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Cmdr Ristar

Eternal Diligence-Part 2

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This will begin the new thread, and will continue where the last thread left off

Fleet Cmdr. Jeehun Ristar

GCV Shogun

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[rp]

war +1 day, 0 hours

ÔÇ£Comms raise Cmdr. Zwycky on the SvobodaÔÇØ stated Jeehun Ristar as he sat down in his chair.

ÔÇ£Yes, sirÔÇØ replied Lt. Cmdr. Tom Weidmuller, the GCV ShogunÔÇÖs Comms Officer

ÔÇ£Also, send an encrypted message to Alpha Team to report their status, then raise the other members of the Dragon Council and tell them to meet me at the Jade Dragon Base once we have the data from Alpha TeamÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Yes, sirÔÇØ

Since DeSylva stepped down as ISS Fleet Leader and left command to Ristar, there has been a scramble to get things together within the fleet. Cmdr. Alun Tringad has been mobilizing the ISS forces and getting them ready for any possible strike from the Vesperons against Sol.

Ristar was awed by the swiftness of DeSylvaÔÇÖs departure. They had been friends for a long time. They served their first tour of duty together. He disappeared this time as swiftly as he and his wife, Emma, had done so long ago.

He had told him that the fleet had to keep moving forward, especially now in the face of the Vesperon threat.

Ristar had just gotten back from a meeting with the Supreme Commander, and he had been informed of his promotion to Fleet Commander. There wasnÔÇÖt much time for celebration as the SC briefed the new ISS Fleet Leader of the Vesperon threat.

Ristar had been on a mission gathering intelligence Gammulan facilities for the Order of Jade Dragon for use in an upcoming mission. He had maintained radio silence so the news of DeSylvaÔÇÖs departure had been a surprise to him along with the impending Vesperon threat.

ÔÇ£Sir, Alpha Team is reporting inÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Transfer all data to TacticalÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Yer, sirÔÇØ

Lt. Cmdr Ty Rittal, the ShogunÔÇÖs Tactical Officer sat down at his terminal and began the encryption process to download the information provided by Alpha Team.

ÔÇ£Fleet Cmdr. Ristar, this is Cmdr Zwycky reportingÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Ben, how are things going?

ÔÇ£Fine, sir, or as well as can be expected under the circumstances.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£I understand that Fleet Cmdr. DeSylva has you in Treas.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Yes, sir that is correct, we are standing by to implement Velvet Strike on any target of opportunity.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Well I think I have your first step in implementing that CommanderÔÇØ

ÔÇ£How is that Sir?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Well let me analyze the data that we received and see if itÔÇÖs usable and IÔÇÖll get it to you. You might be becoming a Vesperon, Cmdr. Zwycky. For now, continue your normal ops, send out probes to monitor the surrounding regions. Have your Research Officer send over the technical data on your Velvet Strike weapon to see how and if we can implement this new information into your strike plan.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Yes, sir, GCV Svoboda outÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Comms, have you gotten that message out to the rest of the Dragon council?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Getting that out now, sir,ÔÇØ replied Lt.Cmdr Payne

ÔÇ£Tell them to respond to the message and then head to the Jade Dragon HQ cloaked.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Yes, sirÔÇØ

*****(on the planet surface of Frellis in Vesperon space at the scientific Star Base, Frellis)*******

The small contingent of marines that made up Alpha Team were setting up a data encryption device to transfer the data they had gathered to the GCV Shogun.

Alpha Team was a hand-picked group of marines from the Order of Jade DragonÔÇÖs 103rd Orbital Marine Battalion (covert). They had orders to infiltrate the Vesperon scientific Star Base Frellis, decipher the Vesperon encryption codes, and steal their IFF signal codes. The IFF emitted a high band width frequency that allowed vessels on the same frequency to determine that they were encountering a friendly vessel.

The Order of Jade Dragon was hoping to get these codes to infiltrate Vesperon space and learn of military testing that was being conducted on Frellis and at the Star Station Eridani.

They had succeeded and they were trying to get the information to Cmdr.Zwycky for use with his Velvet Strike package. Not much was known about this, but it was highly regarded as a serious potential threat against any GALCOM enemies.

ÔÇ£Lt.Cmdr Rittal, this is Lt. Jack Hull, we are encrypting the data now, transmission will begin in 15 secondsÔÇØ

30 seconds later

ÔÇ£Data transfer complete sir, did you receive the data?ÔÇØ

Lt.Cmdr Rittal, analyzed his files, and replied ÔÇ£Affirmative, Lieutenant, carry on with your mission, thank you. Fleet Cmdr. Ristar sends his best. Shogun outÔÇØ

[/rp]

I hope that begins this part of the role play. Cmdr Zwycky you can post any response to this and I will post after that with the results of the data gain.

Fleet Cmdr. Jeehun Ristar

GCV Shogun, ISS02

ISS Fleet Leader

Shogun of the Dragon Council-Order of Jade Dragon

Director of Covert Operations-Order of Jade Dragon

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[rp]

war + 1day, 1 hour

Fleet Cmdr. Ristar maneuvered his way to the GCV ShogunÔÇÖs Research Center. When he arrived Lt.Cmdr. Dr. Monique Yanic was printing out the technical specs of the Velvet Strike procedure.

ÔÇ£Hello Doctor, what have you found out?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Sir, we are just finishing up our analysis of the Velvet Strike procedure. Dr. Nicola Dreyfus, the GCV SvobodaÔÇÖs Research Officer sent over their specs on the procedure and its equipment.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Well, sir, some of the actual implementation of the procedure hasnÔÇÖt been disclosed in full, but itÔÇÖs somewhat of a boarding process, that an enemy vessel may be boarded and captured without any casualties or damage to the shipÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Well, the data that Alpha Team recovered can it be used with Velvet Strike?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Yes, sir, we are working on a way to rig up the Galactin BattlecruiserÔÇÖs IFF transponder to emit 2 codes. One is the normal IFF frequency, and the other would be the IFF frequency of the Vesperon vessels. To deter the signals from getting crossed by other sides, we are trying to figure a scramble device, that would allow both signals to be emitted at the same time. A GALCOM vessel to send an IFF signal to letÔÇÖs say the Shogun, and the scrambler would allow only the GALCOM IFF frequency to be emitted, and at the same time, if a Vesperon vessel was emitting and IFF signal to us, the scrambler would allow the Vesperon IFF signal, but scramble the GALCOM IFF frequency.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£How close are you to completing the study?ÔÇØ

[/rp]

IÔÇÖm going to leave off there for now, I just wanted to get my idea of the way IÔÇÖm integrating things with mine and BenÔÇÖs ideas

Fleet Cmdr. Jeehun Ristar

GCV Shogun, ISS02

ISS Fleet Leader

Shogun of the Dragon Council-Order of Jade Dragon

Director of Covert Operations-Order of Jade Dragon

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[rp]

war + 1day, 1 hour

ÔÇ£We are starting the preliminary tests on the equipment now, and determining a proper scrambler to use. It will take a few hours.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Keep me posted MoniqueÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Yes, sirÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Comms,have you reached the other members of the Dragon Council yet?ÔÇØ

Lt.Cmdr. Payne replied, ÔÇ£Yes, sir, they will be on their way to the Jade Dragon base, cloaked. They should be there in 3 hours.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Navigation?ÔÇØ

The Navigation Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Laura Karnes, immediately spoke, ÔÇ£Yes, sirÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Set a course to the Jade Dragon base and activate cloaking device, do we have enough iridium to remain cloaked for the entire trip?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Yes, sir, but our stores will be depleted once we arrive.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Once we arrive, send out the four mining drones to mine, and we will try to mine for it, if not we can use the minerals we do get to sell at the nearest station to buy Iridium.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Yes, sirÔÇØ

********************************************************************************

****

war +1 day, 4 hours

Lt. Cmdr Karnes spoke into the commlink ÔÇ£Sir, we have arrived at the Jade Dragon baseÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Very well Laura, thank you. Comms, open a secure frequency to the base control.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Yes, sir, frequency openedÔÇØ

a voice crackled over the commlink, ÔÇ£This is the Landing controllerÔÇØ

ÔÇ£This is Fleet Cmdr. Ristar, have the other members of the Dragon Council arrived yet?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Hello sir, yes they have, they are in their respective offices. Shall I tell them to meet you in the Dragon Dome?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Yes, please do, have a team ready to meet my shuttle to assist with moving some equipment, I have some equipment that will be crucial to the meeting,ÔÇØ

MESSAGE EDITED BY ORDER OF JADE DRAGON COUNTERINTELLIGENCE FOR OPERATIONAL SECURITY. CONTENTS AND DISCUSSIONS OF THE MEETINGS OF THE DRAGON COUNCIL OF THE ORDER OF JADE DRAGON ARE TOP SECRET.

*********************************************

War +1 day, 6 hours

Ristar sat down in his briefing room aboard the Shogun with all of his command staff in attendance.

