

This week on The 13th Tribe: The Warstars fight, the Covenant fight back, Jellicoe is getting desperate, the Dreadnought is taking a beating and.....the Big Bad and the Big Good finally make an appearance!

Fulcrum
Reach Orbital Space


While the Covenant ground forces began their all-out offensive against the generator complex, things in space were deteriorating rapidly for both sides. The massed Covenant fighter strike aimed at the shipyards had been slaughtered by the ODP’s canister rounds and the supporting corvettes and been swept aside by the mighty Trafalgar. But the allied forces were likewise licking their wounds – of the UNSC and Terran manoeuvre elements, only Battle Group Keyes and Preston Cole’s pair of heavy ships were undamaged. Even when ships were still intact there was damage both visible and invisible – the Leviathan had a sizeable hole blown through her midships section, a number of frigates and destroyers were limping along with damaged engines and even the Terran heavies were showing the strain of close-quarters combat.

The Covenant meanwhile still possessed an overwhelming force. Five supercarriers, twenty two light carriers and thirty-one of their assault carrier groups remained operational – and those thirty-one groups were rapidly closing the distance to firing range on the Fortress shield while the two carrier forces waited almost serenely behind the lines. The UNSC and Kobolian forces were now all concentrated together apart from the Trafalgar and the rest of the Reach Garrison while the commanders held a brief, frantic conference.

Jellicoe was seriously pissed at the Covenant and he was out for blood. Unsurprisingly Cole, Harper and Stanforth agreed with him, saying that they needed to retake the offensive and start hitting more of the Covenant battle groups before they could unite and hit the Fortress shield with more fire than it could possibly handle. Hood and Whitcomb were reluctant to split their forces again but could see no other way to extricate them from the current slaughter.

They reorganised the Fleet almost on the fly to do as much damage as they could – Stanforth’s badly depleted Battle Group Zulu would join Harper’s force, the heavy ships of the Reach Garrison would sortie as their own task force, the Kobolian ships would split up – the two Warstars would take on one assault group while the six remaining Battlestars and their escorts would hit a second. Finally, Cole and Dying Light would hit a fifth target while Battle Group Keyes took on a sixth. It was brave, desperate and unavoidable. Turning turtle beneath the Fortress shield wouldn’t work; they had to kill as many targets as they could before they lost all ability to manoeuvre.

The orders went out and the ships began charging their FTL drives for the jumps and loading their guns. They had no way of knowing that the Covenant were having a very similar conversation. Imperial Admiral Xytan Wattinree was conferring with his four surviving Supreme Commanders – Thel Vadamee of the Ascendant Justice, Silas Sorsanee of the Chainbreaker, Nial Declanee of the Hammer of Wrath and Nerak Mastanee of the Implacable Devotion. The Admiral was furious that so many were missing from the conference when just hours earlier there had been five more standing with them.

“We face a decision my friends. We have taken murderous losses that will take decades to replace and the humans, while they are wounded, have not lost as many heavy ships as we have. We can break off the offensive and withdraw; this world is too well-defended for the moment. Or we can focus all our efforts on destroying the heavy ships that are the greatest threat – those two large, new vessels with the deadly main guns. What say you?”

Mastanee was the first to answer: ”I have said it before but my vote is to withdraw. Leave the humans be, once the Hierarchs learn of this slaughter we will have bigger problems and we will need every ship we have.”

Declanee was next: ”I agree but I think we need to prioritise destroying one of those new human vessels first. We already managed to eliminate one of the smaller versions but destroying or crippling one of them would do much to reassure our people that they are not invulnerable. Burning the Everest or Trafalgar would be immensely satisfying as well if possible.”

Vadamee nodded while Sorsanee spoke for them both. ”We agree with Nial, we should focus on these monstrous new vessels. I am loathe to abandon our ships and troops on the surface but I fear we have no choice. The bulk of our fleet must be preserved for the probable betrayal of the Hierarchs.”

