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David Foss

First Command

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(RP on)

Commander Commander Foss Commander David Foss of the GCV Deterrence. What the hell had I done to deserve this? I sat back in my seat as the shuttle cleared Centris atmosphere, heading for the Js Pride, a Tarin Mk II transport.

We docked with the JÔÇÖs Pride a few minutes later, then set a course for Sol system, final destination: Galcom HQ, earth orbit. There, I was to take command of the GCV Deterrence, a new Battlecruiser that hadnÔÇÖt even been christened, and join the Orion Fleet at their main star base around Jupiter. It would be several hours before we docked at Galcom, so I was content to sit back and relax.

The pilot of the transport, the beautiful and energetic Janice Errintha, had been a good friend of mine since childhood. She had somehow managed to run the transport by herself for ten years. We talked about everything from new relationships to Gammulan undergarments (donÔÇÖt ask).

ÔÇ£Roger that, Starbase Centris. IÔÇÖll be back before you know it. WeÔÇÖll see you in a few days.ÔÇØ She said, then signed off. She locked the autopilot on, swept her shoulder-length curled brown hair behind her, then turned to face me with that penetrating stare that always left me helpless.

ÔÇ£All right, Davie. WhatÔÇÖs wrong?ÔÇØ

I stuttered, then composed myself. ÔÇ£Nothing. NothingÔÇÖs wrong.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£ItÔÇÖs been over twenty years, and you still think you can get away with lying while IÔÇÖm around? Come off it, Foss!ÔÇØ She said in anger, turning back to her controls.

I sighed, lowering my head. ÔÇ£IÔÇÖm not confident that they made the right decision, asking me to be the Commander of that vessel. There are too many expectations. I could handle any ship but that. ThereÔÇÖs too much history there.ÔÇØ

She snickered, then looked across the console at me, that cute but dangerous half smile curving across her lips. ÔÇ£Davie, I donÔÇÖt think I have to remind you that the Deterrence hasnÔÇÖt been christened yet! They havenÔÇÖt even warmed up the reactor! There is no history!ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£ThatÔÇÖs not the point.ÔÇØ I said, shaking my head. ÔÇ£ItÔÇÖs not the ship thatÔÇÖs beyond belief, itÔÇÖs the name. The name alone has a history that I simply canÔÇÖt compete with. I mean, Commander David Foss of the Galactic Command Vessel Deterrence? I donÔÇÖt think so. It doesnÔÇÖt sound right.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Very true. Commander Davie Foss of the GCV Deterrence sounds much better.ÔÇØ

I laughed despite myself. I wasnÔÇÖt in the mood for jokes of any kind, but there was no choice when I was around her. SheÔÇÖd called me Davie since we were both four years old. IÔÇÖd hated it then and I still hated it now. I probably would hate it until the end of time, yet it was oddly comforting now.

ÔÇ£So, how did you enjoy your leave?ÔÇØ She asked me suspiciously.

ÔÇ£Well, Centris isnÔÇÖt much for tourists, but it wasnÔÇÖt bad for a few days of relaxation.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Not much for tourists?ÔÇØ She exclaimed, furious again. I was in trouble. ÔÇ£That place has the best damned entertainment value short of nuking Gammula Prime!ÔÇØ

SheÔÇÖd realized her mistake even before she said it, but sheÔÇÖd not stifled her voice in time. The damage was done.

God, Im sorry, David. I didnt mean

ÔÇ£ItÔÇÖs alright,ÔÇØ I lied. ÔÇ£ItÔÇÖs old news anyway.ÔÇØ

Unbeknownst to most, my parents had been deep space explorers. TheyÔÇÖd navigated nullspace, found things that no one had ever seen. They never documented anything they found, though. No one ever found out what theyÔÇÖd known. They had vanished when I was twelve, after leaving on a deep space excursion into Gammulan territory. No one ever saw them again. Gammulans had killed my parents, and I would see them pay someday.

ÔÇ£Someday.ÔÇØ I whispered.

ÔÇ£What?ÔÇØ She asked, looking over at me.

I leaned forward, concentrating on my instruments. ÔÇ£Nothing.ÔÇØ I said simply.

She knew I was lying. I knew that because she immediately diverted course, aborting the jump to Sol and instead jumping to a nearby debris field.

ÔÇ£What are you doing?ÔÇØ I asked. ÔÇ£WeÔÇÖre going to be late!ÔÇØ

She said nothing until weÔÇÖd entered the field. She cut the engines after bringing the transport to a stop, then turned to face me, anger in her eyes. ÔÇ£What am I doing? IÔÇÖm going on a mission thatÔÇÖs what IÔÇÖm doing. A mission to find the truth about why Commander David Eugene Foss is so damned depressed about getting the chance of a lifetime!ÔÇØ

I said nothing, focusing on the controls. Dont ask I wished silently. Please, just dont ask

ÔÇ£For GodÔÇÖs sake, David, you are the Commander of a brand new state of the art Galcom vessel! Why are you so reluctant to take command?ÔÇØ She shouted. In the cramped cockpit of the transport, her voice was amplified several times. It hurt my ears.

ÔÇ£Because I never wanted this command!ÔÇØ I shouted back.

She drew back, stunned both by the words and by the fury.

ÔÇ£I never wanted to be a Commander. A marine, yes! A pilot, sure! But never a bridge officer! All they do is sit around all day on their fat arses entering logs and relaying orders!ÔÇØ

After a few moments, she looked back at her controls. ÔÇ£ThatÔÇÖs all I do.ÔÇØ She said softly.

The pain in her voice lanced through my heart, jarring me out of my self-pity. ÔÇ£What?ÔÇØ

She looked back at me, ÔÇ£ThatÔÇÖs all I do.ÔÇØ She repeated. ÔÇ£I relay orders to this terminal. It tells the engines to fire. This tells the ship to head for these coordinates,ÔÇØ she said, indicating the navitron computer.

ÔÇ£ItÔÇÖs not the same thing.ÔÇØ I said after an awkward silence of almost a minute.

She swore viciously, swinging her right fist. I barely managed to duck as she swung it into the ceiling command console beside my face. She was lucky not to have killed herself.

She didnÔÇÖt move, her crystal blue eyes locked with mine, her clenched fist remaining inside the smashed panel. ÔÇ£Yes,ÔÇØ she said, her voice deadly quiet. ÔÇ£It is.ÔÇØ

It was my turn to stare in awe as she continued.

ÔÇ£I push a button, and it relays a command. ItÔÇÖs doing nothing more than relaying orders. You once told me that no one pushes you around. Why then, are you so intent on becoming one of these buttons?ÔÇØ

I sat silent, unable to respond. I felt blood dripping on the shoulder of my uniform, but I could not move. Tears welled up in her eyes as she spoke.

ÔÇ£You are telling me you would rather be a grunt or a fly-boy than a Commander? ThatÔÇÖs the biggest load of bull IÔÇÖve ever heard! You have been running from authority for your entire life! You said authority would never push you around. You said that you would never acknowledge a higher authority. YouÔÇÖve worked your entire life so you could be in a position of authority! YouÔÇÖve had to listen to superiors, yes, but now you are that authority. The Deterrence is your ship, and whether you like it or not, she is yours to command. I donÔÇÖt buy this crap about you not wanting it! I donÔÇÖt buy that for a second! You have been waiting for this chance your entire life, so donÔÇÖt you dare tell me that you donÔÇÖt want it! Are you a button submitting to a higher authority, or are you a Commander, the embodiment of that authority?ÔÇØ

She stared for what seemed like an eternity (the longest five seconds of my life), then withdrew her fist from the console, grabbing a medikit and opening it.

ÔÇ£Let me help you with that.ÔÇØ I said, without thinking.

She shrugged me away violently, and spat, ÔÇ£I can take care of myself. At least I know what I want. At least IÔÇÖm in command of myself!ÔÇØ

I hesitated, not sure whether to take a chance helping her, or to simply back off and let her tend to her wound.

My mind was interested in determining the course of action. The rest of me was far more interested in helping her. I reached forward, taking the kit away from her and administering the treatment. Oddly enough, she didnÔÇÖt fight back. Maybe IÔÇÖd made the right decision after all.

Maybe I was in command.

From medic to Commander in two days. I was still musing as Janice brought the JÔÇÖs Pride in to dock at Galcom HQ. Her hand was already healed, and the damaged console on my side was sealed until the circuitry could be repaired. A tech team was assigned to it as we left the transport. My second uniform was identical to the first, minus the bloodstains.

I stood at the exit of the docking bays. Janice took on the role of a mother, straightening my collar, brushing any dust off the shoulders. I was half expecting her to ask me if I was wearing clean underwear.

No sooner had I thought that then she said it. I turned red as the tech crew snickered. I didnÔÇÖt realize she was that loud!

ÔÇ£Get going, Davie. You donÔÇÖt want to be late.ÔÇØ

I nodded. ÔÇ£You going to stick around? ItÔÇÖll be one hell of a show.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£No, IÔÇÖve got some business to take care of along the border of Gammulan space. I canÔÇÖt say anything more than that.ÔÇØ

I didnÔÇÖt want her to go the way of my parents. There was only so much I could do, though. ÔÇ£Well, then, take care of yourself, Janice. Look me up when you get back, okay?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£I will,ÔÇØ she said, pulling me forward and embracing with a very tight hug.

She released her grip, allowing oxygen to again enter my lungs. She had strength, and not just in spirit. She turned to the tech crew, who had finished the repairs. ÔÇ£Take care of the man for me, will you? HeÔÇÖs helpless on his own.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Aye, maÔÇÖam.ÔÇØ One of the techs said, a short kid with wild red hair, barely out of his teens. The tech gave off a sketchy salute as Janice boarded her transport. I didnÔÇÖt move as she gently raised the ship off the pad, turned her toward the open bay doors and guided the transport into open space.

