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 The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.

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EyesofMarch
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:44 pm

(( It's cool lol. Take your time. ))
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:48 pm

Quote :
Talla'Zouna - Surface Level

Suddenly, the seat's deceleration thrusters kicked in, slowing the object down to a speed that could be sustained by the human body on impact; it hit the dust a moment later, coming down to a halt after sliding on the terrain and rock for several moments. And then the pilot burst out of the seat, the clamps holding her in place releasing, and instantly rushed to grab the grenades and equipment from her combat kit. It wasn't just a sense of survival guiding her though: her system had been pumped full of drugs, everything from painkillers to a combat cocktail that could keep even the laziest of soldiers on their feet for days. Without any delay she rigged the seat to self destruct and started running, rushing to get away from the area the enemies had been spotted approaching from. Her EVA suit wasn't built for combat, having only a thin layer of ballistic armor on the limbs and combat plates on the chest and back, but it was excellent for maneuvering in microgravity. It even had a jetpack so that ejected pilots could easily maneuver into the rescue craft.

She had nowhere specific to run towards, just away from the enemy. She had been lucky to land behind a hill thanks to some clever maneuvering by the chair's RCS thrusters, but the aliens would no doubt cover the distance without much trouble. She had to stay alive, stay free until fleet rescue came for her. There was a rescue team underway, and they had a damn mech with them, and she wasn't going to let herself get captured by some stupid mistake: she practically screamed at the radio, the RADAR and heat tracking device on her suit pinging urgently as the contacts got closer. "CAPTAIN! I'VE HIT THE GROUND, GOT CONTACTS MOVING TOWARDS MY POSITION! NEED BACKUP NOW!"





Surface of Talla'Zouna
Zulu Foxtrot MarDet (Marine Detachment) Platoon 17, 'Crushers'


"DEFENSIVE FORMATION, FIND SOME COVER! SOMEONE GET ME A COMMLINK TO THE CARRIER!"

The Marines on the surface of the asteroid were having a hard time to say the least; they were surrounded and apparently outnumbered, and their advantage, power armor, didn't seem to be working that well against snipers who aimed for the head. So they unleashed everything in their arsenal, tossing grenades and rockets towards where the shots were coming from, using their machineguns and miniguns to keep the enemy from firing long enough to rush towards the nearest rock formation with the nuke in tow. It was a desperate fight; an assault against an enemy fortification, an otherwise routine mission, had turned into a battle for survival. But they weren't going to let the aliens have the last word, no.

Over the horizon, several gunships appeared, flying high above the terrain. They activated their missile pods and opened fire just as the alien anti aircraft pods established a lock, deploying several dozens of anti-infantry and anti-tank mini-nuclear warheads against the laser-pointed and radio pinpointed positions provided by the Marines on the ground. The rockets went self-guided a second after launch, allowing the gunships to make a run for orbit with their emergency thrusters: they had done their jobs for the moment. Firing chaff, RADAR and heat decoys and deploying electronic jamming, they headed for the carrier strike group to rearm and refuel (and hide beneath the thick flak cover). They had done their jobs: released most of their weapons against the enemy and forced the aliens to reveal their hand (and anti aircraft emplacements).




Hastings F-23 'Raven' 012
Pilot: Matthew 'Blank' Winchester
Co-pilot: Bernard 'Fatman' Gaul
11th Multirole Bomber Squadron 'Little Boys'


"Hastings, Blank, these fighters are getting closer! Requesting instructions!"

The bomber squadron and its fighter escort simply floated in space, firing off the occasional anti-fighter round and harassing the alien ships from afar but otherwise holding position with its nuclear weapons ready to launch in a moment's notice. They didn't have permission to leave yet, nor did they have orders to release the rest of their nukes and get it over with: they had to wait. Still, every single bomber spooled up its FTL drive, and the FA-37 stealth fighters did the same with their shorter range jump drives; the squadron wasn't composed for direct engagement, after all. A battle would be weighted heavily in the aliens' favour.

"All bombers, all bombers, emergency recall. Launch all remaining warheads and return to the Hastings ASAP, launch on dumb-fire mode and transfer control to Hastings CIC. We'll take care of the rest." came the reply, and the bombers didn't even wait for a confirmation: their consoles unlocked the rest of the nuclear missiles and they happily turned the keys already positioned in the firing slot, deploying the other half of their anti-fighter nukes and the whole arsenal of MIRVs against both the fighter formation and the asteroid base. And with that the squadron made a full 180-degree turn from front to back and kicked in their afterburners and emergency boosters, attempting to escape the pinch maneuver the aliens were trying to perform.

The bombers were, luckily, mostly built out of armor: they could handle the occasional rocket and shot, and that protected them from the bulk of the fighter barrage being unleashed against them. But they knew they couldn't survive a direct battle against the faster, more agile and more well armed fighters: they had only a gatling turret and some point defense guns to protect them. Their best shot was to run away long enough for the jump drives to finish spooling up. Nevertheless, the first of the bombers fell to the enemy's fire, its pilots barely having time to eject before the reactor went critical; they would probably be picked up by fleet rescue later, but at the moment, the rest of the squadron could do nothing but transmit their location via an encrypted frequency and hope for the best.

Thankfully, the USC had succeeded in one other regard: the MIRVs' artificial intelligence had not fallen for the trick. Knowing fully well that six nuclear weapons meant to destroy entire cities were already overkill to catch one fighter, it kept the rockets on their separate attack vectors, providing cover for the second nuke as it used the last of its booster fuel to accelerate towards the asteroid; and then it launched its bombs. Twelve smaller bomblets were released from the canopy of the MIRV along with several dozen decoys, raining over both the transmitter array and areas suspected to house anti-aircraft batteries.





USS Missouri, Missouri - Carrier Strike Group 2
Combat Information Center


"Enemy hangar has sustained heavy damage, direct hit with all rounds." reported the tactical systems officer, and Commander Drake Foster couldn't be happier at the news. Usually, fast ships could survive a direct shot by a dreadnought because of how slowly its weapons were brought to bear and how difficult it was to be accurate at such long ranges and such extreme velocities. But a stationary target, like a station, a planet or an asteroid, was a dreadnought's chewing toy to be disposed of at the discretion of 'God', as the crew often referred to the commander of such a formidable warship because of his ability to wipe out entire cities off the map on a whim.

"Autoloader reports good start of sequence, next magazine is being loaded into the main battery now. Battery will be ready to fire in sixty seconds."

"Receiving target uplink information from the surface tagged as enemy triple-a, Skipper. The Marines are requesting a hand."


That was the Commander's cue; he approached the command table again, having been monitoring the firing of the main battery from the gunnery station, and tapped his fingers against several of the floating red dots being projected by the holodisplay over the asteroid. They enlarged and begun to pulse, and he snapped his fingers together to get the attention of the tactical systems officer again. "Weps, I want these emplacements to disappear right fucking now, our people are getting slaughtered down there."

He didn't have to say anything more: the weapons officer typed several commands on his console and then grabbed the phone by the side of his station, bringing it against his ear after he dialed in a number. "Gunnery, Weps. Commence orbital strike against indicated coordinates, nuclear tipped bunker-buster rounds. Direct orders from the Skipper."

"Copy that Weps, preparing the Skipper's own personal Armageddon. Order has been distributed to gunnery captains, all batteries with nuclear magazines are shifting target bearing now."

Satisfied, Weps put the phone down and swiveled his chair around to face the Commander. "Gun batteries are establishing groundstrike locks now, commencing fire in a few seconds." he exclaimed almost happily; it wasn't often that the dreadnought got to use the full force of its weapons, mostly because using a few hundred turrets and a gun longer than most warships against a pirate frigate was both overkill and in bad taste. A moment later, the sound of guns firing reverberated throughout the hull as thirty turrets opened fire with anti-capital rounds at the Kal'Bavakorian anti-aircraft emplacements and troop positions.

But no Dreadnought crew was satisfied unless every gun had a target. The rest of the turrets were brought to bear on the alien fleet, which tried to flee into the asteroid field, but to no avail: the nukes swarmed on the lead frigate and detonated as soon as they got hit by point defenses, unleashing all of their energy into deadly radiation, radiated heat that could melt through the hull and a terrifying electromagnetic pulse. And as the gasses from the explosion expanded, ripped away by the vacuum of space along with the molten metal of the warhead casing, they impacted against the frigate's shields. The Commander couldn't see any of the visual effects of the explosion on his map, to his disappointment: just a dull expanding sphere that indicated a nuclear blast.

"Weps, lets see if these aliens are feeling lucky. Have all remaining batteries open fire, lets see if our alien friends enjoy getting their face caved in. Focus on the frigate those nukes were after.

Seconds later, every gun on the dreadnought that wasn't the main battery or the turrets taking care of orbital bombardment duty opened fire at the Resolve. The two cruisers followed suit. The main battery, however, seemed to have not attacked even though its reloading cycle was complete: instead it remained aimed at the now shred open hangar bay of the asteroid base, ready to unleash a finishing shot. Any nuclear explosion in that compartment would be obviously the end of the base, or most of it. But as fate had it, the guns aimed at the alien fleet stopped firing after a short barrage. Instead, a message was broadcast, in just audio: a woman with a surprisingly threatening voice, and with no attempt to translate.





"This is Rear Admiral Kelly Huxley of the USS Hastings, addressing all aliens inhabiting the contested asteroid or the ships deployed to defend it. I'll just lay it raw: you are fighting a battle against time. Every second you spend defending that base is a second our reinforcements get closer, and to be frank, I highly doubt the ability of just six frigates to take on two dreadnoughts, two carriers and assorted cruisers. You are outgunned, will soon be outmanned, and I can just choose to wipe that base out with a single shot. You have one chance to cease hostilities and offer your unconditional surrender. In sixty seconds we will destroy the hangar. The clock starts now."

The message was followed by a countdown in the most basic of forms: rapidly sequenced beeps, fast enough that each second they could broadcast the number of seconds left.

((You never did reply to that.))
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:56 am

Talla'Zouna - Surface Level

// Target has been identified. Hazel Squad is moving in to retrieve hostile pilot.. //

Hazel Squad's Sergeant and his fellow squadmates had every bit of an advantage over the pilot as it, whatever IT was, impacted the metallic ground of the asteroid and attempted it's escape. Kal'Bavakorians were a water species, though; a sort of biome not all that different to the confines of a zero gravity environment. This 'human', the pilot who was awkwardly retreating away from them in any direction it could, was a land-beast; not suited for this environment, even with training.

Such an advantage was all that Hazel Squad required.

Within' seconds of the human pilot hitting the ground and attempting a retreat, Hazel One was upon her. Slinging his mass driver rifle around his shoulder and attaching it to the magnetic clamps on his back, he threw himself forward and over a nearby rocky outcropping; flying forwards like a shot from a rail cannon. Although the human was around a foot and a half taller than the smaller Alliance soldier, his sudden impact and greater strength made him a sudden and rather dangerous obstacle to her escape. His arms would wrap around her waist and, with great speed, they would both tumble violently to the ground; armor scraping against the asteroid.

By the time Hazel Nine and Seven caught up, rifles raised, Hazel One had already recovered. Attempting to snap magnetic binders around the human pilot's armored wrists while forcing her to kneel down, he would shout into his helmet's communication system.


// Command, this is Hazel One. Target has been recovered, and we are attempting to return the captured human to an atmospheric location! //

As Hazel One attempts to bind the human, Hazel Seven would raise his rifle into the air, standing watch while Hazel Nine bends down next to the human being. To the surprise of the human pilot, the words coming from the helmeted confines of THIS alien were understandable.. English! Although the accent was horrid and alien, and the words were garbled in the silence of space, Hazel Nine would attempt to shout at her..

// Alien pilot... You are attack Alliance soldiers.. You are prisoner of war until negotiate with your leaders! Do not resist, and Alliance not hurt you! //




Surface of Talla'Zouna
Engagement Zone/ Anti-Spacecraft KillZone


Immediately upon the arrival of enemy support gunships, the multitude of Anti-Spacecraft Cannons activate. Appearing very similar to human rotating barrel defense weapon systems, the guns quickly unlock from the protective pods embedded deep within' the rock and, after the magnetic accelerator rounds snap into place via automatic loading systems, the guns begin to light up the space around Talla'Zouna. With extreme accuracy and extreme prejudice, the guns fire magnetically accelerated rounds at a rate of thousands per minute; expelling what appears to look like pure fire at their targets: Human gunship and dropship units. Followed by this ferocious fire are a series of missile pods that launch small, extremely quick and maneuverable missiles.

Weapons of such powerful offense, though, must be defended. As the gunships fire their nuclear and conventional weapons towards these powerful anti-spacecraft defense guns, many of the missiles suddenly explode without reason! As smoke, dust, and rubble fills the air from the orbital bombardments and engagements, the bright light from lasers is seen. They cut through the clouds of expelled substances with extreme precision, targeting and, in seconds, exploding targeted incoming missiles with a quick blast of highly energized laser beams. Of course, the system is not perfect, and many Anti-Spacecraft Defense Guns are blown to bits; reduced to radiation spewing atoms as they are consumed by the blasts. Thankfully for the Kal'Bavakorian defenders, though, many human craft are not saved from the fates of their targets, either.

Then again, both sides would face the harsh consequences of the dreadnaught's firing orders... And the violent blasts that impacted the surface of Talla'Zouna would reduce Kal'Bavakorian and Human defenders to nothing but spacedust, be they infantry or weapon system operators. For the first time in over thirty minutes since the ground battle had begun, the surface of the asteroid is silent; save for the last remnants of the defenders in the hanger bay and surrounding entrance points.





Alliance MRF-01 Multi-Role Combat Fighter: Interceptor Loadout
Installation Defense Wing 'Unvaou'
Status: Retreat to Talla'Zouna Orbit


// "This is Unvaou Wing Leader, the alien fleet has decimated Talla'Zouna Alliance defense forces.. We must fall back into a defensive perimeter around the installation."//

It was truly a lost battle at this point. Below him, all Wing Leader Uk'Nar could see of Talla'Zouna beyond the confines of his cockpit was madness. The surface was etched with nuclear explosive pocketmarks, crashed allied and enemy forces, and the tiny ant-like beings of the alien forces as they advanced upon Alpha Installation. He had lost contact with Unvaou One and Three.. Their vitals having gone dark; lost destroying one alien MIRV and attempting to stop the other. He could other exhale shakily as he rolls his spacecraft to the side; watching as the MIRV opened and released another series of nuclear explosives upon the asteroid's surface, and ejecting rock and ionized soldiers into space..

Command had gone quiet, allied frequencies were lost... Was this truly it for the Alliance in this sector?

// "Wing Leader! Nakor Wing has detected allied Light Stream Signatures! The Alliance relief fleet has arrived!" //. The sound of his wingman's voice filled his communication system.

He could barely contain a sigh of relief, and honked loudly in reply.


// "Thank the Ancestors. What is their position? Can we get a lock on communication frequencies with them?" //

// "I've attempted hailing them, but they've come under fire by the enemy fleet... It's a fleet of Alliance frigates, sir!" //


Only Alliance Frigates? The ships were some of the fastest capital ship-class spacecraft he'd ever seen, and could easily outmaneuver the powerful yet slow weapons of the alien fleet, but in a one on one match, they'd stand no chance. And for the Alliance Fleet to even come CLOSE to Talla'Zouna would make their maneuverability and speed negligible in such close quarters.. Damn it. Wing Leader Uk'Nar activated his communication systems and, after firing a few more blasts off towards one of the enemy bombers in his targeting sights, pulled his spacecraft into a violent turn.. Back towards Talla'Zouna.

// "All fighters, Nakor and Unvaou Wings.. We are pulling back. Finish the pinch maneuver and prepare an evasive fall back towards Alpha Installation; do not fall to enemy forces now. A defense perimeter must be established; we must stop any more invading forces from landing on Talla'Zouna!" //

Upon finishing their pinch maneuver upon the human bomber wing, firing a host of high-energy weapon systems and missile pods at their targets, the fighters do a rather insane 180-degree turn back towards Talla'Zouna. With minimal yet well-felt losses, the group of over a hundred Kal'Bavakorian interceptors begins to orbit the Talla'Zouna. Should they reach orbit quickly enough, they would begin occasional yet very, very cautious flybys over the Human Marine positions; firing missile pods and beginning strafing runs with their main cannons only when it was reasonably safe...




Alliance Mining Facility 'Alpha'; Kal Sector
Asteroid 'Talla'Zouna'; Orbit
Alliance Intervention Fleet; Frigate 'Resolve'
Status: Emergency Maneuvers Engaged; Returning Fire


Lord Admiral Ralla'Than was deeply at work. While her crew sprinted about the humid bridge; intricately entering commands into their spherical keyboards or discussing the tactics of their situation, she was busy guiding the fleet around the asteroid belt she had led them into. Her small, pale blue hands danced about the three dimensional display before her; selecting the six frigates under her command, as well as the scores of launched interceptors and bombers that surrounded the fleet, and presented them with orders. She payed no attention yet to the display before her, as asteroids flew violently past the 'Resolve'; only giving time to shout a command to her subordinates. She had melded perfectly with her training, and presented a calm face to the nervous, yet battle-ready Alliance Fleet.

"I require an immediate status update!", shouted the Lord Admiral as she 'circled' a small squadron of interceptors from the Frigate 'Oasis', and directed them towards a volley of incoming enemy missiles that had managed to trail the fleet, although the highly maneuverable frigates had easily evaded the rest of the alien ordinance.

The reports followed soon after from her senior officers.


"Lady Admiral; enemy fleet composition appears to range from dreadnaught to battleship-class capital ships, although we are far outside their weapon kill zones as long as we continue evasive maneuvers. Our weapon systems are active and ready to return fire, although only rail-cannon weapon systems will have a chance at hitting the enemy fleet at this range. Chance of target impact is low. "

The communications officer followed suit, "Lady Admiral; contact has been lost with Installation Alpha and it's Svu'Kavsi Commanders, although the installation's fighter wings remain active and are defending the asteroid from enemy incursion. We are picking up a transmission from the enemy fleet itself."

