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Badgerius

Eternal Diligence

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[RP ON]

Tau Ceti. A lawless system, marking free space between the Empirian, Vesperon, and Droidan space. Near the planet Eori lay a field of cosmic debris. Deep within it, a small asteroid suddenly changed direction, as if it had hit an invisible wall

"This is deep enough, I think," said Badgerius quietly. "We should be hard to detect in here."

"Aye, sir," replied OÔÇÖNeil. She turned to the helmsman. "Disengage cloaking device."

Where there had been nothing but rocks and debris, a starship faded into existence, like the moon coming out from behind a cloud.

Sev looked at his watch. The cloaking system had worked perfectly for almost three minutes. It had also used up a third of his iridium. Sev knew that the Mark 1 cloaking device generally worked 4 times out of 5, and that when it did, it generally worked for only two or three minutes before overheating and shutting down, which sometimes damaged the system. Still, it was better than nothing.

"Alright, letÔÇÖs see whatÔÇÖs out there. Ready a probe for launch into the Omicron Eridani space."

"Aye sir," OÔÇÖNeil brought up the appropriate screen on the MapTable console. "Probe is ready for launch."

"Launch probe."

A small device, looking rather like a breadbox with wings, flew from a bay in the DiligenceÔÇÖs lower hull. It made its way to the Omicron Eridani wormhole, and passed through it.

"Probe in Omicron Eridani space, Midae region. Bringing up probe data on Tacops."

Sev looked at the MapTable. Nothing. Not even a trader or a tourist was present near the planet Midae.

"Hmm, nothing here. Have the probe jump to"

The Comms officer interrupted him. "Sir, weÔÇÖre getting a distress call from Xylan!"

Sev looked up, confused. "Xylan? ThatÔÇÖs on the other side of the system, near the wormhole to Droidan space. How are we receiving it here?"

Sparks looked stricken. "ItÔÇÖs long-range wideband, sir."

Sev was startled. "Long-range wideband? Only starbases and stations are capable of that! Put it on audio!"

Sparks complied, and the bridge was filled with static and distant voices.

"repeat this is the starbase Xylan. A large fleet of hostiles has entered Xylan space and engaged the Orbital Defense System. The fleet consists of a large number of heavy warships, and several transports. The transports are my god, theyre carrying troops! They mean to invade the planet. We require immediate assistance!! Oh no!! There goes the ODS! Repeat this is the starbase Xylan, requesting Oh god, we have Orbit to Surface Missiles incoming! We are under attack! We" There was the sound of a thousand thunderclaps, of metal being twisted and ripped, and of people screaming. And then there was silence.

Sev was the first to break it. "Plot a course for Arima," he said referring to the third planet in the Tau Ceti system, and the one closest to Xylan. "WeÔÇÖll send a probe into Xylan from there, and take a look before rendering assistance."

The Navigation Officer was still stunned. "Aye sir," was all she said.

[RP OFF]

I told you things would be heating up. Get yer "I survived the nuking of the Xylan starbase" T-Shirts here! One size fits all, and they glow in the dark!

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Commander Badgerius, GCV Diligence

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Badgerious, if you solicit comments, then the page will be littered with discontinuity. Its good. I didn't comment for the reasons stated but I see Chris and co have already done the honors. smile.gif

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Good point. I do want to keep the thread readable.

Ok, here's what we'll do. I'll take it on faith that people are continuing to read the story, so don't post the "Woo-hoo I like it" comments.

But, if you have a question, or see something that doesn't gel with the bc3k history, feel free to comment.

When, the story is finished (Oh yes, it will end, and then I may start a new one in a new thread) I would appreciate comments as I am always looking to improve my storytelling skills.

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Commander Badgerius, GCV Diligence

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[RP ON]

By the time the Diligence reached Arima, a half-dozen ships had jumped into Arima space and were requesting docking clearance with the Tulon starstation. Sev read their designations on the TacOps display with a heavy heart: Refugee. Although the Tulon station was a raider stronghold, it was granting landing clearances. OÔÇÖNeil noticed this and commented.

"WhatÔÇÖs a bunch of raiders doing accepting refugees? I would think theyÔÇÖd be blasting them and not giving them refuge."

Sev reached down and zoomed the display in to show only Tulon. The stationÔÇÖs full complement of two Aestrom carriers and four Spacestar cruisers were leaving their births, and a cloud of 30 fighters was preparing to jump to the Xylan jump point.

"TheyÔÇÖve got more pressing issues at the moment, Lt. Commander," said Sev evenly, "like survival."

Sev returned the display to wide view. "Ok letÔÇÖs get to work," he said. "Sparks, try and hail one of those refugee ships and find if they know who attacked them. XO, prepare a probe to recon the Xylan system, and launch when ready."