I didnÔÇÖt realize how long IÔÇÖd been staring until the young tech approached me. ÔÇ£So, your lady friendÔÇÖs going into the Gammulan quadrant? CanÔÇÖt blame you for worrying.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Just the border,ÔÇØ I said quietly, lowering my gaze. ÔÇ£Just the border.ÔÇØ

The kid looked out after the transport. ÔÇ£Yeah, I know how you feel, Commander Foss.ÔÇØ

I frowned, startled, then turned to face him. He grinned widely as the rest of the tech crew approached him.

ÔÇ£Gregory Neilson at your service, sir. IÔÇÖm your new chief engineer. This is my crew, whom you see around you.ÔÇØ He said, waving his hand to take in the other nineteen individuals. He looked to be the youngest of the group, but not by much. ÔÇ£Yes, sir, we are GalcomÔÇÖs finest, brightest and youngest.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£DonÔÇÖt take this the wrong way, Neilson, but how did you end up in charge?ÔÇØ

The kid suddenly seemed shy, dropping his gaze for only a moment. ÔÇ£Well, sir, not to toot my own horn, but IÔÇÖm definitely one of the best. I work with the best and I work like the best. ThatÔÇÖs all there is to it.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£So why are you down here instead of getting ready for the ceremony?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Well, the ceremonyÔÇÖs not for another hour or so. No sense wasting a good uniform doing maintenance is there? Besides, the only way we stay the best is to practice, practice, practice!ÔÇØ

The kid was nuts, there was no doubt about it. Not only that, but he and his entire crew were green. Cadets right out of the academy, but they were still nuts. On the other hand, sometimes the crazy ones are the ones that succeed.

ÔÇ£WeÔÇÖll see how good you really are, Neilson.ÔÇØ I said. His smile vanished, but he soon realized what I meant, and the smile returned as I left the docking bay and headed for my temporary quarters. The kid knew a challenge when he heard one. He would be okay.

------------------

Commander David Foss, GCV Deterrence

[This message has been edited by David Foss (edited 06-01-99).]

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Thanks, Commander! You wanted more, so here it is smile.gif

(RP on)

The next hour went by in a flash, as did the christening of the Deterrence. Karl Reines himself was present at the ceremony, and I felt incredibly small at that time. He cast a brief glance, nodding recognition. To think that only two weeks ago, I had been ready to decline the command. Now, despite my fears, part of me was looking forward to stepping onto the bridge of that ship.

I turned to my chief engineer. ÔÇ£Neilson, I want the reactor up and running within the hour.ÔÇØ

He looked at me like I was insane. Sir, she is only running on solar power right now. The reactor is still cold. Powering her up that fast could damage the coolant systems, or cause a breach right off the

ÔÇ£You claim to be the best. Now prove it.ÔÇØ I said adamantly.

He cast an uncertain glance at me, then signaled the rest of his team to follow him as they left the reception room. The room was an observation area overlooking the newly christened BC.

I mingled with the crowd, meeting my second in command and Combat Officer, Kristen McKay, a brilliant and unorthodox Irish lass. The red hair, not unlike NeilsonÔÇÖs, curled around her ears, and was the first thing I had noticed. Her dark blue eyes were the second, and freckles being the third. My family was from Scotland. Although IÔÇÖd grown up there, my accent was only noticeable if you knew what to listen for. A ship run by a Scottish commander and an Irish first officer. This crew was in for the ride of their lives.

Jonathan Vess was my Navigations officer, a mild mannered lad with black hair, brown eyes, and all the characteristics of a capital ship pilot. He would never touch any craft smaller than a cruiser unless it was with a weapon.

Comms Officer Gina Jolkowski, Russian. Her experience aboard the Deterrence in her previous life would be invaluable. Flight Officer Wang Yu, Korean. He had served as a pilot aboard a Nightstar Attack Carrier for two years before receiving a promotion and subsequent assignment to the Deterrence. Tactical Officer Andrew Berringston was from North America, proving himself a tactical genius in his early years at the academy. Medical Officer Eric Daron was from Spain, having an incredible record for one so young only nineteen. Last, but not least, the only non-human member of the command staff, Jerak Tu, a brilliant Vesperon science officer from Canaan.

Finally, the time rolled over to zero, and I opened a channel to the engineering section of GCV Deterrence.

ÔÇ£Neilson, itÔÇÖs been an hour, report.ÔÇØ

I hadnÔÇÖt even finished my sentence before Neilson ran into the reception room panting, out of breath. It took him a minute, but he regained his composure. He didnÔÇÖt hide the look of fear on his face. While he was getting his wind back, I simply stood calmly, waiting for his report.

ÔÇ£Sir,ÔÇØ he said, clearly nervous. His first assignment and he had not been successful. ÔÇ£The reactor will take at least another thirty minutes. We took as many short cuts as we could, but there just wasnÔÇÖt enough time. IÔÇÖm sorry, sir.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£YouÔÇÖre right, Neilson. There wasnÔÇÖt enough time.ÔÇØ Neilson looked up at me, now thoroughly confused. Maybe he thought IÔÇÖd dismiss him and get a new chief. ÔÇ£But you did prove to me that you are the best. You are the best because you take as many shortcuts as you can without endangering peopleÔÇÖs lives. Now, you can start the reactor up at your earliest convenience, and weÔÇÖll be ready to go at 2100 hours this evening.ÔÇØ

The shock of my words sank in, and he stood dumbfounded for several seconds. ÔÇ£Aye, sir!ÔÇØ Then, as if IÔÇÖd just given him three months leave, he stepped back, saluted and ran out the door.

Right on time, I gave the order to take the Deterrence away from Galcom HQ. The bridge was far more spacious than the cramped compartments of the JÔÇÖs Pride. I stood, the deck plates vibrating softly under my feet as the ship pulled away at half-speed. Our orders were to rendezvous with Commander Junkkari of the GCV Karhu, Commanding Officer of the Orion Fleet, at Betelgeuze station in Jupiter orbit.

Jupiter.

The last major battle (and the largest, as it turned out) in human history occurred within that region not long ago. Commander JunkkariÔÇÖs old vessel, the GCV Predicant, had been the first casualty in a huge battle with the Gammulans. The Insurgent and Galcom fleets, in order to prevent another war between them, had agreed to a prisoner exchange for the life of a Galcom spy who had been discovered. The fleet had agreed, but it wasnÔÇÖt long before all hell broke loose. Traces of cloaked ships almost lead to open hostilities, but it was realized (just in time) to be an alien fleet staging a massive invasion. Had the fleet not caught on in time, all of humanity would have been destroyed. There were very few people who did not know of the legendary defensive battle that was fought for our home system, especially since the battle was so recent. Just over a month ago, humanity had banded together, Insurgent and Galcom alike, in a last attempt to save the home world. Earthcom Forces stationed at Pluto had been all but destroyed, with a good number of Galcom, Insurgent and raider vessels being lost in what had come to be known as the Battles of Jupiter, Neptune and Polaris. The Battle of Jupiter was the largest single battle in space, and the bloodiest of mankind. Even Commander Rattler, better known as Insurgent One, had sacrificed his vessel, the ICV Necromancer, in the service of humanity. Many other Commanders lost their lives, including Commander Ferrok of the previous ship to bear the name Deterrence. The ship had been severely damaged during the opening battle at Jupiter. The life support systems were offline, the hangar decks destroyed, and massive hull breaches exposed most of the crew to the vacuum of space. The rest had barely managed to survive until after the battle. The ship later succumbed to internal fires after friendly forces had beamed the survivors out of danger. All in all, only seven original crewmembers still wandered the decks of this new ship. Even though this ship had been built from the ground up, I could feel a trace of the old crew. Those who had died still wandered these decks as well. Either that or I was going insane. Probably the latter of the two.

But Gammulan losses had been even worse than ours had. Virtually their entire fleet had combined with a massive Valkyrie fleet, outnumbering our ships two to one. Yet even those were not enough to turn the might of Terran protection. Even though our losses were heavy, we had destroyed almost their entire fleet. It was later discovered that their target was not earth, for some reason. The deciding battle was fought in close orbit of Neptune, where a group of Insurgent and Earthcom vessels destroyed a number of Gammulan warships. Unfortunately, over fifteen warheads, launched by the Insurgent fleet had nuked the planet, destroying any hope for a lasting peace between Galcom and Insurgent forces. I was as tired of that war as everyone else. I wanted it to end. I was tired of seeing humans fighting humans. Personally, I thought the universe was big enough for everyone, but my thoughts went unheard, as usual. The universe had a really sick sense of humor.

The Deterrence jumped to Jupiter without incident, and was alongside Betelgeuze within an hour of leaving Galcom HQ.

(RP off)

------------------

Commander David Foss, GCV Deterrence

[This message has been edited by David Foss (edited 06-01-99).]

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Sorry this took so long. It'll be edited later to make up for any discrepanies that show up.

(RP on)

I walked down the corridors of the GCV Karhu, the layout and appearance not unlike that of the Deterrence. I made my way to the bridge, then waited patiently. One of the crew approached me. She was young, but I could already tell she had been involved in that black day over JupiterÔÇÖs skies.

ÔÇ£Commander Foss, Orion Fleet Commander Junkkari is waiting for you.ÔÇØ

I nodded, and she led me to the CommanderÔÇÖs ready room. The door slid open, and Commander Junkkari looked up from his desk.

ÔÇ£Greetings, Commander. Please have a seat.ÔÇØ He said, indicating the chair in front of his desk.

I sat down, and he got straight to the point.

