NationStates Jolt Archive

Lavenrunzian state visit to GMC

GMC Military Arms
06-08-2003, 09:25
'Lavenrunzian aircraft, this is GMC coastal monitor station. Maintain your current heading. An escort is inbound.'

An interesting thing to hear in the middle of the ocean, perhaps; the group of planes from Lavenrunz had been flying over nothing but sea for hours, although now they passed a small island which seems to consist entirely of an enormous oil refinery, with a pair of tankers resting in a dock to one side.

'This is AFSO escort group, we'll escort you to your landing at Hammer Bay. You'll be met on the ground there.' Four black-painted aircraft drop into formation with them.

A while later, Hammer Bay comes into view; the coastal city is huge and heavily industrialised, the majority of the waterfront taken up by military docks or warehouses, those few parts that aren't generally being old bars. On a small island out in the Bay stands Gerhart Fortress, nearly as old as the port itself. On either side, the city is surrounded by coniferous forest, through which parts of the island's coastal defences can be seen; heavy gun emplacements and SAM batteries are the most visible.

'This is Gerhart International Airport to Lavenrunzian flight, you are cleared to land on runway four. Welcome to Marshall Island.'
06-08-2003, 09:33
"Roger, making our approach now," said Lieutenant-Colonel von Hotzendorff, the Empress' personal pilot. The command plane of the Empire of Lavenrunz was equipped for luxurious travel, shielded against radiation and EMP, and was also a small flying communications center. Escorting it were two flights of Dragon Class Long Range Attack Fighters.
Once the plane had come to a full landing the fighters began to streak in as well.
"Majesty, we are entirely stopped." informed Colonel von Hotzendorff over the intercom. He leaned back and stretched and gave a pleased nod to his flight crew.
Empress Joanna rose from her seat in the plane, nodding at the bows of her entourage. She was a fair haired woman, amazonian in build, fairly tall at five foot ten, with electric blue eyes and an energetic manner. The Imperial Marine uniform she wore was well tailored, but it looked well on her, and it was clear that she was an experienced soldier as well as a ruler.
As the plane's door opened, she moved towards the entrance and looked out at Marshal Island. Her entourage and bodyguard followed.
GMC Military Arms
06-08-2003, 09:46
There's a small group waiting for her. A young woman wearing a designer-label suit steps forward; she's slightly shorter than the Empress; her hair is shoulder-length, red in colour, and her eyes are also red, which may seem a little odd. She bows deeply.

'Rachel Knight, head of External Affairs,' she smiles, 'On behalf of the Supreme Commander, welcome.'

[Other members of this group are Field Marshal Anne-Marie Embersby, commanding officer of the Army, her wife, Elisa, Major Kurt Wgner, Commanding Officer of GMC Special Forces Anti Tank (SFAT), and a few random soldiers and diplomatic staff]
06-08-2003, 10:01
"Thank you. I believe we have corresponded often but never met face to face. Let me introduce you: General Hans Schlabel, Minister for War, Aurora von Konigsmark, Foreign Minister, Admiral Carlotta de Goethe, First Fleet, General Erich Franze, Imperial Rocket Corps, my private secretary Baron von Bresnvorts, my aide-de-camp, Major Steiner. It is a great pleasure and a privilege to be here." says the Empress. She smiles an infectious smile. "Your people are great in reputation, and I am eager to see all that awaits me."
GMC Military Arms
06-08-2003, 10:26
Rachel smiles, 'Thank you, your majesty. I believe the first order of business was for you to visit the dockyards and inspect the fleet...You'll be staying in the officer's quarters tonight, if that's acceptable. Oh, I should introduce you to them members of senior staff present...'

She points to a woman around the same age as her, six-foot-five with long blonde hair, her eyes also red. She's dressed in a black officer's uniform, and standing next to a younger-looking woman with short white hair, 'Field Marshal Anne-Maire Embersby, Commanding officer of our Army, and her wife, Elisa.'

Annie-Marie salutes, 'Sir.*'

Elise bows, 'Empress.'

She points over to a man with short dark hair and blue eyes, or rather eye; a long vertical scar runs down the left side of his face across his other eye, which is closed. He's dressed in an officer's uniform, with a city camo cloak over it, 'Major Kurt Wagner, Commanding Officer of Special Forces Anti Tank.'

