Title: Second Star on the Right
Captain Seato - July 21, 2006 09:39 PM (GMT)
Subsector Aleph InformationSubsector Aleph
The expanded Subsector Aleph contains three new star systems, also inhabited. In addition to Drakkar IV and Seato's Landing, there is also Angelus Mons, a planet from a neighboring system independent of Subsector Aleph. Also, there is Akritedes Prime, a system currently under Inquisitorial quarantine and the Martinus Naval Yards, where the players begin the RP.
Repairs can be made nearly anywhere the ship stops, but at Martinus Naval Yards, the repairs are made faster and are more "complete". Trained replacements can also be acquired only at this location.
Population: 6 Billion
Defenses: 3 Defense monitors, 6 System ships, modern PDF of 40 million men
Notes: High mineral resources, provides exports and troops to Cadia. Relies on Seato's Landing for 90% of its food.
Population: 20 million
Defenses: 4 System ships, poorly-armed reserve PDF of 4 million
Notes: 99% cropland. Has close trade association with Drakkar IV. 12 Cobra class destroyers are on permanent convoy duty along the trade route between Drakkar IV and Seato’s Landing.
Akritedes Prime [under quarantine]
Population: 4 billion
“Defenses”: 1 Mars class battlecruiser, 1 Dictator class cruiser, 2 escort carriers
Notes: Inquisitor Anakin is conducting an investigation of the planetary government.
Population: 50 million
Defenses: 1 Oberon class battleship
Notes: The subsector commander of this system is under no orders to assist Subsector Aleph.
Unnamed gas giant
Type: Gas giant
Notes: It’s a great big ball of gas
Martinus Naval Yards
Population: unknown, most personnel are transient (completely military in nature, there are few civilians, not enough to warrant consideration)
Type: Naval installation (space station)
Defenses: 1 Overlord class battlecruiser
Notes: The Martinus Naval Yards is a storage depot for decommissioned ships, though the current state of affairs means that the ships in inventory are being refurbished, rather than scrapped. Availability of specific ship types varies; escorts are common, cruisers are uncommon and battlecruisers/grand cruisers are rare. In the Martinus Naval Yards’ commander’s entire life of service, he has never received a decommissioned battleship, though on occasion, promising young officers have promised the old man a captured ship, on the promise that the ship be repaired and become their new flagship…
Captain Seato - July 21, 2006 11:29 PM (GMT)
Aboard one of the many transports enroute to your new duty station you read again your orders, from Sector commander Admiral Katrue. Recent Chaos activity has compelled the Imperial Navy to increase its readiness in the subsector, though this means scraping together a fleet from recommissioned ships and newly commissioned officers. The captain's pips replacing your old lieutenant's rank still have their original shine...
Subsector commander, Captain Holmes of the Dictator class cruiser Defiant, is overall commander of Aleph and a summary of his reports are included in your orders. A Repulsive-class Grand Cruiser was observed entering the subsector, but no fleet assets were available to challenge it and it was monitored entering the nebulae near Angelus Mons before contact was lost. The neighboring subsector was alerted, but they have not come into contact with the ship.
Most recently, a squadron of Idolator Raiders preying on the convoys was finally destroyed after several months of cat-and-mouse engagements. Reinforcing Cobra class destroyers have taken over convoy duties along the Drakkar IV/Seato’s Landing route, while Captain Holmes and Defiant continue to ply the Cadia/Drakkar IV route.
Your new CO meets you at Martinus Naval Yards, at the end of his patrol route, his ship carefully docking at the massive space station which is a flurry of activity. Several other ships, a varitable chronology of Imperial Navy ships of the line, are already moored, many in varying states of repair, others being returned to service from mothballed status, too many being refurbished from a previous decommissioned state.
Presently Captain Holmes arrives, bearing a dataslate with ship assignments:
Captain Deadules Apawet, assigned to the Tyrant class cruiser, Sword of Righteous Fury.
Captain Maximilien McGinty XIII, assigned to the Dictator class cruiser, Pride of Providence.
Captain Sergei Ivanovich, assigned to the Dominator class cruiser, Seato's Challenge.
Captain William Tiberius, assigned to the Cain-Class Cruiser, Absolute.
Captain Ferath Buckner, assigned to the Dauntless class light cruiser, Sword of Terra.
Captain Jerimiah Austirn, assigned to the Gothic class cruiser, Custodian Eternal.
"Captains Tiberius, Buckner," Captain Holmes says. "Your ships are the fastest so I'll need you on pirate-hunting duty. It's not the most glamorous, but if you can even keep them on the defensive, it'll make a difference for the trade routes."
"Unless there's anything you want to ask me, I'd like you two to sortie immediately. Captains Peacecraft, Siedel and Schubeicher command the desrons, if you should require information about that Repulsive."
"The next convoy," he indicates out the large observation window the gathered transports, included is the one which brought you to Martinus. "Will be leaving shortly, and we'll be defending them, it'd be good to have your ships go on ahead to scatter the sharks."
