[004 - B] California System

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[004 - B] California System Empty [004 - B] California System

Post by Hades on Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:27 am

A few minutes ago, a third Alarei dreadnought had jumped into high orbit around the third gas giant of the system. That gas giant was not significant by itself, but one of its moons, the one named 'Chicago' by the United Systems, was the first terran colony of the Coalition since the destruction of their holdings by the Alarei. It had been deemed as the Coalition's last and only chance for a better future, and the government had listened to its people and established a proper colony there.

It was blissful; the life on the forest world was care-free and luxurious, and the colonists had gone from living into cramped ships to doing morning runs in the wilderness and eating fresh fruit and vegetables. They had mostly ignored the military presense, and were all too happy to have an airbase stationed on the planet, along with a batallion of marines. They were living the dream, so why not live it safely?

The bliss came to an end once the dreadnought jumped in. The civilians had been rushed to the underground bunkers, and it was a matter of minutes before the Dreadnought could scorch the moon of all life.





Alarei Dreadnought 'Nemesis'
Bridge


<:: Vanguard. The nuclear silos have been loaded, we are loading targeting packages into the warheads now. We have lost contact with the Vengeance and the Adrastia. ::>

<:: Then we can only hope that they have found peace in the afterworld. Prepare to launch nuclear warheads on my mar- ::>


The Vanguard collapsed. Much like his counterpart on the Vengeance, the sudden sensory input had been overwhelming; he did not know what happened, but it was excruciating, and it was killing him. The neural interface was flooded with the data from the sensors, and his brain was all but jellyfied at the sudden change. With haste, his Sentinel took post in his place, barely making it through the shaking bridge. The ship had taken a direct hit, but from what, he did not know.

<:: Caretaker. Report. ::> he yelled out through his helmet, and one of the caretakers was quick to respond.

<:: Direct hit on our aft. Primary weapons, secondary weapons and hangar one are out of action. Nuclear detonations. ::>

The Sentinel knew in that instant. He knew what had occured; he knew why they had lost contact with the other two dreadnoughts. They had underestimated the humans, and that was to be their failing. The Caretaker spoke again, his voice frightened for the very first time.

<:: We have detected a human fleet. They are firing weapons. ::>




USS Hastings, SCVN-85
Combat Information Center


"Direct hits! All three nukes got through, we've disabled their weapons and taken down one of their hangars. They are turning about."

"Launch all wings! Commence fire with everything we've got!"


The Admiral was not in a mood for a fight right now, but it had to be done. Just one more ship and they could stand down to condition two, give the crew some rest before trying to find out what had just happened.

Thankfully for the people below, the Alarei ship was conveniently inside the gas giant's magnetic belt; that meant that any radiation would be contained around the giant itself and not over its moons, and as such there would be no more death on the terran world beneath.





Hastings Port Launch Tube 107
Hastings Talon 014, Callsign 'Juggler'


+"Black Python squadron, commence bombing run. Alarei dreadnought is offline."+

By the time the bombers were launched, the dreadnought had already been razed by the collective firepower of the battlegroup and the three nuclear warheads, compliments of the Hastings. The dreadnought was adrift, its power cores annihilated by sustained heavy explosive bombardment, and that left the bombers with one thing to do: clean up.

The swarms of fighter craft made a straight, clean attack run. Staying in a wedge formation, each got to a distance of one kilometer from the port side of the Alarei dreadnought and released its torpedoes, proceeding to promptly shoot upwards and overpass it. The missile-like devices penetrated the inactive electric-reactive armor like a hot knife on butter, and hit every vital system the ship had. Hangars, the bridge, the nuclear silos, nothing was left untouched. It was a beautiful sight, to see a solid wall of explosives hit the Alarei ship, but the pilots had other things to think about. They were assembling for a second attack run when the order came.


+"All Talons, all Talons, priority redirect. Commence combat landings on carrier group, boarding parties inbound to secure Alarei ship. Good work, pilots."+




USS Hastings
Pilot Briefing Room A


Ten minutes later, the pilots of the Hastings had been assembled into the briefing room. It was more like a massive lecture hall, really, filled with screens, and with a podium. Everyone was exhausted, and had slumped down into their seats in an almost desperate attempt to rest before they were called to deploy again; after all, bad news always came in more than groups of three.

When Major Polati finally entered, most of the pilots made a move to snap to attention, but were stopped by a dismisive wave. The CAG had been through as much as everyone else, and didn't seem to be in a mood for formalities right now. He was still in his flight uniform; he probably hadn't even bothered to get something to eat either. None of them had. He assumed a position behind the podium, leaning onto it slightly and supporting himself with his hands. His voice was tired, but filled with pride.


