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First Blood (Deleverance II BBX Shakedown Cruise)
"...While we have suffered as a people through trying times, we still have the fighting spirit of our ancestors. We have the fury of which was seen during the burning of Kharak, the inginuity of the Beastslayers as they fought back the plague that would consume us all, we have the mercy of the legions who threw down their guns and picked up the tools to rebuild the Ittar, and we have the courage to venture forth into the unknown as our beloved Karen S'jet did so many times.

It is in her honor that this new addition to our fleet is to become whole. Carrying on her legacy to defend Hiigara and Venture deep into the unknown. Wherever a threat will lie waiting to strike we will unite as a people, not a conglomeration of squabbling clans, as a true star empire, just as the S'jet would have wanted. Now, the ship that bears her namesake will seek out it's fortune among the stars..."

-Naarai S'jet-Sa, Launch Ceramony, Deleverance II BBX HGN Karen S'jet BB-34, 10-14-9613 GSY


The glistening hull of the Karen S'jet hung over the Kapella Shipyards in the Coruc-tel system. Utility Corvettes and Repair bots swarmed around the massive vessel like a swarm of bees, installing a final layer of Vacuum Drying paint and loading supply containers into the cargo bays. The Massive ship's guns had only been fitted the previous day and were being throughly inspected for any potential problems.

The ship had been built entirely by Sponson to the navy's exact specifications with full production sceduled for mid-December. Several Sponson executives were present for the shakedown cruise into Federation of Cush space. While a test hull had already been built and tested, this would be the first fully operational vessel of it's class.

It's Commanding officer, Rear admaral Karel Soban, recently transferred from her command of the Aurelian Defender was busy inspecting the CIC of her new ship inside and out.

"Aye, It's a fine ship indeed, but I don't like this wireless command and control setup. It's too vulnerable to EMP and electrical failure."

Sakeli Manaan, the chief technical officer explained "The system is triple redundant run on seperate power grids and server units. We took extra care in fitting EM shielding to most of the carbon-alloy polymers used in the secondary armor. The heavy guage Titanium-steel on the exterior is designed to conduct any electrical charge into an overflow battery."

"I'm just used to some metal to metal as backup. If the Defender's computers failed, we had thrust vectoring nozzles manualy operated by a Diesel Turbine and hydrolic rams. Crude, but it saved our arses during that incedent with the Caal-Shto."

Karel strode to the command chair and sat down "What is wrong with this chair!? It'll break your arse if you get hit in combat." Sakeli replied "The whole bridge uses isolation springs to lessen the effects of any impact, much like the ones used protect against earthquakes planetside."

Karel scowled at the Mannani engineer "I will not risk my life or my arse in battle without at least six inches of padding in my battle chair. You try sitting here for six hours in heated combat with an Imperial Battleship and see how you like it." Sakeli sat down and immedietly called for a command chair from a Bloodhound frigate to be brought up.

Karel then looked over a technical readout of the ship. She took about ten minuites to oversee the ammunition loadout, strikecraft status or lack thereof, and crew readiness. "You call this ship battle ready? I've seen freight barges with more combat capability. We have no ammo, no strikecraft, no Marines, none of the things that we need. I'm not going to be the one who took a brand new ship into battle without anything to fight with!"

Sakeli replied "This is just a shakedown cruise. we need to test the drives and computers and all the other gizmos before any combat testing can begin. If any Hostiles show up, out escorts will be more than sufficient to combat any potential threat..."

"Shut up! I don't want to hear you La-de-da optimism. Obviously you've never been on the frontlines before. For all we know this whole mission could be an ambush waiting to happen. Now i'll be damned before I leave port without every gun on this ship ready to fire. Everytime someone says 'nothing bad can happen', the next theng they know they're being shot at by an Imperial battleship. Your admisistrative optimism and 'we're safe' attitude will get you killed. Once you've been in the navy, you'll understand that. Now load up our munitions damnit!"

Within a few minuites, the tugs were hauling containers full of Sledgehammer III torpedoes, 600mm SHARG rounds, and thousands of smaller missiles into the gaping maw of the S'jet's hangar bay.

While Karel and Sakeli were continualy ranting over naval protocol, Sponson technicians Rix Paktu and Vikrant Somtaaw were overseeing the final inspection of the more sensitive componants of the Karen S'jet's interior.

"So we just jam it all back in there?" Rix scratched the back of his head as he looked at the jumble of wires and tubes that had forced their way out of a console array.

"We remove this panel, unplug these, reattach 'em to those and caulk it in place, could'nt be simpler." just as Vikrant said those words, a transformer box exploded and a live Headcrab leapt out.

"Sh*t!" Rix drew his pistol and shot the crab dead. "Damn it, now we're probably infested. We'll have to sweep the whole damn ship for these things."

"Ya know, the Vaygr actually let Headcrabs live on their ships. They shoot 'em and cook 'em if they cause any trouble. Saves a fortune on rations." Vikrant threw the dead crab into the incenerator. "Look, Crabs or no Crabs, we need to fix this mess."