ÔÇ£We have new technology available that will allow us to possibly gain unbelievable amounts of technology from our enemies. We have made a device that allows a GALCOM vessel to mimic the IFF signals of the enemy, as long as we can obtain the IFF frequency signals of that host nation. The Dragon Council has set in motion a library of the various nations of the known galaxy and their IFF transponder signals. We only have a few now. There is a mission planning now to obtain Gammulan, Credian, and Valkyrie codes. We have one problem with the system. The device will allow us to emit our normal GALCOM IFF signal, while at the same time it will allow us to emit the enemies IFF signal. The different signals are scrambled from one another and will ensure they are sent to the proper vessels, but the device can not be used continuously. We are working on that now, but for now, the device generates a large amount of heat and will sometimes switch the signals so a vessel might become a target of itÔÇÖs own nation as well as the enemy. The only away around it is if it is shut down at certain times of the day to cool off.ÔÇØ

Lt.Cmdr. Ty Rittal, the Technical Officer, stood up and asked, ÔÇ£Sir, couldnÔÇÖt we manufacture a way to cool the system by means of a refrigeration or forced air conditioning system?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£We thought of that Ty, but the heat generated is too much for any air conditioner or refrigeration system to cool substantially. Dr. Yani is researching the possible systems or setup that we can use. For now, I need Comms to open a frequency to Cmdr. Zwycky on the Svoboda and tell him we have a new toy for him to play with. Dr. Yani will accompany the device over to his ship and explain the way it will work and itÔÇÖs limitations for now. Tell him we will meet him in Treas.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Yes, sirÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Combat Control, do we have the mining drones returned?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Yes, sir, Iridium stores are full,ÔÇØ Lt.Cmdr. Tom Payne, the Combat Officer, said.

ÔÇ£Navigation, set a course to Treas, keep us cloaked until we get out of the next 2 systems. I donÔÇÖt want the Jade DragonÔÇÖs base knownÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Yes, sirÔÇØ

[/rp]

Cmdr Zwycky, IÔÇÖll leave it up to you, I got you the information, now you can use it for what we discussed in your email.

Fleet Cmdr. Jeehun Ristar

GCV Shogun, ISS02

ISS Fleet Leader

Shogun of the Dragon Council-Order of Jade Dragon

Director of Covert Operations-Order of Jade Dragon

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[rp]

War plus 1 day 6 hours 10 minutes

"Sir, we have an incoming message from fleet commander Ristar."

"Put it on the secure channel."

"Greetings, Commander Zwycky. I believe we have something that may help you. Dr Yani will soon be coming aboard your vessel with a device we have developed. It should give you a Vesperon IFF signal when the need arises."

"Aha! That will be very useful indeed, sir. While we're on the subject, I think I may have something that may be able to complete the illusion. It's something one of my crew managed to obtain from the hacker caste." Ben then outlined one of Chris Elworthy's 'little surprises'. A program he called 'The Ventriloquist'. "You see what I mean, sir? Could you help us with the information we need?"

"Yes indeed, commander. I'll see what I can do."

"Thank you sir."

Ben sat back in his command chair, and thought to himself, 'Well, this could be even sneakier than I thought!'

[/rp]

I think you know what I'm talking about, Jeehun. wink.gif

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

Commander Ben Zwycky GCV Svoboda

ISS Fleet

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

[This message has been edited by Ben Zwycky (edited 08-28-99).]

[This message has been edited by Ben Zwycky (edited 08-29-99).]

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This is great stuff, guys. It'll really spice up the story.

Now for the bad news. The project I am on is reaching the crunch point, and I'm going to have to work like a madman to keep it on schedule. So for ONE WEEK I will be unable to pursue this story. I begin working part-time when school starts September 7, so I will be able to continue then.

Ben, I'm sending you the information you requested.

I apologise for the inconvience, but rest assured that the show will go on in one week's time.

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

Commander Badgerius, GCV Diligence

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[rp on]

"Cmdr. Zwycky, I'll have my staff at the Jade Dragon begin working on it" Ristar replied.

"Thank you sir, Zwycky out"

[/rp off]

Ben, I'll get to work on a small scenario for you, I'll go through what I have, if I need to, I'll email you with any questions I have on it.

Fleet Cmdr. Jeehun Ristar

GCV Shogun, ISS02

ISS Fleet Leader

Shogun of the Dragon Council-Order of Jade Dragon

Director of Covert Operations-Order of Jade Dragon

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[rp on]

war + 1day, 7 hours

Ristar walked to his briefing room and was met by his staff.

ÔÇ£IÔÇÖm sure you all know the information that we need to get for Cmdr.Zwycky to put his plan into action.ÔÇØ

Lt.Cmdr. Ty Rittal, the Shogun's Tactical Officer, stood and asked, ÔÇ£Sir, how do we find or create a voice recognition system to match a Vesperon vessel?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£All we need to do is get a sample of a Vesperon commander over a commlink and we can use his voice pattern to create a program that we can use to mask our own voices.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Comms, begin scanning all frequencies on all bandwidths that the VesperonÔÇÖs are known to use. If you donÔÇÖt come up with anything, scan them all.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Yes, sir, that might take a while, are there any time constraints?ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£We need it ASAP. IÔÇÖll get in touch with the Communication Centers at the ISS Fleet and Jade Dragon Base and let them know whatÔÇÖs going on and we can use their computers also. Once we have the voice pattern, weÔÇÖll have them begin working on a program to transform our voice patters to use the Vesperon CommanderÔÇÖs voice over a special commlink filter.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Yes, sir, IÔÇÖll get to work on it now, and get in touch with ISS Fleet HQ and Jade Dragon Communications,ÔÇØ Lt.Cmdr. Payne said, as he stood, saluted and left the briefing room for his station.

[/rp off]

Cmdr Zwycky, IÔÇÖll leave it up to you, I got you the information, now you can use it for what we discussed in your email.

Fleet Cmdr. Jeehun Ristar

GCV Shogun, ISS02

ISS Fleet Leader

Shogun of the Dragon Council-Order of Jade Dragon

Director of Covert Operations-Order of Jade Dragon

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Ristar, I already had the program to do the simulation, it was one of the 'little surprises' that Chris Elworthy picked up when I sent him back to his old friends in the hacker caste. I just needed the comms logs. Sorry if I wasn't very clear about that in my email and posts. Anyway, on with the show

[rp]

War plus 1 day 6 hours 23 min

"Welcome aboard, Dr Yani. This is my chief engineer Paul Rand, and my Research Engineer Nicola Dreyfus, who I think you briefly met over the commlink. If you wouldn't mind, I would prefer you to start work as soon as possible. We don't know how much time we have."

"That's understandable. As soon as you're ready."

The three of them got to work, and Dr Yani explained the basic principles behind the device as they were installing it. Paul commented,

"commander Zwycky was very interested in your device. He was wondering whether it could be reengineered to work on marines."

"There are a number of factors that would make that very difficult."

"Oh, I don't know," replied Nicola, "I can think of a few ways it can be effectively miniaturised. Your primary problem can't really be that no cooling systems can keep up with the heat produced, is it? It's only a selective scrambler, after all. It seems to me that the real problem would be that cooling systems are either not controllable enough, and may damage the equipment by cooling it too much, or they introduce too much physical noise and interfere with the operation of the system, because the circuitry is very sensitive, isn't it?"

"Looks to me like you'd probably get a bit of static buildup as well there." added Paul.

"We did, actually- that's what this line is for."

"Sorry! Didn't spot that. Silly me."

"I'm impressed, Nicola."

"Well, we can either research into new cooling technologies, or try to come up with a more robust set of electronics without losing too much surface area to cool. I'd be happy to work on both of these areas with you. We might well run into other problems, but it'd be fun. I hardly get anything really exciting to do round here. I mean the only bit of research I got to do this last month was develop a couple of adhesives for the velvet strike equipment. That was fun, though, took me back to my first degree at university. Anyway, what do you say?"

"I'd love to, if it's possible."

"I think we'll find a way to work together somehow."

"Err, ladies? I think this is going to take an awful lot of time, don't you? This is one thing we don't have right now. The device is fine for the purpose it was designed for. We don't need the IFF signal for more than an hour. Not really for much more than ten minutes if everything goes smoothly. The reason why Ben wanted it for the marines was because when they come back to the ship they're going to set off our automatic intruder alert. The solution to this is simple. We give our marines the Vesperon marine IFF code permanently, you gave us that along with the ship IFF, and we can do that in ten minutes, and then tell Perscan to ignore intruder alerts in the brig, the Medibay and the transporter room. Those places are going to be full of our guys and if there's a real intruder alert they can raise the alarm the old fashioned way- by reporting it."

An engineer's solution.

War plus 1 day 7 hours 45 minutes

"Transmission from fleet commander Ristar."

"Good, that was quick- let's hope it's good news."