He salutes, 'Sir.'

Rachel turns back, 'I believe they have a more formal welcome for you at the docks,' she smiles, and points over to a line of limosines, 'Shall we?'

[*GMC proceedure is to refer to a senior as 'Sir' regardless of gender]
06-08-2003, 10:38
The Empress nods amiably and proceeds towards the limousines. She comments to Rachel, "I did not know that same sex marriages were done even among people of importance! Is this a recent developement here, or is it common?"
General Schlabel enthusiastically greets the Field Marshal. "Your reputation precedes you. May I ask what branch you served in before achieving your rank and post?"
GMC Military Arms
06-08-2003, 10:50
Rachel pauses, 'It's always been allowed here, Empress.'

Anne-Marie smiles, 'Well, I was pencilled in for the position after I'd finished service; the Army offered it based on my performance there, partly because there was a reshuffle on at the time because they were forming the Marines. Studied military theory in college, got the mark they were looking for, so they made me up to Field Marshal.'

[This isn't the standard way of doing it; normally she'd need more field time, but she's extremely gifted and they needed a CO.]
06-08-2003, 11:09
Empress Joanna says softly, "I meant no disrespect, my dear Minister. But I am fascinated by the customs of others. I recently rescinded laws banning it, only a few years ago, and there is still some social stigma attached to it in Lavenrunz."
(Rachel may be aware of rumors of romantic involvement between Joanna and the Prime Minister of Ienotheisa, Viole)

General Schlabel says, "Ah. I started at the bottom of the rung, myself--rare in Lavenrunz. I was at the top of my classes for officers in training and as it happened during a war. Lucky for me, because suddenly more pilots were needed. I flew attack fighters, light bombers really, but after I got to a squadron command it was realized that I also had a good head for staff work. The long result is that I ended up in command of first Tactical Fighter Command, then Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and now the Ministry itself."
GMC Military Arms
06-08-2003, 11:30
Rachel nods, 'I didn't see your comment as in any way disrespectful, Empress.*'

Anne-Marie nods, 'Well, I've done plenty of field work since then, anyway,' she smiles, 'And a lot of work with the Special Projects Division, too. That's one of my responsibilities, in fact.'

It's a fairly short drive to the Bay, where Rachel points out at a squadron of battleships near the docks, 'That'd be your welcome.'

There's a thunderous explosion as they fire in unison.

Rachel smiles, 'A proper twenty-one gun salute, Empress. Now, I believe you wanted to inspect Nihilanth?'

[*She just found it surprising. Also, while she may know about the rumours, she's unlikely to mention them.]
06-08-2003, 11:40
Empress Joanna is clearly thrilled. "I do indeed, Minister. I am surprised that your fleet focuses so much on battleships--they must be something special. Do lead on." She takes in the appearance of the ships, and any personnel around them. She is also curious as to how they will be getting there, and in fact says so. "Is the ship at dock, or will we be taking transport to her?"
GMC Military Arms
06-08-2003, 12:08
'She's in dock at the moment, yes; not that far from here, if you don't mind walking.'

Empress Joanna might notice nearby is a large statute of a man who appears to be a pirate by his costume; he's depicted middle-aged. The dedication is simply 'Captain Gerhart.' Nearby, she might notice oddly shaped oak timbers in the buildings, all of which are old-looking.

Along the waterfront are docked a variety of ships, from PT Boats and corvettes right up to battleships and aircraft carriers.

Annie turns to the Empress, 'With regard to our use of battleships, our Navy beleives that generally at range our anti-missile abilities will be a fair match for a missile-armed opponent; so having combatants like battleships makes good sense when we get in close,' she points at one of the larger vessels, 'Of course, most of our recent battleship-type combatants have been Railships like Virvane there, using longer-ranged magnetic acceleration guns.'

'Our first capital ship is a battleship, actually; she's in the Fourth Carrier group, which we assigned to SATO,' she smiles, 'I should think you were kind of surprised to see the Admiral's flag on a battleship instead of the carrier, but that's how much they think of Old Tom.*'

'Truth be told, the Army Special Projects Division is partly responsible for the Dreadnoughts; we developed their main armament as part of the space program, and then rebuilt those guns to be suitable for mounting on a naval platform. And it's quite a platform...'

