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Old March 3rd, 2008, 10:17 PM

attack_condor attack_condor is offline
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Default Dawn

Hello everyone -

I have just registered as a user on this forum, and I enjoy creating AARs. I'd like to offer my hat into the ring. I have begun a BM game (thank you Mr. Kwok for your fantastic work - and anyone else who helped with the production of the game and mod!) and am currently at 2409.9 in it.

I'll hold off more turns until I get the readers up to where I'm at. A bit of FYI - the empire is called "Colonial Dawn" and is Terran with an overwhelming desire for knowledge. Perhaps not always a good thing...

Anyway, please look for the posts and I hope you enjoy the read.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 03:00 AM

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Default Re: Dawn

Nekkar IV…homeworld for the Colonial Dawn Empire…
2405.8 (sorry about the wrong year posted in my opening post)

Chairman Lomax rubbed his eyes. He was looking at yet another system report. He smiled. It was late, he was tired, and he was happy.

Well, he was supposed to be happy.

Success brought happiness.

Didn’t it?

“34 colonies in ten systems” he read aloud. In less than six years. The Dawn’s growth was – indeed – amazing. And he had confirmation of that. The Chethrod race had just sent him the very same message last month. How right they were. And how instrumental they were, although they probably had no knowledge of it. The growth of the empire had coined the phrase, “The rising of the Dawn”. And it was all because of the Chethrod. A seemingly insignificant oversight, in a series of negotiations during that first contact almost two years ago may well have catapulted the Dawn into a position of prominence they may never relinquish.

The Chethrod were encountered by the Dawn in the Sheliak system. The frigate Leeds (or, more correctly, Colonial Dawn Ship Leeds – CDS Leeds) had warped into the system to find two rock worlds that could be colonized. They also encountered the Chethrod. Of note were the 30 fighters that orbited the planet they had colonized. The message from the Leeds also mentioned one more important fact. The Chethrod inhabited gas giant planets.

CDS Southampton, another frigate, joined Leeds on the Sheliak side of the warphole joining Sheliak to the Praxis system. Negotiations were initiated by the Chethrod and they were fairly basic – colonization in each other’s systems, trade, and re-supply between both empires. As a standard response, Dawn made a counter-offer: an observation of non-aggression in neutral systems, but the prohibition of establishing colonies in each other’s systems. The offer was fair, and a logical first step. Lomax knew not to jump at the first offer (it wasn’t good business, after all), and always ask for what you want – only then settling for what you need. The want, in this case, was simple.

Dawn wanted everything. Everything Chethrod had researched. The request, of course, was worded a bit more eloquently, but it was still there: “We require all research – including racially unique research – to ensure our two races can coexist peacefully.”

To the surprise of everyone, the Chethrod agreed.

The science council was ecstatic, to say the least. The big prize, of course, was the secret to establishing colonies on gas giant planets.

And just like that, the Dawn had opened up a treasure trove of locations. No less than ten new worlds were at least medium sized gas giants with oxygen atmospheres. Dawn had, indeed, risen.

Lomax returned to the present and re-read the recommendations of the council heads within the empire. The question was whether or not to allow contact with more races. Doing so might be profitable, but there was always the concern to secure the position of the empire before moving on to a new system. They actually had a system with two planets to colonize they hadn’t even got to yet. The Forlorn system had two planets yet to be colonized. It was secure with only one warp point, and that was to another system – Samora – that only connected to Forlorn and Sirius. Sirius was a Dawn stronghold. Practically speaking, all ten systems were Dawn strongholds since no other empires were in the systems. Lomax decided to keep it that way. Choke points were established in three systems that effectively prevented any contact if so desired.

Another race, the Cue Cappa found that out, when their frigate emerged from a warp point in the Ushphada system, and was greeted with a pair of fourth generation capital ship missiles. A second frigate also met that same fate, before the Cue Cappa initiated negotiations. A treaty was finally signed with the same provisions as the Chethrod treaty – stay out of our systems, and give us your research. They objected, of course, but the Dawn’s position, like their hold on the warp points, was unmovable. The Dawn didn’t need the Cue Cappa. Which reduced the Cue Cappa “empire” to that of mere competition.

And no corporation gives their competition a chance to become equals.

With 89 second-generation research facilities and 39 more scheduled to come online, the capability of the Dawn to develop new technology was staggering. They already had shields, energy stream weapons (lasers), and new kinds of point defense technology that included the laser, small seeking missiles and a very basic but effective version of the old shotgun called the flak cannon. The universities of the empire were also adding to the knowledge base of the scientists here, and fiscal policies were continuing to reduce expenditures, allowing more and better facilities, ships, and units.

