Author Topic: Tauron Confederacy  (Read 663 times)

RedneckHamster

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Tauron Confederacy
« on: June 17, 2012, 07:04:04 AM »


Population: 4.5 billion
Primary Species: Human
Type Of Government: Constitutional Confederacy
Demonyms: Taurian, Tauron
Political Orientation: Far-right
National Colors: Grey, Blue
National Animal: Longhorn

The Tauron Confederacy is composed of the four worlds of Tauron, Gemenon, Scorpia, and Aerilon, each colonized soon after the collapse of society on Earth. Tauron serves as its nominal capital, although the central government is given only a small amount of authority by the Confederate Constitution. This authority primarily includes command of military forces, though each planet maintains its own capable military as well.

I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.

"Anything whose paint job is characterized as “avocado burst” has no business in country music."

RedneckHamster

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Re: Tauron Confederacy
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2012, 07:07:42 AM »
Tauron Confederate Navy
The Tauron Confederate Navy is the primary method of power projection employed by the Confederacy. It serves the diverse roles of offensive strike force, internal defense, and colonization support. Over time, the focal point of the Navy has shifted from Gunstars and Warstars, direct-combat capital ships, to a variety of carriers. Carriers offer longer striking range, as well as the wide tactical flexibility of a variety of strike craft and ordnance.
The Navy is under the command of the General Assembly, or whatever body fills the role of the GA in the event of an emergency. Resolutions must be passed to authorize non-defensive fleet actions and major maneuvers.

Ships of the Confederate Navy
Indra-class Supercarrier
-TCS Indra
-TCS Columbia
-TCS Revelation
-TCS Baltar

The four Indra-class ships are the flagships of each planet's navy. Each is a highly-capable ship armed with eight double KEW turrets, sixty-four RAM tubes, and point-defense weapons. They carry eight squadrons of twelve Viper fighters each, and one squadron each of Viper Mk. VIIE electronic warfare fighters and Asp Mk. II rescue/assault/strike craft. Another ship with the hull number 471 is being built over Scorpia.

Manticore-class Fast Carrier
-TCS Manticore
-TCS Hydra

The next-generation carriers of the TCN, the Manticore class is designed to permit flight operations even with its hangar pods retracted for FTL travel. They are armed with seven double KEW turrets, sixty-four RAM tubes, point defense weapons, and forty-eight ASM tubes. This heavy weaponry does, however, reduce their endurance and limit embarked squadrons to six. Optimally, they will be used as the 'tip of the spear', being among the first few ships into an enemy system and saturating enemy forces with fighters and missile fire immediately after jumping, suppressing enemy forces and clearing the area for heavier carriers. Of the eight on order, two have been delivered, and two have been laid down.

Zephyr-class Escort Carrier
-TCS Zephyr
-TCS Lee
-TCS Thresher
-TCS Blackfin
-TCS Boreas
-TCS Notus
-TCS Casablanca
-TCS Aparctias
-TCS Leyte Gulf
-TCS Skeiron
-TCS Circios
-TCS Hammerhead
-TCS Cownose
-TCS Phaenon
-TCS Aurai
-TCS Dauntless

Though technically classed as escort carriers, the Zephyr class have, in fact, turned out to be the TCN's preferred focal point for most non-flag battlegroups. They are numerous and relatively capable, being armed with forty-eight RAM tubes and six double KEW turrets. Their air wing is made up of four Viper squadrons and one Asp squadron. Sixteen ships have been constructed so far, and more are desired by the TCN.

Harrier-class Assaultstar
-TCS Harrier
-TCS Kahu
-TCS Swamp Rat
-TCS Alala
-TCS Athena
-TCS Polemos
-TCS Amphiaraus
-TCS David
-TCS Iwo Jima
-TCS Guadalcanal
-TCS Enyo
-TCS Inchon

These ships are designed for large-scale boarding and landing operations requiring regiments of Marine troops. The Army is usually deployed by dedicated troopships, but the frontal-assault role of the Marines necessitates heavily-armed craft. Each Harrier is a spaceborne battering ram with six forward-firing KEWs and a bank of sixty-four ASM tubes in addition to its thirty-two RAM launchers. They carry up to four Viper squadrons, although these are frequently replaced by Asps or landing craft to deliver Marines to surface or spaceborne targets. Twelve have been constructed thus far.

Ares-class Escort Strikestar
-TCS Ares
-TCS Shiva
-TCS Dogfish
-TCS Lonchoforos
-TCS Whipray
-TCS Berserk
-TCS Capricorn
-TCS Victorious
-TCS Rebel's Rest
-TCS Aquarius
-TCS Cupertino
-TCS Isaiah
-TCS Sinai
-TCS Euryale
-TCS Stheno
-TCS Deino
-TCS Enyo
-TCS Pemphredo
-TCS Thetis
-TCS Arethusa
-TCS Galene
-TCS Psamathe
-TCS Nereus
-TCS Lazarus
-TCS Aetna
-TCS Amphictyonis
-TCS Attis
-TCS Chloris
-TCS Curetes
-TCS Cybele
-TCS Hecaterus
-TCS Dionysus
-TCS Abraham
-TCS Dike
-TCS Eirene
-TCS Thallo
-TCS Auxo
-TCS Karpo

The Ares-class Escort Strikestars are the Tauron Confederate Navy's primary long-range combatants. They are fitted with sixty-four RAM tubes, ninety-six ASM tubes, and five double KEW turrets. Four Asps of various marks are carried in a hangar located in the forward part of the ship's spine. Two are typically deployed with each Indra-class ship's carrier group to provide long-range deterrent firepower. They are one of the main Tauron nuclear weapons delivery platforms as well. Twelve have been built out of the latest order of sixteen, and two of the following with hull numbers 472 and 473 are currently being built in orbital shipyards over Scorpia.

Sterope-class Main Battle Gunstar
-TCS Sterope
-TCS Bengal
-TCS Georgia
-TCS Cyclops
-TCS Pallas
-TCS Lubbock
-TCS Grazier
-TCS Deimos
-TCS Eucleia
-TCS Arafat
-TCS Moros
-TCS Neikea
-TCS Koalemos
-TCS Hybris

These are the TCN's main gun platforms, and act in support of carrier groups to destroy antifighter and point defense vessels, clearing the way for missiles or strike packages of Vipers and Asps. They are armed with a full fourteen double KEW turrets as well as thirty-two RAM tubes and point defense guns. Each Sterope-class Gunstar carries one squadron of Vipers in addition to its four Asps to provide defense against hostile fighters in the event that its RAMs are not sufficient and offboard fighter support is unavailable. These ships are ammunition-hungry, but are excellent in exploratory missions when provided with a fleet tender, preferably one with onboard manufacturing facilities.

Seneca-class Heavy Gunstar
-TCS Seneca
-TCS Eurybia
-TCS Epimetheus
-TCS Enceladus
-TCS Apheleia
-TCS Nomos
-TCS Proioxis
-TCS Phrike
-TCS Penthus
-TCS Tartarus
-TCS Glaucus
-TCS Nerites
-TCS Aello

The Seneca-class Gunstars are designed specifically for long-range bombardment of heavy targets. They carry four massive KEWs in fixed forward-firing mounts, as well as eight double KEW turrets. This firepower, however, comes at a price. Their endurance is reduced, forcing them to rely on vulnerable supply ships, and the capacitors for the KEWs eliminate space required for Viper bays, reducing the small craft complement to a still-respectable six Asps.

Defender-class Patrol Gunstar
-TCS Defender
-TCS Aegis
-TCS Shield
-TCS Palaemon
-TCS Karkinos
-TCS Actaeus
-TCS Argyon
-TCS Boll Weevil
-TCS Skelmis
-TCS Ormenos
-TCS Megalesius
-TCS Dexithea
-TCS Lycos
-TCS Olds
-TCS Spinner
-TCS Lemonshark
-TCS Chryson
-TCS Damascus
-TCS Jordan
-TCS Euphrates
-TCS Makelo
-TCS Tethys
-TCS Mako
-TCS Thaumas
-TCS Lysagora
-TCS Guardian
-TCS Guardsman
-TCS Belle Chasse

These ships are designed to patrol the Tauron Confederacy's shipping lanes and guard against invaders, smugglers, pirates, and others. They are armed with four double KEW turrets and thirty-two RAM tubes. Their complement includes six Asp craft for improved boarding and remote-sensing capability. Twenty-eight have been built, and a further six are in various stages of construction. The Dominion Party government is urging construction of yet more, to solidify federal control of the colonies.

Confederate Planetary Guard

The Planetary Guard forces, maintained by each member of the Confederacy for planetary defense, serve as a second-line militia force supporting the Tauron Confederate Navy. Their assets include some capital ships, but are primarily made up of ground troops and interceptor wings.

