View Thread
 Print Thread
Seekers Tale
MasterChief
Seekers

Chapter 1

Capt. Keith Rogaar sat at the bridge of his new ship, a Scharnhorst class Heavy Pursuit Battle Ship or Fast Battleship as many would call her, she was just christened 2 standard months ago at the orbital shipyards of the Kishaw foundries, and the halls still smelled of the sealant used on the bulkheads and the engines sang what the engineers called ?baby?s cry? it would need another 2 weeks of continuous work ups before they would drop an octave lower to the sound of a seasoned thruster bank. New as she was, she was also beautiful, rakish lines with a slim profile, she had all the earmarks of her older Liithra class sisters with the teeth of a BattleShip of the line. In fact on deep space sensors she wouldn?t register as anything but a frigate... until you got close enough for a visual. And that would be the last many an unwary bandit would ever see. Provided that Chief Scientist Vonaths promised new generation Plasma Induction Thrusters delivered the engine power I?d seen demonstrated on the asteroid fields of Far Point station.

Details like that however I didn?t have to worry about, my Chief Engineer Louis Soban-Kar could keep a ship running, even if he had to get out and push. He was a veteran of 35 years and had served on the Battle Carrier Thera in the last Vagyr incursion into Higaaran space. Back then Home Fleet was ground down to the equivalent of only 2 task forces worth of ships and strike craft due to the heavy offensive the spawn of Makaan had made. It had only been a miracle that the Expeditionary Fleet had been able to sortie and recover the dreadnought Sajuuk. Homeworld scientists had swarmed the great ship to learn the secrets of packing so many plasma arrays and ion batteries onto a frame no bigger than a heavy destroyer and still pack the punch of a ship 5 times its size.

Higaaran command never forgot the lessons learned in that conflict and directed its foundries and research divisions to come up with newer and better ship frames and weapons to counter this ever present threat. Because until today the Vagarian homeworld still hadn?t been found and no peace had been brokered.

Eternal peace meant eternal vigilance indeed as his Academy Masters used to say. And watch on we will. Thus the newest class of heavy ships and strike craft to come out of the factories boasted the new derragant lattice K8N reinforced armor which in field tests had been able to withstand 350mm Rail Guns and 120mm DEW mounts with ease. The latest in ship mounted particle lasers had firing capacities almost three times the endurance of the DEW mounts available during the Exodus, but cyclic rate of fire like that of a fighter minus the heat build up that had so plagued earlier designs.

Seeing how the Vagyr had nearly decimated the capital ships before with flocks of fighters and corvettes. Point defense systems nowadays were composed of multiple CIWS spitting almost 1500 proximity guided interception shells a second backed up by Tira-dart self guided anti ballistic missles, Plasma flares, RADO (radar diversion object) launchers, IPG mk 5 (ion pulse generator) coordinated from the ultra sophisticated CIC. Each defensive system however could and if necessary go on independent operations in case the control center was hit to make sure the ships would never again be left defenseless because of a hit to a critical junction as what had happened to the Assault Carrier Reliant when a Laser Corvette rammed the ship in a desperate last ditch maneuver. The great ship then wasn?t so badly damaged but the enemy pilot had made a one in a million lucky hit on the defensive network and when his laser batteries had blown, it had sent an EM shockwave through the pathways rendering coordination useless at that point.
But all this extra protection came at a price.

Following the war, Higaraan industries were hard put to keep up with the demand for new and better components, many of their most skilled technicians had been killed in the original raid on the Mothership scaffolding. Repleneshing the technical pool had taken years. Good hands were such a premium and Civil Engineering demands were just as high. The research group on the other hand hadn?t had such a setback as they had been on the Angel Moon Base at the time of the attacks. So the upgrades and latest weapons tech were abundant, but the ability to build them in sufficient numbers was severely restricted. The result was fewer ships were being built, but each ship could take on a much larger number of opponents and win.
Now that was the name of the game of it all.

To win.

To survive

To take the battle to the enemy that had so pursued us for millennia.

They will never rest till they take Higaara, but neither will we.

He looked down again on the mission orders that had been transmitted from Home Fleet.