"Aye sir," came the simultaneous replies.

****

The entire bridge crew was silent. Every eye was on the main viewscreen as the probe relayed what it had found there. The probe was currently observing the planetÔÇÖs surface, as no ships were visible in Xylan space.

The area around the starbase a scene of total annihilation. Nuclear impact craters overlapped each other to produce complete and total destruction. No buildings stood. No plants grew. The soil had turned to glass under the intense heat. Most of the other cities had shared similar fates, while towns and villages had been bombed conventionally by fighters. Industrial areas had been invaded by ground troops, as the invaders had wanted to capture, and not destroy, those. On a planet with several million souls on it, survivors probably numbered in the thousands. Or hundreds.

Sev felt a rage in the pit of his stomach. "It doesnÔÇÖt make any sense!" he said, his voice betraying the emotions he was feeling. "The attack came from the Alpha Majora system! ThatÔÇÖs Droidan space! Why would the Droidans wipe out a planet and then retreat? TheyÔÇÖve never shown the slightest interest in conquest before. TheyÔÇÖve always held a defensive stance. Why the change?"

No one broke the uneasy silence that followed. No one had an answer.

Then the probe rounded the planet, and moved into its shadow.

OÔÇÖNeil saw it first. "Sir, the probe has picked up multiple contacts. Six, seven, ten, make that twelve Nightstars! At least twice that number of Sunflash cruisers. Multiple fighters! TheyÔÇÖve spotted the probe!" The screen flashed, then the MapTable once again showed the area around Arima. "TheyÔÇÖve destroyed the probe, sir."

"Did you get an ID?" Sev felt sick. There was no way the forces at Arima could hold against such an assembly of warships. Tau Ceti would fall. But to who?

"Aye, sir," Alison responded. "Vesperon, sir. They must have somehow moved their fleet through the flux point and taken Majoris, sir."

Sev had reached the same conclusion. "Through a flux point? Theyre too unstable to risk moving a fleet through. They must have developed some way of stabilizing them"

For the second time that day, Sparks interrupted him with bad news. "Sir, our probe in Omicron Eridani is reporting a large fleet of Vesperon warships and troopships." He paused, as more information was relayed to him from the probe, and paled visibly. "Sir, theyÔÇÖre heading for Tau Ceti, Eori region."

"Damn!" Sevs mind raced. Theyd sweep through Eori, taking out the starbase on the planet and the Assassins guild station around it, then theyd meet up with the other fleet here, in Arima. Arima wouldnt stand a chance. From there, the combined fleet could pour into Alpha Centauri, squashing the Empirian fleet. And beyond Alpha Centauri lay Sol, Earth, Home. "Sparks, send to Galcom HQ. Send them all our probe data and sensor logs for the past 24 hours. Tell themthe Vesperons are on the move."

[RP OFF]

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Commander Badgerius, GCV Diligence

[This message has been edited by Badgerius (edited 08-16-99).]

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So, are you wanting this thread to become multiplayer, because these are pretty major events you're talking about here. I mean, how far ahead do you have this planned?

Just my 2 credits,

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Commander Ben Zwycky GCV Svoboda

ISS Fleet

"Nakonec pravda vitezi" (in the end the truth wins)

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Now that is the question.

I've written up to the official outbreak of hostilities between the Vesperons and the rest of Galcom, but I am unsure as to how to proceed from there. I have the plot in my head, but I'm starting to bump into other people's territory.

Now as I've written it, most of Prime fleet is patrolling the Gammulan border or hunting Insurgents. I don't have a solid timeline for this yet, but I'm thinking that running this parallel to David Foss's story timewise makes the most sense. So the question is: who is available to defend Terra?

Earthcom was "brought to its knees", according to the ISS fleet timeline, at the Battle of Jupiter, but it has a station in Alpha Centauri, along the direct route to Earth, so there is a possibility for multiplayer there. Also, I would need to know from the Fleet Commanders how many ships they are willing to commit to this threat.

If there is sufficient interest, I will open a new thread, and we'll lay down some structure for this. We are supposed to be caught with our pants down, here, so we should limit the number of ships involved, at least to start. Please post your comments.

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Commander Badgerius, GCV Diligence

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Well, the Deterrence will be out of commission for a little over a week. Hopefully she won't be caught in drydock. smile.gif When is this attack planned? If it's the right time frame (about a week from the current time on the First Command thread), Foss will have finished what needs to be done and he'll be able to take the reigns again. At this time, he's been stuck on Crystar for five days, and the Deterrence has been towed to Galcom HQ. About another six or seven days from this point will provide the perfect window.

