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  #41  
Old March 23rd, 2008, 09:11 PM

attack_condor attack_condor is offline
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Default Re: Dawn - one more day...

2409.0

Mentocka system
Mentocka VII...


The people on the planet didn’t know what had granted them an extra month of existence, but they didn’t complain. There was no doubt, however, that the Abbidon and the Cue Cappa were allied against Dawn. Both empires had ships in orbit around the now dead Mentocka VIII. The people didn’t waste time on politics, however. They were all working on getting a third weapon platform built. All they could hope for was just one more day – followed by just one more day...

Praxis system...

The system was serving as a waypoint to Ushphada. From Praxis itself came a new frigate – CDS Cardiff. She was the last of the improved missile frigates, and would stop at Ushphada I to receive her new weapons. From Nekkar III came the light cruiser Vancouver. And from Haphik came a satellite layer, CDS Shelly. All were headed to Ushphada. All were going to war...

Ushphada system
Ushphada-Tilikanthua warp point...


A Cue Cappa destroyer had tried to enter the warp point, only to find even more fighters waiting for it. Although it lasted a bit longer, it too was destroyed. Fifty-two fighters now guarded the point. CDS Conquistador, the new minelayer would arrive with a load of forty mines, and would shuttle between Ushphada VII and the warp point to seal it off. From the shipyard at Ushphada I came the Northampton and Lugosi – the latter had launched still with damage repair crews onboard. Melbourne would finish the repairs at the point itself. Sniper returned to the space yard to upgrade with new shields and a new shield regenerator. She would return to the point soon.

Pantrissa system
Pantrissa V space yard...


A new frigate was also receiving an updated weapon package. CDS Weymouth was launched and headed right back to the yard for the anti-photon beam upgrade. Also in the yard was another of the new frigates.

Sheliak system
...onboard CDS Beagle...


Captain Cabrerra would be back in Pantrissa next month. His ship would get a refit, and his crew would get a leave – which for most of them would be more training on new systems. Cabrerra doubted a man or woman among them had ever just let themselves go with a good bottle. From what he could tell, they never were in groups of more than two or three, and that was always about some technical matter or other.

“It takes all types,” he thought.

Nekkar III
Navy headquarters...


Commander Katherine O’Rourke had returned from leave. The promotion was welcome, but the attention was not. Still, she was expected to represent the forces defending the empire in the best manner possible. So she smiled, and said the right things – about how she wished there could be a different way to resolve the current conflict – she was briefed to not use the “w” word with civilians – and how she was proud to serve the people of the empire and its friends. She was also a bit sad to leave the West End, but was quick to note that the younger captain now in charge of her had her full support as well as her best wishes for successful voyages. Finally, she was asked about how she felt that members of the Phong, a race that had killed Terrans, were now living side by side with us on three of our planets – and wasn’t that just a bit of a slap in the face?

The reporter was about to be whisked away when Katherine asked them to let the reporter stay so she could answer.

“I am saddened by the loss of life – any life. It may seem strange to have that sentiment and wear this uniform, but the truth is that I hope to prevent the loss of life as an officer in the fleet. It is good to see that once enemies can work and live together as friends. I am also proud of the steps these Phong have taken in approaching us to live in peace. With their empire still officially opposed to us, their decision to live among us could not have been easy.”

She also visited the monument erected in memory of the Leeds and the colonists of Mentocka VIII. A small flame burned there, and she laid a wreath while the flashbulbs went off. As she turned to leave she couldn’t help but notice the groundskeeper clearing the brush away from an area about the right size for another block of granite…

Back in the headquarters, O’Rourke was meeting with now Admiral Harrison. His jump in rank was unprecedented, but there was a new ship and fleet tactics school, and he was to be its commander. At least O’Rourke was going back out into space.

“I could have taken Vancouver for you, Admiral. My leave has been over for a while now. I don’t mind the time here, but there is a war on. Sir.”

Harrison nodded.

“You are right, Katherine. There is a war on. And your time here hasn’t been all about your relaxation, although I’m sure it has gotten you to want to get out of here that much quicker.”

O’Rourke blushed, and protested.

“Admiral I didn’t mean to give the impression that…”

Harrison held up his hand.

“Don’t apologize, Commander. I’d trade places with you in a minute if I could. Your little sightseeing tours here have been of immense value to us – and the empire. Of course, I do have an advantage of knowing a piece of information you don’t.”

Katherine was perplexed. Her face showed it.

“Come with me, Commander. I want you to meet your new ship.”

They were joined by a small group of men and women and went into a briefing room...

(edit: Hmm, seems I forgot to give the resolution of the Zezzis I operation. The Dawn took over the colony, and the damage to the radiation extraction facilities is being repaired. The entire colony should be up to full capacity within a couple of months.)
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  #42  
Old March 25th, 2008, 09:38 AM

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Default Re: Dawn - Awakenings

2409.1

Mentocka system
Mentocka VII


Once again, the colonists were spared having to defend their lives. With three weapon platforms now online the colony switched to building and launching more mines in their planet’s orbit. There was still no word from the fleet, and some of the colonists began to wonder if they on their own, and whether or not choosing to live under Abbidon rule wouldn’t be better than annihilation...