There it was, baldly stated. Wattinree knew the politics of High Charity well enough to know how this would play out. Truth and Mercy would lay all the blame on him and his fellow Sanghelli, who clearly had not been devoted enough to the Covenant and the Great Journey to triumph as they should – completely ignoring the devastating new weapons the humans possessed. The Sanghelli would be diminished; the Jiralhanae elevated and at that point civil war could well break out. All it would take would be one over-zealous Jiralhane firing on a Sanghelli ship and the Covenant would be torn asunder.

Wattinree nodded and was about to issue the relevant orders when the tactical display updated. He stared at it for a brief moment in a curious mixture of anger, frustration and resignation.

Elsewhere

Everywhere one looked there was a featureless barren plane that appeared to stretch off to infinity (and it did in fact do so). The only thing that marred this primal place was a large stone table and two beings, one on either side. Both appeared humanoid but their exact species or planet of origin would be impossible to discern, even for an Ascended such as Janus.

One of these beings was clad in white robes that shone with an inner light. Its eyes were a vivid gold that seemed to twist, broil and twinkle in equal measure and its face showed an equal measure of soft compassion, laughter and cold, ruthless determination. Around its right hand electricity arced and twisted as if a lightning bolt had been captured and held at the ready – a description that would be completely accurate.

The second figure was almost the polar opposite. Its robes were blacker than the darkest night in the depths of space and almost appeared to suck light into them, never to escape as if the robes were an event horizon. The hood was raised, obscuring the facial features except for the eyes, one a burning red and the other a freezing blue that together radiated a dark, terrible power and were locked onto the golden counterparts of the being across the table. One hand was visible, but it was not a human hand. It was claw-like, with razor-sharp curled talons that had brilliant blue flames running along their length, never escaping but never extinguishing either.

On the table between them was something resembling a chess board or a particularly anarchic tabletop wargame. Small statues and figurines littered the surface, arranged in no readily apparent pattern. There were no markings on the table to suggest a clearly marked board; this was a game with inscrutable rules and the highest of stakes.

Some of the statues appeared to be in play, a Kobolian flag and a UNSC standard were side by side against a Covenant icon. Others were waiting in reserve and others were clearly out of the game – the symbols of Ra and the other System Lords lay on their side, broken clean in half. A statue of a Wraith Queen was likewise discarded, as was a Replicator, a model Lantean and a Forerunner. A Colonial flag lay on the stone surface, still flickering with flames while a symbol denoting the Asgard lay on its side unbroken, showing them asleep.

Other statues waited off to one side, showing forces yet to be brought into the game or pieces long since defeated or sacrificed. Their numbers defied description as the table never seemed to run out of room and the pieces were always within reach of the players. An all-seeing eye, a pyramid, an insect, and a dome-shaped starship with two giant fangs hanging beneath it were just some examples.

Every now and then, one being or another would reach out either a lightning-clad hand or a flame-wrought talon and move a piece from place to place, signifying some gambit or stratagem. And all the while, their eyes were locked on each other. Their minds however, were focused on the real world where the events of this game were playing out, doing all they could to subtly manoeuvre events without the other noticing. A whisper, a dream, a half-forgotten memory were tools employed by the lightning-handed figure, while the hooded figure preferred nightmares, accidents, and muttered threats in the wind.

The game had been going on for aeons, longer than any being alive or dead could measure, except for these two beings, these players in the game of the Gods. The lightning-handed being finished its latest move, and for the first time in centuries (as mortals reckoned time) spoke, although spoke is a crude simplification of what was an ancient and highly complex mixture of verbal sounds and telepathic ideas.

“We have reached the fulcrum Count. Now events will tip inexorably one way or another. Perhaps you should concede this round.”

The hooded, fiery figure glared back at him, the gaze never wandering even as its mind continued its infernal plotting.

“I think not Brother. If this is the fulcrum, then the sides are balanced. You will have to make me concede.”