"Commander, you're in luck. The vesperon ship L'utríel was destroyed by us not 3 hours ago, and judging from the sudden drop in it's external comms traffic halfway through the battle, it's comms system was either destroyed or heavily damaged, meaning that the Vesperons probably don't know for certain what happened to them. We have some intercepted comms logs as requested, both in encrypted and decrypted forms. I hope that is satisafctory."

"You have one highly satisfied customer, sir. I will be recommending the Order of Jade Dragon to my friends for all their intelligence needs. I believe that Dr Yani can return to you now, she has been very helpful and encouraging."

"Thank you, commander." Ristar then turned to one side, "beam Dr Yani back." a few seconds later, "good." Turning his attention back to the comms channel,

"Well, I think that's everything. Good luck, commander. Do us proud."

"I will do my best. This one's for DeSylva."

"Indeed. For Gareth."

Ben made another general broadcast on the commanders-only secure channel

"Defenders in Treas. Ignore my previous broadcast. Ready the defences for this region and engage any Vesperon forces at will. I am beaming over 15 leeches and 15 crabs to the Shogun; Use them wisely."

War plus 1 day 7 hours 55 minutes

"General crew alert! Prepare for Velvet Shutdown!"

Two minutes later, they were ready. Kappa team was in the transporter room, together with all the Velvet strike equipment, a significant proportion of the ship's armoury and 10 systems engineers, 5 to handle the transporters and five to handle the Velvet strike equipment, and also there were 6 backup marines there. 13 Marines were in the brig, with rifles at the ready, 4 in the guest quarters, 5 standing guard in the medibay, and Briggs and Elworthy were at the system infiltration console, with an open communication channel to commander Zwycky. All weapons, launch control and chargers, and the tractor beam and cloning module were shut down, leaving more than enough power to do what they were going to do.

"Why do we need the IFF signal? I mean, we're going to be cloaked, aren't we?" asked Karen.

Chris Samson explained."Some mines, especially the most expensive ones have been known to burn through cloaking fields at very close range, especially if there's any tiny flaw in the cloaking device. We've checked and double checked every system, but it's better to be safe than sorry, and the IFF signal will be useful for the second part of the plan." She was much more than a good Navigation Officer, and would make commander someday, that was for sure. Maybe one of the things holding her back from that was her tendency to be massively overcritical of herself in the reports she filed. Ben was almost glad of that, because it stopped him losing a very valuable officer.

"Let's go."

They headed towards the entrance to the wormhole. Ben Zwycky thought to himself , 'those mines had better be programmed to not attack their own IFF's.' Five clicks, four...[/rp]

Ooh! the tension smile.gif

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

Commander Ben Zwycky GCV Svoboda

ISS Fleet

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

[This message has been edited by Ben Zwycky (edited 08-31-99).]

[This message has been edited by Ben Zwycky (edited 09-03-99).]

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Commanders,

You have a very nice story churning here, and I was thinking of joining in, if I may. Right now Ristar has me organizing ISS forces in Sol, so it might take a while for me to reinforce you. I can bring along the 2nd ISS Task Force too, if you feel like you need some troops. The 2nd ISS Task Force is comprised of the 282nd Space Marine Battalion (Support), and has two Nightstars, each with 10 Solarian-Class Interceptors, 1 Sentry-Class Supercruiser, and 2 Starcruiser-Class Heavy Cruisers. Let me know.

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

Commander Alun Tringad

GCV Black Falcon ISS03

Vice Fleet Leader - ISS Fleet

Tactical Support Coordinator - ISS Fleet

Bushi of the Dragon Council - Order of Jade Dragon

Director of Strategic Operations - Order of Jade Dragon

"Honor and courage, above all else"

Administrator - Official BC3K Webring

ICQ: 18001147

[email protected]

http://blackfalcon.cjb.net

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Sure, Alun, but you'd better be quick about it, or do one of those spread-across-multiple-time-index-posts (SAMTIP- sounds a bit like a warhead or something, don't you think? smile.gif). BTW, Ristar, you (or I) should probably have told everyone in Treas not to wait 5 minutes for me and prepare the defences when we decided I was going in. On we go;

[rp]Three, two... Ben winced as they entered the swirling vortex.

Flash.

Nothing.

No explosions, no laser fire.

"All stop. Where are the mines?"

"There are about 30-40 leeches all around us, intermingled with about the same number of crabs, but they're ignoring us." A leech mine drifted gently across the bridgeviewer, about 50 metres in front of the Svoboda's nose.

"Hoohohohoow," Ben half-sighed, half-laughed in relief, then gathered himself. "Right, let's get to it. What have we got?"

"Well, ermm, there are 23 Nightstars, 45 Sunflashes, and 29 MRT-15 Troop Carriers. Whoa." reported Steve Culper.

"We're being hailed by a Sunflash on patrol near the jumpgate,"reported Karen, "can they see us?"

"No they can't. They could see the flash of something coming through the wormhole, and now they can't see anything, so they've assumed, correctly, that it was a cloaked vessel of some kind. Mr Elworthy, is the ventriloquist ready?"

"Yes, sir! On-line." The holographic image generated from the comm logs of the dead vesperon commander stirred into life on Chris Elworthy's data screen, ready to be synchronised to the words Commander Zwycky spoke, after it translated them into the official Vesperon Military language and transmitted them in a near perfect simulation of the dead man's voice. This process introduced an overall delay of slightly less than a tenth of a second, which was hardly noticeable, unless you were really looking for it. Some interference was added to both the image and the voice signal, and the signal itself was deliberately weakened to mask any minor faults there might be, but mostly to augment their cover story.

"Let's hear the hail, then."

"Cloaked vessel. This is the K'P├│rl. Please identify yourself."

"This is P'rúl F'en of the L'utríel. We have highly important tactical information. Who is in command here?"

"The L'utríel? We had reports that you were destroyed."

"We got into a battle and our comms system was heavily damaged. As a result, we have been unable to make long-distance transmissions."

The commander seemed to pause for a few seconds, as if verifying their story.

"This is where we see how good Jade Dragon's info was," commented Chris.

"Acknowledged, L'utríel. Group Leader S'Lin A'Shar is in the Nightstar nearest to Tulon Station, and Group Leader B'Hor L'Hith is in the Nightstar 500 km from the planet. You probably want to see S'Lin A'Shar."

"Thank you, K'P├│rl. Your assistance has been noted in your record."

"That should make them feel good about themselves for a while."

In the Vesperon military structure, a good word from the commander of an intelligence vessel was very helpful to your career prospects, and a bad one was not to be desired.

"Have you got those two ships locked in?"

"Yes, sir, assigned as priority targets.

"Right, head for S'Lin A'Shar's ship. Let's meet the boss."

"Hyperdrive activated."

The spherical jump anomaly formed in front of them just before they were catapulted into it. Ben watched the hyperdrive charge indicator drop slowly as the stars seemed to rush by.

"Emerging from hyperspace."

On the bridgeviewer the planet Arima, a battle-scarred Tulon station and a mighty flotilla of Vesperon capital ships exploded out from a point in the distance at seemingly impossible speed, before halting abruptly in their actual positions. This phemonemon never ceased to strike him, even now.

"Mr Elworthy, have you got into their perscan?"

"Yep, it's a surprisingly low-priority system on most ships but we're just going in for short bursts to minimise the risk of detection. We've got a couple of marines patrolling on each deck, and one near their bridge, but the vast majority are either in their quarters or in operations. All other target systems are clear."

"Excellent. OK, everybody, it's a Nightstar, so you know what to do. Jon, just get the chief engineer, then clear everyone out of engineering before you shut it down. We may have to do this lots of times."

The members of kappa team acknowledged their orders. Jon Tulloch went through the final checklist.

"Blockades!"

"Check!"

"Launchers!"

"Check!"

"Low power setting!"

"Check!"

"Vesperon IFF's!"

"Check!"

"Extraction transponders!"

"Check!"

"We're ready here, sir."

"Activate the ventriloquist, and record his transmissions. Hail them."

"This is Group Leader S'Lin A'Shar of the G'ol├║l. Who is this?"

"This is P'rúl F'en of the L'utríel, Group Leader. Reports of our demise have been greatly exaggerated, but because of damage to our comms system, we have been unable to transmit securely or over long-distances."

"I am glad to hear of the resilience of our vessels and crew." He readily accepted their story, partly out of fear of the intelligence arm of the Vesperon Military, and partly due to his pride and conviction that his race was superior to all others.

"We have important tactical information. Can we beam aboard your vessel?"

"Certainly. We would welcome the visit of returning heroes."

"Because of the extreme sensitivity of this information, we will be beaming and advance guard over to ensure nothing happens to it."

His manner changed. These sorts of measures were only taken when the information to be transfered would have a major impact on the course of a conflict, or on the chain of command should it get out. Because this conversation had been taking place on an open channel, all the ships in the Vesperon fleet could overhear it. They all made the same conclusion. Something big was up. Something bad.

"Of course. We shall expect you shortly."

The channel was closed.

"Mr Elworthy, was that enough?"