Tilikanthua system
...onboard CDS Lugosi...


The second of the Dawn empire’s cloaked ships took up a position two sectors away from the Tilikanthua-Mentocka warp point. Assuming no one came through on their way to Ushphada, Lugosi would warp into Mentocka and cloak. Her mission would be to feed reports of the Abbidon and Cue Cappa forces and their intentions...

Ushphada system
Ushphada-Tilikanthua warp point...


Seventy-two fighters now patrolled the warp point. They were supported by Northampton and Sniper, with her newly upgraded shields and regenerators. Also making her initial visit to the warp point was Conquistador, who stayed long enough to lay forty-seven mines. She was already on the way back from Ushphada VII with twenty-four more...

Ushphada III
...onboard CDS Shelly...


The system would switch from producing fighters to producing satellites. Ushphada III would build the first. A new generation of Tripwire satellites, it would have an anti-photon cannon on a large mount. It would also be shielded, with its own regenerator. The initial deployment would be on the Tilikanthua side of the Ushphada-Tilikanthua warp point to give notice of incoming vessels...

Ushphada I
Ushphada space yard...


The light cruiser Vancouver and the new frigate Cardiff were receiving upgrades before joining Northampton at the warp point. There was just one more piece of the puzzle required for the ships of the Dawn empire to return to Mentocka...

Pantrissa system
...onboard CDS Beagle...


Captain Cabrerra was happy to see Dawn space again. He celebrated the first successful voyage of the Beagle with a toast of the Sithrak ale left to him upon his “ascension” to the captaincy of the Beagle. He de-cloaked well after clearing the warp point to avoid any mistakes in identity. Beagle was getting some new technology on this stopover.

At the same time Beagle was headed into the yard for a refit, the first of the new generation frigates, CDS Weymouth, had completed her weapon upgrade and joined the ships at the Sheliak warp point. The frigate Dover and the point defense ship Longbow left the warp point for refits of their own...

Zezzis system
Zezzis VII...


The captured Phong space yard was working overtime. Its repair crews, along with the recently arrived Alice Springs, were completing upgrades on six ships. Both Artemis and Bowhunter were receiving the latest shields and shield regenerators, and weapon upgrades were underway for Montreal, Southampton, West End, and the Chaney - who was having her toxic injectors removed and was being refit as a standard England class frigate. She was renamed Dunwich. The other toxic injector ship, Karloff, had just completed its update and was back at Zezzis IV. She had been renamed Norwich. And while all of this ship work was being accomplished, the space yard was being modernized and brought up to the same standards as Dawn homeworld space yards.

At Zezzis I, life was beginning to return to normal for the Phong now under Dawn rule. One of the damaged radioactive extraction facilities was already repaired. If this rate of acceptance continued, the occupying forces could be removed fairly soon.

At the warp points to Fezzran and Lezzari, the minefields were complete. 185 mines guarded the point to Fezzran and the Norak/Phong system there, while 130 mines guarded the Lezzari system, where the Abbidon tried to penetrate the system. Mine production was halted, and – for the first time since the war started, the planets began to build non-military improvements. The Sergetti were still in the system with their three colonies, but with seventeen Dawn ships now in Zezzis with the Sergetti, the risk was slight that the Sergetti would try anything, especially since the three colonies were locked inside the mined warp points and essentially on their own.

Nekkar system
Nekkar III shipyard facility...


She almost forgot there was ever a ship called West End.

The ship she was looking at was that impressive. Christened Bulldog, the idea had been put forth years ago before the accident at Praxis II. The war with the Sergetti and now Phong and Abbidon had slowed the project down some, but not completely halted it.

The ship was a cruiser, and dwarfed her predecessor, the Canada class light cruisers. With three shields, a regenerator, a solar sail, ECM, and five anti-photon weapons, the class was aptly named.

Katherine O’Rourke would be in command of the first of these new ships. It would be undergoing trials for the next month, but it would be ready to head into Ushphada and be the centerpiece of the Dawn’s return to Mentocka. In the meantime, she had to endure another round of media sessions and questions, but this time it wasn’t as bad. Harrison thought it was because she was handling the media better, but O’Rourke knew the real reason.

She was returning to space...
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  #43  
Old March 25th, 2008, 01:05 PM

attack_condor attack_condor is offline
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Default Re: Dawn - Intelligence

2409.2

Praxis system
...onboard CDS Bulldog...


The new ship definitely wasn’t as fast as her old frigate. Commander O’Rourke was still able to get used to the increased firepower, however. En route to Ushphada, there were already upgrades to be made in shields and weapon ranging. The anticipated time to transit to Ushphada, upgrade, and transit to Mentocka was about six months. If the colonists there could hold on that long, the Dawn should be able to reclaim their holdings in that system...