I can see it now. Junkkari will probably be so PO'd that he assigns me to patrol duty around Jupiter so he can keep an eye on me. Low and behold... what happens just after the Deterrence is launched? His reaction would probably be similar to Foss'... "this sucks!" smile.gif

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Commander David Foss, GCV Deterrence

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Six or seven days is perfect. The main route from Tau Ceti to Earth uses the wormhole at Pluto, so that's probably where the Galcom flet will want to make a stand. That or Centris, in Alpha Centauri, where SCID HQ is.

Here's how I'd like to work it. I'm going to keep writing the story from the Diligence's point of view, and that will keep track of the Vesperon fleet. I have their attack plan in my head. As the plot is now, I'm not breaking any rules (ie the Vesperons can't win), but having other commanders involved will make it more interesting.

Beginning at the outbreak of war (two chapters from now) each chapter will have timestamps (eg. war + 0days, 6 hours, 10 minutes) that will help any other commanders wishing to join in on the fun. They will also have the timestamp of the beginning of next chapter, so don't post any events happening then until that chapter is posted.

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

Tommorrow I'll post the second last chapter before the war, and we'll see where this goes.

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Commander Badgerius, GCV Diligence

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Cool! My ship should be around, but I'm not sure where it'll be. Desylva, you got me any patrol orders?

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Commander Ben Zwycky GCV Svoboda

ISS Fleet

"Nakonec pravda vitezi" (in the end the truth wins)

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[rp on]

Badgerius sat at his desk in his quarters, examining the GalCom communiqu├® for what must be the hundredth time. It had been twenty-six hours since the Vesperon fleet had taken Eori, and little had happened since. Sev guessed that they were taking their time mopping up any resistance that remained there, before moving on. "I hope so," he said to himself as he looked at his orders again, "weÔÇÖre going to need every second we can get." The words on the screen seemed to mock his own:

To: Cmdr Badgerius, GCV Diligence

From: Galactic Command

Re: Orders

The assault of Vesperon forces against the Tau Ceti system confirms our suspicions of the Vesperons possessing a large attack fleet. However, since Tau Ceti is not a member of any nation, we can not respond to such an assault. The Vesperons remain members of Galactic Command and should be treated as such.

Your orders are as follows.

1) Observe, but do not participate in, any battles taking place for control of the planet Arima.

2) Escort any refugees out of Tau Ceti space. You are authorized to defend these vessels from any attack.

3) Continue to gather intelligence on the Vesperon movements.

As a precaution, the Supreme Commander has put the 5th tactical patrol squadron on barrier patrol in Pluto space.

Sev sighed. He understood the reasoning behind the orders. Any nation could pass through free space, and attack whatever it wanted. ThatÔÇÖs why it was called free space. It was unclaimed, and no one would lift a finger to help it. So until the Vesperons jumped to Alpha Centauri, they would remain unopposed by the rest of Galcom. Sev turned the screen off. He understood it, all right, but he didnÔÇÖt like it. And as for the 5th tactical patrol squadron, it consisted of two Sentry light cruisers, a Solnar heavy cruiser and a Constellation class battlecruiser. Hardly enough to make the Vesperons think twice about invading Pluto.

On the bridge OÔÇÖNeil was watching the fleet from Tulon station make their preparations to fight. Mine fields were being set up around the Xylan and Eori jump points, and the fleet had split to deal with the two threats: One Aestrom and two Spacestars at each jump point. She wondered which fleet they would join. Suddenly, one of the Spacestars exploded as the minefield around the Xylan jump point detonated, taking out the Sunflash cruiser that was trying to enter the system. Before the shock waves had faded, though, the rest of the Xylan fleet had jumped into the system. OÔÇÖNeil switched the TacOps screen to the Eori jump point, to see the much the same thing happening there.

"Shields up!! Power to weapons!! All hands to battlestations!!" OÔÇÖNeil felt cold as she prepared the ship for a battle they couldnÔÇÖt possibly win. "Commander Badgerius to the bridge!!"

As the crew rushed to their stations, and the DiligenceÔÇÖs shields and weapons came to life, the battle at the jump points was unfolding. At the Eori jump point, the Aestrom and the Spacestars formed a flying wedge, and had managed to destroy one of the Sunflashes and disable one of the Nightstars, which had been in the process of launching fighters. At the Xylan point, the Ariman forces had not recovered from the sudden loss of one of their ships, and had lost the other Spacestar almost immediately. Now the AestromÔÇÖs shields were breached, and she was venting from several large hull breaches. She couldnÔÇÖt survive much longer. Then, their jump engines recharged, a large group of Nightstars and Sunflashes jumped towards Tulon station. Clouds of Vesperon fighters were everywhere. Some attacked the dwindling group of defending fighters, some attacked the capital ships, and some attacked the Orbital defense system, which was now near destruction.