"I have an Idea" Rix began rearranging the various cords and wires into something that resembled a Nalthoran's intestinal tract over a period of fifteen minuites.

"There, good as new." Rix hit a switch and found that his new arrangement had worked perfectly. "It's amazing what you can do with Duck Tape sometimes."

Vikrant smirked "Like that vest you made in high school?"

Rix made a rather rude gesture with his hand as he left the room. "Oh yeah Rix, really mature of you. Damn I need some donuts."
Headcrabs aside, I'm sure we can fit the introduction into the D-2 class background in whatever passes for a 6G shipguide.
You know, my "Hope" Is technically a 6g Battlecruiser.. Heavily Dependant on Medium range Beam and cannon weaponry and drones for distant strikes, Perhaps this "Karan S'jet" Is its long range counter-part? Even if it looks a little better.. Lol, I'ma get paint running here and try and get a good picture of what my precious looks like, Maybe someday someone will want to model it.. lol
I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last... the beginning and your end.
"This is Karen S'jet actual to Kapella base harbor control, requesting permission to go ahead with pre launch procedures."

"Kapella base actual confirms, commence pre launch procedures. Solar winds are at 7.5.4, background gravity is at 0.0002gs SSW."

Karel sat in her new chair as the base's tugs began final preperations for the S'jet's launch. Consoles lit up and the sound of machinery was heard as the massive vessel came to life. Karel reached down and activated the shipwide comm.

"All personell standby for prelaunch procedures. Clear any and all airlocks and prepare for launch and cargo bay pressurisation. All personell not part of the crew or designated passengers please leave Via the 12, 22, or 25 gangways. Emergency abort systems preparing..."

Rix leapt from his coffee and dashed to the ship's main powerhouse.

"...ensure now that you have any and all personal belongings with you. Security personell will be along to check your ID. our ETL is approxamately fifteen minuites. Ship crew remains at condition 3 across the ship, any and all Penguins are to be secured in a designated area, engineering crews are to report status to the bridge. That is all."

Karel replaced the comm reciver and looked over her bridge. Upon noticing the man arranging champagine glasses, she lept up reached into her briefcase and replaced the champagine with a bottle of Dan Jackson brand Whiskey.

"Aye, now we're ready for launch. Wait where's the helmsman? Manaan!" Sakeli began looking over a crew roster. "He should be here... Ah here he is." Sakeli gestured to the Nalthoran waddling through the door.

Karel seemed somewhat dissapointed but greeted the insectoid alien with the same respect she would any other fleet officer "Well it's about friggin time, I was about to make him fly the ship."

Sakeli looked over the roster and attempted to pronounce the Nalthoran's name as best he could "Leutenant K'vak'iut... I said that right did'nt I?"

The Leutanant responded "Close enough, squishy Hiigaran friend to the Nalthor. I am Ki'ak'yut, loyal knight to the Queen of the Nalthor and friend to the Hiigaran land mammals. I am to be the one to control the movements of this craft in battle?"

"Aye, you are. You're station's over there, now get to it. We'll be leaving soon." Ki'ak'yut wadled to his command chair and attempted to the chair and attempted to 'sit' down, to no avail.

Sakeli picked up his comm reciver "I'm going to need a Nalthoran friendly helmsman's chair on the bridge ASAP"

Five minuites later, Vikrant wheeled the crate containing the chair onto the bridge. "Anyone got a crowbar?"

Ki'ak'yut drew his cerimonial sword and waddled over to the crate "Do not be wasting energy on my behalf flightless primate, allow me to, as you Hiigarans say, pull my own weight around here." The Nalthoran preceded to hack the wooden crate apart, causing packaging peanuts to fly about the room.

Karel scowled at the Nalthoran "You're cleaning this up, you know."


Before you say anything, this is going to be a seamless blend of humor and seriousness, don't judge it until I get deeper into the story.
Edited by Ironwatsas on 19-10-2006 01:09
The Karen S'jet slid silently from it's berth into the void of space while being flanked by manuvering TUGs, maintnence bots, and escort ships. The area around the dock had quickly become a hotbed of activity as escort ships began moving into position for the initial tests.

Karel's personal communicator chimed in a message, and she promptly answered "What?" The voice on the line responded "There has been a change in plans. The Fornax supernova is acting up and may go within several weeks. We are bumping up the timeframe and changing your flight route. The inital tests must be accellerated in order to compensate. You will proceed immedietly to mock combat excercises and undergo the other tests along the route. Move to the firing range and prepare for exercises."

Karel grinned anticipatingly. "Attention all personell, we will be accellerating the live fire exercises. Set condition 2 throughout the ship, all personell to action stations. Load up the traning rounds and prepare for general engagement." The crew went to their posts and with percision and haste, prepared the Karen S'jet for mock battle.

"Assume position 424, Local nav co-ordanates 13-37, declination 15, rotation 31" The harbor controller announced. Within less than a second, Ki'ak'yut had entered a string of commands into the autonav computer and the Karen S'jet's massive drive torches responded, diverting the ship toward the weapon test range.