ÔÇ£IÔÇÖll get straight to the point, Commander. There have been many disturbing reports of unprovoked attacks along the Gammulan border in the past few weeks. Several of our ships have been venturing into their space. Galcom ships have been responding to distress signals from within their territory, and are often critically damaged while rendering aid. Although no Galcom ships have been destroyed, and we are not officially at war with the Gammulans, a lot of people seem to think otherwise, and have taken to conducting hit and run attacks on their own accord, often at the expense of their lives. The outer systems of Gammulan space are too heavily defended as a result of these actions. We are trying to prevent hostilities as much as possible. Our resources are still stretched thin from the recent battle in Sol, and having to move our ships to defend the border in case of attack is costing us too much. Your purpose there is to send a message: that although Galcom is at odds with the Gammulans, we are more interested in keeping territory rather than gaining it. We do not want this conflict to escalate any more than it already has. As such, your orders are to ignore, I say again, ignore any request for assistance if the transmission comes from within Gammulan space. We are pulling several other BCÔÇÖs back, and will be sending the Deterrence to monitor the Cyrian region. I hate giving you the order to abandon lives like this, especially given your exemplary record as CMO aboard the KevÔÇÖs Star. But this is a critical situation, and you must adhere to these orders.ÔÇØ

He must have seen my sickened expression. I was a doctor, and he was asking me to ignore calls for help. That went against everything I had ever stood for.

ÔÇ£Commander, I know this isnÔÇÖt exactly what you had hoped for. However, the DeterrenceÔÇÖs presence alone will deter many others from making the same mistakes as others. You have a chance to save more lives than you would by charging into those sectors.ÔÇØ

I shook my head. ÔÇ£Sir, I feel it is necessary to inform you that I object to these orders with the strongest possible disdain.ÔÇØ

He looked up and smiled. ÔÇ£You and me both, Commander. I donÔÇÖt like this situation any more than you do. But Galcom needs this done to ensure we donÔÇÖt end up repeating the events of last month all over again. I sure as hell donÔÇÖt want that to happen. I lost enough in that last battle without having to lose it all over again.ÔÇØ

As much as I hated to admit it, he was right. Although it pained me to acknowledge it, I managed a nod. ÔÇ£Understood, sir. WeÔÇÖll be on our way right away, though I still protest this arrangement.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Well, my protests went unheard as well, Commander. DonÔÇÖt feel like youÔÇÖre alone in this.ÔÇØ

I left his ready room and headed back to the Deterrence. After securing all supplies and weapons aboard, we left Betelgeuze station for the Cyrian region.

It was worse than I thought. Not five minutes after weÔÇÖd entered the region, we received the first distress call.

ÔÇ£LetÔÇÖs hear it, Jolkowski.ÔÇØ

Gina routed the signal, and it played over the speakers a moment later. ÔÇ£This is WarrenÔÇÖs Pass. We are under attack by Gammulan forces. Any friendly ships, please respond! We need immediate assistance!ÔÇØ

Reflex took over. I jumped to my feet, shouting orders before I heard them.

ÔÇ£Triangulate the position of that transmission! Engineering, prepare for hyperspace jump! Navigation, as soon as Comms sends you that data, plot a course!ÔÇØ

McKay, my first officer, looked over at me. ÔÇ£Commander, our orders were to ignore any requests for help that did not come from this side of the border.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Screw the orders!ÔÇØ I snarled. ÔÇ£Lives are at stake, Officer!ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Five lives, Commander! Five lives for the sake of over one-hundred!ÔÇØ She had accessed the crew manifest of the WarrenÔÇÖs Pass. ÔÇ£You would risk so many lives for that transport?ÔÇØ

Damn the numbers. ThatÔÇÖs all it came down to was numbers. The percent chance of one person over another, and in that moment, with those figures, one patient would be saved while another dies. One percentage lower than another and Joe dies instead of Vanessa. Damn the numbers.

ÔÇ£All stations, belay previous orders.ÔÇØ I said, my throat dry.

We heard the distress signal three more times before the signal was terminated by a burst of static. Jolkowski calculated the termination was only thirty seconds short of the wormhole leading to this system.

Thirty seconds.

Debris from the transport was a silent confirmation of what she had told us. Only a few fragments came through, but it was enough.

ÔÇ£McKay, you have the bridge.ÔÇØ I said, then went to my ready room.

I watched the debris drift silently by the window. Debris from the forward compartment, the rear cargo hold, the port engine housing fragments of the bridge.

I had tapped into the comm system, and heard the desperate pleas of over twelve vessels as their cries for help rang across vast distances, spanning a galaxy and going unheard.

No, not unheard. Unheeded.

Fifteen distress calls in only the first day. At the same time, over thirty smaller craft, ranging from shuttles to fighters, turned away from the wormhole and went off on other missions. Everything from freight to mercenary contracts. Thirty more voices that we wouldnÔÇÖt have to hear in the next few days. At least thatÔÇÖs how long I hoped this internal blockade would last.

During the same monotonous string of calls on the second day, I heard the distress call that almost broke my career

------------------

Commander David Foss, GCV Deterrence

[This message has been edited by David Foss (edited 06-01-99).]

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Bravo! Bravo! Absolutely one of the best works of BC3K fiction I've ever read! You ever think of getting something you write published? I think you have great potential in the Sci-Fi genre.

Anyway, hope to see more soon. This looks like it could be one of the best stories I've ever read, keep it up! smile.gif

------------------

Commander Alun Tringad

GCV Black Falcon ISS03

Tactical Support Coordinator, ISS Fleet

"Honor and courage, above all else"

Official BC3K Webring Administrator

ICQ: 18001147

welcome.to/bc3k

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Commander Tringad,

Actually, I have been told on more than one occasion by my friends, family and especially my girlfriend, to send my work in for both sci-fi and fantasy. Unfortunately, I have yet to finish any of the stories I'm working on. I'm currently focusing on three projects (this one, a fantasy series and another sci-fi series). However, if there are any BC3K books that are published, I would certainly enjoy contributing to them should such an opportunity arise. smile.gif

(RP on)

ÔÇ£Mayday, mayday! This is Janice Errintha, transport JÔÇÖs Pride requesting immediate assistance! I am under attack by Gammulan forces. Position is Gammula region, heading for Tyrinis/LV-110 jump point. I say again, this is JÔÇÖs Pride under heavy attack requesting immediate assistance!ÔÇØ

Janice rolled the transport over just as another fighter fired. The shot glanced off her shield, causing no damage. They were getting better, though. She wouldnÔÇÖt last long. Her ship rocked again as another shot penetrated the shield.

Current situation is critical! Twelve enemy fighters attacking, six Aestroms and two Stormcarriers close behind. Request immediate support! Data indicates strong possibility of another invasion

She looked down at her damage control board and saw the bad news. The hangar was destroyed, and all four shuttles had just been rendered useless. Her weapons were down as well, and her missiles were exhausted. Comm systems were also down from the last shot. The last part of her message hadnÔÇÖt gone through, either. ÔÇ£Damn!ÔÇØ She screamed as her ship vanished through the jumpgate. The fighters were right behind her, followed a few minutes later by the carriers.

Goddamn it! She said she was going to be on this side of the border! WhatÔÇÖd she do? Read the map backwards? I thought angrily.

Neilson had also heard the transmission. He was handing me a status report on the consumption of Radine when the signal was received. He paled visibly. He remembered, all right. He knew very well who was making that call.

It was the right voice, the right name, but that ship was in the wrong place! I shook the thought aside and began issuing orders. We were currently patrolling Rinaal. ÔÇ£Set course for Pravis! Prepare to jump! We are going after that transport! Engage cloaking device!ÔÇØ

McKay looked up, once again falling back upon the comforting lap of Galcom orders. She didnÔÇÖt even get the ÔÇ£our ordersÔÇØ out before I turned on her. ÔÇ£McKay, that transport will not be lost! Orders or no orders, I will not abandon the JÔÇÖs Pride!ÔÇØ

Perhaps she was as tired as I was of abandoning people to their fates. Perhaps she was also fed up with the absurdity of our orders. Or, perhaps, she just wanted to get my command booted out the window so she could take over. Whatever the reason, she backed down without another word. In fact, she seemed eager to engage the Gammulans in battle.

Vess looked up at me. ÔÇ£Sir, itÔÇÖll take us at least twenty minutes to reach the location of her last transmission.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Then letÔÇÖs hope she can last for ten. WeÔÇÖll meet her in the middle. I donÔÇÖt know how she got into this situation, but weÔÇÖll get her out.ÔÇØ

The Deterrence, against all orders, jumped into the Cryon region, disregarding her orders and entering Gammulan space.

Sure enough, ten minutes later, we arrived in the Alpha Gamma system near Crystar. The system was also currently occupied by the JÔÇÖs Pride, twelve fighters, a Stormcarrier and a starbase.

ÔÇ£Disengage cloack. Launch all ICÔÇÖs. Orders are to screen the JÔÇÖs Pride from enemy attack.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Aye, sir.ÔÇØ Yu said, issuing the order to scramble.

ÔÇ£Berringston, arm weapons. Set PTA at 100% and IOD at 70%. Target the Stormcarrier. If we can cause enough damage, maybe we can convince them to recall their fighters in order to protect her.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£WeÔÇÖll take a beating, sir.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Aye, that we will, Berringston. But weÔÇÖll bloody their noses as well.ÔÇØ

The JÔÇÖs Pride was orbiting Crystar, attempting an emergency landing.

The Deterrence jumped, emerging over the JÔÇÖs Pride, covering her in the protective shadow. The fighters, four P-21 Vandals, four S fighters, two Corsairs and two Interdictors, were right behind her, jump anomalies forming all around the damaged transport. The ICÔÇÖs were already forming a protective circle around her as the Gammulan fighters emerged. A bigger hyperspace anomaly flashed into existence directly ahead, indicating that the Stormcarrier was coming in close to finish the transport.