Tauron Planetary Guard
The Tauron PG is the best-funded in the Confederacy, as befits Tauron's enormous wealth. It includes multiple capital ships, as well as sophisticated fighters and infantry formations.
-TS Tauron (Sterope-class)
-TS Zeus (Sterope-class)
-TS Pantheon (Zephyr-class)
-TS Lemniscate (Ares-class)
-4 Defender-class Patrol Gunstars
-4 Fast Attack Squadrons
-18 Fighter Wings (Mk. VII)
-2 Fighter Wings (Mk. VIIE)
-2 Fighter Wings (Mk. IIQ)
-4 Strike Wings (Asp Mk. IIA)
-8 Infantry Regiments (Light)
-2 Infantry Battalions (Special)
-6 Infantry Regiments (Mechanized)
-6 Armored Regiments

Aerilon Planetary Guard


Scorpia Planetary Guard
Scorpia's Planetary Guard is not equipped with the latest in military vehicles. However, through superior training and intelligent modifications of existing hardware, its 'outdated' hardware is often the equal of (and in some ways superior to) its cutting-edge counterparts. The prime example of this is the Viper Mk. IIC, a major upgrade of the obsolete Mk. II. Its avionics have been updated, its weapons carriage expanded, and other modifications made, resulting in an excellent heavier fighter.
-SMS Centralia (Ares-class Escort Strikestar)
-SMS Anthracite (Defender-class Patrol Gunstar)
-SMS Santorum (Ares-class Escort Strikestar)
-8 Fighter Wings (Mk. IIC)
-2 Fighter Wings (Mk. II)
-2 Fighter Wings (Mk. IIQA)
-4 Infantry Regiments (Light)
-4 Armored Regiments

Gemenon Planetary Guard
Gemenon's Planetary Guard forces are renowned for their courage and fighting spirit, often making up for any deficiencies in basic equipment. Much of their equipment has been heavily modified for (relatively) close combat. An excellent example of this is the Mk. IID Viper, a heavily-modified derivative for close air support/strike. It has added a second crewman, additional armor, and a massive forty-millimeter rotary KEW capable of taking on fighters, ground troops, and capital ships alike. Gemenon has sacrificed its PG's naval capabilities for a robust fighter-interceptor force.
-LS Moses (Zephyr-class Escort Carrier)
-LS Stonewall (Ares-class Escort Strikestar)
-2 Fast Attack squadrons
-6 Fighter Wings (Mk. II)
-2 Fighter Wings (Mk. VII)
-3 Fighter Wings (Mk. IID)
-1 Interceptor Wing (Anaconda Mk. I)
-3 Strike Wings (Asp Mk. IIA)

*Bear in mind this is a work in progress, I will be adding in the neighborhood of half a dozen ship classes and numerous variants over time
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 10:17:07 AM by RedneckHamster »

I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.

"Anything whose paint job is characterized as “avocado burst” has no business in country music."

RedneckHamster

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Re: Tauron Confederacy
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2012, 07:35:43 AM »
Introducing...

I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.

"Anything whose paint job is characterized as “avocado burst” has no business in country music."

RedneckHamster

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Re: Tauron Confederacy
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2012, 07:36:46 AM »
Officers' Quarters
TCS Whipray
Gemenon star system
2256 Onboard Time


Captain James Collins sighed as he scrolled through his laptop's email inbox. There had been word of uprisings on his sister Grace's home planet, Tauron, and he hadn't heard anything from her in over two weeks, despite repeated emails. Worried, he turned to his roommate, First Lieutenant Toby Duncan. Duncan shrugged as he flipped through several LLTV images taken by one of the Asps during a successful antipiracy mission several days prior.
"I don't know, man. Just wait it out, I guess. Hop a liner once you get leave," Duncan said, trying to seem nonchalant, but in reality he was completely unsure as to how to respond. Collins wasn't a bad guy, occasionally a bit moralistic, and was a great Asp driver with numerous successful missions under his belt and at least once recommendation for a promotion to Major and possibly a detachment commander's position.
"Yeah, I'm gonna try and get myself some liberty time. Figure out just what the hell is going on on Tauron. I bet it's those damned city slickers..." Collins muttered, rising from his thermoplastic rolling chair to sit down on his bunk. He slid open the sliding cover of the small bookcase next to his right shoulder, pulling out a battered paperback novel. On the novel's cracked cover, a ship rather similar to one of the Navy's carriers was duking it out with an alien ship composed of two vertically-stacked opposite triangles. The book, titled Pegasus Fallen, was written from the point of view of a starship captain in a distant empire as he saw his nation crumbling around him, eventually coming to the point of war with manmade sentient robots. Previously just a space filler in his bookcase, the novel had gained relevance in light of recent events.
It had started months ago with the revolt of miners on Scorpia, an uncharacteristic event on such a typically disciplined planet. The Marines had eventually been called in, resulting in a bloody massacre that killed nineteen and left seventy injured. The massacre seemed to have set off a firestorm, resulting in six more similar revolts, one of which had pitted planetary defense Mk. II Viper squadrons against Navy Mk. VIIs, with losses on both sides.
Collins knew things were worsening beyond simple disgruntled miners when the reports started filtering from Tauron. Grace had sent a single email, mostly incomprehensible but containing the semi-believable statement that she was fine.
He and Hannah had no flight operations scheduled until ten o'clock the next morning, a welcome change from high-tempo operations that resulted from the incursion of a large pirate fleet directly into TC territory. He had Pegasus Fallen and a recent sequel to read, as well as NATOPS manuals to study if the need struck him.
"Duncan, you got duty tonight?" Collins asked, looking across the small stateroom to his roommate.
"Nah, man. I'm just lookin' over some of these shots y'all took of those pirates," the lieutenant answered. He was one of the Whipray's senior intelligence officers, and was currently heading the analysis of the pirates' offensive capabilities. The logic was that if they had committed a fleet to a well-defended system, they were either extremely well-equipped, with a stockpile of ships rivaling that of most small nations, or acting on some as-yet unknown agenda. The so-called 'epileptic trees' stemming from the attacks were massive, and even the analysis computers weren't making much headway.
Collins sat in silence for forty minutes, reading two chapters of Pegasus Fallen. The main character, a captain in the Virgon Navy, was chronicling his experience in a prior major war and how it led up to his being given command of the carrier Hera. Collins, being a strike pilot himself, got a kick out of the descriptions of the captain's exploits with his squadron of Blackbird fighters. He felt his eyelids grow heavy, finally dog-earing his current page and replacing the book in the bookcase and changing out of his olive-drab flightsuit and into a VS-48 'Crusaders' squadron T-shirt, before turning in for the night. The wall-mount clock radio read 2336.

*          *          *

Collins was awakened in the middle of the night by the blaring of klaxons and whining of unfamiliar engines somewhere across the Whipray. He quickly rose, pulled on woodland camouflage utilities in an attempt to look presentable, and slipped out of the cabin. Stepping into dim red 'night' lighting of the corridor running the length of the Escort Strikestar's 'neck', he began running towards the hangar. If there was engine noise, it had to be from the hangar...
Three of VS-48's four Asps sat idle on the hangar deck, surrounded by ground support equipment. A quick glance at the assignment board showed that Diana Jennings and John Evensong were flying in 478, which for some reason was fragged on a CSAR mission.
That wasn't the odd part, however. A few technicians scurried about in the subdued lighting, working on open panels on Asps.
No, the unfamiliar black craft parked in the transient hangar spot was the odd part. It was, in contrast to an Asp's angular, utilitarian lines, a sleek executive craft with a strange insignia painted in white on each engine nacelle. The trio of black-clad men exiting from the ship's door only added to the otherness of the whole thing.
Unnerved, Collins returned to to his cabin, planning to either go back to sleep or read another chapter of Pegasus Fallen. I think I remember something about men in black in Chapter 7...

To be continued...

I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.

"Anything whose paint job is characterized as “avocado burst” has no business in country music."