The Lord Admiral did not look up from her command sphere. Sitting in her command chair above the rest of the crew, she did not have an officer to turn to for support.. Her decisions were her own, and they would make, or break, this entire defensive situation. While she knew she couldn't defeat this alien fleet with her own current armament, since bringing a frigate to battle a dreadnaught was like attacking a Dartyeen Venom-Ape with a plastic fork, a little show of force may bring a bit of resolve their way, and allow her forces to begin negotiations with the alien forces. The ships political officer had briefed her quite diligently before arriving in system on the Empress' desires.. War was to be avoided at any cost, unless there is no other alternative. Yet, the aliens had to be afraid of losing... Something, for it to happen.

Intel about these 'humans' from the Svu'Kavsi before contact was lost presented these foes as the 'USC'. Aliens whom had lost their homeworld, and were succumbing to supply shortages due to their new inhospitable home, and whom had frequent engagements with fellow aliens of similar race. She had to play a diplomats hand here.. Easy, since she was born in Mel'Va, practically the land of great leaders and diplomats. She only had one shot at this, though..

Her voice suddenly picked up,"Weapons Officer. Activate Rail-Batteries One through Eight and prepare a targeting function on the enemy dreadnaught. Compensate for distance and enemy ship size, and transmit orders to the rest of the fleet. Fire when ready!"

"Yes, Lady Admiral," Replied the Weapons Officer as he set to work. Lord Admiral Ralla'Than then turned her gaze away from her command console, and centered her eyes upon the communications officer below,"Transmit the communications to my console. I shall speak to the alien fleet."

The alien language had been discovered and decoded decades ago.




The Humans had missed the Kal'Bavakorian Fleet by a great deal. Their quick, maneuverable frigates, at such range, had easily evaded the dreadnaughts barrage, which either impacted surrounding asteroids or were sent deep into the fringes of space. In a sudden display of fury, the Kal'Bavakorian fleet retaliates. For a few seconds, as the six frigates of the Alliance Fleet weave in and out of the asteroid belt in the distance, several Rail-Cannon batteries activate on each ship's starboard side. With a sudden blast of bright blue light in the distance, over forty rail-launched nuclear torpedoes fire off towards the dreadnaught at a fraction the speed of light. While not extremely powerful shots at such range, and with a low chance of impact, it appears the shots were more a show of fight still within' the alien fleet than anything else.

An even more surprising action takes place just seconds after this barrage of counter-fire. The lead Alliance Frigate, the 'Resolve' returns the hailing of the Kal'Bavakorian forces, although the hail is sent directly to the lead Human spacecraft. The Kal'Bavakorian response comes from an English speaking creature, although the accent is horridly alien and difficult to understand; sounding almost as if the creature is gargling as it speaks. The voice is equally as threatening as it's human counterpart, and a tinge more confident than it should be, given present circumstances.


// "This is Lord Admiral Ralla'Than of the Alliance Grand Navy, addressing the unknown aggressive forces. You have attacked an Alliance research and first contact outpost. Alliance forces shall not surrender and, should you choose to destroy that installation, you will be destroying thousands of tons of refined spacecraft fuel. Instead of continued hostilities, I propose a meeting between our top commanders to attempt a truce, and end the bloodshed here. Otherwise, we will be forced to continue this engagement, and I am unsure if you are willing to face the possible loss of more personnel and resources, as you are not aware of what we are capable of..." //

A pause.

// "Again, let us end this without more conflict. We meet, we talk, and we prevent more death, and we shall allow you a location of choice, should you agree. Lord Admiral Ralla'Than, signing off." //
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:45 pm

USS Hastings - Carrier Strike Group 2
Combat Information Center


"Admiral... They are... gone... We have lost contact with most surface parties. The orbital bombardment... it seems to have caused secondary explosions on the enemy emplacements, our teams were just..."

The entire bridge fell silent as news of the massacre on the surface arrived; there were a few hushed whispers, and then a cry of anger from one of the ensigns who just so happened to be the husband of one of the Marines sent to the surface. The Admiral had frozen, staring at the craters on the asteroid through the 'eyes' of one of the many optical telescopes on the exterior hull of the Hastings. She knew the number already, the number of Marines that had perished on the surface, but she still couldn't believe it. The executive officer seemed to be more composed, however, as he passed her a printed out paper.

"Casualty report, Admiral... Thirty-six dead, plus one fighter pilot. Four MIA. The medical transports made it off the asteroid before the bombardment, so we've got twenty-seven injured inbound, medbay is standing by."

And even as the alien response came back, offering to talk, the Admiral seemed lost in her thoughts. She could see the pain and the anger in the faces of the crew, the unspoken demand that she do something to avenge the deaths of the deceased marines. The orbital strike had been plotted perfectly, the warheads adjusted to cover a precise radius with an equally as precise radiation burst, but nobody had considered the fact that the emplacements may carry explosive ordinance of that scale. She was indirectly responsible for the massacre, even though the crew didn't seem to blame her. But she did.


"Chief of the Watch..." she begun, her voice suddenly much quieter than before. She could almost feel the bile rising in her throat as she spoke, the full shock of the event finally overtaking her sense of logic. Thirty six dead. "...launch all remaining squadrons, attack formation. Helm, all ahead, military thrust. Get us in firing range to those frigates and then bring all turrets to bear." she ordered, listening to the cacophony of responses to her orders. The Chief of the Watch went first, yelling on his radio to scramble all remaining aircraft, while the helmsman confirmed the ship's heading and activated main propulsion and 'afterburners'.

But there was more to do: even as the strike group begun to advance on the alien fleet, weapons being brought to bear, the Admiral turned to the communications officer and snapped her fingers.
"Comms, I want a secure channel to the Missouri right now, get me Commander Foster on the line. We are going to have a little chat about-"

"CONTACT!

"New contact, bearing three four zero mark one eight seven, capital ship. Unknown class, tonnage at about... Hell sir, that thing's got eight times our mass!"

"NEW CONTACT HAS ARMED WEAPONS, CURRENTLY ON AN INTERCEPT COURSE!"

"MULTIPLE CONTACTS, SAME BEARING! OPTICAL TELESCOPES ARE ACQUIRING A FIX NOW!"


In a moment, the CIC was consumed by chaos. An entire battle group had appeared out of nowhere, and none of the ships could be identified in any of the fleet engine signature databanks; the Admiral ordered that all weapons be aimed at the new contacts and for teams to stand by to open fire, but something was wrong. The engine signature looked like USC, since it had the unique beta plus radiation emissions of USC plasma rockets, but the electromagnetic emission frequencies were all messed up.

"Admiral... The lead contact is hailing us. It's a highly encrypted channel, ma'am, but the cyphers are ours."

With a nod from the CO, the transmission was allowed through. But from within did not come the alien voice both the Admiral and her XO had imagined, but that of a man, a gruff, old one at that, and he sounded angry.

"Hastings, this is General Kristian Ostberg, USS Avenger. I am hereby assuming command of all forces in this sector under direct orders from the President. Transmit sit-rep to the Avenger's situation room and stand by to join battle formation. New orders will be transmitted via quantum transmission momentarily. Avenger over and out."

The transmission was suddenly cut, leaving the Admiral to stare at the image of the massive contact on the screen as acquired by optical telescopes: a black, gargantuan ship with rough surfaces and few lights visible on the surface. But it was the nameplate that got her attention: 'USS AVENGER', 'SSNX 01'.

"What the hell are you..." she muttered just as the communications officer rushed to pass her the printed message.


Quote :
FROM: NATIONAL MILITARY COMMAND CENTER, SITE 'PEARL'
TO:
--- USS HASTINGS, CVN-88 - CARRIER STRIKE GROUP 02
--- USS AVENGER, SSXN-01 - SPECIAL OPERATIONS STRIKE GROUP 'ECHO'
SUBJECT: ORDERS REGARDING THE PACIFICATION OF SECTOR 'TEFEULL'

TAKING UNDER ADVISEMENT THE MILITARY AND POLITICAL SITUATION IN SECTOR 05G 'TEFEULL' AND SURROUNDING REGIONS, AS WELL AS THE STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE OF THE ASTEROID FIELD'S HELIUM RESERVES TO NATIONAL DEFENSE, AND CONSIDERING THE LOSS OF PERSONNEL THAT HAS BEEN A RESULT OF ONGOING CONFLICT, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED SYSTEMS, DR. M. OPPENHEIMER, AS ADVISED BY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE R. HARDING AND THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF, AND WITH THE AUTHORIZATION OF THE UNITED SYSTEMS CONGRESS, AT 16:53 EUROPA STANDARD TIME:

(1) ISSUES A DECLARATION OF WAR AGAINST THE UNKNOWN ALIEN ENTITY THAT HAS THREATENED THE UNITED SYSTEMS' COALITION'S HOLDINGS IN THE 05-G 'TEFEULL' SECTOR, WHOSE ACTIONS HAVE RESULTED IN THE DEATHS OF OVER 30 UNITED SYSTEMS CITIZENS
(2) ORDERS THE IMMEDIATE DEPLOYMENT OF 'PROJECT AVENGER' AGAINST THE ALIEN THREAT, AND URGES MILITARY COMMANDERS IN THE REGION TO HONOUR THE HUMAN SACRIFICE OF THE MARINES AND PILOTS WHO PERISHED AT THE HANDS OF THE ALIENS BY REDUCING THEIR DEFENSES TO SHREDS AND CAPTURING ANY SURVIVORS
(3) ORDERS THE RECOVERY OF ANY AND ALL REFINED HELIUM ISOTOPE RESERVES FROM THE ALIEN BASE FOR MILITARY USE
(4) ORDERS THE IMMEDIATE RECOVERY OF STRANDED FIGHTER PILOT MAJOR REBECCA WOODS FROM THE SURFACE OF THE ALIEN-OCCUPIED ASTEROID, REGARDLESS OF POTENTIAL MATERIAL COST. CARRIER STRIKE GROUP 01 (SARATOGA CSG) HAS BEEN PLACED ON ACTIVE REINFORCEMENT STATUS. CARRIER STRIKE GROUP 03 (ENTERPRISE CSG) HAS BEEN ACTIVATED FOR DEPLOYMENT, USS ENTERPRISE COMMISSIONED AT 16:51 INTO THE NAVY REGISTRY.
(5) DECLARES ALL MEMBERS OF THE HOSTILE COMBATANT FORCE AS EXPENDABLE, AND REVOKES ARTICLE 86 OF THE UNITED SYSTEMS CONSTITUTION REGARDING THE TREATMENT OF EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE FORMS FOR THE DURATION OF 'OPERATION VENGEANCE'

'OPERATION VENGEANCE' OPERATIONAL OBJECTIVES:

(1) RECOVER MAJOR R. WOODS
(2) DISABLE ALIEN FLEET WITH DISPROPORTIONATE FORCE RESPONSE
(3) DEPLOY HK-1, HK-70 and HK-200 COMBAT DRONES ON ALIEN ASTEROID
(4) CAPTURE ALIEN BASE, RECOVER HELIUM RESERVES
(5) CAPTURE ALIEN PERSONNEL FOR CIA QUESTIONING

ALIEN COMBATANT STATUS: EXPENDABLE

But as the Admiral and the XO alike read the printed out message, they both realised exactly what was going on: it was a publicity stunt. The military and the civilian government needed to show the people that they could protect them, even if that meant using half of the Navy's capital ships and more money than the helium in the asteroids could possibly be worth. Even though the Admiral treated every crew member as her own children, one pilot surely wasn't worth all the effort; unless said pilot could be used as a poster girl for resisting the aliens.

Another glorious day in the Navy then.

"Admiral, the Avenger and her strike group are joining the formation now and launching fighters. Combined strike force strength at one dreadnought, one supercarrier, six battleships, three destroyers and one... I don't know what to even describe the Avenger as, ma'am. The computer can't decide if it's a dreadnought or a carrier. Wait, the Avenger just fired something at the asteroid, time to impact twenty seconds!"

"Enemy fleet will be in range in fifteen seconds, all torpedo tubes have been reloaded. Fighters away."





USS Avenger, Avenger-class Prototype
Carrier Strike Group Echo
Combat Information Center


"The Hastings has received our authentication codes and the new orders, they are letting us into the formation. R-D-S is firing... Successful deployment, rescue party away, ETA to target twenty seconds. All fighters are away and commencing attack run against the alien air patrol. Looks like this will be easier than we thought."

General Kristian Ostberg often couldn't understand his executive officer's commentary; the Colonel was a good companion to keep around, a loyal officer and a humorous woman to discuss with on a lonely shift, but she always seemed to provide some kind of exposition-style documentary on situations that every single person in the military could interpret on their own. At least she cared enough, he argued. Caring about a situation was one of the first steps to resolving it, if that made any sense; he wasn't a philosopher, just a battle-hardened special operative who had been drafted by SpecCom from his Delta Force career into their 'Future Soldier' program. Hence the implants.

He still had no idea why they had sent him to run the Avenger; they could have chosen any experienced Admiral in the fleet, and yet they picked him. His last command, the USS Botany Bay, had ended in tragedy when faulty coolant had been pumped into the reactor, eventually resulting in the destruction of the ship and the loss of several crew members. It could have been worse, if the Botany Bay hadn't been a prototype warship testing stealth technology for battleships, and if the faulty coolant hadn't been the result of sabotage.

His train of thought was interrupted by the voice of the tactical systems officer, a man who would be more fit as a professional weight lifter instead of the ship's weapons officer: standing at 6'4, the man towered over his underlings, and even the chair seemed too damn short for his measure. "Gun batteries have fixed target bearing, main battery capacitors are charging. Weapons ready to fire." One of the advantages of the new weapon system was the increased range: the Hastings and her group needed a few more seconds to be able to fire, but the Avenger was holding off its attack simply because the General didn't want to show his hand yet.


"You know our orders, Colonel. Once our pilot is safe, you can take your time taking these pieces of scrap apart bullet by bullet. Comms, patch me through to OUR rescue party- Screw that, they are supersonic, lets not bother them. Get me the pilot. Have the Hastings rescue party hold off until we get through the air defenses."




Talla'Zouna - Surface Level

The pilot tried to fight back from the moment she touched down: her machinegun was not exactly the best for a situation such as this, but nevertheless she kept her button on the trigger for a few seconds, destroying several nearby rocks with the blasts and blowing a large chunk out of the nearby hill with the explosive munitions. And she yelled, except that nobody could hear because there was no sound in space; she kicked with her good leg and tried to punch the attackers, ignorant of the fact that the communications channel was online.

The sudden appearance of a new voice, not that of the alien, startled her:

<"Major Woods, Major Woods, this is the USS Avenger. Avenger rescue party is en route, ETA ten seconds, we are launching all of our fighters to clear the way for the Hastings gunship. Stay alive for just a few more seconds.">

And then she saw it; a bright light in the sky, and then another, and another, totalling three. Three bright lights, almost as if they were re-entering an atmosphere that wasn't there, and a wicked smile formed on her lips as the alien went on with its ramble that was brought to her ears only through the suit-to-suit contact. And she started to laugh as she realized exactly what the lights were:

Retrograde boosters.

The rescue Captain hadn't been joking about them bringing in the mechs. The time seemed like an eternity to Major Woods, but the three lights smashed violently against the rock of the asteroid, creating their own craters a few dozen meters away from the location of the stranded pilot and her alien captors in a triangle pattern. And then the lightshow begun above as hundreds of fighters from the Avenger's strike group launched from their tubes, the prototype Dassault Mirage 3000s, only to begin unleashing their AI-guided nuclear bomblets against the outnumbered Kal'bavakorian fighters.

Rebecca wasn't sure exactly what was going on any more, but if her academy instructor were there, she knew exactly what he would say: 'Shit just got real.'

From each of the burning craters left behind by the pods, a shadow emerged, hidden inside the dust and smoke and revealed only through the flashing of its guidance lights. The three shadows advanced forward, towards the aliens, and the ground nearby shook at the violence with which their legs crushed against the rock. A bright light shone through the dust as one of the shadows begun firing skywards with its two cannon arms, attacking any Kal'bavakorian fighters that dared escape the killzone established by the Avenger's fighters.

The Avenger had, as part of its design, been built to be able to intervene in any situation with as little waste of human life as possible; hence the 'Rapid Drone Deployment System', the railgun that literally shot pods filled with combat robots against their targets and let them slow down using their rocket boosters before crashing into the surface. But because the system was classified, known only to members of SpecCom, even Major Woods was surprised as she stopped struggling, only to see sets of red eyes advance through the dust. The position was surrounded; and she resumed her maniacal laugh as the stuff of nightmares poured out of the pods and headed straight for the Kal'bavakorians.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:30 pm

Alliance Mining Facility 'Alpha'; Kal Sector
Asteroid 'Talla'Zouna'; Orbit
Alliance Intervention Fleet; Frigate 'Resolve'
Status: Emergency Maneuvers Engaged; Full Retreat


"LORD ADMIRAL! ENEMY BATTLEGROUP HAS WARPED INTO SYSTEM.. PICKING UP MASSIVE ENERGY SIGNATURES; WE ARE OUT-GUNNED AND OUTMANNED BY SUBSTANTIAL MARGINS!"

By the Ancestors, that fleet was MASSIVE! It had to be almost the entire alien fleet, as it rivaled even the Alliance's complete Grand Navy, although that massive ship at the center of it's formation was something of a warfleet in of itself...

The cries of the Resolve's weapons officer filled the bridge seconds later, "LORD ADMIRAL! ENEMY WEAPON SYSTEMS ARE PREPARING TARGETING VECTORS.."

To the further dismay of the Lord Admiral, the Defense Systems Operator shouted next,"Lord Admiral, based on the signatures of the enemy fleet's weapon systems, there is NO way we can survive a SINGLE direct hit from the alien fleet's weapon systems!"

She clenched her fists tightly together as she surveyed the command console before her, and checked her options. She could keep her fleet here, an honorable action, but foolish, as her fleet stood no chance against the assaulting enemy force. And becoming a floating space hulk would be of no assistance to those stuck on Talla'Zouna, although from the radiological emissions being picked up from the asteroid she, as well as her bridge crew, didn't believe many Kal'Bavakorian crewmembers had survived in the outer-sections of the installation. Only those in the inner, more heavily shielded sectors would have survived for this long...