"A good place to start would be the asteroid field on the 'western' side of the Cadia/Drakkar route."
"Captains McGinty, Austirn, Ivanovich and Apawet, I'm all for personal initiative, so here's the deal."
"The convoys need protection on the way to Drakkar IV and back to Martinus. I need a patrol on the 'western' perimeter of the subsector and I need a search of the eastern nebulae, the last reported position of that Repulsive class grand cruiser."
"I'd like some volunteers, but if you've got input, feel free to say so."
Brother-Librarian Akritedes - July 22, 2006 12:42 AM (GMT)
Sergei steps forward, speaking in a thick, glottal accent. "Da, Kaptain Holmes. I would request assignment to the search for the Archenemy Grand Cruiser you have mentioned in concert with this... eastern nebulae. It would seem likely that the nebulae would..."interfere" with the operation of our auspex and surveyor systems, but, perhaps, with combat patrols by attack craft the...disadvantage could be negated, no?"
Sergei Ivanovich nods decisively and completes his recommendation. "Therefore, Kaptain Holmes, I would request assignement of my Seato's Challenge and Kaptain McGinty's Dictator-class to the hunt."
=][=Nine Breaker=][= - July 22, 2006 06:24 AM (GMT)
Maximilien McGinty XIII absolutly bristled at the mention of his ship.
"Speak for your own bloody ship!"
Realising that he just blurted out, McGinty quickly composed himself and clears his throat.
"Captain Holmes, sir, it would be my honor to volunteer my Pride of Providence for hunting down the archenemy's Repulsive-class grand cruiser.
SilentPsycho - July 22, 2006 01:21 PM (GMT)
Leaning slightly back in his chair, Jerimiah held his partially clenched fist to his jaw, one finger curved out to his chin. Looking between the other Captains around him and the dataslate in his hand, he began to mentally compile the information so far.
"Captain Holmes, sir, if my comrades here are to cover the eastern nebulae and the asteroid field in proximity to the Drakkar IV/Cadia route, then I would suggest that Captain Apawet and myself take our vessels and make an initial sweep along the western border of the sector."
Straightening himself halfway through, he pulled uniform jacket down, flattening the creases over his 'built' torso. Now up straight in his chair, his head was noticeably above the others. Without much of a pause, he continued.
"That way sir, we can make sure that in the short term that we have the majority of subsector being covered by some of our assets, and from then, we can decide what needs will be required of us."
Lord Jacobus - July 22, 2006 02:50 PM (GMT)
"I agree with CPT. Austirn, However, I beleive that CPT. Ivanovich and CPT. McGinty may be ... shall we say... under strength when it comes to fighting a Grand Cruiser. Therefore I propse that we switch patrols and have my Tyrant and Austrins Gothic patroling the eastern Nebula, and Ivanovich's Dominator and McGinty's Dictator, patroling to the west. However this is merly my personal opinion, as i have not had much time to think about this possibility". Deadulus leaned back in his chair and glanced around the table, trying to judge the other CPT.'s raections to what he had just said. He was most concerned about how McGinty would react. "On the Other hand" he said leaning forward again. "It is also my understanding that a Dominator's close in support is well suited to be matched up with a Gothic's Lance batteries..." He let it trail off.
Brother-Librarian Akritedes - July 22, 2006 04:59 PM (GMT)
Sergei looks curiously at McGinty for a moment, but turns away as Apawet speaks, bristling inwardly at his comment, but replies in an even mannered tone nonetheless. "Kaptain Apawet, while a Dominator-class Cruiser does indeed have potent short range weapon batteries, to use them requires closing beyond the minimum safe arming range for a Nova Cannon, and squanders the primary asset of a Dominator-class vessel. Your "suggestion", while viable, is poorly considered, in my opinion. Additionally, we know the Archenemy's vessels to be faster than ours and more heavily armed with lances. According to my...studies on the subject, a Repulsive," he utters the word with phenomenal distaste. "A Repulsive-class Grand Cruiser relies on weapon batteries alone at longer ranges, but carries a powerful lance array for close engagements. That is why, Kaptain, that I feel it to be safer to engage at a...distance, with attack craft and such similar methods of greatly extending our reach."
SilentPsycho - July 22, 2006 05:10 PM (GMT)
Jerimiah looked between the Captains that had spoken already. Hints, of rivarly already, this does not bode well... Coughing briefly, he dropped his raised hand to level with the chair's armrest. Speaking to no-one in particular, his deep voice reverberated in some of the lighter objects in the room.
"I concur with Captain Ivanovich. It would be to our advantage to strike from a range at the Repulsive" Such a fitting name. "Between the Nova Cannon and the attack craft of his and Captain McGinty's vessels, it should be possible to incapacitate the traitor vessel without getting into range of reprisal."
A brief pause.
"Something we should keep in mind however, is that we do not know for sure that the grand cruiser is indeed still within the nebulae. It is quite possible that has moved to another hidden location, and we should all be aware regardless of our respective locations."