RedneckHamster

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Re: Tauron Confederacy
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2012, 07:37:03 AM »
Tauron System
Tauron Confederacy


Kenny Rogers checked the instruments of the heavy starliner he was piloting, satisfied that its autopilot was holding it on a course towards Tauron's orbit, where a de-orbit burn would take the ship into the planet's atmosphere and to its target.
"Tauron Orbital, Polar Six-Three-Seven Heavy for orbital insertion," he radioed.
"Polar Six-Three-Seven Heavy, Tauron Orbital. Go ahead," one of the dozens of traffic controllers replied.
Rogers pulled the clipboard containing the various codes, frequencies and headings required for the mission from its place next to his worn seat, consulting the orbital characteristics.
"Tauron Orbital, Polar Six-Three-Seven Heavy. Inclination zero-seven-eight, altitude two zero thousand. De-orbit following one period," he said, describing the brief orbital profile details that would aid the controllers in safely guiding his ship to its target.
Polar Six-Three-Seven Heavy, formerly the Pan Tauron Spaceways liner Clipper Tara, was a retired luxury liner converted for use as a cargo hauler. She had served for fifteen years with Polar Rapid Cargo, ferrying animals, foodstuffs, and other perishables across the Confederacy.
Now co-opted by Rogers and his associates, 637 was loaded with a different cargo- sixteen tons of thermobaric fuel-air explosives.
"Polar Six-Three-Seven Heavy, Tauron Orbital. We have your transponder, acquiring course data now."
Rogers sat back as the spacecraft's autopilot guided it into orbit. He began thinking, deep and hard, about the events which would imminently transpire.
It is the gods' will, he thought. Retribution against the oppressors who have destroyed my planet. None shall survive...
Remembering the schedule, he pulled several circuit breakers on the overhead panel and watched as the navigational aids flickered and died one by one.
Several long seconds passed.
"Polar Six-Three-Seven Heavy, Tauron Orbital. We just lost your signal, what's your status?"
"Tauron Orbital, we just lost power from the APU. I'm trying to reroute power but the links aren't working properly. The APU was giving high temp indications before it went, we may have a fire."
"Roger, Six-Three-Seven. Are you declaring an emergency?"
"Negative, switching to manual control. Could you clear our route for us?"
"Affirmative, clearing traffic from your descent corridor."
Rogers smiled as he listened to the chatter of about a half-dozen spacecraft being forced to move aside. All will stand aside for Olypmus.
He waited until the liner was only minutes from entering Tauron's atmosphere before making a radio call.
"Tauron Orbital! Six-Three-Seven's got a fire in the APU bay! The detector's no good and our halon can't handle it! We are declaring an emergency, repeat, declaring an emergency!" He feigned the half-octave rise in the pitch of voices of those in fear.
"Six-Three Seven, are you able to eject?"
"Negative, we have no ejection systems. We're gonna have to ride her down," Rogers lied. "Be advised our electrical is intermittent and we're about to reenter." Though it was not directly stated by Rogers, the controller knew that the plasma sheath formed during reentry blocked radio communications.
Of course, Rogers had no intention of riding 637 down into the cities below. No, he had other plans. Unbuckling his harness, he stood and walked the fifteen feet to the bulkhead separating the freighter's crew section from the cargo bay. He opened the bulkhead's door, leaning down to check the fuzes on the thermobarics, before unlatching a narrow hatch in the floor.  He descended the narrow stainless-steel ladder, picking a helmet up from a small shelf on one side of the compartment.
In the center of the compartment, a Mk. II Viper sat on its landing wheels, unarmed but in excellent condition. One of Rogers' 'associates' had bought it at a Navy surplus auction when the Indra's carrier wing had gone over to the Mk. VII standard. Rogers hit the covered 'CANOPY OPEN' switch on the fighter's side, triggering the hydraulics which opened its lightly-framed polycarbonate canopy. He pulled the full-face helmet on, ensuring that its lower adapter properly sealed itself to the pressure suit he wore, before climbing into the Viper's cockpit. He began its engine start-up sequence and closed the canopy, watching as the fighter's systems came alive. The Mk. II Viper was a relatively simple craft, but still sported multiple LCD multifunction displays for navigation and targeting management. Its nuclear powerplant spooled up, and Rogers transmitted twice over the fighter's radio to open the hangar bay's door. The doors slid open on graphite-lubricated rails, heated to avoid the phenomenon known as cold welding that often fused ill-prepared moving parts on spacecraft.
Rogers tapped the Viper's RCS joystick, firing a brief burst of propellant gas, large enough to force the fighter out of the hangar bay. He closed the hangar hatch, watching the freighter begin its automated landing sequence as his mount hung nearly motionless in orbit.
Not that the General Assembly building made much of a runway, of course.

I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.

"Anything whose paint job is characterized as “avocado burst” has no business in country music."

RedneckHamster

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Re: Tauron Confederacy
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2012, 07:37:26 AM »
Onboard Asp 490
Star System Four-Two Uniform


Captain James Collins and his copilot, First Lieutenant Hannah Delacroix, each pulled small blue spiral-bound books from their pressure suits and began running through the orbital-insertion checklists. Collins fired a prescribed RCS burst with the system's joystick, watching as the forward velocity vector indicator decreased. The delta-v required was significant, but several Mk. II Asps off the Revelation were acting as tankers, maintaining a high orbit to rendezvous with any 'thirsty' spacecaft.
"You trust this briefing?" Hannah asked. "We've only been in-system for a few days, how do we know there's no defenses?"
"I've been thinking the same thing," Collins responded. "I talked to Duncan about it last night. He says they haven't come up with any DRADIS emissions that would hint at defenses. Of course, since we don't know quite what these critters are, exactly, they might not use DRADIS or anything like it."
"Damn, that's scary to think about," Hannah said. "So, you mean...they might use completely different tech than us?"
"That's exactly what I mean. If they were just like us, we'd call em people, not aliens. Not that they're what I'm worried about."
"Oh?" Collins couldn't see exactly, because of Delacroix's gold helmet visor, but he imagined her raising her eyebrows in curiosity.
"Yeah." He explained the situation with his sister to Hannah. "I got no idea what we're coming home to. If there's anything to come home to."
Hannah shuddered despite her pressure suit's climate control system being set to a comfortable 75 degrees. "Ain't that a scary thought." She laughed nervously. "Maybe those Olympus wackjobs blew something up. Speaking of stuff blowing up, did you hear about that liner crash?"
Collins shook his head.
"Crashed on Tauron, hit an alartment complex in the Government District. Killed about four hundred, five hundred. Big mess."
The pilot nodded slowly. "Where'd you hear that?"
"TNN." TNN, the Tauron News Network, was one of the- if not the- most widely-broadcasted networks in the Confederacy.
"Is that so. RCS burn coming up, by the way," Collins said casually. Hannah read the specifics, and Collins made the attitude change and corresponding retrograde burn.
490 and its crew were tasked with ferrying two diplomatic representatives and four Marine bodyguards to 42U-3's surface for a meeting with the planet's leaders. A major conflict appeared to be ongoing, but the belligerents were as yet unclear. As insurance, two Assaultstars and the carrier Revelation were in orbit around other planets, along with escort Strikestars and Gunstars. Nobody in-system knew exactly what the operational plans and objectives were, as word had yet to be received from the Diplomatic Corps. Hannah had cut the diplomats out of the intercom system, except for a real emergency.
Damn...we get deployed in the middle of...whatever it is...back home? What exactly are the bureaucrats trying to do? Leave us defenseless?
And I ain't even heard from Grace. I'm not going to, not until we get back home. No way they'll risk a courier ship in here. No, the paper-pushers don't give a damn about us. We fight for them, for God's sake.
Bastards.

"You okay?" Hannah asked, looking across the cockpit at the pilot. She sounded concerned.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Collins answered. "Just thinkin', that's all."
"Your sister?"
"Exactly."
"Duncan told me about that. I'm sorry," Hannah said, fidgeting with her crucifix and saying a quick prayer.
"Thanks."
The Asp began its final de-orbit burn, starting to enter 42U-3's atmosphere. The plasma sheath began to build, and outside radio communications started fading to static. Delacroix triggered the Asp's canopy dimmer, turning it partially opaque to reduce the glare generated by the reentry friction-glow. The grasslands below gradually came into view as the gunship punched through the atmosphere, appearing as a meteor to those below who bothered to look.

I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.

"Anything whose paint job is characterized as “avocado burst” has no business in country music."

