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 Operation Buzzard

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Capitalos

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PostSubject: Operation Buzzard   Tue May 14, 2013 2:40 pm




HA 1509, inside Arkthamis Ejecta Belt
21 AU from Arkthamis Star


The CCS Arkata, registered as the first of the recovered Titans of the Empire in Antiquity, got very little credit for being a perfectly functional relic of Imperial history. For many decades, perhaps even centuries, she sat abandoned at an Arkthamis shipyard while the empire fell around the shipwrights and miners of the system. When the House Jove made contact with the system some two hundred years ago, they discovered the titan left to rot by the dockworkers and promptly refurbished it.

Now she served as a capable Iron Duke-pattern Titan, twenty kilometers stem along her keel and capable of holding down a star system in her own right. Yet despite all of the history within her hull - a treasure trove for the legions of archaeologists begging access to the sealed sections even the crew had not yet time to explore - the Arkata was not known for her historical prestiege or even her name.

She was known as Bloody Ark, Beseiger of Iron Colony, the iron boot on the throat of the rioting miner and the scheming unionist. Her crew made a great deal of commotion for every large Brigand vessel destroyed, for during their next shore leave they were permitted and encouraged to paint a large crimson stripe across her keel. She wore eight such stripes like a primitive might wear neck rings, and was currently gunning for her ninth as Captain Marcus Aureile pushed her uranium-plasma engines into a deceleration burn, ending the long pursuit of a Brigand trio.

The three ships had burned away from the high Augusti Prime orbit they had pillaged two weeks ago in a desperate Hohmann transfer orbit to whatever rock they called home, apparently counting on Arkata to be between crew transfers to enable their heist. If there was one thing Aureile despised, it was a serf who thought himself clever. He ordered the token crew onboard during the exchange to begin a transfer burn to follow them and burn out their Ejecta Belt hideaway - entirely with the monoardors if necessary.

Now as the gargantuan Titan completed its deceleration burn to match HA 1509's slow orbit of Arkthamis Star, the time came to rouse Bloody Ark to battle once more.



Last edited by Capitalos on Thu May 30, 2013 7:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Operation Buzzard   Wed May 15, 2013 4:33 pm




HA 1509, inside Arkthamis Ejecta Belt
21 AU from Arkthamis Star


It was no easy proposition bringing the 8.5 billion ton Arkata to a halt in a stable orbit of HA 1590 while maintaining a combat bearing, but her crew had some solid ideas on the subject. This wasn't their first combat run. After an initial burn to keep the titan from swinging around 1509 and shooting out of the system entirely, Bloody Ark rotated end-for-end until its riddled front end consisting of the fore railgun cannon cluster and smaller launch tubes was pointed towards in the direction of travel.

"Mister Cayne," Captain Aureile said, staring intently at the cavalcade of information coming at him through the displays at the front of the bridge, "Wake the monos, if you please."

"Aye aye, sir," Cayne replied in his south Solarii twang. "Popping the seals. Monos will be live in the tubes in...twenty seconds."

On Cayne's monitor, a thousand tiny black display windows started cascading to red, then yellow in haphazard fashion. After a moment, the vast majority of them shone brilliant golden yellow. A few pesky red dots were shoved into a corner by a flick of Cayne's wrist and the neural-haptic interface at his duty station. He squinted to read their tiny intelligence numbers.

"41, 306, 307, 715, and 720 are no-go," he reported, tossing a copy of his screen to one of the captain's status displays. "Running the rest through onboard diagnostics in the tubes. Loading tubes one through twenty. Venting tubes."

The twenty railgun launch tubes packed around the fore railgun cannon cluster unscrewed to open space, venting air as a thin white mist that rushed past the locked-in monoardor corvettes and towards the stars. The venting air slowed the titan's velocity by a handful of meters per second, but not nearly enough.

"Let the reds sit for now. High volume launches, Mister Cayne. All of them, if you please."

"Aye aye, sir." Cayne understood - he was launching the monos not to saturate the Brigands' airspace but to ease the stress on the titan's engines in a heavy transfer burn such as this.

"Flight one away."

Twenty H67 monoardor corvettes shot out from the titan faster than bullets from a rifle, followed by twenty more in quick succession. Working in rapid flights of twenty, an Iron Duke-pattern's launch tubes could clear out her thousand-corvette complement in under ten minutes - and within ten minutes, all thousand were indeed burning to make orbit in a number of formations. All reaction mass and engines, they could decelerate to orbit much more efficiently than the titan could - and the thrust provided by launching them opposite Arkata's direction of travel helped slow the mighty ship.