Commissar Molotov - July 23, 2006 05:54 PM (GMT)
(For clarity and neatness, set this post after "A good place to start would be the asteroid field on the 'western' side of the Cadia/Drakkar route.".)
Tiberius saluted neatly. His expression was placed, but his eyes shone with keen excitement. He turned on his heel and left the room as quickly as possible, hopefully with Captain Buckner in tow.
He'd been assigned a ship - his first ship. From his studies at the Naval Academy he knew of the Cain Class of cruisers. Once they'd been an ancestor of the Dauntless-Class light cruiser, though larger. However, the vessels seemed unnaturally susceptible to the corruption of Chaos. Some theorists attributed it to the uncommon geometries and curves within the ship's hull structure. Others suggested that the influence was due more to heretics infiltrating the Navy Academies and corrupting a whole generation of cadets. Whatever the reason, within 120 years of service, six of the eleven Cain-class cruisers had abandoned the Emperor's service and turned traitor. The other ships had been consigned to the reserve fleets, never to see service again.
Tiberius relished the challenge. He and Buckner's Dauntless, the Sword of Terra would be a fast, heavily-armed force easily capable of crushing any pirate incursion. As he walked down the corridors towards the shuttlebays, he turned to Buckner.
"We'll need to coordinate with the Cobra Squadrons. More importantly, we need to cooperate with each other. We'll also need to find some information out regarding the Aleph Trade Guild's merchant convoys, and what information they have on the pirates. But most importantly, our first battles will be against our own crews, and our own ships."
Tiberius looked out of a window of thick perma-glass set into the bulkhead. The giant vessels hung malevolently in space, huge cathedral-like structures bristling with guns.
"Many of these vessels have remained empty and inactive for centuries. Others have only recently been repaired after suffering catastrophic damage. It will take all of your Tech-Adepts' skills to rouse your vessel's and prepare her for war. Your crew will be unfamiliar with the vessel and wary of the spirits within. Good luck, Captain. I pray you do not need it."
Tiberius extended his hand for Buckner to shake.
"I will contact you again once the Absolute is ready to depart."
Dark Chaplain - July 23, 2006 06:17 PM (GMT)
After listening to Holmes's address Ferath followed Tiberius out of the room.
Listening to Tiberius's opinions, Ferath nodded in agreement, especially at the issue of cooperation.
"i pray that we wont need luck Tiberius" says Ferath, years at the naval academy unable to hide his drawling accent
"may the wind allways be in your sails" he adds before departing for the Sword of Terra
Captain Seato - July 23, 2006 07:08 PM (GMT)
Captain Holmes listened to the junior captain without remark, his expression calmly neutral. As Captains Tiberius and Buckner exited the observation room, he spoke.
"Captain Apawet, I wouldn't worry about Captains Ivanovich and McGinty. Two cruisers against one and together, Pride of Providence and Seato's Challenge outgun a Repulsive."
"But Captain Austirn makes a damn good point. That Repulsive could be anywhere," Holmes cautions.
"However, we ought to wrap this discussion up, unless you'd like Tiberius and Buckner to sweep the entire sector before we set sail?"
"I'd like to have you all pair up for mutual defense and offense, but I'd rather not have more than two cruisers in a group, it stretches us too thin." Holmes says. "The 137th Escort Squadron will be joining us, and I'm sticking with the convoy. The destroyers will accompany either Defiant or Custodian Eternal, so Captain Apawet, if you choose not to go with Captain Austirn, he won't be shipping out alone."
"I'm sure the rest of you have made your decisions, what say you, Captain Apawet? We sortie whatever your decision."
In the void beyond the observation window, the few other warships at dock uncoupled the myriad umbilicals and tethers, lit their engines and began moving away from Martinus Naval Yards, heading back along the heading that took the fresh new captains to the space station.
Their own ships awaited the captains...
Lord Jacobus - July 23, 2006 07:51 PM (GMT)
"I will travel with CPT. Austrin... I also say good luck to you all and may the Emperor watch over us all. Now lets send them back into the abyss." He stood up from his chair.
"Cpt. Austirn i will contact you when my ship is ready for departure, we will take up in such postion as you desire, Good luck" He shook his hand and exited the room.
SilentPsycho - July 23, 2006 08:22 PM (GMT)
Austirn took the hand of Apawet and shook firmly.
"And good luck to you, Captain."
As Apawet left the room, Austirn turned to Captain Holmes, and spoke, "Captain Holmes, sir, once Captain Apawet and my ships are ready, we shall proceed with the proposed plan of action immeadiately."
Before he moved to leave the room, he saluted the three remaining captains.
"May the Emperor watch over us all."
With that he left the room, heading for his new ship. His first command, his very own ship, barely out of the Academy. Much confidence had been placed in him and his comrades to do their duty, by Naval Command. And the Emperor himself. I will not fail you, my Lord
Brother-Librarian Akritedes - July 24, 2006 01:44 PM (GMT)
"Da, of course. I will prepare my crew and ship now, Kaptain Holmes. With your leave?"
