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Old June 23rd, 2002, 12:20 PM

sachmo sachmo is offline
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Default Re: Rise of the Remorhaz Society

Eagle Down

2405.9

The upgrade of the mining facilities has been completed throughout the Society. Minerals are being mined at an unprecented rate. The abundance of raw materials will allow for a much more flexible and complete building program throughout the Remorhaz Society.

Once again, the Norak Continuum refuses to negotiate with our diplomats. Meanwhile, our ships gather for an assault on their homeworld. It’s only a matter of time now.
In the Lapzooli system, Nemesis watched as a Norakian Alagoinhas class frigate approaches the wormhole. If they come, we’ll be ready, Captain Jager thought. They will not run the barricade. Help was on the way in the form of Gamma and Delta Fleets. It was only a matter of time.

In the Xillantha system, colonists landed on the fifth planet of the system, and renamed the planet Fort Justice in honor of the crew of the first Remorhaz ship to be lost in combat. The colonists began setting up a spaceport as quickly as possible. Next on the list would be a resupply post. This system was now deemed vital to the Society, and so the Navy was making its possession a priority. Orbiting Fort Justice was the RSS Hawk, with Falcon making way at best speed to assist in securing the system. As soon as Manticore was repaired, she would also head to the system. When the defense of the system was secured, a scouting mission would be sent into Fezzran system, where Rage activity could be monitored.
Back on Remorhaz, the military was being restructured. With the creation of the Remorhaz Space Marine Corps, the corps of officers would have to be taken from both the Army and the Navy. Also, since the ranks of the Marines were based on the rank structure used by the Army, the highest-ranking officer in each branch of service was given a specific title. For example, the highest rank in the Army was previously General, with the senior-most General serving as the head of the Army. Now that the Marine Corps would also have their own Generals, each branch had a specific name for its commanding officer. So with this change in rank structure, Admiral Urian was “promoted” to the rank of Grand Admiral, and General Gulman to the rank of Field Marshal. The position of Commandant of the Marine Corps had yet to be filled. Grand Admiral Urian, Field Marshal Gulman, and Chairman Sachmo were interviewing prospective candidates. With a war on, such a decision was much too important to be entrusted to the Representatives. A creature of politics would buckle under the strain. The Commandant had to be an officer of vision, motivation, and patience. Building a service branch from the ground up, during a war, would be an almost impossible task at best. The Corps needed a warrior to lead it.

2406.0

In the Lapzooli system, Nemesis, backed by thirteen defense satellites, destroyed a Norakian Alagoinhas class frigate and sustained no damage. Her crew was ecstatic; and she hoped that would Last. It wasn’t their fault about the outcome of the Battle of the Rocks, but they felt that way anyway. On the positive side, because they felt that way indicated to Gina that they were coming closer together as a unit.

The Rage were on the move. While the Eagle was preparing for her jump into an unknown system, there was a massive matter disturbance detected on the scanner four parsecs from the wormhole.
“Emergency stop!” Captain Hanks screamed. He wasn’t sure what the disturbance was…it could be a gravity “riptide”, or an ion cloud (a big one!), or even something coming thru the wormhole. Whatever it was, Captain Hanks didn’t want to collide with it.
The small System Patrol Ship responded to the emergency stop quickly. The helmsman deftly stood Eagle on her stern, and then rolled her over, so that the main engines could be used to brake their forward momentum.
“Captain! I have multiple bogies completing jump from the wormhole. I count…six, no, five frigate sized craft and one larger. Sir, the frigates match Rage patterns, although they are types we haven’t seen before. Range to closest target…two parsecs!”
This was definitely a bad situation. If those Rage ships had missiles, there was no way Eagle could get out of range before they were hit. Captain Hanks made his decision quickly.
“Sparks, launch an emergency beacon. Attach the signatures of those Rage frigates for the intel boys to add to the database. Copy the message to Hawk and Fort Justice. I’m sure we’ll know what types of weapons they have soon enough.” Hanks had to smile at his own joke, even if no one else did. By launching the beacon, he was betting that they wouldn’t make it thru the fight, but at least the Navy would know what happened, and where.
“Missiles incoming. Captain, we have at least thirty missiles inbound!”
“Weps, target the closest Rage ship and fire at her. If I’m going to lose, I want someone to go down with me.”
“Aye, Aye, Sir. Firing.”
Eagle lurched ever so slightly as her twin depleted uranium cannons fired at the Rage frigate.
Captain Hanks looked at the tactical display. Only one way to run, and that was away from the wormhole. “Helm, stand on it. We have to open the range as quickly as possible, or we are in trouble.”
The helmsman acknowledged. Hanks looked at the display again. They were at 110% power on the engines, and rising. He really was trying his best to open the range, but Hanks knew it wouldn’t make much of a difference. Those missiles were fired at to close of a range for the Eagle to get clear.
The XO shouted with glee, “Direct hit with both guns, sir. The Rage frigate is venting gas. We hurt her, sir.”
They wouldn’t go down alone. Eagle ran for 2 parsecs before the missiles caught up with her.
The first spread hit her slightly aft of amidships, obliterating the crew quarters, mess, and medical bay in an instant.
The power went down, but came back up just as quickly. The XO hadn’t been strapped into a seat, and now he lay on the deck, his head bleeding from a nasty gash given to him by a console.
“Damage report!” Captain Hanks called.
Life support called back with the grim news. “Captain, the left rear quarter of the ship is gone. We are trying to close off sections now, but I think it may be more than we can handle. We lost Ingols and Rospero when the hatch was torn off.”
“Do what you can. Good luck.” Hanks frowned. That salvo had pretty much done them in, and there were at least 25 more missiles inbound.
“Weps, you fire at that target and you take him to hell with us, alright?”
The Weapons Officer acknowledged the order, and his voice cracked. Tears were streaming down his face. They all knew that they were going to die today.
“Sensor, where are those other missiles?”
“8000 mete…” The next salvo of missiles slammed into the bow, vaporizing the forward half of RSS Eagle. A few men trapped in the twisted wreck that had been the rear half of the ship lived another fifteen seconds before a third salvo turned what was left of the ship into a quickly dissipating could of debris.