The lightning-handed being met his brothers glare and the two beings waited to see which way the fulcrum would fall.

Covenant Assault Group Five

An Assault Carrier, five battlecruisers, five destroyers and eight frigates was a powerful collection of ships by any standard, similar in concept and composition to Kobolian Battlestar Groups or UNSC Fleets – and prior to the Kobolian intervention, it would have substantially outgunned a UNSC force. What it did not have the ability to deal with was a pair of Warstars appearing in the flashes of an FTL jump at almost ludicrously short range – just four kilometres separated each Warstar from the Assault Carrier, the two Terran goliaths having appeared broadside-on to the larger Covenant ship. Both ships had reached the limits on the cooling systems for their superlasers and would instead have to rely on their other weapons.

In the CIC of the Nemesis, Admiral Davies had an angry, almost feral grin on his face as he ordered his two ships to open fire. Hundreds of turbolasers began a pounding cannonade into the flanks of the largest Covenant ship, while the unengaged starboard, forward and aft batteries opened up a similar fire on the stunned escorts. On the carrier’s far side, the Jupiter likewise cut loose, turbolaser bolts and plasma beams reaching out to savage a nearby battlecruiser while the massive hypervelocity turrets adjusted their aim slightly and began a rapid and deadly volley at the Assault Carrier. Further forwards, the still-untested Ancient Beam Weapons blazed out, stabbing deep into an errant destroyer and shattering it.

The Assault Carrier staggered under the sudden, powerful assault. It took fully six seconds for the Covenant weapons to even begin reorienting to fire on the new arrivals, giving the human ships three unopposed salvos. Despite that, the huge warship remained completely intact; its shields were strained but far from breaking.

Fire and fury filled the spaces between the three mammoth ships, turbolaser bolts crossing back and forth with plasma torpedoes and the white beams of energy projectors. This was a novel experience for both sides – the Kobolians had to date favoured hit and run tactics rather than straight-up slugging matches, but their ships were supremely capable of doing so if needs be.

Another pair of frigates on the outskirts of the Covenant formation exploded into debris as the merciless turbolaser barrage continued. The Assault Carrier’s shields flickered and glowed a brilliant blue as they tried to hold. But by now even the two Warstars were showing the strain, the shields glowed so brightly that the ships themselves vanished from sight, all an observer would see would be two vast crimson ellipsoids that were spewing fire at the enemy. The strain was not helped when a third, heavily damaged frigate with no remaining weapons slammed into the flank of the Nemesis at full thrust.

The blow was not as severe, in purely kinetic terms, than the Warstar had endured from Wraith cruisers in the Pegasus Campaign, but the Covenant frigate had also set its remaining reactors to overload, the massive plasma detonation doing more damage than a hundred plasma torpedoes. The Nemesis staggered sideways and for a moment, her guns ceased firing. This momentary weakness was like a lure to the five battlecruisers, each of which was comparable in power to a first-generation Terran Battlestar and all of them focused their fire on the smaller Warstar.

On the far side of the remorseless firefight, the Jupiter could do little to aid her older sister. The Assault Carrier’s Shipmaster had seen what was being attempted and was manoeuvring the huge ship towards the Jupiter, intent on distracting one ship while the battlecruisers finished off the second. This was a step too far however, as after a moment’s delay the Nemesis opened fire once again. Her shields were severely depleted and her rate of fire had slackened as power was diverted to keeping the shields up.

The Assault Carrier had finally reached the limit of its endurance though as the shields finally collapsed and in a moment the tactical situation changed. A volley of hypervelocity rounds from Jupiter flew through the gap behind the Assault Carrier’s hook-like bow section and ripped apart one of the battlecruisers. Another salvo, this one from the ventral turrets, ripped gaping holes in the carrier’s flanks, setting compartments and hanger decks alight as fuel and oxygen combusted.