"Yes, sir! More than enough."

"Jon, you are go for Velvet Shutdown."

S'Lin A'Shar was about to get the shock of his life.

War plus 1 day 8 hours 5 minutes

[/rp]

Also BTW Ristar, could you edit your post and take out some of the asterisks in the line above war plus 1 day 4 hours, please? it's messing up the page format a bit. Sorry to be picky.

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

Commander Ben Zwycky GCV Svoboda

ISS Fleet

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

[This message has been edited by Ben Zwycky (edited 09-01-99).]

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Are you all on the edge of your seats, yet? smile.gif"><P>IHas anyone heard from Sebastian (Vauban) recently? I hope he's OK, wherever he is and whatever he's doing. I miss him.

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

Commander Ben Zwycky GCV Svoboda

ISS Fleet

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

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Sorry this is so late. I didn't know how busy Saturday would be, and I had lots to do today, then my dad had to use the computer when I finally got some free time, and rant, rant etc. Here we go with the big one:-

[rp]"We're off," Jon told the transporter operators, "you know the drill. Beam the brig targets in pairs to start with, to make sure there's a free pair of pads as much as possible, but if in doubt, beam them over. Everyone remember to close to within 40 metres before firing. Go."

The members of kappa team made a strange sight, in their nondescript combat suits with reflective visors, some with big titanium plates strapped on their backs, some also carrying them in their hands. Others with a sidearm in both hands, like robotic versions of the outlaws depicted in many a twenty-second century holovid, seemingly missing only the stetson to complete the image. As the ten jump anomalies were forming, and the five pairs of marines were dispatched to their different locations, the available power indicator dropped to just above 5 units before rising back to 35 when the transport was complete. Ben noticed that the ship's lights dimmed slightly.

"Hey, is our solar reactor aligned?"

"Whoops, sorry. Pitching to align solar panels with Tau Ceti."

"No, forget that. This is going to be too much hassle later on. Paul, shut off the solar reactor."

"But the transporters are going to get less efficient as they heat up."

"Then reduce the power use of the engines as required, and after that the shields, but don't take the shields below 3. After that, maybe navigation, as a last resort. How much more equipment can you make in the next 20 minutes? I mean, that's the most time we can reasonably expect to get."

"Well, I've only got 10 systems engineers free, and they're spread across all the different pieces of equipment. Three, maybe four more launchers, another 5 cartridges of transponder bullets, 5 more mark I's, 3 more mark II's, maybe 10-15 more Mark II's to Mark II B's."

"How much have we got of each?"

"40 launchers, 650 bullets, 30 Mark I's, 30 Mark II's and 40 Mark II B's"

"That's enough launchers and bullets. Focus on producing more Mark I's, then convert them to Mark I B's first, since that's quick, then convert them to Mark II B's. I'll send Nicola and the flight engineers down to help you. They'll be able to speed up the more menial tasks, so you can concentrate on those shield generators. Work as fast as you can."

"Don't rush me! They might not work if I don't do it right."

"I don't have time to argue with you now. They don't have to be perfect. Mr Elworthy, how convincing can your next message be?"

"Very, if we turn everything up to optimum. It won't be synchronised, though; it'll take about 10-15 seconds to create."

"That's fine, here's what I want him to say..."

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

war plus 1 day 8 hours 5 minutes 30 seconds

fore corridor of deck 1, Nightstar Carrier G'ol├║l.

Two glowing spheres appeared out of nothing between the two entrances to the bridge, and Jan Beranek and Mirek Novotny came out of them, both with instant blockade mark II B's on their backs. They walked to the doors, then took off their blockades, leaning them against the corridor walls. They then drew their sidearms, nodded to each other and entered the bridge.

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

war plus 1 day 8 hours 5 minutes 30 seconds

mid corridor of deck 1, Nightstar carrier G'ol├║l

Henry and Jason Shaw appeared just outside Operations. Jason had both his sidearms drawn, had a cylindrical bag over his shoulder, and looked up and down the corridor. Henry was carrying one instant blockade mark IIB on his back and one in his hands, which he slammed over the entrance to operations, chuckling to himself as he activated it's shield generator and closed the cover, remembering the holovid presentation Simon Richardson had made for them, introducing them to this wonderful device...

"Enemy marines getting you down? Turning up in the most awkward places? Just

when your infiltration was going so well?" (picture of Galcom commander

sitting in his command chair nodding sadly, then looking up in glad

surprise)"Well, don't worry, for just 9999 Galcreds you can get the 'Instant

Blockade!Ôäó' (picture of doorway shaped titanium plate with suction seal

along three sides of one face and small handles on the other, on a slowly

rotating platform in front of a sparkly background)

"Made from top quality titanium and guaranteed to withstand at least 3

minutes of constant laser fire, the Instant Blockade!Ôäó can be fitted easily

by just one marine. It's easy! Just slam it over the doorway of your choice,

and the suction seals will hold it in place until the OmnigluÔäó in the bottom

of the seal sets. Yes, that's right, OmnigluÔäó- the miracle adhesive that

sets as strong as titanium in just 5 seconds! So within 5 seconds of

installation no-one's getting through there in a hurry!"

"The Instant Blockade!Ôäó comes in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit every

kind of doorway you can come across, double doors, standard doors, even

hatches and airlocks!"

"Don't delay! With every 10 purchases you get a free Space Marine action

figure (while stocks last!)"

"Instant Blockade! is a product of Paul Rand Prototype Projects

Incorporated."

That was the mark I. the Mark II had an inbuilt shield generator with an armoured cover piece to glue over it in a similar way after you switched it on. (it activated about 5 seconds after you switched it on), and the B corresponded to two extra blocks of titanium which stuck out from the main plate and had suction seals and omniglu on the ends, which stuck to the two halves of the door and prevented it from opening. (The shield generated also protected the door.)

... "no-one's getting through there in a hurry! huhuh!" the two of them then proceded round to the transporter room, Jason taking the instant blockade off Henry's back on the way, Henry drawing his sidearms.

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

war plus 1 day 8 hours 5 minutes 30 seconds.

aft corridor of deck 1, Nightstar carrier G'ol├║l

Fred Hurgis and Graham Trein appeared outside the troop quarters, Fred with a blockade on his back and Graham with one on his back and one in his hands, which he slammed over the doorway to Troop quarters 1, before they moved on to Troop quarters 2 and personnel quarters 2, where the off-duty engineers were.

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

war plus 1 day 8 hours 5 minutes 30 seconds

fore corridor of deck 2, Nightstar Carrier G'ol├║l

Matti Eriksen and Joost van Weig appeared just beside the weapons, tactical and logistix computers. Neither had a blockade, but Matti had a cylindrical bag just like Jason. Out of it Matti took a couple of grenades and an armoured cover just like from one of the mark II's. They checked around, then Matti primed the grenades (which had ninety second fuses), placed them in the cover, then fixed the cover to the side of the G'ol├║l's weapons computer, in a place that wasn't easy to spot. They then activated their return transponders and were beamed back to the Svoboda's transporter room.

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

war plus 1 day 8 hours 5 minutes 30 seconds

mid corridor of deck 3, Nightstar Carrier G'ol├║l

Jon Tulloch and Paul Yester appeared just outside the engineering section, Jon with a blockade IIB on his back and sidearms drawn, and Paul with a larger version of the mark IIB on his back and a smaller version of the mark II in his hands, but with the shield generator on the same side as the seal. They entered the main hatch, being well-practised at moving through doorways quickly and easily with blockades on their backs. Jon raised his sidearm and fired, the laser energy being absorbed and converted by the launcher attachment which catapulted out a relatively low-velocity projectile. This bullet hit the chief engineer on the chest exactly where the trajectory-predicting laser sight had indicated and stuck there, held to his uniform by its soft glue tip. The tiny perscan circuit inside detected that the bullet was now connected to a person and activated it's transporter beacon. He had expected to be thrown back by the force of the blast, but just had enough time to look puzzled before he was beamed directly into the Svoboda's brig, where 13 marines, plus Doug McIlroy were waiting for them. Jon waved his sidearms, shouting,

"Drop everything and get out of here! Go! Go!" and ushered them all out of the second exit, as Paul closed the main hatch, lined up the edge of his larger blockade against its doorway, flexed his knees, then pushed back to slam it into place.

"Next time, you do the main hatch."

"Why do you think I wanted to be leader?" smiled Jon as he put his blockade in place. "Right, let's shut this baby down."

"OK, shutting down power to launch control, weapons systems, IOD, turrets and comms."

"OK, last blockade, then we can get out of here!"

Paul switched on the shield generator and anti-tampering device of his smaller blockade and fixed it over the power control panel. Clearly written in Large letters in the Vesperon Language were the words 'WARNING. This panel has been booby-trapped. Any tampering with this panel will set off an explosive charge beneath it.'

"That ought to discourage them for a while." Jon and Paul activated their return transponders and were beamed back to the Svoboda's transporter room.