It was a dream. New ships were being designed. Mining operations had left the planet surfaces and were now being conducted by company ships in asteroid fields. The Dawn was rising and nothing could stop it.

But Lomax knew that there would be competition. Somewhere, there would be an empire, or perhaps several, that would challenge the Dawn and its lofty technology. Lomax kept that thought foremost as he made his decisions. He knew it would happen. He just didn’t know when…
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Old March 4th, 2008, 07:43 PM

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Default Re: Dawn


Chazzwazzer Star System…
Onboard the CDS Harvester 004 in asteroid field #3…

James Cabrera watched as the supply transport undocked and departed from his ship. The completion of the supply base on the new gas giant colony in the system meant that his crew could finally go off of their rationing and get back to eating regular meals. Regular, as it were, for a crew whose lives would be spent mostly in space with chunks of destroyed planets and comets as company.

He was in command of a 600kt freighter configured as a radioactive resource harvester. The crew knew her by a less ostentatious title: “double-oh-four”. His ship’s size allowed four of the robotic miners to be carried and still have a decent engine compliment. Other Harvester configurations were available from the design bureau and could be built to make the most profitable use of a particular asteroid field. Asteroids that were high in mineral content would be mined by a “four-double-oh”, while asteroids rich in both radioactive resources and organics – Cabrera winced a bit at visualizing that particular combination – would be mined by a Harvester 022; known simply as a “twenty-two”. His Harvester was one of eight the empire operated, and they were producing over 80,000 units of resources a month.

Cabrera watched as his display console monitored the quantity and purity of the harvested material. Projections put this particular field at 283% of a standard mine output. The projection for this particular ship in this particular asteroid field was over 11000 units of radioactive resources each month. Both he and his crew would be handsomely compensated for their efforts. He did have one concern, and that was the fact that the corporation did not provide protection for the freighters. The standard response to such queries was that protection was unnecessary since no other known empires were in the Dawn systems.

Still, it wouldn’t hurt to explore the possibility enlisting a little “assistance”…

Samora Star System…
Onboard the space yard ship CDS Mexico City

The crew of the ungainly ship fired its engines and began the slow transit from Somora to Pantrissa. There, the ship would begin to upgrade the defenders of the two warp points into non-Dawn space with the latest in upgrades. This was the role she was designed for – allowing the defense ships to remain on post while the planetary space yards concentrated on producing colony ships as fast as possible…

Usphada Star System
Usphada Design and Combat Simulation Center

The rings of Usphada I were beautiful to the observer from space. Even more so that, only two sectors away, her sister Usphada II matched her brilliance with her own set of rings forever in orbit around her.

All of which meant absolutely nothing to the men and women in the darkened room of the design complex. Members of the Navy were also on hand with the researchers as all were about to witness the trial run of a point defense ship design. The classification was given the name Artemis, and she would join the England class frigates and Canada class light cruisers as active ships of the Navy.

Research had been progressing on an effective deterrent to a massed fighter attack by an enemy. The Navy had proven – albeit only three times – that its weapons could outrange anything opposing them, but the lack of an anti-fighter weapon always nagged the senior officers of the Navy. Artemis was to be that answer.

The simulation was set up with the Artemis facing off against a Dawn frigate with two missile launchers. The Artemis continually was able to engage the missiles at range (almost 100 km from the Artemis) and was able to get three shots off within that time needed for the missiles to close.

Then the fighters came in the next simulation. This time, the results were less spectacular. With two shield generators, almost 600kT of armor and a shield regenerator, Artemis was a tough nut to crack; but damage was taken. And this was against the enemy fighters that the Dawn scientists knew about. They were about to cancel the test and stop production when a Navy commander asked to try an idea. He paired the Artemis up with a Canada class light cruiser, but replaced one of the cruiser’s armor sections with a flak cannon. He also quadrupled the number of fighters. When the simulation started, he closed the two ships almost head on into the fighters, but stopped when they were within 200km of the fighters and then turned away from them. He then flew away from the fighters slowly until they came within the Artemis’ flak envelope. Artemis fired, and fighters took damage, but they kept coming. Artemis did not fire a second salvo, however, but leapfrogged in front of the cruiser, which fired her own flak cannon. This pattern repeated until the two ships had destroyed or disabled every fighter with the shields absorbing each hit and having time to regenerate as the ships leapt over each other.

Artemis had proved herself and production was approved…

(Question for the moderators: would screenshots be best posted as attachments?)
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Old March 5th, 2008, 12:59 AM

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Default Re: Dawn


Haphik warp point...
...onboard CDS Southampton...

The voice was soothing. Feminine. Almost alluring.

Research demonstrated that such a voice was comforting in times of stress.

Like, well...now.