"Let's finish off that deceleration burn, Mister Coxand," Captain Aureile commanded to the navigation officer.

"Aye aye, sir," Yeoman Coxand replied.

"Sir!" came the half-choked cry from Yeoman Locke's sensor station, before Coxand could commence the burn. "N-new contact on radar! Designation Sierra one-four. No radar profile match."

"Show me on screen four, Miss Locke," came Aureile's slow, metered reply.

Screen four switched from streaming engineering data to a magnified radar display. There was the irregularly spherical HA 1509 and the three ships they were chasing. Now, from behind the radar shadow of the asteroid a large radar image appeared as a morphing block, slowly gaining detail as consecutive radar passes increased its detail. After a time the shape resolved itself as a tremendous cigar shape with communication or sensor towers on struts at right angles to it.

"Size," commanded Aureile.

"Fifteen thousand forty meters," Yeoman Locke exhaled.

Aureile ground his teeth for a moment. It was a titan.

"Overlay radar with EM, same screen."

It was not overly uncommon to find abandoned titans from the Empire in Antiquity among the outer parts of the ejecta belts, doing God knows what in a Kupier orbit. It was another thing entirely to get it up and running. It had taken the Concordat well over a century and a half to get their meager titan fleet running...

"Overlay is up, sir," Locke reported, breaking Aureile's train of thought.

A network of overlapping golden circles - electromagnetic radiation sources - followed points on Sierra 14 as the object began moving away from HA 1509. The Brigands had dug her up and restarted her fusion reactors. She was running hot and incredibly deadly.

"Send code 1-1 through the Q-Link. We are going to need another titan."

Code 1-1 was sent as two qubits of information on the spent Q-Links 12 and 13, using up millions of banknotes in one simple message:

1,1: Emergency.
1,2: Send military.



Last edited by Capitalos on Sat Jun 01, 2013 8:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sentor

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PostSubject: Re: Operation Buzzard   Sat May 18, 2013 1:39 pm


CCS Dauntless
Augusti Prime Shipwright Slipways
3.18 AU from Arkthamis Star


"Commander, our Q-Link is active," data officer Phoebe Hyland reported. "Priority transmission."

Commander Arlen Vangelos thoughtfully tapped his stirring spoon against his tea for a few beats, then set the cup and saucer down on the console.

"Go ahead, Yeoman."

"Military emergency, sir, from the Arkata. She put out two weeks ago to run down a Brigand patrol out-system."

"Yes, yes, I'm well aware. Yeoman Riffin, has the Admiralty sent word yet?"

"It sounds like they're in a panic dirtside, sir. Never heard a titan call for help before, myself."

"Well," said Vangelos, "I can guess as to the Admiralty's orders. Navigation, spin up the Akita supercapacitors and plot a jump to the Arkata's approximate position. Fifty thousand klick drift, if you please."

"Ready, Commander."

"Jump."

The gargantuan CCS Dauntless, a boxy cylinder of the Iron Duke pattern like the Arkata she was meant to save, tore up a hole in the dimensional fabric of the universe to accelerate into the Akita superluminal medium - and towards her destiny.

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PostSubject: Re: Operation Buzzard   Thu May 30, 2013 1:03 pm

CCS Arkata
HA 1509, inside Arkthamis Ejecta Belt
21 AU from Arkthamis Star


The Arkata had sat silent for three hours, expectantly waiting the arrival of any assistance after their cry for help. Immediately after burning through the painstakingly manufactured Q-Links, Captain Aureile had ordered the thrust reversal systems to active, not wanting to approach such a potentially powerful hostile at speed. Automated systems unthinkingly began their task, processing extra Uranium and feeding it into the two gaseous reactors that made up the main thrust assembly. Across the twin exhausts, clamps deployed and shifted the flow of heated hydrogen towards newly formed channels and opening vents.

Soon enough, Bloody Ark was wreathed in a halo of light, as exhaust was ejected forwards at twenty degree angles from the channels lining its hull. The visual effect was impressive, and served to slow the barreling titan slightly. This would have been the most impressive sight, if not for the arrival of the CCS Dauntless, fifty thousand kilometers off the port stern of the Arkata. For the bridge crew onboard, who had been waiting with bated breath, the sight of an allied titan warranted a collective sigh of relief.

Tight-beam communications flew back and forth between the Dauntless and the Arkata, first verifying their respective friend-foe systems, then connecting the communication arrays.

