NationStates Jolt Archive

To look towards the future

10-11-2003, 10:31
(This is primarily a story I'm writing, not really an RP. It's my first attempt at space-RP, and is probably plain that I have very little experiance in that world. This is a representation of where I hope my country to be by late January/early febuary of next year, and not where it is now (for those who don't know, Iansisle is constantly advancing from her starting tech base towards the future.) Anyway, kick back (hopefully) enjoy, and please, please, please offer any suggestions you have!)

HIMS King James III
At rest relative to Anchor Station

“Admiral on the bridge!”

Proper land-side military doctrine demanded that all present should rise in the squadron commander's presence, but the realities of modern combat precluded that. Instead, only the James's captain, a lank man with a thin stubble of a beard, unbelted himself, giving himself a soft push and rotating lazily 'up'. He grabbed onto a nearby handrail, stabilizing himself and throwing a salute at the man who had just entered with the dimmest traces of a smile on his face.

"It's a pleasure to meet you at last, Admiral. I'm Captain Horatio Thomas; welcome aboard His Iansislean Majesty's Starship King James III."

"Thank you captain," replied the equally-tall man wearing the dark blue of the Royal Iansislean Star Navy, complete with a Vice Admiral's insignia. He glanced at Thomas critically. "Shouldn't you be shaving, captain?" The question hung quietly in the always-slightly-stale air of the James's flag bridge.

"Yes, sir," replied Thomas at length. "But, with all due respect, sir, we've just been two days at Anchor after returning from the belt with an ion-convoy." The admiral didn't seem impressed, so Thomas continued, a slightly defensive bite slipping into his words. "As you know, Admiral, even aboard a ship the size of King James III, water is a very precious resource, especially on a run to the Belt. And after arriving in dock at Anchor, there was hardly time..."

The Admiral held up one tired hand to stop Thomas' words. "Enough, please, captain. I understand your difficulties under power, but at Anchor, there is scarcely reason proper military regulations shouldn't be followed, no matter how tight a loading schedule there is. Rules exist for a reason, especially in trying times such as these. I'm sure I don't have to remind the captain how important the Star Navy's role is." His tone left no doubt of what the happen should Thomas challenge him on that point.

"No, Admiral," replied Captain Thomas, admitting defeat but retaining a certain amount of defiance in his eyes.

"In the meantime, I haven't come to make an enemy out of my new Flag Captain," continued the Admiral. "I've just returned from planetside, and I have orders for you and your crew." The Admiral held up a thin, old style envelope, sealed with wax and the stamp of the First Star Lord's ring. If the R.I.S.N. was one thing, it was traditional. "Would you and your first officer please join me in your cabin?"

"Very good, Admiral," replied Thomas, his eyes scoping out behind him. "Mr. Espen, you have the conn. Mr. Calloway, if you could please signal Commander Morwood and have him join me in my quarters?"

"I have the conn," acknowledged Lieutenant Edward Espen, unbelting himself from the tactical station and pushing his way over to the command chair in one easy motion. Calloway was already informing Thomas that Commander Morwood was on his way as the captain pulled himself along the rungs at the 'top' of the cabin.

"Thank you, Mr. Calloway," replied Thomas over his shoulder, before motioning for the Admiral to follow him and launching himself down the James's primary corridor. He grabbed a hold of a handlebar about a third of the way down, entering a simple code to get the door to hiss open by itself. With a concentrated effort, Thomas tucked his feet inside the door, spinning across the cramped yet surprisingly bare cabin and forcing himself down into a leather chair behind the room's large oak desk. He belted in quickly as the Admiral came through the door, also spinning lazily.

In a way, Captain Thomas was surprised at how easily the Admiral, who was easily twenty years older and fifty pounds heavier than him, moved across the James's gravity-less interior. Of course, he forced himself to remember, the Admiral came from another generation, one before even the James's primitive safety and intra-ship transport systems.

"Please, Admiral, have a seat," smiled Thomas, indicating a slightly more uncomfortable looking chair on the other side of his desk. The Admiral didn't show any signs of being slighted, and used the 'roof' to push himself down into the seat.