The operations officer turned her head when she heard the voice. Lieutenant Katherine O’Rourke knew the voice. Somewhere inside her, she wondered why it couldn’t be a strong, comforting male voice, but those thoughts were pushed aside as the soft voice beckoned for attention.

“Warning. Warp point breach imminent. Warp point breach in thirty seconds.”

O’Rourke opened a channel to the Southampton’s sister ship on patrol with her.

“Southampton calling Dover, Lieutenant O’Rourke on duty. Captain on the way. Dover, are you getting this?”

O'Rourke had to make sure the computer wasn't generating a false breach...

...onboard CDS Dover...

“Southampton, Dover…we confirm warp point breach in…twenty seconds…missiles set and...”

The duty officer followed protocol. Haphnik was quarantined – as was all of Dawn space. No one was to get into the area until the corporation was ready for them. That point was about to be made with emphasis.

“Southampton, this is Dover – we have missiles away, repeat missiles away!!”

Then, Dover began to pull away from the warp point. She probably had a longer combat reach than whatever was coming through the point, but there was no sense in sticking around to find out.

...onboard CDS Southampton...

Captain Harrison arrived on the bridge to hear the voice announce what everyone knew would happen.

“Warp point breached.”

Lieutenant O’Rourke filled her captain in:

“Sir, we have an unknown breach of the warp point. Dover has already released missiles and is pulling behind us. We are ready to fire on your orders. Our position is 150km from the point, sir.”

Captain Rodney Harrison took the report in and winced. His initial thought was that some poor Cue Cappa bastard is not going to have a nice day today.

He was wrong...

...onboard the Sergetti frigate Celea...

The Sergetti commander had heard the rumors about the Haphnik warp point. About ships that entered only to be not heard from again. He didn’t believe the stories, but more to the point he was sure his frigate would be able to handle any challenge. He had the second generation of weapons his race had developed. He realized his mistake when, upon entering the system, he found two missiles bearing down on his ship.

The Sergetti point defense fired when the missiles were in range...

...onboard the CDS Southampton...

Lieutenant O'Rourke brought her ship alongside Dover, with about 10,000 meters separating them. Together they pulled away from the intruder...

...onboard the Sergetti frigate Celea...

The point defense did well, knocking out one missile and almost knocking down the second. It was a microsecond too late...

The missile impacted the bow of the Sergetti frigate, and the resulting heat generated burned almost all of the ship’s armor away. The shock to the ship was measurable, and the crew wasn’t able to respond for a few seconds after the explosion...

...onboard the CDS Southampton...

Captain Harrison was the senior commander, and assumed tactical command of both ships. He ordered a second salvo as his little fleet began to pull out of weapons range of the target...

...onboard the Sergetti frigate Celea...

The captain was about to order a pursuit when his own display showed four missiles now closing on the ship, with his targets outdistancing him at a speed he would have found impressive; had not he been contemplating his own death at the moment...

The frigate tried to heel about and run from the new set of missiles, but they had too much residual energy from the warp point jump - although the impact from the first missile hit helped to bleed some of that energy away. The crew had finally recovered and began to turn the frigate when the point defense cannon automatically fired at the first missile...

...onboard the CDS Southampton...

Lieutenant O’Rourke watched the display as the four smaller dots closed with the one larger dot. Suddenly, one of the four smaller dots disappeared. The three remaining dots continued on their way – oblivious to what had just happened or what was about to happen – and they merged with the larger dot. Then, the screen went blank...

The Colonial Dawn had just said hello to the Sergetti Empire. And another race of sentient beings would try to figure out what kinds of creatures would react in this most peculiar way...

...Nekkar Research Center...

It was just one of those days.

The calculations couldn’t be wrong. They were rather simple, and the technician had gone over this very formula many times before.

The problem was how to improve the range of the detector in the combat sensor array used by the ships defending the corporation. Basic modulation techniques were first used, but the power required to generate such signals would be prohibitively large for a space vehicle. Then, low power algorithms were discovered, and the system worked. A simple binary method of coding the transmissions provided a rudimentary sort of identification between transmitter and target. If the target replied with the right binary code pattern, the system recognized the target as friendly.

But today, the technician was working out a way to code the code itself. Or was trying to. And failing. Miserably.

It was just one of those days everyone has. Nothing worked. The technician questioned himself and his abilities. He knew better, but today it just wasn’t working for him.

In a rare show of emotion, he grabbed his formula sheet off of the desk and tore it. And again. And again.

“Feel better?" querried his partner.

The technician looked a bit sheepish as he realized he wasn’t alone. Then, his demeanor changed to fear once he realized he had taken out his frustration out on not his failed computations, but on the monthly report for the Department of Sensor Technology for the Nekkar Research Center.