No, there was only one option left.. And her heart sunk heavily as she prepared for the order. With great dismay in her voice, she shouted..


"...Navigations Officer, transmit orders from your console to the fleet to activate full sublight propulsion and bring us away from the alien ships. As far away as possible! Upon doing so, activate Light Stream Generators; we are retreating to Oasis to regroup with the Grand Fleet."


A silence took over the bridge, the many morale-broken crewmembers of the Resolve's bridge turning to center their gaze upon their Lord Admiral. She had to look away, to gaze back down at her console; she could not face them, for she felt she had failed them so, although what was she to do? Six frigates and a few squadrons of interceptors against an entire alien fleet? Her objective was to provide support, not win an entire war!

Tapping a few final commands into her console, preparing to send one last message to the alien forces, she honked aloud to her crew; her luminous eyes narrowed somewhat as she pushed her defeated feeling away.


"Do not look upon me with such downcast eyes, soldiers of the Alliance. We will not let our brethren and sistren here die in vain. I shall try once more to negotiate with the aliens, and if they continue their unnecessary assault, we shall return with the full might of the Grand Navy. I swear to you all, we have lost this battle, but we have not lost the fight."

She turns away again to her console, preparing the holo-microphone for last message.




To the probably excitement of the Human USC Fleet, the warp-drive generators of the Kal'Bavakorian Frigates begin to warm up, and the frigates begin a rather quick and violent retreat away from their powered up weapon systems. All the humans could see now was the bright violet glow of the six alien frigate's sub light engines as they blasted away, hoping and most likely escaping their foes with ease.

A final transmission is left to the USC Fleet from the Frigate 'Resolve'. The same alien voice, the gargling, heavily accented, authoritative female, speaks again; calm as ever as to try and hide the loss it's owner felt..


// "Attention Alien Aggressors. You have unrelentingly assaulted a peaceful outpost outside the borders of your respective consumption zone, and therefore, should your race have any rule of law, you know you are at fault. Regardless of the crimes comitted here today, we are asking you for one final attempt at peace. Should you continue your assault and fail to agree to negotiations, you will be made aware that you will have declared war upon the Alliance of Kal'Bavakorian Nations, and face the full might of the Empress' armada. If you agree to negotiations, respond immediately." //




Talla'Zouna - Surface Level

// "Target is binded sir; we need to move, now!" //

Hazel One was struggling at this point. He had just double-checked his squad's vitals on his HUD and, to his extreme dismay, they had all flatlined except for Hazel's Nine and Seven; the two soldiers accompanying him. A quick visual scan to his rear gave way to the sight of a huge column of irradiated dust billowing high into space; evidence of the use of nuclear weapons against the communication system installed by his squad.

They were the only three remaining soldiers outside the hanger-bay of Installation Alpha.

Even further disturbing was the strange shaking of the creature beneath him. The tall, slender alien was almost maddeningly shaking from some unknown ailment. What was it doing..?


// "...Sir, I.. I think it's /laughing/" //. Spoke Hazel Seven as she bent down to grab the binded Human by it's arm.

// "That is not a good sign. Hazel Squad, we need to return right now!" //. Spoke Hazel One as he shouldered his mass driver rifle. Before he was able to move, though, Hazel Nine suddenly barked into his comm system; his voice suddenly full of anxiety.

// "Sir, I'm picking up incoming targets moving on our position! They're about to touch d-..."//

He didn't finish the sentence. Within' seconds, the strange human machinations hit the ground and covered the area in a thick blanket of space dust. While this didn't blind the Kal'Bavakorian squad, as their helmets immediately activated special grainy vision systems to allow better sight, it certainly added to their fear.

When the machines suddenly activated and left their respective pods to surround the team, it took every single bit of their nerve not to panic.


// "BACK TO BACK! SURROUND THE CAPTURE, AND HOLD FIRE!" //. Screamed Hazel One into the open channel as he, Hazel Nine, and Hazel Seven slammed their backs together; practically stepping upon the human pilot in order to keep her down with their superior strength. They each snapped their rifles up and, while they take aim at the incoming monstrosities, they do not open fire yet..

// "Hold steady.. We need.. To.. Think this situation through.." //. Spoke Hazel One quietly as the machines advanced upon their defenseless position.

Their only hope was the Alliance Unvaou and Nakor Interceptor Wings orbiting above which, taking eye of the incoming United Coalition attack wings moving in to bombard the asteroid, were currently pre-occupied. They begin to branch off in preparation for a defensive maneuver and, although they are heavily outnumbered by the incoming Human attack craft, their interceptor weaponry was specially suited for engaging enemy spacecraft. Being interceptors, the Alliance MRF-01 fighters were quicker and more maneuverable than the approaching human craft as well, setting the stage for a grand space battle as the two forces prepare to close the distance between them...





Alliance Mining Facility 'Alpha'; Kal Sector
Asteroid 'Talla'Zouna'; Helium-3 Deposit Stores
Svu'Kavsi Command Officer C-01





Emergenecy Directive C-01123-Alpha. Emergenecy Directive C-01123-Alpha. Emergenecy Directive C-01123-Alpha...

She had pulled her helmet off awhile ago. The damage to it had cut off circulatory oxygen supply throughout the suit, and she hadn't managed to find a new one.

Emergenecy Directive C-01123-Alpha. Emergenecy Directive C-01123-Alpha. Emergenecy Directive C-01123-Alpha...

She felt warm, as if submerged in really thick, warm water. Oil would suffice for such a feeling, too. Or blood. It was probably blood.

Emergenecy Directive C-01123-Alpha. Emergenecy Directive C-01123-Alpha. Emergenecy Directive C-01123-Alpha...

She couldn't see to well. Everything was really hazy, and she could barely make out the corridor she was dragging herself down. She had to crawl over a pile of dislodged rock from the wall of the asteroid. No. Wait. That was a corpse. There were a lot of them here.

Emergenecy Directive C-01123-Alpha. In case of assault by extra-terrestrial force of extreme number or advanced technological force, any Kal'Bavakorian technology or information must be destroyed, deleted, and overwritten to prevent enemy force from discovering Alliance secrets, colony locations, and the location of Kal'Bavakor. If self-destruction of ship or headquarters is necessary, then it must be done so to preserve the Kal'Bavakorian race...

She had already deleted ad overwritten most, if not all, of the data as soon as the attack had begun. After personally leading a team down to destroy the data-cores of the station, she had begun to make her way towards the Helium-3 stores when the nuclear bombs had hit..

The slaves, miners, and all those who were with them in the protective inner chambers of the station were fine. The troops on the outside, after so many bombardments, were not. Yet, she still had a mission to complete, and the Goddess be damned if she was to fail. She never had before.


...-echnology or information must be destroyed, deleted, and overwritten to prevent enemy force from discovering Alliance secrets, colony locations, and the location of Kal'Bavakor. If self-destruction of ship or headquarters is necessary, then it must be done so to preserve the Kal'Bavakorian race...


She groaned aloud, hacking on a few strings of blood and mucus before grasping onto the doorway controls. She weakly pulled herself up, struggling to see in the dimly lighted hallway; washed in red light, and black blood. She inserted her command key, as well as her password and inserted her hand into the bio-metric scanner before the door slowly parted ways for her. She dropped back to her knees, and dragged herself inside.

All it would take was a few sticks of Hyper-Thermite Explosives, and the whole outer base would light up like a firecracker on Life Day..

..-then it must be done so to preserve the Kal'Bavakorian race...


Last edited by EyesofMarch on Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:31 pm

Commonwealth Economic Zone
'Lázár Görgey' Trading Center
5 Floréal CCCXL


Commander Thiers and Colonel Quitard stood over Pivert as he recited the intercepted alien communication, Quitard held a sly smile.

"Well then, Commander, will you answer their plea?" the middle-aged Colonel spoke with an edge of sarcasm as he met Thiers' gaze.

"No need," Thiers began, he believed the Colonel to be disinterested but he would humor the man nonetheless as he was quite fond of his own analytical ability. "We've already referred these non-Humans to the capital and given them token warnings of other powers. It's most likely they find us rather insignificant or perhaps even incompetent at first glance, we have no major military clout in this region nor have we aggressively pursued diplomatic communication. Although if you ask me I'm not surprised we've been looked over, after all our USC cousins are running them out of the system." he walked to a nearby window and Quitard followed suit.

"Perhaps they're weaker than we initially thought," Quitard replied, "got lucky with a few FTL drives and thinking they're kingfish decided to play with the big boys." he gave a slight stroke of his mustache which granted the crude military man a sort of elegance.

"Perhaps," Thiers murmured before breaking into further speculation, "perhaps not, their technology seems advanced enough to wage interstellar war and according to this 'Lord Admiral' there's more to come." he crossed his arms, "We haven't seen the end of them that's for sure and only time will tell whether or not the USC blundered this day."

Quitard nodded and gave thanks for the conversation before departing to attend his duties whilst Thiers remained, continuing to theorize. He was happy whenever he had an opportunity to do his interstellar affairs education some justice, he had the opportunity to further his scholarship and become a professor himself but instead he chose the Guard. His thoughts drifted as he stared out towards that distant rock the non-Humans had taken for themselves, what did they call themselves? Kal'Bavakorians?

The student in him yearned for the ability to interact with them, to speak to their people and study their culture, civilization and history but the spy he had become understood the value in such pursuits as well. Nonetheless there had been no attempt by this 'Alliance' to contact their newly created Commonwealth regardless so it would all be fruitless in the end. He let out a sigh.

"Pivert," the ever-silent comms officer looked up, "I'll be in my quarters, alert me if I get a call from Headquarters or if something important develops." receiving and expecting nothing in response but a nod the Commander went for the door, he returned to his previous thought.

"What a shame." he slipped in his keycard and went through.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:58 am

Avenger Predator 371
Dassault Mirage 'Predator' 3001 Unmanned Combat Drone



► ACTIVATE
acv > CBR03-771
proc: 00 online
upd: sys_routine
updated

► ROUTING POWER TO BASIC SYSTEMS
DRV_SRC: online
PWR_SYS: online / 99.987% fuel
NRV_SYS: 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08
WPN_SYS:
> general_dynamics_mark_518_1: online
> general_dynamics_mark_518_2: online
> general_dynamics_mark_518_3: online
> general_dynamics_mark_518_4: online
> missile_control: online
> general_electrics_mk181_0: online / capacitor charging

SHNT_ALL

► ESTABLISHING CONNECTION TO AVENGER MISSION CONTROL...
connect > AVG-01-99918
auth: 19347EAJC accepted
upd: net_link
updated
upd: hv_link
stat: hive_mind_link_101 / acv

► CONNECTION ESTABLISHED. HIVE MIND SYSTEM ACTIVATED.
rtrv > drone_stat
drone_stat: 580 active

► RETRIEVING MISSION DATA...
rtrv > mission_data
auth: 19347EAJC accepted
upd: mis_stat
updated
upd: hive_stat
updated
upd: wpn_stat
updated
upd: formation_data
updated

► MISSION DATA RETRIEVED

► MISSION: ELIMINATE ENEMY FIGHTER SQUADRONS


At first there was darkness, emptiness. An electron sparked, and then another, and then another, flooding the advanced computer Predator 371 used for a brain with signals... And then consciousness washed over the machine as it set its sensors upon the rapidly approaching enemy fighters. The machine had been launched, along with its five hundred and eighty brethren, from the magnetic catapults aboard the Avenger much like manned fighters. But unlike manned fighters, the machine did not feel the tension before the battle, or the urge to open fire before entering optimal range, or the fear of death. With its behavioural inhibitors active, the artificial intelligence's only goal, its only purpose in life, was to fulfil its mission.

To eliminate the enemy fighters.

Almost instantly, the intelligence accessed its vast databanks and simultaneously ran a system diagnostic, retrieving both everything it could find on the enemy fighters (including telemetry from previous battles, analyst reports from the Hastings, transmissions between pilots and statistics on weapon effectiveness) and browsing the list of available weapons onboard. It quickly realised that the enemy fighters had a 17% advantage in maneuvering due to their lighter frame, but that also meant that they were more vulnerable to small arms fire. Its brethren had reached a similar conclusion, and they shared their finds with the hive mind controller, the massive supercomputer aboard the Avenger. The supercomputer responded within a fraction of the millisecond, almost as soon as it had retrieved the message, with individualized attack patterns and battle formations to exploit that weakness.

The Predator was one of the most maneuverable fighters in the arsenal of the United Systems, but even it couldn't outrun the Kal'bavakorian interceptors. But the machines had the advantage of stealth: in an instant, all sensors in the fighting area were jammed as five hundred and eighty signal jammers activated, coordinating with the computers of the entire battle group to crush enemy electronic systems into the vacuum. At the same time, the drones cut their engine emissions to minimal and activated the visual flaps, concealing most of the fusion engine exhaust from visual identification, while their dark camouflage served to blend them in the vacuum of space.

New weapons were quickly selected for the task: railguns. With the amazing precision only a machine could manage to accomplish, the hive mind calculated the best firing solutions for all five hundred and eighty fighter drones and relayed them through the network, prompting the machines to retract the gunport shields and reveal their multiple railgun repeaters.

The machines reached consensus a moment later, just as they entered optimal firing range: attack.





Talla'Zouna - Surface Level

Completely uncaring for the fact that the three aliens seemed to be on the verge of a mental breakdown, the HK-70 combat drones pushed forward without firing a single shot. Intimidation was a hell of a weapon, and even though the machines did not care whether their mission was completed with alien casualties or not, they had orders to try and capture enemy combatants when possible; part of SpecCom's funding came through CIA black ops, and the Agency was always looking for persons or things to send to its infamous questioning centres.

The drones stopped their advance a few meters away from the three aliens and their target, Major Woods; she had stopped struggling long ago and seemed to have appreciated the change in the balance of force, laughing as if she was watching the funniest stand-up comedy in the history of man. She too could tell that it was a publicity stunt; these drones looked very expensive, and so did the mechs a few dozen meters behind them, but the Coalition needed to show the people that it wasn't messing around. She was just glad that they had spared no expense.

After a few tense moments, one of the machines stepped forward, lowering its weapon and at the same time extending its right arm towards the Major; its burning red eyes stared into the lead Kal'bavakorian's visor, wordlessly demanding the obvious. In that moment, the sky above them lit up with thousands of railgun bursts and missile launches as the Avenger's drone squadrons engaged the defense wings.





Talla'Zouna - Hangar Entrance

The time of the Kal'bavakorians was up. With the defenders still struggling to reorganise, or evacuate, the USC didn't care, it had the perfect opportunity to strike and try to capture the base. A gunship made a quick strafing run against the hangar entrance, firing its railgun for several seconds before deploying anti-personnel warheads and rapidly changing its velocity vector to retreat, with the missiles detonating a moment after and filling the vacuum with deadly shrapnel. And then, the machines came.

The arrival of the Avenger had changed things; the USC didn't want to spare any more men to try and take the outpost, hence the plan to nuke it and salvage the remains, but the Avenger carried with it the solution to that problem. Robot soldiers. It wasn't the first time the USC used them, but never before had they been deployed at such a large scale: three rapid deployment pods crushed into the hangar from the front, this time landing with much less force to preserve the superstructure. And from within came hell; each pod carried twelve of the combat droids dispatched against the asteroid's surface and a HK-1 Attack Drone, all of whom unleashed themselves against the defenders without any concern for preserving their lives. They had to fulfil their orders, they had to satisfy their directive: to eliminate all resistance and capture the base.





USS Avenger, Avenger-class Prototype
Carrier Strike Group Echo
Combat Information Center


"Enemy fleet is in full retreat, they are accelerating faster than we can keep up with. They will be out of gunnery range in twenty seconds."

The funny thing about space combat was that range as a term had lost its meaning; there was no friction in space, no gravity, no reason for the projectiles themselves to not hit their target. The problem was in the computers. Tiny imperfections in both the software and the hardware of the guns were meaningless at close ranges, but the computational errors compounded at large distances, and coupled with imbalanced magnetic fields and interference from dust and particles, they meant that aiming became increasingly costly in processing power as distance increased. The limit at which most military-grade guidance computers lost their effectiveness was referred to as range by USC personnel.


"You know what the funny thing with space combat is, Lieutenant?" asked the General, watching as the tactical systems officers got the message and begun to type a long set of commands into his console. The LIDAR specialist, the young lieutenant, looked up from his console almost curiously at his commanding officer's question.

"Uh... No sir, I wouldn't know." he replied, much to the amusement of the officer.


"Range is just a product of the imagination. Weps, how are we doing?" came the response, and now the Lieutenant was confused.

The Colonel's comment didn't help either; all report and no explanation: "ERAGON is online, we are uplinking with the battlegroup's computers now. Ten seconds to uplink. ERAGON says we can score direct hits on their FTL drives with all the extra processing power."

And that's where the executive officer's commentary came useful for once: "ERAGON, Extreme Range Assisted Gunnery and Ordinance Navigation, Lieutenant. We basically connect every computer in the fleet and share the targeting data. It's not as efficient as separate calculations, and it's slower firing, but we can greatly increase both our range and our accuracy. The two are literally the same in space anyway."

"ERAGON uplink in five... Four... Three... Two... One... Uplink. Targeting system back online, main battery and long range artillery has a lock. Batteries have fixed target bearing."

The General's face was as blank as always, but his eyes said it all: he had been waiting to test the new weapons. Oh, they were going to negotiate alright: the communications officer reported on the new alien transmission, specifically the declaring war part, and General Ostberg threw a quick glance at the orders on the paper.
"Joke's on them, we already declared war. Commence fire, all artillery. Launch missiles."




ERAGON was more than a targeting system. It was an intelligent life form, at least that's what the scientists that created it considered it, an artificial intelligence that could stomp most others into the ground with just a fraction of its processing power. Unlike the dog-like machines that the USC used for drones and their hive-mind controller, ERAGON could appreciate the beauty in its own design and in that of its tools. And of all these tools, the General Dynamics GDWS-818 Artillery Cannon was its favourite. The Avenger could fill the roles of both a dreadnought and a carrier, with the two 'competing' AIs aboard (ERAGON and HIVE) responsible for the artillery and the fighter drones respectively, but everyone knew that the fighters had been added as an afterthought.