"Thank you, captain."

"Would you care for some coffee, sir?" asked Thomas smoothly, rotating smoothly and bringing two pouches out of a side compartment near his desk. He shook one for himself and put it on the heater. However, the Admiral just shook his head.

"No, thank you, captain. For the time being, and considering the urgent manner of my orders, I think it would be best if we skipped the social niceties and went straight on to business. Please consider your orders." The Admiral tossed his envelope slightly, spinning it across the table to Thomas.

To: Captain Horatio S. Thomas, Commander HIMS King James III
From: Grand Admiral Lord North Upperston, First Star Lord
Regarding: Orders

Captain Thomas,

I know your ship has just returned from escort duty on Convoy 37-C to the Belt, but I must offer my apologies, for a most grave emergency requiring the services of your ship has arisen.

One of our picket ships, the destroyer HIMS Weshield, has picked up some very disturbing reports from off of convoy route Nineteen. It is the Admiralty's belief that the Effitian battleship ESS Ibrahaim has become fully operational...

Thomas looked up sharply at the Admiral, who shrugged.

...and is planning to intercept Convoy 19-A, due to depart Tuesday 18:15 hours (Shieldian Standard). As a precaution, I am attaching Battleship Squadron Alpha (HIMS King James III, HIMS Gurney, and HIMS Tri) to the convoy's already substantial escort. In addition, I am placing Vice Admiral Lord North Brettey in command of the escort fleet.

As well as Battleship Squadron Alpha, Convoy 19-A consists of Heavy Cruiser Squadron Gamma (HIMS Sirius, HIMS Deneb, HIMS Canopus, and HIMS Spica) and Destroyer Group Delta (HIMS Thorntree, HIMS Shadoran, HIMS Chateau, HIMS Empire, and HIMS Sentry Island).

Your first objective is the safe transit of Convoy 19-A, and, if the Ibrahaim should prove operational ahead of schedule, to destroy her.

Fail not in the task,

Grand Admiral Lord North Upperston, First Star Lord
Approved, Dame Helen Pith-Mycroft, First Lord of the Admiralty
In the name of His Imperial Majesty, High King Ian X of the House of Callahan
10-11-2003, 10:34
OOC: Bloody Brilliant, mate.
10-11-2003, 10:37
Wow! That's great dude!
10-11-2003, 10:37
OOC: Bravo! *claps*
10-11-2003, 10:42
OOC: You rock my lame ass !
10-11-2003, 10:43
(*turns bright red* Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate your compliments. Still, any kind of constructive critisim you might have would really be appreciated!)
10-11-2003, 10:45
(*turns bright red* Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate your compliments. Still, any kind of constructive critisim you might have would really be appreciated!)

Instead of using quotes, use [code:1:3296c0f97c]code[/code:1:3296c0f97c].

You are in the future, remember?
10-11-2003, 10:49
(*turns bright red* Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate your compliments. Still, any kind of constructive critisim you might have would really be appreciated!)

Instead of using quotes, use [code:1:4959b7fcb3]code[/code:1:4959b7fcb3].

You are in the future, remember?

Ah, but it's a written letter, not an electronic communication on a terminal's display.
10-11-2003, 10:49
(Er, Roania, I don't mean to sound stupid, but how does one do italics in code? The HTML tags didn't work for me when I tried it.

EDIT: oops...mayhap problem solved..)
Walmington on Sea
10-11-2003, 11:02
Oh you're just over-compensating because we made a better plane out of your jet engines! Heh. Well, maybe we'll play catch-up ourselves someday.. launch a satellite maybe. Call it Sputney. Or something.