Tilikanthua system
...onboard CDS Shelly...


The new Tripwire was launched and performing fine. The next step was to provoke the Abbidon a bit by launching the satellite just inside the Tilikanthua-Mentocka warp point, and having Shelly warp back out and return to Ushphada as fast as possible. The idea was to have the Abbidon think the satellite is monitoring the Mentocka system, and see if they would move to destroy it.

What the Abbidon, Cue Cappa, or even the stranded colonists on Mentocka VII didn't know was that they were already under observation...

Mentocka system
...onboard CDS Lugosi...


The cloaked ship operated like a thief in the night. She was in her element - directly in the middle of enemy forces and planets. All she had to do was listen. The technicians got to work. There was a lot to analyze, and the report was transmitted back through the warp point, relayed by the Tripwire in the Tilikanthua system, and back to Ushphada I where overall control of the operations against the Abbidon and Cue Cappa were being coordinated:

Mentocka Status Report

Abbidon forces –

Planet Mentocka VI: population of 335 million. Space port- ship yard - supply depot - mineral mining facility. Ships in orbit: 3 Hoised destroyers (each with 2 telekinetic thought projection weapons, six engines, one level four combat sensor and 560kt of armor. Also has 550kt of supply space). One damaged repair ship also in orbit

Planet Mentocka VIII: not colonized. Three severely damaged frigates in orbit

Fleet of nineteen ships (designated by Abbidon as “fleet 3”) composed of seventeen frigates and two destroyers eleven sectors away from Tilikanthua warp point. All ships apparently undamaged.

Single ship classification Aiah frigate (single telekinetic projector weapon, 1650kt supply space, 640kt of armor, one basic level three sensor). Intercepted orders direct ship to join fleet 3.

Cue Cappa forces

One destroyer (classification Gar-ineem, two level 2 depleted uranium cannons – DUC – and one level 2 point defense cannon. 220 units of ordinance detected. Six engines. 320kt of armor) two sectors from Tilikanthua warp point. Intercepted orders direct ship to “survey Ushphada system”. Anticipated arrival Ushphada two months.

Second Gar-ineem destroyer eight sectors away from Tilikanthua warp point, intercepted orders direct ship to “move to Ushpada coordinates 10,-2, w*** (cannot decode further). Anticipated arrival Ushphada three months.

Two planets with minimal satellite protection.

Additional item: Insertion complete

End of report.


Ushphada system
Ushphada I operations center...


The military officers reviewed the force composition data and made their plans. The additional item was of interest to a single man in the room, wearing a black uniform. He relayed the message to Nekkar III...
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  #44  
Old March 26th, 2008, 02:26 AM

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Default Re: Dawn - Gatherings

2409.3

Mentocka system
Mentocka VII...


The shuttle landed hard. The fact that a shuttle landed here at all was, amazingly, no cause for alarm to the colonists.

Throughout the war the mercenary pilots that operated outside of any empire association were be used as couriers, spies, and assassins by those who didn’t want to leave a direct trail back to themselves.

This shuttle had the plain markings of a privateer – someone who would trade in supplies from one colony to the next. The landing skid of this shuttle bent on landing, and would not be able to properly retract on take-off again. The pilot had extricated himself from the ship, and offered to pay for the repair parts with a large bonus on his next contract shipment. To his dismay, the people on this particular planet needed labor more than contract bonuses. He would be able to get his parts, but only after participating in the creation of mines and weapon platforms for the defense of the planet.

The pilot protested, but he needed to get the parts.

He lamented that this wasn’t his war, but he needed to get the parts.

He explained that he needed to make other contracts and couldn’t wait on this planet, but...

He needed to get the parts.

Finally, Ed Jefferies “reluctantly” agreed to work for the defenders of Mentocka VII...


Mentocka system
...onboard CDS Lugosi...


The technicians monitored the movement of the Abbidon fleet. Nine ships now were on the way to a point two sectors from Mentocka VII. There were six destroyers, two cargo ships, and – most disturbing of all – a troop transport with 46 units of ground troops onboard. It seemed the Abbidon were trying to take the planet without destroying any of the facilities, unaware they had already been destroyed by the colonists themselves to conserve supplies. The colonists, along with Mr. Jefferies, began to construct fighters from abandoned shuttles. The mines should help prevent the ships from breaking through, and there were three weapon platforms backing them up, but fighters on the ground would be the last line of defense...

Mentocka system
...onboard CDS Shelly...


The ship had just enough time to make a nearby asteroid field and deploy her satellite. She was sure to draw an angry response from the Abbidon, but the captain was confident in his ability to run away from trouble. Besides, the satellite might get a lucky shot in, or the Abbidon might have an unlucky encounter with an asteroid. Either way, the satellite was bait. Would it be enough to attract the Abbidon and buy the colony another month?


Sheliak system
...onboard CDS Beagle...