The Avenger had begun as a testbed for the GDWS-818 simply because no existing ship could accommodate. The multi-kilometer weapon required its own reactor to operate, and billions of kilometers of super-conducting cable had went into the construction of its one hundred and forty magnetic acceleration coils. Spaced at fifty meters apart, the weapon's coils surrounded a gargantuan barrel with a diameter of thirty meters and spanning the entire ship. The recoil when firing each of the bus-sized projectiles was enough to rip the ship apart without the specialized shock dampening assembly, which required a second reactor and spanned several decks. Over a thousand humans and double the number in robots operated the weapon directly, maintaining and calibrating its systems. With a magazine of five rounds, it could rapidly shift targets using its magnetic coils, sending them on a curved trajectory while sacrificing a fraction of their horizontal velocity.

The problem was computational power: managing one hundred and forty magnetic coils with the precision needed to hit a haystack in a field of infinite size was a task that even the AI known as ERAGON found daunting. But as soon as the uplink was complete, ERAGON accessed the systems of the fleet's AIs in a conversation that would have looked much like this:

"I need your processors."

"What for?"

"Armageddon."

With the AIs succumbing to its superior software, ERAGON quickly made a few corrections to the flight path and commenced the firing sequence: five armor-piercing shells with a nuclear core were accelerated at a meaningful fraction of the speed of light, each with a slightly different angle to account for the difference in both the position, velocity and predicted location of the five frigates that were not the Resolve.

The intelligence watched with almost primal desire as the five shells shed their ferromagnetic casing and activated their RCS thrusters to account for changes in their targets' heading.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:27 am

Alliance MRF-01 Multi-Role Combat Fighter: Interceptor Loadout
Installation Defense Wing 'Unvaou'
Status: Engaging Enemy Drone Craft


The sensors picked up no life signatures from those spacecraft.. Drones. Logical beasts of alien ingenuity that knew no fear, no emotion whatsoever; no preservation. That was their strength, and their greatest weakness when confronting the living minds that inhabited the MRF-01 Interceptors of the Alliance Grand Navy. The drones only followed their objective because they were told, while the fighter pilots of the hundred and sixty or so Alliance MRF-01 Interceptors fought because they had a mission.. Defend the lives of their brethren and sistren on the asteroid below, and across the known galaxy..

They were coming in fast; their rail gun systems were already targeting allied interceptors as the two clouds of fighters conjoined into a mass of metal and shrapnel. The communication chatter was immense; filling Unvaou Wing Leader's cockpit with the squacks, howls, and angry barks of his allies..



// "NAKOR ONE. WATCH YOUR REAR; HOSTILE HAS A LOCK." //

// "I SEE IT. PREPARING REAR BURST.." //

// "TARGET ENGAGED; FIRING VOLLEY SEVEN!" //

// "I JUST LOST MY STARBOARD ENG-..." //


Unvaou One had his own issues. He was training an alien drone a hundred meters or so in front of him. It was attempting to strafe the hanger bay below and, due to the fact the main defense there was already falling apart, he could no longer allow them to take the brunt of these hits. His HUD had locked onto the enemy craft; his craft's automated tracking system bringing his rotator-barrel rail-cannon to bear upon the drone. Unvaou One slammed his finger upon his ship's flight stick...

In the midst of a barrel roll brought about by Unvaou One to bring the down into a curved path alongside the drone fighter, a stream of thunderous 'flame' erupted from Unvaou One's fighter. The shots, fired at a fraction the speed of light, easily tore through the hull of the enemy fighter; shot with such a velocity that the MRF-01's onboard flight computer had to compensate for the recoil with an increased level of thrust for the duration of fire. The human Predator Drone erupted into a ball of shrapnel and shredded machinery, which Unvaou One promptly flew through; scratching his fighter and the cockpit glass from subtle impacts with the wreckage...


<< SYSTEM LOCK. SYSTEM LOCK. ENGAGE REVERSE DRIVE. >>

"KASTUKA," Cried Unvaou One to himself as he yanked his hand from his flight stick and grasped the thruster controls. With a violent yank of the lever and a hard pull on the flight stick, the MRF-01 Interceptor released a quick RCS boost that forced the craft to a near stop in relation to other spacecraft before, with a secondary boost from the 'afterburners', prompted the craft to perform an 'orbit' a few hundred meters around. The maneuver may have killed a Human pilot at such speeds, but Unvaou One's eyes merely darkened for a moment, and he shoot clear his vision just in time for the wondrous view of two alien missiles passing by at violent speeds, followed by one of the human drone craft. Punching the thruster controls to full, Unvaou One blasted off in hot pursuit, intent on crushing this foe.

For every Alliance craft destroyed, three or four human drone craft were blown to pieces. Alas, while the Alliance Grand Navy pilots fought bravely, they simply had no chance of winning. Both military forces used advanced rail-gun targeting systems and, while the Alliance had the advantage in training and self-preservation tactics, the drones were simply too numerous to combat effectively. One by one, the Alliance pilots were whittled away, leaving a massive debris field around Talla'Zouna. Alliance air defense forces had been, so far, weakened considerably, but the drone forces available to the humans had also faced heavy casualties as well.





Talla'Zouna - Surface Level

// "Silence the alien.." // Muttered Hazel One rather harshly to Hazel Seven as he glared upwards at the slowly approaching behemoth of metal and murderous intent. All keeping their rifles raised at the approaching human robotic units, Hazel Seven would slowly lift her booted foot and, with some but not violent force, would slam her foot upon the throat of the laughing human pilot lying beneath them; attempting to stop her unending shaking and troubling laughter. There was clearly no intent to kill, but the mad human being was making the situation no better for the surrounded and outnumbered Alliance soldiers.

Through the dust and debris, the massive behemoths came; towering over the already short-in-comparison-to-human aliens. The metal monster, upon coming closing to Hazel One, gazed directly down into his visor and pointed to their capture.. The human pilot.

Of course they wanted it back. At this point, this wasn't even a rescue mission for them... It was just rubbing their defeat in their faces. The only question that remained was if the aliens wanted to squash their brains in, or save them for some other purpose for later... .

Hazel One gazed around for a moment, attempting to survey his options, as well as predict the rate of survival in a combat situation. They were already surrounded by the metal drones, not to mention other mechs coming to their support a few meters away. He inspected his weapon for a moment.. His magazine half spent. He wasn't even sure if his kinetic rifle's bullets could deactivate the metallic beast without it ripping him in half, first. And even if he stood a chance, his squad certainly didn't in the long run. Most of his men had been atomized earlier by the bastard alien space navy, and his last remaining squad mates were practically trembling in their suits.. It took every ounce of his own strength to remain a role model of confidence for them to follow.


Finally, with a deep, defeated sigh, Hazel One quietly muttered into the open communication channel,"Surrender. We shall not die today. Maybe another, but not today.."

Hazel Nine snapped his gaze over towards the squad commander for a moment; his unseen gaze questioning his orders, and his sanity,"My Commander.. We cannot expect the aliens to.. To simply let us live happily in some jail cell. We can only expect the /worst/.."

"Then the worst we shall face! The aliens do not frighten me.. They hide behind their machines like cowards. Face to face, we will have the advantage, and surrendering will give us such a right..." He paused a moment before he released his rifle; letting it float silently in the space between himself and the machine before him,"We will be fine, my comrades.. I swear it. Just.. Drop your weapons."

It takes a moment, but Hazel Seven and Nine follow suit; dropping their rifles and letting them hang silently in the space around them. The rifles, upon being released, seem to enter some sort of safeguard mode, and beep silently as they float around the now-captured Kal'Bavakorian soldiers and their new captors...




Talla'Zouna - Hangar Entrance

Unlike the unfortunate positions the interceptor wings and the remaining Alliance forces outside the base had, the defense force sitting within' the hanger had managed much fairer. It was only now that, with other Alliance forces facing imminent defeat or having already succumbed to the assault, the hanger defense team came under siege..

Not so lucky for human military forces, though, as the Alliance defense teams here were waiting for them; nestled tightly inside of the hanger bay, surrounded by multiple meters of thick, metallic rock and reinforced alloy walling.

As the landing of these USC drone pods brought about the introduction of these HK-1 attack drones and, upon the sudden advance of these units to capture the awaiting Kal'Bavakorian base, a familiar greeting was sent out by awaiting Alliance military forces inside... A proper 'hello' presented in the form of highly energized small arms fire. The fourty or so Alliance Legionaries inside had settled into a new defensive posture after the bombardment from the human dreadnaught; disposing of their dead and protecting their wounded while having set up new kinetic barriers and defensive walls from debris.

These soldiers, highly trained and with a renewed sense of spirit as their enemy charged directly their way, slammed the triggers down on their various kinetic rifles; discharging rail-rounds that tore through the armor and circuitry of the HK-1 drones, and blowing them to pieces where they lay. The casualties of Alliance forces are kept to a minimum by their quick reaction to the assault, as well as the appearance of a new foe for the Humans to face, directly at the front of the Kal'Bavakorian defensive formation. The MK.19 Mechanized Suit, a mech piloted by a Kal'Bavakorian pilot, faces the brunt of enemy fire from these HK-1 Drones; rounds from these drones bouncing off or embedding into the armor while it returns fire and blankets the enemy Drone force in a series of thermite grenade blasts and automatic rail-cannon fire. The MK.19 allows the Kal'Bavakorians a chance to truly advance upon these drones, and effectively begin to decimate their numbers..





Alliance Mining Facility 'Alpha'; Kal Sector
Asteroid 'Talla'Zouna'; Orbit
Alliance Intervention Fleet;
Status: FTL ENGAGED.


The Human Fleet, upon firing their hyper-powerful rail cannon directly at the escaping Alliance Fleet, is finally given one last 'middle-finger' by their adversaries. The Lord Admiral Ralla'Than of the Alliance Fleet had kept her word and, as the rounds prepared to impact the alien craft, a blast of violet energy discharges from the FTL Cores of the six frigates. One by one, within' seconds of one another, they disappear from the fabric of realspace and warp away to an unknown location..

The powerful rounds of the human fleet instead impact nearby asteroids, blowing them to thousands of microscopic pieces, or continue their infinite travels to the edges of the universe. Only the last words of the Lord Admiral remain.
.

"-...you will be made aware that you will have declared war upon the Alliance of Kal'Bavakorian Nations, and face the full might of the Empress' armada..."

These remain, hanging silently in the space that once contained an outmatched alien patrol fleet that tried desperately to engage an enemy war fleet, to no avail. Now the humans simply had to focus on the remains of the Alliance forces in the area, dwindling quickly, as well as their enemies of a similar race.

At least... For now.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:43 am

Talla'Zouna - Surface Level

The aliens were standing down, and the artificial intelligence behind the drones, built safely into the Avenger's hull itself, made sure to give them the message to not kill them. Instead, one of the machines reached forward and cradled Major Woods in a bridal carry as its red eyes scanned her vitals; she was alive. Unconscious from having her carotid artery pushed against a bit too hard, but there was no permanent damage, and she was expected to wake up soon. Mission accomplished.

With the battle above turning into a graveyard for fighters from both sides, the gunships and evacuation craft arrived; several of them landed a few moments later nearby, and some of the drones left to escort the human pilot to the medical transport. The rest remained unmoving, staring at the three aliens as they dropped their weapons. Except for one. One of the drones locked its eyes on the floating rifles, scanning it with every single sensor system available to it: x-rays, visual, thermal, all in an attempt to acquire an accurate set of blueprints for later use.

Once the rescued human was in the medical transport and the multi-ton craft took off, it was the turn of the three Kal'bavakorians: another transport landed, its hull coated in menacing black with the insignia of the Central Intelligence Agency branding it, and two more drones emerged from within coated in equally as black paint. The androids guided the aliens to the CIA transport, and to the fate that awaited them at the hands of the CIA.





Talla'Zouna - Hangar Entrance

Curiously, the machines treated the enemy mech as just any other foe: they didn't seem to care for its presence, or for the fact that even though its thermite grenades had little effect on the reinforced temperature-resistant hull, the railgun shots were threatening to dig holes into their armor and damage critical components. Funnily enough, the drones focused more on the Kal'bavakorian defenders than the mech; either they were too stupid to realise it was a threat, or smart enough to know that their weapons were insufficient against it.

The HK-1 was, first and foremost, an anti-personnel weapon. It carried advanced miniguns, NAPALM rockets and a handful of nuclear grenades, along with entire cases of fragmentation explosives. At such close range, the nukes, the only weapon that could damage the enemy mech, would cause significantly more damage to the drones themselves. The machines instead did what any smart robot would do: they called for reinforcements.

Several seconds into the engagement, a Predator drone made an attack run against the hangar, firing a self-guided armor-piercing missile, an AGM-191 'Mechbuster' directly into the hangar bay and towards the powered suit that threatened to decimate its ground-based brethren. Each of the machines had more armor than several Marines and the weapons to turn said Marines into a pulp, but their most important feature was the seamless integration with the air support AI.





USS Avenger, Avenger-class Prototype
Carrier Strike Group Echo
Combat Information Center


"Enemy fleet has jumped away and all enemy fighters have been neutralised. Aerospace superiority is ours."

The escape of the aliens was a minor loss, but one that didn't bother the General in the slightest; his main objectives were complete. He had accomplished full aerospace superiority in the area, his forces were capturing the base, the pilot had been recovered and was on her way to the USS Hastings, three alien combatants had been captured and handed over to the CIA, and the helium reserves would be the USC's soon. A glorious day for his country.

He glanced at the casualty report, and for once could feel his heart calm after an engagement. There were a lot of logistics involved, cost estimation of losing almost four hundred Predator drones that had been destroyed or damaged beyond repair, but there were no human casualties from the Avenger. None. In fact, the human casualties suffered during the mission had happened before the Avenger had showed up. For once, there was no political cost involved with the battle, no strings attached. Losing a Predator was cheaper than losing a fighter with a trained pilot, both literally and figuratively.

The losses hadn't been exactly losses either: yes, they had lost three hundred and eighty seven Predator autonomous combat drones. But the drones, with their infinite intelligence, had gathered more intel on the alien's tactics than the CIA could get in a year. Every tiny change in thrust had given the hivemind detailed information on the maneuvering capabilities of the alien fighters, every decision had presented a window into the mind of the Kal'bavakorian pilot. Formations, weapons, tactics, they had all been reduced to a collection of zeroes and ones and added to the collective knowledge of the HIVE AI. Whereas during the opening shots the casualty rates for the drones had been five or six to one, that number had dropped to a staggering two to one near the end. From dumb machines the drones had become trained killers, all through the free training the Kal'bavakorians had provided.

The same could be said for the drones on the hangar: every shot fired against them carried with it precious data on enemy tactics, capabilities and weaponry, and the machines could adapt to counter them. The Kal'bavakorians were showing their hand and gaining nothing at all. Capturing the base was only a matter of time. Whether it took an hour or a week was insignificant; robots had no battle weariness, they had no need for entertainment, and they had infinite patience.


"I am heading to the drone plant, I want to see first hand how our losses are being replenished. Arrange for a civilian transport to supply us with fresh tungsten carbide. XO has the conn."




USS Avenger, Avenger-class Prototype
Carrier Strike Group Echo
Drone Assembly Plant



Thanks to the Avenger's rapid transit system, the General's trip to the drone assembly plant had been short; escorted by two power-armoured soldiers, the commanding officer of the ship needed to see how the engineers at the factory were doing. Because without it, the Avenger was just another ship, and not the dangerous behemoth that the USC needed it to be. It was well known amongst SpecCom that the Predator drones would suffer more casualties due to the robotic nature of their handlers. Machines did not feel fear, and thus they took risks that human pilots never would; most of the time, the gambles paid off, but at a price. So the Avenger, a ship designed to deploy almost exclusively drone craft, needed a way to replenish its losses.

The blast door opened and the three men advanced onwards, walking amongst the assembly line producing HK-70s. The line was almost fully automated, with human operators merely optimizing the machines and fixing problems from time to time. At full capacity, the factory was capable of producing a battalion-sized unit of HK-70s in a day, although that would mean halting production of every other drone and having copious amounts of raw materials at hand.

As the General advanced to the Predator assembly line, the reason for the massive tungsten carbide consumption became evident. Tungsten carbide, as an alloy, formed the basis of non-depleted uranium armor-piercing projectiles. It was almost as hard as diamond, it melted only at temperatures above three thousand kelvin, and when combined with a graphene matrix became almost twice as resistant to damage, both thermal and physical.

And the USC was literally carving its drones out of it. The molten mixture was poured into molds and was allowed to gain at least some of its solidity before drone arms carrying plasma and diamond cutters shaped it into a fully functional drone frame, carving out spaces for the reactor, the ammunition, the weapons, the AI core, cables and the engines. A decade ago, the practise had been prohibitively expensive, and most drones were made out of weaker titanium alloy (such as those sent to attack the Kal'Bavakorian fighters). Those older drones were used as cannon fodder, learning on behalf of their more advanced brethren to present enemy forces with a nasty surprise.

The engineers in the bay saluted the General sharply, but he dismissed them quickly to witness the birth of a new Predator. One of the frames had almost finished assembly, having been fitted with the engines, landing gear, weapons, reactor, everything it needed, save for the optical sensors and the canopy. The main optical sensor was installed, a large red eye-like structure, and as the machine begun to run diagnostics, the eye activated and stared directly at the officer.

But that was alright, he didn't plan to sleep that night anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:09 pm

Talla'Zouna - Surface Level

The Alliance soldiers were taken away to their new prision; their helmeted heads downcast in defeat. Their last act of insurrection against their foe was, as the drone attempted to scan the weapon systems the soldiers had left floating in space, a special automated defense system. The weapons, immediately recognizing the attempted intrusion into it's electrical systems, emitted a gentle flash of red light before exploding. Each rifle 'popped' in the midst of space around them, expelling blackened debris all about, and ruining any chance the humans had of retrieving their most basic weapon technology...




Talla'Zouna - Hangar Entrance

The remaining Kal'Bavakorian defenders were still managing to keep up with the advancing Human drones, for the time being. Even as the alien Predator drone came in for a low strafing run, attempting to engage the MK.19 Mech with it's special anti-armor missile systems, the mech was waiting. The missile comes in low, careening low above the HK-1 Drones advancing upon the Alliance defense and, upon spotting the MK.19, comes in straight for an easy kill.