With a suddenly reduced enemy, the Nemesis could once again resume her original rate of fire, fire that was immediately effective as another frigate collapsed into expanding gases and debris. The Assault Carrier, badly wounded, salvoed every remaining gun at the smaller warship, straining the shields to the very brink of failure.

Admiral Davies desperately wished he could deploy his ships’ considerable missile armament but he knew they were in far too close to survive the detonations. He could only keep fighting with the turbolasers and megalasers the ship carried; a part of him considered withdrawing but that would leave Jupiter to face the remains of the enemy battle group alone.

A quick glance at the larger tactical display showed that their bold counterattack was not going as well as hoped – the Reach garrison were already withdrawing, their targets were gone in a hail of ion cannon bolts but the Trafalgar sported some deep scars on her armour, the Dawn Under Heaven was leaking atmosphere and flames from two dozen holes on her starboard side and the Hugh Dowding was missing an engine cluster and a fifty-metre section of her bow.

The other fights were hotly contest close-range actions – massive MAC salvos had crushed their targets with terrific force but the heavy cruiser Remember the Alamo was nothing but an expanding cloud of debris, her main reactors having exploded spectacularly when a trio of energy projector beams punched through her weakened shields; a trio of frigates were snuffed out when one of the battlecruisers they had gotten too close to erupted with colossal force, the escaping plasma and the hurtling debris ripped the three lighter ships apart.

The Kobolian ships where showing more and more strain as well – the Temeraire and the Galactica had lost their shields and the armour was showing strain, even as the Phoenix and Eridanus finished off their sole remaining target, the Assault Carrier dying as a flight of heavy missiles slipped through what remained of the point defence fire and detonated, breaking the carrier clean in two.

Only Battle Group Keyes and the combination of the Everest and the Shield of Eternity were still at full strength, the mere handful of ships seeming to lead a charmed life. That charmed life came to a stunning end though as the destroyer Gladius spun out of control, her port engines missing completely, slamming with terminal force into the nearby and helpless destroyer Monitor.

He focused his eyes back on his present enemies. Only two battlecruisers remained as threats, along with a pair of destroyers and four frigates. The Assault Carrier was in dire straits as more and more fire slammed into it from the Jupiter. One of the remaining destroyers made the mistake of moving into Davies’ forward arc, right into the gun sights of the bow megalaser batteries. Twelve beams lashed out, burning through shields and armour in milliseconds to leave the destroyer a burning wreck, her engines melted and her weapons useless.

Then a number of things happened in very quick succession that would have long-lasting consequences. First, the Nemesis’ shields finally collapsed as another of the frigates exploded directly above her main hull. Then, the Assault Carrier unexpectedly exploded as a hypervelocity round from Jupiter smashed into her engineering spaces and touched off the main reactors. This explosion staggered the Jupiter, forcing her to turn away from the fight for a few moments.

The sudden destruction also claimed the two remaining battlecruisers. One was struck by the huge hook-shaped bow section that had been hurled forwards by the force of the detonation. The second had interposed itself between Nemesis and the Assault Carrier, the brave but foolhardy shipmaster thinking to try and spare the massive dying ship from further damage. The explosion of the much larger vessel also shattered the battlecruiser, sending a hail of more substantial debris towards the now shieldless Warstar.

The two portside flight pods took the brunt of it. With all of her fighters, gunships and bombers elsewhere and with no immediate expectation of them landing, Davies had ordered everyone out of the flight pods, except for the turbolaser gun crews and had decompressed the now-empty compartments to minimise the risk of fires, a decision that most likely saved the ship.

The outer layers of armour took and absorbed the hellstorm of plasma, redistributing the energy exactly as designed, while the debris fragments largely bounced off – they did not have a huge amount of momentum, the armour was physically strong in addition to its energy-conducting qualities and fragments of debris are rarely formed into efficient shapes for armour penetration.