Sev walked onto the bridge as Sparks made his report. "All stations have reported in. We are at battlestations."

Sev looked at the TacOps display and cringed. The Tulon station was taking a pounding from innumerable torpedoes and Vagrant missiles. The Tulon fleet now consisted of an Aestrom and a Spacestar, both heavily damaged.

"Helm, head for the Alpha Centauri wormhole."

The helmsmanÔÇÖs voice betrayed his confusion, but he did not hesitate. "Aye, sir"

As the Diligence jumped, OÔÇÖNeil looked at her Commander, waiting for an explanation.

"We have received our orders. We are authorized to escort any refugees, but thatÔÇÖs all. We are not authorized to attack Vesperon forces indiscriminately at this time."

"What!!?? So weÔÇÖre just going to watch these people get slaughtered and not help?"

SevÔÇÖs voice got hard. "Lt. Commander, these people are officially raiders. The Vesperons are within their rights to attack raiders, just as it is within ours to attack any raiders we see. Until that fleet jumps into Empirian space, and breaks the Galcom Members Mutual Nonagression Pact, we can do nothing. Am I making this clear?"

OÔÇÖNeil snapped to attention. "Yes, sir!" she said, though her voice was devoid of emotion.

Sev looked back at the display, which showed the station down to 30% hull integrity. "I donÔÇÖt like it either, OÔÇÖNeil." he said softly.

Suddenly four Sunflashes came out of hyperspace near the wormhole. They began laying mines around it, blocking off the DiligenceÔÇÖs escape route.

"Damn!" swore Badgerius. "Helm, get us through that wormhole before itÔÇÖs completely blocked."

The DiligenceÔÇÖs engines flared, and the battlecruiser accelerated between the four Vesperon ships, and through the wormhole. Behind her, Vesperon troopships were boarding the Tulon starstation. The battle for Arima was over.

[RP OFF]

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Commander Badgerius, GCV Diligence

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I would like to say a big thank you to you Badgerius for providing the ideal situation for introducing Velvet strike operations (mentioned in my first thread and discussed with and approved by Desylva). It's even better than the situation I had thought up myself.

[rp]It had been a good week's training. Ben Zwycky's respect for Fleet Commander Desylva had doubled at his reaction to Ben's new tactics and prototype equipment, mostly only ideas at the time. Not only had he approved them, but personally oversaw obtaining the right materials and supplies, and even suggested some adaptions and improvements that could be made. He also assisted in finding quality engineers to replace all those lost during the devastating events of Operation Peace Run. [/rp] aka Introducing Ben Zwycky [rp] This was a man with foresight, flexibility and wisdom, he well deserved his position as head of the ISS fleet, and that was where he was needed. Ben hoped that they would never have to find anyone to replace him.

His thoughts returned to his crew, and what he had put them through these past seven days.

He switched to the internal comms system, and made a shipwide announcement.

"This is the commander speaking. What you've all been put through this week may have seemed very harsh, but I assure you, it will be worth it. I think you all realise that what we have been training for will save lives. Probably many lives. Probably even some lives you might not think are worth saving, but every life is valuable. I know that this week has been especially tough for you new guys, having to adjust to a new ship as well as a tough training regime and on top of that all this completely new training. Believe it or not, it's been tough on all of us. I'm very proud of the way you've all reacted and coped with the workload. You new guys may still feel that you're still outsiders and 'not part of the team' yet, but let me assure you that to me you are a very valuable and integral part of this crew, and I have no doubt that without the contribution you are making and will make to the running of this ship, we would not be able to implement Velvet Operations. If these words don't convince you how valuable you are to me, then maybe this will- When we get back to ISS Station, you can all have a drink on me!" That got a cheer that was heard throughout the ship.

"Paul, how's our inventory?"

"We've got 40 Mark I instant blockades and 20 Mark II's; 30 launcher attachments and 500 transponder bullets in cartridges of 10."

"Good. Keep working on converting some of those Mark I's to Mark II's. Those bullets- does that include all the ones we used in training?"

"Nope, these are all ready to use. I've got some guys working on those Mark I's. We should have another 5 Mark II's in about half an hour."

"And the transporter enhancement?"

"Well, it all works fine, we've got five pairs of transporter pads working independantly, but all the extra equipment means it uses an awful lot more power and it'll overload the power grid if we use it for more than half an hour at a time. Even then, you'll have to let it cool for an hour."

"That's OK- we'll just have to be quick, then. Is the brig expanded?"

"Yes, we've turned the guest quarters into a serviceable brig, so we should have room for another 30 or so. Again, it uses a bit of power. I doubt we'll be able to have our weapons on-line at the same time as doing Velvet stuff."

"That's fine. We wouldn't want to be attracting any attention anyway. Good work. Mr Elworthy, I haven't had a chance to officially welcome you back! What did you manage to find?"