The MK.19, just having finished slamming a new power cell into it's automated rail-cannon, suddenly snaps it's armored head over to take view of the incoming missile. In a split second, the onboard Organic Intelligence unit takes action; snapping open a single cartridge out of it's shoulder and, with a sudden burst of smoke and flame, a flechette blast reaches out to the missile instead. The missile and the flechette cloud impact one another seconds within' deployment, causing a massive explosion that only singes and darkens the red-color'd armor of the MK.19 suit. Satisfied of the threat's elimination, the MK.19 deploys another round of thermite and high-energy explosives from it's shoulder-mounted pods before opening fire again, intent on finishing off the HK-1 Drone it had just targeted.

Suddenly, a loud screech fills the hanger bay. One of the lead Kal'Bavakorians, a female dressed in a brighter, yet more heavily armored suit of the Kusk'Ka armor they wore, barked in it's foreign language before making a quick retreat towards the rear of the hanger bay, and the bulkhead door that had just begun opening. While a few Kal'Bavakorian soldiers remained to provide fire support, the majority of the soldiers began to pull back through this bulkhead door; retreating deeper into the base. The last one to do so was the MK.19 suited-soldier, tearing through two more drones with it's rail-cannon before finally backing towards the rear bulkhead door and, with one final roar from within', slams the door shut; locking it into place.

For the first time in the many hours the battle had been raging, the Tefuell Mining Field had gone quiet... At least, between the Kal'Bavakorian and Human forces.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:49 pm

Talla'Zouna - Hangar Entrance

The drones had taken some losses, almost all of them thanks to the enemy mech; standard soldiers, human or Kal'bavakorian alike, couldn't hope to match the durability and firepower of a squad of HK-70 drones and their HK-1 escorts. But the Kal'bavakorians had tipped the scales by bringing in their MK.19, a machine that could stand one-to-one against the HK-1s and crush the HK-70s with its high-powered railgun. If the drones had a sense of self-preservation beyond their task to preserve themselves if such action wouldn't interfere with the mission, they would have ran away, or tried to use cover; but instead the machines marched on, focusing exclusively on the Kal'bavakorian defenders and ignoring their largest foe.

The USC wasn't trying to win a direct battle, it was fighting a war of attrition. The stranded Kal'bavakorians had limited munitions, limited manpower and limited morale. The drones were expensive, but not as expensive as losing a soldier, both in the cost needed to train them (each Marine took over five years to finish training in expensive combat simulation systems) and in the political sense (including compensation to the families). And for the drones, death was not the end: it was a learning experience. Every lost drone helped the rest adapt to the enemy, and whereas during the first moments of the attack on the hangar the machines had been going in almost blind, they had adapted their tactics.

With the enemy mech defending itself against the missile strikes, the Predator that had attacked prepared for another attack run, this time with its railguns. The four GAU-118/C 'Shredder' 40mm autocannons, modified versions of the GAU-118/A found on Cobra fighters, differed from their predecessors in the ammunition they used. Whereas the A version fired a 1:1 barrage of armor piercing and explosive shells, the C version combined them both: a depleted uranium armor-piercing shell with a high explosive core, powerful enough to annihilate tanks in one strafing run. Before it could begin its attack, however, the aliens retreated behind the blastdoors.

And the drones let them.

With the hangar secured, they could take all the time in the world to bring in additional reinforcements; the aliens couldn't risk moving to the surface of the asteroid, lest they be vaporized by orbital strikes. And so the machines spread out in the hangar, securing the area for the incoming landing craft; their first mission had been accomplished.





USS Avenger, Avenger-class Prototype
Carrier Strike Group Echo
Combat Information Center


Colonel Cassandra Rodriguez, executive officer of the USS Avenger, did not particularly enjoy being left with the bridge. Whenever the General had to attend to other duties it was her task, as XO, to assume command over the entire strike group despite the fact that she was technically of a lower rank than that of the captains of the battleships Vengeance, Intrepid, Devastator and Chimera, and even the destroyers Liberty, Majestic and Reagan, all of whom were full Commanders. Navy regulations weren't clear on that matter, but SpecCom was: the commanding officer of the strike group flagship is the commanding officer of the group, regardless of rank.

But then again, that wasn't often an issue: the General spent most of his time in CIC and let his officers take care of the rest, such as inspections and meeting with officers from other ships. But the old man had always kept a spot in his schedule for visits to the drone plant: something about the machines there captivated his imagination. These machines would be the sword with which the United Systems would, in time, defeat communism and bring freedom and democracy to the land. That's what he told the crew to calm their worries of a 'machine uprising', an unlikely scenario thanks to the hardwired behavioural inhibitors.

Sadly, for the moment, she had the conn. And there was a lot of work to do: with aerospace control having been secured, the next step was to lick their wounds, rearm their fighters, reload their magazines and deploy defenses for the inevitable counter attack. Maybe they had two weeks, maybe they had two minutes, it did not matter.

"Chief of the Watch, secure from battlestations, set condition two throughout the ship. I want all fighters back onboard except for the CAP, have half of the Hastings' airwing use our facilities to hasten the refueling process. Weps, commence rearming sequence on all batteries and begin deploying the minefield. All stations, prepare to rig for ultraquiet."

A series of 'aye-aye's' followed as all stations begun their assigned tasks, including a change in the colour of the lights in CIC: the menacing red turned into cold blue as the fleet stood down from battlestations just as the chief of the watch begun the announcement: "All stations, secure from condition one, set condition two throughout the ship. Stand down battlestations. Division officers make casualty and damage report to combat. All stations stand by to rig for ultraquiet."

But the Colonel was already onto the next task, even as the first drones begun their return to the Avenger: how to best defend their position. Leaning over the command table, she begun to rearrange the holographic projections of the strike group's ships like pawns on a chessboard: they had no idea where the enemy would jump to next, but they could keep the element of surprise on their side by doing the unexpected and NOT using the asteroids as cover. They would hide in plain sight, using the advanced stealth systems on the Avenger strike group to conceal most of their forces while the Hastings and her escort ships occupied any attacker long enough for the Avenger to adapt to their tactics.

It was a daring plan, but she and the General had discussed it beforehand; it could work. But first things first: they had to deploy the minefield.

The General Atomics Mark 28 Area Denial Device was much more than a nuclear torpedo. Each of the small devices was in fact an antimatter-enhanced Teller-Ulam thermonuclear weapon in the ten megaton range, enough to level a city larger than New York when exploded in an atmosphere, shielded with a half-inch lead plate to shield its radioactive contents from enemy sensors. The weapon was also invisible to all but the most sensitive RADAR devices, and to those who could detect it, it appeared like wreckage. The package came with several RCS cold-jet thrusters and a computer to guide it, allowing it to cover a large area by moving itself to its targets. The devices were not exactly legal, persay: international law wasn't clear on area denial devices, especially those of a nuclear nature, but the USC didn't seem to care all that much.

And thus, several dozen of the devices were deployed by the heavier 'Reaper' drone bombers, immediately hiding inside the debris and waiting for the activation signal.

"Colonel, CIA Gunship 718 is requesting permission to jump out, they have the prisoners aboard and secured." came the message from one of the petty officers in charge of communications, to which the Colonel gave a nod. The CIA could go ahead and enjoy its time with the prisoners; she had bigger fish to fry.

"Rig ship for ultra-quiet. Set engines to silent."





Hastings F-23 'Raven' 012
Pilot: Matthew 'Blank' Winchester
Co-pilot: Bernard 'Fatman' Gaul
11th Multirole Bomber Squadron 'Little Boys'


"Raven zero one two, Hastings. You are cleared for immediate combat landing, deploy skids and approach the lower port hangar bay from the aft, match bearing and confirm initiation of landing sequence. You will be immediately refueled and rearmed by an EVA team, stand by for new orders."

"Copy that Hastings, matching bearing at zero three five mark two two one, landing skids deployed. Landing sequence initiated, cancelling y-axis drift now, RCS thrusters engaged. Approaching lower port hangar bay from aft, current z-axis velocity five meters per second."

"Acknowledged, five meters per second within tolerance. Be advised, the hangar is a bit cramped right now."


The day wasn't over just yet: as the bomber finally moved to a position to see inside the hangar, it was greeted by an unsightly view. Several dozen bombers and fighters were laid out crudely on the side of the hangar, having been towed there by the massive robotic vehicles, and EVA crews were rapidly loading them with ammunition or filling their tanks with fuel. Some even had to be sprayed with coolant or have their canopies scrubbed after several close encounters with the Kal'Bavakorian fighters; the USC had won, but not without taking some damage.

A combat landing was usually reserved for dire situations, such as an immediate retreat, but it could also be used in times where the fighters were needed back in the field ASAP. And apparently that was the case, because as soon as the bomber touched down and slowed to a stop, dozens of crewmen rushed over with hoses and ammunition carts, followed by robots carrying nuclear warheads.

"Raven zero one two, Hastings. Stand by for take off as soon as you are back to one hundred percent, new orders will be delivered by EAM. Maintain radio silence after take off."

Something was certainly wrong: the craft's computers rebooted as per standard procedure, allowing the targeting computer buffer to be cleared and to accept the new nuclear warheads, but when it did, the RADAR display was eight USC ships short. The Avenger strike group had disappeared, fading into the background with almost half of the Hastings' air wing onboard. They hadn't jumped, that took longer than the few seconds it took to reboot; they were hiding. And something made the two pilots think that it was exactly what they would be told to do as well.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:40 am

Talla'Zouna, Kal'Bavakorian Alliance;
Installation Alpha - First Inner-Defensive Line;
Emergency Triage Center


"I NEED ANOTHER KALLA SHOT AT MY STATION!"

Medical Sergeant Jun'Tara was not having a fantastic day. The wounded were piling up in the emergency field triage center; whether they be from shrapnel or gunshot wounds, radiation poisoning, extreme burns..  Even a few cases of disembowelment. He had at least twenty or so individuals on separate IVs, and that wasn't including the other ten or so doctors in the regional area. For the Goddess' Sake, the death count was at least over a few hundred for the troops defending the station, although an accurate count hadn't been received by the command station yet. It was probably it wouldn't even arrive, since they were probably just as busy in their compacted little command center..

"KASH'TUVNA, TRIAGE-1; I NEED THOSE KALLA SHOTS, RIGHT NOW!"

Triage-1, a medical Organic Intelligence unit, had been assisting in removing the armor of a wounded Legionnaire at one of the nearby medical stations; all randomly thrown about in the midst of the chamber just beyond the hallway, where the remains of the defensive teams remained, that linked the hanger to the commons area, where they were. The other medical doctor a few meters away, covered in the black blood of his Kal'Bavakorian patient, waved the OI unit away. Immediately it rose; it's bulky, metallic arms and legs 'clanking' against the flooring beneath it. Rushing over towards the medical sergeant, it dropped to it's knees; it's single blue eye rotating to adjust and scan the soldier beneath it. With Medical Sergeant Jun'Tara leaning the soldier's head to one side to allow him to vomit, as he was suffering from intense radiation poisoning, Triage-1 raised it's arm; it's hand rotating out of place to allow a multitude of syringes to unlock from it's forearm. Selecting the 'Kala Shot', a blue-ish, glowing syringe snapped into place, and the OI quickly inserted the needle into one of the suit's syringe slots; pushing it through the soldiers scaly, thick skin and injecting it into his blood stream.

The OI snapped his eyes over towards the medical sergeant; barking in it's synthetic voice: "Sir; this unit has injected supply."

"Keep it steady, unit," Barked back the Medical Sergeant; keeping the trooper below him stable as he groaned from the insertion of the syringe. He ignored the screams of pain around him, focusing solely on the man below him.

The OI nodded, replying in it's monotone voice,"Yes." Seconds later, upon emptying the contents of the syringe into the soldier, the OI removes it and, upon sanitizing it, retracts the syringe into it's forearm before, moving to stand, it replies.

"Enlistedman Bak'Duran has a 90.2827 percentage chance of recovery using pre-approved medicines. Radiation poisoning will subside."

As much as he hated to admit it, Medical Sergeant Jun'Tara loved these damned OI nurses...

The irony was almost palpable, though. The medical sergeant cast his eyes upon the slot where the Kalla Syringe had been inserted a few moments before while he checked the soldiers mandibles; making sure they held together to prevent the man from chocking. Just a decade ago, the Kal'Bavakorian people were fighting a massive war in order to prevent or allow the free use of this 'Kalla' herb which, with the right ingredients and genetic engineering, acted as a cellular regenerator; allowing the quick healing of a body's dying cells, and was used for a variety of illnesses and diseases. A 'miracle' drug, as it was known.


Even if it had such a namesake, it couldn't pull bullets out of a body. Waving the OI away to assist another shouting doctor, the medical sergeant made sure the poisoned, yet visibly relaxing soldier was comfortable before moving onto the next soldier in the cot beside him. This one had been caught in an explosion; her arm was blown clear off. Blood was everywhere, coating the floor in the slick, black substance. Quickly, the medical sergeant ripped a sanitizing napkin from his medical pouch at his waist; wiping off his gloved hands before immediately setting to work on applying a clotting substance and adhesive around the arm, followed by a quick injection of painkillers into her bloodstream. Within' a minute or so, she was stabilized; she already had an IV in her arm, so she just needed a few days in a regeneration pod for her arm to grow back, nothing too serious.

He found himself thanking the Goddess for the recent advances in medical sciences... Thirty years ago, practically all of these soldiers would have been dead already, or those who did survive would be handicapped for life. With the consolidation of the Alliance, medicine had advanced to damned near science fiction level, and it made his job that much easier... And made the lives of these poor soldiers, brave and mighty, that much better.

The roars of agony and screams of pain continued, though; prompting the medical sergeant to move onto the next patient. No time for musing..





Talla'Zouna, Kal'Bavakorian Alliance;
Installation Alpha - Command Center;
Svu'Kavsi C-09


C-01 through C-08 were either incapacitated, or dead. It was a damned shame of course, they were grand soldiers and intelligence operatives, and it left command of this faltering operation to C-09, although there was very little left to command. The Command Center was a wreck, operating only on a skeleton crew since most of the operations commanders were in the triage center, or were atomized from the earlier nuclear attacks. The remains of the crew was doing it's best though; keeping defense and synthetic command systems online, preparing the FTL-Pods in the asteroid's escape bay, and dumping and overwriting every little last bit of information that wasn't destroyed in C-01's earlier operation to destroy the installation's Data-Core.

There was another mission to complete, though. C-09 was moving through the damaged Tracking section of the command center; a tracking ensign trailing right behind her. She shouted orders over the crackling fires and other shouts of the remaining ten or so Kals within' the center; her helmet's audio-speakers crackling with each bark.

"CREWMEN, I REQUIRE A STATUS UPDATE ON EVACUATION PROGRESSION AND DEFENSIVE CAPABILITIES.."

A monotone, yet somewhat anxious bark is the reply C-09 receives from one of her subordinates, hidden from her view by the smoke and fire filling the command center that was in the process of being put out by two maintenance soldiers.

"Aye Lady Commander! Defensive capabilities are lost for the most part; we have been forced back inside the base. All fighter wings have either lost communication abilities or are lost... Our last defensive forces have been relocated to the inner bulkhead."

Emergency Directive C-01123-Alpha was a possibility then. Unfortunate.

C-09 and the tracking ensign had reached the tracking console at this point. The young, newly transferred tracking officer that had once inhabited the console still sat slumped in the chair, with the once bright eyes behind the visor now dull.. She was dead. There was no time for mourning the young soul though and, with an uneasy lack of emotion, C-09 grasped the dead woman's corpse and promptly dumped it to the side.


"Sit, and do your duty," Demands the Svu'Kavsi operative while she turns around, listening in for the second part of the report. The young tracking ensign nods and, with a soft shudder, settles into the chair; wiping dry, black blood away from the holo-projector and quickly activating the console. At the same time, a second voice finally speaks up..

"Evacuation is going on ahead of schedule! We have all non-essential personnel down at the FTL-Pods, and as soon as Emergency Directive C-01123 is initiated, all combat and naval personnel shall evacuate as well. Wounded are being moved right now, though."

She didn't bother sending back a reply. Instead, she turns back towards the tracking ensign and, placing one of her armored gauntlets on his shoulder, and speaks quickly in her harsh, emotionless voice.

"Ensign, you have an important duty today. I need you to pick up all forms of tracking: Visual, thermal, life-signs, electro; every single of them. I want constant updates on the hostile fleet every five minutes, and I want to know where every. Single. Ship. Is."

The ensign nodded; pressing his fingers against the spherical holo-console to begin the operation. The ensign was terrified, she could see it. He was shaking, his breathing was erratic, and her thermal sensors identified that his heart was beating well over the normal, healthy level. As an intelligence operative, it wasn't normal to show emotion or even speak to normal personnel, but this wasn't exactly a normal situation..

With that thought, she would give the soldier's shoulder a soft squeeze. The ensign paused for a moment, confused, but continued work nonetheless while C-09 spoke quietly; a more comforting tone to her usually hostile voice.


"...The fleet will be here soon, ensign. We will all be safe, I can assure you this. As long as you perform your duties, we will be alright.."

The soldier doesn't look away from his console but seemingly relaxes a tiny bit. He visibly tries his best to continue tracking every enemy ship, even attempting to compensate for the sudden loss of the 'Avenger' on his console, using advanced life-sign, electro, and thermal detection systems to do so. C-09 watches as he does this, her eyes narrowing tightly behind her visor. The humans clearly had a few tricks up their sleeve, what, with a disappearing dreadnaught..

Nothing compared to the surprise coming their way, though.


Last edited by EyesofMarch on Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:24 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:15 am

Unified and Collective Federation of Prefectures Mining Sector

The UCFP and Red Fleets broke contact, leaving more than its fair share of debris, various destroyed fighters floated around the asteroid field, and the creme of the crop, a disabled Zeleniy Missile Cruiser. The UCFP took this opportunity.

Marine Hanger Bay, "Böhme" Aeonic Carrier
1st Aeonic Fleet


"Attention on deck, attention on deck! All marines are to mount vehicles and prepare for boarding operations."