RedneckHamster

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Re: Tauron Confederacy
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2012, 07:37:44 AM »
Onboard Viper 2489
Scorpia System


Major Liam Haricot glanced up and right at his wingman, whose Mk. VII Viper hung motionless relative to Haricot's own fighter. Two other fighters made up Blue 7 flight, composed of Blue 71- Haricot- Blue 72- Jenkins, Blue 73- Ferric- and Quentin in Blue 74. They had launched from the gunstar Cyclops, home to VF-32 'Bengals' and VS-53 'Golden Lions', on a routine patrol of the Scorpia system. In the absence of a large fraction of the fleet, off fighting both an alien civil war and the Valushan empire, the remaining assets were taxed and spread thin.
Which is why the Cyclops' captain had chosen this day.
It had been eight days since a commercial spaceliner had slammed into the Government District on Tauron. Haricot had personally known the pilot of the liner, one Ken Rogers, having met him in flight training ten years ago. Rogers had since left the service, but still flew liners and older Vipers for fun and profit. Haricot had elected to stay in, and sailed through the ranks unusually quickly- some would say too quickly- until he was the leader of a squadron of twelve of the most powerful starfighters in the known galaxy. Not one day went past that he didn't thank the gods for his success. And a few friends, too.
"Blue 73, 71," Haricot said. "You picking up any good SIGINT?" Ferric was flying one of VF-32's two Mk. VIIR recon Vipers, specially fitted with electronic and visual reconnaissance
 equipment and perfect for the type of long-range patrols being undertaken. It sacrificed one of the 20mm KEWs and two of the six missile hardpoints in each weapons bay, but gained a valuable electronic warfare capability.
"Negative, 71," Ferric replied, his Tauron accent coming through, even with the distorted, monotone radio signal. "No buzzards," he said, using the TCN code for pirate fighters. Not that that was all it was code for. Three of the four pilots knew its significance. Haricot couldn't manipulate the schedule to make that number four without raising eyebrows.
"Roger, keep an eye out for red buzzards," Haricot ordered.
"Red buzzards, copy."
Ferric peeled out of the formation with a quick RCS burst and main-engine firing, orientating his Viper towards Jenkins in Blue 72. The system momentarily tried to lock on, detecting a target, but then displayed a red X on Ferric's helmet-mounted display. He flipped the 'IFF INTERROGATE' switch on the right side panel to 'OFF', clicked the master safety switch off, and pulled the trigger.
The Viper's three twenty-millimeter KEWs spat fire and tungsten, tearing into Jenkins' fighter. The fighter tore apart under the impact of sixty rounds, its reactor breaching and cooking off the six missiles loaded into its magazines. Ferric didn't bother resetting the 'IFF INTERROGATE' switch.
"I never did like that damn redneck anyway," Haricote said, looking back at the expanding debris cloud from the Aerilon native's fighter.
"Hear, hear," Ferric agreed.
"Two doves, zero-six-three, zero-one-seven," Quentin announced. 'Doves' were civilian cargo ships with no mounted weapons. They were completely defenseless against any kind of attack. These particular examples were Gazelle-class bulk freighters belonging to the Mueller shipping line, and laden with oxidizing agents for use in bulk fuel.
Haricot and Ferric's Vipers both carried two Harpoon anti-shipping missiles in their bays, each one fitted with a one-hundred-pound armor-piercing warhead. Haricot, who was scheduled to take the first shot, selected the missile on his Viper's central MFD's WEAPONS page, having disabled 'IFF INTERROGATE'. He steered the DRADIS cursor onto the ship's 'blip', and fired.
"Blue 71, missile away," he said. The Bulldog ejected clear with a burst of cold-gas, then fired its own engine and streaked away towards its target. Ferric launched one of his Harpoons against the other Mueller freighter.
Several minutes later, after the Vipers had executed a heading and vector change, the two Harpoons impacted.
The first freighter was hit in its engine bay, doing little structural damage. The experienced crew, thinking quickly, shut down the main NERVA powerplant to avoid a catastrophic failure.
The second freighter, however, was not quite as lucky. It was struck amidships, directly in its cargo bays. Several thousand tons of oxidizer ignited under the armor-piercing warhead, initiating a self-sustaining exothermic oxygen reaction.
In other words, the oxidizer caught fire. In space. The net result was a rapidly-growing cloud of burning crystals.
"Okay, I'm reading two good hits," Quentin said. She had lost her parents when a Mueller freighter collided with the liner they were travelling on, and had never really forgiven the corporation, no matter what the official statement may have said. Revenge was sweet.
"Blue 7 elements, Cyclops just sent an LPI data burst my way. They've engaged and destroyed the Polar Queen. Red Buzzard executed, Blue 7 is RTB," Haricot said. The Polar Queen was- was- a luxury liner hailing from Tauron loaded with VIPs in transit to Scorpia.

*          *          *

Haricot eased the Viper into its landing slot back onboard the Cyclops, Quentin and Ferric landing alongside him. The three pilots opened their fighters' canopies, removing their helmets and breathing in the oily, filtered air of the hangar. The eight other surviving Vipers of VF-32 sat in varying states, two disassembled for heavy maintenance, one with panels pulled, another undergoing an engine swap, and the remainder ready for flight. As Haricot initiated the shutdown sequence, he reverted the Viper's IFF 'squawk' from Scorpian Planetary Guard standard to the Cyclops' code, and deleted any history of the prior code from the system.

Officers' Quarters
TCS Whipray
Gemenon System
1925 Onboard Time


James Collins shook his head in dismay at the news headline from Tauron. Scorpian PG fighters had destroyed several Tauron vessels in an apparently unprovoked attack that killed several hundred, including a large number of VIPs on the liner Polar Queen. Tauron had brought several of its own warships into the Scorpia system, and word was that the General Assembly had voted to deploy Confederate Navy units to the system as well. Collins couldn't imagine that going over well- Scorpia was the most heavily-militarized system in the  Confederacy. The question of terrorism had been raised, but then ruled out by the fact that the fighters had appeared to be Mk. VII Vipers, which weren't available on the open market yet, and all were accounted for.
Duncan, for all his Intelligence training and experience, couldn't come to any conclusions whatsoever, other than the warning that "It's falling apart. Think whatever you want about this mess...it's probably all true."

I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.

"Anything whose paint job is characterized as “avocado burst” has no business in country music."

RedneckHamster

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Re: Tauron Confederacy
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2012, 07:38:02 AM »
Onboard Nightingale 0666
Scorpia System


"Black 8 Flight, go LPI. EMCON-4 is in effect," said Major Tracy Harrison, a Nightingale Mk. IA stealth fighter pilot in the Tauron Navy. Not the TCN, mind you, the Tauron Navy.
She flipped the 'LPI' switch, shifting the Nightingale into Low-Probability of Intercept mode. This disabled all communications except for the secure datalink, shut down the DRADIS system, and permitted only passive sensors to avoid betraying the fighter's location.
Harrison moved the throttle forward for a few seconds, firing a long burst from the fighter's NERVA engine and beginning the reentry process. The fighter and its three companions began reentry at a very high speed to minimize the time spent with an easily-detected plasma sheath, and maximize their energy upon beginning atmospheric flight. The canopy automatically increased its opacity to compensate for the bright heat flare of reentry, and the fighter began losing speed.
Harrison checked her weapons panels again. The four armor-piercing bombs carried in the Nightingale's weapons bays prevented it from carrying any anti-fighter ordnance for self-defense, but its low-observable properties would hopefully eliminate any need for that. Low-observable in both DRADIS and infrared wavelengths thanks to edge alignment and exhaust dispersion, the Nightingales were a special breed of limited-production stealthy strike craft operated only by Tauron and the TCN. The former flew two squadrons, the latter, four, compared to the hundreds of Viper and other fighter squadrons in the Confederacy.
Each Nightingale had its own inbound and outbound tracks from its target, computer-calculated to offer the minimum chance of detection on both ingress and egress. The computer's autopilot would fly the track precisely; the pilots were effectively only weapons officers and systems managers.
Harrison didn't know what exactly was being hit, aside from the fact that her squadron had been ordered into the system on the stealth carrier Banshee after Scorpian PG forces destroyed several Tauron merchant ships and a luxury liner. The coordinates of the target placed it on the planet's equatorial band, the most comfortable part of the inhospitable planet's surface. Harrison's three subordinate fighters were striking similarly-positioned points with general-purpose and cluster bombs.
Based on the reentry point, it would only take Harrison's Nightingale about fifteen minutes to reach the target. Content to allow the computer to fly the mission at a speed of Mach 3 and the blistering altitude of 300 feet above ground, she slid back in her ejection seat and raised her helmet's visor. The fighter's DHAW (DRADIS Homing and Warning Receiver) showed four older-model Vipers launching from a Scorpian PG base, and one Asp Mk. IID AWACS bird loitering two hundred miles away at 60,000 feet altitude, while air-defense DRADIS sites pinged the fighter regularly- all or nearly all of their radiation being deflected away or absorbed, causing the Nightingale to appear with the signature of a steel marble at the largest.
The fifteen minutes passed quickly. Harrison lowered her visor again as the two-minute alert sounded. She clicked the master arm switch on, and selected the four bombs. Their coordinates were preselected; it was up to Harrison to release them. Four times she pressed the 'pickle' button on the main control stick, which had reverted to aerodynamic control surfaces in Scorpia's thin atmosphere. The Nightingale's weapons bay doors opened for less than a second total, the bombs being ejected by re-purposed shotgun shells.
As she executed the pullout onto the egress vector, the target's identity became clear. A long runway was visible on Scorpia's hardened rock surface, with several taxiways leading into large sliding doors in the cliffs. Two Vipers were visible taxiing, but everything else on the fighter base appeared to be built into the cliffs and hardened against attacks.
Not that the armor-piercing bombs knew or cared, however. Their first charge punched through the hangar doors, while the second detonated the primary thousand-pound warhead inside the underground hangars, damaging or destroying dozens of fighters.
Now, Harrison understood. We're hitting their fighter bases in exchange for them blowing up our merchant ships...
A chill ran down the major's spine. Except Scorpia never got Mark Seven Vipers.