But there were areas that could not be armoured to the same standard. The exposed gun turrets were burned away, their crews dying in an inferno that fortunately lasted only seconds. The hatches covering the launch tubes for Cobras and Scythes gave way, letting plasma and debris burn into the airless hanger decks. The front and rear apertures to the landing decks themselves were likewise vulnerable, leaving the decks burned and melted for nearly a hundred metres from each end. The main hull was spared by the ablative effect of the port pods. The port bow and stern sections were damaged as well, but they had less unarmoured surfaces vulnerable to enemy fire than the pods did.

All this passed in seconds, as the Nemesis went from shieldless but still mighty to severely damaged in the blink of an eye. Both portside flight pods were out of action until she could return to either Styx Base or the Nidavellir, one of her sublight engines was damaged and a quarter of her turbolaser batteries and point-defence mounts were gone, along with five hundred of her crew.

She was saved from the opportunistic actions of the remaining destroyer and trio of frigates by the thunderous and vengeful intervention of the Jupiter which shattered all four Covenant vessels in a single salvo of hypervelocity rounds and plasma beams. Both ships immediately span up their FTL’s and jumped back to the Reach Garrison’s perimeter to link up with the rest of the combined fleet, to lick their wounds and try and work out what to do next.

On the Jupiter, John Jellicoe glared at the ain display even as Commander Harrison rattled off the apparent damage to Nemesis. The Admiral was quickly scanning the gathered icons, noting what had been lost from his UNSC allies. He turned his attention to his own forces and stopped dead. He shouted for a channel to Arthur Pendragon on the Phoenix.

“White Knight, where are the Stephen Falken and Cassandra Cameron?” Both cruisers formed part of the Command Group led by Nemesis and had been detached to White Knight’s force temporarily.

”Falken was lost when a plasma torpedo cooked off the missile magazines, Cameron got broken in half by a damaged and suicidal frigate. Please tell me you have a new plan Iron Duke, we can’t keep up this war of attrition for long.”

John grimaced at even more deaths. He was prevented from answering by a scrap of conversation on the command circuit, from the ground engagement:

“Dreadnought, Marine Six Actual, you need to withdraw, your shields are failing!” The frantic call of General Maxwell was answered by the clam, refined tones of Commodore Baird, even as sirens sounded in the background:

It’ll take the Navy two years to build a new ship but two hundred to build a new tradition. We stay!”

Jellicoe tore his attention away from that and the deteriorating position on the surface and tried to come up with a plan, any plan that might work.

===========

Well I do hope that was worth the wait. At 3500 words it's my biggest chapter to date, and we finally get more than a hint of the Big Bad and the Big Good. The idea of two Gods playing a chess-like game that is played out in the mortal one is inspired by Stravo's (regrettably) unfinished "Starcrossed" fanfic.

To avoid speculation, the dark-robed figure is indeed Count Iblis. The white-robed figure is his brother, Jupiter. They are the last two of their race, the first race to achieve sentience and then ascension - known only as the Firstborn. They are locked in combat a la Oma Desala and Anubis...but both are able to influence the mortal realm in small ways, since each is to an Ascended what an Ascended is to a human.

Also, Commodore Baird's line is a paraphrased version (quite intentionally in-character) of a phrase uttered by Admiral Cunningham, RN, during the evacuation of either Greece or Crete, I can't recall precisely, but it was a fitting quote to adapt I think.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

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

Post by B5B7 » 2019-06-08 12:49am

The idea of the two powerful mysterious figures manipulating the universe over a games board is familiar from an old SF story (or two).
Is your use of the term Firstborn a call out to the aliens in the Clarke/Baxter trilogy?
Well the good news is that the Covenant now has to withdraw, and this will probably precipitate the Covenant civil war that the humans need.
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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-06-08 09:53am

Yeah the term Firstborn is borrowed from Arthur Clarke's books where it's the name given to the Monolith-builders. I was spitballing ideas for the Big Badand my brother suggested using the Monolith builders as they have some cool possibilities that aren't really present in SG, BSG or Halo and there is enough ambiguity to let me fill them out how I want.