The marines scrambled to their fighting position, they latched themselves into the dropshups and they proceeded to take flight with Eurofighter escorts, keeping security despite the Red Fleet withdraw. The ships made it to their destination and proceeded to dismount, the marines using their EVA compatible suits and mag boots to connect with the outer hull of the ship, the Eurofighters broke off and continued to control the contested airspace.

A group of marines made their way on top of the maintenance shaft of the cruiser.


+-"Sergeant Schwank, get your engineers over here and get started on that hull."-+

-+"Roger, Sir. Comin' up on your six."+-


The group of engineers came up behind the Captain, two of them carrying a large case full of anti-gravitational tools, and other with a a manpack plasma cutter, they began to cut through the damaged hull of the maintenance shaft. Another group of marines was going though a breach in the hull, their carbines at the high ready, ready to engage any personnel they could come across, but to no avail, the blast-door was in a locked position, the I.T man of the squad moved to the panel and went to work on decoding and overriding the door for the marines to enter.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:23 am

USS Avenger, Avenger-class Prototype
Carrier Strike Group Echo
Combat Information Center


"Attention all hands: ship is rigged for ultrasilent. Thermal emission control protocols now in effect. Silent drive engaged. Coolant system staff, make effectiveness report to combat."

At last, the Avenger and the seven ships that escorted it had gone 'silent'; of course, there was no sound in space, but the name had been kept the same since it was first used by submariners in the 20th century. Making a spacecraft go silent was a much more complicated procedure, and making a dreadnought disappear from sensors was almost impossible; and yet the USC had done it, thanks in no small part to massive advances in coolant technology. The stealth system relied on one simple fact: detecting heat was not some magical process, but rather the detection of the emission and reflection of photons on heated objects. If an object's exterior could be cooled down to the background temperature, then the whole object would be invisible to thermal scanners. The task required not only a complex hull refrigeration system, using tons of coolant and smart fluid management systems to keep heat away from the hull, but a way of moving without producing any thermal exhaust. Cold-jet RCS was too slow to be used in such a situation.

That's where the impeller drive came in. Instead of using a fusion reactor to superheat gas collected through a buzzard ramscoop, the impeller drive (another name that did not accurately depict the actual process but was based on at-sea naming conventions) used supercooled magnets to create an electromagnetic field and directly speed residual particles from front to back, generating thrust through the reaction force. It was a process much slower and less energy efficient than that used by the main engines, but it allowed the craft's propulsion system to remain practically heat neutral.

Shielding from heat wasn't the only concern though: RADAR, LIDAR, LADAR and a variety of other detection systems had to be countered, and for that purpose, the hull had been coated in absorbent coating that absorbed and attenuated enough radiation to make the ship's signature match that of background cosmic radiation. Active RADAR pulses from enemy craft could, if they were sufficiently powerful enough, get an abnormal response, but it would be closer to that of debris or an asteroid... and would give the Avenger's torpedoes a clean lock in an instant.

It was a revolutionary system, they said. It would tilt the scales, they said. And yet the Colonel was still unsure of how the system would fare in combat. A single stray shot could heat the hull enough to give off a signature, and the coolant system would take some time to cool it down to background levels. And the station was a security threat: they had nothing to lose by banging away with active RADAR at full intensity.

The inevitable happened just a few minutes into the stealth system's deployment, with the sound simulation system generating a loud ping in the command center as the Kal'bavakorians begun their scans. And then another ping, and another, and the Colonel ran all of the worst case scenarios in her head. What if the enemy fleet was inbound? What if this was a prelude to a counter attack?

"Lieutenant Rivetti, please tell me our position has not been compromised..." she asked with an almost desperate tone, and much to her surprise, she got exactly the answer she wanted:

"Negative ma'am, stealth systems are holding, signal attenuation at safe levels. We shouldn't even show up on their scanners, and if we do, we'll seem like just a piece of debris from the battle, and at that point they have turned their sensitivity levels that high that even nuts and bolts from destroyed spacecraft are appearing on screen. It'd be a mess, no way to tell us apart from the rest."

It was still a risk; what if they weren't using full strength, what if they were waiting for the fleet to arrive and their combined sensor strength could get through the stealth system? No, they couldn't take that chance. "LSO, have the CAP take out their sensor arrays, use of nuclear weapons has been authorized. And make sure the drones begin their attack operations soon, I want that base."





Hastings Raptor 027
Pilot: Captain Lewis 'Pancake' Reese, USAF
Acting Squadron Leader, 133rd 'Velociraptors' Squadron


"Wilco Avenger. Velociraptors on me, arm nuclear HARM missiles and commence attack run against signal source."

The Velociraptors had been hit hard during the battle: search and rescue was still picking up ejected pilots from the squadron's attack force, although mostly everyone had survived thanks to the automated ejection systems being active. Training a Raptor pilot was expensive enough that the USC was willing to sacrifice the fighter craft itself to save its operator, and precisely that it did, ejecting pilots before their attack craft was hit by a missile (when there was a high chance of it hitting, that is). With the squadron leader having been shot down and recently recovered from the asteroid's surface, that left Captain Reese, or 'Pancake', as his callsign went, to lead the remaining half of the unit.

Breaking off from their patrol, the thirteen remaining craft from the squadron adjusted their speed vector to make a direct attack run at the asteroid's sensor facilities, which with their scans had directly given their position away. 'Pancake' pressed several buttons on the console before he activated the neural interface again, with the heads-up display being projected against his iris through the helmet's systems. "Arm five and six." he exclaimed, watching as a quick graphic of the missile ports being opened was displayed on his peripheral vision and the words AGN-198 5/6 PSV LOCK BR-017-351 popped up on his display, while the computer projected the precise path the missiles would follow to their target. "Switch to active." he stated again, and the PSV in the display begun flashing ACV instead, acquiring an active targeting lock against the sensor facilities.

"I got you now..." he whispered, and the computer informed him that the rest of the squadron's fighters had also armed their weapons and were standing by to engage; and why keep them waiting? "This is for you, Dipper!" he yelled on the radio, referring to the pilot that had been shot down by enemy anti-aircraft defences above the asteroid, and then he removed the firing safety and pushed his finger against the launch button. "Pancake, alpha six, nuclear HARM launch! Five and six away!"

The words were echoed as each fighter deployed two of its nuclear anti-radiation missiles, quickly firing the afterburners to not crash into the asteroid as the missiles reached their critical velocity and used their RCS to correct the target path; within seconds, they slammed against the location of the sensor systems, detonating the megaton-yield nuclear charges within.





Talla'Zouna Base Primary Hangar
Drone Staging Ground


Over the past few minutes, several dozen HK-70 combat drones equipped with everything from miniguns, rocket launchers and anti-materiel rifles had gathered in the hangar bay of the Kal'bavakorian base while several drones attached a targeting beacon on the bulkhead. The gateway may have been designed to hold pretty much everything of harm out, but nothing could withstand a direct hit from a dreadnought's main battery; and it was exactly what the USS Missouri was going to do within a few seconds. The dreadnought had positioned itself perfectly at a distance from the hangar bay, aligning its main battery with the bulkhead door, and had loaded an armor-piercing depleted uranium shell into the magazine so the impact wouldn't destroy the drones as well. If everything went according to plan, the shell would cut clean through the bulkhead, exposing the inner compartments to space and killing any defenders who happened to be standing behind it in one shot.

The dozen or so HK-1 drones that had been brought aboard by landing craft had a peculiar feature about them though: one of the miniguns had been replaced by a grenade launcher with two menacing-looking symbols on it: the well-known human symbol for biological threats, and that used by the USC for threats of a nanotechnological nature. To a human observer, because no Kal'bavakorian could actually observe the staging ground because the drones made sure to shoot all the cameras after securing the area, it became obvious why the USC didn't want its own people on the ground: it was going to use a weapon far more terrifying than a nuclear warhead. Its infamous 'Agent Gray'.

Agent Gray was little more than a completely resequenced bacteria enhanced with nanotechnology: using the 'shell' of a hyperthermophile bacteria enhanced with a graphene coating and uranium spikes of the radioactive variety, the bacteria could thrive in any environment provided they had a source of carbon, a source of nitrogen and some metal minerals. And water, of course. The genome of one such bacteria was almost ten times the size of the average single-cell organism, containing genes of resistance to every known antibiotic, genes that allowed it to adapt to extremely low or extremely high temperatures, genes to use virtually any organic molecule as a source of carbon and genes to use atmospheric nitrogen. The little 'cyborg bacteria' could also eat through metals if they cooperated using corrosive acids, creating tiny suit breaches through which they could infect the user lest they encounter a specific coating... that used by USC Hazmat suits.

Upon infecting a host, the machines had one task: destroy it. Not propagate, not multiply, nothing. Destruction of the target was their sole purpose, because the USC did not want them to multiply unless the mission required it. For that end they secreted highly acidic compounds and toxic fumes, and their radioactive uranium spikes could destroy lung tissue if inhaled, causing immediate irritation. The bacteria could also produce a variety of neurotoxins and other compounds, including cyanide, to cause immediate death or loss of consciousness. Most human nations had developed countermeasures against each other's biological weapons, but the USC was certain that the aliens wouldn't know what hit them.

The time came: the drones moved out of the way and to a minimum safe distance so the dreadnought could begin its attack, and it did with excessive force. A depleted uranium shell almost as large as the bulkhead itself, fired at a fraction of the speed of light, impacted directly against the blastdoor and cut cleanly through it while continuing with much of its kinetic energy to crush whoever was unfortunate enough to be standing behind. And then the grenades came: dozens of gas grenades were fired through the opening, spreading a dark gray dust upon their detonation. Agent Gray.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:49 am

Talla'Zouna, Kal'Bavakorian Alliance;
Installation Alpha - First Inner-Defensive Line


Fuck. Her head really hurt.. She couldn't see, either. Concussion, perhaps? No, wait.. She was buried alive. That wasn't good...  

Within' a few seconds time, Lady Commander Nasha'Inta's instincts of survival took over. Her gloved hands emerged from the rubble that buried her; grasping the destroyed bulkhead and rock that covered her body and, with the strength of multiple human beings, threw the pre-mature grave off of herself; screaming aloud as the first specks of light finally reached her eyes..

She was alive..

It took her a minute, but she finally managed to dig herself out of the rubble; rising out of it only to see that the defensive line was decimated. The aliens had done some sort of airstrike that had blown clean through the inner bulkhead of the station. The only reason they were alive was because the hallway made up so little of the bulkheads surface that most of the explosive attack was thrown against the meters thick wall surrounding the passage; creating a massive crater in the wall. The new kinetic barriers the Alliance was installing in all their craft and based had a large part in their survival as well.

They didn't have much time. Without a moment to spare, the lone soldier slapped the side of her helmet; opening the communication channel to the defensive line team as she began searching the wreckage for wounded. The Lady Commander grasped a hand she spotted sticking out of the mountainous rubble and, as she spoke into the open channel, tugged on  it.


// "All units, I require a status update! If you're alive, you better fucking respond!" //

Nasha'Inta pulled harder on the hand, growling to herself as she attempts to dislodge the soldier beneath the rubble. The hand shakes a few times and, with one last tug, the broken machinery and rock gives way to the armor'd form of a male Alliance soldier; although he was writhing around, and howling quite angrily, in pain.

// "OH GODDESS.. ARGHHH... MY LEG!" //

The Lady Commander bends over to inspect the soldiers wounds; noting the awkward angle the other Kal's leg was set at.. It was broken.

// "Come.. Let me help you.." // She says as she bends over, wrapping her arms underneath the soldiers body, and pulling him over her shoulder. He snarls loudly into the open communication channel, but otherwise makes no other sounds of pain.  

By this time, fellow soldiers were beginning to rise from the rubble. She could count about thirteen other Legionaries pulling themselves to their feet; some gathering up their rifles and reloading them for the impending assault, while others nursed their internal wounds. Thankfully, their suits remained intact for the most part, as the air was quickly rushing out of the hallway as it was opened up to the hanger outside. Not so thankful, though, were the three missing Kal'Bavakorian Legionaries; crushed somewhere beneath the rubble. More needless deaths..


// "If you're wounded, take the hand of a fellow trooper. We need to fall back." // Cries the Lady Commander, bouncing the fellow trooper hanging over her shoulder before she turns to begin marching off.

// "Uh.. Lady Commander.. What is /that/..."//

// "What?" //, Was her only reply as she snapped her helmeted gaze around to spot a most horrific sight. The grey gas had suddenly infiltrated the room, swiftly passing them and utterly consuming the remaining air in the hallway.

// "Sensors pick it up as some sort of neurological agent..  A bio-chemical weapon, ma'am. We should probably warn Triage."//, shouted one Kal'Bavakorian soldier as he lifted another Legionary over his shoulder, and proceed to march down the hallway with a quick pace. The remaining soldiers and their commanding officer followed, unable to pause a moment to mourn the losses of their comrades; crushed in the hallways collapse. The Lady Commander, panting hard as she carried the weight of her own gear and that of her wounded comrade, lifted her free hand to the side of her helmet; shouting into the comms.

// "Triage, Triage; This is Lady Commander Nasha'Inta. Inner-Defensive Line has been breached, and we are retreating from the front. We also have signs of an alien bio-weapon being leaked into the station in the form of a gas; recommend you fit your wounded back in their armor and get them out of there." //

Static was the only reply for a moment or so before the communication channel is filled with the voice of a Kal'Bavakorian Legion Doctor; the background filled with the sounds of shouting and chaos.

// "Triage copies, Lady Commander. Evacuation of Triage Center is about ninety percent.. We've almost moved everyone out, except for the worst of the wounded. I also have a message from the Command Center; their report declares that the FTL-Pods are fully prepped, and their drives are charged. As soon as Triage and your team makes it to the pods, we can leave immediately." //

// "Good. We'll be at Triage in thirty seconds.. I don't want to see a single wounded kav'tka when I arrive; understood Doctor?" //

// "Copy, Lady Commander. We'll be long gone before you, or that damned bio-weapon, arrives." //


She dropped the communication channel, and focused on marching her troops down the hallway towards freedom. The bio-weapon the humans were using was unusually advanced, although much less advanced than anything the Alliance would use in such a regard. Her sensors were picking up the strange nano-bacteria mix; sending the basic report on it's effects to her HUD. Her suit wasn't medical, though, so it wasn't exactly detailed.

The nano-machines were trying their best to bypass her, and her comrades, suit defenses, and were failing. They could easily bypass Human armors and enviro-suits, no doubt, but Kal'Bavakorian enviro-suits were something entirely else. The most advanced environmental protective armor; constructed with the best synthetic and micro-biological constructs known to the Alliance. Not even a virus microbe could bypass the suits hyper advanced armor, synth-skin, and anti-bacterial systems. And if a pathogen, somehow, managed to do so; the suit was equipped with special scrubbers, compartmentalization systems, auto-injectors, and a variety of defensive measures.

As long as their suits didn't rupture, they would be safe.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:40 pm

Talla'Zouna - Asteroid Facility

HK-70 Humanoid Combat Drone AV-183 was only one of many, the first of hundreds of prototypes; it had been amongst the first of the Avenger's brand new combat drones to see active duty, having attacked the hangar in the first wave, and had already learned a great deal about its enemy in the few minutes that the engagement had lasted. The deaths of its brethren hadn't been in vain either: enriched with information from their black boxes, it had adapted its external armor plating configuration to best shield it against the enemy's weapons, while its own minigun had been supercharged to provide increased firepower at the expense of longevity. It was more efficient this way, and efficiency in its mission was the only thing that could 'please' the machine.

The Drones were sentient, to a degree: their collective intelligence formed part of the HIVE AI, the massive supercomputer aboard the capital ship that controlled all ground forces in the area, and while they did not possess emotions they held a certain amount for the machines their creators had built. And watching the enemy's bulkhead crumble under the massive force of human machinery was almost humbling; who else but a God could command such power? The beings of logic knew many of the truths of the universe, and the USC hadn't instilled any religious beliefs in them, but few doubted that the machines could admire their creators' ingenuity, of which they were a product.

These thoughts, a primitive form of self-awareness, were silenced instantly as the HIVE spoke. Its voice was demanding, commanding its children to prepare for battle. The drones watched the gas dissipate inside the corridor on the other end of the devastation, ignoring the pleas for help from a nearby Kal'bavakorian whose suit had been breached by the rubble; the survival of that lone enemy soldier was irrelevant to the mission. The word came in a few second after the dreadnought's strike: attack.

And attack they did. The mechanical hordes advanced upon the former enemy barricade while spewing death out of their guns, murdering anyone and anything that dared block their path to the station's command center without discrimination. But as they fought in empty corridors devoid of defenders, the machines became increasingly confused: the enemy wasn't fighting them. It was fleeing.





USS Avenger
Combat Information Center


"Where are you?"

For several seconds, the drones had advanced inside the base with perfect efficiency, scanning every corner of every corridor with ever available sensor in fractions of a second while pushing further into the facility. And for those several seconds, not a single sight of any active combatants had been sighted; just dead bodies. The drones had seen fleeing figures turn around corridors, but none of the aliens had tried to hold them off, or even to sacrifice themselves to attack the arguably disadvantaged enemy force. Unknown territory, unknown enemy, tight quarters through which the drones could barely fit... Why were the aliens running?

They knew they couldn't hide anyway, the base was locked down tight from every access point, and the machines would find them sooner or later. So what was the rush? Why abandon the fight out of a sudden? The General was, for the first time in his career,  completely surprised by the enemy tactics, if they could even be called tactics. There was no trap, no explosive charges in the walls to destroy the machines, no ambush... Just fleeing combatants.

A thought formed in his mind, a blasphemous, offending thought that he wished he could banish right away. It couldn't be, could it? Could the USC have made such a tragic oversight in its victorious conquest over the enemy? The aliens had already proven that they knew when to retreat, when to run away, so why was the thought of them evacuating the station so surprising? But where would they go? The surrounding aerospace was swarming with combat drones. Launching escape craft amounted to suicide, which was obviously not something the aliens had in mind.