She was back after a month in Pantrissa. A new sensor array augmented the one already in use. This one was a shorter range, but more sophisticated. It could find detail twice as good as the primary sensor. Also onboard was one of the solar collectors Cabrerra wanted to get back in Zezzis, as well as a solar sail. Beagle’s orders were to develop as much intelligence on the Norak as possible.
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  #45  
Old March 27th, 2008, 01:52 AM

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Default Re: Dawn - Fish in a Barrel

2409.4

Mentocka system
...high orbit over Mentocka VIII


Ed Jefferies climbed into his cockpit. It turned out his “bad” shuttle landing ski wasn’t really that bad after all. The day after he was assigned to working on constructing mines for orbital defense, he managed to get a chance to speak to the colony leader, and revealed his true identity to him. Still doubtful of his reason for being on the colony, the colony leader listened as Jefferies explained the positions of the Abbidon and Cue Cappa in this system, and managed to not declare him totally insane when Jefferies had stated the empire would have fleet ships back into the system in less than three months. Jefferies finally won them over to him when he had their ground control link to a Tripwire satellite that was in orbit. The controllers patiently explained to him that there were no satellites launched, to which Jefferies agreed, and had them try to link up anyway. To their amazement, their sensor array started downloading data from locations nine sectors away.

About that time, CDS Shelly made contact with the colonists and reported that the Tripwire was in place. Since the Abbidon didn’t take the bait and attack Shelly or her satellite, the Tripwire was re-launched over Mentocka VII. Jefferies story became not only believable, but feasible. The suggestion to build copies of Jefferies “shuttle” was approved. Only four more could be built but that would be enough for now. Jefferies then suggested that the colony start to build a space yard in anticipation of the fleet’s return. Construction began almost at once.

Now in space with his four wingmen, Jefferies settled into orbit over Mentocka VII and found what he was looking for. Three Abbidon frigates, still severely damaged from their battle with Leeds and the weapon platform on Mentocka VIII were awaiting a repair ship, which happened to be on the way to them. The five fighters attacked. One frigate, although badly wounded, still had an active point defense battery, and one of the fighters lost 91% of its shields before the frigate was destroyed. The second frigate was completely helpless and easy prey for the fighters. The third frigate had no weapons, but had engines, and was able to limp out of the sector, but the fighters pursued it into the next sector, chased it down, and killed their third ship of the mission. There were more Abbidon ships, including the repair ship that was en route to Mentocka VII to repair the now non-existent frigates, but it was guarded by a very un-damaged destroyer, so the fighters returned to the safety of Mentocka VII.

The Abbidon had just been reminded that war was a dangerous business. While a jolt for the Abbidon, the colonists on Mentocka VII were ecstatic. In one mission, they had evolved from targets to opponents – a very big difference indeed.

Zezzis system
Zezzis V operation center…


The word was passed on to the ships in the sector. The time had come for the Sergetti war to end. The Sergetti had continually refused overtures of peace, including one after their colony ship was returned to them. The empire had been patient, but the time for patience had ended. Dawn could not keep a fleet in Zezzis while waiting for the leaders of the Sergetti to see that a cessation of hostilities was the only logical move. They were the only two empires in the system, and exits out of the system were virtually walled off with Dawn mines. The Sergetti had only four planets in the system, and continually demanded the Dawn to abandon its colonies and leave the system. That would not happen, and the decision was made to restore offensive operations against the Sergetti. The speechwriters would have something for the Chairman back at Nekkar III to read to the population about the “greater good” of the move and the unwillingness of the leaders of the Sergetti not seeing the practical solution. All of which might sound noble, but the bottom line was that the war against the Sergetti was about to get a whole lot hotter.

The mission was to eliminate ships, fighters, troops and weapon platforms before using fighters and troops to overwhelm the remaining militia forces. Every effort would be made to not injure colonists of the worlds, nor destroy any current infrastructure. The first stop was Zezzis VI, a small rock world one sector away from the Dawn colony on Zezzis V. The Sergetti colony had twenty fighter in orbit. The captured Phong and Sithrak frigates left Zezzis I and returned to Zezzis V, killing the returned Sergetti colony ship on their way back. Together with Montreal, they engaged the fighters on Zezzis VI. Twenty more fighters launched in response, and the forty fighters and three ships squared off. The Phong frigate was lost to enemy fire, and Montreal was on the verge of taking armor damage when the tide turned. Montreal’s four anti-photon cannon, flak cannon; backed up by the Sithrak PDC were able to destroy all of the fighters. There were no military forces left guarding the planet.

Similar operations were carried out at the other Sergetti planets in the system. At Sergetti XI, two frigates and a freighter were destroyed by Toronto, Norwich, Manchester and Thames, with 36 fighters in a ground attack role. Of the over 90 ground troops at Sergetti XI, only seven survived the ensuing bombardment. They, along with any militia were all that stood between Dawn and the Sergetti homeworld. Overall, the opening move of the Dawn assault resulted in two frigates, two colony ships and a freighter destroyed with over 100 fighters and 100 troops destroyed as well.