"Excellent work, people. We didn't lose one fighter, one. That's some outstanding deployment. Hardroll, I'd chew you out for that terrible landing, but I'll cut you some slack today; I'll let the Chief take care of that."

He coughed in an effort to clear his throat. "Anyway. We still don't know what just happened. All we know is that all of our colonies were attacked by the Alarei at the same time, and you people averted it. Your next orders are to get geared up and report to the barracks immediately for some sweet rack time; you've earned it. Let the bus drivers take over from here. Dismissed."

With a salute, he departed again, and the pilots headed towards the locker room. If there was one thing a pilot needed after an experience like this, it was a shower, some chow and a good day's rest.
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[004 - B] California System Empty Re: [004 - B] California System

Post by Hades on Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:02 am

USS Hastings, SCVN-85
Operation Planning Center


"I think we should just nuke it."

Admiral Shaw was particularly fond of that idea at the moment. The marine commander was right: the Alarei ship was just too big of a threat to just leave there, floating outside the colony. And it wasn't just a a physical threat. The people on the colony were terrified, they refused to leave the bunkers until the gutted beast was finished off. They demanded that the Hastings launch another nuclear salvo to finish the dreadnought off, and it was quite a reasonable idea.

"Yes, marine short-sightedness. Lets just waste this opportunity to gather intel!"

The opposing view held by one Major Louis Arnett, chief medical officer of the Hastings, also held a lot of merit. This opportunity was just too good. By some miracle, scans indicated that the dreadnought's computers were still intact. If Alarei computer systems had followed the same principles in the past three hundred years, then this was a golden chance to download the data from there and find out just what had happened. In fact, just to get a look at the new Alarei technology could solve many of the Coalition's problems.

"Both of you, stop. Colonel Briggs, as much as I hate to say this, we all know that this attack could be the first of many. We need to get some first-hand intel on that ship. We caught them by surprise this time, but next time, they'll most certainly be prepared. We need to do the same. Colonel, I am ordering a boarding assault on the dreadnought. Do you have an action plan?"

The marine colonel cleared his throat, tapping his fingers against the holographic display a few times. The schematics of the Alarei dreadnought came up, complete with the numerous hull breaches that had been caused by the repeated barrage. Using his fingers, the officer begun to point at the carcass' diagram as he spoke.

"We've identified their primary and auxiliary computer rooms here and here. Their bridge seems to be somewhere over here. We think that three boarding teams can enter from these hull breaches here, here and here. They'll be close enough to each target that resistance will not be a concern. There's also the choice of just sending drones in bulk, massacre everyone aboard."

"Send the marines."





Hastings Landing Deck 01b
Hastings Chetco 081, Callsign 'Indian'


"Indian to Hastings, requesting permission for take-off. Assault Team One is aboard."

+"Copy that Indian, permission granted. Godspeed."+


The Chetco transport took off in a slow, controlled manner, and so did the other two that accompanied it.Their backwards-facing VASIMR thrusters activated within a second of the vertical stabilizers kicking in, and the three shuttlecraft accelerated towards the end of the landing deck; take-off was complete.

A small group of Cobra fighters were launched from the tubes at the same time to escort the marine landers, and the collection of vessels begun to approach the gutted beast that was the Alarei dreadnought.

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[004 - B] California System Empty Re: [004 - B] California System

Post by Hades on Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:47 am

Hastings Chetco 081, Pilot Callsign 'Indian'
Alarei Dreadnought Exterior


"Easy Indian, easy, you're going to crash us on that thing!"

The co-pilot was right. The dreadnought's uncontrolled drift was hard to work against, and it took all of Indian's effort to match the velocities between the two craft. Judging by the radio reports, the other assault teams were having similar problems. Chetcos simply weren't designed for the level of agility the maneuvers in this situation required, but the pilots had to make due. Thankfully, luck was on their side: the velocity and acceleration vectors on the navigational screen overlapped within acceptable limits, and the small transport's trajectory finally matched that of the dreadnought.

"Aw yeah, who's a hotshot now, uh?"

"Shut up Indian, just dock us, will you? I'm getting nervous."

"Alright, alright, commencing docking maneuvers. Making starboard approach to dreadnought, zero angle deviation. Activate mag-clamps."


The co-pilot of the Chetco complied accordingly, finding the magnetic clamp switch and turning it to the SBD indicator. A series of external arm-like devices extended from the craft, making a slow approach towards the hull of the gigantic dreadnought.