Big mistake.

Berringston was ready, standing by to let every offensive system on board rip that carrier to shreds.

ÔÇ£Sir, the fighters are reacquiring the transport.ÔÇØ

I watched as the ICÔÇÖs scrambled to intercept the threat. Four against twelve. We would need a more effective screen than this.

The Stormcarrier exited hyperspace directly in front of us, presenting just the effective screen we needed. "Berringston, destroy that ship."

Berringston fired all weapons at once, and the StormcarrierÔÇÖs shields collapsed seconds later. The Deterrence flew past, the PTA pouring bursts of deadly energy into the carrier, ripping deep into the hull. The Deterrence shook as the Stormcarrier got off a single shot before exploding spectacularly against the backdrop of stars. The Deterrence shook wildly as the shock wave hit, nearly crippling the shields in the process.

ÔÇ£Damage report!ÔÇØ I called out.

ÔÇ£Tractor beam, transporter and solar reactor inoperative, sir. Main reactor is damaged, but IÔÇÖve got people on it.ÔÇØ Neilson replied. HeÔÇÖd accessed the Logistix Computer from the bridge, not having time to hoof it back to engineering. ÔÇ£Shields recharging, currently at 25%.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£What about the transport?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£The fighters are retreating, but the transport is also dead. Her engines are damaged. SheÔÇÖs a sitting duck, sir, her orbit is deteriorating. SheÔÇÖll burn up in about three hours if she canÔÇÖt get her engines back.ÔÇØ

Berringston looked over his instruments a second time. ÔÇ£Sir, we have six Aestroms and another Stormcarrier entering the area! ETA two minutes. They are launching fighters!ÔÇØ

I swore, looking over at McKay. I couldnÔÇÖt leave Janice, but orders said otherwise.

So did the numbers.

Screw them both. ÔÇ£McKay, IÔÇÖm taking shuttle 1. As soon as I clear the launch bay, take the Deterrence back to friendly space.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Sir, you canÔÇÖt be serious! There are five carriers bearing down on us! We donÔÇÖt have time!ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£You donÔÇÖt have time. I do. Get this ship out of here as soon as IÔÇÖm clear.ÔÇØ

I left, ignoring her objections, running full speed for the shuttle bays.

(RP off)

------------------

Commander David Foss, GCV Deterrence

[This message has been edited by David Foss (edited 06-01-99).]

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Guest Antti Junkkari

I was suprised how good this guy is.

I'm proud we have one in Orion Fleet now, too wink.gif

------------------

Cmdr Junkkari at GCV-Karhu

Orion Fleet Leader

www.orionf.pp.fi

icq: 2506142

"If you want peace, you must prepare for war.."

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Dang, this is getting good smile.gif

You should heed the advice and publish something! I'll be the first to buy it smile.gif

------------------

Commander Alun Tringad

GCV Black Falcon ISS03

Tactical Support Coordinator, ISS Fleet

"Honor and courage, above all else"

Official BC3K Webring Administrator

ICQ: 18001147

welcome.to/bc3k

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Commander Junkkari,

Thank you, sir! I'm just glad to finally be a part of Orion Fleet, as well as being able to participate in this epic story. smile.gif I've been a silent observer for a while, only having recently found my voice.

Commander Tringad,

Actually, I might do that. Provided, of course, that I can actually finish one of these stories. I've always had trouble finishing them off. There's always a loose end somewhere. The other sci-fi series I am working on was originally just going to be a short story. It was designed to get my thoughts flowing for a game that I was (and still am) designing. They started flowing, all right. My girlfriend sent me a list of titles that I could use for the short story. The short story has now evolved into the beginnings of a novel which is just one part of the series, with the other titles in that list going to seventeen other books in the series. The whole thing will span about forty ears (in the books, not real life).

Anyways, without further delay, here's part five. smile.gif

(RP on)

I sat down in the shuttle, securing the safety harness and firing up the engines. They came to life, the familiar whine filling my ears as I lifted the shuttle off the deck and guided her toward the yawning doors.

I kept a steady hand as the shuttle cleared the launch bay. The doors closed not five seconds later and the Deterrence turned away, heading back to friendly territory. The carriers exited hyperspace on the far side of the planet, thankfully. We had a few minutes.

I dropped the transport down, preparing to tractor the JÔÇÖs Pride. Once in position, I hit the switch.

Nothing.

Just my luck to nab the shuttle that had been damaged by the explosion of the first Stormcarrier. Even the shields were damaged, operating at only twenty percent. I could have lived with a smashed panel or two, but no! It had to be the two systems I needed most. This sucked.

I guided the shuttle over top of the transport, easing down until I could see a docking hatch. The shuttle settled with a jolt against the hull of the JÔÇÖs Pride as I hurriedly slipped into a pressure suit. When I was finished, I proceeded through the airlock out onto the hull of the transport.

I entered through the docking hatch, pressurized the chamber and entered the transport. Janice fired a shot before I had a chance to react. Fortunately, her aim was off. The shot flashed past me, scorching a black furrow across one of the bulkheads. Janice realized I was not a Gammulan, then lowered her weapon. She didnÔÇÖt have time to say anything before I grabbed her, hauling her back to the airlock, which we both entered hastily. Fearing a hull breach, she had already suited up for it.

We moved quickly, exiting the airlock and entering the shuttle. She sat in the copilotÔÇÖs chair as I sealed the airlock. I had just sat in the pilotÔÇÖs seat when she disengaged the docking systems. I fired the engines, taking us away from the doomed vessel at full speed.

I did not get us away from the fighters, however. Two P-21ÔÇÖs collapsed the damaged shields in seconds, crippling the engines. Sparks flew from JaniceÔÇÖs console as I dove the shuttle into the atmosphere. For some reason, the fighters did not follow, instead pulling back to rendezvous with the carriers. They were going after the Deterrence.

There was nothing I could do about that aside from making sure that part of DeterrenceÔÇÖs original compliment, namely the shuttle, got down in more than one piece, but less than five hundred. The shuttle penetrated the upper atmosphere, then bucked as we entered the more turbulent lower atmosphere. The air rushed past the hull, drowning out what little sound the damaged engines made. The damaged systems couldnÔÇÖt even keep us in the air as I fought a losing battle with gravity.

I focused on the readouts, all of them telling me the same thing: we were screwed. The rough landscape of Crystar rolled on before us. Just my luck to end up bringing us down over mountainous terrain. This sucked!

We cleared the mountains a few minutes later, just a few seconds before the reactor died. The shuttle plummeted to the ground, striking the unforgiving surface at a thirty-degree angle. I heard and felt the bone-chilling introduction of metal to hard rock as the bottom of the shuttle smashed into the ground at the base of a large mountain. We might have bounced, or we could have rolled. I don't know what the final verdict was. I was already out cold from the initial impact. We didnt even have time to yell

(RP off)

------------------

Commander David Foss, GCV Deterrence

[This message has been edited by David Foss (edited 06-02-99).]

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Hope you don't mind me butting in every intermission smile.gif

Like I said before, you gave great potential. I'd say you're almost up there with Piers Anthony and Timothy Zahn (no joke). I bet if you decide to live off of your writing and spend all your time doing it, you could be as good if not better then the authors named above. Good luck and keep the story coming smile.gif

------------------

Commander Alun Tringad

GCV Black Falcon ISS03

Tactical Support Coordinator, ISS Fleet

"Honor and courage, above all else"

Official BC3K Webring Administrator

ICQ: 18001147

welcome.to/bc3k

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Whoa, ya gotta be fast to hit the intermissions in this thread. smile.gif"><P>It------------------

Cmdr Pherrett

GCV-STRATOS

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Commander Tringad,

I am deeply honored that you would place me beside such great names. However, I am a long way from becoming a writer of their caliber. On the other hand, the longest and best journeys begin with a single step, do they not? smile.gif Thanks smile.gif

Commander Pherrett,

The way things have been going with this, yeah, you do have to be fast. It'll probably slow down a bit fairly soon. Probably. smile.gif

Anyways, on with part six.

(RP on)

The Deterrence rocked again just before she entered the jumpgate. The universe flashed around them, depositing them near Regis VI.

ÔÇ£Jump completed, lieutenant!ÔÇØ Vess shouted.

ÔÇ£Engineering, damage report!ÔÇØ McKay yelled over the alarms.

ÔÇ£Decompression on S-deck. No casualties. At least we donÔÇÖt have to worry about the radiation anymore.ÔÇØ Neilson reported. ÔÇ£Most of it was cleared away when the hull breached.ÔÇØ He had returned to engineering, and was now working with the rest of his team to keep the ship together.

ÔÇ£Tactical, decouple IOD and return fire!ÔÇØ

The Deterrence fired again, ripping the shields of the Aestrom. It swung out of the firing line as a second Aestrom swooped in behind the damaged battlecruiser. Fighters swarmed the BC as she desperately defended herself, putting up a meager resistance compared to the superior force presented by a Stormcarrier, five Aestroms and their total compliment of forty-two fighters. Her shields were gone and she was taking a beating. They had succeeded in destroying one Aestrom and fourteen fighters before the jump, bringing the total down to twenty-eight fighters before three ICÔÇÖs were forced to dock. They were so close to neutral space, to Cyrian, and it had been a running battle every step of the way. The engines had been severely damaged in the first attack, and radiation had severely contaminated two decks, one of which had just suffered a serious hull breach.

ÔÇ£Set PTA to 20% and concentrate on the fighters.ÔÇØ McKay ordered. ÔÇ£How long until the Interceptors are ready to launch, Flight?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Two minutes, maÔÇÖam.ÔÇØ Yu replied.