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

war plus 1 day 8 hours 5 minutes 50 seconds

Bridge of Nightstar Carrier G'ol├║l

Jan and Mirek went through the doors at the same time, looked around the bridge and saluted the commander with sidearms in hand. But instead of lowering their hands, they aimed and fired at different bridge officers using both sidearms, and hit everyone with a transponder bullet within a couple of seconds. A few "what the?"'s (or however far they got) later, they were all in the Svoboda's brig. A few bullets missed their intended target, and hit chairs or walls or floor, and the perscan circuit in these bullets detected that they were attached to something that wasn't a person, and they activated the small incendiary device in the bullet, which melted all the electronics inside along with the casing, preventing any important secrets being learned from the strays.

When the bridge was cleared, they went back out the doors to pick up their blockades. When Mirek's doors opened, he saw a Vesperon Marine on patrol, looking puzzledly at the blockade. Mirek saluted him with the sidearm in his right hand (he had put the one in his left back in its holster) and then indicated the blockade with his left. The marine looked closer, fascinated, and Mirek Shot him in the leg with a transponder bullet. He looked down to see what had happened, just before he was beamed away. Jan and Mirek then reentered the bridge, shut the doors and fitted their blockades, just before the comms computer blew.

They switched the weapons and PTA off, then Jan turned to Mirek, lifted his visor and happily said,

"Pocinal jsi si dobre. Vitej v skupine!"(You did your job well. Welcome to the team!)and they did a high five, before activating their return transponders.

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

war plus 1 day 8 hours 6 minutes

mid corridor of deck 1, outside transporter room of Nightstar Carrier G'ol├║l

Henry opened the door of the transporter room, shot the single operator inside with a transponder bullet, then reached into Jason's bag for some long-delay grenades. He took out four 60-second delay grenades, threw two onto the transporter pads, and two under the control console, then Jason slammed on the blockade and Henry took Jason's bag and hurried off as Jason switched on the shield generator and attached the cover.

Henry took out two 20-second delay grenades and an armoured cover, armed the grenades and fitted the cover just as his brother overtook him and took the bag. Henry drew his sidearms and followed at a comfortable run. They weren't in serious danger of being caught, since all but a single marine was left on this deck of the ship who wasn't stuck behind a blockade, and the few free systems engineers were going to find it pretty tough to free them without access to engineering or the supervision of their chief engineer. They both arrived at the main computer about tan seconds after the comms computer blew, and attached a couple of twenty-second delay grenades to the main computer before activating their recall transponders.

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

war plus 1 day 8 hours 6 minutes 20 seconds

The comms traffic from the G'ol├║l suddenly stopped, then S'Lin A'Shar appeared on the main comms screen of each and every Vesperon vessel in the fleet, and said,

"Maintain position and maintain complete radio silence until further notice. That is an order. Group Leader B'Hor L'Hith, P'r├║l F'en will advise you of the situation." It was an unusual order, but fitted the circumstances. Something seriously bad had happened. Maybe they were all being watched?

[/rp] sorry, lads, but I'm going to have to stop it there for the night. I'm getting very tired, and I didn't realise how long this would have to be. I'll finish the second part of this post tomorrow, I hope. I hope you think it was worth all the hype I gave it. Badgerius, I'm planning on putting the whole of Eternal diligence in the Library of my ship's website, if you don't mind. I'll give you your due credit for it, but I want to put it in, because my ship's part in it flows so well from my first story. I'll probably have a URL for you to look at tomorrow if you want. (I've done some nice logos for it, but haven't uploaded them yet.)

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

Commander Ben Zwycky GCV Svoboda

ISS Fleet

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

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[rp] The explosions that decimated the G'ol├║l's computer systems and transporter were so aligned as to be undetectable from the outside. Not even an external light flickered.

Back in their quarters, Briggs and Elworthy were trying not to laugh their heads off.

"That should stop them figuring out what's happening for a while, bwarrgh!!"

"Briggs, get into their perscan; Elworthy, get the original ventriloquist simulation back up."

"Right, ermm- done; Their tactical officer is in the officer's quarters, and there are a couple more marines on patrol than before, one near the bridge and another near the computers on deck 2, but otherwise no major problems."

"OK, open a channel, Karen."

"Got them."

"Greetings, Group Leader B'Hoth. We shall have to take the same precautions as before."

"Understood, L'utríel. When you're ready."

"OK, Joost, you're going after the tactical officer."

"He's in the officer's quarters cabin #3," added Briggs. Ben continued,

"Matti, you'll have to be beamed in after Joost on your own, and probably need to deal with the patrolling marine. You take a backup marine with you."

They both nodded, and Matti chose his new partner.

"Henry and Jason, you OK for the same again?"

"Yeah, you don't get tired running in these combat suits. They do nearly all the work for you."

"OK, go."

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

war plus 1 day 8 hours 7 minutes

fore corridor of Deck 2, Nightstar Carrier K'udál

Matti Eriksen and Jacob Kiptano appeared before the Computers and made a strange pair. The kenyan at 7'3" was by far the tallest crewmember, while Matti at 5'6" was one of the smallest. Despite this, they had always been good friends and worked well together. Matti was just fitting the cover, when the marine they'd been warned about came round the corner. Jacob hit him with a couple of transponder bullets, but inbetween being hit by the bullets and being beamed off the ship, he managed to get off a short burst from his rifle, hitting Matti just above the hip and getting through the armour of his combat suit. He gave a small cry of pain, then fell on his back and activated his medical emergency transponder (it was on the other end of the recall transponder). He was then beamed directly to the Svoboda's Medibay, where he was seen to immediately. The others set about their tasks, and performed them well, taking a couple more prisoners this time. The element of surprise was still very much on their side.

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

war plus 1 day 8 hours 7 minutes 30 seconds

The weapons discharge set off an alarm in operations. Running past, Jason and Henry overheard this conversation:

*Crash* *Thud* *Crash* *Thud* "K'itrak!" (Snake intestines!)

"H'otrit G'ajekeb!" (Ground-throwing systems engineer!)

"Urrgh! Urrgh!" (Urrgh! Urrgh!)

*Clang* *Clang* *Crash* *Thud*

"To'truged F'uploki B'itrúblek Ghí!" (Open, you dog's stomach acid door!)

It loses something in the translation

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

war plus 1 day 8 hours 8 minutes

"I'm Okay," Matti flapped, "just a minor wound. Dang fool me tried to dive out of the way, jumped straight into a wall and went nowhere."

Ben was alerted to the medical extraction. "What's happened, Linda?"

"It's Matti. He got hit but it's minor. The combat suit took most of the blast. We should have him patched up in a couple of minutes, but he'll probably need another combat suit."

"Thanks, Linda. David, have you any candidates for our next hit?"

"Plenty. I've got into eight different perscans. The K'epík looks particularly sleepy. Mind you, so do quite a few others."

"Right. The K'epík it'll be, then. How many prisoners do we have, Doug?"

"Eighteen, Ben."

"That's too many for just two ships, but at least they're totally out of commission, they're the two command ships and we haven't raised the alarm yet. Now we try to do the same to as many nightstars as we can. OK, next target is the K'epík, I'm told the chief engineer and a couple of bridge crew are in their quarters, which should make things simpler. Start using the Mark I B's for the less important doorways, like operations and troop quarters, and try to avoid confrontations- we haven't got limitless space for prisoners."

They got on, going more for speed than artistic impression, (ie not bothering with leaving blockades outside the target rooms etc.), with Doug doing a fine job in welcoming their new guests to the wonders of the Svoboda's brig. "Good evening! Please drop your weapons to the floor and move back." Due to his imposing frame, he was pretty persuasive on his own, but with a large squad of marines with laser rifles all aimed at their heads as well, few chose to disagree with him. A couple of not-so-bright marines lifted their guns towards the squad only to be cut down pretty visciously. One was instantly killed, another lost an arm, but was beamed to the medibay in time to be stabilised.

war plus 1 day 8 hours 13 minutes 30 seconds.

classified tactical report.

Ships disabled G'olúl, K'udál, K'epík, T'ítor, R'inal, H'úrk; all comms computers, weapons computers, main computers and transporters at least 90% damaged, bridge isolated, engineering isolated and power shut down to defensive and comms systems.

Prisoners Taken: both Group Leaders, 4 Commanders, 6 Tactical Officers, 5 Comms Officers, 4 Navigation Officers, 5 Chief Engineers, 8 Marines (1 killed, 1 seriously wounded in Medibay) Total in brig: 31. 30 of these currently being escorted to Brig expansion in Personnel Quarters 1

Stores: 530 bullets, 28 launcher attachments (plus 2 damaged) 15 Mark I's, 30 Mark I B's, 5 Mark II's, 15 Mark II B's, 20 armoured covers (apart from ones on Mark II's).