"Thank you sir. Those credits you gave me came in really handy. I've got a nice little upgrade to the Infiltration Console, and a few little surprises."

"Sounds good. Has Briggs briefed you fully?"

"Yes he has, sir. We should be able to do our part."

It had been a good week's preparation and training. They would be ready to implement Velvet Strike at almost a moment's notice. Little did they know how soon that would be. [/rp]

Thought I'd tease you all a bit, and give you fair warning. All will be revealed in good time. wink.gif I hope you won't be disappointed. Badgerius, if you really need to know exactly what I intend before allowing it, then give me an email and I'll try to reply quickly. I don't wan't to be guilty of hijacking your thread.

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Commander Ben Zwycky GCV Svoboda

ISS Fleet

"Nakonec pravda vitezi" (in the end the truth wins)

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It shouldn't be a problem, Ben. Just make sure you mention two things in your posts: Your position, and the Time index, which should begin (war +0) sometime today. I'm also going to post the GCV Chikuma's time index on the first post, in case Blades decides to get in on this action and make things REALLY complicated! smile.gif

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Commander Badgerius, GCV Diligence

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I've just read Blades' latest post. It looks like the Chikuma will be out of commission for the length of this campaign. Too bad, that would have been interesting. smile.gif

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Commander Badgerius, GCV Diligence

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No guys, you dont want things to be too interesting. It's complicated enough without weaving in another thread into the blanket.

Incidently, it taken me a while to go through the other RP threads, and I'd just like to say you doin a bang up job. Keep it up and I may have to work overtime. smile.gif

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Commander Blades

GCV - TSUNAMI Ôäó

PRIME Fleet

'For Queen and country'

ICQ#31927230

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Thank'e, sir. The same to you re: The Adventures of GCV Chikuma.

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Commander Badgerius, GCV Diligence

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Cheers muchly, Badgerius! I just need DeSylva to inform me about the situation and send me in to Treas as a precaution before the Vesperons invade, say at war minus 3 hours or something, and everything will be set. I don't like putting words in the mouth of other characters, but I will if need be. Maybe I gave too much away in my last post, but then again I don't think many people will have worked out exactly what I'm going to be doing, if any have. Hopefully I won't disappoint you all, or detract from this fine storyline. I'm really hyping this up, aren't I? smile.gif

I agree, well done Blades. It's an honour to have you in the ISS, and it's good to see another englishman establishing himself so well in the roleplay community. You do queen and country proud.

See you out there,

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Commander Ben Zwycky GCV Svoboda

ISS Fleet

"Nakonec pravda vitezi" (in the end the truth wins)

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Alright, let's get his show on the road.

[RP ON]

"Alpha Centauri system, Treas region," the Navigation officer was reporting the Diligences current position, in Empirian space.

"Good," Sev said, "If we find find any Vesperons here, we will probably get to fight them."

Sev was interrupted by the Combat OfficerÔÇÖs voice over the intercom. "We have intruders onboard! Marines, search the ship!"

"Damn!" Sev swore, "We must have picked them up just before we jumped. Cut power to launch control. We donÔÇÖt want them taking our shuttles to make their escape."

"Launch control disabled, sir," came LeonevÔÇÖs voice, piped through from Engineering.

"Very well. Now, how many of them are there and where are they?"

OÔÇÖNeil was examining the in-ship sensors at the MapTable. "A full squad, sir. They are on deck 2, headed for Engineering."

"Great. XO, would you be so kind as to get them off my ship?"

"Aye, sir" said OÔÇÖNeil "PetersonÔÇÖs squad is about to make contact."

****

Hans tightened his grip on his rifle as the lift came to a stop. "Alright, you schoolgirls, time to earn your pay. Sanchez, Jackson, take portside. Phillips, Dupuis, take the starboard. On my mark. Steady Steady"

The lift doors opened.

"Move!"

The squad came out of the lift like a coiled spring, just outside of Engineering. If the squad of Vesperon Marines that suddenly found their path blocked were surprised, they didnÔÇÖt show it. They quickly found cover along the sides of the corridor, and returned PetersonÔÇÖs squadÔÇÖs fire.

The air filled with smoke and ozone as plasma bolts crisscrossed the corridor. Jackson scored a hit on one of the Vesperons. It slumped to the floor and stopped moving.

Sanchez was impressed. "Jackson, you big oaf! You always get the firstAAGGHH!"

A stray shot had found Sanchez, and taken off her right leg at the knee.

Hans swore. "Medic to Deck 2, aft! WeÔÇÖve got wounded!" He shouted into his comlink. He took aim at the one who shot Sanchez, and put a hole through its chest. "Where the hell is the other squad?"

