[004-C] Sanctuary

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[004-C] Sanctuary Empty [004-C] Sanctuary

Post by Hades on Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:33 am

Battlestation Sanctuary Perimeter
Combat Air Patrol



The fleet was quiet. According to the heads-up display, the official time was 23:41; well past the bed time of most fleet residents.

Of course, the time was artificial. There was no day or night in space, just endless darkness. Time was only defined as an abstract concept, and one taken from Sol's time scale. A twenty-four hour day, with sixty minutes making an hour, and sixty seconds making a minute. The time system on Sanctuary had been made to mirror that of Washington, DC back on Earth, a homage to the capital city that it once was.

At 23:41, Lieutenant Katherine 'Longshot' Eisenhower was surprised that any of the lights on the fleet's myriads of ships was working. Her wingman didn't share the surprise.


+"Stop bothering with it Longshot, you know the answer. People still have to keep the ships running during bed-time."+

+"I can get minimal operation staff, but this is not it. I swear, Jack, these ships are waaaay more active than they should be."+

+"You're thinking too much into it. Maybe there's a football game on, aye?"+

+"There isn't."+

+"Right, whatever. It's a conspiracy then. Lets forget about it and make another pass around the Big O, then we can head back to the Hastings."+


In unison, the two Cobra fighters changed their course to make a close pass by the USS Orion. The massive dreadnought became larger and larger as they approached, a silent reminder of what human ingenuity could do.




Battlestation Sanctuary
Combat Information Center


"Still handling the graveyard shift, Paul?"

The female voice startled him. It was only when he felt a pair of hands around his chest that the Major felt the slightest bit of comfort.

"Someone could see us..." he cautiously replied to the unseen figure, eyeing the operators on the deck below. His station was comfortably placed on the second floor of the Combat Information Center, overlooking the other stations and by extension giving its operator a bit of privacy... As private as anyone could get in a room with a hundred other people.

"Shut up." was the woman's response, a whisper against his ears. He was pulled backwards and forced to turn to look at her, but he pushed back.

"Not now Liss. You know how it is to be the officer on watch..."

The figure pulled him closer to the auxiliary weapons control room, that tiny chamber that nobody visited unless there was a battle going on. Her intentions were clear, but the officer yet resisted.

"It will only be a quick one!" insisted his 'friend', and he was pulled closer to the room. Eventually, he gave up, and willingly followed her inside.




USS Orion, SSBN-70
Combat Information Center


Lieutenant Sanders snapped his entire body upwards, sitting straight and proud. His eyes still gave away the slowness of someone who had just slept, but that did not matter now: he was caught.

After the XO left the chamber to attend to a briefing, Sanders had done his best to stay awake. He was an officer, he was trained to pull all-nighters. But as the CIC slowed down and everything became duller and duller, he surrendered himself to the sweet world of sleep. It would only be a five minute sleep... No, not even, he was just resting his eyes, he rationalized.

Five minutes had turned into an hour, and now, he was about to pay the price. The XO was back.


"LIEUTENANT SANDERS!"

"SIR!"

"Will you please tell me what you were just doing?"

"Sir..."

"Sir what?"

"I was just resting my eyes, sir."


A sinister grin formed on the man's lips. "Resting your eyes, you say?"

"Sir yes sir!"

"Then since your eyes are so well rested now, I am sure you wouldn't mind taking over for Captain Pavlov at sensor monitoring! He needs to... 'rest his eyes' too."

"Sir no sir!"

"Good! Report to your new station. Dismissed."


The Lieutenant didn't have to be told twice. It took less than a second for him to salute the Commander and rush to sensor monitoring.




Battlestation Sanctuary Perimeter
Combat Air Patrol


+"Alright, shore looks clear. Lets head back to the Hastings, I need to get my beautysleep."+

+"Like that's going to help, Jack!"+

+"Oh shut up. Hastings, this is Rollercoaster, CAP requests permission to be relieved."+

+"Acknowledged CAP. Racecar and Dogbowl will take over for you, return to the ship."+


Both pilots shared an ear-wide grin. With as much grace as an elephant, their fighters spun around and made for the monstrosity's hangar. Their mission was over, and they were looking forward to getting a few hours of racktime before reveille.

Unfortunately, the universe had other plans for them: the long-range Gravidar screen flashed yellow as a new contact appeared.