"Firing port RCS block, stabilizing at three."

With a short thruster burst, the ship was brought closer to the dreadnought's hull. Another burst, this time on the opposite side, stopped the vessel in relation to the warship and allowed the magnetic arms to attach themselves to the metal alloy. Slowly but surely, the VTOL was pulled towards the hull by the folding arms, and its starboard hatch was pressed against the conveniently placed hull breach.

"Maglock secure, all systems running green, board on auto... Alright folks, welcome aboard the Alarei Warship Dickskin."

These last words were said with a heart-piercing grin, but the only response the pilot received from his coworker was an annoyed stare from within the pressurized helmet. "Shut up, Indian." he finally said, and the pilot shook his head.

"Everyone's a critic... Alright Captain, she's all yours."

The marines in the back compartment offered the two Air Force operators an appreciative nod, and turned back to what they were occupied with: the power-armor clad six foot seven combat android standing in the middle of the cargo bay. Based on the General Electric X202 Battle Android chassis, the HK202a in the Chetco was wearing an eerie variation of the PA-28. To be more precise, it was not wearing it, but had it grafted on top of its native titanium composite armor. The servomotors were linked to the main processing unit, and coordinated with the unit's own hydraulics in perfect sync.

As a cosmetic addition, the unit's helmet had been spray-painted with a dark skull, and neon red around its already red visor. The combat vest had plenty of graffiti on it on its own, a courtesy of the marines the specific combat unit usually deployed with in the field. Skulls, blood, skeletons, guns, bombs, the international symbol for radiation, words such as "INTERGALACTIC RAPIST", "ALIENS BEWARE", "ALIEN CULL MACHINE" and some less-than-polite depictions of genital organs were crudely drawn on the plates, overshadowed by big red letters saying JUGGERNAUT.


"Alright Juggernaut, are you ready?" questioned one of the marines, clad in the less advanced PA-23. The robot remained completely still, but its visor glow grew heavier with each word, and then subsided back to original levels.

<:: COMBAT UNIT JUGGERNAUT ACKNOWLEDGES. ALL SYSTEMS READY FOR INSERTION. ::>

Another marine slapped the machine's shoulder in an almost brotherly manner, and then rushed over to the hatch. The soldiers took cover as the door opened, and the machine known as Juggernaut activated its minigun and took several slow steps towards the exit. Thanks to the vacuum, the only proof of its gun firing was the series of intense flashes that came from the nozzle.
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[004 - B] California System Empty Re: [004 - B] California System

Post by Hades on Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:56 am

Alarei Dreadnought
Assault Team 1
Mission: Secure Data Core


The corridors of the dreadnought were in chaos. Thanks to the precise nature of the nuclear strikes, the crew in radiation-sealed areas had remained unharmed by the onslaught the 22nd SBG had brought upon it. And now, that crew was fighting back: clad in power armor that was more than a match for its United Systems counterparts, the security forces of the Alarei dreadnought were throwing everything they had at the three boarding parties. Right now, Assault Team 1 was caught in a crossfire: the Alarei were firing from both sides, and had blocked off the surrounding corridors. Assault 1 was also taking severe losses. Of the twelve marines that had gone in, three were critically injured on the floor, covered behind some storage crates and barrels.

The team Captain was one of them. He had taken a shot at the leg by one of the particle weapons the Alarei used, and the entire limb had shut off because of the nerve damage. His suit was barely keeping up with the tissue degradation, and the AI had pumped him full with painkillers.


"LIEUTENANT!" he yelled out to his second-in-command, and the armor-clad marine responded. She kneeled by the captain behind the crates, making sure not to get in the way of the heavy gunner who was reloading.

"Status?"

"We are still trying to cut through the interference, sir. Ammunition's holding up, for now, but McGuire is running out of RKP blocks."

An explosion was heard in the distance. One of the marines had thrown a grenade, and it had detonated in a bright micro-nuclear detonation; chemical explosives were unreliable in space, after all, and despite the fact that the corridor was pressurized, it had no oxygen. The Captain cringed behind his helmet, and spoke again after letting out a wet cough.


"Where's Juggernaut?"

"Unknown, sir! It went off to do its own thing, we haven't seen it! Jamming's not letting us relay new orders!"


This was a worst-case scenario. The marines would need a miracle to get out of the situation and complete their objective, and they would settle for just retreating anyway.

Thankfully, that miracle arrived.

It was subtle at first. A few less Alarei firing at the squad, a few gunshots in the distance, some hostiles simply ignoring the battle zone and sprinting off towards the T-junction. But as more and more left their posts, the reason became obvious: heavy metal footsteps, far too loud to belong to a regular power armor operator.