In a panic he gathered the pieces off of the floor and began to look at each one as if trying to figure out which pieces went where.

His partner was still laughing when he chided him and simply printed out another copy of the report. It was good-natured, and the technician was about to reply with a jest in kind when he froze in his tracks.

He looked back at the pieces of paper on the floor and realized...

“It can’t be...” he breathed…

His partner was curious and looked at the paper scraps on the floor and back at the technician.

The technician looked at his partner and began to smile. Broadly. He knew. He knew!!

It was just one of those days...
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Old March 5th, 2008, 07:31 PM

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Default Re: Dawn

Nekkar III
Colonial Dawn Council Meeting
Corporate Headquarters…

The meeting was underway, and the council department heads were updating the chairman of the status of each department. The research council led off, and the presentation of the development of the ECM .

“Ladies and gentlemen, the procedure is, in theory, simple…”

Defense interrupted him. “All theories are simple, aren’t they?”

The presenter continued on, undeterred.

“The problem was to improve our ability to interrogate signals and discern their origin. We have devised a way to improve on the procedure.” He picked up a piece of paper and wrote his own name on it.

“And now, ladies and gentlemen…”

He fed the paper into the shredder, and picked up the basket with thousands of small slivers of his document, and others that were shredded.

“Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you I can reassemble my original document from this canister of paper shreds. I only need two things. First, I have to know what the original document was – which I do, because I created it – and second…”

The financial officer chimed in.

“Second, you need time. A lot of time.”

The presenter smiled.

“Exactly, madam. Time. I would need about one month; working every second of every day to examine the shreds, sort out my shreds from the rest, and reassemble the document.”

Chairman Lomax asked the next obvious question.

“And you can now do this with interrogation message from these countermeasure pods?”

The presenter looked off to the side for just a second.

“No, Mr. Chairman. We don’t do it to the interrogation message. We can, and have, done it to the code that makes up the interrogation message. Not only does an enemy need to rearrange the letters of the message, they have to reassemble the letters from the shreds the same way I have to reassemble my paper to get to the point where they could then try to reassemble the code.”

Nobody spoke as they tried to visualize what was being said.

Defense tried first.

“You mean you can…”

The presenter cut him off – not normally a good idea, but the presenter was still a bit flush with excitement.

“Yes, Admiral. And it doesn’t take a month, or a day, or an hour. We can reassemble the interrogation code in thirteen-millionths of a second.

The presenter played his final card.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we - in fact – didn’t need more time.”

He smiled.

“We needed a faster clock.”

Dawn now had ECM.

The remaining briefings went on, albeit with less flare than the research announcement. Finance announced it would be able to reduce expenditure requirements for maintenance of the empire’s facilities, ships, and units. Marketing reported the population was solidly behind the chairman and his policy of isolationism. Resources announced there were plenty of materials to continue to build and expand the known areas of Dawn space. They also announced an improvement in their storage facilities. Finally, Defense announced the creation of Operation Loophole. The plan was to take the Velocitas system and hold it as a choke point. Velocatis had warp gates to both the Pantrissa and Haphik systems. Taking the system would reduce the threat to Dawn as any ship or ships no more than 500kT. Of course, with such a small warp point, an enemy would logically need to send in a lot of smaller ships. There was some thought given to leaving Velocitas as a buffer system, but the decision was made to try and clear Velocitas and then block the warp point to whatever was on the other side.
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Old March 5th, 2008, 11:53 PM

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Default Re: Dawn


Update to board members:

Status report (board members will please note all Harvester resource values are per month)

Forlorn system

One oxygen gas giant available for colonization (huge and mild climate. Space yard projected)
One non-oxygen gas giant available for colonization
One non-oxygen rock world available for colonization
Two asteroid fields available

Samora system

No planets available for colonization
Four asteroid fields available
Samora I: Upgrading from intelligence center 1 to 2. Spaceport online Tripwire satellite on queue
Samora II: Supply depot operational. Construction on space yard begins

Sirius system

Three gas giants available for colonization (one oxygen atmosphere)
Three asteroid fields available
Sirius V: Construction on space yard (huge gas giant with oxygen atmosphere) begins

Zanthris system

Two gas giants available for colonization (non-oxygen)
Zanthris II: Producing Canada III class light cruiser (CDS Toronto). Two Pinta gas colony ships scheduled and spaceyard will be decommissioned (small rock with carbon dioxide atmosphere) as Sirius V space yard comes online
Harvester 400 mining 8100+ minerals
Two asteroid fields available