There's going to be quite the rise in Walmy tourists hoping to spend their riches on getting a ride off-world with the Ians, no doubt! Assuming you don't go off and get yourselves assimilated or something ;)

Looks a good story anyway [puts the kettle on, feet up, and sits back]
10-11-2003, 17:35
HIMS King James III
Lying at rest relative to anchor station

His Iansislean Majesty's Starship King James III didn't look like what any of Iansisle's science fiction writers had predicted space warships would look like. From the relative top or bottom, she appeared to be a giant disk, three hundred and sixty feet in diameter and ringed with maneuvering thrusters. On the 'bottom' of the disk was the ship's primary armor (at the thickest point, right 'below' the bridge and fuel storage, 30" of it! Other, less vulnerable sections had from 9" to 18") and armament: eight 50" missile tubes and eight rotatable double mount two pounder anti-missile guns. Compared to the James's bulk, that seemed a tiny fraction of the total possible firepower, but each weapon mount increased the crew the James would need to carry. Keeping even her tiny crew of thirty nine ratings and seven officers alive and comfortable in the ship's several month long deployments was a difficult proposition, with or without access to a fleet tender.

On the relative 'top' of the disk was the superstructure, which contained the crew quarters, bridge, primary and secondary engines, docking clamps, and storage bays. James, on external mounts, carried one Flitter runabout and two of the new Avenger class missile boats. The Flitter was the primary inter-vessel cargo ship of the Royal Iansislean Star Navy: fast, capable of limited atmospheric activity, and mounting a single two pounder cannon in her nose. The Avengers were a more dedicated space fighter, but their quick-burning rocket engines gave them miserably short legs. However, they were faster than a destroyer at full power, and carried a single, full sized 50", 150 K-T missile in an underslung mount. They could get around an enemy's shieldwall and drop their missile targeted straight at the other's ship vulnerable superstructure. Of course, there was nothing to keep an opponent from doing the exact same thing, so the Avengers and their one man crew also had to fill a defensive role.

James's top and flanks, of course, were still armored, primarily to keep out solar radiation (although captains were assured the amount of lead covering any interior section of an Iansislean starship was thick enough to keep a solar flare out, most captains still preferred to roll and interpose their shieldwall in that case). There weren't any ports to the exterior, save for the weapon blisters and the tubes that attached a missile to the Avengers and took cargo from the Flitter. The bridge was buried between the superstructure and the shieldwall, and relied completely on the multiple exterior radar and other sensor mounts to 'see' where the ship was going. The bridge also happened to be sandwiched between the fuel for James's secondary rocket boosters and the missile ammunition cache. Somehow, the knowledge that the entire ship would be destroyed in the event of critical damage to either section was never comforting news to the men and women sitting a bulkhead away.

Captain's Quarters

There was a light rap on the outside of Thomas's door. He looked up from the frankly frightening orders in shock, Vice Admiral Lord North Brettey noting the slight misgivings in the younger man's face, and shook his head.

"Come in." At Thomas' words, the door slid open, and he saw Commander Morwood, the James's missile officer, framed in the doorway. "Ah, Commander; come in, come in!"

The athletic-built young man grinned and launched himself across the room, taking a seat without thinking about it. Only as he was belting himself in did he notice the Vice Admiral sitting next to him.

"Oh, sir! I'm sorry, I didn't see you there."

"Quite all right," replied North Brettey, though not without a frown. He glanced over at Captain Thomas.

"Ah, right," the captain nodded, glancing back at Commander Morwood. "Vice Admiral Lord North Brettey here has our latest orders from the Admiralty. We're sailing tomorrow with Convoy 19-A."

"19-A?" repeated Morwood with a slight frown. "They've already got a squadron of heavy cruisers on her, plus some destroyers and a pair of tenders. What do they need a battleship for?" Noting the Admiral staring at him out of the corner of his eye, Morwood hastily added a "sir" onto the end.

"It's all in here, actually," Thomas said, passing the orders along to his executive officer. He noticed the man's face go pale as he read over the dispatch.

"The Ibrahaim!? Certainly not, sir! She's not supposed to complete trial runs for another month, and be well out of Route Nineteen, anyhow!"