ÔÇ£WeÔÇÖll be dead in two minutes, Flight! Get those birds up! Communications, send this message.ÔÇØ

To: Commander Junkkari, GCV Karhu

From: Lieutenant McKay, GCV Deterrence

Subject: S.O.S.

Lieutenant McKay in command of GCV Deterrence. Commander Foss MIA, failed to report back from shuttle mission. Gammulan forces attacking in superior numbers. Tactics suggest pending invasion of Terran space. Request immediate assistance!

ÔÇ£Send it, Comms!ÔÇØ She said.

With the message away, she could only hope they would be able to react in time. She knew they probably wouldnÔÇÖt. It would take them at least a few hours to organize anything concrete, never mind actually dispatching the reinforcements. Besides, if Galcom truly felt that the Gammulans were not intent on domination, then the death of one BC in the name of preserving whatever fragment of peace remained in this galaxy was not important enough to worry about.

The bridge shook again as the Deterrence took another direct hit. The ship jolted wildly as a secondary explosion flared, threatening to blow the ship in half.

Hiker brought the Interceptor around, lining up on another fighter just before the Deterrence jumped into hyperspace. The fighter turned to follow, but the weakened shields didnÔÇÖt stand up to the assault as he fired his lasers, shredding the tiny craft. One P-21 down, too many fighters to go.

The other vessels had jumped, again surrounding the Deterrence as she headed for the wormhole out of this system. The battlecruiser let forth a curtain of fire, shaking slightly as another explosion flared near the center of the ship, threatening to tear the ship apart. So much for landing.

ÔÇ£Flight deck destroyed!ÔÇØ Neilson called out.

ÔÇ£Casualties?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Unknown!ÔÇØ

McKay called down to the medical bay. ÔÇ£Daron, get a team of medics down to the flight deck immediately!ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£WeÔÇÖve already got our hands full treating our own medics! IÔÇÖll go myself!ÔÇØ He said, then closed the connection.

ÔÇ£Incoming missile!ÔÇØ Berringston shouted. ÔÇ£Impact in ten seconds!ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Engage EMD! Tell IC-1 to intercept that missile!ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£EMD engaged, but itÔÇÖs too late, maÔÇÖam!ÔÇØ Berringston replied.

The missile slammed into the aft of the BC, ripping deep into the hull.

ÔÇ£Reactor is going critical!ÔÇØ Neilson shouted. ÔÇ£WeÔÇÖve got to dump her in the next thirty seconds or we face a breach!ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Keep it together until we get back to friendly territory! WeÔÇÖve only got a few more to go!ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Aye, maÔÇÖam!ÔÇØ Neilson said, then signed off. ÔÇ£Reinforce the damned cooling system!ÔÇØ Neilson shouted to his crew. ÔÇ£Get that leak under control!ÔÇØ

As hard as it was to believe, the engineers seemed to move a bit faster. Systems were failing all over the ship. The way things were going, they would be lucky to have life support in a minute. The hull was barely holding together, and virtually every other system aboard teetered on the edge of failure.

He looked up at the reactor core as the telltale signs of a breach made themselves known. The reactor began to hum an insistent whine of death as the octaves rose.

The computer warbled a tone, marking the recharge of the hyperdrive engines. ÔÇ£Hyperdrive ready, Lieutenant! Make it fast!ÔÇØ He shouted into the comm.

------------------

Commander David Foss, GCV Deterrence

[This message has been edited by David Foss (edited 06-03-99).]

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First off, I must apologize for not posting anything recently. I regret to inform you that there is nothing new today, but I feel as though I must explain myself. The document that contains the story (and more) that I've been working on for this thread got fragged, so I've been set back a bit. I'll post the next section sometime tomorrow.

------------------

Commander David Foss, GCV Deterrence

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Guest Antti Junkkari

Cool, I'm waiting for it smile.gif

------------------

Fleet Cmdr Junkkari at GCV-Karhu

Orion Fleet Leader

www.orionf.pp.fi

icq: 2506142

"Stand like a man!"

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Well, here it is, as promised. smile.gif

(RP on)

I sat back slowly, feeling every blood cell race through my veins, some being lost over my body and uniform. I painfully forced my eyes open, then looked over at Janice. She had fared much better, all things considered. She was looking right at me with an expression of concern.

ÔÇ£Glad you pulled through, Davie.ÔÇØ She said. Her only injury was a nick on the forehead, and that had already been taken care of. She was always lucky.

ÔÇ£What about the JÔÇÖs Pride?ÔÇØ I asked.

ÔÇ£We came in at a steeper angle. She burned up overhead about two hours ago.ÔÇØ She said. It was her ship. She had spent ten years making that Tarin Mk II her home, and sheÔÇÖd done a fine job at it. Now it was nothing more than burned slag on the surface of this planet, deep in Gammulan space.

Just like us. Well, aside from the slag part, we were in the same situation.

ÔÇ£IÔÇÖd better get the ATV ready.ÔÇØ I said, standing up. Aside from my chest and face, the rest of me felt fine. She put a hand on my shoulder.

ÔÇ£DonÔÇÖt bother. The engine and reactor systems are shot and the cannon is useless. I already tried.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Did any cargo survive?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Just the combat kits and some nutripaks.ÔÇØ She said, handing one kit and five packs to me.

ÔÇ£Well, weÔÇÖd better get out of here before they come looking. They know there were two ships. IÔÇÖm willing to bet the fighters transmitted the data before we left. IÔÇÖm surprised they havenÔÇÖt found us yet.ÔÇØ

IÔÇÖd always had a habit of being MurphyÔÇÖs little toy soldier. Anytime I said something was likely to happen, IÔÇÖd always expect it to be a certain amount of time later. Well, I was right. It was a certain amount of time later. That certain amount never changed. I always had the same amount of time to regret my words: five seconds.

The sensors (what was left of them) showed three ATVÔÇÖs coming toward our position. I popped the hatch and we ran for it.

We reached the base of a mountain and began climbing it just as the ATVÔÇÖs came over the ridge. They targeted the shuttle and fired without a second thought. The shuttle simply crumpled, flaring into a fireball a few seconds later.

One thing about Murphy, though. Any time he screwed with me like this, fate smacked him upside the head. I always found a way out, accidental or otherwise. A cave lay before us, and we made for it as fast as possible.

We entered it a few minutes later.

ÔÇ£I donÔÇÖt think they saw us.ÔÇØ I said between gasps.

Five seconds. Damn him. Five seconds later, shots rang out, bringing the mouth of the cave down in front of us. After the dust settled, we stood in complete darkness. Janice rustled about, retrieving and activating a light. The cave was big, all right. Big and unstable. The dayÔÇÖs recent blasting effort hadnÔÇÖt helped that situation at all, either. I doubted any kind of communication we had available to us would be able to punch through this rock, never mind crossing the light years between us and the Deterrence. This sucked.

Janice interrupted my thoughts, clearly amused at the situation. ÔÇ£Now why does this seem familiar?ÔÇØ

Eight years ago, we had succeeded in getting lost in a cave. WeÔÇÖd fallen down a crevasse and ended up about two hundred meters down. She had just happened to bring the flashlight with her then, too. The same flashlight she had now. If I didnÔÇÖt know better, I would have said sheÔÇÖd planned this. It took us three days to get out of that mess. We didnÔÇÖt hear the end of it from our friends for three weeks.

There was nothing between us. We were just friends. We had been friends since birth, and we would be friends for a long time yet. Of course, like any male human, I was attracted to her, but a relationship between us wouldnÔÇÖt work out. We knew each other too well.

We proceeded deeper into the cave, hoping to find another way out.

Fate blessed us at last. Seven hours of searching later, we found what we were looking for. Perhaps now we could get a signal to them!

Five seconds after emerging from the cave, it was clear that communications would not be possible. The cave was overlooking a Gammulan military base.

What next? I wondered. A Gammulan security force?

I regretted those words even before I thought them. ÔÇ£Damn you, Murphy.ÔÇØ I said out loud.

Janice was about to ask me what IÔÇÖd meant when I spun around, grabbing my sidearm from its holster and hitting a Gammulan soldier in the chest with the first shot. The soldier flew back while Janice and I dodged opposite directions as the other two soldiers returned fire. I took cover behind a large boulder as Janice hid around a jagged wall. They continued to fire at me while Janice blasted one in the face. The third soldier moved to nail Janice as I stood up and blasted him in the chest.

With the situation resolved for now, I looked over at Janice. She was staring at me with an expression of shock. ÔÇ£How did you know they were there?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Predictability.ÔÇØ I said simply. Hey, I donÔÇÖt mind giving cryptic answers when itÔÇÖs the truth!

We retreated further into the cave, hopefully to an area where the Gammulans werenÔÇÖt milling about. They had obviously caved in our entrance in order to seal us in. It was just dumb luck (bad luck, that is) that brought us to this particular exit. They had obviously sent in squads of soldiers to find us. The ATVÔÇÖs were probably systematically caving in every entrance they could find to limit our options. It was only a matter of time before they would seal us off completely, find us, or we starved to death. No matter which way you figure it, they would find us eventually, alive or dead. This sucked.

ÔÇ£WeÔÇÖve got to get out of here.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£How would you suggest going about that, Davie?ÔÇØ She asked. The tone of hopelessness was in her voice. I didnÔÇÖt like it at all.

ÔÇ£LetÔÇÖs start looking for a way out.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£WeÔÇÖre stuck here, Davie. Get with it. ThereÔÇÖs nothing we can do aside from surrendering to them, and IÔÇÖm not willing to do that.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Then letÔÇÖs kick their arses and steal us a ride home.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Oh, sure, David. LetÔÇÖs just walk in, guns blazing and take the whole base by force!ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£You got a better idea?ÔÇØ

She thought a moment, then shook her head. ÔÇ£I donÔÇÖt know how weÔÇÖre going to get out of this, David. At least eight years ago we didnÔÇÖt have this hanging over our heads.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£We will get out of this, Janice. I donÔÇÖt care if I have to slash through every one of those alien scum with my bare hands, we are getting out of this.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Good hunting, then.ÔÇØ She said, then rolled over to get some sleep, facing toward the wall of our small chamber.