Pantrissa system

Warp point to Velocitas (guarded)
Warp point to Sheliak (guarded)
Pantrissa V Construction on space yard begins
Pantrissa I construction on two Artemis-class PD ships (CDS Artemis and CDS Longbow) to be complete in 0.5 years. Space yard will be decommissioned as Pantrissa V takes over
Harvester 400 mining 8300+ minerals
Two asteroid fields available
Four planets (two rock and two gsa giant, all non-oxygen) available for colonization

Qornor system

Two gas giants (non-oxygen) available for colonization
Harvester 400 mining 9000+ minerals
Two asteroid fields available

Chazzwazzer system

Six planets available for colonization (two oxygen gas giants, two non-oxygen gas giants, two rock non-oxygen)
Harvester 004 mining 11000+ radioactive resources
Two asteroid fields available
Chazzwazzer IV Construction on space yard begins

Haphik system

Warp point to Velocitas (guarded)
Two non-oxygen gas giants available
Haphik VI Construction on space yard begins
Three asteroid fields available

Praxis system

Three gas giant and one rock world available for colonization (all non-oxygen)
Praxis IX Construction on space yard begins
Three asteroid fields available

Ushphada system

One non-oxygen gas giant available for colonization
Warp point to Tikikantula (guarded)
Ushphada I producing Artemis (CDS Sniper)
Harvester 202 mining 3000+ minerals and 4000+ radioactive resources
Harvester 400 mining 8200+ minerals
One asteroid field available

Nekkar system (home system)

One rock and one gas giant (non-oxygen) planets available for colonization
Nekkar III building Pinta – ready next month
Nekkar VII Construction on space yard begins
Harvester 400 mining 8000+ minerals
Harvester 040 mining 11000+ organics

End of report

Space yard design report

Design upgrades...

Canada III upgrade to Canada IV (Lt. Cruiser)

Two level 2 particle beam weapons, one shield, one shield regenerator, level one ECM, one boarding party compliment

Artemis upgrade to Artemis II (PDS Destroyer)

Replace 10kT of armor with level one ECM

End of report

Defense council report

Operation Loophole commences. Frigates Southampton and Dover enter Velocitas from Ushphada while the frigate West End and the light cruiser Montreal enter Velocitas from Pantrissa. Southampton and West End will sweep Velocitas toward third (and unknown) warp point while Monteral and Dover guard their warp points...

Update: Southampton six sectors from the unknown warp point. West End twelve sectors away from the unknown warp point. No contacts reported...

End of report
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Old March 6th, 2008, 12:03 PM

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Default Re: Dawn


Velocitas system
Onboard CDS Southampton...

Captain Harrison brought Southampton 100,000 km from the warp point. It was definitely small, and the readout estimated that only 500kT would be able to pass through it to wherever it happened to lead to. But Southampton, nor her sister ship West End would be entering the warp point. Their mission had been accomplished. Dawn ships now patrolled all three warp points of the Velocitas system, and the empire had reduced its choke points into Dawn space from four to three.

Harrison knew his crew would be due for a rotation planetside somewhere. He also knew Southampton was due for an upgrade. All of the frigates on this mission, as a matter of fact, would need to be upgraded soon.

Empire Objective Report – Space Yard Construction

The ability to build ships is vital to the success of the empire and its citizens. We have instituted a policy of building and upgrading space yard facilities on oxygen worlds of at least “large” size classification. Other planets in a particular system will support these space yard planets with non-production facilities such as medical labs, research laboratories, intelligence centers, storage facilities, and so forth. We have seven planets in six systems identified as current or future construction yards within corporate territory (Nekkar will have two such yards). The only current exception is the yard at Ushphada I. The location of a warp point to non-corporate space and no oxygen worlds in the system mandate the exception be made. Our staff anticipates we will meet this objective in 0.4 years.

End of Report

Empire Objective Report – System Support

Construction is enhanced with more population who are satisfied and happy. Planets not designated as construction yards will provide system-wide support facilities for those that are. Currently, construction of medical labs is in progress in the following systems: Samora, Sirius, Praxis and Nekkar. Other system-wide support functions will be integrated within the empire as they are discovered.

End of report
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Old March 6th, 2008, 04:32 PM

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Default Re: Dawn


Velocitas warp point
...onboard CDS Southampton...

Lieutenant O’Rourke was gone. Transferred, in fact. She was also promoted and now in command of the CDS West End. The captain there had been shuttled to the Montreal because of an illness that could not be diagnosed on board the frigate. Montreal had returned to Pantrissa to upgrade and give her crew some shore leave. Dover, the frigate that entered Velocitas from Haphnik with Southampton was also en route to the Pantrissa warp point and would leave for rest and refit in Pantrissa as well. West End would be next, and Southampton, the most experienced crew and ship, would upgrade last.