With a polite excuse and nod, Sergei gestures for McGinty to follow and steps out of the room, making for the shuttle bays to to get to his ship.
=][=Nine Breaker=][= - July 24, 2006 05:32 PM (GMT)
"Emperor protects, sir!"
Captain McGinty snapped off a salute and fell in alongside Ivanovich and headed off toward the docking bays.
Captain Seato - July 28, 2006 04:50 PM (GMT)
Unlike a Ramilles class Starfort, Martinus Naval Yards was mostly open to vacuum. the old maintenance facility was designed that way to facillitate the movement of large, heavy pieces of machinery and equipment in an age when anti-gravity assistance was not available to all corners of the Imperium.
As the short-range, VIP shuttles bore their passengers to their respective ships, the new captains were able to spot hundreds of vac-suited figures wearing maneuver packs, jetting around the skeletal superstructures holding their ships in port. Some groups were transporting sheets of armor, while others performed routine maintenance with hand tools. A few noticed the shuttles and waved as they passed.
The captains were each greeted by abbreviated welcoming committees consisting of their command staff, with the rare absence of an officer or two. The executive officers of Tyrant and Absolute are absent; the former overseeing bridge operations, the latter conducting personal inspections throughtout the ship. The chief Tech-Priest of Seato's Challenge is forward, in the prow, overseeing the power conduit re-routing. None of the air crew squadron commanders are present to welcome Captain McGinty aboard Pride of Providence, being too busy with their crews and not having had time to elect a senior officer to represent themselves.
These minor breaches of protocol are curiously overlooked by the ships' commissars.
Under the tutelage of Captain Apawet’s Gunnery officers, the gun crews of Sword of Righteous Fury improve their reload times. They still aren’t as fast as a veteran crew, but are no longer slow as molasses. However, reports get back to Captain Apawet that the faster speed does not come at the expense of safety.
Captain Ivanovich’s crew works tirelessly trying to figure out the problem with the Nova Cannon from the moment they board the ship and well after leaving port. The Gunnery section, working side-by-side with the Engineering crews, run endless tests and make a multitude of modifications to the Nova Cannon systems, then test-fire the weapon with no effect. The process is repeated several times during the cruise without success. Several bypasses later and the Nova Cannon is reliably functional, though when it fires, the lights throughout the ship flicker annoyingly.
The rooms and corridors of Absolute are slightly more roomy than those of a contemporary Imperial Navy ships of the same class, though most of the crew try not to spend a lot of time roaming about alone. Reports to Captain Tiberius, from across the ship, are tinged with a sort of anxiety, though not expressly mentioned.
Unfortunately for Captain McGinty, there is not much he can do about his half-strength air crews until he reaches his next port of call. This does not mean the crews he has don’t work hard at their jobs, despite only being able to get half of the small craft in the air. Their discipline and professionalism is a point of pride for the rest of the crew.
Custodian Eternal's sensor crews reports a small comet, composed of ice, of undetermined origin. Gunnery crews request permission to track and target the ball of ice for target practice.
Sword of Terra's sensor crews reports no contacts during regular sweeps.
Defiant reports no contacts on long-range scans and no problems with the ATG convoy.
Brother-Librarian Akritedes - July 28, 2006 10:48 PM (GMT)
Reading over the reports of the successful testing of the Nova Cannon, Sergei nodded slowly to himself. Good, this was good. The only serious issue with the Challenge was dealt with, hopefully permanently.
Sitting up on his command throne, Sergei slipped the reports inside his jacket and nodded to his XO. "Mister Johnson, you may give the order."
A half-smile, eager and ready, slipped across the De Geb officers face for a moment as he turned to the Helm. "You heard the Captain Helm, set course due east, cruising velocity."
With a muted tremor half-felt in the bone, half-heard, the ponderous cruisers engines lit off, powering around in a slow, majestic turn to the Galactic East, the young helmsman sweating as discreetly as he could manage.
"This is the Kaptain speaking. All hands, as of this moment, pending confirmation by Magos Harell, I am declaring this ship, His Divine Majesty's Imperial Cruiser Seato's Challenge, to be fully restored and ready for action. As of this moment, I expect every man, women, and child aboard this ship to carry themselves with the dignity and conduct expected of His Imperial Navy. That is all."
Sergei hung the vox-mic back in its place on the arm of his command throne, and looked to the dapper officer manning the ships vox. "Comms, hail the Pride and inform her that we will be heading out now and request an ETA as to when they will follow."
Dark Chaplain - July 28, 2006 11:38 PM (GMT)
Ferath turned to his communications officer:
"Ensign Karem, realy this message to captain tiberius" he said as he handed the small, balding man a peice of paper
, Captain Tiberius
From: Sword of Terra
, Captain F, Buckner
Tiberius, How are your crew?