I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.

"Anything whose paint job is characterized as “avocado burst” has no business in country music."

RedneckHamster

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Re: Tauron Confederacy
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2012, 07:38:30 AM »
Tauron Capital Zone
Tauron System


Grace Collins-Buchanan shrugged as the TNN news broadcast played on her tablet computer. The announcer was describing the attacks on Tauron merchant ships and a liner by Scorpian Planetary Guard fighters less than twenty-four hours ago. In retaliation, Tauron had dispatched naval forces to destroy the Scorpian fighter bases responsible for the attacks. The Navy had also been brought in by order of the General Assembly- what a joke that is, Grace thought- to prevent any further attacks.
The coffee shop's other customers looked curiously in her direction as she snorted at the broadcast. They'll know.They'll know soon enough. And who'll be laughing then? Grace stood, clicking the standby button on the tablet, its liquid crystal display dimming to black. She walked to the trash can, threw away the wrapper of the pastry she had bought, and walked out the door carrying a thermally-insulated cup of coffee with artificial sweetener.
She increased her pace in response to a thuggish-looking man with a barely-conceal holstered pistol underneath a trench coat bumping into her a little too forcefully to be accidental. Above, high-rises towered several thousand feet above street level. An unmarked white liner soared by on an orbital-boost flight pattern. Though Grace knew a major Air Force base with nearly a hundred fighters was nearby, they were nearly never seen, thanks to helpful -some would say overbearing- noise-abatement regulations.
That thought brought her to her brother, James. A Navy pilot, she hadn't seen him in months, and the last email she had sent was over two weeks ago. Though she didn't care much to return his emails, she could put it off to the massive restrictions placed on outside communications and travel after the attack.
Contrary to what TNN said, the liner hadn't actually hit an apartment complex. No, it had struck the General Assembly dead-on during a debate, killing every last occupant of the building. The Confederate government was effectively decapitated; the operative word in that statement being was. In the interim, the head of the Dominion Party had stepped up as the Director of the government to lead until a new Assembly could be elected. He had instated the censorship and travel restrictions, with the stated goal of avoiding a panic while the Confederacy was at war.
Her brother again. His ship, the Whipray, was one of the Gemenon Planetary Guard's small fleet of warships. While much of the Navy was deployed against the Valushans and to 32Y-3 in support of alien guerrillas, the Guard was being used to defend most of Confederate space. Trusting the nation to a bunch of overrated rednecks in battleships...what could possibly go wrong? Grace, a Dominion Party campaign manager, didn't hold planetary forces in especially high regard. Her brother, not a stupid guy, was, in her opinion, wasting his time flying space junk when he could be making six figures or more with a corporation on Tauron.
Though Grace had been born on Gemenon, she had more or less disowned her home planet in favor of cosmopolitan, wealthy Tauron. The younger daughter of a doctor and a miner-turned-Redemptionist Christian preacher, she had jumped at the chance to see the planets in high school, and had wound up leaving her home forever at the age of nineteen. She had no love for the rock drill and King James.
Her talent for public speaking distinguished her, eventually leading to a successful political career. The Dominion Party had naturally appealed to her, as her father's anti-federal planetary-rights diatribe had driven her in completely the opposite direction he had hoped. He had, as Grace had overheard him say on voice calls, "a good Christian soldier for a son, and a federalist heathen for a daughter." She had declined communication with him for the entire six years since leaving home, and the gap had only widened from there.
Still, Grace had largely put her bitter past behind her. She ran the Dominion Party's operations in this particular district of the Capital Zone, and was on her way to a major meeting with a party sponsor. The coffee shop was only a side stop.
The sponsor's offices were only a few blocks from the coffee shop, and Grace had chosen to walk. The views on Tauron were incredible, and the exercise was great.
Walking briskly, she passed a construction crew re-pouring the bed for light rail tracks. One of the workers looked up from his work, clearly assessing Grace's physical assets. She looked away, turning up her nose. He shook his head and returned to working the concrete pump, disgusted at the behavior of so many of the upper class on Tauron.
The massive high-rise offices and apartments had actually began to block out the sun in some places, necessitating artificial lighting. Not here. Grace knew exactly when she would walk out onto a gloomy street full of workers and derelicts, and when she would find herself in a shimmering glass canyon. Now was one of the latter times.
About halfway to her destination, she noticed a man painting graffiti on the base of a parking garage. She would have written it off to the usual vandals had the thin, bearded man not written Matt 10:36 in blue paint. That didn't jibe with anything she'd seen before on Tauron. But yet it seems familiar...
The rest of the walk passed uneventfully. Grace entered the building's lobby, walking down the marble-lined corridor to the reception desk. She presented her Dominion Party credentials to the receptionist, who nodded, handed her a card marked Torres Industries, and waved her towards the primary elevator cluster.
The elevators ran along the side of the building, their cars constructed of transparent acrylic. Grace stepped inside one, consulting the card given to her by the receptionist. She punched in '343' for the floor number, and pressed the 'GO' button. The elevator immediately began accelerating, quickly reaching an extremely high speed. Grace looked outwards at the familiar but changing skyline of the Capital Zone. Dozens of buildings had been constructed in this district alone in the six years she had lived on Tauron, each more impressive than the last. With over two billion inhabitants and the largest economy of any of the colonies by a factor of about four, Tauron had the means and the reason to build ever-larger structures  to house its population and their burgeoning businesses.
A private VTOL darted by as the elevator began to decelerate. Grace clutched her tablet, walking out of the elevator once it had stopped. She consulted the digital map of the floor installed on a touchscreen console next to the elevator exit, finding her destination. Less than five minutes later, she walked into the conference room, noting the dozen or so men in suits seated at the thick oval wood table. Grace introduced herself and her affiliation before plugging her tablet into the data terminal at the front of the conference room. She entered a few commands, lowering the paper-thin screen and bringing its display to life. A golden lemniscate appeared on the screen, followed by a photo of a Mark Seven Viper in Tauron markings.

I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.

"Anything whose paint job is characterized as “avocado burst” has no business in country music."

RedneckHamster

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Re: Tauron Confederacy
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2012, 07:38:47 AM »