They pass a warehouse, and Nihilanth comes into view. She's a trimaran; astern she's mostly superstructure, mounting large numbers of what appear to be heavy antiaircraft guns, along with large numbers of smaller AA guns and recessed VLS cells. Her foredeck, meanwhile, is dominated by a single huge turret, mounting a pair of massive cannons. That's not the first thing that strikes the Lavenrunzian party, though.

Nihilanth is absolutely gigantic, easily over two thousand feet long.

Annie smiles, 'As I said, quite a platform.'

[*Tanager in the RDF listing. She's over a hundred years old, mostly rebuilt; she's still got her original ship's bell, Old Tom, hence her nickname.]
06-08-2003, 12:53
"Impressive..." says Admiral de Goethe reservedly. She is a very tanned woman, her blue eyes startling in the brown face, a neat short helmet of hair, and lithe of build. "But how many knots can she do? How does she do her turns? Will we see her perform today?"
Empress Joanna says, "A question very much on my mind: you are proponents of the missile school, then, not aircraft? How will you deal with a combined force of, say, submarine and carrier groups?"
GMC Military Arms
06-08-2003, 13:07
Annie pauses, 'She's good for up to twenty knots using supercavitation engines, and she turns well for a ship her size. I'm sure we could manage a demonstration, if not today then certainly tomorrow.'

She turns to the Empress, 'Actually, we favour a more coordinated approach; this ship would normally travel with submarines and destroyers supporting, and frequently a carrier as well, though she does carry a lot of anti-air armament. But again, the presence of our carrier-based aircraft would balance our enemy's, our submarines likewise, leaving us with a closer-range advantage where many other navies have none. That's the theory, anyway.'
06-08-2003, 18:30
The Empress turns to her and Michelle receives the full effect of the Empress' brilliant eyes and smile, a sense of being swept up in energy powerful as a current. "Excellent. I want to see her up close--and leave conjecture behind for a moment. Let us see this wonder of technology on her decks. Lead on, my dear Minister."
GMC Military Arms
07-08-2003, 10:32
Michelle nods, 'I'll leave the explanation to Field Marshal Embersby, Empress...I don't know much about this ship, myself.'

Anne-Marie smiles, 'To be honest, I thought this ship was a joke when they proposed her...So did the head of Military R&D, in fact. She gestures to a gangway, 'This way, Empress.'

They come up standing on the foredeck, and Anne-Marie points up at the main turret, 'Guess you can tell why at this distance; those are fifty-two point six inch guns; we originally built these two to launch satellites,' she smiles, 'Adapted them to fire fifteen-ton projectiles, couple of expensive refits because they weren't built to handle salt corrosion...We still only get three or four shots before a gun barrel needs replacing, and you'll have a demonstration of her firing tomorrow. She's fired rounds accurately out to four hundred nautical miles before.'

There's a woman waiting for them nearby; she looks to be in her late twenties or early thirties, wearing a naval officer's uniform. Her hair is long, white in colour, and her eyes, oddly, are yellow. She salutes, 'Welcome aboard [i]Nihilanth, Empress Joanna.'

Anne-Marie smiles, 'This is June; she'll be your guide around the ship, since she knows a lot more about it than I do.'

June nods, 'My position has that effect, yes...Feel free to ask me anything you like, Empress.'
07-08-2003, 14:58
"What are your duties, here, June, and what rank and position do you hold?" Empress Joanna asks. She is also looking around to see how the ship looks; how efficient the crew, at a glance, appear to be, how clean it is, what kind of watch they have on deck.
GMC Military Arms
07-08-2003, 15:14
June thinks for a moment, 'I hold the technical rank of Captain, although that's not my position aboard,' she smiles, 'Put simply, Empress, I'm the fire control system.'

Anne-Marie nods, 'June's an AI; this is her avatar. Makes her a lot easier to talk to.'