The only causality the Dawn suffered was a captured Phong frigate that fell to fighters. Four Sergetti worlds were now wide open to invasion...

Sheliak system
...onboard CDS Beagle...


Cabrerra watched the Norak Coldwolf frigate approach the warp point. Always a moment of apprehension as the fear that somehow, the enemy may have spotted them; yet they always remained undetected. The Norak frigate would be in for a rude surprise if it tried to enter Pantrissa. Beagle headed deeper into the system, and began to gather intelligence on the empire that had made a living stealing the same thing from the Dawn empire...
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  #46  
Old March 28th, 2008, 01:06 AM

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Default Re: Dawn - Return to Mentocka

2409.5

Zezzis system
Zezzis IX…


The fighters arrived on the planet, and found enough militia units that they had to abandon their attempt to take the planet with a quick strike. Troops would have to be used. They would still try and avoid civilian or infrastructure damage, but the strategy had changed somewhat. Freightliner was in the system at the Velocitas-Zezzis warp point. She went to Zezzis VI and unloaded 38 troops and 5 fighters on the planet. Zezzis was a small mining colony, and there would be little opposition expected. This would be the last operation for the current troops, for plans were already underway to increase the strength of the ground forces to take on larger colonies and their large number of militia.

Sirius system
Sirius VIII


The Terrans were leaving. That was actually good news for the empire.

As on Ushphada VII, Phong colonists arrived on the planet and began their lives as Dawn citizens. As on Ushphada VII, they thrived in the carbon dioxide atmosphere that the humans could not breathe. While the war had prevented the ship yard in Ushphada from building cargo ships, Sirius and Samora had built one cargo ship each. Both headed to Sirius VIII and the humans left the domed colony and were now on board the cargo ships Adams and Jefferson, back to Sirius V and the oxygen atmosphere there.

With the Terrans gone, the Phong could utilize the planet’s space to its full potential. Sirius VIII would now support two and a half billion lives that breathed carbon dioxide. The same was happening at Chazzwazzer IX. There were now two planets in the empire that supported only Phong colonists.

Mentocka system
Onboard CDS Lugosi


Still cloaked, the stealth ship noted the approach of the Cue Cappa fleet. Nine ships were scanned, and their orders were to attack the colony at Mentocka VII. Apparently, the fighter raid last month woke up the Abbidon and Cue Cappa to the fact that the human colony was still a threat and needed to be obliterated. The technicians on the bridge took note of the ships: two repair ships, one troop transport, one frigate, one point defense ship and four destroyers. This fleet was eight sectors away from the humans and could reach them next month. Six sectors behind the first fleet was a second Cue Cappa fleet of six ships: three point-defense ships, one repair ship and two destroyers. Lugosi had moved directly in-between the fleets and transmitted the information back to Mentocka VII.

Mentocka VII ground control

The four ships orbiting the Abbidon colony on Mentocka VI were a concern – there were only two sectors away – but one of the four was a colony ship, another was a repair ship, the third was a damaged frigate, and the fourth was the repair ship’s escort, a destroyer. The controllers also saw the nine-ship Cue Cappa fleet, but did not understand how they could see even further than their satellite’s range. Mr. Jefferies simply told them he had “friends” in space providing the information. The colonists knew Mr. Jefferies was an intelligence officer, but couldn’t possibly fathom who – or what – his “friends” were. But even that had to be put aside when the controller interrupted their thoughts.

“New contact! Six ships now in range. Position is at –10,-2.”

The senior controller made the next observation.

“That’s the warp point to Tilikanthua! They’re behind us!?”

The first controller spoke up.

“Yes sir, readings indicate four frigates, a destroyer, and something larger…”

The controller’s voice then changed measurably.

“Sir, they’re hailing us! They’re ours!”

Fear changed to joy as they watched the ships warp into the system. They were the frigates Northampton, Cardiff, North Weald, and Portsmouth. The veteran Sniper was also in the fleet, as well as the light cruiser Vancouver. Their first stop was Mentocka VI and the four ships there. The new Dawn ships eliminated their only real opposition – the destroyer – in short order. The frigate, repair ship and colony ship were also destroyed. Just as quickly, the Dawn ships then headed into space, leaving Sniper behind to blockade the planet, to meet the Cue Cappa fleet of nine ships.