USS Orion, SSBN-70
Combat Information Center


"CONTACT! CAPITAL CLASS SHIP BEARING ONE ONE SEVEN MARK TWO SIX FIVE!"

"Identify!"

"Scanning... Got his engine classification!"


Time froze for the Commander Thomas Palmatier. He was staring at more than a capital ship.

He was staring at a ghost.

Every first-year cadet was taught what Destiny Protocol meant. Destiny Protocol was only called when a very specific list of prerequisites was met, most involving ship classification.

Destiny Protocol was the last thing any officer would ever hope to see.

Destiny Protocol was something they had been guaranteed would not happen.

Destiny Protocol was war.

The Commander struggled to find the words in him. He knew his options were limited, he knew what he had to do to right now. His hand drifted down to the console, and his head turned to face the officer of the watch.


"Mister Lamb, sound action stations immediately. It seems that destiny has caught up with us."




USS Hastings, SCVN-85
Senior Officer Quarters


+"General quarters, general quarters, all hands to battlestations. Set condition one throughout the ship, this is not a drill, this is not a drill. All fighter pilots report to fighters immediately. Action stations, action stations, set condition one throughout the ship. Deck officers, report to CIC with status and combat readiness reports. This is not a drill."+

Major Polati jerked upwards and slammed his head violently against the top of his bunk, only to collapse immediately after. The pain was excruciating, and he was sure as hell that would leave a nasty bruise, but he gathered the courage to get up anyway. Something had spooked the captain, and that was enough to motivate him to haul his ass to CIC as soon as possible. Numerous officers did the same around him, getting up, putting the minimal amount of clothing they needed on, and then running out of the bulkhead. He followed suit, not even bothering to put more than a shirt and some BDU pants on before following after them.

When he entered the CIC, everything was in chaos. The operators were still drowsy from their racktime, and some had obviously sustained injuries getting to the bridge thanks to the radically changed layout of the craft's corridors. He could feel the bruise forming; that would leave a mark.

He was quick to approach the command table, around which the Captain and the XO had gathered. The XO was talking on the phone, making angry remakrs at what sounded to be a poor gunnery operator.

"Load and arm all nuclear weapons." he heard the Captain mutter to the tactical systems officer, and he complied. His own phone was off the console and by his ear in a moment; "This is a nuclear mission order. Load ship-to-ship missiles into all launch tubes."

It didn't take long for him to realize what was happening. The ship was under attack, or worse, maybe the civilian fleet.


"Skipper, what's going on?"

"We've detected a capital ship on an approach course."

"Well, shouldn't we go to condition two and wa-"

"It's Destiny, Major."


His stance changed immediately. He too grabbed a phone from the table and put it against his ear, speaking into it in a barely reserved voice. "This is the CAG, launch all wings. I'm on my way to the hangar deck now."




Battlestation Sanctuary
Combat Information Center


+"Action stations, action stations, set condition one throughout the ship. All fighter pilots report to fighters immediately, this is not a drill. All civilians report to designated safe zones."+

Major Paul Rotondi was having some trouble lowering the zipper of his BDU when the alarm sounded. The shocked expression of surprise on his companion's face was enough to understand this was not a drill; she would have known. He didn't even have to argue to leave, and he struggled with the zipper in the opposite direction to get his jacket to close as he opened the bulkhead door.

"RADIOLOGICAL DETECTION!" was the only thing he heard clearly from the chaos in CIC. Whatever was going on, nukes were involved.
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[004-C] Sanctuary Empty Re: [004-C] Sanctuary

Post by Hades on Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:07 am

USS Orion, SSBN-70
Combat Information Center


"Condition one is set, all stations report ready for combat!"

The hydraulic door slid open at that moment. The sound of heavy footsteps echoed throughout the chamber of the CIC as a lone man entered, his stance proud and calculated: the Captain.

Captain Osoba, once the commanding officer of the USS Midway, had now been assigned to the USC's newest dreadnought; and he knew all too well what he had to do right now. The capital ship that had invaded Sanctuary had to be neutralized. The schematics were not in the ship's computer, but the engine signature had given away its origin...


"Tactical, bring our main battery to bear on the capital ship... Prepare to engage the Alarei dreadnought."




Battlestation Sanctuary
Combat Information Center


"ALAREI DREADNOUGHT IS LOADING NUKES!"