"In position" said a voice from his comlink.

"Hang on boys, here comes the cavalry!"

From behind the Vesperon squad, the other squad of marines opened fire. Caught unexpectedly in a crossfire, the Vesperons began to fall.

"WeÔÇÖve gotÔÇÖem now, boys!" shouted Peterson as he splayed the corridor with bolts of plasma, "letÔÇÖs finish this!"

The last Vesperon Marine knew it was finished. It was outnumbered eight to one, and was pinned down. It calmly reached into a pouch on its uniform and pushed a button

A fireball erupted between the two squads, and traveled like lightning towards them. Hans dove into the lift, hitting his head on the far wall. As the air scorched his feet, the sound of screaming marines seared his mind.

Then the fire ball reversed, getting sucked back into the place where the demolition charge had been detonated, and out the gaping hole that had been created there. Airtight doors shut at the entrance to Engineering, and amidships. The lift door automatically shut, sealing Peterson in.

"Hull breach on deck 2, aft corridor!", OÔÇÖNeil had felt the explosion, and read the damage report. "Oh god, what about the marines?"

Sev was worried too, but he needed to know if his ship was safe first. "Status of intruders?"

OÔÇÖNeil checked the sensors. "Eliminated, sir."

Sev nodded, "Hull integrity?"

Leonev came through over the speaker. "87% and holding, sir, we have moderate shock damage in engineering and the flight deck."

"Secure from intruder alert. Send medical and repair teams to deck 2 aft corridor."

A disembodied voice came over the bridge intercom. "Peterson to bridge."

OÔÇÖNeil pushed the reply button. "Bridge here, Sergeant. Report."

Petersons voice betrayed the fact that he was in serious pain. "Intruders eliminated. We took heavy casualties. Nine Marines dead including Sergeant Forbes."

Sev whispered into the silence that followed. "My god, thatÔÇÖs nearly two-thirds of our marines!"

"Hang in there, Peterson, Medics are enroute!" OÔÇÖNeil wasnÔÇÖt going to let the casualties increase, if she could help it.

"IÔÇÖm not going anywhere."

As the repairs commenced on the damaged hull, and as the crew gathered for a brief memorial service for their fallen comrades, Commander Badgerius received new orders.

The Vesperons had boarded a Galcom vessel. Galactic Command was in an uproar because of its member nationÔÇÖs actions. But despite the debate that raged through High Command, the orders were clear: Any Vesperon military ship would be considered hostile. From now on Galcom was at war with the Vesperons.

Time index:

War +0 days +0 hours +0 minutes

Time index of next post:

War +0 days +23 hours + 13 minutes

[RP OFF]

Ok no major events until 23 hours 13 min. Posts can have a time index up to that time.

With luck, I'll post again tommorrow.

Let's fight a war.

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

Commander Badgerius, GCV Diligence

[This message has been edited by Badgerius (edited 08-24-99).]

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I honestly had no idea that DeSylva was leaving when I wrote my last two posts. Here we go

[rp]

War minus 3 hours

"Incoming secure message from Fleet Commander DeSylva" announced Karen Hilliard.

Ben Zwycky went straight to his quarters and switched on his secure communications unit

"Identifying...Identity confirmed. Commander Zwycky you have an incoming secure call from Fleet Commander DeSylva"

The now famous features of Fleet Commander DeSylva materialised in front of him.

"Greetings, Commander Zwycky."

"Good Morning, sir. To what do I owe this honour?"

"Commander, we have a situation. The Vesperons are massing a fleet in Arima, having just overwhelmed Tulon Station and captured the planet as well. It seems likely that they are going to invade Empirian space and probably then invade us as well, since their forces vastly outnumber those of the Empirians."

"So Operation Peace Run did not achieve anything, then." Ben's thoughts began to turn to all that happened. 'All those lives wasted! And for what?' Commander DeSylva noticed the tone of his voice and the expression on his face.

"Commander! That is in the past, and you can't do anything about it. The Svoboda performed admirably, and did what was required of her in extreme circumstances. She has a new task now. I am ordering you to the treas system to watch for any Vesperon ships breaking the mutual nonagression pact. You are authorised to implement Velvet Strike on any of those vessels. Maybe you will be able to convince them that we're not their enemy. I'm certain that even if you can't do that you'll be able to reduce their capacity to fight. You will make a big difference either way. Go out and give them something to remember me by."

"You're leaving, sir?" asked Ben with genuine amazement and disappointment.

"There will come a time, Commander, when you will realise that Galcom isn't all there is to life. There are some things which I've been trying to put off for a long time, and I realise that I can't do that anymore. I have to go and deal with them now, and then there are other things that I need to do and explore."

"Will you be coming back, sir?"

"I honestly don't know."