When Captain Harrison delivered the news that they would be last to refit, his crew wasn’t thrilled, but they weren’t overly concerned. They knew their turn would come. The crew was buoyed by the news from Pantrissa that the first Artemis point defense ship was commissioned and would be joining them within a few months. The crew gathered and watched the video on the new class of ships, and also watched the replay from the Ushphada combat simulations. A few whistles were heard as the ship repeatedly beat back fighters and missiles. A short presentation on the latest upgrade of the Canada class light cruisers was also available, including the basic operation of the shield regenerators.

Afterwards, Captain Harrison answered a few questions about the upgrades. The questions were professional, and to the point. One crewman asked about whether the frigates would refit with the shield as well. Captain Harrison said that he didn’t see any need for them, since his new operations officer, Lieutenant Conway – he glanced over at him as he answered – had assured him that Southampton would not get hit.

Laughter rippled throughout the crowd, and Captain Harrison continued:

“Our job on Southampton is to strike first, hard, and fast. Ladies and gentlemen, if there is one thing I am most certainly not interested in, it is a ‘fair fight’. Speed and firepower are our shields. Ladies and gentlemen, we are the standards that others are judged by. Remember that I am proud to serve with each of you.”

Everyone stood just a bit straighter at that. Their speed trials were still the fastest in the fleet – and they had two combat victories already in their log. They knew they had met the challenge. They knew they would continue to do so.

“Now then, let’s show West End and her new captain how a combat simulation should be run!”

Cheering filled the little briefing room, as the crew filed out. Later that day, Southampton faced off against West End in a simulation designed to sharpen each crew’s combat skills. Predictably, the two ships were evenly matched, until West End didn’t turn quickly enough and one of Southampton’s missiles outran her as she tried to open the range. West End’s speed was reduced by forty percent. Captain O’Rourke congratulated her former Captain and signed off.

Lieutenant Conway made the observation that he was glad he wasn’t onboard West End today.

Captain Harrison knew Katherine would drill and re-drill with her new crew. He also knew he was glad she was on his side. He was about to say something else when he was summoned to the bridge.

Signals officer Ensign Sloan spoke to the captain and the operations officer when they came to his station.

“Sir, I’m reading signals from the warp point itself. The computer is working on them, but I’d say they are communication signals. Not necessarily directed at us, but we’re getting them anyway. No way to know when they were sent, I’m afraid.”

Harrison and O’Rourke looked at each other. As if reading their minds, Sloan spoke up.

“Yes sir, our signals probably also went through the warp point.”

Whatever or whoever was on the other side of that warp point knew someone else was on this side of it as well.
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Old March 7th, 2008, 01:12 AM

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Default Re: Dawn

Hello everyone - before the entry for today, thanks to all who have been viewing. Although I've started a few games (What, my home system doesn't have 3 huge rock worlds with oxygen atmosphere??? Restart!!), I'm not all that familar with the game beyond a couple of years, or the BM and its changes. Please forgive me if something seems totally out of place.

Now with that out of the way, please enjoy today's entry.


Chazzwazzer system
...onboard colony ship Pinta...

The operations officer watched the display, and announced,

“Approaching intercept vector.”

The captain of the giant ship acknowledged and keyed in the sequence to fire the orbital rockets.

In two hours, the colony ship was nearing the end of its three-month journey. The landing site (although the term “landing” on a gas giant was a bit counterintuitive) was already coded into the navigation system, and the remaining part of the sequence was largely automatic, although the human pilots on board could override the system in case of a malfunction.

The system, of course, worked perfectly. The ship was “landed” – or rather had established a permanent docking facility. It would form the base from which the planet structures would be formed. It was rather like building in the sky, but the buildings would be on raised pads. The pads themselves were equipped with anti-gravity thrusters. That was the secret of colonizing a gas giant. You never touched down.

The commander opened the airlock door and fresh air flooded throughout the ship. Colonists and crew alike felt invigorated and began to build another element of the Empire.

Ushphada system
Ushphada I space yard facility...

With the mooring lines secured, Leeds shut her engines down. The yard supervisor was already on board, “suggesting” to the captain the order of upgrades. There were a few changes to the England design. First, the ship would get a flak cannon. While the Artemis was still the main point defense ship of the fleet, she wasn’t to be the only point defense of the fleet. Second, the armor was to be upgraded – new material alloys allowed for a 10% increase in the protection it offered. Third, an ECM pod was being installed, and the signals officers and operators were to report to the secure meeting room for 5 days for orientation training on the new system. Leeds would be the first of the frigates to be upgraded to the England VI frigate.