Tasking Orders 77830-A- Priority A

To : Captain Keith Rogan, CO HFS Defiance, 7th Tactical Fleet
Communications with a frontier base in the Banari Sector were lost approximately 48 hours ago. All attempts at communication have failed and astrometrics have determined no celestial events would account for any disruption.

You will proceed to Sector Banari coordinates Aleph 35 Elysia 50 ; Rendezvous with elements of 7th Tactical Fleet for a Recon-in-force of the Banari base, Omega orders in effect.\

Good hunting

Admiral Gomeaza


Orders straight from the Old Gomer himself. Short and straight to the point, that made it serious, the fact that Omega orders had been issued alongside his made it doubly so. One thing that made Recon-in-Force orders particularly tricky was that it gave fleet commanders enough leeway to investigate thoroughly and persecute their targets according to their best judgement without waiting for confirmation from Homeworld. A huge responsibility as any misstep can reignite another war in the blink of an eye.

That is why fleet commanders are chosen only from the very best and 7th Tactical Fleets Commodore Menoire was probably the best of them all. And if the entire 7th was being called out, that would be some pretty big club to hit over your head. A Battle Carrier, 1 Fast Battleship, 2 Assault Cruisers, 1 Escort Cruiser, 3 squadrons of Blood Hounds, 4 EW frigates, 3 DEW frigates, 2 Marine Frigates for boarding actions and 2 corvette strike and recon wings, not to mention the task force complement of strikecraft nearly 200 in all. If they were going to get into trouble... I thought to myself, this was the way to do it. With the Vagyr out there, Command sure wasn?t taking any chances.

No use debating bout this, this ship is brand new but it will have to perform like an old timer. Like me, but sitting on the reinforced bridge surrounded by the consoles relaying all the data a captain like me would need? I felt young again. Time to get into harms way.

?Chief how long before we can get underway??

?Reactors at 80% holding steady, we?ll be ready for full burn in 30 minutes?

?Thank you Chief, 30 minutes it is?

?XO, launch board status??

My XO was Lt. Cmdr. Chirane Quinadia, only 27 years old, but had been in the Higaaran Navy since 17, pushed into the service due to severe shortages of able bodied crew. Tall and striking, she would draw eyes whenever she went groundside. Many mistook her calm and cheerful demeanor for being passive but I knew better. She had nerves of steel and a razor sharp wit. The only reason she didn?t have a ship of her own yet was because there weren?t enough ships to go around? for now. I have a sneaky feeling that Command has her in mind for the BattleCruiser BC-28 A Mk III I saw nearing completion at Kishaw. I didn?t tell her that I had passed her recommendation for command almost 3 months before. Such things I didn?t think about because she was a damn fine officer. A damn young captain? but a fine one nonetheless. I made captain at the ripe old age of 32, but who?s counting.

?Commencing Launch Board check?
?Tactical?
?All weapons green?
?Navigation??
?Course laid-in?
?Engineering??
?Reactors on-line and standing by?
?Communications??
?Boards are clear?
?Flight Ops?
?All birds accounted for?

The XO turns towards and me and says in a crisp clear voice

?Captain the launch board is clear, we are ready to depart?

Ah music to my ears, only the corner of my mouth turns up in a slight twitch. A captain is supposed to be detached to these things. But there is always something magical to be said about taking out your ship out of dock. Especially when its going off to a possible war. I switch on the shipwide comm..

?Ladies and gentlemen this is the maiden voyage of the HFS Defiance, a brand new ship?.. with not so brand new a crew??

My bridge crew smiles. We?ve been through hell and back before. This would be no different.

?? and as luck would have it, it will be a baptism by fire?

The bridge speakers resound with faint cheers. They wanted payback for the previous ?police actions? at Solo and the 38th tactical demise.

?? I have the greatest confidence in you all, make us proud, make Higaara proud, and let us make the name of Defiance a name to shine! Fear no darkness!?

I could have sworn I felt the crew stamp their feet in unison. Chirane gave me that knowing smirk. Every crew needs to know what they?re fighting for. And it was a good a time as any to let them know what we all thought and felt.

?Take her out commander?

I stay silent as she gives out the orders, I don?t have to worry, she could do this with her eyes closed. But I still have to pretend to be all-knowing, part of the captains creed.
 