Looking around the deck of the ship would show the whole vessel is absolutely spotless; several engineering crews are on deck, mostly concerned with servicing and reloading the arsenal cells and ICBM tubes near the stern. There's a few dozen crewmen on watch visible from the foredeck; all in all, the impression is of an extremely well-run vessel.
07-08-2003, 15:20
Empress Joanna nods. "I would like a description of the weapons systems aboard the ship, please." she doesn't say so or show it, but she is shocked; to trust a machine to such an important position!
GMC Military Arms
07-08-2003, 15:38
June nods, 'Ok...Starting from the bow, gun armament, a pair of fifty-two point six inch Gauss guns here,' she points to the main turret, 'Down the flanks, those are fast-tracking 150mm cannons, six in single turrets.' She points up, 'Along the sides of the superstructure back there, forty 88mm flaks in twenty double turrets, ten on a side, and ninety-six 32mm guns in fourty-five double and six singles. Aside from that, we use lasers for point defence work, twenty systems total. Missile armament, two 105-missile VLS arrays astern; those are cruise missiles. Along with that, 60 Dragon anti-ship missiles in cells on the superstructure there,' She points, 'And either side of us here on the foredeck are launch cells for surface-to-air missiles, usual payload of about five hundred, all told, as well as a dozen more conventional launchers. Not much against subs, just the six torpedo launchers, three on a side. Finally, as you can see back there, twenty ICBM tubes.' she smiles, 'That's the full loadout, although we probably wouldn't sail with a full missile payload unless we were at war.'

Annie nods, 'High maintainance demands, as you can probably tell.'
07-08-2003, 16:42
Joanna nods slowly. "Impressive array...essentially, a floating weapons platform. But she's rather slow and a big target. What was she built for? Because it seems to me that this is a strategic rather than a tactical weapon, a weapon you could only use to full effectiveness in a large fleet during a full scale war."
GMC Military Arms
07-08-2003, 16:47
Anne-Marie nods, 'Excellent evaluation, Empress. She was laid down when it seemed full-scale war between The Reich and SATO was inevitable...Luckily, that situation resolved itself. You're correct; she's best off as part of a massed fleet action rather than in a smaller battlegroup situation, though she can certainly handle herself on those terms if required.'
07-08-2003, 16:55
The Empress still looks thoughtful. "I am very privileged to see this. I would like to see the weapons control center, and the command and information center, if it is no trouble. Jane, are there human failsafes for those systems?"
GMC Military Arms
07-08-2003, 17:12
June nods, 'Yes...As backups to the primary command lines, there's manual control for all the armament...Most of the missile armament is controlled from the bridge in that situation, guns by individual crews in each turret. It's a lot less efficient that the Integrated Air Defence system, but it's always useful to have redundancy.'

'It'd be fine for you to examine those stations, Empress...which would you like to see first?'
07-08-2003, 17:47
"I would like to inspect a 32mm turret, as well as one of the main guns' systems. Also, I'd like to look at the launch systems for the 105mm missiles and the ICBMs. Once that's done, let's visit the bridge." decides the Empress.
GMC Military Arms
08-08-2003, 09:08
June nods, 'Well, we're closest to the main gun...If you don't mind climbing a ladder you can get in from here on deck.' she pauses, 'Oh, it's out of position...' The turret rotates to point directly to the ship's port side, 'There. Otherwise, the more dignified way is inside down a couple of passageways and up the staircase near the barbette. Whichever you prefer, really. Of course, inside you could examine the hoists and magazine as well...It's probably better.'

Either way, inside it's a fair bit warmer; directly in front of the Empress are the two gun breeches, both closed; shell hoists are located nearby, along with mechanisms for lifting charge bags and various loading gear. A snake's nest of cables run into the magnetic accelerators that surround the barrels.

The duty loading team salutes as they see the party enter, 'Officer on deck.'

June nods, 'At ease.'

She turns back to the Empress, 'We generally carry ten rounds for the main guns...That's two more than we could ever fire on mission, anyway. Round types include standard high explosive, obviously, but also a few more exotic things like CIWS cannister rounds and MIGM shells...You'll get to see one of those fired tomorrow.'
08-08-2003, 09:44
Empress Joanna frowns. "It's quite a large system--I take it there is a maintenance schedule?" she glances at one of the crew at random.
"What are your duties at this post during combat, sailor?"
GMC Military Arms
08-08-2003, 09:55
He salutes, 'Loading supervisor, sir. It's my job to oversee the movement of the shell from hoist to breech. This crew can manage a full reload in four minutes twnety-six seconds, sir.' he smiles proudly.

