Terran Wars, Transit and Discovery

Terran Wars, Transit and Discovery

Postby Chaser617 on Sun Jan 07, 2007 9:44 am

Well, after having to take a break from any writing because of family emergencies, and a new year, I finally get the next part done, I hope everyone enjoys.

Delorean Mansrat smiled wickedly from his command chair as he watched the swirling incandescence of hyperlight resolve spectacularly with a deep blue-shift of light into realspace. Now he thought with predatory malice, to see if the plan is still intact.

“We are in the Isgril System Sir,” his navigator announced and he gave an imperious wave of his paw to his tactical coordinator or ‘TACCO’, what the Union called a ‘gunnery officer.’

“Traffic is in system sir, Imperial and Principalaties,” the lemur responded.

Mansrat nodded. Good, they had timed it perfectly. Isgril was much like Edo, a major transfer point for all sorts of shipping because of its location, and inherent long-range inaccuracies of hyperlight travel. However, unlike Edo, which was a neutral world that banked on its importance and got fat off of it, Isgril was co-administered by the two alien nations. Most of the traffic was in fact either Imperial or from the Principalaities though there was some Terran traffic, Union ships dominated those of Terran registry, their merchant marine effective and large. Mansrat would have dearly loved to have taken some of those ships, all of them really as prizes for the League, but he had other plans this day.

“Activate our transponder,” he called out from his chair and looked at the list of ships coming up on his built-in display. Which one he thought, which one to start with… “Tactical Control, the Heglanda, she’s going to be first.

“Yes sir,” the lemur said as he turned back to his plots and Mansrat watched as they prepped the weapons for fire. Unfortunately it wasn’t all of their weapons. Parlence had been the subject of a quick and dirty bit of cosmetic surgery while she had re-supplied. Among the changes where the slate gray paint used by the Edoans instead of a proper pail white, that stupid scribble they painted on the prows of their ships and, light deck plating over the forward dorsal and ventral turrets, to conceal them in the line of the hull. It was all done to make the Parlence look more like one of their puny Ikazuchi-class destroyer but it also took a large part of his firepower out of play. Luckily he still had full use of the Parlence’s ship-to-ship missiles and the other four turrets, bringing his total available directed energy weapons available to eight, like all other Redoubtable-class heavy cruisers, and like most heavy cruisers, carried twin turrets. That firepower should be more than enough to savage some alien vessels and pin it on the Edoans quite nicely.

***

“All hands, all hands, prepare for transition,” Sally Conleen’s soft soprano sounded over the intercom of the Mutsu as Michael watched Mika and Isumi walk onto the bridge. He had invited them up so Mika could see a translation from hyperlight to normal-space. He had been confused at first by her request at dinner four nights ago to see what a translation looked like. Like the UAWN, the Edoan Navy closed up to general quarters during a translation, a hold over from days when the translation had been well to put it mildly, chancy at best without a guideline system. That meant that all the quarters with viewports had their armor sheathes sealed down. When the Crown Princess found out about that she had surprised the majority of the officers by asking if it would be all right to come to the bridge when they translated Translations had become so routine to him he hadn’t even realized that someone who had not been to the Academy and served aboard a interstellar vessel would consider the whole thing exciting. Just the look on Mika’s muzzle when he had found her in her cabin just watching the swirling colors of hyperlight in amazement made him see the error of his thoughts.

Michael had found out quickly that the Princess was naive to most things outside her own world and that of her actual current occupation as one of Kirishimi Electronics research engineers. It wasn’t that she didn’t care, in the time that they had spent over lunches, for some reason they always ended up in the wardroom at the same time, he had learned that she had concentrated her concerns on those she had some control over, while quiet and living in the background of the ruling class of Edo, she was not without influence, and she was far from stupid. It had been a few years since he had received his engineering degree from the Allied Academy but he had been able to fallow what she talked of, and from what he remembered of his schooling, it was very impressive, especially the work on improving the hyperlight navigation guideline system. Granted he told himself a bit abashed, he admitted he was developing more than a professional like for the Crown Princess and wondered if that increasing attraction was affecting his judgment when it came to her.