Hawk had indeed gotten the message from Eagle. Lieutenant Commander Harry Norten stared at the tactical display as Eagle flared and died on the screen. He immediately called down to the colony and informed them that “if they wanted to live they would put all efforts into building as many defense satellites as they possibly could, and some weapons platforms, and they could do it right goddamn now.”
Governor Yuri Kalasnikov immediately had everyone quit work on the spaceport and begin assembly of defense satellites. By his estimation, they should be able to get three built and launched by the end of the month. It wasn’t much, but it would have to do. Yuri had seen video of the bombardment of Cirius. Now that nightmare might actually become a reality. He had those he could spare begin constructing bunkers. There would be no way they could protect everyone, but maybe some of the children could survive.

In Wurtuy, Commodore Lu decided to divert Gamma Fleet to protect the Xillantha-Wurtuy wormhole, in case the Rage decided to try and penetrate this system.

The scientists had finally finished the prototype for the next combat ship hull. This destroyer hull was 300kt, and so could pack more weapons than the frigate. On this hull the Navy Design Bureau created three new designs:
1. Glory Class DD- with 3 missile tubes and 2 DUCs, this ship can handle anything thrown her way.
2. AUX-R (Auxiliary Repair)- this ship would allow ships damaged in combat to be repaired while underway.
3. AUX-S (Auxiliary Supply)- this ship would join with a fleet to extend its range and decrease the need for resupply runs.
These craft would be build as soon as possible, but the Glory DD’s were obviously going to be the first off of the line.

The Research Guild, on orders from the Chairman, began researching methods of construction a weapon system, which could survive atmospheric re-entry, carry troops, and provide fire support for those troops. With this, the Marine Corps would have a weapon to fight with.