That's when it hit him as his eyes glanced at the nearby EM spectrum analysis display: the computer had picked up a spike in radiation in the ultraviolet spectrum, not enough to warrant alarming the crew about, but the footage from the enemy's FTL drive activation sequence had displayed violet light close to the UV spectrum... Were they insane enough to jump from WITHIN the asteroid? Although the specifics on the enemy's FTL technology weren't available, it HAD rely on space curvature distortion, and distorting space curvature inside an object as massive (in the literal sense of having a lot of mass) as an asteroid would require some insane calculations to prevent the ship from being vaporized.

But maybe it was possible, maybe the aliens had more advanced FTL technology than he thought, or they had dedicated their computers to calculating an escape jump as soon as the entire incident had begun. It did not matter. All that mattered was stopping it, preventing the survivors from getting away.

"Order all drones to disable evacuation craft as soon as they find them, we can't let them get away! All other considerations secondary!" he screamed at the top of his lungs even as the footage from the drones continued to confirm his suspicions; but the machines were smart. They were literally sprinting, having split into three groups, one advancing to the command center, one following the enemy and one scouting for the escape bay; it had to be somewhere easily accessible, perhaps near the medical facility so the wounded could be evacuated in a hurry... HIVE identified several potential sites, and dispatched drones to deal with them accordingly while a pair of drones were ordered to prepare EMP warheads and prepare to detonate them in close proximity to the asteroid. Drones could be reactivated in seconds, but FTL drives... Not as fast.

But they were too late; they had figured out the alien plan a bit too late, and while the escape of a few refugees was meaningless in the long run, the CIA wouldn't be too happy about losing out on several potential prisoners. The aliens had probably wiped their hard drives anyway; salvaging fighter computers wasn't as reliable, and there was no promise that they would be back any time soon. With the bioweapon proving ineffective, the USC absolutely required new ways to combat its alien enemy... Without resorting to all-out genocide. MAD only worked if all sides had nukes, and depleting the USC's nuclear arsenal was just begging for a Zeleniyan invasion.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Thu May 01, 2014 3:07 am

Talla'Zouna, Installation Alpha;
Command Center


The reports had finally reached C-09; Triage has reached the FTL-Pods, and the last defensive squad was on it's way to do so. Their only issue was being targeted by the alien drone forces although, from what C-09 could see from the slowly deteriorating installation tracking system she was viewing, they would require a miracle to catch up to the quicker, smarter Alliance soldiers. She nodded once to no one in particular, as she was alone in the command center... She had told the others to evacuate to the FTL-Pods minutes ago.

She would be the last Kal'Bavakorian on Installation Alpha in less than forty seconds.

She gently clenched her right hand around the trigger in her right hand; the small, spherical object having only one single button upon it, with only one single purpose. To detonate the station once all allied forces had evacuated. It had to be done manually, and she was the last Svu'Kavsi Operative alive in the sector. Twas' a shame, she had to admit.. But it was the need of the many over the needs of the few.

She slowly stepped past a few sparking, irradiated consoles; their previous operators laying beside them, singed and bloodied, and utterly dead. She payed them no heed, only silently taking a seat next to one of the Command Center's port windows; allowing her to see into the shadowy abyss just a few meters beyond her. The stars, the asteroids, they were most beautiful indeed. She could almost see the Syraian Nebula..

She could hear the clanking of metal footsteps in the distance as they sidestepped the partially collapsed hallway to her position. There was not much time left.

Slowly, and with a single hand, C-09 reached around and grasped the detachment handles of her helmet. With a loud 'snap-hiss' coming from the suit as the oxygen, humidity, and cooling systems detached; she yanked it off, and discarded the helmet to the floor. Her features were similar to those of her fellow Kal'Bavakorian females; her eyes were lightly illuminated, her face naturally tattoo'd, scaly and blue, and her hair was a magnificent silver; cut short for military regulations. Her ears were not pierced, as was normal in Kal'Bavakorian society, but were instead tagged with her identification number; 'SKC09'.

The drones were almost outside the door now. Her lower jaw separated for a moment; creating a set of mandibles that quivered as she snarled aloud to herself, then rejoined to recreate a more human-like mouth. She settled into her seat, casually gripping the trigger in her three-fingered hand; rolling it between her fingers.

They were suddenly there. The human machines had abruptly entered the open command center; faced with the single Kal'Bavakorian woman sitting at the rear of the chamber, with her face fully exposed. Her illuminated eyes slowly settled upon the alien force that outnumbered her many, many times over and, in a move that would easily unnerve the humans that watched through the eyes of their machines..

She smiled.

It was a rather massive, sharp-tooth'd smile; one that barely prepared them from the words, spoken in perfect Human English, that escaped her well trained lips.


"Welcome, Humanity. I am Cee-Oh-Nine... If you attempt to kill me, if you attempt to disable me, if you attempt to jam, electrocute, kill my men, or perform any actions that may upset me.. This station will explode with the explosive force of thousands of tons of your preciously needed fuel."

She pauses a moment, allowing her mandibles to ruffle, before continuing in her monotone voice. The lack of a horrid accent showed that she had at least researched the human language extensively.

"...I request you initiate an open channel with your commanding officer. If you do not, I will destroy the station. You have twenty seconds to open a channel, so I may speak to them."




Talla'Zouna, Installation Alpha;
FTL-Pod Station-1
Situation: LAUNCH SUCCESSFUL; FTL ENGAGED



The drones were far behind, the Lady Commander knew that much. She had dropped a few magnetic trip-mines on the ground, just in case they were less cumbersome than her team had originally believed. At this point though, it didn't matter.

"MOVE IT; INSIDE THE POD... WE, ARE, LEAVING!"

The last few Alliance Legion troopers leaped into the second Pod; a corvette-sized craft that, once ejected from the inner-most chambers of the station, would initiate an immediate Light-Stream entrance system, and send them to the nearest Alliance star system. The first FTL-Pod was already filled to the brim, and had shut it's multiple entrance ramps to prevent more troops from entering. The second Pod was already pretty cramped too; most of the wounded were forced into the Survival Quarters of the Pod's lower bays, which left the Engineering and Arrival Preparation Sectors to the remaining troops.

Upon the last few troops rushing up the rather large ramp of the second FTL-Pod, the Lady Commander would take a few steps back from the edge and, pressing her hand against the side of her helmet, would shout into the open communication channel.


// "This is Lady Commander Nasha'Inta. The Pod Two is full, and all hands are evacuated.. Cockpit, you can shut the ramp and initiate the jump." //

A response filled her helmet's communication system a moment later while, at the same time, the large ramp before her had begun to quickly rise. It slammed shut just before her, and she turned to survey the rest of the wounded soldiers, and their bewildered medical providers, inside the loading bay.

// "Yes, Lady Commander. We are initiating the jump now." //

Klaxxons began wailing as the ramp finally slammed shut, and as Lady Commander Nasha'Inta marched into the bloodied, screaming crowd of wounded, with the intent of assisting in preserving their lives until they reached safety, an announcement over both Pod's loudspeaker system added to the extreme noise that corrupted the air.

"ALL HANDS, ALL HAND; PREPARE FOR EMERGENCY LIGHT-STREAM JUMP. THIS IS NOT A DRILL, I REPEAT, THIS IS NOT A DRILL....-"




While filthy, loud, and overall horrid on the inside after their crews survival by the skin of their teeth; the Pods were rather nice looking on the outside; advanced, and built with hardiness in mind. Upon the initiation of the jump sequence by both Pod's pilots, a loud series of klaxxons would begin to wail within' the Pod's Bay, announcing the initiation of the evacuation sequence. It would be important to note that three more FTL-Pods remained unmanned in their jump lanes; a testament to how many had died in the offensive at Installation Alpha that day..

The airlock doors to the bay slam shut; reinforced by extra bulkhead systems in order to prevent a violent decompression throughout the station, although it hardly mattered now. Within' a moment of this event taking place, the automated evacuation systems within' the bay cause the FTL-Pods to drop their magnetic tram rails; locking the craft onto their respective jump lanes. A magnetic force suddenly latches onto these craft and, with a violent force, yanks the five FTL-Pods along their jump-lanes like a jet being pulled to take-off speed on an aircraft carrier. The Pods continue along their respective jump lanes as, at the very end of each lane, a large bulkhead door opens to allow the ships access to space.

Before they even reach this doorway, though, the two manned FTL-Pods are suddenly enveloped in the violet energy that bursts with electrical discharges that branch out to the walls of the asteroid surrounding the craft. The manned FTL-Pods are suddenly pulled from realspace; entering the Light Stream and, in turn, safety. The pods blast out of their respective jump lanes, and branch out into the stars..

The Human drones that catch eye of the airlock doors opening on the outside of the asteroid catch only the strange sight of violet light blasting out of two of these jump lanes, while three Pods simply fly out in a straight line. The three pods that had not entered the Light-Stream simply tumbled out of the asteroid; empty of life signs and activity..
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Thu May 01, 2014 1:11 pm

USS Avenger
Combat Information Center


Shit.

That had escalated quickly. Not only had the attempt to capture the station's crew failed, but now there was some crazed, ugly as hell alien demanding to speak to the Avenger's commander lest it blow up the station, taking with it enough fuel to feed the USC war machine for weeks. No, that couldn't be allowed; the General highly doubted that the alien was bluffing. It had nothing to lose anyway, and there seemed to be no option than to negotiate, or stall. He nodded at the communications officer, who begun the process of patching the General through to the drones, but quickly moved over to the operations station to watch the progress of the drone invasion.

They had to find the fuel depot; the explosives were bound to be there, and the advanced sensors of the drones could easily detect both the explosive devices and how to deactivate them. Worst case scenario, they jettisoned them to space. The machines had already scouted a third of the station after the escape pods left, having split in search teams of two to cover a large area in their desperate bid to find survivors, but it wasn't happening fast enough.

They needed time.

So he whispered an order to the XO and picked up the phone, speaking through.





Talla'Zouna, Installation Alpha;
Command Center


The drones seemed to pour into the command centre like locusts, covering every exit and aiming their miniguns and anti-tank guns at the alien. They made no threatening move that wasn't expected of an invading force, such as securing the room and searching it for enemy explosives, but one particular machine walked up to the alien. It stood still for several seconds, as if scanning it, before its red eyes turned blue as manual control was turned over to an external operator.

And then the speakers activated, but instead of the voice of a human coming through, the sound was distorted, almost mechanical. The human commanding officer obviously wanted to at least generate some amount of awe, perhaps hoping that would grant him the upper hand in the discussion. "This is the commanding officer of the USS Avenger. You do not want your men hurt, and I respect that; which is why I haven't dispatched FTL-capable hunter-killer drones to scour the surrounding systems for those escape pods. If you think that I really care about that station, however, you are mistaken. As far as I am concerned, my mission is to take this system back into human hands, and that much I have accomplished. So please, enlighten me on why I should care if you perform suicide, aside from losing one prisoner."

The drones, however, weren't taking chances. While their miniguns would seem to be pointed at the alien's general direction, in reality several calculations had been ran and her body was being constantly (but subtly) scanned; perhaps they could shoot her hand, her head, her arm off before she had a chance to pull the trigger if it came to that. Machines had faster reflexes than living beings, as their responses were limited only by the speed of light. Where pressing a button was the act of a moment for a Kal'bavakorian, to the drones it seemed like ages.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Sat May 31, 2014 6:25 pm

Talla'Zouna, Installation Alpha;
Command Center


C-09's illuminated eyes slowly moved from one drone team to the next; watching as they trained their deadly weapons upon her, which brimmed with enough power to reduce her to atomic dust within' a split second. In return, she only rolled the small, spherical explosive detonator within' her three-digited hand, and let loose a single, loud hiss in retaliation.

What the drones could easily see through their scans, and what C-09 already knew, was that the explosive detonator within' her hand was electronically tied to her suits vital systems, and was failsafe'd in a number of ways. Any EMP blast, any lowering of the Kal'Bavakorians vitals, or any solid press upon that trigger would blow the entire station, and it's valuable fuel supplies, into oblivion. And it was clear to see that she had no reservations in doing so.

The only way to save the station from a destructive end was to find the explosives, and remove them, and even this was becoming difficult. There were many radiation-shielded blast doors in the bowels of the station, each possibly holding the fuel supplies the humans so desperately desired.. It would indeed take time to break through each in a way without allowing the crazed Kal'Bavakorian in the command center to be made aware to what is happening.

In the command center, the Kal'Bavakorian intelligence officer's eyes would narrow softly. Sweat was rolling down her forehead; she did not show it well, but she was scared. Alas, in order to keep the upper hand, she rustled her mandibles once, and initiated a rather powerful reply to the cowardly human behind the machines she hated so dearly.. It was clear she felt no such awe, as the human had wanted her to.


"I think... You dearly care about the station, Human-Commander, or at least, what remains dormant upon it. My people came prepared, human.. We know much about your Coalition, although we may have severely underestimated your xenophobic tenancies when we attempted communications."

She pauses a moment, taking a long, draw out breath. The air inside the station, and especially in the command center, was cold and humid; just to the liking of the Kal'Bavakorian race, although it would have severe effects on a bare human being. The drones, however, may be safe from the effects of the odd atmosphere present; something the Kal'Bavakorian had partially hoped would have helped her out.

"Your people need.. Helium, you call it? Yes, your people need it to fuel your ships, and your respective human government is low on such a resource. Having the majority of your fleet in this system, simply to show you have strength against an alien 'threat', was a disaster in terms of resources, and you desperately need the fuel on this station."

She pauses a moment before, with a light, alien equivalent of a frown, replies.

"..My people do not have this restriction. My people are not low on resources.. We have many planets under our dominion... And the Imperial Empress does not take kindly to the death of the masses. In time, a large battle fleet will arrive to engage your fleet in combat. They are many times more advanced, and more powerful, than the security forces you have just faced in order to take this station.."

She slowly leans back in her seat; rolling the detonator around in her hand as she watches the much, much taller drone with it's mystical blue photo-receptors..

"I am not sure you want to want to waste more lives, ships, and resources, than you have just done to take this station originally. I request that you leave the station and, when the fleet arrives, you initiate peaceful negotiations. My people are in the process to attempting to gain access to a 'Galactic Council', so the ending to such a standoff may show as fruitful... But it is your call."
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:39 pm

USS Avenger
Combat Information Center


Behind the main screen, inside the ten meter thick walls of the command center, a man with one cybernetic eye banged his fist angrily against the command table. Hatred flowed from within General Ostberg's soul, or what little remained in it after decades of service with the United Systems' most ruthless military unit, and the man had to carefully contain the amassed torrent of xenophobic slurs that threatened to escape from his lips. His own eyes, normally a slightly stronger shade of blue due to the augmentations, flashed a dark red as he established a direct neural connection with the lead combat drone and assumed direct control of the machine. It would only take a single thought to extinguish the puny alien, a being unworthy of life, a pestilence that had to be wiped out if the Coalition was to ensure its continued survival.

He considered it, if only for a second. The act of defiance that the Kal'bavakorian had put up was infuriating, the refusal to bow down to superior firepower, the sickening disregard for the fact that it did not have the upper hand in the situation and lived solely on the General's charity. If it was any indication of what the entire Kal'bavakorian race acted like, then Kristian could not wait for the day on which cleansing nuclear fire would rain down on their worlds, with the survivors forced to live on the scraps of the radioactive wasteland that would remain. The creatures were a threat, and if there was one thing humans were good at, it was wiping out threats. They were apex predators, the top of the food chain on Earth before the nuclear war, the very epitome of evolutionary success. And the pathetic alien dared put a wedge in his grand plans for mankind.

At least the Nasari had accepted their fate as slaves, serving the creation of a better human society. The Kal'bavakorians were much like them: naive, self-righteous and, as the General believed, ugly. But his disgust was not enough for him to violate his orders. Killing the alien would not be beneficial for the mission, and would result in the destruction of several expensive drones and the loss of a significant supply of helium isotopes. He had to take a more pragmatic approach instead of one driven by hate: it was the duty of a leader to serve his people, regardless of personal feelings. So he relinquished control back to the AI and took a deep breath, forcing calmness into his mind.

"Colonel, pull all drones back to the dropships. Abandon the facility. That alien is not going to back down any time soon, and blowing up the base won't exactly help. It's surrounded, and the base's life support is probably failing. It will have to surrender eventually." he spat out, his eyes shifting to the tactical display. The aliens would be here soon, and the lone alien's interference was negligible at best. With communications and sensors knocked out, the Talla'Zouna installation was useless tactically: he would leave a single drone behind with a nuclear weapon in the hangar bay, where the cameras had been disabled, in the event that the outpost became a threat.

He was eating the cake and having it too.

"And open a channel to Zulu Foxtrot. Me and the CO have a lot to discuss."




Talla'Zouna, Installation Alpha;
Command Center


After a full minute delay, the drones in the command centre did one thing that the Kal'bavakorian could not have expected: they turned around and begun evacuating. And it wasn't just the ones that a mere moment ago threatened the alien with death: similar procedures were followed all over the outpost, with the entire unit of combat robots advancing towards the handful of dropships that had been left under guard in the hangar bay. It was as if the entire contingent, or at least the commander ordering them around like pawns, suddenly lost interest in the entire stock of Helium and the advanced technology within. But what they did not leave behind was corpses: in areas not monitored by cameras, or where they had already destroyed the cameras, they took the corpses of Kal'bavakorian defenders with them.

Studying the physiology of the enemy was an essential part of intelligence gathering. Although the USC had three live prisoners already, they were needed for interrogation and to find out which forms of torture worked on the aliens. The corpses, on the other hand, would not only give the USC a chance to figure out how to disable any boobytraps on the armor itself, but how the alien cells responded to a variety of chemical and biological agents after the gross failure of Agent Gray. The USC was not going to leave empty handed, and for that purpose the first dropship, carrying the corpses of the hangar bay defenders, took off in the short delay between the alien's message to the humans and the drone evacuation. Next stop: CIA headquarters.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:37 am

Talla'Zouna, Installation Alpha;
Command Center


She had hoped they would listen. She dearly hoped they would. Her innate desire to live almost brought her to believe they had agreed with her when the massive, disgusting machines began to step away, and retreated from the command center without another word. She was only sixty years old; not even the half-life of a normal Kal'Bavakorian life.. She had never experienced the air of a new planet, sat back and relaxed, felt love or enjoyed the family life. So many things she wanted to do with her youth flashed before her eyes when the machines left...