Ammianus_marcellinus
cool man cant wait for more.
though, you go from first to third person a couple of times and it becomes a little confusing because of that. other that that, keep the chapters coming, sounds exciting
 
noodle
Battle is supposed to be confusing. I approve of this story. Please continue, for it brings me joy. Now, peon, for I do not have all day! I have a meeting with the Duchess at 12, then I must join Sir Pierre for live action chess.
Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
Ammianus_marcellinus
oh i agree, chaotic battle dialog and description is the best way to do it...i just mean switching between the third and first person without clear boundaries between the two can be distracting; difficult to get a clear picture of who is narrating.

i also approve of this story and demand you continue for the enjoyment of your fans. the Duchess, however, will not return my phone calls...
 
noodle
Yes, she is rather particular with whom she fraternizes. *sniff* It would seem you simply do not meet her high standards...servant! More wine!
Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
MasterChief
oh yes masters i will!!! "kneels down"

appreciate the comments Smile promise to practice keeping the first and third person perspectives straight. i don't suppose any of you is an editor or something to keep me on my toes Grin:

i'll add the next chapter soon as i finish it... the inspiration for this material is weird though appearing at the weirdest times.... the bathroom... the roof deck.... on the mountain trail.....

oh well.... may i offer you gents a barrel o mead while waiting your ladies? :beer:
 
noodle
Mead? What do you take us for, a pair of bloody Norsemen? Only the finest whiskey will do!

*apparently at some point since my last post I morphed from being a 16th century English lord to being an 18th century English gentleman. Odd tha-what the devil?! What is that female doing in my study? Frederick! Remove her at once!*
Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
MasterChief
Chapter 2

Hyperspace was always a beautiful sight. Light in all its multiple spectra flowed and ebbed like a living being outside the armored viewports as they rode their titanic ship like a whale in an ocean of kaleidoscope splendor. It would have been even more beautiful if they weren?t riding to a sector of space where the light would be of a different and much more unfriendly kind.

No matter ?. They were ready for just that . It had been un eventful trip to the outlying hyperspace point outside fleet base. And the initiation hyperspace jump came off with the hyperspace core purring like a kitten.
The crew however was anything but idle. Weapons had run 3 separate checks of their numerous systems.
I didn?t envy Lt. Hira, at this point even with full automation, they had nearly a hundred separate weapon mounts to verify as ready to fire when the time came. The massive 400mm Rail Cannons with their paired 120 mm DEW particle lasers sat shimmering on the outboard canards with loads on standby. The triple decked 80mm launchers had already gone through the myriad permutations possible for locking on multiple targets. They had watched with mild amusement as the numerous CIWS mounts near the bridge extended and craned their multi barreled heads like so many kite hawks getting ready to take flight. And those were just what they could see.

The ship was getting ready? I am proud of my crew? they have come through for me getting this ship ready in a quarter of the time it takes to get a frigate on war footing. And we were no ordinary frigate. As a manner or speaking of course.

Commander Chirane and the CIC team had finished a simulation with the new systems a few hours ago for a hot zone defold. The result had been excellent? as usual. She walked, boots clacking smartly on deck, towards the captains chair.

Presumably they were jumping in on a safe point in the system to rendezvous with the rest of the fleet before proceeding to their objective. But as since it was impossible to determine what waits for a ship as it comes out of a jump, it had been taken as a rule that if you didn?t know what you were getting into? assume nothing.

?5 minutes to reversion to real space captain?

?All right, Set Condition 1. Call out the Rev Board commander?

?Aye Captain setting Condition 1 throughout the ship?

Airtight bulkheads boomed shut, crewmen and women sealed their battlesuits, overhead lighting changed from white to red. All loose gear were packed into secure containers and lockers.

?Tactical??

Lt. Hira didn?t even move when he reported. Calm and clear, his brows knotted in concentration.

?All Weapons report Loaded and Charged, ready to fire?

?Navigation??

?Arriving in system on set coordinates, Rigged for full passive sensor sweep?

?Flight Ops??

?Scimitar squadron on the rails, Black Hawk and DiamondHead on +10?