<:: THREAT ASSESSMENT: ALAREI COMBATANTS. EXERCISING DISCRETIONARY TARGETING AUTHORITY. ::>

The last thing the Captain heard before passing out was the sound of miniguns going off.





Alarei Dreadnought
Assault Team 3
Mission: Secure the Bridge


In contrast to Assault One, Assault Three was having a textbook deployment. Their combat bot had continued to stay at the front, mowing down any approaching combatants with little regard for its own safety. At the same time, it provided a portable piece of cover for the advancing marines. The short walk between the shuttle and the bridge was just a nice bonus.

At last, the robot entered the bridge and opened fire at anyone showing the slightest signs of resistance. Through that, the entire bridge crew was decimated by railgun fire; nobody was spared. After ensuring that the chamber was secure, it moved to another task. A blade-like device extended from its wrist, and the machine stabbed it into one of the data ports.

The lights flickered, and then shut off completely.
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[004 - B] California System Empty Re: [004 - B] California System

Post by Hades on Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:08 am

USS Hastings
Combat Information Center


"Receiving uplink!"

The CIC's main screen flickered a few times and then shut down, visibly lowering the illumination level of the room. It didn't last for long though, and was restored almost immediately. A schematic of the Alarei Dreadnought was displayed, with almost all sections marked red. Then, the Hastings was displayed on the side, with a short animation of a transmission burst being sent towards the Alarei dreadnought. At once, the primary bridge section flashed orange.

"Backdoor implemented and accessed, virus insertion commencing."

The orange flashed out, replaced by yellow. Then, the yellow begun to blink in and out of existance as well.

The Admiral couldn't prevent herself from smiling at the development.

During the first Alarei War, the Alarei had used their level of advancement in computer science to overwhelm human computers, thanks in no small part to the computers humanity had sold them for other forms of technology. But instead of yielding and abandoning advanced computers, humanity fought over them. By the end of the first war, Alarei computers were no match for the human Artificial Intelligence units, developments in clear violation with the Council's law regarding offensive use of synthetic life forms.

And thankfully, the Alarei hadn't bothered to upgrade their systems since the first war. After a few seconds, the dreadnought's bridge flashed green, and the words FOOTHOLD ESTABLISHED. The surrounding sections begun to flash orange as well, and with every passing second, more systems fell to the artificial intelligence that had been uploaded on the Dreadnought. Within two minutes, the engines, FTL, weapons and power core were taken over. By the end of the third, the virus started to upload the ship's databanks to a sandbox drive aboard the Hastings. On the fifth minute, the virus infiltrated the last remaining systems and took them over.

"Virus infiltration complete, the dreadnought is ours."

The Admiral's smile widened, and she looked back at the holographic schematic of the dreadnought. Despite the fact that the ship itself was under USC control, the assault teams were still taking heavy fire.


"Mister Godfrey."

"Sir?" responded the Electronic Countermeasure Officer as he lifted his head to face the Admiral. His body remained otherwise facing the console, thanks to the design of the CIC.

"Does this ship have a suit function computer like the old ones?"

It took the officer a few seconds to come up with an answer, and it was a positive nod.

"Please access it and disable all motor and self-destruct functions on the Alarei."

"Accessing... Unable to proceed, they firewalled these systems when they realized what we were doing."

"What systems can you access?"

"Let me see, sir..."

"Well?"


The officer hesitated. He seemed in disbelief, typing and typing and typing to re-check the result, to confirm that what he was seeing was the truth.

"Well?!"

"Life support. I can access life support, Admiral."


The Admiral lowered her head towards her own console. The Executive Officer seemed to sense her dilema, but before he had time to speak with her, she spoke up.

"Access life support functions."

The officer complied, and returned a nod when the task was complete. The Admiral hesitated for a few moments; was killing every Alarei on that ship moral? Was it murder, or was it self defense? On one hand, the Alarei had just tried to wipe the human race out again, and that made them no better than germs in the eyes of the law. But on the other hand, executing someone by shutting off their oxygen seemed too cruel, even for the Confederation.

"Mister Godfrey... Disable all life support functions on the Alarei suits."

The life signs of the Alarei begun to fade the moment the officer pressed the enter key. Within a couple of minutes, they were all gone.