Casualties: Matti Eriksen- recovered

Jacob Kiptano- in Medibay LF=78% FF=16%

Graham Trein - in Medibay LF=86% FF=7%

cover story still intact.

end report

war plus 1 day 8 hours 20 minutes0

They had used up half the time they expected to get out of the transporters. Paul had taken a couple of units off the power to the engines as a precaution, otherwise they were getting within 10 units of their total reactor output at peak demand. This was slightly better than Paul had anticipated, but as the transporter power grid heated up, the rate of decrease in efficiency would get faster and faster until they would be forced to shut it down. They had only a couple of spaces left in the brig, and had taken out eleven Nightstars without blowing their cover, and with only the loss of two enemy marines, and injuring two others, who were recovering in the Medibay, along with 3 members of kappa team. Ben decided it was time to have a talk with S'Lin A'Shar.

"Group Leader A'Shar, we have disabled a large proportion of your carriers, and have made every effort to avoid loss of life. Those ships are utterly defenseless and would be destroyed in a space battle. If we had wanted to, we could have destroyed those ships or at least killed a great many of your crew, and we still could if we wanted to. We don't want to do that. We are your allies! There is no need for this war. You are only making us both more vulnerable to our mutual enemies. I assure you that this fleet is nowhere near strong enough to defeat Galcom. It will be wiped out. By sending it in, you will be condemning all your crews and troops to death. If you were to tell them to turn back, then a great disaster could be avoided, but if you don't, then I assure you that we will start destroying your ships and the blood of their crewmembers will be on your head, Group Leader, yours. I am giving you a choice right now between peace and war, between life and death. Choose life, I implore you."[/rp]

I will let you decide, Badgerius, how he reacts and what he says to his fleet. The URL for Eternal Diligence (not completely up to date) is http://www.watson-jones.swinternet.co.uk/Svoboda/Eternal.htm If you don't like what I've done then say so and I'll take it off again. Currently, you can't get to it from any link in my website.

Oh, and apologies to any genuine czechs (or vesperons) for any mistakes I've made in their languages.

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

Commander Ben Zwycky GCV Svoboda

ISS Fleet

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

[This message has been edited by Ben Zwycky (edited 09-09-99).]

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Ben, I love what you've done with this. What a great concept. I especially love the "instant blockade" That is a great piece of engineering.

I'm still quite busy, so I won't be able to put vast quantities of time into this story, but we're just getting to the good part. I'll E-mail you with Group Commander A'Shar's response. Hang on to your command chair.

BTW, I love the site. I had some trouble with some of the links, though.

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

Commander Badgerius, GCV Diligence

[This message has been edited by Badgerius (edited 09-08-99).]

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I'm ready with my next chapter, but I need Ben to write what happens with his prisoner first, or we'll lose continuity.

[This message has been edited by Badgerius (edited 09-09-99).]

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Cheers, Badgerius, the IBÔäó is my personal favourite. I've edited my last post to include an illustration of its effectiveness. Thanks for the email, and the comments about my site. I'll link it in. I think I put a couple of links in to pages I haven't written yet, like Velvet Strike chapter 5, to save me the bother of modifying them later. If there are any others, let me know by email. There's a bit more to my site than that (if you go up a directory you can find out about my dogs, if you want! smile.gif) I think its part of the webring now, eh, Alun? I haven't heard back from you on that one. Heads up, gents! Here's where we need you to all get stuck in. This is the response that Badgerius gave me.

[rp]The Group Commander bowed his head in submission. "Let me communicate with Ti'Donk, my second in command."

"Which Vessel?"

"The P'ilek"

"Hail them."

When the Vesperon's face appeared, he appeared surprised. "Group Leader! Where are you? We're not reading a ship at the source of transmission. Why are you not on the flagship?"

A'Shar smiled sadly. "I have been captured. The terrans have disabled several of our carriers. The odds of our success are dimished."

Ti'Donk's face was that of cold rage. "What are your orders, Group Leader?"

A'Shar looked solemn. "First disable the minefield to Empirian space."

"It is done, Group Leader."

A cold smile formed in A'Shar's face. The expression was that of a tiger who has been captured by its prey. "Attack plan B. Much Success."

Like a school of piranhas, the Vesperon fleet moved as a single entity towards the wormhole, leaving the disabled ships in it's wake.

"End transmission! After them! Briggs! have you got 5 targets?"

"I've got 5, but one of them won't be as easy as the rest of them."

"We don't have time to be picky. The velvet gloves are off. Lethal Strike."

In the Svoboda's transporter room, the kappa team plus the backups had been hurriedly rearming. Sidearms down, rifles up. Launcher grenades set to alternate 10 second delay and proximity perscan fuses.

"This is your choice, Group Commander. This is on your head. Why?"

"Because we have been held back by your pathetic civilisations for too long. We are the superior race, and we will crush you." This he said with total conviction, echoing the manifesto that had guided so many "invincible" civilisations and empires to their destruction.

"We'll see. Go." The pairs were beamed to their 5 target destinations ready for their deadly task. "Can we lock our IFF device to only scramble the Galcom signal independent of other IFF's?"

"I think so- yep."

"Do it. Right, set our mines to activate 5 seconds after launch, and get ready to launch a deceleration spread at the wormhole, then move away quickly."

"OK, ready. Wait a minute. Mines? With all those ships their PTA's will rip them to shreds in- oh, I get it!"

"Wait 'til our guys are all back."

On deck 3 of five different nightstars, a pair of marines appeared out of glowing blue spheres within line of sight to the reactor cooling system. 4 pairs were unopposed, launched 6 grenades each at the cooling system as fast as they could, then activated their recall transponders before the first delayed-action grenades went off. In using a mixture of delayed action and proximity perscan fuses, they would prevent someone near the cooling system from just batting the grenades away from it, and would make repairs to the cooling system very difficult and dangerous later on if the damage to the cooling system didn't destroy the ship.

On the P'ilek, however, things did not go so well. Since the short burst access to Perscan, a marine had patrolled to somewhere reasonably close and with a direct line of sight to the beam-in point, which gave him just under a 2 second headstart on Stuart Drelson and Joost van Weig, and mowed them down with a rapid fire burst from behind, slicing through them at knee level, the line of fire rising up Stuart's back at the end, the last energy blast shredding the left side of his neck. In complete agony, Joost aimed his rifle blindly behind him and fired off two grenades, so that at least one of them would be a proximity fuse. They bounced along the corridor towards their attacker before the proximity grenade burst, removing the current threat. In a huge effort of will power, Joost brought his rifle back round to aim at the cooling system, and fired off four grenades before dropping his rifle, reaching over to Stuart and activating both their medical evac transponders.

On the five targetted Nightstars, the grenades went off, causing heavy damage to their reactor cooling systems. In four of them, the damage was irrepairable, and in three of those, the force of the explosions was partly channeled into the reactor core itself, causing it to breach in a spectacular show of light, force and debris. Three Sunflashes and an MRT-15 between the H'itel and G'urák suffered the same fate- their sheilds were taken down to zero by the shockwave from the H'itel, and their hulls were torn open by a combination of the shockwave from the G'urák and pieces of the hulls of both ships. A couple more Sunflashes and another MRT-15 were lost by being thrown into each other and colliding a number of times since they were all trying to cram into the wormhole. The P'ilek survived the ordeal, but it's cooling system was badly damaged and it's capacity to fight severely reduced, but it headed on to the wormhole partly out of pride to be taking the fight to the terrans, partly out of fear of what would happen to them if they hung around any longer.

"All personnell retrieved, but one marine killed and one with 18% LF."

"Launch mines!" Ben said vengefully.

The Svoboda headed for the wormhole at high speed, then started to slow steadily, but quickly, launching mines at half second intervals, so they would be far enough apart to avoid setting each other off and would also arrive at the wormhole at different times.

"Let's hope they're more concerned with their invasion than with dealing with us." commented Simon.

"We've lost cloak!"

"Get us out of here!"

"Afterburners on!"

The Svoboda turned sharply as it accelerated and its cloaking field restabilised. Since their IFF was still vesperon, and they weren't actually targetting anyone with guns or missiles, they were ignored by the threat-detecting algorythms. A few ships turned to fire at them, but then quickly returned to their original course. Meanwhile the mines caused a frenzy of PTA fire. The problem with the PTA system is it doesn't bother to check whether there is anything in between the turret it is controlling and the target it is firing at also, mines are treated at the very highest priority. As a result, even though the crabs themselves only got off a couple of shots each before being destroyed, and the leeches were destroyed long before reaching any ships, most of the ships on the mines' side of the fleet were raked with PTA fire, finishing off another five Sunflashes, two MRT-15's and a Nightstar.

"OK, make a priority one long-range transmission to Commander Ristar."

"Commander, I hope this arrives in time to be of help. We have taken out a large number of vessels, but a large number remain and are heading for you. 7 Nighstars, 35 Sunflashes and 25 MRT-15 troop transports. The P'ilek is in command, but its reactor is damaged. I will be following them in to assist you."

"Message sent."