Meanwhile, taking her place guarding the warp point to Tilikathua was Sniper, the new point defense destroyer. Northampton was also at Ushphada and was also going through a rest and refit, along with an upgrade to an England VI class.

Ushphada system
Tilikanthua warp point
...onboard CDS Sniper...

“With all due respect, minister – are you sure this is a wise move?”

The captain could politely ask, but that was about all he could do. His orders, unsealed earlier today, were very specific. Minister Talbot was now in total command of the ship. The captain reread the orders, cursed, and punched in his command code. The response was simple and unnerving.

“I’m sorry captain, your code no longer functions.”

That was earlier today. Now, the captain was a helpless bystander on his own ship. At least he could still be on the bridge. How gracious of the Minister. He repeated his question.

“Minister? Are you sure this a good idea? Sending Leeds and Northampton back for upgrade at the same time?”

The minister was watching the ship’s main display panel intently. His voice carried just a touch of annoyance in his reply.

“Captain, your orders? I’m sure you’ve read them?”

At this point, the crewmembers on the bridge looked up at the two of them for a bit before returning to their duties.

“I know minister, you are in command now. Why – I don’t know. But the Navy seems to approve.”

The minister was still loking at the display panel. He didn’t acknowledge the captain.

“Minister, I will fully support you, but the safety of my crew is of utmost…”

The minister answered, but was clearly annoyed at the interruption. His eyes never left the ship’s display panel. He watched the time tick away.

“Yes, yes, Captain. I can assure you that …ahhhhh!! … just… about…now…”

The warp point seemed to shimmer for just a second…

“Warning. Warp point breach iminent. Warp point breach in thirty seconds.”

This was too much for the captain.

“Minister! Sir – the warp point…”

The soothing voice returned.

“Warp point breach in fifteen seconds.”

The captain continued.

“Minister, we can still leave the warp point. We can recall Leeds and Northampton. They can’t get here right away, but they can at least get here to try and close the point again.”

The minister finally turned and stared at the captain. His head titled just a bit when he spoke.

“Leave? Why would we want to leave?”

Once again, the soft voice made herself known.

“Warp point breached.”

The captain was about to answer when he noticed the display over the minister’s shoulder. A ship was emerging from the warp point. It was a Cue Cappa frigate. The captain pointed to the display and made what he thought was a convincing argument to leave.

“Sir – a Cue Cappa frigate. And we have no weapons, Minister!”

The minister glanced over his shoulder and looked back at the captain.

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Old March 7th, 2008, 10:41 PM

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Default Re: Timing


Nekkar III
Colonial Dawn Homeworld
Hermes Medical Laboratory...

The applause was thunderous. Chairman Lomax had just finished a dedication speech on the opening of the Hermes Medical Laboratory. Throughout the Nekkar system, branches of the medical facility were opening or had already opened. The Chairman spoke of the efforts and dedicated sacrifices made by the workers in the structure’s construction, and about how lives would be saved and enriched with the wondrous works that were sure to come from the staff of the facilities.

The dedication was transmitted in real time to almost every display unit in the system. People throughout the system were happy, almost jubilant with the success of their empire and those they entrusted to lead it.

The Chairman held up his hands, and the applause died down. He continued his speech.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I have one more announcement if you would bear with me a moment further. The efforts of the military”, here the applause broke over the Chairman’s speech again (the video display of the “defense of Tilikanthua” - as it was known – was shown a mere half hour before the Chairman’s speech. Strangely, though, the invaders had three ships instead of one while the valiant defenders saved the day), and he paused a moment while the masses had their moment. He again raised his hands.

“The efforts of our military at keeping us secure while we prosper cannot be overlooked. The efforts of our diplomatic community in negotiating treaties with alien races for the betterment of all cannot be overlooked.”

Again, the applause. Again, a gesture from the Chairman as he finished his delivery.

“Citizens of Dawn, I tell you now the time has come for us to join in brotherhood with our neighbors. The time has come for us to share with others the bounty we enjoy. The time has come for Dawn to be welcomed, not feared. We have offered a new treaty with the Cue Cappa. We offer to come to their aid should they be attacked. We want them to see our superiority not as a threat, but as a shield under which all of the peace-loving races of the galaxy can benefit from. We ask for nothing in return, save the opportunity to demonstrate our goodwill. Citizens, the Dawn is rising on a new day!”

The applause was, impossibly, even louder than before. Tensions seemed to ease, and traders looked forward to selling new – if alien – merchandise for a not inconsequential profit.

The Chairman was escorted to his vehicle. Inside, his aide handed the Chairman a display pad. He was reviewing the projections for the next month’s resources, when the Director of the Intelligence section interrupted him.

“Mr. Chairman, I have a message from Ushphada.”

Avery Smith had a voice that was as smooth as ice. And just as cold.