She had a good point. It was night. However, she had already called me for the first watch by falling asleep like that. I sat up, facing away from her, looking toward the only way out of our little room. I extinguished the light, knowing that I would hear anyone coming.

(RP off)

BTW, Akira, if you are going to get the Deterrence out of the mess she's currently in, now would be the time smile.gif She's pretty messed up right now.

------------------

Commander David Foss, GCV Deterrence

[This message has been edited by David Foss (edited 06-07-99).]

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Okay, I'm finally back on track. Here goes smile.gif

(RP on)

ÔÇ£Engage hyperdrive!ÔÇØ McKay ordered.

The Deterrence entered hyperspace, emerging just short of the wormhole to Cyron. The Gammulans were right on top of them, pounding the dying ship with every offensive weapon they had.

The ship shook violently, the sounds of an internal explosion raged through the ship. ÔÇ£Shields are down!ÔÇØ Berringston shouted.

ÔÇ£Neilson, get those damned shields up!ÔÇØ McKay ordered desperately.

ÔÇ£No can do, the shield is too badly damaged, sir!ÔÇØ Neilson shouted through the comm. ÔÇ£We have no way of reinforcing the hull!ÔÇØ

The ship rocked again, an earth-shattering explosion sounding through the ship. ÔÇ£Auxiliary life support is gone!ÔÇØ Neilson reported.

ÔÇ£Continue firing, Berringston!ÔÇØ McKay shouted. There was nothing else they could do except run with the wind at their backs, putting up whatever defense they could.

Another Aestrom fireballed, igniting a tiny sun just off the starboard bow. Hiker let loose a war cry worthy of an army as he lined up the IC on another fighter. HeÔÇÖd just bought the Deterrence a few more seconds.

ÔÇ£Deterrence, get out of here! IÔÇÖll cover you as best I can!ÔÇØ He shouted.

ÔÇ£We arenÔÇÖt leaving you, Hiker. Get back aboard now!ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£No can do, Lieutenant. Get out of here!ÔÇØ

They were out of time. She shut off the commlink and turned to Berringston as he said what she had longed to hear. ÔÇ£Hyperdrive is charged and ready.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Engage hyperdrive!ÔÇØ McKay shouted without hesitating. The Deterrence entered hyperspace, emerging seconds later at the wormhole back to Cyrian. The ship edged forward as the Aestroms appeared behind them.

ÔÇ£Get us out of this damned system!ÔÇØ

The Deterrence entered the wormhole, emerging on the other side. Back in neutral space, at least. The Gammulans did not pursue.

Commander Foss had not returned.

The ship was about to blow. ÔÇ£Neilson, eject the reactor!ÔÇØ

Thirty seconds and one spectacular explosion later, Lieutenant McKay activated the internal shipÔÇÖs comm. ÔÇ£Get those lights back on.ÔÇØ She ordered, then spoke into the comm. ÔÇ£Damage report, Neilson.ÔÇØ

His voice was faded. There was barely enough power to run the comm system. The lights had gone out. It was almost impossible to see anything.

ÔÇ£What do you want first, maÔÇÖam? The bad news or the deadly news?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Why break with tradition? Give me the bad news.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£The bad news is that our external communications were destroyed by that missile.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£And the deadly news?ÔÇØ She knew she wasnÔÇÖt going to like this.

ÔÇ£The deadly news is that auxiliary life support is toast. The solar reactor is completely useless. There is heavy radiation contamination all over the ship. The main reactor is gone, so we have no power. Both solar panels have also been destroyed and to top things off the remaining shuttles have been too heavily damaged to take shelter in them. Aside from that, atmospheric integrity on the flight deck has been compromised. Cargo bay two is a mess, and we have no parts to repair any of the critical systems. We have no way to maneuver, we canÔÇÖt communicate, we canÔÇÖt take shelter, we canÔÇÖt even make coffee!ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Give me the summary, Neilson.ÔÇØ She said, fed up with the lengthy assessment. By now, several of the crew had managed to find a light or two, shining them about the bridge.

His voice sounded harsh, even through the comm system. ÔÇ£Unless we get some help and fast, we are dead in two hours.ÔÇØ By this time, he had made his way to the flight deck, and was assessing the situation with a heavy heart.

ÔÇ£Can we use the remaining support craft as a power source? Channel their reactor output into the life support system?ÔÇØ She asked.

There was a slight pause. ÔÇ£IÔÇÖll need to suit up and take a closer look. ThereÔÇÖs not much I can tell from here.ÔÇØ

Daron chose that moment to call up to the bridge, casting an even darker shadow, if such a thing were possible. Not only was their situation desperate, but she hated the dark. ÔÇ£Lieutenant, we have a casualty list from the flight deck. We just got them back to the medibay. Twelve crew members dead, eight injured. Three of them are in critical condition. IÔÇÖm swamped down here, Lieutenant. Would you do me a favor and not send anyone else here for a while?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Doctor, we have heavy radiation contamination all over the ship. I canÔÇÖt guarantee that wonÔÇÖt happen. But if we canÔÇÖt get help, you wonÔÇÖt need to treat radiation burns and trauma. WeÔÇÖll all be suffocating instead.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Understood.ÔÇØ He said gruffly, then switched off.

A few minutes later, Neilson had finished his evaluation of the support craft.

ÔÇ£Can we patch the power into the main life support system?ÔÇØ She asked nervously.

Well, yes, but not enough to make a difference. The support vessels are virtually useless. As far as I can tell, only one shuttle has an intact power system, and the other shuttles Well, the only systems that are even marginally intact are the displays. Even the ATVs are damaged beyond any form of use, and dont even ask about the Interceptors. Were lucky we didnt lose the pilots on that one. Ill see what I can do, but in all honesty, I don't know what more can be done. Weve sustained too much damage. Even with the shuttles power diverted to the BC, I doubt itll be enough to get main life support online. The way things are going, well be lucky if its even enough for the lights.

ÔÇ£Try it anyway, Neilson. McKay out.ÔÇØ

(RP off)

Hope I'm still staying within the boundaries. In the event that I'm stretching the rules a bit with this power transfer, it isn't going to do much more than Neilson believes. Hopefully that doesn't constitute an axe to my head smile.gif If so, I'll revise the post. I have a backup in case that happens.

------------------

Commander David Foss, GCV Deterrence

[This message has been edited by David Foss (edited 06-14-99).]

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Guest Antti Junkkari

You really know how to write. Keep it up, man.

------------------

Fleet Cmdr Junkkari at GCV-Karhu

Orion Fleet Leader

www.orionf.pp.fi

icq: 2506142

"Stand like a man!"

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I only see two problems. There is no Shield Generator. There is a charge unit and there are energy cells (Trade.pdf) which together or with all related parts combined could be considered a shield generator. Dunno. But best to use game related terms.

Most spare parts are stored in CB2. So unless you don't actually have the parts CB1 being a mess shouldn't be a prob.

Other than that I don't see anything wrong. Existing tech and capabilties were shown and all that stuff. smile.gif

I see an out of which I am sure you are aware of.

Waiting to read more.

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Okay, contrary to popular belief, these sections are written in advance. However, I'm my own worst critic, and half the time I revise something upwards of twelve times before I post it. Anyways, here goes...

BTW, I have revised the last post. Thanks, Charles.

(RP on)

Hiker twisted the IC around, lining up another P-21. The other carriers had begun launching fighters. If he didnÔÇÖt get out soon, the odds would be against him. Fifteen to one was one thing. Forty plus to one was quite another.

Runt spoke up from behind him. ÔÇ£Hike, youÔÇÖd best get us the hell outta here!ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Not yet. I want to make sure the Deterrence is at least two systems away and that she makes it that far in one piece!ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£WeÔÇÖll be two systems away in two-thousand pieces if you donÔÇÖt get us out of here!ÔÇØ

Hiker looked back at him. ÔÇ£Well, then, I guess youÔÇÖll finally get to be in more than one place at one time, wonÔÇÖt you?ÔÇØ He said, grinning.

Runt tightened the restraints as Hiker hit the afterburners. His scream was cut short as Hiker spun the IC around, killing the forward momentum and firing six rapid blasts into the P-21. The fighter disappeared behind a flower of fiery debris.

ÔÇ£All right, Hike!ÔÇØ Runt shouted. An alarm sounded and he focused his attention on the Tacscan display. ÔÇ£Twelve new fighters are jumping toward us.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Good.ÔÇØ Hiker said. ÔÇ£IÔÇÖm in the mood for seconds.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Umm, Hike?ÔÇØ Runt replied, worry thick in his voice. He didnÔÇÖt get a chance to say anything before the enormous bulk of a Stormcarrier flashed into existence ahead of them. The ship was over two times the length of the Deterrence, and the IC would be no more than a bug smear on the windshield if they didnÔÇÖt get out of there fast.

Hiker swore, spinning the fighter around. Five turrets opened fire on the IC as Hiker kicked in the afterburners, speeding the tiny fighter away. Hiker twisted the fighter in a desperate attempt to avoid the storm of deadly fire, swearing a blue streak in three different languages.

Runt would have laughed if he hadnÔÇÖt been so busy praying.

ÔÇ£Runt, whatÔÇÖs the situation?ÔÇØ

No response.

ÔÇ£Runt!ÔÇØ Hiker called desperately.

A shot lanced past the canopy, the intense heat burning a furrow across the canopy. The amount of power running through the cannons would rip the ICÔÇÖs shields like an axe through tissue paper. If they scored even one clean hit it was all over.