"Sir, the transporters are heating up very quickly now, faster than I predicted. We've only got a couple more minutes out of them."

"Shut them down, Paul, and deactivate the IFF device. It looks like we're going to have to fight the old-fashioned way from now on. Doug, I want every able marine on patrol duty, except for 5 in the brig and 5 in the brig expansion. Simon, aim to take us through the wormhole ten seconds after the last ship. We don't want to get caught in the destruction caused by our minefield on the other side." 'If there is one,' thought Ben as the Svoboda banked round to the wormhole entrance.[/rp]

Whoo! That turned out longer than I thought it would smile.gif These threads have been pretty quiet the last few days. Probably everyone playing RC9 instead. Don't blame you. smile.gif Of course, you realise that everything I've done in my last few posts is classified and none of you know what happened. So don't tell anyone, all right? wink.gif. Oh, Badgerius, I hope I haven't messed up your next post with this. I would be a tad embarrassed redface.gif

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

Commander Ben Zwycky GCV Svoboda

ISS Fleet

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

[This message has been edited by Ben Zwycky (edited 10-14-1999).]

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This works perfectly. Get ready for an old fashioned slugfest, with a twist.

[RP ON]

war + 1 day 8 hours 35 minutes

"Oh god, theyÔÇÖre all over the place!" OÔÇÖNeil was having trouble staying upright as blast after blast shook the Diligence. "Shields at 65%. Minor damage to most systems. Nothing major yet!"

The helmsman stood at his post, his fingers dancing over the controls. The Diligence had been in the thick of it for 15 minutes now, and had two Sunflash cruisers to her name. She was currently pounding on a Nightstar attack carrier, a threat even without her fighters, which were currently pouring off her launch rails.

"Vagrant locked. Away!" The helmsman was speaking in clipped sentences as he tailed the carrier. "A Hit!"

OÔÇÖNeil was following the action on the MapTable. "That one punched her shields, sir. Damage to her engines."

Sev nodded. "Keep at it! Flight Ops, report!"

The young lieutenant replied, "Sir, Interceptor one and three doing well, sir. TheyÔÇÖve put a dent in the enemy fighters. Int two is in trouble and requesting landing clearance, and four is requesting landing for re-arming."

In battle, indecision is death. In a naval battle, a captainÔÇÖs indecision may kill hundreds of his crew. SevÔÇÖs response was almost instantaneous. "Granted. Have four escort two in."

The Flight officer had already turned back to his screens. "Aye sir."

Sev turned to OÔÇÖNeil. "How is the rest of the fleet?"

OÔÇÖNeil hung onto the MapTable as another blast shook the ship. "Well, the Empirian fleet took moderate losses and is falling back to Cronus and Tramis. As for the rest, take a look for yourself."

As, Commander Badgerius looked at the TacOps display on the MapTable, a massive double explosion threw him to the deck. His stomach flip-flopped with a sudden loss and regaining of artificial gravity, and his ears popped as the air pressure dropped suddenly, indicating a hull breach nearby.

Sev made it to one knee. "Report!!" he growled, watching his bridge crew struggle to concentrate on their screens.

Big Al had a bloody nose from smashing it into the MapTable, but she managed to bring up the damage screen.

"Looks like we took two vagrants in close succession. Probably from fighters. Shields were breached, but theyÔÇÖre now at 18% and climbing. Hull breach on Deck 1, officerÔÇÖs quarters. ItÔÇÖs sealed off. Solar panel 1 is gone, and we have damage to engineering. Radiation leak on deck 2. It also looks like our repairs on deck 2 aft corridor have been compromised. WeÔÇÖre reading a hull breach there, too."

SevÔÇÖs attempts to stand were interrupted by another large explosion. The shipÔÇÖs computer calmly informed him that the shields had once again been breached.

"Tactical Jump! Helm, get us out of here!"

"Aye sir!" The helmsman picked as his target the remains of the ODS in this system. There werenÔÇÖt a lot of ships loitering around it at this moment. He triggered the hyperspace engines, and the Diligence shot into unreality.

OÔÇÖNeil was studying the damage report screen. "Sir, that last hit knocked out weapons bay 2 and seriously compromised the hull."

Badgerius stood and walked over to the MapTable. "How bad is it?"

"WeÔÇÖre at 26% hull integrity."

Again, Sev wasted no time reaching a decision. "We are falling back to Tramis. Flight, have the fighters meet us at or beyond the jump point. Helm, as soon as we have power, get us there. Sparks, open a channel to Galcom ships in the area."

When the various acknowledgments were replied, Sev continued. "All ships, this is the GCV Diligence. We have sustained heavy damage and are falling back to Tramis. Good Luck and Godspeed."

The helmsman spoke up "Hyperspace engines recharged. Jumping for the Tramis jump point."

When the Diligence and her fighters jumped into Tramis space, her crew believed that they would be safe there for the time being. They could not have been more wrong.

Sev just stared at the MapTable. Those unbelievable *******s. The ruins of the once majestic station orbiting Tramis mocked him, as did the eight heavy carriers surrounding it. Finally, he found breath to whisper. "They jumped ahead of us cloaked. They took Tramis from right under our noses.

OÔÇÖNeil looked up from the MapTable. "Sir, there is a class 14 minefield around the other jumppoint. Nothing could get through that, not even one of their own ships."

Sev reached a decision. "Turn us around, weÔÇÖll fall back through Treas to Cronus, and inform the fleet on our way through."

war + 1 day 8 hours 45 minutes

[RP OFF]

Ok, anyone wanting to go to Tramis, E-mail me, and I'll let you know what's there.

I'm requesting a role-call. Could everyone who has ships involved please let me know your stregnth and position?

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

Commander Badgerius, GCV Diligence

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Come on everyone! smile.gif Join the fun! This thread has so many possibilities for mayhem and multi-author type stuff. I'll be posting something soon, but I'd really like to know who's around first.

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

Commander Ben Zwycky GCV Svoboda

ISS Fleet

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

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Sorry for being so silent, guys. I've been busy getting things organized for College. I won't be around as often, but I'll be damned if I ever STOP posting wink.gif I'll need some time to get back in the loop, and I'll have to finish off the First Command thread. Once that's done, I'll be back with a vengeance smile.gif Post again soon.

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

Commander David Foss, GCV Deterrence

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Hey, how about a velvet assault strike pack mission for 3030? 'Your mission is to infiltrate the ground facility and capture a diplomatically sensitive terrorist leader', or something. Sorry about the mistake in my previous post. I've corrected the numbers of ships left in the fleet, that's all. I would have posted this yesterday, but my ISP decided to be unfriendly.

[rp]

war plus 1 day 8 hours 21 minutes

Flash.

A great flock of Sunflash cruisers appeared in the viewscreen, some being lightly peppered with laser fire by the few remaining crabs in the hastily-laid minefield. The shattered remains of three or four fo them were being slowly drawn back to the wormhole entrance. Weaving in and out around them, the Svoboda prepared to engage the enemy.

"Let's have a look at the Nightstars! Mr Briggs, have any of the Nightstars kept back many of their fighters?"

"Well, the P'ilek's Perscan shows 12 pilots still on board."

"Got the P'ilek. Well, erm, it seems to me that it's flying on a straight heading lined up to the star, so I'd say it's relying heavily on its solar reactor," reported Steve.

"Making it very unmanouverable. Assign it as the only priority threat. Make sure that the PTA will concentrate all it's fire on it and at 100%; but first go for a deceleration spread of 6 leeches at it from full afterburn. Stay cloaked, PTA off for now. Go get it."

The fleet of sunflashes seemed to flow by like a rushing stream as the Svoboda entered its jump anomaly and came out just over 7 clicks behind the P'ilek.

"Full afterburn, ready the leeches."

The Svoboda's velocity indicator climbed sharply to read well over 1200 km/s by the time the first leech was launched. Five were launched in quick succession as the Svoboda's retro rockets were fired. The Svoboda slowed to about 200km/s before turning to the left and accelerating again to draw alongside the doomed vessel before activating its PTA system for a full-on broadside. This drained it's shields sufficiently to enable the first couple of leeches to reduce it's shields to zero and the third arriving in quick succession smashed into it's exposed rear, detonating right into the already heavily damaged reactor cooling system, and sending a massive shockwave into the reactor core itself, which ruptured and tore the ship apart plus the two lightstars it was in the process of launching.

"PTA Off!"

"Aye, sir- recloaking."

"Next Target"

"The T'ikor hasn't launched many of its ships, but it's flanked by 4 Sunflashes."

"Designate as FATAL target. 4 Vagrants. Load all interceptors with 6 Vagrants and 4 Questors. Let the PTA choose it's own targets, attack the T'ikor with IOD. Ready Shuttles 3 & 4"

"Shuttles?"

"They're going to go and pick up those two leeches we wasted."

"T'ikor is jumping to the Tramis jumpgate"

"Jump there ahead of them."