+10?. They could have the first fighters off like a missile launch and the 2nd and 3rd squadron 10 seconds behind them. They only had 1 set of launch tubes to launch their fighters, unlike the Carriers that could launch all of their birds at once in a cloud of flying armor guns and missiles. But then again, they weren?t relying on their escorts to keep the enemy at arms length. Defiance was not designed for subtle fights. Fast Pursuit Battleships were meant to deal with the enemy from close range, overwhelm his defenses with massive bursts of firepower and then deal the killing shot with their ridiculously powerful main guns. A brawler. And it suited me just fine.

?Reversion in 60 seconds?

Chirane settled into the commanders couch like a languid cat. Eyes bright and if I am not mistaking? even if her lips were straight? they were smiling. I lowered my voice so we we?re the only ones who could hear.

?Here we go again, eh Chir??

?Yes Capn, always a pleasure?

? You always did love the excitement?

?You know me? i like having fun? ?

?Last time you said that we were hunting for Tigerwolves in the Crespian jungle?

?Isn?t it the same thing??

?The cats at least have better manners? and probably smell better too?

?Remind me to never get on your bad side?

She smiles like a feral cat while the countdown timer slowly ticks down to 0.

A brief halo of energy encompassed the ship as the hyperspace bubble collapsed. They were back in real space for barely a second when the voice of Lt. Matqoi sounded out

?Multiple contacts bearing 30 through 110, 50 eccliptic range 25 million k, no active sensors directed toward us?

So they were waiting for us? interesting? but I wonder if they knew what they were waiting for.. Commander Chirane didn?t even seem surprised.

?Keep the fighters in the tubes, maintain silent running, give me a target lock on those bandits threat targeting priority A, and give me a running tac count ?

?Aye sir!? they answered in unison.

Deep space sensors had this funny habit of giving you information piece meal and at such distances were often delayed. Speed of light can only travel so fast, so at distances over 10 million kilometers accounting for gravimetric pull of various large masses, the data you got was anywhere from 15 seconds to several minutes old. But as in everything, patience is a key factor.

?Captain the enemy seems engaged with Higaaran units at grid 11A currently holding position?

?Tac count is 8 Capital class ships and 1 Super Capital class, 1 city ship, 1 battleship , 1 carrier, 2 battlecruiser class, 3 destroyer class 1 tanker support and 8 squadrons of strike craft. Higaaran encrypted transponders are squawking 1 carrier, 1 cruiser, 2 destroyers, and signals from 14 squadrons of strike craft and frigates?

Sounds like the party started early, typical of the Commodore to arrive ahead of schedule in case of enemy intercepts. And this time he struck gold. The fact that the 7th was still in combat formation meant that they hadn?t been caught unaware. And they didn?t know that Defiance had arrived behind them. Pretty big diversion in front to keep them occupied

?So where do we attack Captain??

She read my mind like an open book. Knowing Commodore Men, he probably had counted on us jumping in on schedule and thus maneuvered the fleet to let us catch their rear flank in a defilade maneuver. Shrewd and devious as ever.

?Keep the sensors on passive, we?ll use the fleets active data stream to get targeting data, check if the Commodores ship is highlighting any specific target he wants us to hit?

Comms were resounding with battle chatter but none were directed at us. I presume that he didn?t want them to know that he was painting me a target.

?Sir?? Lt. Hiro was harried enough.

?Is there any ship with a big red bulls eye painted on it?

?Commencing link up?.. there is a repeated targeting pattern on the BBX ? I suppose that would be it sir??

?Meno always had a sense of humor? I smiled inwardly ?Bring all long and intermediate weapons to bear on designated target, use fire pattern Cygnus?. He wants us to poke the bear? lets see if we can blow his legs out from under him?

The enemy fleet shifted, two destroyers made a run for the Battle Carrier Heracles while the cruisers pinned down her escorts. The carrier turned showing her seemingly vulnerable starboard side to the attackers in an attempt to rejoin the formation. Multiple torpedoes flew from the Vagyrs forward launch tubes making a bee line for the launch bays.
A carriers nightmare is to have her launch bays wrecked, unable to launch or land her ships turning her into one giant supply ship. The torpedoes, nearly 2 dozen in number closed in and were a few seconds only from impact when a bright lance of light speared from a recessed ion battery on the starboard side, engulfing the entire incoming wave which immediately detonated in a spectacularly silent bloom. I should?ve guessed that she had that new IPG installed. That would have been a nasty surprise for those two and what appeared from behind it must have been an even bigger one.