Mentocka system location 0,-2

The five Dawn ships encountered the Cue Cappa fleet close to the sun in the system. They closed on the back of the enemy V formation. While the freighters ran, the six combat ships turned to meet the Dawn ships. The first target was the point defense destroyer, whose three PDCs were useless against ships that carried anti-photon beams. Cardiff was in range first, and scored three hits. Even at maximum range, the enemy ship lost 25% of its armor. Portsmouth fired and also scored three hits, and the enemy’s armor was less than half when it finally fired its single DUC at Cardiff and hit. Cardiff’s shields absorbed the hit, and North Weald now fired, scoring only one hit, but reducing the enemy armor to 38%. Northampton fired, and Portsmouth fired again. The enemy had now lost all of its armor, and was starting to take system damage. It fired again and missed, which proved to be its last offensive act as it took four more hits and had its cannon destroyed. The five Dawn ships now targeted the next ship in the formation – a destroyer with two telekinetic projectors, but whose range was less than half of the beam weapons of the Dawn ships. The five ships moved into a line formation as the enemy destroyer drew near. Cardiff’s shields were back at full strength when she fired at the destroyer. Only one beam hit. Portsmouth, North Weald and Northampton were more accurate, and seven more beams burned away 75% of the ships armor. Vancouver finally fired her first shot, and she destroyed the remaining armor, and one of the telekinetic projectors. The enemy destroyer was still trying to get into range to fire back. It was still ten kilometers outside of its range when Cardiff destroyed the ships second weapon. Now unarmed, the destroyer was not a valid target for the Dawn ships, who targeted the next destroyer. This time the enemy approached with three ships almost in a line of their own, but it was too late. The destroyer hit the Vancouver with two shots, and the frigate scored a hit as well. Vancouver’s shields were down to 86%, but the Dawn ships held their formation, firing fifteen beams in response. The destroyer had seventy-six percent of its armor burned off in the volley. The four Dawn frigates fired again, and nine more beams sliced into the destroyer, crippling it. Vancouver then targeted the next destroyer approaching. The enemy frigate fired again at Vancouver, and her shields were down to 71%. Vancouver hit the next destroyer with two beams, and it lost 30 percent of its armor.

Vancouver’s shields were less than 50% when the Dawn ships disabled the fourth destroyer. The enemy frigate had been firing as fast as it could at Vancouver, and was giving a good account of itself. Unfortunately, it was now the last Cue Cappa ship with weapons, and drew the attention of all five of the Dawn ships. The four Dawn frigates volley fired, and the enemy ship was no longer a threat. The Dawn frigates then broke formation to chase down the freighters and the troop transport, while Vancouver finished off the cripples. The freighters and troop transport had managed to get almost 650km away from the battle when they lost their escorts just 33 seconds into the battle. The freighters were moving as fast as they could – 11km/sec. The Dawn frigates cruised at 18 km/sec.

Forty seconds into the battle, Vancouver destroyed the last Cue Cappa warship and joined the chase for the freighters. Porstmouth was leading the other three frigates.

One minute later, the three freighters split into three directions, as the Dawn frigates were within 150km. The Dawn frigates split as well, with the center freighter drawing two frigates, and one each for the other two. The freighters stood no chance of escape.

In just over two minutes, all nine Cue Cappa ships were destroyed. Dawn had returned to Mentocka and this time, they weren’t leaving...
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Old March 28th, 2008, 04:26 PM

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Default Re: Dawn - The search

2409.6

Nekkar III
Corporation headquarters...


The successful military operations in both Zezzis and Mentocka were welcome news. Zezzis VI had fallen and the Dawn had another mineral mining facility in its inventory courtest of the Sergetti.

In Mentocka, the fleet of four frigates and the light cruiser engaged and destroyed an Abbidon fleet of warships and freighters before returning to Mentocka VII to re-supply. The satellite tender Shelly repositioned the Tripwire satellite further into the system to extend its coverage. In Ushphada, a gas giant colony ship would be created to re-colonize Mentocka VIII. Currently, a large troop transport was under construction. The minelayer Conquistador had joined Bulldog on her way into Mentocka. Conquistador wasn't carrying mines, but she was ferrying fighters through the Tilikanthua system and to Mentocka. Eventually, the minefield at the Tilikanthua-Ushphada warp point would be destroyed, but not before the Dawn had a hold on Mentocka that would not be broken a second time...

Lapzooli system
...onboard CDS Lugosi...


Once the fleet began to engage the Abbidon and Cue Cappa in Mentocka, Lugosi warped into the unknown system where the Abbidon were coming from. The Lapzooli system was a hornet’s nest of activity. No less than twenty-five Abbidon warships were gathered into two fleets. Ships from the Cue Cappa, the Sithrak, the Drushocka, and the Norak were also in the system. Lugosi was a quiet as a grave as she began the search of the system for the Abbidon home world...

Sheliak system
...onboard CDS Beagle...


Captain Cabrera was mimicking his counterpart on Lugosi, but his search was for information on the Norak. He had reported the location of two planets. Sheliak II had four of the troublesome Norak intelligence facilities, and there was a Norak spaceport on Sheliak I. There were two Norak destroyers in the system, but both planets were essentially undefended. Neither had a weapon platform, fighters, nor satellites. Mines, however, were a different story, and the question was could Beagle trust her scans when they said none were there. Still, the possibility of a stealth ship being able to strike these worlds was intriguing, and the planners and researchers began doing what they do best...
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  #48  
Old March 29th, 2008, 12:57 PM

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Default Re: Dawn - Bulldog arrives

2409.7

Nekkar III
Corporate Headquarters...