There is also a tantalising mention in the prologue to 3001 that the Firstborn had, after an age of brain-uploading into ships, figured out how to store their conscious minds as matrices of light in the fabric of reality - which sounds close enough to Ascension for me to work with. They were also said to be the first sentient race, who searched out others like them but found none, so began seeding the universe and experimenting, sowing life on countless worlds (and occasionally, weeding out those unfit).

Jupiter and Iblis won't play a direct role in the rest of Book II, but they may well appear for short cameos like this one from time to time.

Oh, and if anyone wants a mental image of the Nemesis/Jupiter/Assault Carrier fight, think Battle of Coruscant from Revenge of the Sith - specifically when Invisible Hand runs broadside on to a Venator at point-blank range - that's where the inspiration came from.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

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

Post by fnord » 2019-06-08 03:02pm

I get the impression you're setting up for Nemesis to go down swinging, following your preferences to give capital vessels memorable deaths.

I guess it got lost in the rush, so I'll ask it again - what happens if some other mob cook off a metric weapon (even a small-scale one like a shatterbomb) and point it at the Kobolians/catch them in the blast? (Maybe as a side effect of that Great Game you introduced this chapter?).

You've previously said the Kobolian Navy won't use metric weapons themselves (something about divine edict there), but who else in the Haloverse apart from the Tau'ri (who were there for the first metric incident anyway) are similarly constrained?
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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-06-08 03:27pm

Given that the vacuum weapon required a) a currently-irreplaceable ZPM and b) a sabotage coating I doubt anyone else will be capable of doing so. Even the Kobolians are not presently capable of replicating such a device. The Forerunners/Furlings and the Asgard (when they wake up) could do it, but know not to do it.

I would also imagine that the Kobolians are spreading the word that fucking around with vacuum energy in general is a bad idea - and while very few others have heard of the Lords of Kobol, saying it's a direct warning from the Ancients/Ancestors/Lanteans would carry a lot of weight in the galaxies.

As for in the Haloverse, the Covenant wouldn't do such a thing, as they canonically don't invent new things, just replicate/adapt Forerunner tech - and the Forerunners/Furlings are smart enough to not accidentally build universe-destroying devices.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

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

Post by Sky Captain » 2019-06-08 05:37pm

That was intense! It seems Nemesis has bad luck of being a victim of suicidal collisions and exploding enemy ships as it was damaged in a similar way in a Pegasus campaign. Yeah, maybe 4 km is a bit too close range, don't engage in a knife fight if you also have a gun. Where did superlasers managed to overheat that much? Previously they were used only when attempting to kill command ship, then an empty discharge shot and final against Incorruptible. IT appears there is some relatively long cooldown period needed after 3 cycles.

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

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-06-08 06:16pm

Cooldown periods for the big guns vary a lot due to other factors. A full-power shot takes ten minutes to charge or three minutes to quick-charge (but that means cutting shields and other gun's ROF in half), the burst-fire mode was conceived for killing weaker ships in quick succession, but you can still only do three low-power shots before you start straining the cooling system.

In this engagement though, all three superlaser armed ships have only been firing full-power shots, because they've been hitting Supercarriers that need them. And they've been in three intense firefights in (in-universe) about thirty minutes, which includes full rapid-fire on all other weapons and five short-notice tactical FTL jumps. Even the big Warstars only have so much power to spare.

As for the close range, well, they only had two ships agaisnt an Assault Carrier (tactically equivalent to a Warstar without the superlaser) five battlecruisers (Lionheart-class Battlestar equivalent), five destroyers (Terran cruiser equivalent) and eight frigates (destroyer equivalent). So they needed surprise, they needed to minimise reaction tiemf or the enemy and crucially they needed to be able to use all of their varied guns - the turreted megalsers, plasma beam cannons, hypervelocity guns and about 60% of the turbolasers can't fire forwards, so getting in close allows them to use all their weapons at once for maximum initially effect and confusion for the enemy.