As for the job at hand, i suggest that we move along the convoy route until the point where the convoy route meets the asteroid field. Once at that point we then sweep throught the length of the field before linking up with a desron squadron near Seato's Landing. See attached file for clarity
Captain Ferath BucknerAttached File TK421
After handing the message to Ensign Karem Ferath turns to the Tech Priest
"Magos tzeknil, the ships is to nbe ready to depart by the time we recieve a message from the Absolute
Satisfied that the barely human tech priest would do his job Ferath turned back to the system chart that was being projected on the holoithic display
SilentPsycho - July 30, 2006 08:51 AM (GMT)
Jerimiah shifted his large body around in his seat, getting the feel for it. The seat was probably not much more ornate than the others, but it had a certain...feel to it. It was a good feel too. Skimming a status report given to him, he let the new information mull around in his mind.
Very well, then.
He raised his voice over the noise of the bridge, as personnel went from one place to another to perform their tasks.
"Mister McCoy, you and your gun crews have permission to test fire the lance batteries on the comet, once it is in range. You will be co-ordinating with the Mago to ensure no problems arise."
Turning in his seat to his Captain, the short heavyset man nodded to Austirn, "Aye, sir."
Pressing a button on his chair communications panel, he spoke into the built in microphone, "Magos Kalyn, this is the Captain."
On the other end of the link, a mechanical voice answered, "Yess, what is it now?" Even with the artificially generated voice, the Magos could still easily convey annoyance as exact as anyone with an Emperor-given voicebox.
Jerimiah chuckled to himself. Damned cogboys "Sorry to interrupt your tasks, but I thought I should inform you that the lance decks will soon be commencing some test firing. I want you to keep a close eye on ship's functions during the test. Hopefully the problems with the power distribution that I've heard this ship has can be rectified during the test."
A noise resembling a sharp breeze through a vent grill preceded the Magos' answer. "Hmmph, fine. I'll keep an eye on all the relevant systems. Even more demans on my time."
And with that, the link was cut.
Shaking his head, Jerimiah turned to face the communications station. "Miss Yar, inform the Sword of Righteous Fury that we will be commencing a firing test, and that we should be ready to be underway soon. Also ask what their prediction on when they'll be ready as well."
Lord Jacobus - August 2, 2006 01:11 PM (GMT)
Apawet stormed onto the bridge, grabing the status report from a startled ensign he began yelling out orders. "Lieutenant Thrawn, why is some of the crew still on shore leave? recal them immediatly!" he yelled at his XO. The Comm's officer called over to Apawet from his station
"Sir, Custodian Eternel Informs us that they are preparing for test firing of her lance decks and awaits an ETA for our departure ready time". He finished reading the status report and turned to his XO.
"Mr. Thrawn, ETA for our missing crew members?".
"10 minutes sir" he replied.
"As soon as the arrive there on half rations for the rest of this week" He turned back to his comms officer, "tell custodian eternel we will be ready for departure in 45 minutes, I would like the gunnery crews to work some more on the loading skills". He turned to his left, "Weapons control, stand us at Battle ready status". The lights started strobing red and Klaxon's started to go off.
GENEREL QUARTERS, GENERAL QUARTERS, MAN YOUR BATTLE STATIONS, I REPEAT, MAN YOUR BATTLE STATIONS!. "Helm bring us port 32 degres and acelerate to 2/10 full speed. Port side weapons are to commence firing at designated targets on my mark, Launch designated targets now, set distances for short medium and long range fireing". Target drones shot out from the station and set them selfs up at predetermind distances.
"Sir, Targets in position" called out the sensor station.
"Gunnery officer...Commence live fire target practice". The ship shudderd slightly as both port and starbord batteries let of a singular salvo and began to reload. Again and again they practiced fireing drills, for a full 42 minutes. "Helm, all ahead stop, Gunnery, cease fire, Comms inform the Custodian that we are ready for departure". Apawet walked over and sat down in his command throne to wait.
Commissar Molotov - August 3, 2006 02:09 AM (GMT)
Tiberius entered the bridge of the Absolute, his newly-assembled command crew at their stations. Lieutenant Frakes, his new XO, rose, adjusting the collar of his uniform, and giving his carefully trimmed beard an unconscious, nervous stroke.
"Captain on the bridge."
"Thank you, Lieutenant". Tiberius smiled. There was the faintest tinge of exasperation in the XO's voice, but it was gone before he was sure it had even truly been there. The crew members he'd met all seemed vaguely nervous. He was not surprised. The rumours and legends regarding the Cain-Class were persistent. He could only hope that success in action would allay their fears.
"Lieutenant, I want you to coordinate with the Sword of Terra. As soon as the repair crews are finished and stowed aboard, we're to leave the shipyards on an anti-pirate patrol. I'd like reports from all section commanders. And arrange a meeting with the ship's Commissar, please."
"Aye, sir." Frakes turned and set off, busying himself with the tasks set before him. Tiberius took the moment alone to address a quick prayer to the Emperor that things would go well for him and his crew. His crew.