Granted she wasn’t technically watching the translation through transperamics. The bridge’s wrap-around view of space was not actually produced by transparamic viewports, but instead was of the highest definition visual displays possible with Terran science. Michael himself couldn’t tell even though he knew in the back of his mind that it was just a vid-display. It was a bit of a frivolous thing normally but it served a mighty value when maneuvering in and out of doc, and in a tight formation, that alone called for the best that was able to be produced. The bridge itself sat behind a meter and a half of high-grade cera-alloy armor. The strongest substance known to any of the known races, the complex molecularly bonded combination of ceramics and titanium alloy would shrug off a direct hit from a battlecruiser-grade main gun and possibly a second, though there where no illusions of surviving a third.

“Sir, we area approaching translation point for the Isgril system,” his navigator, Lieutenant (j.g.) Kenjo Yumi announced from her seat along the port section of the bridge dominated by the large terminals she used for plotting courses and hyperlight entry vectors.

“Very well,” he intoned formally, taking on the tone he had heard Commodore Banswith use so many times. In the time that he had commanded Mutsu he had come to know all his Edoan officers and relied on them greatly, from the Purser right up to his chief engineer Lieutenant Commander Nomouri Shin, one of the most experienced, if not the most experienced engineering officer in the ENF he had come to find. He had worked hard forming a bond like he had with the surviving crew of the Boone, to learn their foibles and strengths. To do that he not only dined in the wardroom every night, like he had on the Boone (albeit with the guilty pleasure of having a Stewards Mate deliver the food to him), but he had also burned through a large portion of the drill simulations available to the Mutsu to bring the crew, Edoan and Union both together as one fighting team. Just about every moment that he was on duty he had the crew running through another exercise, the Union personnel took to it in stride and he had learned, so did the Edoans, who held a surprisingly similar view on the necessities of training constantly.

“Lieutenant Misau,” he called to the helm officer, a short, powerfully built leopard who looked like he should have been a Marine, not a naval officer. “You have the ship.”

Hi!” he announced with academy-worthy snap that was simply natural to him. “I have the ship sir,” he turned to the ratings manning the dual helm stations. “Engineering, prepare for hyperlight deactivation.”

“Engineering confirms, hyperlight controls to bridge,” Chief Nomouri’s voice announced.

“Sir I have hyperlight,” the rating to port announce.

“Begin translation, all hands, translating in,” Michael just barely saw the flick of eyes as he read the displays before him as the ratings did the work they where highly trained for, “twenty seconds.”

Michael braced slightly hoping he didn’t look nervous. It was not the translation that made him nervous he admitted. After what happened to the Boone, he admitted to himself, if only himself, that this first translation gave him, well the gitters.

“Translating now,” the rating announced with a klaxon sounding three times throughout the ship and the wrap-around display changed from the swirl of color to the sudden burst of hues of blue from bright nearly white to near black midnight blue. He heard the Princess gasp beside him quietly at the display, even though the whole thing only lasted at most, ten seconds and the blues where replaced by the pinprick of stars and a green world off to port.

“Translation successful Captain,” the helm officer announced. “The ship is yours.”

“I have the ship aye Helm,” Michael announced as he stood and moved towards the holo-tank that was just now lighting up as the sensors that fed it once again had something to look at. “Navigation?”

“We are in the Isgril system sir,” Lieutenant Kenjo called out in response to the question.

Michael nodded, “Communications, activate our transponder and announce our presence to the system defense net, Helm, bring us about, one quarter military power, coarse three-three-six twenty-eight positive,” that coarse would bring them in among the traffic patterns of the planet, and allow Mutsu to be interrogated by the in system defenses. He saw a group of corvettes circulating about on the tactical plot that the holo-tank displayed, most likely doing customs and duties work, but since Mutsu was not carrying cargo she would not be inspected.

“Aye sir,” Sally called out and began announcing their presence over the pre-arranged channels prescribed by treaty. Transponder codes where the equivalent of a national pennant in the ages of sail and steam back on old Terra, announcing to the universe who the vessel belonged to.

Hi! Coming to port, three-three-six, twenty-eight positive.”

“Skipper?” Kevin announced from his place at gunnery. “Got something strange here.”