Hangar Bay, TCS Cyclops
Scorpia System
Tauron Confederacy


Liam Haricot looked up from his card game, confused, as Klaxons began sounding.
"All hands, man battlestations. All hands, man battlestations," the PA blared. "VF-32, scramble!"
Haricot, Quentin, and the two other pilots threw their cards down- Quentin cursed, she had just been dealt a rather good hand- and raced to their Vipers. All four had been in their pressure suits when the scramble order was given, allowing for takeoff in potentially as little as five minutes. Each reached their assigned fighter in under thirty seconds, finding their crew chiefs directing hangar bay personnel in arming and fueling the Vipers.
Haricot took 2489, his personal Viper, scrambling up the boarding ladder and pulling his helmet on. As the Weapons personnel drew away, he flipped the battery switch, providing a momentary surge of current that jump-started the Viper's reactor. The main LCD came to life, though DRADIS was disabled inside the hangar to avoid any unnecessary radiation exposure for the ground crew. Haricot allowed the rector and NERVA engines to spool up before closing the canopy. He flipped the LCD to the 'WEAPONS' page, checking his ordnance status. The left KEW was loaded with 389 rounds of 30-millimeter HEI, while the right gun was loaded with 374 of the same. The dorsal gun wasn't armed at all, a relatively common practice that saved time. Each missile bay was loaded with four JAVELIN anti-fighter missiles.
"Vipers, Cyclops control here. You are Blue Six Flight. 2489, Blue 61 and downwards by grade. Launch immediately. An unidentified capital ship, possibly of Valushan origin, just jumped in to the system. We picked it up on DRADIS, and it is refusing to answer our hails. You are to intercept and make contact."
"Blue 61 copies," Haricot said, firing the Viper's thrusters and starting it rolling to the launch point. The three other fighters came up almost simultaneously, hangar personnel ducking out of the designated taxi paths. Once the Vipers reached the hangar edge, JBD jet blast deflectors coming up on their hydraulics to deflect NERVA exhaust away from the hangar crews.
"Blue 6 Flight, prepare for launch on my mark," Haricot began. "Three, two, one, mark." He shoved the Mk. VII's throttle to the firewall, burning through a large portion of the fighter's fuel with a large initial burn. The Cyclops had already oriented itself such that the hangar doors faced towards the unidentified contact, minimizing the delta-V expenditure required of fighters. Although the Gunstar did not possess built-in launch tubes like dedicated carriers, it could still give its pilots a leg up.
The four-Viper flight launched clear, each fighter firing its engines for several seconds more before coasting.
"Listen up, Blue 6. We've got a large warship on the edge of the system. Keep it tight, and hit the music." By 'music', Haricot was referring to the sophisticated electronic-countermeasures systems integrated into the Viper's avionics suite. He flipped several configuration switches, adjusting the ECM to match ELINT data the Cyclops had datalinked to Blue 6.
"Blue 6 Flight, this is Indra Tac Ops. Be advised we've got two full carrier groups inbound to that thing. One of our Asps ran some scans, and...ah...we thought it was about the size of a carrier and at long range. As it turns out, it's ten times that size and at one-tenth the range."
"Copy, Indra. Blue 61 standing by for instructions," Haricot said. The Indra's on our side. Our side. Might as well play along...this could be fun.
"Aye, Blue 61. Hold at range 142 for CAP, engage any fighters coming off that beast.
"It's confirmed hostile?"
"They tried to lock weapons on our Asp and one of our FACs that went too close. We think it's hurting, it's full of holes and the EM spectrum looks like nothing you've ever seen before. Plus it's displaying similarities to the Valushans we routed last week."
"That's good enough for me. What's the ETA on those carrier groups?"
"One-five minutes.
"Blue 61 copies. Blue 6 Flight, hold formation. Retroactive burn to stat by range 142 from target. Target magnitude ten point two-five zero-zero."
"Damn, sir. That's one big sucker," Blue 64, a Gemenon native, said in awe.
"Comm discipline," Haricot snapped, watching the DRADIS/Blue Force Tracker fusion display on the LCD's MAIN page. The Indra and Columbia carrier battle groups were closing with the ship at flank speed. Each group was composed of its focal point, the carrier, four Main Battle Gunstars, two Heavy Gunstars, six Escort Strikestars, and two Fast Attack (Missile) squadrons, for a total of two dozen surface combatants, four dozen light missile carriers, and six escort carriers in addition to the larger formations. Based on text messages pinging back and forth across the fleet, electronic warfare measures being undertaken were almost completely suppressing the ship's damaged arrays. Any targeting it did would be at significantly reduced efficacy.
Haricot watched as the carriers' icons ceased thrust one by one, turning one side and then the other towards the Valushan ship. Icons representing a total of forty carrier-based Viper squadrons began appearing as the fighters were fired from their carriers' launch tubes. Most of the Vipers were of the newer Mark VII variety, but eleven squadrons flew Mark IIs, at least one of which flew the old Mk. IIA. Two squadrons of Mk. VIIE electronic-warfare Vipers were also being launched.
Messages being sent from the tactical operations centers on the two supercarriers were calling to cripple the ship through precise application of force. The agreed-upon solution was to engage its weapons systems with anti-shipping missiles, hopefully forcing a surrender as the ship's offensive and defensive capabilities were gradually crippled. The expected next wave of ten Asp squadrons would deliver the ultimate load of several hundred missiles if the ship's crew's fighting spirit survived a significant portion of the Tauron fleet.
The text messages became more frantic and misspellings more common as the frontline ships began engaging. Voice communication ceased, replaced by secure data-bursts of text, freeing bandwith and creating a thoroughly spooky environment where the only sounds were the hiss of Haricot's suit environmental control system and the barely-audible background thrum of the reactor.
RED 7 FLIGHT FIRE HARPOON FIRE FIRE FIRE
BLUE 4 GET ON THOSE TORPEDOES
GS PROIOXIS FIRE DECKS 3 4 5 INITIATING FIRE SUPPRESSION ALL WEAPONS CEASE FIRE
ASP 9 FLIGHT TARGET PLASMA CANNONS FIRE HARPOONS
SS AMPHICTYONIS REACTOR CRITICAL
A bright light flared in the distance, its blinding intensity reduced by the dual layers of the Viper's canopy and Haricot's own helmet. Several capital ships had blinked off the radar.
"Blue 6 flight, torpedoes inbound! Engage!" the major shouted suddenly as Valushan torpedoes were acquired by the Viper's DRADIS system. An IRST would have been nice, but you took what you could get...
Haricot fired off four JAVELIN missiles, destroying three torpedoes. Blue 6 engaged and destroyed eleven of the weapons, but they were far from the last. The strikestar Euryale exploded in a storm of debris. Even in its weakened state, the Valushans were dealing damage. Three squadrons of Vipers had been destroyed, with a reasonable pilot survival rate- but still far from the current 90% in the Mordi-Ki theater.
60% TARGET WEAPONS SYSTEMS NEUTRALIZED, a text message flashed across the LCD. Haricot fired off a quick message to the Cyclops regarding ammunition levels on the keyboard located just below the LCD before something struck the Viper's dorsal fin, starting the fighter into a spin. Haricot rapidly pulled back on the attitude-control sidestick, counteracting the spin, but an alarm was still blaring. No joke the dorsal gun's offline, he thought. I must have hit some debris or something.
One of the escort carriers reported taking a torpedo hit, and that it had a serious fire in one of the hangar pods. It couldn't be voided because of the eighty-odd personnel in the pod.
"Blue 61 took some debris, I'm still in this," Haricot said. "Another torpedo flight coming in, stay sharp."
ASP 3 FLIGHT DECOY RELEASE
A disabled fast-attack craft drifted by at an alarmingly high relative speed, venting atmosphere and shedding debris. An old-model Viper launched clear of its tiny hangar just before a decent-sized explosion tore part of the armed liner's belly out.
GS EUCLEIA AMMUNITION COMPARTMENT FIRE INI-

*         *          *

Onboard the bridge of the Gunstar Georgia, Captain Noah Williams was urging the head of a damage-control party to prioritize restoring power to a damaged ammunition elevator. The staccato braaaaaaap of the Georgia's guns had dimmed as one quarter of its double automatic KEW turrets fell silent, their magazines dry. Not that it sounded any different- or at all, for that matter- outside the tiny pocket of atmosphere that was the Gunstar's hull.

To be continued...

I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.

"Anything whose paint job is characterized as “avocado burst” has no business in country music."

RedneckHamster

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Re: Tauron Confederacy
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2012, 07:39:09 AM »
Combat Information Center, TCS Georgia
Scorpia System
Tauron Confederacy


Captain Williams breathed a sigh of relief as the ammunition flow icon re-lit on the weapons systems panel. The four turrets resumed firing at the Valushan ship's weapons systems, each turret firing over five hundred forty-millimeter rounds each minute.
"Sir, our IR sensors just recorded a large explosion on the target," one of the Sensors technicians said. "This thing's electromagnetic emissions are dropping, I think their fire-control systems are about shot."
"All right, good to hear it. Fire Control, focus fire on their sensor arrays. They can't hurt us if they can't see us."
"Yessir."
60% TARGET WEAPONS SYSTEMS NEUTRALIZED
Several thousand rounds from the Georgia's guns slammed into one of the Volstag's sensor domes, rupturing it and causing electronic equipment to spark and shatter, expelling debris fragments into space with substantial force. The other guns destroyed another sensor dome.
"Ah, their systems are totally down, sir. We're receiving messages from the target," the Sensors tech said.
"Encrypted?" Williams asked.
"Negative, sir. It's all gibberish."
"Comms, can you get a translation? I want to know what in the hell they're saying!" Williams said, looking across the CIC.
"Yeah, we've identified a few different languages on the transmissions. I think they're blasting stuff out in every language they know. Still haven't figured out what it means, though."
Williams nodded. "Engineering, status?"
"Minor damage to the bow, number seven turret's offline with a hung round. Reactors running normal."
"Sir, they just transmitted in English. They're trying to surrender."
"Comms, let the Indra know. Weapons, cease fire now."
"Aye, sir."