"Order nuclear ship-to-ship missiles into launch tubes one through ten, comms, get the civilian fleet out of here, emergency jump!"


The CIC was more than a mess now. All the bottled panic, all the expectations had been released as soon as the ship was identified as Alarei.

The USC had planned for this, they knew that one day, some group of Alarei remnants might have attacked Sanctuary. But they hadn't expected a dreadnought of this size and firepower.

On the sensors, the thousands of signatures that represented the United Systems Civilian Fleet begun to disappear; their jump drives were taking them to a secure location on the other side of the solar system, along with the support vessels of the 22nd Supercarrier Battle Group. There was simply no room for them in the impending onslaught; the military vessels would duke it out amongst themselves.

Soon enough, the space between the Alarei dreadnought and Sanctuary was clear. The 22nd was waiting underneath the scene, its main batteries turning to bear on the massive dreadnought.

The station's commander was quick to get to her post: Commander Fauler, or rather, Captain Fauler after her promotion to the rank following Admiral Ross's retirement. It was a temporary position until another Admiral was appointed to the spot, but now was not the time for it.


"Captain on deck!"

"Carry on! XO, status!"


The executive officer turned to face her in an instant, pointing to the massive screen in the CIC. "Alarei dreadnought jumped in, it's launching fighters and bringing its batteries to aim at us. We've detected a radiation signature."

"Order nuclear ship-to-"

"Already done. We've also jumped most of the civilian fleet to emergency point alpha, and brought main weapons online."

"Launch the alert fighters, load the reserves into the tubes."





USS Hastings, SCVN-85
Starboard Launch Deck 01a


+"Pre-flight sequence complete. Good hunting, lieutenant."+

Lieutenant Valence took several deep breaths from his flight helmet, staring at the launch tube doors open in front of him. Almost subconsciously, he squeezed the control stick; it wouldn't do anything, since the Cobra fighter was still connected to the station's magnetic launch rail, but it gave him a tiny boost of courage. A second later, the doors were open. He could see the Alarei dreadnought in the distance, and he wasn't sure if it empowered him, or if it scared him.

He was pushed against the seat during the craft's violent acceleration, and the long launch tube became contracted in his vision. He saw the walls flashing by him, the lights dimming, and a moment later, he saw the vacuum of space. He didn't see the vacuum itself, since you can't see vacuum, but he was certain the darkness was the vacuum. He barely registered the swarms of fighters that the Hastings had launched, all moving in a solid wall formation towards the Alarei capital ship.

What he did register were the Alarei's own fighters. Outnumbered two-to-one by the Hastings' squadrons alone, they seemed to have no chance versus the force that was six times more than their own. He felt pity for them.

+"Red Ace squadron, this is squadron leader. Fall up behind me, wedge formation, lets see if we can deliver some torpedoes to that fancy nuclear silo!"+

+"Silver Spar lead to squadron, fall in to a reverse wedge formation, cover Red while they make their bombing run."+

+"This is Black Ball Squadron, we've got reserve coverage."+

+"All squadrons, this is the CAG, lock wings to missile deployment position. Reserve squadrons, hold back as missile and fighter pickets, we'll go after the primary target. Find your wingmen, and lets make this the quickest combat deployment in the history of war!"+

+"Hulk, Packrat. Come on buddy, lets go kill some grays, man!"+


That was his cue. The fighters around him were joined by those launched from the Sanctuary and the rest of the battlegroup, and then split into pairs of fighters. The fighter whose pilot was known as 'Packrat' moved to Lieutenant 'Hulk' Valence's starboard side, and the wings of both fighters extended from their launch position to reveal the numerous missile pods attached underneath them.

The two fighter swarms continued to converge on each other, the distance between them becoming smaller with each passing second.





USS Orion, SSBN-70
Combat Information Center


"Distance fifty-eight thousand, starboard batteries have a firing solution!"

Captain Osoba lowered his fist onto the holographic map. By now, the two fighter swarms, one Alarei, one human, were literally seconds away from engaging each other. The outcome of that battle seemed somewhat obvious: the USC's fighters outnumbered the Alarei six-to-one, and if the last war was any indication, were far more advanced than their counterparts. The Alarei had relied on numbers during dogfighting, and today, they didn't have them.