=][=Nine Breaker=][= - August 3, 2006 04:52 AM (GMT)
Captain McGinty smiled as he looked over the report regarding aircrews. Despite being under strength, his men were professionals and performed well in almost all exercises.
McGinty tossed the data-slate to a nearby aid and closed his eyes, feeling the vibrations of his ship. It felt good to finally have the command he deserved. Satisfied with the feel of the vessel, Maximilien beckoned a Tech Magos and his XO over to the command pulpit.
“Magos Elggar, run final checks on all primary systems and make sure all ordnance and craft are locked down.”
The Magos merely bowed in an awkward and mechanical fashion before moving off, his red robes trailing behind him. McGinty then turned to his XO.
“Lieutenant Gnarls! Prepare to depart and set a course due east.”
The young Skalansburger saluted, turned on his heel, and marched off to give out the orders. He had developed an immediate swagger to his step as soon as the word got around the Pride was returning to active duty.
Captain McGinty stared into the stars from the observation bay that dominated the bridge and could barely contain his enthusiasm to take his place among them. Without taking his gaze away for a second, Maximilien called out to the communications station.
“Comms, send out a reply to Captain Ivanovich. Inform him that the Pride of Providence will be ready to depart within the hour.”
Captain Seato - August 3, 2006 08:18 PM (GMT)
The ships of Battlefleet Aleph sortie from Martinus Naval Yards, their relatively new crews bending their backs to their assigned tasks. Outside of the blanket of protection afforded by the Yards’ security perimeter, the ships not on convoy duty pair off and alter headings to begin their cruises.
Looking for the elusive Grand Cruiser, Absolute and Sword of Terra, set course for Aleph asteroid field.
Custodian Eternal and Sword of Righteous Fury begin a patrol along the subsector’s “western” border.
Remaining with the convoy, Defiant and the 137th Desron head out for Drakkar IV.
Pride of Providence and Seato’s Challenge sail for the ‘eastern’ nebulae.
______ Custodian Eternal and Sword of Righteous Fury ______
The commissars report improved punctuality on the part of the disciplined crewmembers and redoubled efforts from the rest.
Sensor officers report the ‘western’ nebulae dead ahead, with minimal auspex penetration. The signal returns they do get are inconclusive.
All ship systems are operating normally.
Custodian Eternal's gunnery crews track the comet and fire lances. The spears of energy pierce the ball of ice, the extreme, concentrated heat vaporizing it.
Sensor officers report nominal residual heat from the shots. All ship systems are operating normally.
______ Absolute and Sword of Terra ______
Absolute’s section commanders report all stations operating at peak efficiency. The Magos attributes the performance to exceptional storage maintenance procedures at Martinus. Overall, theship is in tip-top shape and the crew well-trained.
It takes some persuasion, but the section commanders inform Captain Tiberius about their section’s reluctance about serving on the Absolute. The ship’s commissars’ rebuttal is that the Absolute had not even been in service at the time of the Heresy; she had been completed the moment the betrayal had been revealed and immediately mothballed, assigned nothing more than a skeleton crew to take her to Martinus Naval Yards.
The chief of security confidentially tells Captain Tiberius that his men have overheard talk of whispers emanating from the bulkheads.
Captain Ferath Buckner Sword of Terra's sensor crews continue to report no contacts during regular sweeps.
All ship systems are operating normally.
______ Pride of Providence and Seato’s Challenge ______
Commanders Topper Harley and Kent Gregory inform Captain McGinty that the air crews are at the peak of their possible performance. The few craft that can be sent up maintain a regular CAP rotation.
All other ship systems are operating normally.
Word reaches Captain Ivanovich that the crew are worried for their families and friends on Akritedes. Though the crew makes no open pleas for a detour, the commissars report a decrease in morale and subsequent increase in disciplinary measures.
All ship systems are operating normally.
______ Defiant and the 137th Desron ______
The opening leg of the journey to Drakkar IV is uneventful and Defiant reports no contacts on long-range scans and no problems with the ATG convoy.
Brother-Librarian Akritedes - August 4, 2006 02:39 AM (GMT)
Thumping his fist heavily against his cabin table, Sergei looked at the Ship's Commissar irritably. "Kommissar, these reports...trouble me. Why do these men cling to their former lives? They knew what was to happen to them when they were drafted, their lives belong to the Navy, to Seato's Challenge now. We must drum that fact home, and swiftly!"
The violently red-haired Commissar nodded silent agreement, and spoke. "Agreed, further action must be taken. But the way the rumor mill has taken off, it may take time and sterner measures to make the point known," he rumbled. "Was that all, Captain? I have my rounds to make and, as you well know, further infractions to review," he stated, making it plain that there was nothing else to be said. Sergei waved a hand to indicate his approval and bent his head back to the paperwork on his desk.
After the ringing sound of the Commissar's jackbooted heels had faded far into the distance, the Captain sat up suddenly, and strode over to the door, furtively looking out and ensuring the coast was clear. Satisfied that the Commissar and any henchmen of his were not nearby, Sergei sealed and locked his cabin door and pressed the intercom on his desk. "Bridge? This is the Kaptain. Ask Lieutenant Earl to meet me in my quarters."