"Regardless of where she's supposed to be, commander, or where you wish she was, the Admiralty may find itself in slightly better position to make strategic choices than a crew who's just returning from two months in the belt, don't you think?" North Brettey's tone was harsh, but it soon softened. "Don't worry, son, the thought of taking on the Ibrahaim, even with a full squadron of battleships under my command, scares me too. However, that convoy is carrying urgently needed oxygen for RM&M's Dubois Station, and we can't let civilians go breathless, can we?"

"No, sir," agreed Commander Morwood. "I suppose we can't." He glanced again at the departure orders. "Suppose I'd better go make myself useful down in storage."

"Very good, commander," approved Thomas as all three men unbelted themselves and floated towards the handrails above them. "If the Admiral would care, I can show him to his quarters before I go address the crew."

"Thank you, captain," replied North Brettey with his first real smile of the trip. "I believe I can find it myself; I was on the James's design board."
Kurai Nami
10-11-2003, 17:43
OOC:*Claps a bit discretly*, bravo,bravo.
10-11-2003, 18:10
Oh you're just over-compensating because we made a better plane out of your jet engines! Heh.

(Drat it, busted! Damn your Cricket! *runs off to apply new coat of wax to a Colt*

Assimilated, eh? *scratches chin* Well, if there is one thing that is to be said for Iansisleans, its that we're futile! :)

Oh, and before I forget, thanks once again to anyone who's left comments. However, I know I'm probably making a bunch of mistakes in general, and would really, really, superreally appreciate any constructive critism!)
11-11-2003, 07:07
HIMS King James III

"Captain, I think I should like to confer with all the commanders of my task force."

Horatio Thomas checked his watch, and arched an eyebrow at North Brettey. "We sail in seven hours, Admiral. The other captains are probably up to their elbows in as much work as I am -- as much as my crew is."

"Please, captain," replied the Admiral, who was still clutching an overhead rail, having not been invited to take a seat. He declined to rise to the captain's bait, but did wonder why Thomas had taken such an active dislike to him. "I know the hour is late, but I need to meet my other commanders, and more than just over the comm system. Of course, if the James is too busy to serve its duty as flagship, I can always transfer my banner aboard Gurney or Tri..."

Thomas slammed his pen down onto the desk; however, it simply rebounded up and went spinning into a bulkhead, impacting and bouncing off that before the atmosphere's drag slowly forced it to a stop just out of the captain's reach. After grabbing for it and missing once, Thomas settled back into his chair and pursed his lips at the Admiral. After a drawn out pause: "I trust that King James's primary briefing room will be sufficient for the gathering?"

There was still too much venom in the captain's voice for North Brettey's taste, but this close to the convoy's launch date was no time to be removing captain. He'd just have to find out why Thomas seemed so resistive, and solve that problem. "Very good, captain...thank you." It seemed odd to be thanking the captain for something he should have agreed to without thinking, but the Admiral knew he'd have to get Thomas' help and acceptance. This mission was too vital for him to start a feud by pulling too much rank. Hand over hand, Admiral North Brettey pulled himself back to the exit, where he braced against the side of the door and launched himself up the corridor.

ESS Ibrahaim

Effitian ship design represented a fundamental break from Iansislean traditions for capital warship. Rather than mounting a shieldwall, such as King James III, which provided near invulnerability against cruiser-scale weapons (there was still nothing that could provide protection against a capital ship's nuclear weapons), Ibrahaim was designed around the principal of a slightly-flattened sphere, with her heaviest armor being arrayed along her curving broadsides.

And yet, for all the consternation she caused in the Iansislean Admiralty, Ibrahaim really wasn't meant to be an effective weapon against capital ships. She had been designed from the keel up to instead engage the multiple small heavy and light cruisers and destroyers that typically escorted Iansislean convoys, then either board or destroy the haulers. In essence, Ibrahaim was simply an up-armored and gunned light cruiser, not a true capital ship like King James III, Gurney, or Tri, even though she outmassed them by thirty per cent.