From the fireball of the torpedo detonation swarmed a dozen close support frigates. Weaving in and out of a complicated Spiral formation. They didn?t call them Blood Hounds for nothing. Plasma fire and heavy projectiles filled the space between the onrushing pack. A frigate took a direct hit on its port side and vanished in a brief explosion, another had its control tower blasted down to its hull, a third spun crazily as one of its nacelles were melted away by concentrated fire. But the rest charged on firing a continuous stream of AP, shredder, and particle beams at the pair as they were fairly engulfed in voluminous fire.

i23.photobucket.com/albums/b377/maddoc31/ss00044.jpg

i23.photobucket.com/albums/b377/maddoc31/frigatefight.jpg

The formidable destroyers had stopped all forward movement altogether even with the armor they were boasting, parts of the superstructure were being blown off, sensor arrays, CIWS mounts, navigation beacons, communication masts, engine intakes? they were effectively deaf dumb and blind for a few minutes. The very barrage that prevented other 7th ships from coming to aid them also prevented the Vagyr from reinforcing their now vulnerable cohorts.

Their captains never saw that the Heracles had come about and unleashed a fussilade of missles in the wake of the furious charge of the BloodHounds. Ten seconds from collision with their antagonists, the frigates continued their mad dance above, below, and around the now hapless destroyers. Nearly a hundred missiles impacted on the closer ship. Whereas the fire from the frigates might have only stung like a mad spark bee hive, a capital ship heavy missile barrage was another thing altogether.

Explosions rippled along its entire side, peeling armor panels off like skin off an over ripe fruit. Internal explosions buckled the frame nearly tearing the ship in two. The sheer force of explosion blew the ship towards its still blind partner impacting on the bow, structural stress finally collapsed the fuel cells of the dying ship taking out both of them in a brief but very furious inferno.

While this brief maneuver played out, we were biding our time, waiting for the right moment. Our target had been one of the ships that had pinned the rest of our force down. They had thought the carrier a goner? and realized too late it had been the destroyers who were trapped. Now it was this behemoths turn. The battlewagon had turned ponderously to face the carrier. It?s captain definitely thinking to make the carrier pay for its successful strike, and true to their nature, not taking a second chance had also detached a squadron of frigates to keep the now retreating Bloodhounds from making another run. The targeting laser that had been painting the target flared three times briefly then switched off.

Time to join the party.

In turning to pursue the carrier and its bloodhound brethren, the Vagyr now had a vastly larger ship chasing them down. Believing that the first maneuver would not work a second time. They eagerly moved in for the kill. I suppose they were right? the Heracles might not have been able to hurt them. Even if both the carrier and the remaining frigate squad fired every weapon they had she probably wouldn?t have been able to dent the lumbering giant? or so we wanted them to think.

? Come on go for her? Chirane whispered as she goaded our very eager prey.

?You can take her easy, there is no need to worry bout your flanks or rear, nothing but us frigates around.. and we can?t hurt you can we??

True enough the remaining blood hounds had changed their approach to an envelopement maneuver, engaging the Vagyr escorts in a deadly game of tag-you?re-dead.

?Maintain Lock on target, prepare to launch all squadrons as soon as we hit their sensor envelope have CAG launch all their missiles in coordination with ours I want all ballistics to impact at the same time! prepare to fire all remaining batteries on my command, accelerate to maximum burn on my mark??

Maybe their commander was a little too eager, maybe they were a little too confident they could easily defeat us as they had so easily done before. They haven?t met us yet.

?Engage thrusters!?

Even with inertial compensators activated I felt an invisible hand pushing me into my command couch. In space you weren?t supposed to see movement, or maybe it was just our excitement as we charged in.

?We are at maximum burn captain?

?Any response from the splinter group??

?Target is still maintaining aspect heading, all weapons are on passive acquisition?

?Reaching sensor envelope range?