The Karen S'jet had moved some distance away from the dock to the far side of an asteroid in case of any misplaced shots. A nearby Arcadia class fighter tender was preparing to launch training drones. Little more than stripped down, unmanned Mimics, these disposable craft would simulate a general engagement and test the Karen S'jet's primary weapons and targeting systems, something Karel Soban was looking forward to.

"In position" Ki'ak'yut announced. Karel took a long sip of coffee and smiled. She hit the shipwide intercom "All personell, standby to begin weapons test, the HGNS Re is preparing OpFor Drones. Set condition 1 throughout the ship and prepare to open fire on my mark."

The Mimics, disguised as a mixed Vaygr light calvalry force and frigate echilon charged at the Deleverance II battleship firing their holographic ordnance into the broadside of the massive starship. The simulated rounds barely 'dented' the hull of the Karen S'jet and the ships that launched them were met with a wall of lead from the ship's LH45s. The drones blew up one by one. A few tried to flee but were torn apart from 150mm HVRs from the dorsal tubes.

"Surviving enemy frigates are disengaging, minor hull damage, one disabled AC35, repair droids dispatched." The damage control officer announced the simulated damage and dispatched dummy repair bots, giving the maintnence crews some action.

Suddenly, an intense shockwave rocked the ship, knocking several bridge crew to the floor. "What in the hell was that?!" Karel yelled.

"One of the Mimics crashed into us forward of turret 3!"

"Abort the test, repeat, abort the Qwaardamn test! TacOp, damage report!" Karel demanded.

"Just superficial damage. Our armor and impact absorbers did their job. No reported injuries. Repair bots are dispatched."

"Return to base for full inspection, We'll have them look us over."

The Karen S'jet turned and headed back to the shipyard. Karel was already planning to skin the person responsable for this near disaster alive.


Three Hours Later

Rix strode into the breifing room and sat down naxt to Vikrant. Most of the higher ranking staff were present for the report. The chief maintnence officer walked into the center of the ampitheater like room and began his report.

"The drone impacted at an angle and caused only minor damage to the outer layer of ceramic armor and cushoning gel. We have replaced the affected areas and have given the green light to continue with the planned mission immedietly. The combat tests have shown all systems functioning normally and the reactive armor apperently worked beyond expectations. You will now continue with your assigned mission. Your XO will continue..."

The ship's XO took the stand "The hyperdrive test is next on our agenda, we will jump to the edge of the Nome Ice field and rendezvous with the HGNS Fist of Kharak, a Praetor class carrier and it's escort fleet. We will then link with the fleet and proceed directly to New Kashmir. Once there, we will dock at the Cush naval base there. Any questions?"

Rix raised his hand "How is it that a pre programmed Mimic that's supposed to self destruct when hit remained fully intact and nearly hit the weakest part of the ship, right above the primary magizine?"

"Probably someone made a mistake in programing or the gyroscope was damaged or something. It's just an accident, it happens more often than one would think."

Several other people queried the XO as Rix and Vikrant headed to the nearby rec room. "It just doesn't seem right, I've worked on those Mimics all my life and I've seen my share of accidents, but almost on top of a loaded SHARG and magizine with an incomplete bulkhead..."

"You're overreacting, Rix. It's just a random co-incidence. It happens from time to time." Vikrant said "Now stop being a paranoid little f**k and let's get to work. We still need to make sure we got all those bladeroaches out of the secondary AMLS shaft."

"Alright, but If it turns out I'm right..."

Karel suddenly announced over the intercom "All personell, prepare for Hyperspace jump. Internal pressure doors sealed, abort systems standing by, jumping in"

The Karen S'jet dissappeared into the incandescant blue-white window of hyperspace.


Sorry for the short chapter, but it's just an intermediary leading up to the next part. I will get back to it at some point in the near future, though RL has priority.
Edited by Ironwatsas on 30-11-2006 11:07
Well other than crabs and penguins (my we have been around for a while have'nt we) I really like the story.

A recommendations if I might. The transition from getting underway to gun test could use a transition line. In the first part the Karen S'jet is getting underway for a 'test drive' with the ship captain demanding bullets before the test drive, while in the next installment we are out for target practice. It confused me. Did they already finish the test drive and we are now further along in the testing of the ship? Or did something change that requires them to do the firing test while on the test drive. A couple of lines to the effect of "having spent several weeks driving the ship around testing the flight charecteristics the Admiral was looking forward to doing some shooting." or "the message from Naval Headquarters telling them to deploy immediately had caused them to throw out the months of planned testing". It would clear up the one question I had.

I am envious of your ability to come up with plausable Hiigaran names and the bit about solar winds and gravities... well I may steal that... Brilliant! The translation of the Nalthorian is also wonderful with just enough peculiar wording to make it alien.

Oh, I am particial to Manaan Mark whiskey, although Dan Jackson single barrell is passable.

Please continue I am enjoying the read!
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