"What's going to happen to us?"

"Commander Ristar will take over as fleet commander. He is a fine officer, and worthy of the post. I know that you will all serve under him with the same honour that you have served under me. Go out there and do us proud."

The image of Desylva quickly shrank to a point of light which then just as quickly grew into the Galcom logo, spinning slowly. Ben just sat there for a few seconds in total shock, before shaking himself out of it and getting on with the job in hand. He shut off the communications terminal then left for the bridge.

"Recall the crew from ISS station as soon as possible. Let's load up on Iridium. We may need to be invisible for a long time. Put 500 units in the transporter room and Fill shuttles 1 & 2, and ATV's 1-3 and half-fill shuttle three. Use the rest of the space for Vagrants, Questors and perseuses. We might well need some extra hyperdynes and warriors, too, so 30 of each in shuttle 4. Fill weapon bay 1 with crabs and leeches except for 10 hyperdynes and 10 warriors. That should be enough mines. Let's launch as soon as we can, and the shuttles can catch us up if they can't fill up before us. Refill the iridium tanks from the transporter storage first. I want to clear that as soon as possible. Cloak as we reach the wormhole to Alpha Centauri. Launch a long-range probe before we cloak and send it to Treas. I want everyone on ultra tight rotaion. We'll need to be at our sharpest, people. Let's get to it."

Ultra sharp rotation meant that as soon as any crewmember was above 10% fatigue factor, they were ordered to rest, so that when a general crew alert was sounded, everyone would be able to do their duty to the best of their ability.

The shuttles filled and docked without problems, and only one of them had to fill again and was able to catch up to the Svoboda before she left Pluto. Her image shimmered and faded in front of the swirling vortex of wormhole 1, the ship's lights being the last to disappear, before her profile was only a memory to all observers.

"Retrieving data"

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

War minus 2 hours 25 minutes

Treas. The memories of this place haunt all of us on this ship. Even the new guys are nervous because we are. It has seen many a battle over the years, and will do again. Hopefully we won't have so many casualties this time. Is that too much to ask?

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

War plus 0 hours 1 minute

So, it was official. It was war. Our mission was the same- to convince the Vesperons that we weren't their enemies or to severely disrupt their capability to invade us- but it would now be much easier to identify our enemy.

"Listen up, crew. We are now authorised to implement Velvet Strike against any Vesperon ship. They have attacked a Galcom Vessel and we are at war. Continue with Ultra sharp rotation. You must stay properly rested, and near to your velvet strike posts."

Ben then called up the commanders of the other Galcom defenders in the region, using the secure commanders only channel.

"Greetings, Commanders, on this dark day. This is the GCV Svoboda, currently cloaked and aiming to stay that way. I am authorised to give you this message. We would greatly appreciate it if you could give us any information you obtain or have obtained about the Vesperon fleet that may be entering this system soon. We would especially appreciate a warning as to their imminent arrival, and information as to which ship seems to be coordinating their manouvers, but when the fleet arrives, please do not engage them. Fall back, mine the exits, but be ready to return here if called. Give us five minutes. We are going to do something that may well convince the Vesperons not to go through with this invasion. If it does not have this effect, then it will significantly weaken a number of their ships, and we will all fight with all our strength. If any of you can remain cloaked with us for long periods and can provide room for many prisoners, that will be appreciated. We have 37 leeches and 38 crabs on board should you want them."

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

War plus 5 hours

"Any unidentified contacts or minor anomalies in the region?"

"No, sir."

"How much cloak do we have left?"

"Just under 4 hours, sir."

"OK, send Shuttles 1 & 2 down to the planet to mine for iridium. Tell them to dump any minerals that aren't iridium and put all the iridium in a cargo pod that we can beam up from the surface every so often. Can we do that, Paul, without overheating the power grid?"

"Yes, we can, as long as we're quick, and we rest it for twice at least twice as long as we use it."

"OK, then. Shuttle 1 stay down on the planet and oversee the drones. Shuttle 2, come back as soon as you've deployed, but, both of you, if any invading ships turn up while you're deployed, head back to Sol and report. Let's get round the far side of the planet so as to be out of radar range from the wormhole while we do all these launches and retrievals"

"Got it."

As the shuttles were launched, the seemingly empty space around the Svoboda rippled like a village pond suddenly disturbed by a jumping fish, and the outline of the Svoboda became visible for a few seconds, until the cloaking field reestabilised. There was a similar effect when Shuttle 2 returned. They would be able to stay invisible for a very long time now.[/rp]

So who else is in Treas, then? I hope you don't mind my broadcast.