Runt shook his head, focusing on his displays. ÔÇ£Ah, fighters still on our tail. The jump point is on the other side of the Stormcarrier. They are mining the wormhole. They donÔÇÖt want us to get through.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Why should they? WeÔÇÖve been tearing their fighters to shreds for the last twenty minutes. Personally, IÔÇÖm flattered that they would waste such resources on us.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Incoming missile!ÔÇØ Runt shouted.

ÔÇ£EMD active.ÔÇØ Hiker reported back calmly. ÔÇ£I can see only one way out of this, Runt.ÔÇØ He said as the missile streaked past, a trail following behind it. ÔÇ£You arenÔÇÖt going to like it. I wonÔÇÖt blame you if you want to shoot me later.ÔÇØ He finished as several shots lanced past.

ÔÇ£What if I want to shoot you now?ÔÇØ He asked, hopeful.

ÔÇ£Then you donÔÇÖt get home.ÔÇØ He said simply.

The IC had moved beyond the range of the StormcarrierÔÇÖs weapons. The massive ship had laid over fifteen mines. Overkill for an IC, but then again, this was Hiker they were trying to nail. Fifteen mines werenÔÇÖt enough.

Even so, Hiker wasnÔÇÖt too cocky. Sixteen was his limit. HeÔÇÖd never been able to navigate more than that in the simulators. A futile practice, his instructors had told him. Oh well. They always said that the best experience comes from the field, not the classroom; that what happened in the simulator was nothing like what happened out there. They believed that what was possible in the simulator could not be done in real life. Time to prove them wrong.

The Stormcarrier had finished deploying the mines, and had turned to face them. The fighters swarmed ahead of the ship, ready to swat the IC like a mosquito.

Hiker shouted a war cry, accelerating the fighter to the point where he would be fast, but not out of control. A fine line, that was.

Enemy blasts lanced past the fighter as she sped toward her target: the Stormcarrier.

ÔÇ£Umm, Hike?ÔÇØ Runt inquired worriedly, his tone not unlike it had been just before the carrierÔÇÖs arrival.

ÔÇ£Not now!ÔÇØ He shouted back. It was time to complete the illusion. He slammed on the afterburners, accelerating directly toward the great ship. The distance closed as the pilot silently counted down. The Stormcarrier opened fire again, the deadly energy pulses streaking through the void, flashing closer and closer as the fighter drew nearer. Time for the fly to escape the windshield.

Three kilometers two one

At five hundred meters away from the carrier, Hiker fired the retros, slowing the fighter down that ever so minute fraction of an inch, barely clearing the bulk of the carrier.

The fighter streaked along the sleek hull of the ship, clearing the engines and again accelerating toward the wormhole that would deliver them from otherwise certain death.

The mines

ÔÇ£Damn!ÔÇØ Hiker shouted. He remembered too late about the mines surrounding their escape route. Still more weapons acquired the fighter: those of the enemy fighters, the Stormcarrier and the mines.

Even so, fate decided to smile on them. Through pure luck, none of the mines detonated, nor did any weapons fire strike the craft, and Hiker managed one final cry of triumph before vanishing from the Cyron system, appearing in the Pravis region of the Cyrian system.

He barely managed to breathe a sigh of relief before he saw the Deterrence. Her tortured and scarred hull was barely visible against the dense starfield.

ÔÇ£Can you establish communications?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Already trying. I havenÔÇÖt received any response so far.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Open a link to the Mandorian station.ÔÇØ They would have already responded if they were going to help, but it was worth a try. ÔÇ£This is Christopher Baker in IC-1 off of GCV Deterrence. We require emergency assistance. Can you spare a shuttle to tow our vessel back to Galcom HQ in Sol?ÔÇØ

The stationÔÇÖs reply was short and sour. ÔÇ£Negative, pilot. We are currently indisposed. Perhaps you havenÔÇÖt noticed, but we have a border to protect.ÔÇØ

Chris lost it. Of course I noticed! We just came from there

ÔÇ£Exactly! Humans like you are the sole reason that the Gammulans have become so aggressive! Take your war elsewhere, human. We will have no part of it.ÔÇØ

Chris wondered who had taken a most inappropriate action in this guy's cereal this morning. ÔÇ£It is humans like me who repelled the attack against Sol, who sent the Gams packing. If you donÔÇÖt want to lend a hand, then get the hell off my comm system!ÔÇØ

He cut the signal, then turned to his copilot. ÔÇ£Set course for the Rinaal jumpgate. Maybe we can borrow a shuttle and tow her back for repairs.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Why donÔÇÖt we just land on the BC? Maybe we can help!ÔÇØ Runt said anxiously.

ÔÇ£You saw the explosion, and you can see the result. The flight deck is useless. We arenÔÇÖt going to be able to land.ÔÇØ

Runt was never able to keep a situation serious for long. They had a job ahead of them, but worrying about the crew on the BC wasnÔÇÖt going to help them get it done. Runt opted for the other choice: criticism.

You do realize, of course, that I am going to shoot you. That has got to be the dumbest thing youve ever done! You nearly got us killed! I cant believe you would do something so bone-sick stupid as as as what you just did back there! And another thing

He didnÔÇÖt shut up until they docked at Wraith HQ in orbit around RinaalÔÇÖs closest moon. The mammoth station loomed before them, looking for all the world like a giant cross, braced with an outer ring around the central axis, the protrusions of the cross housing the docking bays.

ÔÇ£This is Interceptor 1 out of GCV Deterrence, requesting immediate docking clearance.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Clearance granted, Interceptor. Approach vector seventeen.ÔÇØ

Hiker acknowledged, piloting the tiny IC into the docking bays via the relayed vector.

No sooner had he popped the canopy than a station engineer approached the two pilots.

ÔÇ£You look like youÔÇÖve been through three kinds of hell.ÔÇØ She said.

ÔÇ£YouÔÇÖre not far off.ÔÇØ Hiker said, shutting down the engines, then climbing down from the cockpit. ÔÇ£The Deterrence is crippled and awaiting rescue in the Pravis system. We need to get her docked here ASAP. The Mandorian military wonÔÇÖt help. TheyÔÇÖve already said as much.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£I see.ÔÇØ She said evenly. ÔÇ£Normally, I wouldnÔÇÖt lend you a shuttle, but since you arrived in an Interceptor, itÔÇÖs reasonable to assume that your shuttles are unavailable. I guess I have no choice.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£DonÔÇÖt you need clearance first?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£No time, pilots. Get aboard. They wonÔÇÖt shoot you down if IÔÇÖm around. TheyÔÇÖll know itÔÇÖs an emergency if IÔÇÖm with you.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Right. LetÔÇÖs get to it, then.ÔÇØ Hiker said.

Runt took the hint, not even bothering to finish shutting down the IC as he leapt from the copilot seat, landing hard on the flight deck. The tech crew would take care of it.

(RP off)

------------------

Commander David Foss, GCV Deterrence

[This message has been edited by David Foss (edited 07-15-99).]

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Guest Sebastian Vauban

What can I say Commander Foss, I am intrigued by your literary talent. Perhaps, if you have trouble tying up your loose ends, my writings, which have now been adapted to fit YOUR story, will become an aid to your bookish and arcane toils. If not, Im sure they would make an interesting second point of view to what you have written...regardless, I am now, formally, asking your permission to post the secondary point of view on the fiction that you have posted here. If you agree to having me post it, I will give it a new topic as not to interrupt your writings here.

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Guest Sebastian Vauban

Commander Foss,

I did forget to mention one thing. I will send you a sample of my writings to see if you would like to have my story "tag along" behind yours. I do not wish to intrude on your writings, however, the idea that I have come up with may be of some assistance to the compromise of a situation you have written. Nevertheless, I will e-mail you a portion of what I have written and perehaps we can write together, with your name above mine, of course.

_________________

Commander Sebastian Le Prestre Vauban,

GCV-Stabat Mater, Orion Fleet

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First off, Commander Vauban, I would like to say that no name is above the other. That's the idea of writing with someone. It's an even playing field. You're not writing below me, you're just a little late, that's all smile.gif

I have agreed to your proposal. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. I've already sent you a brief outline for the next few posts. However, in lieu of your... tardiness... smile.gif I will be halting my posts until you get caught up. Hopefully it doesn't take too long smile.gif Unfortunately, when I get into a writing frenzy, I'm very impatient. smile.gif Don't worry, though. I can wait. To give you an idea, a story that I've been writing for over two years is now only a couple of chapters ahead of this one (a story of just over two weeks). Ahh, the wonders of writing within an existing universe!

Thank you, SC! It's so much easier (and just as fun) to write within a universe rather than trying to create a universe of your own to write in.

Anyway, like I said, I will likely not be posting for a few days. We'll see how long it takes. However, as all good writers have said at one point or another, never rush a good thing, lest it becomes something less.

Take as long as you need, Commander Vauban. Just try not to step on any toes smile.gif

Sorry for all the smilies, I'm just really hyped.

------------------

Commander David Foss, GCV Deterrence

[This message has been edited by David Foss (edited 06-17-99).]

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Guest Sebastian Vauban

This is, figuratively speaking, my secondary point of view for David Foss's "First Command". It is appropriately titled, "Operation Furtive Veil". I hope you all enjoy it, and if any grievances arise because of it (namely on the part of David Foss) I will gladly cause a mysterious anomaly to sweep the GCV-Stabat Mater deep into Gammulan Space. PS, thank you for accepting my proposal...I fell out of my chair when I read the thread this morning! smile.gif

Now...on to the story...everyone enjoy!!!

