Thread: Dawn
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Old April 9th, 2008, 01:22 AM

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Default Re: Dawn - Ones and zeroes


Nekkar III
Fleet Training Academy...

The simulator was state of the art. The bridge of any ship known to the empire – friend or foe – could be simulated. Prototypes could also be simulated - which was, of course, the entire reason for the simulator in the first place. Those that proved successful throughout the various trials the designers and military put forth were now serving the Empire as ships of the line. Those that didn’t pass had their failures analyzed and evaluated. There were unsuccessful tests, but each test increased the knowledge of the designers, even if it was only in what not to do.

Today’s simulation was a test of the current anti-proton cannon battleship and a torpedo equipped battleship. Their challenge was to reduce the defenses of an active Norak colony. The crew that commanded the current battleship bridge simulator were Academy students, under the command of one of the heavy warship theory instructors. The command staff of the school had been asked to provide their best, and the crew on the bridge simulator was doing a very good job in reducing the defenses. The classic technique of slipping into range of enemy, firing and slipping back out again was used, and the defenses were ultimately eliminated.

Admiral Harrison had been running this Academy since its inception. He had pioneered the technique used and it was now standard practice when assaulting a planet.

Until today.

After the simulation was cleared, a lone man entered. He was carrying a single small satchel, and withdrew a set of chips, which he connected into the simulator computer. He then punched in an access code and looked back at Admiral Harrison.

“We’re ready.”

The exercise was repeated with two changes. First the anti-proton beam cannons had been replaced by the anti-matter torpedoes that were now available. Maintaining their lethality over 130km, they could out range the current cannons, out-punch them over distance, and as a result end assaults quicker. The only drawbacks to the torpedoes were their reliance on ordinance and the fact that point defense had a chance at destroying them. Still, with proper ordinance and supply support, they could be even more devastating than the beam weapons.

The second change was a bit more radical.

There was no crew.

The ship was run by a master computer, which could control the ship’s functions. Ship space would no longer be designated for the support of personnel, which meant more weapons, armor, shields, etc.

Harrison watched the demonstration impassively. He, and most professionals, knew the day was coming when computers would control the ships. Of course, they all thought it would come just a bit later.

Harrison signed off on the test results. Seeing no significant advantage to having members of the military in harm’s way, the ships would begin to refit for computer control as soon as they could...

Lezzari system
Lezzari IV...

The planet was colonized, and work began immediately on a Hercules VIII platform. Crews on the planet worked overtime to get the platform completed. The frigates Thames and Oxford orbited to defend the colony, while Montreal and the repair ship Alice Springs waited at the warp point. The stealth ship Springer was still shadowing the Norak fleet as it moved through the system. Springer reported that the fleet’s orders were to still warp out into an unknown system. Now that Dawn had established the colony there, everyone was wondering what the Norak fleet would do now...

Zezzis system...

With the establishment of the Dawn colony in Lezzari, Southampton, West End and Artemis were detached from Fezzran and were now heading to Lezzari. The Norak weren’t the only ships in the system, as a Sithrak carrier and support ships were also present, in orbit over one of their colonies. The Sithrak had stayed out of the war to this point, but caution would be observed. They would be offered a treaty, but the ships were still on their way.

Toronto also warped into the system from Fezzran, but she put into port to begin the upgrade to a Canada X class light cruiser. She would be the first capital ship in service to get the master computer upgrade. She would also swap one of her anti-proton beam cannons to carry 900kT of armor and a level-2 flak cannon with a range of 110km. She would also upgrade to a level 2 solar sail.

Fezzran system
Fezzran-Zezzis warp point...

With the departure of the four ships to Zezzis, the task of guarding the warp point now fell to Bismarck, along with Dunwich and Norwich. They would also upgrade as the situation allowed...

Sheliak system...

In Sheliak, Mastiff escorted the cargo ship Adams and the repair ship Townsville to the first Norak colony, Sheliak IV. It was a tiny planet with only one mining colony, but it was a first step. The Santa Maria ice planet colony ship on its way to the ruins at Sheliak X was met by Dover, and would be escorted through the system until it reached the planet. Bristol was already there as a deterrent from others to send a colony ship that way.

The stealth ship Beagle reported that the spaceport on Sheliak I was now protected by ten weapon platforms. The Cheththod fleet guarding the warp point to Lacerta was still over forty ships strong with two carriers, which held thirty fighters. A third Norak destroyer was on its way to the Sheliak-Pantrissa warp point, and the empire ships guarding that point were alerte...

Pantrissa system
Pantrissa V shipyard...

The cargo ship Monroe returned for a master computer upgrade. Roosevelt was due in for the same next month. Warping in from Zanthris was the battleship Tirpitz. She was en route to Sheliak and would take part in the assault on the Norak colonies there. A Santa Maria would colonize another ice planet in Pantrissa next month as well. This was a large ice planet, with a carbon dioxide atmosphere that would be home to a colony of Phong citizens of the Empire.

Drepana system
Drepana III...

The colony ship navigated around the sectors known to contain hostile ships, and eventually touched down. More Cue Cappa ships were starting to come into the system, but the Dawn had established a colony in Drepana, and had three warships there to defend it. The colonists immediately began working on a supply point to keep their defenders well stocked. The ruins yielded secrets of massive planetary shields, and would prove useful on high value planets.

Nekkar III
Corporate headquarters...

Along with the offer of trade to the Sithrak, a new peace offering was made to the Phong, this time showing Phong citizens of the empire productively engaged. They were happy and prosperous. It was a blatant attempt at propaganda, but if it worked, one less empire would be seeking to destroy the Dawn...
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