The monthly meeting for the status of the empire revealed that three systems – Haphik, Samora and Ushphada were in need of medical lab upgrades for their respective systems. Seven planetary governors had filed a request for upgrading their climate control facilities. Even the Phong members of the empire were starting to get into the politics of Dawn with their own request – the governor of Zezzis I humbly asked for upgrades to his five radioactive extraction facilities. Some upgrades deemed critical were already in progress – the urban pacification center on Zezzis IV was an example of that. The Zezzis system would soon have a level eight UPC. The current UPC was instrumental in getting the Phong to accept the empire as theirs, and hopefully the Sergetti miners on Zezzis VI would be quick to do so as well.

Mentocka system
onboard CDS Bulldog...


Commander O’Rouke was impressed with the new frigates. The new weapon upgrades had made them extremely effective. Their concept was still the same – trade armor for speed and firepower – but now the firepower didn’t need “reloading”, couldn’t be “shot down” by point defense, and was twice as fast to fire. Two or three frigates, operating together, now were as formidable as any ship class known.

The only real weakness of the frigate now was that if it was alone against multiple targets. With no armor, any loss of speed would be fatal. Commander O’Rourke remembered that lesson when she and Admiral (then Captain) Harrison and her engaged in a one-on-one combat simulation between their old England II class frigates. It would be difficult to remember that now she had a ship with the opposite philosophy. Massive shielding and armor protected the cruiser but the speed and quickness was gone. Commander O’Rourke now wielded a battering ram of a ship. Still, the lessons learned from earlier days could be useful...

Sam Chase was at the sensor panel, and he knew exactly what he was looking at, although the computer confirmed it for him.

“Commander, I have a contact. Range is approximately 320,000km. Contact is an Hoised class destroyer. Contact is maintaining that range.”

Commander O’Rourke thought for a moment. The Abbidon fleet had just been mauled, and this destroyer was probably looking for it. It had surely seen them, but probably thought it was confronting a freighter. After all, no one had seen a warship this size before, had they?

“Sensors, any other contacts?”

“Negative ma’am, only the destroyer.”


O’Rourke made a decision. She wouldn’t run down the destroyer. She wouldn’t have to.

“Comm, signal Mentocka VII. Advise them we have an Abbidon destroyer contacted and request an escort. Helm, make your heading 217, speed at one-quarter.”

Heads almost turned, but the orders were confirmed and carried out.

“Commander, Cardiff and Northampton signal they are en route.”

“Thank you, comm. Helm...”


Sam Chase interrupted her.

“Commander! Contact aspect is changing. He’s headed for us. His speed is now fifteen km/sec.”

O’Rourke smiled. “Helm, limp just a bit faster. We’re trying to run away.”

The Abbidon destroyer captain was in a hurry to pick off the freighter before her escorts showed up. Back on Bulldog, Chase counted the range down.

“Target now 90km and closing.”

Weapons then joined in.

“Target is in range, commander.”

“Understood weapons, hold fire. Helm, give me the smallest speed increase you can. Mr. Chase, range please?”

“Range now 78km, commander. Speed still fifteen km/sec.”

“Hold fire, weapons...Mr. Chase...?”

“Range now 65km...”

“60km...”

“50km...Commander, contact has fired! Speed is slowing to thirteen km/sec.”


Commander O'Rourke heard what she had been waiting for.

“All weapons, open fire.”

It was quiet, she would remember. On West End, when the missiles left the tubes, there would always be a slight shudder throughout the ship. She had expected some kind of feedback that five weapons had fired, but there was absolutely nothing. She was tempted to repeat her order, thinking it hadn’t been carried out. Sam Chase proved to her it had been.

“Target hit! Armor is down to eight percent.”

While they did fire faster than the missiles, the anti-proton beams did require time to recharge. During that time, Bulldog’s shields absorbed the enemy fire. Bulldog fired again...

Later, Cardiff and Northampton assumed formation on Bulldog. When queried on their status O’Rourke replied they were just fine. When the three ships left the sector, the destroyer’s debris field had already dispersed...
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Old March 29th, 2008, 06:35 PM

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Default Re: Dawn - The quiet war

2409.8

Pantrissa system
Pantrissa VIII...


The storage facilities on the planet were state of the art. Minerals needed for the empire were stored here and distributed through a network of both in-system and warp capable ships. The need for the resources would normally be supplied by production facilities, but, in times of high demand the storage facilities would distribute what was necessary.

Today, however, the ship approaching the landing pad wasn’t here to take resources away. They were actually bringing a load of minerals. Minerals that were mined in Pantrissa’s own number three asteroid belt and harvested by the mining ship there. The pilot of the shuttle docked and delivered his load to the transfer bin. It was weighed and scanned for any debris. A sample of the material was analyzed. It read as 93 percent pure, with only trace contaminants – well above the eighty-five per cent minimum required by Empire law.