We saw streaks of light flash beneath us as the fighters rocketed from their launch tubes like overgrown missiles. Followed by two more sets of lights as the rest of the wing joined them. There was a melee going on ahead of us. Ships dashed in and out jousting with spears of pure ruin. Lasers and particles beams crossed each others paths heading towards each other. Those ships maneuvered like they were nimble fighters instead of the light escort flotilla like they were. A Blood Hound took a broadside in the stern and promptly detonated, a pair of Shamshirs caught a full spread of torpedoes as they tried to corner another Hound, exploding like a pair of pyrotechnic packs on Homecoming day.
Through it all we shot straight on through, ignoring everything in our path, not daring to fire a single shot as we had a bigger bogey in our sights.

i23.photobucket.com/albums/b377/maddoc31/ss00045.jpg

30 seconds to maximum effective firing range

Nobody from this group was going to warn our prey as DECM (Directed Electronic Counter Measures) activated, effectively blocking all signals behind us.

20 seconds

Somebody must have finally noticed us as the topside turrets rotated to face us and let go of several volleys. Our fighters simply moved out of the way as they were only kinetic rounds. A few missile batteries got of their loads off which our escorts simply shot out of space. Our CIWS didn?t even have to activate yet. One aspect of Vagyr battleship design was that it had to literally aim almost the entire ship to bring its devastatingly powerful Ion Derringer Cannons to bear, as well as its myriad forward facing weapon mounts which had only a 90 degree weapon arc.
That would be a problem?

10 seconds

For them?

As we were above and behind? so to speak because in space there is no up or down, but at this point, it was the worst possible position for a Vagyr Battleship to be.

1 second

?All batteries! Open fire!?

i23.photobucket.com/albums/b377/maddoc31/misslebarrage.jpg

Every available weapon aboard the ship fired in one tremendous salvo. It was a thing of beauty. The fighters along with us fired their weapons as well. A rain of destruction heading for a single destination.
It took only 5 seconds for our first shots to make contact. Trans uranic slugs tore through the upper decks and went on going for several meters before detonating. Pulsed array lasers blasted the ruined armor around the impact point of the TU shells setting combustibles to flame, Particle lasers cut through like butter shredding the superstructure and bulkheads. The missiles turned to so much metal confetti everything the other weapons hadn?t already destroyed.
And we didn?t stop firing till we were at practically point blank range. It takes a lot to destroy a Vagyr Battleship. And we weren?t taking any chances. The ship was in the middle of a turn when we had hit it, raking the decks up ward as we settled down to maintain fire. Explosions continued to travel throughout the side but still they fought back, even without coordination they fought doggedly on. I felt impact after impact as a stubborn turret crew decided to take a piece of us till a heavy laser burned the emplacement to a charred nub. We might not be able to blow this ship to hell but they sure could make it look like it came from there. Armor was cracked everywhere but the very fact it was just cracked and not completely burned through attested to its toughness.
We were going to need more time to crack this thing open.

?Sir multiple enemy contacts closing on our position bearing 240 degrees declination 40?. Appears to be 3 squadrons of fighters 1 squadron of Quinha frigates?

Looks like they weren?t going to give it to us.

?CAG have the fighters run interference, and let us regroup with our lady in distress, damage report?

?Minor hits on decks 7, 12, and 20, no hull breaches, some damage to DEW battery 6, SRAM launcher 12 completely destroyed, port ECM array damged, no casualties?

?All right bring us behind Heracles in retrograde maneuver and let us rejoin the fleet?

"Sir message from the Commodore"

"Put it through please"

"So glad you could join us Captain" A rich mellow voice sounded through the bridge speakers

"So good of you to invite us sir"

"I think our party crashers don't share your sentiment"

"How rude of them... shall we show them the door?"

"Gladly"
Edited by MasterChief on 27-03-2008 16:20
 
noodle
Good so far, though I have a suggestion: when taking screenies, hit backspace a few times to remove the interface, deselect any units to get rid of the green bars, and use Fraps for taking the pics so you don't have that annoying logo in the corner. That is all.

Nice pictures though. Lol chaos. I love battle.
Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
MasterChief
sorry sir... when i was taking these screen shots on the fly. they weren't planned... i just liked the view and i took it Grin:

gonna practice with the fraps system though.. thanks !!!
 
Jump to Forum