Michael blinked turning, he recognized that tone of voice Kevin was using, he had heard it many times when they had been roommates in the Academy, his gunnery officer was suspicious of something. “What is it Guns?”

“Its another Edoan transponder signal, it identifies itself as the EWS Musashi a Ikazuchi-class destroyer.”

The Crown Princess blinked. “There are not supposed to be any ships from home other than the Mutsu here.” Her muzzle was puzzled, and in the short time he had come to know the Princess, that meant something definitely was not right.

“The Princess is right,” her guardian responded frowning also, but this frown one of annoyance and concern that her charge was in danger. “Admiral Koga told me we would be aboard the only ship deploying to this area to make sure no one suspected. Who and what we where carrying.”

Michael nodded to her as he turned back to the holo-tank on the spur of the moment deciding not to secure from general quarters. The ship was ready for battle in everything but actively charged energy shielding and turrets indexing onto target. “Guns put up her plot on the tank, I also want a look at her,” he motioned Mika forward to the tank, he wanted her to take a look, she was an engineer as well as being Crown Princess. That also got him Isumi who moved like a shadow, and that was fine by the akita-inu, she might see something he did not.

“Aye skipper, its coming up on the tank now,” Kevin announced.

The symbology in the tank changed, highlighting one hack and several light codes appeared next to it identifying the ship as ‘Musashi’ with a question mark next to it, and a speed and heading hack as well as a projected coarse. Something was wrong here he thought, his own instincts lighting off, but what was it?

***

“Sir, another Edoan transponder code just lit off,” Mansrat’s TACCO called out in a bit of soft alarm, irritating his wolf captain. “It identifies as the EWS Mutsu, Mutsu-class.”

Mansrat blinked. “Mutsu-class, what the hell is a Mutsu-class?” Mansrat growled out looking at the tactical plot as they cruised towards their target.

“It identifies itself as a destroyer sir,” the TACCO responded. “My guess is she’s one of those ‘improved Ikazuchis’ Intelligence told us about. I’d guess some better shields and maneuver systems.”

“You guess?”

“Sir Intelligence really doesn’t have any firm data on Edoan ship-building, that’s the best I can do till they come closer to read some of her systems.” If the ship got that close, the TACCO knew, they could actually initiate a boarding action.

Mansrat snarled and the lemur just winced a bit, the wolf’s anger over officers not answering his questions to his satisfaction legendary. The wolf made a note to have the lemur disciplined harshly and then have his naval career terminated for his lack of information. However, even if it was an improved version of the Edoan’s primary light ship, it was still puny compared to the Parlence, and would most likely be held by the Imperials and Principalaties once Parlence had destroyed the shipping in Edo’s name.

“It’s a flee,” Mansrat snarled looking around his bridge. “Continue on intercept.”

***

Michael watched the hack of the ship that was identified as Musashi as the Crown Princess stood with him she looked distinctly worried, and that was making Michael a bit anxious as well.

“Do we have visual?”

“Aye sir, putting it up now,” Kevin announced and a display of the ship in question appeared in the holotank. Automatically something looked distinctly, wrong about the vessel. He couldn’t pin point it at first, it just didn’t look right for a destroyer. Granted what he thought was ‘proper’ for a destroyer where the shapes of the Broadsword-class DDs or the Hermes-class heavy destroyers currently in service with the UAWN but from what he had seen of the Ikazuchis when he had studied the files on the ENF, they looked very similar to the Broadswords.

“Can you zoom in on the front part?” Mika asked from his side, “on the Kanji on its prow?”

Michael nodded to Kevin who apparently had been anticipating the request and pointed to one of his raitings and the petty officer tapped in a command. The visual image zoomed and enhanced, something the tactical crews were not seeing, because their jobs could not be done with mere visuals.

“It’s wrong,” the Princess murmured.

“Mika?” Michael returned in question, neither realizing it was actually the first time he had called her by name, not title.

She frowned then turned to him urgently. “That’s not an Edo ship,” she said with all the firmness of her position. “The Kanji, its not right at all, yes, it says ‘Musashi’ but it says it wrong, and its badly painted. You know Japanese, you know it has more nuances than English, that Kanji is displayed all wrong.”