"Commence salvo."

"Aye aye! Weapons Control, Combat. Commence salvo, aim for the weapons subsystem of the Alarei dreadnought!"





Engagement Zone
Hastings Cobra 220, Callsign 'Hulk'


+"All wings, Hastings. Enemy fighters bearing zero zero one mark zero zero six. Make pass through and commence attack on Alarei dreadnought, suppressive fire commencing."+

Hulk could see them now; eight squadrons of Alarei fighters, like chrome spots in the darkness. They were on an intercept course, and his ship computer was quick to verify it. <:: Contact in ten seconds. ::>

The air group commander's voice was the next thing he heard on the radio, his HUD highlighting the fighter from where the transmission originated. The CAG was on the front of the formation with his wingman, and had already spun up his railguns; good for him, he thought.

+"All fighters, this is the CAG. Break... Now, now, now!"+

The motion was fluid, but Hulk felt the need to puke his guts out as the massive acceleration forced him back on his seat again. The inertial dampener just couldn't take every bit of discomfort out, but the maneuver was worth it. The USC formation split everywhere: upwards, downwards, left and right, they led the Alarei fighters into a bubble of their foes. It was what military tacticians called the bottleneck maneuver: with fire coming in from all sides, the enemy fighters had no choice but to go through it. Over half of them were destroyed in that first barrage, taken out by the long bursts of railgun fire.

The survivors emerged in yet another unfavourable sight: they had entered the support carrier's firing solution. Flak exploded all over the chaotic Alarei formation, while the USC fighters split up once again. The vast bulk of them continued towards the Alarei dreadnought, but eight squadrons stayed behind to finish the job. The Alarei were caught in a crossfire between the suppresive weapons of the USS Freedom and USS Liberty, and those that tried to escape were met with the missiles of the USC squadrons. The battle was over in seconds, and the squadrons that had stayed behind made their way towards the Hastings for a combat rearmament.

Hulk was part of the bulk of the formation, the ones who were going after the Alarei ship. They were now five kilometers away, barely the length of the dreadnought, and it was then that they saw the suppressive fire from the dreadnought. Bright flashes of lasers, point defenses that had been reconfigured for fighter-suppressive fire. At this range they were inaccurate and weak, but said range was dropping rapidly.

+"This is the CAG, attack squadrons, prepare to break off assault, the defensive zone is too thick, we-"+

The Major didn't have time to finish his sentence. The Alarei capital ship was engulfed in fire as dozens of high explosive shells detonated on its hull, paired with missiles and kinetic slugs. It was, for lack of a better word, an onslaught. The combined fire of Sanctuary and its defensive battlegroup was enough to glass a planet's surface in minutes, and today, that firepower was concentrated on a single target.





Alarei Dreadnought 'Vengeance'
Bridge


Vanguard 'Gamma' staggered backwards; his last feeling was that of pain and agony as he collapsed to the floor, his neural network fried from the sensor input. He was dead in seconds, and the interface he used to connect to the ship's computers was disabled.

Sentinel 'Gamma' took his place with no concern for his comrade, staring at the main screen. He knew he couldn't interface with the dreadnought again; most of the sensor arrays had been destroyed as the barrage commenced, and it would take a few seconds for the backup systems to start up. But he didn't need the computers to tell him what was happening to the ship: he could feel the vibrations, he could hear the screams and he could smell the burning flesh of his people.

One of the ship's Caretakers managed to bring himself to a standing position again, and got straight to reading the reports from the computer screen.

<:: Status? ::> questioned the Sentinel, and his request was followed by yet another shake. A massive explosion rocked the ship, and it was further pushed backwards as its stabilizers failed.


<:: Weapons offline. Defenses offline. Engines offline. Jump drive offline. Interdictor offline. Primary power core offline. Secondary power core at criticial condition. Structural damage on all decks, fires on all decks, explosive decompressions on all decks. Hull integrity at critical levels. ::>

<:: Continue preparing nuclear missile salvo, get- ::>

<:: Sentinel. That is not all. ::>

<:: Clarify. ::>

<:: Enemy fighters moving to bombing range. ::>

<:: Numbers? ::>

<:: ... ::>

<:: NUMBERS? ::>

<:: Fourty-seven squadrons. ::>


The Sentinel froze. He didn't need to be told twice; this was the end. He had served his people well, and now, it was time for him to die.