June nods, 'Four minutes two-six is good time, especially for a gun this size. As far as maintainance goes, the barrel generally lasts three, usually four rounds before it's unusuable. They're currently building a mobile drydock for this ship, but at the moment the only option is to come back here, yank out the barrel and replace it. It's a pretty expensive operation, but it's cheaper than a full-scale airstrike, which the MIGM round's effect isn't a bad approximation of.'
08-08-2003, 10:53
Empress Joanna is looking very thoughtful. "I see...well, I would like to see the command and information center now, please."
As they are leaving, once out of the hearing of the ratings, she remarks, "Perhaps I'm missing something, but I feel that there is something I'm not being told. In a world where torpedos and missiles have become frighteningly accurate over vast distances--greater than those your main guns, however impressive, can fire to--what is the reason for having them? They can only fire four rounds--so I'm thinking that they are capable of firing conventional rounds but not meant to."
GMC Military Arms
08-08-2003, 11:09
June nods, 'Airstrike gun. Can I go on?' she turns to Anne-Marie, who nods, 'Well, we can put a round on-target four hundred miles away...What's a little less public is it's still travelling at twenty times the speed of sound when it hits. Now, at that speed a lightweight projectile hits as hard as a cannon round, that's the theory behind MIGM; Multiple Independent Guided Munition. Essentialy, the body of the shell splits apart like a cluster bomb during the final stage of it's arc; it spawns about eight hundred munitions, rocket assisted and satellite guided, fused to explode just after impact. It's rather like firing a full-scale artillery strike as a single shell.'
08-08-2003, 15:39
Empress Joanna says, "Ah! This is truly a wonderful creation." she looks thoughtful. "As arms go, most impressive; it is like a squadron of destroyers with an Aegis cruiser thrown in on a single ship. Now: let me see the hub of it all. How this lady of destruction is controlled."
GMC Military Arms
09-08-2003, 09:34
June smiles, 'This way, Empress.'

After heading down a few passageways and up several flights of stairs, they come to a doorway, June opens it, and the duty crew salutes, 'Captain on deck.'

'At ease.'

It's a rather large, well-lit room with several main consoles, June points across them, 'That's fire control...the auxiliary station, that is; that one is the radar ops, that's comms, from IR laser to the morse lamp;' she grins, and points to an old-fashioned wooden ship's wheel and brass telegraph, 'And that's main helm, though the telegraph's auxilary to the engine control station.' she points over to a chair, 'And at the moment, that's my chair, since the Captain's on shore leave.'
09-08-2003, 21:51
Empress Joanna looks a trifle grim for a moment, as do the other Lavenrunzians, but a moment later she smiles quietly and says, "I see. It is very pretty, by the way, preserving a classical touch. Officer of the watch, what is this ship's current status?"
GMC Military Arms
10-08-2003, 07:35
A sailor salutes, 'Sir, we're currently checking coils in the number one fusion reactor and undergoing routine barrel maintainance checks. We're in the final stages of both, all the work should be finished by tomorrow in time for the demonstration.'
10-08-2003, 08:05
"I see. And what about the deck watch--what reports have you had from them?" asks Joanna. "Has anyone done a sonar test recently?"

As she is asking this, General Schlabel says quietly to Anne-Marie, "You know, Lavenrunz does produce hafnium of excellent quality--where do you get your reactor products from?"
GMC Military Arms
10-08-2003, 08:16
'All's ok on deck, sir...We don't tend to use our sonar in harbour, since the dock's got it's own systems.'

Annie thinks, 'It's mostly from here...Are you making an offer?'
10-08-2003, 08:43
General Schlabel says, "Lavenrunz has never had a meltdown; our rods are guaranteed to work well, and our uranium is of exceptional quality. If you like, we will host an inspection to our facilities. Of course, I'm sure yours is of good quality as well, but we produce more than we need."
GMC Military Arms
10-08-2003, 08:54
'Ah...Well, the auxiliary plant here is nuclear fission, certainly, and we do have a lot of fission reactors in the military and some still in the power grid. I'll get the department of External Affairs on it as soon as possible.'