(RP on)

Operation Furtive Veil

Silently, we waited in EarthÔÇÖs shadow. 3 weeks planetside of extensive briefings, filibustered meetings, special training, and waiting had kept the entire company of the GCV-Stabat Mater on their heels. The anticipation was grueling. Not one crewmember had seen the sun in weeks, and all were kept in a deep security lockdown for as long as they could remember. Finally the day approached, rousing the familiar adrenaline rush of space flight and combat within their veins.

Finally, the GCV-Stabat Mater, commanded by Sebastian Le Prestre Vauban of the Orion Fleet, rose into space and took up a stationary orbit on the dark side of Earth, just out of Galcomm HQs line of sight. There, we waited for nearly 7 hours, cloaked and in hidingbut from what? No time to reminisce.

The orders came through on the commlink in a muddled jumble of encrypted numbers and computer ÔÇ£garbageÔÇØ. After several minutes, the message's transmission was complete and displayed within my VR headset display.

FROM: GALCOM SPECOPS DIVISION, GENERAL IRVIN S. LITTLE

TO: GCV-STABAT MATER, COMMANDER SEBASTIAN VAUBAN.

SUBJECT: OPERATION FURTIVE VEIL

Greetings, Commander Vauban. You and the crew of the Stabat Mater are to stay hidden within EarthÔÇÖs shadow until 20:00 hours. Avoid all line of sight contact with Galcomm HQ and the Netstar ODS platform. At 20:30, you are to cloak your ship, and at approximately 21:00 hours, you will leave orbit to peruse and observe the newly christened GCV-Deterrence, commanded by David Foss. You are to superintend this vessel to its destination in Jupiter and see that it carries out all of its instructions according to all existing Galcomm protocol and procedure. YOU MUST REMAIN CLOAKED FOR THE DURATION OF THIS MISSION UNLESS OTHERWISE INSTRUCTED. If the Deterrence, its commander, or any of itÔÇÖs crew members give indication of a defection, make a deviation of course without cause or prior authorization, or make an attempt to violate the instructions which have been issued to it, you are to disable its weapons by any means necessary and tractor it to Galcomm HQ immediately. In the event of an attack on the Deterrence, you are to remain cloaked until authorization to assist in the battle is received. Repeat, DO NOT ENGAGE ENEMY SHIPS WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION FROM GALCOM SPECOPS DIVISION. If any ship attempts to dock with the GCV-Deterrence, you must notify Galcom without delay.. If a ship of Gammulan or Insurgent nature successfully docks with the GCV-Deterrence, you are to destroy both ships forthwith.

You are also instructed to exercise any and all of the following in order to maintain assuredness that the GCV-Deterrence and its crewmembers remain loyal to Galcom and the Terran Alliance:

A: Full audio and video surveillance of the GCV-Deterrence

B: Covert operations for or against the GCV-Deterrence, including, but not limited to fighter escort with authorization, shuttle escort with authorization, weapons and cargo assistance with authorization, and tractor beam assistance with prior authorization.

C: The attack, disablement, and destruction of all support crafts, ATVs, crewmembers, officers, away teams, missiles, mines, tactical warheads, cargo pods, or the BC itself.

END OF TRANSMISSION.

Now I was worried. I have been actively involved in Galcom for 8 years now, and 5 of those years were spent performing covert operations against the Insurgent threat, but never in my career have I seen or imagined a reason or circumstance that a Galcom ship would destroy or render helpless an allied craft. Why in GodÔÇÖs name would Galcom launch the Stabat Mater to keep the Deterrence from defecting? I thought for a moment. Instinct set in. Orders. I had orders. ÔÇ£Ours is not to question,ÔÇØ I thought.

I looked at the local time indicator. 19:02. More waiting.

I strolled through the galley, a deep hunger filling my stomach. I figured I should eat before we began our pursuit. I grabbed a nutripack and consumed its contents within a matter of minutes. On the way to the turboshaft, I passed the Navigation Officer, Kelly Reinholdt. Her deep green eyes glared at me and she nodded as I approached her. She continued on to her destination at an awkwardly hasty pace. I proceeded down the corridor, passing several medics, a marine, and a few systems engineers who tried to ignore me. I approached the turboshaft and stepped in. Bridge please, I said as the shaft doors whooshed shut. I felt a minute hum under my feet as it began to move. All was silent in the tiny metal tube, and I began to think

What is so dangerous about the Deterrence defecting that HQ would put a ship out to watch itor to destroy itwhat are they keeping onboard that would make the lives of all those people worth taking

Suddenly my thoughts were interrupted. A soundless klaxon began to ring within my mind. I looked at my watch. 20:23. Bridge.

The doors slid open in front of me as I walked through them. They shut behind me, and I approached my chair, feeling a slight reverberation under my feet, emanating from the deck plates beneath them.

ÔÇ£Commander on the Bridge,ÔÇØ the Comms officer reported.

Disengage autopilot, I ordered as I placed the cold metal VR display over my head, the familiar green glow of readouts and indicators highlighting my face and destroying the shadows once looming within my features. Enable cloaking systems nowlets be invisible, ladies and gentlemen.

ÔÇ£Aye, aye, sir,ÔÇØ came from across the bridge.

ÔÇ£Navigator, target Galcom HQ and give me a video display in the CVD. As soon as the Deterrence is visible, match her flight path is and make hyperjumps so that we come no closer to her than a thousand clicks. I donÔÇÖt want the Deterrence picking up even a slight trace of our cloak signature, if that is even possible. She will make her first jump to Jupiter, but after that we donÔÇÖt have information on her course or destination. Intel reports are sketchy at best, but word has it that she may be headed for the edge of the Gammula system, just inside neutral space.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Understood, sir. No more than a thousand clicks,ÔÇØ said Kelly abruptly from the navigation console to my front left.

ÔÇ£But sir, at a thousand clicks, can we still maintain audio surveillance?ÔÇØ Asked Connie Bell in a moderately concerned tone from the communications station.

ÔÇ£Yes. Our audio gets patchy at 1500 clicks and starts cutting out at 1800. We should be fine at 1000 to 1350. Make a note of that, Kelly.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Yes, sir. I might also add that keeping it between 1000 and 1350 reduces the risk of any of her support craft from detecting us on launch. It may also help to prevent the Deterrence from detecting any heat signatures coming from our reactor,ÔÇØ she added.

ÔÇ£Good job, ladies and gentlemen,ÔÇØ I said as I reviewed the pre-flight checklist I had stored in my head from years of BC operations. ÔÇ£Engineering, howÔÇÖs our fuel?

ÔÇ£We have ample supply, sir,ÔÇØ came over the in-ship communicator from Howard Jordan, Chief Engineer. ÔÇ£Exactly 7500 units of iridium, 7000 units of radine, and 7500 units of plutonium remaining. Most of the iridium has been loaded into the atv's and transporter. Shuttle four is holding the rest. Otherwise, we're good to go. All systems are fully functional and power has been allocated in its optimal configuration. If intelligence reports are correct, after the Deterrence has left Jupiter, we will have 4 minutes to reload whatever iridium weve depleted, sir. We will transport it directly from the Karhu after the Deterrence has docked with her. We will still be close behind the Deterrence after she jumps out of the system. 4 minutes will ensure that cathing Foss isn't a difficult task.ÔÇØ

"Thank you. That is all," was all that could come out. We were playing "cat and mouse" with another Galcom ship.

Jesus. We really were loaded. I knew it when the report on iridium came through. Galcomm wanted us invisible, and they wanted us that way for a long time. That much iridium must have put a serious dent in someones stores...

Thoughts still meandered through me. Doubts and inexplicable questions of why we were doing this. In the weeks of preparation and briefing, they had not once mentioned what we would be doing, and now in this cryptic and vaguely explained set of orders, they want us to use deadly force of the GCV-Deterrence deviates even a meter from its course? Why was Galcom doing thiswhat made that ship different from the other BCs in this warwhat made her so special? Was Karl Reines aboard that ship or something? Had the entire fleet gotten Gammulan Fever? Was everyone so paranoid after that battle at Jupiter to keep Sol system that Galcomm had to send invisible escorts with BCs because a marine mumbled the word defection in his sleep? Or perhaps there was some cargo onboardsome secret documents or something, hidden among the nutripacks or in the dark corner of a cargo bay? Why did they have us following the GCV-Deterrence, one of the most revered names in all of Galcom, with orders to destroy it and its crew if someone breathed wrongwhy?

The question disintegrated almost instantly.

ÔÇ£Sir, we have the GCV-Deterrence in TacOps. WeÔÇÖre putting it on the CVD.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Engage the target,ÔÇØ I said coldly after a moments thought, all doubt erased. I had my orders. Ours is not to question.

(RP off)

There, damnit. I fixed it.

_____________________________________

Commander Sebastian Le Prestre Vauban

GCV-Stabat Mater, Orion Fleet

Galcom SpecOps Division

[This message has been edited by Sebastian Vauban (edited 06-22-99).]

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Damn, now we got two of 'em on a roll. wink.gif Hold onto your seats people. smile.gif

David, you used your own out. Cool. I'll save mine for future use unless you see the need. Either way works.

Sebastion, Interesting POV to say the least.

I don't think we have Star Trek style Turbo shafts though. I have watched too many people walk around in Perscan. smile.gifLest I seem rude (private joke to those who caught some of yesterday's posts) perhaps I missed something. (You did wish to know of grievances, but I don't think you expected this smile.gif) Anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. Shafts go between levels only. Correct?

Other than that little thing it's interesting. I too wish to see what the Stabat Mater is doing shadowing the Deterrence. Would like to see how it plays out.

One last Question. David, about when is this occurring? Slightly after the Gammulan invasion (did you referrence it? I forget.) or much later than the Gamm invasion?

Commander Chavik

ICV Phoenix

"When did I get drafted to the RP police? DeSylva!"

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