+"All stations, secure from condition one. Set condition three throught the ship. Division officers, submit casualty and damage reports to Combat. Medical, stand by to receive wounded from the boarding force."+
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[004 - B] California System Empty Re: [004 - B] California System

Post by Zombiedude101 on Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:04 pm


Chicago
High Orbit


Scanners covering the area would detect the sudden appearance of an energy signature that would be consistent with that of a a starship engine, from an area at the mid-way point between the gravitational orbit of Chicago and it's parent planet. If it were to be more closely observed, it would be seen that the source of the energy signatures was a cruiser; or at least the rear end of one, as visual observation would show that the ship appears to have been clean-cut in half near a midway point, with the front end and the cockpit nowhere to be seen. The engine signatures would weaken by the second, and it would be near-impossible to determine the specific origin of the ship without physical examination. It also seems that the gravitational pull of Chicago's parent is slowly beginning to pull the ship into it's orbit.

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[004 - B] California System YY0KLtn
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Post by Hades on Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:41 am

Less than half an hour after the energy signature appeared, the cavalry arrived. Two capital ships and three battleships jumped into position, and their appearance coincided with the detection of several nuclear missile emissions and weapons signatures.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

USS Hastings
Combat Information Center


"Jump complete, Admiral! We have detected the signature!"

"Weapons grid to full power, prepare to launch fighters. Conn, roll us forty-five degrees starboard, bring batteries to bear."

"Aye aye. Firing starboard turn RCS block, forty-five degree roll."


The Admiral stared at the various screens, watching the graphs of the numerous Reaction Control System thrusters fire to roll the ship starboard. The move seemed meaningless at first, but as the dorsal turrets were revealed, its goal became obvious: both the ventral and starboard batteries were now in position to fire at the triangulated position of the signal. The barrels extended forward, allowing their heat dissipation systems and the coils themselves to be exposed to the vacuum of space.

"Stabilizing at forty five degrees roll, turn complete!"

The supercarrier's motion was halted, and the rest of its battlegroup mirrored the move. Or at least, every ship except for the USS Orion did: it instead brought its artillery battery to bear, opening up the massive blastdoor on its bow to expose the multi-kilometer long barrel.

"Maneuver complete, batteries have fixed target bearing!"

Admiral Shaw was now satisfied. Whatever the contact was, it had been put on a figurative leash: any reason for concern, and it could be blown out of the sky. Now, it was time to think and watch.


"Launch Golden Arrow and an e-war bird, get me some detailed readings of that thing."

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Twenty-two fighters and a Raptor gunship were launched from the Supercarrier, heading towards the unidentified contact. The gunship, equipped with state-of-the-art scanning gear, commenced a detailed analysis of the hull.
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[004 - B] California System Empty Re: [004 - B] California System

Post by Zombiedude101 on Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:17 am

Chicago
High Orbit


Now that the Naval Personell were up close and personal with what was left of the cruiser, they were able to form a more detailed analysis of it; the hull itself seemed to be relatively undamaged, no sign of attack or impact, though it had evidently seen better days if age were to show anything, and the obvious mid-section where one half of the ship had at some point been seperated from the other, though there was no sign of this missing front end, just a point where wiring, pipes and whatnot had been cut off, exposing lifeless corridors and the airlocks which barred any more view into the ship.

Strange as it was, the cut appeared to be clean and precise, with no deformation seen along the points where the cut had been made that one would have expected with a precision laser weapon, or a manual cutting process. And, in addition to the engine signature, which was stronger now that the gunship was in close proximity, further energy signatures could be made out; faint heat and radiation signatures, alongside that of which would indicate that at least some section of the ship had functional life support. And, since visual observation was now possible, the design of the hull was similar to that of cruisers utilised approximately fifty years ago by the Korrae Union, though whether or not this was a definite matter had yet to be determined.

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[004 - B] California System YY0KLtn
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Post by Hades on Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:41 am

A number of small drones were sent to the wreck, scanning it from the inside out. A few of them worked on finding an entry point, and lacking one, they forced open one of the bulkheads to enter the ship.
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[004 - B] California System Empty Re: [004 - B] California System

Post by Hades on Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:07 am

USS Hastings
Combat Information Center


"Admiral, priority message from Sanctuary. Eyes only."

The Admiral was staring at the screen displaying the drone feed when the petty officer handed her the piece of paper, written in code. Her face dimmed. The orders she had just received were unexpected, and left no room for misinterpretation. She handed the paper to the executive officer while she turned to the systems officer, speaking out in a firm, almost dark voice.


"Recall all fighters, have a sensor destroyer stay behind and leave them a pair of nukes. Set condition one, plot a course to Kotunga. Prepare to launch marine strike teams."

One of the sensor destroyers stayed behind, along with a shuttle that landed aboard it. The battlegroup jumped out within a few minutes.
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