“Yes Mr. Smith. Did we make contact?”

Smith never really liked the Chairman. Like all ambitious people, Smith’s lust for power was only eclipsed by his plans for its use.

“Yes, Mr. Chairman. Minister Talbot has control of Sniper, and reports that the frigate Chriedeld-er has penetrated the Tilikanthua warp point. Leeds and Northampton are in dock on Ushphada I for refit. Minister Talbot has established contact with the Cue Cappa representative. We have secured an increase in resources from them for their entry into the system. They are as interested in improving relations as we are.”

The Chairman thought for a second.

“I’m not too sure about this, Avery. The timing. With Leeds and Northampton in dock. Sniper has no offensive capability”

The Chairman was unaware that those words had been spoken days earlier in a system far away.

“I agree, Mr. Chairman,” Smith assured. “But the Cue Cappa petitioned for assistance in their war with an alien race called the Xi’Chung Hive. Minister Talbot is our representative for Ushphada, and he agreed to the meeting, albeit on short notice. Northampton and Leeds can be recalled if necessary, and the Cappa have agreed that there would be only one ship entering the system.”

The Chairman seemed satisfied, and went back to looking at his reports.

“Very well Avery, keep me informed.”

Avery Smith took his cue.

“Of course, Mr. Chairman.”

When the vehicle stopped, the Chairman and his entourage left Smith alone. Smith walked back to his office and punched in his code to his personal communication system (PCS). His encryption was even better than that now in use by the military’s ships. He sent a message to a building on Ushphada III.

The message was transmitted to a communications satellite orbiting the planet, which then sent the message to a satellite near the warp point to Praxis. The message was transmitted into the warp point, and a satellite on the Praxis side of the point transmitted it to the Ushphada warp point, where a satellite there repeated the process. By the time it got to its destination, three minutes had passed.

Ushphada III research complex
Test and evaluation chamber #2...

The technician was about to print the results when his PCS activated. He had no problem reading the message, since his PCS was standard issue from the Dawn intelligence department. The small display panel showed a single word.


The technician/intelligence officer keyed back a response.


Ushphada system
Tilikanthuia warp point
...onboard CDS Sniper...

The minister hailed Sniper. He had left the ship in a shuttle and was taken to the Cue Cappa ship. He was now onboard there as the ship was heading into the Ushphada system. The captain made no pretense about his relief at having him off of his ship. He had his command codes back, and was patrolling the warp point again – not that there was much he could do about it if it was breached again. He was here to protect the two ships whose job it was to challenge intruders. And those two ships were now being refit on the other side of the system! The good news was that Leeds’ refit was completed, and she would rejoin Sniper next month. Northampton would follow soon thereafter. No thanks to the minister who was now hailing Sniper from an alien ship.

“Captain, I do apologize for the clandestine nature of my time aboard your vessel. Please understand that my mission is to secure a better treaty with the Cue Cappa. I trust you understand the sensitive nature of the mission, and hope you can see the greater good within our efforts.”

The captain admitted the minister was a good talker. ‘Our efforts’ he said. Right. The minister continued.

“I’m sure you have full control of the Sniper again?”

“Yes minister, all except the communications systems. They aren’t responding to the code.”

The minister looked apologetic. The captain thought the minister could look any way he wanted to on demand.

“I am truly sorry, captain, but you will have control of the communication system in one hour. We are broadcasting a friendship message from the Chriedeld-er and any transmission beyond short range ship to ship would interfere with, and possibly cause a misinterpretation of, the message.”

The captain sat down and fumed, but there wasn’t much more he could do. He had to wait another 35 minutes. He used the time to run a complete systems check on the ship. He considered it fumigating...

Praxis system
Praxix II shipyard construction facility...

The facility was dark. Ship construction operations were suspended with the last Pinta that departed last month. The facility on Praxis IX was about ready to begin construction. First off would be Harvesters, and then probably would be military ships to build. The workers at the Praxis II facility had relocated to Praxis IX, and were given priority in living sites and assistance in making the transition as smooth as possible. Everyone was looking forward to working without the need for a dome, and hopes were high. A research center would be replacing the old shipyard facility. News crews were already reporting on the event, as the shipyard officials predicted great events for the new facility. Workers were interviewed about the upheaval of moving to a new planet, but they were all in favor of it. After all, who wanted to live in a bubble if you didn’t have to?

The news reports switched to the destruction of the old facility and the construction of the new research lab. Rumors were of a new and improved version of the space yards, so there wouldn’t be very much to try and salvage from this yard. The reporter read over the history of the yard on Praxis II, about how it had been a valuable addition in the early days of the empire.

It was to play one more valuable role...
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