Of course, the continued dominance of the Royal Iansislean Star Navy in conventional engagements had slowly chipped away at the Pater's Astroforce. The two old, outdated Effitian battleships ESS Patria and Effit - the only two in the fleet, until Ibrahaim's construction at a Ryansislean shipyard - had been destroyed in an early engagement with the Iansislean battleship HIMS Woodlark and a heavy cruiser squadron while making a feint towards Anchor Station. The R.I.S.N. had followed up with a series of devastating attacks on Effitian storehouses, reducing their capability to maintain a campaign. So far, the only Iansislean ship destroyed was the heavy cruiser HIMS Pollux, struck by a mine while chasing an Effitian commerce raider. Of course, the heavy cruiser HIMS Antares had survived, and it had engaged and destroyed the offending light cruiser, ESS Aestas, a scant three hours later.

"Nauta Drusus, what is our current life support status?" asked Dominus Decius Cominius, his hands tapping the side of his chair is anxiety. Across the bridge, a young rating pulled up the relevant information..

"Not good, Domine, sir," he replied, shaking his head. "Currently holding at eighty two percent." The sailor brought up a few more numbers, and shook his head again. "I'd say a month, at most a month and a half, before we need to start back, or we'll never make it."

His words hung silently in the Ibrahaim's bridge. Everyone knew that, by 'starting back', the Ibrahaim would begin a long process that would either result in their ship being surrendered to the Iansisleans or being destroyed by them. Still, High Command had assured him there was a convoy, escorted only by a single squadron of heavy cruisers and their destroyer screen departing Anchor in the next few days. If the Iansisleans stayed to their usual ion convoy traditions, it should be arriving within three weeks.

And it would find ESS Ibrahaim sitting right in its way, eager to draw blood before a lack of supplies forced her back towards Earth.

Space near Anchor Station

Captain Thomas didn't like how sloppy the task force looked, despite the Admiral's briefing, as it broke Earth orbit. Deneb wandered far out of her place in the convoy, and the destroyers Chateau and Empire, in theory the task force's picket, hugged the rest of the fleet much too closely. Thomas sighed and glanced over at Vice Admiral North Brettey with a pained expression. The Admiral shrugged back at him.

"We have two weeks to work on them," was all the Admiral needed to say.

As one, Convoy 19-A switched on their primary ion engines and started slowly accelerating away from Earth. Their rocket secondaries would have provided a much better acceleration, but those were primarily used for deceleration coming into port.

Or in battle.
Walmington on Sea
11-11-2003, 08:08
ooc:This continues to look interesting.. I think for some reason I wanted to see more of the Effitians.
It is making space look a little more appealing in that it seems almost possible to pretend one never left the high seas..
I'm afraid that I know nothing of relevant theory or of accepted NS space norms, or I'd be glad to criticize more ;) Scarily enough I'm half considering using this for a few pointers ahead of a far distant Walmingtonian effort, heh. Oh lord, that'll be a shambles.

(g'wan, someone criticise him, you know you want to. This is much too friendly!)
Titan Sakkra
11-11-2003, 08:32
OOC: very nice. very very nice. However, keep an open eye out for redundant sentence structure, and repitition of words too close together. Other than that, perhaps some details of the surrounding area? Asteroids, comets, solar flares etc. Keep those solar flares in mind. They play havoc with some communications and most radars.
11-11-2003, 09:50
(Sakkra: Hooray! Now that's what I'm looking for! Yeah, I have gotten out of the habit of proofreading my posts; seems like something I should start doing again.

Also, I'm afraid I don't know much about astronomical phenomena, but I will try and throw in the effects of solar flares and the such. Any help in that area is, of course, welcome, and I'll take a look at that sentence structure.)
11-11-2003, 10:08
OOC: Actually I knew a lot less about astrological phenomena BEFORE I started RPing here. Went to the NASA and SETI sites, and the like. Very helpful info there. Tends to give one a feeling of having a 'home field' advantage if it comes down to weapons-fire.
11-11-2003, 14:31
(Just going to bump this one last time before bed...I proofread it, but, well, it's pretty late at night here. If you see any specific grammatical errors, feel free to point 'em out, but I'd much more appreciate help in the technical aspects of this. Thanks to Sakkra for the websites he mentioned!)