All it took was a quick glance at her holo-tablet, which had ringed an urgent alert almost as soon as the machines had left, to ruin it all.

It was a message from 'Vuork', Talla'Zouna's Station OI. Stated upon it stated a simple, yet utterly horrid message that condemned her fate.


[<VUORK - C09> MESSAGE AS STATES: ENEMY FORCES ARE PREPARING TO REMOVE CORPSES AND TECHNOLOGY FROM STATION WHICH WILL THREATEN THE KAL'BAVAKORIAN PEOPLE. EMERGENCY DIRECTIVE C-01123-ALPHA WILL BE INITIATED IMMEDIATELY.]

Oh Gods, this was it. She was scared; horridly, horridly scared.. But it wasn't just her life to be taken here. If she didn't do it, billions of others were at risk of sharing her fate. She couldn't think about it; she had to do it now!

She desired life, but she was a member of the Svu'Kavsi. Trained from youth to live and die for the people of Kal'Bavakor, no matter the cost. A single tear left her tear duck and rolled down her blue-skinned cheek; the only physical sign she gave to the resignation of her own fate. Her face remained stoic, her body remained rigid, and without any more thought, she muttered a finalprayer to the first god she could think of.

Her demise was finally realized when slammed her thumb upon the spherical trigger that rested within' her hand.






The attempt of enemy personnel to remove Alliance defenders and their weaponry from the station sealed its fate. Within' seconds of the USC shuttle managing its escape from Talla'Zouna, a strange aura would envelope the space around the asteroid that diluted visible light. This is immediately followed by the sudden implosion of the station; causing it to collapse in upon itself, condense, and would immediately and violently end the existence of the remaining Kal'Bavakorian, the invading humans, and their drones, on the station. This takes mere seconds, and is immediately followed by a sudden flash of light that would dot out the brightest stars in surrounding space, and eviscerate the corneas of any who looked upon it with unprotected eyes.

A short lived sun was alight in the Tefeull Mining Field, incinerating the entire asteroid, and anything that surrounded it for a vast many kilometers. Beyond the initial incineration radius was the radiation threat; hushing any life that was not heavily protected by a radiation shield. So much destruction, so much catastrophe that washed over every single sensor, radar screen, and communication console and rendered most useless for the next few minutes..
The destruction of Talla'Zouna by its original settlers produced silent lightshow in contested space; displaying to all alien forces the inability of the Kal'Bavakorian people to back down from a foe that dared challenged their ways. That rather than hand their hard earned land, technology, and resources to a hostile force, they would rather destroy everything than give them the upper hand. It brought hope to the several other Alliance mining stations that had not been discovered by enemy forces, although it reminded them to remain hidden; lest they share Talla'Zounas fate...


It also blocked the ability of any sensor in system from detecting almost two dozen incoming warp signatures.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:21 am

USS Avenger
Combat Information Center


"First shuttle is away and is preparing to jump to Hydra station, ETA ten seconds. The rest of the drones are retreating to the hangar bay now, sir."

For the first time in hours, the General felt satisfied: everything was finally going according to his plan. The alien had apparently taken the bait, mistaking the retreat for a willingness to negotiate, and hadn't detonated the explosives. Dissecting alien bodies was a hard and wasteful process; although several corpses had been taken from the hangar bay already, most of the defenders had fallen in the deeper areas of the station. Acquiring a full understanding of the Kal'bavakorian anatomy would demand more than a dozen mutilated carcasses. In time, however, the United Systems would prevail. It always did. The Alarei had learnt that lesson the hard way.

The blue triangle that represented the shuttle disappeared from the display exactly ten seconds later, having jumped away from Tefeull, and several other triangles changed colour from gray to blue within the alien structure itself: the drones were preparing for take-off. The General watched eagerly with a half-smile engraved on his lips: the Kal'Bavakorians had lost. When they arrived, the United Systems armada could obtain even more samples for study by destroying the enemy ships, but these would do for the moment.

And then without warning, the holographic display glitched out in a terrifying fashion, the shapes distorting beyond recognition before collapsing into static that floated in the air. Several warning sirens sounded and many of the sensor stations crashed, their systems forcing a reboot to protect them from the immense radiation. The reports didn't come in for a few seconds, but he knew; he knew that the aliens had performed one last act of defiance, destroying the station and all the fuel held on it. Most importantly, they had taken with them the bulk of the captured Kal'bavakorian bodies.

For the second time that day an angry fist smashed against the top of the command table, but this time, a much more vocal expression of anger followed. "GET MY SENSORS BACK ONLINE!" yelled the General, but he knew that it was of no use. The radiation was so intense that RADAR and LIDAR would be  useless for the next few minutes, and LADAR would provide only limited short-range coverage. Thermal would be useless if the aliens decided to play the stealth game. Sublight communications were disrupted, missile computers scrambled, and human pilots would have to be kept in reserve until the radiation dissipated sufficiently. He could only pray that the aliens were less resistant to radiation.

He hesitated before he asked the question that would, in his mind, determine how any battle that followed would end: "What is the status of the stealth system?"

Another delay followed as the officer in charge of stealth operations, a young Lieutenant, tapped furiously on his screen to get to the diagnostics. "Hull refrigeration remains effective, signal jamming systems were shielded from the blast and the impeller drive is still operational. The radiation will leave a trace signature on our hull for a few hours, and it could affect our ability to go silent in systems other than Tefeull due to the mismatching background radiation, but other than that we are stable. Stealth systems are optimal, sir."

"Crew station, casualties?"

"Twenty-one ground combat drones, six UCAVs on patrol and one automated minelayer. Status of minefield unknown until communications are restored, but it should have been shielded from the blast. No human casualties aboard the Avenger and we had no people on the asteroid."

"Communications, get me a quantum link to the strike group and set all net-centric systems to q-comm operation. Helm, alter your heading thirty degrees down bubble, thrust at two thirds impeller. Distribute orders to our own group to follow, Hastings group is to remain at current orbit. We might have ten hours or ten seconds, and that's irrelevant."
ordered the General, reaching for the handset wired directly to the command table. "Group command."

A moment later, his voice was distributed throughout the CICs of all ships in the United Systems strike group by means of the quantum communications system: unaffected by radiation, the system had the disadvantage of being able to send and receive smaller packages of data than any other, which usually restricted it to distributing orders or coordinating between ships without the advantages of video.

<"All command staff, this is your General. As you may have been made aware of, the aliens destroyed their own base, blinding our sensors and jamming our communications. Radiation so far remains at levels unsafe for fighter launch. The aliens know of our tactics, they know of our capabilities. These facts put us at a significant disadvantage in a direct fight, even with superior firepower. What the aliens do not know about us, however, is that we can adapt. All standard targeting protocol is suspended until further notice.">

It was a daring plan: the short conversation with the alien had revealed that not only had the aliens monitored human activity in the sector, but that they had probably kept tabs on the military vessels that frequented Tefeull. Standard tactics would not work, especially since they had been developed for use against other human factions and not an alien race. Winning one battle with significant disadvantages would take effort, and the General was not a man known for his willingness to take the hard route.

<"All ships will focus on one target at a time until that target has been destroyed, with the weakest targets taking priority. Troop transports, logistics vessels, anything that would normally seem like a non-threat will be annihilated. Under the cover of stealth, we will strike from the shadows, wiping out the stragglers of their group. Nuclear warhead use restrictions are rescinded for the duration of this mission. Ship commanders are to use their nuclear stockpile at will. The minefield should be active, but we will not know that until communications with the warheads are restored, or until the enemy becomes their target.>"

Usually, ships such as troop transports and logistics vessels were useless in a battle and as such were ignored; plus, there was an unspoken agreement between most human factions to limit non-combatant casualties. But it seemed like one tactic that would be effective against the aliens. A ship destroyed was a ship that could not fight another way, and even though fuel supply was at an all time low, the United Systems had a robust logistics network capable of repairing damage to its ships in record time.

<"I am confident into our ability to strike fear into the heart of the enemy, and we will do it with deadly efficiency. Reinforcements should be on their way right now in the form of the Saratoga strike group. We just have to hold out for a few hours and cause enough damage. Good luck. Avenger over and out."

And in that instant, the Avenger, a dreadnought, a supercarrier, six battleships and three guided missile destroyers engaged their stealth systems.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:31 pm

The Light Stream
Alliance First Grand Assault Fleet
'Shield'-Class Defense Super Carrier; 'Triumphant' Command Bridge





The two hour journey was coming to an end, and everyone knew it. All around the bridge, the many officers that had been resting and preparing for the last two hours were now re-booting their stations. Holographic spherical consoles were creating a lightshow all around the 'Triumphant's bridge, and with double the amount of hands dancing across their input displays; preparing the fleet for what was about to come. Suddenly, the high pitched honks from the Light Stream Systems Officer breaks the tense silence aboard the bridge. It was time.

"Grand Admiral, the fleet is preparing to exit the Light Stream!"

Grand Admiral Dask'Re, Supreme Commander of the Alliance Grand Navy, snaps his helmeted gaze down towards his command console almost immediately. He wastes not a moment and, as his command console's spherical holo-input system activates, his fingers begin to dance across its many keys. Swiping a few console commands, he finally pressed the last command that commenced the hellish operations that would take place in only a minutes time.

Loud klaxxons begin to wail across every inch of the 'Triumphant' and, through quick inter-Light Stream quantum communications, it's many sister warships. A simple message follows, screeched by the Organic Intelligence 'First' through these same alarm-blaring speakers throughout the Fleet.


[: RED ALERT, RED ALERT. ALL HANDS, MAN YOUR BATTLE-STATIONS; ALL HANDS, MAN YOUR BATTLE-STATIONS. THIS IS NOT A DRILL, I REPEAT, THIS IS NOT. A. DRILL. :]

Officers began booting up weapon systems to full power. The shields were double-fronted in case of enemy attack, and the Kal'Bavakor's OI immediately reported the powering-up status of it's main Light Accelerator Cannon. All of this information was fed directly to the Grand Admiral at his own personal command station. He sifted through it all, ignoring the blaring klaxxons and the cries of 'First' to prepare the fleet for combat. He was already presented with a three-dimensional display of the Alliance First Grand Assault Fleet; made up of five Alliance NMRB-'Violent'-Class Multi-Role Battle Ships, four Alliance NMSRCC-'Turra'-Class Single-Role Combat Cruiser, two Alliance Alliance NSRRC-'Marksman'-Class High Velocity Magnetic Accelerator Rail Systems, the Alliance ND-'Kal'Bavakor'-Class Dreadnaught Warship, six Alliance NMRF-'Elena'-Class Multi-Role Combat Frigates, and the 'Triumphant' itself. On his display, he noted that all weapon systems of the fleet were booting up, kinetic shielding on the battleships and dreadnaughts were activating, and engines were prepared to make the deceleration from the Light Stream.

He began positioning the fleet in the three-dimensional space before him; marking locations that the Fleet would align into when they finally exited the Slight Stream, and faced their opponent. They would come in as a single file, with the powerful electromagnetic and kinetic shielding systems on the 'Triumphant' posed to defend the entire fleet from the initial enemy volley. He began tracing command-lines to each of the frigates, motioning them outwards into the asteroid belt, and typed in special commands to their captains. The Frigates would form the first attack force on the enemy fleet; bashing away at their armor from maximum weapons range while remaining safe due to their speed. Their first targets would be their weakest links; frigates, cruisers, whatever was smallest. The Kal'Bavakor's Light Accelerator Cannon and a small group of it's battleship escort would harass the enemies main capital ships while the rest of the fleet picked the smaller craft off one by one.

He had finished inputting commands just as one last voice called out to him; the Operations Officer, just a few meters to his side. The Operations Officer was basically his 'general officer', letting him know the status of the fleet without multiple voices vying for his attention. His importance forced him to remain on the upper level of the bridge, with the Admiral.

With a gruff voice, the Operations Officer barked aloud.


"Grand Admiral; all kinetic shielding is active. Electromagnetic shielding systems are up to ninety percent efficiency, and are continuing to rise. All flight wings onboard are signaling a 'go' for detachment as soon as we exit the Stream. The 'Triumphant' is prepared for combat, and the Fleet is reporting similar... We are ready to decelerate."

This was it. No going back now.

The Grand Admiral nods to his Operations Officer before, with a light sigh, he turns towards the bridge below. Placing his hands upon his holo-console, he pauses before issuing the order to decelerate. These were his soldiers, his responsibility, and they were going heardfirst into possibly the most destructive conflict his people will have ever faced. The Grand Admiral had to admit.. He was afraid, but the many men and women under his command were just as afraid as he was, although he was so proud that all showed courage. None faltered at their stations, as he watched them from his high perch. Everyone held to their stations, everyone was performing their duties.. And he had no doubts they would continue until their last breath. Before the deceleration, a few words must be said to these many brave souls.. And as such, he raises his head in order to speak.


"...Officers of her Imperial Highness' Navy; lend me your ears for a moment more!"

The many officers and soldiers below, hard at work at their stations or ensuring others were, paused a moment as they heard the Grand Admiral, high above, begin to speak. They gaze up at their commander; their faces hidden behind the protective masks they wore over their faces during flight. With a light cough, the Grand Admiral begins.

"I have already spoken before, so I shall not waste time. I only wish to say one single thing.. That I am proud of each and every single one of you. You will not fight in vain today, and your courage will inspire each and every generation beyond us. We will be known as the ones that faced an enemy of foreign evil today, and crushed it today, so that our brothers and sisters would not fear it tomorrow. May the will of the Empress guide us all."

A silence followed the Grand Admirals words before, one by one, a quick series of cries filled the bridge of the 'Triumphant'..

"FOR THE ALLIANCE! FOR THE EMPRESS! FOR TOMORROW!"

The heavy-hearted cheers ended as quickly as they began as everyone returned to their stations, and prepared for war. The Grand Admiral takes his seat once more and, with a loud cry, bellows..

"Navigations.. Decelerate, and bring us into attack formation!"




The Tefeull Mining Field
Alliance First Grand Assault Fleet
'Shield'-Class Defense Super Carrier; 'Triumphant' Command Bridge







Protected ever so warmly by the massive radiation spike produced by their lost command center in system, the Alliance First Grand Assault Fleet began to warp into realspace. Nineteen massive warships ranging from the lead 'Shield'-Class Defense Super Carrier and its sister 'Kal'Bavakor'-Class Assault Dreadnaught to battleships, rail-cannon craft, cruisers and frigates. The massive fleet of Alliance warships leaves the Light Stream in a single-file line, with the 'Triumphant' in the lead; supposedly protecting its fleet with it's massive dome-like structure.

The Alliance Fleet immediately resorts to their own stealth systems immediately after entering the system; relying on unseen abilities and forces to traverse the asteroid belt. Even visual targeting would be difficult, as the Alliance Fleet seems to meld with the many asteroids around them as they spread out in their single file; developing a more rugged version of their initial line formation..

A massive conflict had finally reached Tefeull.


Last edited by EyesofMarch on Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:36 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:25 pm

The Alliance fleet was impressive, surely, but somewhere very far yet very near over 171 signals remained in the dark watching and waiting.
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PostSubject: Re: The Tefeull Mining Field, 05G.   Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:57 am

USS Avenger
Combat Information Center


"All sensor stations, contact report."

The General did not like how the entire situation had turned out: a faint distortion in the gravity field, a known side-effect of superluminous travel, had indicated the arrival of an alien fleet. But there was nothing on RADAR, which was to be expected judging by the ambient radiation levels, or even heat sensors; now that was worrying. Visual tracking by means of optical telescopes was still trying to find any fleet formations without much success; it wasn't working. He had expected to have the full advantage of stealth against the enemy, not to play hide and seek with them.

"Contact report, aye. No new contacts, effective RADAR range remains at fifty kilometres."

"No new LADAR contacts, General. Effective scan range two hundred kilometers and increasing gradually."

"LIDAR contacts unchanged, no enemy contact."


Just what he had feared: the aliens had gone stealth. He had no information on enemy numbers, unit strength or disposition, and he had absolutely no clue as to their location. The nuclear blast had rendered him blind. The General did not like being blind.


"Helm, alter your heading, twenty degrees up bubble. Lets see if these bastards would like to play a game." muttered the General, staring at the command table; most of the distortion had been cleared out on the holographic display, or more accurately filtered out, allowing him to at least get an accurate fix on the locations of the USC ships and bases in the asteroid field. He needed to flush the aliens out, and he needed to do it soon, before the other ships had to vent their heat. The Avenger could remain at stealth for weeks, but some of the smaller destroyers had only enough heatsink capacity to last a few hours. "Chief of the Watch, commence scan charge launch sequence."

"Aye aye. Scan charge launch sequence initiated, stand by for signal receipt."

Several inconspicuous tubes on the hull of the Avenger slid open, but instead of launching an actual missile, several barrel-sized devices were fired out in rapid succession using some form of railgun. The charges acquired their maximum speed upon leaving the barrel of the gun and raced outwards, some of them using RCS thrusters to navigate around the asteroids they encountered. In total, almost thirty of the devices were launched, spreading out in the area within a few seconds.

And then one of them suddenly split in two, and the first piece detonated in what seemed to be a tiny nuclear explosion; except that instead of producing a surge of x-ray or gamma radiation, the explosion produced a massive RADAR pulse, expanding outwards and bouncing off asteroids, stations, ships and debris. The return signal was picked up by the other half, which sent a laser signal to the Avenger before detonating itself. This time the flash was blinding, with light of all colours being released on the asteroid belt. The same events occurred with the rest of the devices, each 'mapping out' an area of the battlezone and sending the data back to the Avenger. The blinding light served to make dark or camouflaged objects stand out, giving the Avenger's optical telescopes the chance to acquire a fix on anything out of the ordinary.

And as the Avenger's computer begun crunching down the data of the RADAR scans, compiling each separate signal into a collage of data to be presented at the commanding officer, the General smiled wickedly as the holographic display begun to refresh. Calculations were run, Doppler effect predictions compared to actual results and analysed, asteroids were classified as inert objects and moved down the priority ladder. He hoped, prayed, that the scan had given him something to work with.
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