Viper 2489
Scorpia System
Tauron Confederacy


Major Haricot furrowed his brow when the order to cease fire came from the Indra. Tauron's flagship, the supercarrier had control over the engagement.
"Blue 6 all, 61. Cease fire, cease fire."
"Say again?" Quentin seemed understandably surprised.
"That big bastard just surrendered. The Marines are going to board any second now."
"Damn."
Haricot safed his Viper's weapons, closing its missile bays. Their IFF symbols visible on the main LCD, some of the Raptors that had returned to their carriers after firing missiles had been re-armed and were en route to the Valushan supercapital ship, laden with Marines specially trained in boarding, close-quarters, and ship-to-ship actions.
As the first Marine squads boarded the Volstag, meeting little resistance, Haricot received an order from the Cylcops' CO ordering Blue 6 to immediately return to the ship. He relayed the order to the rest of Blue 6 before flipping his Viper 180 degrees and applying full throttle to cancel out its previous velocity vector.
The Volstag was a cratered mess, its power generators mostly down, hardly any weapons left operational, and its sensors almost completely destroyed. But it was not without its cost. Three Strikestars, the Gunstar Eucleia, and four fighter squadrons had been destroyed, with another eleven capital ships and two squadrons of fighters damaged, some severely. The hope was that, with the ship now under Tauron control, any weapons could be reverse-engineered. The Confederacy did not use energy weapons in any meaningful quantities, but a powerful weapon capable of replacing a Seneca-class ship's heavy KEWs could very possibly change that fact.

I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.

"Anything whose paint job is characterized as “avocado burst” has no business in country music."

RedneckHamster

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Re: Tauron Confederacy
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2012, 07:39:32 AM »
New Edenton Church of Christ
Gemenon System
Tauron Confederacy


The Reverend Timothy Collins stood at the plain wooden altar, cleared his throat, and began to read from the Bible opened on the altar next to a small titanium cross. "Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink, arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield!" he proclaimed. "For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth. And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed: And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights: And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen." Collins lowered his voice now. "And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground."
Collins paused for a moment to let the reading sink in.
"We watch now in the watchtower as the Lord has instructed us. We watch for the revelation that Babylon has fallen. We anoint our shields; our Guard stands ready. Our weapons at home stand ready."
"You and I know Babylon from Genesis. The Lord tells us of the Tower of Babylon, the attempt to equal God. To equal God...is impossible. The Lord confounded the Babylonians, and the tower was never completed. Through history, Babylon was remarkable for its achievements- and its false idols before the true God. God's revelation to Isaiah predicted the fall of Babylon. The Lord tells us: Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it." Collins raised his voice for effect. "Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children. And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah!" Collins said, his voice louder. He turned to the Bible, reading yet again.
"It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there! And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged!"
"You see," Collins fixed a mine foreman in the front row with his steely gaze. "Babylon did fall as the Lord said. All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again. Look at the Egyptians! The French! The United Nations! All rebelled against the Lord, and all were destroyed by His furious wrath. We hear of Earth from our brothers-in-arms the Hiss. Look what has become of Earth. It is what was prophesied for Babylon! And all of this will happen again." The preacher again paused to allow the congregation to absorb the meaning of his message.
"Brothers and sisters in Christ," he said, lowering his voice again. "We are the new Babylon. The Tauron Confederacy is Babylon. The Taurons, the upper class- do they follow Christ and the one true God? NO!" Collins shouted. "They are of the Pantheon, the polytheistic false idols of the Greeks who were themselves destroyed! This is a matter of choice. They choose to turn from the Lord. And as Babylon, they will be destroyed."
"The polytheist fleet lies in orbit over our home," he continued. "They step on us, they spit on us. But we fear not, for blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!"
"You and I, we have all been deceived. There is no General Assembly. Not any more. There is no representation. We all know who is behind it." Collins traced a lemniscate in the air in front of him. "I give you the lemniscate. Symbol of infinity- and of the New Pantheon. Found on Federal military hardware, and Federal only. Found on weapon casings after every single terrorist incident in the past month." Collins' face now showed a terrible, indomitable resolve.
"Brothers and sisters, it is time for war."

I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.

"Anything whose paint job is characterized as “avocado burst” has no business in country music."

RedneckHamster

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Re: Tauron Confederacy
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2012, 09:13:06 AM »
Ellington Planetary Guard Base
Scorpia
Tauron Confederacy


Timothy Collins stood off to the side of the main fighter parking ramp, watching as the 36 Mk. IIC Vipers of the Scorpian Planetary Guard's 147th Tactical Fighter Wing warmed up their reactors in preparation for launch. One by one, the fighters taxied out to takeoff revetments on the other side of the base. Several civilian fighters had also been armed, courtesy of the 147th's ordnance flight.
Collins had not been alone in his sentiment. Indeed, it was echoed by many in key positions in the Gemenon and Scorpian chains of command. Enough, in fact, to grant the movement control over several active-duty warships in addition to the small navies maintained by each Planetary Guard. Most notably, the supercarrier Revelation had made preparations to go dark on the TCN command authorities. The escort carriers Lee, Casablanca, Leyte Gulf, and Hammerhead had also installed procedures to rapidly flip their command subordination to the Scorpian PG. The total assets commanded by the rebellion amounted to one supercarrier, four escort carriers, ten Escort Strikestars, two main battle Gunstars, and eight Patrol Gunstars.
For that is what it was: a rebellion.

Hangar Bay, TCS Whipray
Scorpia System
Tauron Confederacy


Major James Collins ran to his Asp as the Whipray's PA system began calling the crew to battle stations. He quickly looked over the exterior of the strike craft, climbing into the cockpit and strapping himself in just as Hannah arrived. The crew started the Asp with the 'EMERGENCY TAKEOFF' checklist, and the craft had exited the hangar within five minutes of the PA call.
Collins pulled the 'nuclear football' from under his ejection seat, directing Hannah to aid him in opening the device. It was designed to be impossible to open alone, and would require a second crewmember to open. Once this was accomplished, he called in to the Whipray's CiC.
"Whipray Central, Asp 490. Requesting WORMWOOD codes, over," he radioed.
"Copy, Asp 490. Request authenticate Alfa-Alfa-Four."
Hannah glanced at the codebook on her pressure suit's knee. "Charlie-Six-Two," she said.
"Asp 490 authenticates Charlie-Six-Two," Collins transmitted.
"Roger, beginning data stream."
Collins reached over to the auxiliary radio, tuning it to 'DATA' mode and selecting the pre-planned encryption key. The radio's LCD screen began showing a stream of twelve characters required by the football.
"Alfa-Niner-Six-Charlie-Zulu-November-Three-Five-Seven-Tango-Echo-Six," Hannah read off the characters, which Collins inputted into the 'football'. The device beeped twice, showing that it was armed. Hannah plugged the device into the socket located by her right foot, and Collins selected the eight nuclear-tipped Bulldog ASMs loaded into the Asp's missile tubes. Hannah fingered her crucifix necklace, saying a quick prayer.
The carrier Indra sat in orbit over Scorpia, a rather nice target. Collins flipped the 'MASTER ARM' switch, and fired all eight missiles. Asps from several other ships did the same as around a dozen wings of Vipers began exiting Scorpia's atmosphere. A handful of Escort Strikestars also fired several dozen nukes into the center of the fleet.
Less than ten minutes later, the missiles began hitting home. Spheres with the intensity of miniature suns began blossoming across the TCN ships. Many were destroyed by the opening salvo, including the Indra, which took approximately two dozen thermonuclear warheads.
Out of thirty-seven ships over Scorpia, ten immediately changed all IFF codes. Thirteen were destroyed by thermonuclear missiles. Another thirteen were dumbfounded by the events that had just transpired.
The crew of the Cyclops knew.

Liam Haricot, Thomas Ferric, and Diane Quentin raced to their Vipers, followed by the rest of VF-32. The Cyclops fired its RCS thrusters, turning towards the Escort Strikestar Lonchoforos, which had just flipped its IFF to something no longer appearing blue on DRADIS displays- or targeting computers. Eleven Vipers launched clear of the Gunstar's hangar bays, immediately turning towards the fighter screen launched by the escort carrier Blackfin. Haricot kept a close eye on the Vipers launching from Scorpia itself. Clearly, the precision strikes by Black 8 the other day had not been sufficient to do anything but anger the Scorpians. Whoops, Haricot thought. It looks like Torres made a miscalculation there. Though the Vipers were only Mk. IIs, they were Mk. IIC multirole fighters. These sophisticated conversions sported better armor than any Mk. VII variant, and were not to be taken lightly, despite their advanced age. Especially seeing as there were rumors of them sometimes being fitted with forty-millimeter weapons that would pose a serious threat to any fighter.
Haricot launched two of his twelve Javelin missiles, destroying a brace of rebel Mk. VIIs minutes later. He began a crossing maneuver, forcing enemy missiles to expend additional propellant to hit his fighter. The radio waves were overwhelmed, as few crew on the TCN fleet had had the presence of mind to switch to combat messaging when the nukes hit. However, a response was beginning. Several loyal ships had launched Vipers, and DRADIS symbols indicating friendly missiles were popping up. Well, at least the computer thought they were friendly. It was entirely possible that the rebels were spoofing, hacking, or otherwise screwing with the combat computing environment.