The pilot accepted his credits, and tipped the loading crew the customary two percent. He declined an offer for a night’s stay, saying the Harvester in the asteroid field was keeping him busy, which was very true. So he wished them well, and took off. The loading crew understood – the storage facility was well below capacity, and stocks needed to be replenished.

The pilot achieved orbit and headed back to the Harvester. Absent-mindedly, he fingered the small religious symbol, and it began to glow. He spoke.

"Delivery complete."

Back on the planet, the newly-deposited minerals were taken to storage facility number three, and added to the stockpile there. Once the door was sealed, a vacuum pump removed the air from the storage bin to help prevent the minerals from degrading.

One of the contaminants in the new shipment was a substance that coated a small piece of the shipment. The material was normally inert. “Normally” in this instance meant in the presence of atmosphere or light. Inside the now sealed facility, there was neither.

The substance began to convert the mineral it was coated on into more of itself, which in turn coated more of the mineral it was in contact with, which in turn made more of the substance.

The net result of this chain reaction was that the entire facility was now storing a load of the new substance. With no more minerals to feed its growth, the process was terminated. Fully eleven percent of the Empire’s mineral stocks were converted to the useless substance. When the facility operators reported the problem, all mineral shipments were halted, further putting delays on construction projects everywhere...

Nekkar III
Corporate Headquarters...


Rita Edwards concluded her briefing. The disaster at Pantrissa VIII was repeated at the organic storage facility on Pantrissa VI - contaminated food - and the radioactive storage facility on Pantrissa II - contaminated isotopes. Edwards had the space tracks of all warp capable shuttles and there was definitely traffic from Sheliak to Pantrissa, under the flag of Cheththod, who was the only ally of the Dawn empire. As a result, warp point access was now restricted to military ships only. Traders and merchants protested, but the decision was made. Without firing a shot, the Norak and their religious believers of the Empire were winning a very different kind of war...
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Old March 29th, 2008, 10:28 PM

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Default Re: Dawn - Nothing

2409.9

Zezzis system
Zezzis X


The ground combat was vicious. It was classic “strength versus numbers”, as 23 medium troops of the Dawn backed up with 15 fighters attacked the almost 100 militia troops protecting the research facilities. The fighters were the deciding factor, staying in formation and sniping away at the edges of the militia, turning and running to a new spot away from their fire and picking off those on the edge. The militia troops were actually winning the battle in the streets, but they had no answer for the fighters.

Zezzis X was now a Dawn colony. Twenty-five research facilities and over 3.5 billion lives just changed hands from the Sergetti to the Dawn. With that many colonists, rioting ensued. The small transport Polk brought more troops in to quell the rioters. It would take time, but the riots would – hopefully – settle down.

Pantrissa system
Pantrissa II


The security was impressive.

Late – thought Edwards – but impressive.

She was here as the head of the intelligence directorate. Such a simple thing, security. ‘Take nothing for granted. Trust no one.’

The saboteur didn’t make it away from this planet, like his counterparts did at Pantrissa VI and VIII. He was in a prison cell. He was naked, and sitting on the floor. There were no windows, no features, no anything. Four walls of nothing. The light that was in the room was from a single recessed light bulb.

Like most, the man would try to demonstrate his faith and hold out as long as possible and not break under questioning.

But there was no questioning.

There was nothing.

Minute.

After minute.

After minute.

The minutes turned to hours.

Nothing.

No questioning. No one to hold out against.

Except himself.

It started innocently enough. A small movement with the foot. Then, a bit later, a shift in position.

‘Just to get the cramp out’ was the rationalization.

Then the realization that the cramp may have been a test from his goddess and he failed.

Panic. Unworthy. Failure.

Then the resolve for a few more minutes.

But still nothing.

No one.

He prays, but he is alone.

Religious fervor wanes in the face of no opposition. In the face of nothing, what is there to be angry against?

Nothing.

Then the taunting. "Just try and break me…just try it!! I’ll tell you nothing!! Nothing, do you hear me!! Nothing!!!”

But he is alone.

Minutes pass and he realizes he had failed.

He will tell them nothing. He told them. He gave in. He told them nothing, and they have nothing. They have nothing because he told them nothing. He told it to them!

They have nothing.

They have what he promised they would have.

He fails again.

He is unworthy.

He breaks down and begins to scream. For anybody. For somebody.

Rita Edwards was impressed with the security. In less than three hours, the prisoner broke and was babbling to no one.

She thanked the doctors and the guards, and was escorted to her ship. She had to be back at headquarters next month. Timing was crucial. The Norak ambassador had requested a meeting with the Chairman and she would be there.

Lacerta system
...onboard CDS Beagle...


Captain Cabrerra was returning to Sheliak. He had identified a Norak planet that would be the target of a strike. There would be some concern as to how the Cheththod would react to a strike in their system, but that would be secondary. He would be back there next month to lead the attack.

With nothing...
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