The distance to target reading slowed its increase, then reduced at increasing speed then started to increase again as the Svoboda's more efficient hyperdrive enabled it to reach it's destination a good five seconds before it's adversary.

"Arc round to get a good run at them."

The Svoboda engaged afterburners and swept round in a large circle before lining up with the middle of the five jump anomalies just before the T'ikor appeared out of it. The FATAL system launched its minions almost immediately and they swept forward, leaving a pretty trail behind them that glistened in the starlight (and the laser fire).

"Weapons on! Fire! Launch Interceptors and shuttles!"

The Svoboda's Ion Disruptor Array fired again and again, it's glowing spheres of energy overtaking the Vagrants on the way to the T'ikor, arriving just in time to weaken it's shields enough for the Vagrants to punch through in three different places, doing massively greater damage than its armor could hope to protect it from, and it erupted in a great ball of plasma and debris, taking out a couple of the Sunflashes around it and weakening the others' shields. The interceptors, in combination with the PTA made short work of the remaining Sunflashes, and the Shuttles went on their way to pick up their deadly cargo.

"Incoming message from Commander Badgerius"

"Fellow defenders, the Vesperons have sneaked past us and captured Aleri station. They have also placed a class 14 minefield aruond the jumpgate from Tramis to Centris. We will be falling back to Cronus, as we have sustained significant damage. Good luck, my brothers."

"This is serious. How are our friends doing?"

"The Shogun is having a bit of trouble with a couple of nightstars" Steve reported.

That was an understatement. The Shogun appeared to be swarming with lightstars and stardrones, and it's shields were being steadily worn down.

"Let's go give Jeehun a hand."

war plus 1 day 8 hours 50 minutes[/rp]

I've got University stuff happening now, so my posts won't be as regular (either that or not as long) as before, but I will try my utmost to not let this story fade. Maybe that's why people haven't been posting as much.

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

Commander Ben Zwycky GCV Svoboda

ISS Fleet

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

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Guys,

Sorry I haven't posted lately. I live in North Carolina and have been dealing with Hurricanes for the past month.

I'll try to post tomorrow afternoon. Somebody e-mail me and tell me where and when they want me. I want to play a minor role in this RP, incase I can't post for a couple of days at a time. I'll bring in the 2nd ISS Task Force wherever anyone needs me. Just let me know.

Ben, I'll take a look at the Webring list and see if your in there. I think you are. Not sure though.

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

Commander Alun Tringad

GCV Black Falcon ISS03

Vice Fleet Leader - ISS Fleet

Tactical Support Coordinator - ISS Fleet

Bushi of the Dragon Council - Order of Jade Dragon

Director of Strategic Operations - Order of Jade Dragon

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Hey guys,

I'm going to start to post every day or so again. Soembody e-mail me and tell me my part in this little hooplah smile.gif

Until then.

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

Commander Alun Tringad

GCV Black Falcon ISS03

Vice Fleet Leader - ISS Fleet

Tactical Support Coordinator - ISS Fleet

Bushi of the Dragon Council - Order of Jade Dragon

Director of Strategic Operations - Order of Jade Dragon

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Has anyone mailed you yet, Alun? I thought Badgerius would, since this is his story.

My site is now on the webring! Cheers muchly smile.gif (I noticed there's no ID 23 site, though, strangely enough.) Also, I can't seem to access the members listing on the ISS homepage http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Arena/9206/iss That's still where it's supposed to be, isn't it?

[rp]War plus 1 day 8 hours 55 minutes

You had to admire the skill of the Galcom interceptor pilots in Treas that day. They were outnumbered by about 5 to 1 by admittedly less manouverable ships, but with the lightstars all armed with lethal ralix missiles, the odds were stacked well against them.

"Another one incoming! That makes three!" announced Smiler

"Why can't they tell that to our friend back there?" groaned Poltergeist.

Another splash on IC3's shields confirmed the continued presence of the stardrone tailing them. Poltergeist continued to weave and dive as much as he could, using all the cover he could, pieces of debris, small asteroids, other ships, remaining elusive and difficult to see, which is how he got the name poltergeist. (Since Operation Peace Run he had proved to be the best pilot they had during the intensive training week, and so he and Smiler had changed places.) He kept switching between the four targets to keep a constant eye on where they were, his mind on full overdrive. At last seeing an opportunity, and going for it in a split second, he headed straight for two of the ralixes at full afterburn. He played a deadly game of chicken for a couple of seconds, taking a few hits to his aft shields in the meantime. At the last possible moment, when it seemed that those missiles were going to scream right into his visor, he rolled and dived sharply, just avoiding their proximity range. The stardrone behind them did not, and the two missiles slammed into its midsection, smashing it to pieces before the pilot knew what had happened.

In the moment of euphoria, they both forgot about the third ralix with their name on it. For once Smiler lost his permanent grin, and switched IC 3's targeting computer to the third ralix "Incoming!" he shouted. Poltergeist saw the missile and its pretty trail closing fast, he engaged afterburner, span and climbed, but only enough to lessen the impact of the detonating warhead, which shook the little ship violently.

"Shield integrity breach- damage," gently reported the IC's main computer."

"Our shield generator is down to 50% performance, and the tacscope is out, but we're otherwise OK."

"Now I'm angry! Nearest enemy target!"

Poltergeist was now totally focussed on his next attack, and IC 3 swung round to the nearest lightstar, which had another as its wingman. Not that that did it much good. He attacked them head on, and a well placed burst of laser fire took out the lead man in a shower of red hot molten armour, and the volley continued naturally on to the second, hitting and detonating a ralix just as it was being launched, which did lightstar number 2 no good at all. As it tumbled from the explosion, Poltergeist finished him off with another short burst and then reassessed his situation.

IC's 1 & 4 had managed to avoid anything more serious than a few scratches, but IC 2

Wasn't fairing so well. They had lost their shields completely, and their lasers and life support were looking significantly worse for wear. The Svoboda was coping quite well, was using its afterburners an awful lot and had inflicted serious damage to one of the nightstars, and as far as you could tell from the outside, the Shogun was doing just as well. Then in came the shuttles with their leeches.

Flying in at over 1500 kph with leeches in tow, they lined up an intercept course with the slower-moving nightstars. When they judged that they were close enough to make it difficult for the nightstars to avoid a collision, they activated their shields, releasing the mines and engaged afterburners, and dived or climbed sharply out of the way. They took a few laser hits in the process, testing the capacity of their armour, especially while their shields were down, but they both made it through. Although the PTA systems of the nightstars picked up the rapidly approaching leeches, and attempted to take them out, the pilot of the nightstar received no inbound warning because they didn't have any sort of targeting lock. The leeches came in too quickly for the PTA system to be able to destroy them so they slammed into their targets, inflicting massive damage, indeed mortal damage to the nightstar attacking the Shogun. Its reactor breached and it tore itself and a number of its support ships apart, and probably did some damage to the Shogun in the process, but it didn't appear to be too significant, since the Shogun then joined the Svoboda in finishing off the second Nightstar. A vagrant missile from the Shogun made a huge hole in the nightstar where its bridge had been and it was then adrift in space.

Had those two nightstars been the only enemy ships in that region, they would have hung around to mop up the remaining fighters. However, they were started to get some unwanted attention from the other vesperon ships in the region, and would soon be in deep trouble again.

"I've got an open line to Fleet Commander Ristar", announced Karen, correctly anticipating Ben's next action.

"Thanks, Karen. Sir, I believe that a tactical withdrawal to Centris is in order."

"Indeed, Commander. I will ask Commander Tringad and the Tactical Support Arm to reinforce us there. All defenders, this region is lost. You are ordered to fall back to Centris and make our main stand there."

Ben turned to his Tactical Officer.

"Steve, recall the shuttles and IC's 2 & 3. Get IC's 1 & 4 to escort them in, and then escort us to Centris."

"Gotcha."

"Shuttle 1, where are you?"

"I'm currently in Pluto region with drone 1 on board and drone 2 in tow."

"OK, we're heading for Centris, so you can come back and dock with us there."

"Roger."

The Svoboda and Shogun covered the other defenders as they retreated through the jumpgate, the Shogun at the same time laying a small IFF-selective minefield in front of it, then they both went through, under a shower of laser fire.[/rp]

Sorry to take big decisions for everybody and put words in your mouth, Jeehun, but nothing much seems to be happening. Alun, here's your way in. I hope no-one's emailed you with something completely contradictory to this or something. Anyway, later,

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

Commander Ben Zwycky GCV Svoboda

ISS Fleet

http://www.watson-jones.swinternet.co.uk/Svoboda

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

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I'll start in on RPing tomorrow. I'm about to leave to go bowling (no funny remarks smile.gif">).<P>I

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

Commander Alun Tringad

GCV Black Falcon ISS03

Vice Fleet Leader - ISS Fleet

Tactical Support Coordinator - ISS Fleet

Bushi of the Dragon Council - Order of Jade Dragon

Director of Strategic Operations - Order of Jade Dragon

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