Rear Admiral Shaun Hunter walked into the conference room. A quick glance around the table told him that this was a serious interview. He had half expected his request to transfer to the new Space Marine Corps to be buried under a sea of paper. Some of the older fleet officers weren’t very fond of him.
Hunter was widely known throughout the Navy as being a brilliant, but pushy officer. He had written some excellent papers on tactics during his career, but he had never bothered to try and conform his ideas to those of his senior, whoever he may have been at the time. Often, this resulted in friction between him and his commanding officers. If it weren’t for his brilliant mind, he probably would have been mustered out of the Navy long ago, but where he had many enemies, he also had many friends. So, he advanced thru the ranks, moving from command to command, learning all that he could about the Navy, and applying it to what he already knew. This had created on of the most brilliant minds in the service, but none of that mattered now. He would never make Fleet Admiral, or anything after that, however. His enemies could easily see to that, and his friends could not get him past his current rank. He was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Naturally, when the creation of the Space Marine Corps had been announced, Hunter had jumped at the chance. Of the very few space to surface missions that the Navy had run over the years, Hunter had advised or participated in all of them. He had written at least five papers on theory and tactics of planetary invasion tactics. Unbeknownst to him, Grand Admiral Urian and Field Marshal Gulman had used his papers as a basis for their proposal for the creation of the Marine Corps. He thought he would be a natural fit, and maybe it might jump-start his career.
Hunter stepped into the middle of the room and stood before the assembled staff. He saluted crisply, and stood at attention when Urian returned it.
The Grand Admiral spoke. “Welcome to the review board, Rear Admiral Hunter. As you know, this panel is responsible for selecting officers for transfer to the Remorhaz Space Marine Corps. We are interviewing volunteers first, and then we will go thru and select officers whom we believe will fit in best and contribute the most to the Corps. Since the main mission of the Marine Corps will involve surface combat, the majority of officers and non-commissioned officers will come from the Army. That does not necessarily mean that Army officers will get the highest positions. Do you have any questions before we start?”
“No, sir.”
“Fine, then. Field Marshal Gulman, if you would start please?”
The Field Marshal cleared his throat. “Rear Admiral, can you tell me why you have been in your present rank for the Last five years?”
The question surprised Hunter. He hadn’t expected to have to defend himself so early. He figured that the Field Marshal would want to do his old cronies a favor and get him out of the Navy, and out of their hair. If that were indeed his intention, why would he try and disqualify him right off the bat?
“Well, sir…I would have to say that while I cannot answer your question with any more knowledge than I possess, I can probably answer your question honestly. I haven’t always made friends during my career sir. I tend to fight for what I believe in, often long after I should have given up the fight. I believe if I had been less stubborn on a number of occasions, I might have made Vice Admiral by now.” The cat’s out of the bag now, Hunter thought. I wonder if I’ve already killed my chances?
Next to speak was Grand Admiral Urian.
“Rear Admiral Hunter, can you tell me why, on numerous occasions, you would publish papers that you knew sometimes contradicted or even demolished the theories of your superiors?”
This is a damn firing squad, mused Hunter. Not what I expected at all. Well, if they want to humiliate me, I might as well give them something to talk about.
“Grand Admiral, I believe the problem here is not that I would publish these papers, but that some of my past superiors refused to even attempt to try anything new. If it hadn’t been me, it would have been some other officer. Tactics need to evolve, sir. If they sit stagnant too long, you might end up holding the short end of the stick before you know it. My job is to keep my people alive and achieve my objective, not to earn brownie points with my superiors.” Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Still, Hunter was disappointed. He had always thought of Admiral Urian as a free thinker. He thought the Grand Admiral was a friend.
Finally, the Chairman spoke. “Did you know that you are the highest ranking officer to request a transfer, Rear Admiral Hunter? How do you think that will look to your superiors? It smacks of desperation to me, if you want to know the truth. Is that it, Rear Admiral? Do you want to continue your career, since we all know that it’s pretty much over now in the Navy?”
Hunter was furious. From the Field Marshal he expected it. From the Grand Admiral, he hadn’t, but he respected the man, so it was easier to take. Now the Chairman? Had he really screwed up that bad?
“Mr. Chairman, with all do respect, I am not a politician, nor do I wish to be one. If my actions over the course of my career have cost me rank, then so be it. I worked very hard to get where I am today, sir. If this is the end of the line, then so be it. I will say this…I regret nothing. If one of my papers on missile tactics saves a ship, then it was all worth it. If the Marine Corp can benefit from my papers on Space to Surface combat, then it was all worth it. I stand by my decisions, because I am the one who has to live with them. I might not be the smartest officer in the Navy, or the most successful, but I think that I am the best that I can be. Nothing said here can change that, Mr. Chairman.”
With that, Hunter stood at attention, waiting to be dismissed. Now he wished they had just buried his request. He had sniped back at the Chairman of the Remorhaz society, the Grand Admiral of the Navy, and the Field Marshall. The Chairman was right. He could kiss any hope of another tour of duty. He was finished.
Hunter snapped out of his thoughts. The three questioners were still conversing, but they had their com units turned off, so no one could hear what they were saying. He stood at attention, hoping they hadn’t forgotten him…that they would dismiss him and end this farce. Maybe they want to watch me squirm?
After several minutes, Grand Admiral Urian turned his com unit back on. He had a smile on his face, and a bit of a mischievous look…maybe the eyebrows?
The Grand Admiral spoke. “Rear Admiral, thank you for your patience. We appreciate your honesty in your answers. While another officer might have…well, toned them down a bit, we had to be sure of what you were made of. If we approve your transfer, can you promise to continue acting the way you have conducted yourself here today? Will you wade through the junk, avoid playing politics, and concentrate on the mission at hand?”
Hunter was stunned. “Of course, sir.”
‘Will you continue to develop tactics and keep them from getting stagnant? Also, and most importantly, will you strive to keep your men alive?”
“Yes, Grand Admiral.”
“Well then, Rear Admiral Hunter, in accordance with the judgment of this review panel we would like to welcome you to the Remorhaz Space Marine Corps. We had a promotion in mind, also. How does Commandant of the Space Marine Corps sound to you?”
Hunter blinked. That had to be a mistake.
“Sir?”
“How would you like to be Commandant of the Space Marine Corps, Shawn?”
Hunter swallowed. This couldn’t be happening, but his heart took over his speech functions.
“Sir, this is not what I expected, but with every fiber of my being, I would be honored to accept the position.”
Urian smiled. “Excellent. Come on over here and shake my hand, Commandant. We have your five stars ready for you.”

At the end of the week, a press conference was held in Turian, the capitol of the Remorhaz Society. Commandant Shawn Hunter was introduced to the Society as the commander of the new Remorhaz Space Marine Corps. He briefly outlined the job of the Space Marine, and then answered questions from the press while the uniforms were displayed.
From the Lapzooli system, Captain Gina Jager watched the ceremony on the vid unit. So Rear Admiral Hunter was the head of the Space Marine Corps? She couldn’t think of a better choice. First, he was a Navy man and so she was sure that it got under everyone skin in the Army. Also, she had studied under him, and read some of his papers. His paper on effective damage control techniques had probably saved the lives of fifty crewmember on the trip home from the Battle of the Rocks. Hunter would make them the terror of the galaxy. She had to wonder, though, if his Marines would be ready in time for this battle?

To be continued...
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