If their superlasers had been able to fire, a stand-off attack using burst-fire mode and a missile salvo would have worked perfectly, but they didn't have that option.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

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

Post by LadyTevar » 2019-06-08 07:49pm

Count Iblis was given the power to do as he wished to those who followed him and believed in him, but if he harmed one Non-Believer (see OldBSG Apollo), he lost.
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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-06-08 08:04pm

This isn't exactly the oBSG version of Iblis. As with so many things in this story, I'm taking ideas from several sources and putting my own spin on them.

For one thing, Iblis will not be completely evil, nor will Jupiter be completely good - they're on opposite sides with opposing mindsets and goals, but that does not directly translate to our heroes' morals and worldviews. To quote Sherlock, "Just because I'm on the side of the angels don't assume for one moment that I am one."
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

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

Post by LadyTevar » 2019-06-09 01:24pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2019-06-08 08:04pm
This isn't exactly the oBSG version of Iblis. As with so many things in this story, I'm taking ideas from several sources and putting my own spin on them.

For one thing, Iblis will not be completely evil, nor will Jupiter be completely good - they're on opposite sides with opposing mindsets and goals, but that does not directly translate to our heroes' morals and worldviews. To quote Sherlock, "Just because I'm on the side of the angels don't assume for one moment that I am one."
I was more wondering if that was what triggered their stalemate/game, he manifested and broke the rules, and now they're stuck together.

Iblis was right, tho... if it was a fulcrum, a balance point, it's better to wait and see. And maybe add a little to one side to get it going your way.
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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-06-09 01:29pm

I'll save the backstory for their game/contest/stalemate for Book III, but you're probably along the right lines.

As for how one of them is going to tip the balance...I have a plan, and I doubt it's one any of you would expect :D
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

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

Post by Sky Captain » 2019-06-11 05:35pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2019-06-08 06:16pm
Cooldown periods for the big guns vary a lot due to other factors. A full-power shot takes ten minutes to charge or three minutes to quick-charge (but that means cutting shields and other gun's ROF in half), the burst-fire mode was conceived for killing weaker ships in quick succession, but you can still only do three low-power shots before you start straining the cooling system.

In this engagement though, all three superlaser armed ships have only been firing full-power shots, because they've been hitting Supercarriers that need them. And they've been in three intense firefights in (in-universe) about thirty minutes, which includes full rapid-fire on all other weapons and five short-notice tactical FTL jumps. Even the big Warstars only have so much power to spare.

As for the close range, well, they only had two ships agaisnt an Assault Carrier (tactically equivalent to a Warstar without the superlaser) five battlecruisers (Lionheart-class Battlestar equivalent), five destroyers (Terran cruiser equivalent) and eight frigates (destroyer equivalent). So they needed surprise, they needed to minimise reaction tiemf or the enemy and crucially they needed to be able to use all of their varied guns - the turreted megalsers, plasma beam cannons, hypervelocity guns and about 60% of the turbolasers can't fire forwards, so getting in close allows them to use all their weapons at once for maximum initially effect and confusion for the enemy.

If their superlasers had been able to fire, a stand-off attack using burst-fire mode and a missile salvo would have worked perfectly, but they didn't have that option.
Ah, that clears it up, it is easy to forget that in universe all these events happen in a very short time. With nearly every system operating at near overload it is understandable that cooling systems would be strained too.

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

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-06-11 06:36pm

Yeah. In-universe they've had perhaps about a day total since the Covenant started their approach - that includes the Prophet of Restriction getting whacked, setting off the NOVA bomb, the follow-up strike and then the main fleet battle.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

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

Post by Natzo » 2019-06-13 12:36pm

No Tau'ri piece in the board? Weird.

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