Tauron Capital Zone
Tauron System


Grace Collins-Buchanan was awakened by an alert sounding on her tablet computer. She rolled over, picking the device up and checking her email. One of the Torres executives had sent her a message stating that the fringe planets had attacked exactly according to plan, but the TCN forces were taking heavier losses than expected. It was a temporary setback, but one that would, in the long run, benefit Torres as even more ships were constructed to replace combat attrition.
Grace replaced the tablet on her bedside table and rolled over again, wondering what her brother was doing, thinking about other things. Then it hit her. Her groggy state had retarded the idea's progress.
The war had begun.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 10:57:26 AM by RedneckHamster »

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Re: Tauron Confederacy
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2012, 09:28:04 AM »
Bryan Planetary Guard Base
Gemenon
Tauron Confederacy


"We what?!?" Major Bobby Lee exclaimed, facing his commanding officer. "That's suicide!"
The lieutenant colonel shrugged. "Orders are orders. I personally agree with these, actually."
Lee read over the computer printout again. His unit, the 13th Fighter-Interceptor Wing, was being ordered to engage and destroy Tauron Confederate Navy vessels in Gemenon's orbit. The attack force was to be composed of all airworthy Gemenon Planetary Guard craft, as well as several rebel TCN ships. Not that Lee knew that.
Not that the 13th was a normal interceptor wing, either.
It had recently taken delivery of an additional three Anaconda Mk. I heavy interceptors, bringing the total number of the fighters in service to seven. To the uninformed, the wing would appear horrifically under strength, and more akin to a reinforced flight. That was before understanding what an Anaconda was, exactly.
Rainier-McDonnell Aerospace, a licensed Viper manufacturer, had grown dissatisfied with Torres Industries' draconian and often unethical business practices. The company had resigned its Viper license several years ago, in a move considered suicide by many in the industry. However, instead of simply producing spare parts, automobiles, or other domestic goods, Rainier-McDonnell spent nearly its entire budget on the development of its own interceptor to match or beat the Viper.
The result was the Anaconda. A massive, twin-engined beast of a fighter, its sluggish handling and large size were outweighed by its enormous missile bays, capable of accommodating two dozen Javelin missiles, and very high speed. Although its large size precluded launch tube use, the Anaconda drew the eye of several Planetary Guard units. Gemenon, for instance, had ordered a wing of thirty-six right off the bat.
It was an Anaconda that Lee was being called to fly into the jaws of one of the most formidable defense sectors in the galaxy.
He accepted.
"Well, we do have the best damned interceptors in the galaxy," he said. The colonel nodded.
"You're with us?" the wing commander asked.
"You bet your ass on it, sir."
Ten minutes later, Lee and his WSO, Jacob Benson, were strapped into their Anaconda and taxiing out to one of the launch pads. Five other aircraft were being used on the mission; the seventh had developed a malfunction during a run-up of its NERVA engine and had to abort.
"Red 15, commence takeoff burn," Lee said. He and Benson went through the takeoff checklists, culminating in vectoring the Anaconda's engines downwards and applying full thrust. The heavy interceptor easily rose into the air, climbing several hundred feet before transitioning to level flight. As the fighter's engines swiveled back to their horizontal position, the airspeed indicator on the instrument panel steadily rose. Lee pulled back on the stick as the interceptor passed through Mach 1.5, and it continued to accelerate. The blue of the Gemenon sky gradually darkened into indigo, then a deep black. Specks of dust began floating around the Anaconda's cockpit, and the stars filled the deep black void overhead.
"Red 15, CTO complete," Lee called.
"Red 14, same."
"Red 16, in orbit."
"Red 13, in orbit."
"Red 12, burn complete."
"Red 11, orbit reached."
"All right, we've got an antiship platform, bearing three-zero-zero for thirty-two, range four thousand," Benson announced. "It's in search mode. The ALR-94 says its antenna's pointed away from us, anyway. Let's call him Target ONE."
"Fair enough. I don't think they'd expect anything to come from under them," Lee said. "Go ahead and lock 'em up."
Benson scrolled the DRADIS' cursor onto the TCN antiship platform, receiving a satisfying beep-beep when the system had locked on.
Lee armed the Anaconda's weapons, and selected two of the four Mako-IV dumbfire armor-piercing rockets loaded into its weapons bays. He pressed the firing stud on his RCS control joystick, and the two bay doors opened for a moment to fire the rockets. Each leaped away from the Anaconda, striking the antifship platform several minutes later.
"ALR-94's picking up voice chatter. I think a few of the other platforms saw us," Benson said, then cursed. "Four-ship of Mark Sevens tracking us. Their orbit gives 'em an intercept in ten."
"Damnit. Red 14, can you engage?" Red 14, 13, and 12 carried an interception-optimized payload of twenty Javelins and four Mako-III submunitions dispensers, as opposed to 15 and 16's twelve Javelins, four Mako-IVs, and four Bulldog ASMs, and 11's electronic warfare package.
"Affirm, 15. Engaging now."
The range was far too long for visual contact, but if Lee could see a fighter several hundred miles away, he would have seen four Javelins launched, then two five seconds later as backup.
"Red 16, missile launch! Missile launch! Two Javelins!"
"Red 11's jamming. All callsigns, play some music." In response, Benson flipped the ECM switch from 'STANDBY' to 'ON', ensuring that the system was running the program optimized to defeat Javelin DRADIS seeker heads.
Several minutes after their launch, both Mako-IVs hit home. The antiship platform exploded in a rather unspectacular cloud of debris, venting atmosphere. Several small elements of the platform ignited, but it was far from the impressive plasma sphere resulting from a capital ship's fusion reactor rupturing.
"Scratch Target ONE," Lee said.
"16 is engaging Target TWO."
Had much of the fleet not been tied up at System 42U, Gemenon would have had several TCN warships guarding it. With those, the rebellion wouldn't stand a chance. But without them...
"Target TWO is down."
"Red 14, all bandits confirmed destroyed."
The six fighters of Red 1 Flight had dispersed throughout a 60-degree (or 1.047 radian) arc of Gemenon's orbit. So far, two of the four primary antiship platforms had been destroyed. The additional two would probably not fall so easily, but that was the justification behind carrying Bulldog missiles as well as the short-ranged Makos. They could be launched without a direct line of sight to the target, a capability provided by the missile's ORB ARC mode, in which the missile was fired away from the planet at an angle, and reduced speed at the apogee of its orbit, before being pulled back down by the planet's gravity. This mode permitted 'over-the-horizon' attacks.
Four Bulldogs, two each from Red 15 and Red 16, were fired in ORB ARC with specific instructions to target Dionysus-class orbital defense platforms. These took somewhat longer to reach their targets, requiring retrograde burns by the Anacondas to avoid crossing into the platforms' engagement envelopes. Despite being classed as antiship platforms, the Dionysus class was also fitted with several dozen RAM missile tubes. If the TCN hadn't found out they were hostile now, they never would. Any hope of that vanished as both platforms were struck by Bulldog ASMs with low-yield fusion warheads.
"Ah, multiple large jump entry signatures just outside the gravity well," Benson announced. "They're...ours."
The Sterope-class Main Battle Gunstar Lubbock, accompanied by the Ares-class Escort Strikestar Whipray exited their FTL 'bubbles', immediately opening communications.
"Red 1 Flight, CFP Lubbock here. Good work trashing those ASM platforms. Our orders are to secure Gemenon's orbit. The TCN has some fighter bases down there; y'all's PG should be taking care of them."
"Excuse me?" Lee radioed, confused. As far as he had known, the 13th was going at it alone.
"Affirm, Red 1. We just routed 'em over Scorpia. Turns out some of us had enough of their BS."
Lee shook his head, surprised that the handful of supposedly insane conspiracy theorists advocating rebellion against the central government seemed to be correct.

Tauron Capital Zone
Tauron System


Grace looked at the Torres Industries executive in dismay. "How did a bunch of redneck militia and survivalist nuts beat the Navy?" she asked, stunned.
"Frankly, we don't know, either," he said, smoothing his slicked-back hair. "It looks like we'll have to get Vaughn to pull the Navy out of 42U to deal with them. The Dominion Party won't be too happy about that."
"On the contrary," she said. "We can let the alien scum think they've won. Once we take down our own enemies here, we return and annihilate them. They won't expect us."
"That's an interesting perspective." The executive fiddled with the golden lemniscate pin affixed to his suit lapel. "The estimated value of the market in 42U is around three hundred billion dollars a year. It's not pocket change. Torres can afford to wait for something like that."
"You see? It's win-win. We take care of our...internal security issue...and you not only get the contract money for stepping up security within the Colonies and replacing attrition losses, but also gain exclusive rights with 42U."

I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.

"Anything whose paint job is characterized as “avocado burst” has no business in country music."