Engagement Zone
Hastings Cobra 220, Callsign 'Hulk'


<:: Anti-ship missiles armed. Wings locked to attack position. ::>

Hulk didn't need his computer to tell him that. His eyes had been locked on the HUD's arming indicator since they left the fighter engagement zone, and now, it was time for him to deliver his payload. His finger drifted to the launch trigger, and he caught a glimpse of the wall of fighters that was moving towards the Dreadnought.

+"Attack squadrons, this is the CAG. Commence fire... Now!"+

The radio was flooded with "Fox two!" and "Fox three! alerts, and the space between the fighter wings and the Dreadnought became a sea of missiles. They hit the capital ship everywhere, crippling its nuclear silos and hangars, destroying its bridge. When the dust settled, the majestic dreadnought was adrift and disabled.





USS Orion, SSBN-70
Combat Information Center


"Enemy ship has been disabled!"

The CIC errupted in cheering instantly. The dying beast that was the Alarei dreadnought had been marked gray on the map, a ship disabled and adrift from the massive attack it had received by the USC. Captain Osoba couldn't be happier.

That is, until one of the operators lifted her hand up.


"Sir, we're receiving a distress call from Langley. They report an Alarei ship just jumped in and is preparing nukes."

"Recall our fighters, begin jump prep!"





Dozens of gunships took off from Sanctuary, heading towards the crippled beast. By the looks of it, they were going to board it.
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[004-C] Sanctuary Empty Re: [004-C] Sanctuary

Post by Hades on Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:49 am

Battlestation Sanctuary
United Systems Senate


"ORDER, ORDER!"

The Senate chambers were in chaos. Ever since the attempted attack on Sanctuary, the entire station had devolved into a state of panic. Riot control was barely keeping the people away from the vital systems, and the police had called in the Marines for assistance. Despite the United Systems victory, the attack had demonstrated just how easy it was for someone to find the fleet. If the Alarei had been just a bit more ingenuitive, if they had managed to get nuclear warheads off, the fleet would be brought to the verge of absolute destruction. Vice President Orisoba could understand why everyone was so upset, but he had expected more out of the Senate itself.

The United Systems Senate was made out of elected representatives from each fleet division, along with two representatives from each colony and two representatives from the USC's holdings on Earth. It acted as the primary legislative branch of the United Systems government, in conjunction with the House of Representatives and the Council of Captains. With the absence of the President, the Vice President was left to oversee the emergency meeting, and so far nothing of use had been accomplished.

Eventually though, his calls for order were answered. The senators grew silent, staring at him just as a hunter would stare at his to-be prey.


"I understand this is a very difficult time for all of us, but our warships defended us. We suffered zero casualties, and nobody was even remotely harmed. We did not gather here to try to put blame on each other. We need an action plan, and we need it now."

One of the senators for the Munitions Manufacturing Sector stood up, and the Vice President recognized him to speak.

"No casualties? Then what's this about three dead and a dozen more injured aboard the Carentan?"

"Senator Ruffield, these men did not die protecting our soil. The enemy ships did not even get a chance to shoot at us. The Carentan was engaged in battle over a Kal'Bavakorian colony, defending our allies."


Murmur erupted throughout the chamber again. The Senate had not been so fond of the dedication of military assets to protecting the council station in the first place, and they would most definitely use it to chew out the government. Senator Ruffield sat down again, and Senator De'Tyson stood up; a representative for the Law Enforcement Sector.

"Really? So now american men and women are dying protecting aliens? Is this what we've come to?"


"Senator. We have a defense pact with the Kal'Bavakorians, we were only holding up our part of the deal. We managed to partially stop a genocide."

"When did they ever protect us? Where was their fancy supercarrier when Earth was attacked, the supercarrier that our Navy helped build? When did they ever keep up their end of the pact?"

"Senator De'Tyson, the Kal'Bavakorians have made many steps to bring our two nations closer, and-"


Another interruption. A senator for Ship Manufacturing stood up, and begun to speak without even considering he was interrupting the Vice President.

"Ship Manufacturing moves that no ships be dedicated to the defense and assistance of aliens without the express permission of this senate."

"Ship Maintenance calls the question."
continued another senator while he too stood up.

"The National Guard seconds it."

The chamber descented into chaos again.
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