"Sensor contact! IFF Verified!" Yeoman Locke spoke, relief clearly evident in her voice. "CCS Dauntless reporting on station, Captain."

"Open a channel, Miss Locke. We'd best bring them up to speed," Aureile replied. Locke acknowledged the order, and with a deft few movements upon his console, the two captains were connected directly through video link.

"Vangelos. I'll skip the pleasantries," Aureile remarked flatly upon seeing the other Captain. "We're dealing with an unknown pattern titan under brigand control. Deploy your monos and have them link up with our own formation, then cover our approach, if you would."

"Understood, Marcus," Captain Vangelos nodded, taking a small sip of freshly brewed Solarii Dusk blend tea. "We've picked up a few of the new-type monos before we left dock. I'd recommend keeping them to the rear of the formation, as they're sporting dumbfire rockets in place of the usual lasers."

Aureile nodded, cutting the link with the other captain. "Engineering, bring us to full combat thrust," he ordered. "Navigation, plot an intercept course. Optimal weapons range, if you would."

The bridge became a hive of activity, as each of the crew stations diligently began preparing Bloody Ark for another battle. They were bringing her swords to bear once more, the legendary titan itching to feel the rush of combat and the spray of blood from defeated adversaries. Across the hull, recessed weapons deployed, their hydraulics shifting the protective casing and exposing them to the cold vacuum. Within the titan, automated procedures evacuated the barrels and missile tubes of any debris and dust, freeing them up to deliver their deadly cargo.

"Rails green! PALC's green! Tubes clear! Pulse gun online!" cried weapons officer Yeoman Fewster. "Friendly mono squadron forming up!"

"Yeoman Locke, the status of the Brigands?" Aureile commanded, "Have they noticed the arrival of the Dauntless?"

"Only just, Sir," Locke reported, "Machine's reporting a swarm of manned fighters forming up, mixed in with unmanned drone support. No known radar profile for the drones, Sir, likely what they found within the titan."

"Move in the monoardor formation," Aureile ordered, "Set them to anger, if you would. Priority on the drones, or whatever may class as a bomber."

"Aye, sir." Fewster confirmed. At his instruction, the swarm of H67 Monoardor corvettes fired their engines, breaking the holding pattern they were in. As they screamed through the void, the Brigands made their charge. To an observer, this would look not dissimilar a game of chess; the titans hanging stationary, the kings of the battlefield, whilst the pawns made the first move. Unfortunately for the Brigand fighters, the corvettes brought by the Dauntless had unleashed their dumb-fire rockets, and now thousands of tubes of propellant and high explosive were bearing down upon them. The massed fire poured into the brigand fighters and drones, cutting them down by the hundreds, and scattering the carefully laid formation. With their duties finished, the rocket-armed corvettes broke off and began the short jaunt back to rearm and refuel.

"Yeoman Fewster," questioned Aureile, a smile evidently growing across his face "Do you have a targeting solution on the titan?"

"I do, sir. But only the keel assem-"

"Good enough," Aureile interrupted "Load keel railguns with solid slugs, if you would."

"Loaded, sir."

"Two salvos. Fire upon my mark." Aureile ordered, "Three, two, one, mark."

The Arkata shook, like it had many times before, as twelve shells were accelerated from the forward railgun batteries. Almost a streak of light, they crossed the distance between the Titans in the blink of an eye, all twelve meeting their mark. With a demented shriek, they tore into the armor of the unnamed titan, throwing melted debris into the cold grasp of space. They pushed their way through the thick external armor and firmly lodged themselves directly in the guts of the titan, atmosphere clearly bleeding from their entry points.

"Three, two, one, mark."

Another twelve solid metal slugs tore from the forward railgun assembly, and another twelve new hull openings were made on the unnamed titan.

"Now, Mister Fewster, have the monos disable whatever remains of their pitiful formation." Captain Aureile ordered, before turning to Yeoman Locke, a grin now plastered across his face. "Miss Locke, please open a channel with these pirates. I will be making them an offer they cannot refuse."

"Inform these criminals they no longer exist as pirates, Miss Locke." the Captain continued, "They are now corsairs."
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PostSubject: Re: Operation Buzzard   Thu May 30, 2013 9:03 pm

Corsairs!

the privateers the concordat needed as they moved into war time, would be these very pirates. They had refurbished this titan at the request of a rebel house for an attempted coup of House Jove. The concordat, however, would pay far better.

The pirates would accept.

FIN
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