June looks out of the window, 'No matter how many times I see that, it still makes me smile,' she points over to Tanager docked nearby; there's a seaplane on a catapult mounted above her rear turret, and two recovery cranes on her flanks, 'Guess they never saw the point of getting rid of it. She's probably the only ship still serving in a modern navy with that kind of gear on her.'
10-08-2003, 09:02
Empress Joanna suddenly looks distant, thoughtful. "That was the first kind of carrier I was on, you know. About 25 years ago--my first action. I was a young marine, not even Heir yet, my brother was still alive. My first real command of anything. It brings back memories." she smiles at June. "Well, I am very impressed, so far, but the true test will be seeing her put through her paces, a battle drill would be good as well."
GMC Military Arms
10-08-2003, 09:13
June nods, 'I'm sure we could make it a battle exercise for you, Empress. I'll check it with the Admiral of the Fleet.'

Anne-Marie turns to Joanna, 'Would you like to inspect the rest of Battleship Row, Empress?'
10-08-2003, 09:35
"I would indeed. What is the standard helicopter or similar vehicle you use? I would like to travel by that means." Empress Joanna remarks.
GMC Military Arms
10-08-2003, 09:41
June thinks, 'Well, we carry an eight-seat Hawk; it's normally used by the Admiral. I'm sure that would be appropriate.'

Anne-Marie nods, 'Six combat and one transport helicopter on Nihilanth...The combat helicopters are only two-seater; not much good for a group.'
10-08-2003, 09:57
Empress Joanna nods. "That will do. I'll fly it." she says, with a grin, moving towards the cockpit. "Don't you carry anything else for search and rescue, or antisubmarine duty?"
GMC Military Arms
10-08-2003, 10:15
June nods, 'The six other helicopters are ASW types; our battlegroup would handle any search and rescue duties.'

Anne-Marie sits in the co-pilot's position, 'Displays are in Imperial measurements, by the way.'

Above the Bay the view is spectacular, dozens of ships lined up in their docks. Anne-Marie points along them, 'Ok, that's our second Dreadnought, Akujiki; over there is the hull of the one we're considering assigning to SATO, Lady Yunalesca. That group of three there are the Grand Fleet's Railships, Ashitaka, Frith and Virvane, next to them the battleships Axelay, Shiori, Auron, Rikku, Ruri and Rei. Just along a little from there, that's the Fourth CG's Railship Herne and their second battleship Thiassi; Tanager is next to Nihilanth, there. She points over to a huge submarine, 'And that's our newest operational vessel, Isengard. She's a battleship-submarine.'

'There's a couple of carriers here, too...Most of them are serviced in the Northern docks, though.'
10-08-2003, 10:20
"Lady Yulanesca first," says Empress Joanna thoughtfully, "But Isengard is definitely next." She calls ahead to the dreadnought in question, requesting a landing. She also, frankly, wanted the best view of the vessel on an approach from the air.
GMC Military Arms
10-08-2003, 10:32
Anne-Marie nods, 'She's about half-finished, same for her main armament, since ASPD is fabricating that. She's ahead of schedule, though.'

Stepping out onto the deck, it's obvious this isn't a finished ship; parts of the superstructure are skeletal or completely missing, and there's a lot of construction equipment and scaffolding around, too. The main turret has no guns in it, and there are a pair of gaping holes in the rear deck.

'They're installing her fusion reactors tomorrow...After that, they'll close those up.'
10-08-2003, 11:04
Admiral de Goethe asks, "How was she laid down? Modular sections? Surely she wasn't started here?"

The Empress says, "Are all the parts from GMC corporations, or do you import anything?"

General Schlabel requests permission to see some of the superstructure from within.
GMC Military Arms
10-08-2003, 11:12
'Actually, the hulls are built in Western Asia, based on their trimaran aircraft carrier designs; Nihilanth was originally just the main turret on a pair of carrier hulls joined end-on-end; the two newer ships are more custom-built than that, to reflect the modifications we made to turn her into an effective warship rather than a stop-gap defence.'

'Other than that, all the parts are manufacture by us, either by the Navy or Army Special Projects Division, for the most part.'