That got the attention of all the native Edoans on the bridge the Lieutenant Misau spoke up. “Sir no ENF ship would ever let its prow Kanji be sloppy. Its part of our traditions.”

“Skipper!” Kevin called out urgently. “The ship has hot guns! I repeat the unknown has hot guns ready to fire! We just got the power reading of their barrels!”

Michael nearly froze hot guns? Most the merchant vessels wouldn’t have the sensors to detect that specific power signature and the ship was too far away from any of the defensive perimeter for them to detect it. His eyes flicked to the coarse hack displayed on the holo-tank, and it clicked on his mind at once, the unknown was on an intercept to that Imperial freighter.

“Sally Live mic!” he called out. “Open channel all frequencies! Fill space with this!” he turned to Mika. “Tell them that’s not an Edo ship!” He turned to Kevin. “Guns! Go to hot load on the guns, I want Able and Charlie turrets all guns on target! Get a flight of Lances ready to go for launch on my order!”

“Aye sir! Live mic!” Sally called out her fingers flying across her boards.

“Gunnery copies aye sir, plotting fire solution for Able and Charlie turrets all, guns!” Kevin’s voice was surprisingly calm considering the rapid fire orders that where coming in, training and drill taking over. “Missiles five through ten are spinning up ready to fire on solution!”

The Crown Princess paused, blinking for a moment before Isumi nodded to her and Sally motioned for her to speak. “This….this is Crown Princess Yukiinu Mika, of the Kingdom of Edo, the ship identifying itself as EWS Musashi is not Edoan, I repeat the ship Musashi is not Edoan!” she called out more nervously as the bridge came alive around her. “All ships avoid Musashi!” she added nervously.

Her announcement caused all havoc to break loose.
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Postby BrockthePaine on Sun Jan 07, 2007 10:49 am

Oh good, I was hoping you hadn't forgotten this.

And the Leggies say "WHOOPS!"
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Postby Nikas_Zekeval on Sun Jan 07, 2007 2:15 pm

Wonder how your tailored 'incident' goes off when two ships allegedly of the same navy start duking it out, one claiming the other is an imposter? Soemthing tells me the wheels are about to majorly come off this plan. Worse case the Heglanda gets disabled and captured, allowing the Imperium and Principalities forces to look inside and see she is a League ship.

Can the Heglanda still use her hidden guns at the expense of the deception, or are they out of action? If the later than the Mutsu has equal defenses (IIRC DDHs have cruiser grade protection) and similar guns, with long lance missiles.
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Postby BrockthePaine on Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:12 pm

Nikas_Zekeval wrote:Wonder how your tailored 'incident' goes off when two ships allegedly of the same navy start duking it out, one claiming the other is an imposter? Soemthing tells me the wheels are about to majorly come off this plan. Worse case the Heglanda gets disabled and captured, allowing the Imperium and Principalities forces to look inside and see she is a League ship.

Can the Heglanda still use her hidden guns at the expense of the deception, or are they out of action? If the later than the Mutsu has equal defenses (IIRC DDHs have cruiser grade protection) and similar guns, with long lance missiles.

I believe you mean Parlence, right? Heglanda is a targetted freighter (at least from my reading).
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Postby Chaser617 on Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:56 pm

The Parlance can't use her other gun turrets, which actually means, at the moment, in numbers of main guns, Mutsu outguns her. However Heavy cruisers, such as the League Redoubtable-class have larger I guess the best term to say 'caliber' guns than even a heavy destroyer, even though DDHs use 'cruiser' guns, CAH weapons are slightly more powerful than those aboard most CAs, so the disadvantage isn't as bad as it seems.
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Postby Kerry Skydancer on Sun Jan 07, 2007 7:33 pm

Someone's just had the wheels fall off in a fairly major fashion, there. Heh. Gotta love it.

One quibble. Japanese is usually transliterated as 'Hai', not 'Hi'.
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Postby Chaser617 on Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:08 pm

I've seen it both ways Kerry

Hate to admit I actually flipped a coin on which way I did it...
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Postby StrangeWulf13 on Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:06 pm

Trust me, it's "hai" for yes. =P Kyoshi would kick my butt if I spelled it any different.
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