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

Commander Ben Zwycky GCV Svoboda

ISS Fleet

"Nakonec pravda vitezi" (in the end the truth wins)

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Cmdr Zwycky,

I finished reading through all the posts and am coming up to speed with the situation and formulating an action to get into this role play. I will be posting something in response to your last post, if you have any specific ideas or goals you are trying to accomplish email me and let me know so I know what your plan is. Cmdr. Tringad is now the ISS Vice Fleet Leader, he will be able to assist in any way. We have kept Fleet Cmdr. DeSylva on the ISS Roster, but just changed his title from Fleet Leader to Fleet Founder, much depends on when/if he returns. I am also gathering intel from the Order of Jade Dragon who have been monitoring this situation and are compiling data to assist in this situation

Fleet Cmdr.Jeehun Ristar

GCV Shogun, ISS02

ISS Fleet Leader

Shogun of the Dragon Council-Order of Jade Dragon

Director of Cover Operations-Order of Jade Dragon

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Alright! Re-enforcements! I'll give people another couple of hours to report in, then I'll post the next bit. People can always join in later.

Thanks for the broadcast, Ben. Now I know the Svoboda is out there, ready for action.

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

Commander Badgerius, GCV Diligence

[This message has been edited by Badgerius (edited 08-25-99).]

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Onward!!

[RP ON]

Deep space. A hundred thousand stars gave relief to the infinite blackness that was the cold harsh reality of deep space. Three stars in particular, the triple star system of Alpha Centauri, shone brightly, casting warming light upon whatever inhabited it

Two Renegade class interceptors crossed in front of those stars, giving the appearance of dragonflies on a moonlit night. As the sun glinted off their white paint, they flew towards another inhabitant of deep space: the Diligence.

Sev lay in his hammock, listening to the sounds of the patrol docking below him. He had sent out constant patrols since the war had officially begun, almost 24 hours ago. There had been no action, no sign of enemy movement since the Diligence had jumped out of Tau Ceti. Sev was beginning to wonder if he had done the correct thing in ordering the ship out of there. WasnÔÇÖt it his duty to negotiate with these forces to attempt to diffuse conflict? And yet, his first duty was to his ship, and the damage there was considerable.

The GCV Svoboda, a Galactan class battlecruiser, had made contact with the Diligence. She was out there somewhere, cloaked and planning to stay that way. Sev wondered what her orders were. The Svboda was part of the ISS fleet, and so did not fall into SevÔÇÖs chain of command. Still, it was nice to know someone else was out there. Also arriving was the Empirian fleet. A ragtag collection of worn-out and run-down warships, the "Majestic Empirian Armada" would have been no match for a fleet a quarter of the size of the one in Arima. Sev sighed. I t was better than nothing. I shouldnÔÇÖt laugh at the Armada, Sev thought to himself, weÔÇÖre not in much better shape.

Leonev had been right about the refit job: it had been rushed. The explosion that had cost so many lives had also damaged almost every major system. The cloaking device was dead once more, and there were damage reports from the IOD to the engines. Nothing was out of commission aside from the cloaking device and deck 2 aft corridor -although that was almost fixed-, but the damage was significant. Sev tossed on his hammock, and wondered when it would start in earnest.

*****

Sgt. Peterson walked out of the medibay and headed for his quarters. His whole squad was gone! And now he was a Sergeant without a squad. The Combat Officer had informed him that after the battle with the intruder, Galcom was at war. "How about that?" he said to himself. "I started a war. Not exactly the kind of thing one puts on their resume. I need a drink." He quickened his pace.

Lt. Commander OÔÇÖNeil stood quietly at the bridge hatch, watching him head aft, and duck into the troop quarters, now empty because of the shortage of marines, all of whom were on duty. She was worried about him, worried he would have feelings of uselessness and begin to question his abilities. She would have to put him to work, and she had just the job for him.

Time index

War +0 days +23hours +15minutes

Next post time index

War +1 day + 3hours + 6minutes

[RP OFF]

Fleet Cmdr Ristar: Welcome aboard sir. I'm going to keep the plans of the Vesperon forces a secret, just to make this more fun. Feel free to position your forces where you wish. Through telling the story from the Diligence's viewpoint, there should be be enough information to keep track of the important events, and enough foreshaodwing that you may be able to anticipate the enemy's moves.

BTW is this thread getting too long?

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

Commander Badgerius, GCV Diligence

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Report away, sir! Hope you like it wink.gif

Any intel and/or tactical suggestions would be greatly appreciated, sir!

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

Commander Ben Zwycky GCV Svoboda

ISS Fleet

"Nakonec pravda vitezi" (in the end the truth wins)

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I will begin my post on the new thread, Eternal Diligence-part 2

Fleet Cmdr. Jeehun Ristar

GCV Shogun

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Okay, closing thread.

Thomas Siemens (a.k.a. Gudihl)

Official Tester, Battlecruiser Series

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