No further orders. Seato's Challenge is to continue to its destination in tandem with Pride of Providence. The Ship's Commissar is requested to raise morale among the ship's crew, by any means short of summary execution.
Captain Seato - August 4, 2006 02:35 PM (GMT)
Lieutenant Earl reports to Captain Ivanovich's quarters. He listens quietly to the plan Sergei outlines, and the reasons behind it. He informs the captain that it is his duty to report any "personal requests" made by Ivanovich, to the ship's commissar.
However, he agrees with the captain and reports directly to Ivanovich, when off-duty and between commissar shifts.
Meanwhile, disciplinary actions increases as distance to the Akritedes system decreases. The commissars' whippings become commonplace aboard Seato's Challaenge.
SilentPsycho - August 7, 2006 08:56 PM (GMT)
Watching the holo-vid footage the sensors had created from the test fire, Austirn allowed himself a small external smile.
"Good work, gunnery crews," he applauded through the internal comms, "Now lets see a repeat of that performance when it is time to turn the guns on the enemy."
With that, he cancelled the internal comms. Turning to one of the messenger boys, he beckoned him over.
"I want you to go down to Engineering and ask Tech Magos Kalyn for a complete report on the power performance during that test fire, and any comments he may have about reliability in combat. Now repeat it back to me."
Satisfied that the messenger had the information remembered verbatim, the Captain sent him on his way. Turning back to the forward vision ports, he stared at the nebulae, which seem to absorb his gaze, just like how it was going to absorb the ships' auspex and surveyor equipment. Entering it would be a hazard to both vessels, but it was necessary. Is there another option though?
"Comms, send a message to the Sword of Righteous Fury and ask Captain Apawet what course of action he would favour at this moment."
The slender pale officer at the comms station nodded to her Captain, "Aye sir, preparing message."
Lord Jacobus - August 8, 2006 01:30 AM (GMT)
"This time is NOT good enough i want those Bilge rats to get so Famileir with this drill, that they can do it With no arms and only their teeth is that Uderstood?" He roared at his gunnery officers "I dont care what it takes, just DO IT!!" he dissmissed them.
"Sir, Cpt Austirn would like to know your preferd course of action, sir".
I sit up and think for a moment, " I would sugegst skirting the edge of the Nebula at the moment and coming back to it from a different angle, one that is not expected of course" I relay over live comms to him. I turn to the Yeowman "Were the Hell is My Cofee ensign.... cut the audio"
Captain Seato - August 10, 2006 11:21 PM (GMT)
______ Custodian Eternal and Sword of Righteous Fury ______
Sensor diagnostics are reported as operating normally.
Sensors report no contacts.
All sections report ship's systems operating within normal parameters.
The nebulae causes disruptions in Custodian Eternal's gun systems. The Magos declares the cause to be the insufficient appeasement of the lance decks' machine spirits.
In addition, sensor range is reduced and return signals are unclear.
______ Absolute and Sword of Terra ______
Absolute’s security chief meets privately with Captain Tiberius and informs him of certain rituals being performed by a handful of the crew.
He invites the captain to join.
Sword of Terra's sensor register a tentative contact.
______ Pride of Providence and Seato’s Challenge ______
Lieutenant Earl's report indicates violent unrest on Akritedes. Mass protests have been viciously put down.
Pride of Providence's CAP reports a small transport ship from Akritedes is enroute.
On all channels, they declare themselves to be refugees seeking asylum.
______ Defiant and the 137th Desron ______
After a week, the ATG convoy has successfully completed the Drakkar IV leg of the run and is offloading cargo. Defiant maintains station.
Lord Jacobus - August 11, 2006 12:18 AM (GMT)
He drained the last of the cofee from his cup and passed it to the shaking ensign, she saluted hastily and ran off. "Helm set course for 113.498 by ... 124.545, i want to come into the nebulaa from the botom and cut upwards throught it, coms relaty our course to the Custodian Eternal" he sat back in his chair, impaitently waiting as the gatherd momentum and moved forward. The natural beuty of the nebula lost on him. "Sensor's, I want an up to date report ever 10 minutes, if you get any returns that could be a ship, alert me immediatly" He orderd.
"also inform Cpt. Austirn, that he may want to take a differnt appraoch vector" he orderd his communication's officer. He got up and walked to the view port at the front of the bridge. "Commissar, Magos Report?" he called out, staring out the viewscreen and thinking 'all rght you chaos basterds, were the hell are you...'
Dark Chaplain - August 11, 2006 10:18 AM (GMT)
"Captain Buckner, we have a sensor contact" said Grath "its tentative but its a contact nonetheless"
Ferath looked up at his communications officer, Lieutenant Grath. Grath was the perfect 'poster boy' for the imperial navy.
"thank you lieutenant, keep an eye on the contact" wheeling about to face his communications officer, the corners of his uniform billowing outwards as he did so.
"Karem, inform the ablsolute of the contact" Ferath turned once again, albeit less dramtically this time.
"Helmsman lay in a course. Commander Benson, get the guns ready to fire, Tech Priest say the necessary prayers and get the shields ready".
at last, some action
SilentPsycho - August 17, 2006 10:32 PM (GMT)
Frakking nebulae, and frakking machine spirits! Austirn thought angrily to himself. To him, the fact that an overgrown ball of gas would cause him this much trouble annoyed him. Pacing the bridge in annoyance, he moved to an internal communications panel.
"Engineering. Kalyn, do whatever you have to do to get the lances working properly. And while you're at it, see what you can do about these sensors. I'd rather not have to resort to looking out a vision port and looking for the enemy with a telescope."
Before he got a response from Engineering, he cut the link. He paced towards one of the exits, turning his head to Lieutenant Kawolski, "Inform me of any major changes or when we get out of this bowl of soup. I'll be in my quarters."
Captain Seato - August 17, 2006 11:45 PM (GMT)
Engineering gives Captain Austirn a positive, though static-heavy, response before he cuts the connection.
"I'm not sure we can even find our way out at this point, captain," Lieutenant Kawolski replies with a grin. "It's enough to keep abreast of Sword of Righteous Fury."
"I wonder if they're having the same trouble we are," he says, looking at the intermitently static-y bridge screen showing the dark, looming shape of their sister ship.
Lord Jacobus - August 19, 2006 03:11 PM (GMT)
"Magos, Can we rig up some torpedoes with sensors and comm systems so that we may use them as forward probes?" Apawet asked into the comm. He glanced out one of the viewscreens toward the Custodian. He took another gulp of Cofee and waited for the Magos to respond.
Captain Seato - August 19, 2006 03:35 PM (GMT)
Oddly enough, the report from the Magos is almost unintelligible due to static.
"I cannot and will not perform such an action, on the grounds it would insult the torpedo's Machine Spirit!"
The members of the bridge crew happen to overhear the Magos's words and give their captain worried looks.
The looks of people with something to hide.
Lord Jacobus - August 19, 2006 03:50 PM (GMT)
"Magos... i am sory, i did not think that it would offend the machine spirits, i was merly wondering that is all" He looked around the bridge at his crew. "What?" he snapped "you have work to do, so get to it, your shift change is in the hour." he turned back to the comms. "Magos, would it be possible at all, to create a probe so that we may navigate through the nebula more easily?"
Captain Seato - August 19, 2006 04:20 PM (GMT)
"No, captain," the Magos replies, his irritation carried through the static-filled transmission.
"You should already know that we're almost clear of it anyway."
Lord Jacobus - August 19, 2006 04:37 PM (GMT)
"very well Magos, inform me if anything goes wrong with" He turned back to the viewscreen and continued to drink his cofee.
Captain Seato - August 22, 2006 04:28 PM (GMT)
The passage through the nebulae is uneventful for the two ships.
As soon as they exit, their systems return to full capability.
Suddenly the sensor operators on both ships raise the alarm; two contacts ahead, to port.
Lord Jacobus - August 22, 2006 05:10 PM (GMT)
"Conn, Sensors 2 targets desgnaiting Seirra one and Seirra two of the bow" Called out the sensor chief. "Sensor, Conn, Can you make and identification on them ?" Apawet Responded.
SilentPsycho - August 22, 2006 07:19 PM (GMT)
The automatic doors barely had time to open before Captain Austirn had burst on to the bridge. What the hell? When it rains it pours... With the vessel now on alert status, Austirn allowed the lax in protocol for the bridge crew to get on with their tasks. Without breaking step, he began to bark off orders quickly.
"Mister Dengar! I want a identification on those two vessels immeadiately!"
"Aye, sir," the sensor officer answered, peering closely at his display screens closely through his spectacles.
"Mister McCoy, get the lance decks and shields charged, and torpedoes loaded!"
With a dark grin, the weapons officer responded, "With pleasure, sir."
Commissar Sato began to move over to discipline McCoy, but Jerimiah held his hand out in front, speaking lowly, "Can't fault him for his enthusiasm, Commissar."
Simultaneously, he pressed for the, now very familiar, internal comm system. "Tech-Priest Kalyn, I hope you can rouse the machine spirit properly for this."
"As you wish, Captain," can the heavily staticed reply, which ended quickly, as the connection was closed. The cogboy knows what needs to be done.
"Miss Yar, open a channel."
Looking for the confirming nod from the young woman, Austirn straightened himself, pulling his uniform straight. Might as well give this a shot.
"Unidentified vessels! This is the Imperial starship Custodian Eternal. You have violated Imperial territory. Power down your systems and prepare for boarding or you will be fired upon."
Considering the area of space, it was madness to suppose that these vessels could be of any other origin, but Austirn decided there was no harm in trying a hail. At the very least, it could buy precious few extra seconds for the systems to come online.