Annie thinks for a moment about General Schlabel's request, 'Hmm...You'd probably want a hard hat just in case.'
10-08-2003, 11:21
"Perhaps not now, General." says Empress Joanna. "Well, I've seen enough here. Is there sufficient fuel in the helicopter? Excellent! Now, on our way to Isengard, explain to me the concept of sub-carrier by your definition." there is a slight emphasis on 'your' though as far as the GMC people know, Lavenrunz posesses no such thing. Empress Joanna walks briskly towards the helicopter and gets back in.
GMC Military Arms
10-08-2003, 11:30
'Oh, she's no carrier, Empress, she's a battleship; railship, if you want to be exact. Her main mounts are eight 19.2 inch guns; at the moment they're retracted, I'll have them deployed when we land.'

'As far as strategy goes, she's considered as a surface combatant which can hide underwater rather than a sub-surface combatant which can fight on the surface, if that makes any sense.'
10-08-2003, 11:54
Empress Joanna concentrates on landing on the Isengard, but also on taking a good look at her. They notice that she is a competent pilot, though more on the level of a reservist than a full time pilot.
GMC Military Arms
10-08-2003, 12:09
Isengard is certainly an interesting ship; she's a thousand feet long, with most of her armament in recessed cells or retracted behind doors. Her foredeck has three large hatches, the sternmost slightly smaller than the other two. Her superstructure is more reminicent of a ship's than a normal submarine sail.

Her two helipads are towards her stern, with small hangars adjoining them.

'Nice landing, Empress,' Anne-Marie smiles, 'I believe you wanted to inspect the armament?'
10-08-2003, 12:16
"Thank you," says Empress Joanna. She glances round at the others. "Now: the first and most obvious question: how can a monster like this be effective as a sub? It is not as streamlined as most submarines, it is big, and it has more hydraulics, obviously. Moreover, it must give off a hell of a movement signature for satellites to see."
GMC Military Arms
10-08-2003, 12:29
'As I said, she's a surface warship before she's a submarine...Mainly she's designed for short-term evasion rather than long-term concealment, though for her size she's pretty quiet.'
11-08-2003, 10:40
"What are her armaments?" Empress Joanna asks. "And propulsion, speed? Does she carry any aviation or smaller vessels?"
GMC Military Arms
11-08-2003, 11:04
'Other than her main guns, she's primarily missile armed for surface combat; SAMs, ASMs and cruise missiles, few ICBMs...What you'd expect on a surface warship. She's also got four torpedo tubes; we normally use supercavitation torps.'

'Speed-wise, she's rated at thirty knots submerged...Drive's classified, but she runs off a fusion reactor.'

'Aviation wise, she carries a pair of helicopters, but that's about it.'

Anne-Marie points to the nearest vessel on each side, 'Her escorts, Excalibur and Urd...As far as we're aware, they're the only AEGIS submarines in existence.'

She points over to what appears to be a squadron of near-identical carriers, five of them, each a thousand feet long, 'That's going back with the rest of the SATO assigned group in a week or so...That's our second Strike Platform, Comona.'
11-08-2003, 17:56
Empress Joanna says, "One thing that I am very curious about. Similar to The Territory, GMC Military Arms is a nation which has a number of genetics programs that have enhanced or altered sections of the population. Does your fleet--indeed your military in general--reflect this? Clearly it does insofar as artificial intelligence goes."
GMC Military Arms
12-08-2003, 08:47
Anne-Marie thinks for a moment, 'Well, enhanced humans are a minority in our population, bu they're well-represented in the military, as you'd probably expect.' she smiles and points to her eyes, 'Including me. Enhanced humans have red eyes.'
12-08-2003, 09:18
"Why do you have red eyes?" Empress Joanna asks.
GMC Military Arms
12-08-2003, 09:20
She shrugs, 'Just the way it is, I suppose...All our enhanced humans do.'
12-08-2003, 09:24
Empress Joanna seems displeased with this answer. "Do you mean you've never bothered to find out?"
GMC Military Arms
12-08-2003, 09:29
'A lot of the human enhancement project work is heavily classified, as you'd probably expect, and genetics really isn't my field anyway...I suppose it's either a result of the other changes, or just a mark to show they've been done; I believe there's one nation that produces life extensions that leave all acceptants with white hair.' she smiles, 'I guess it just seems normal to me, since I was born that way.'
12-08-2003, 12:09
"Fascinating...Lavenrunz has no such genetics experimentation, you know. Perhaps we could talk more over dinner." suggests the Empress. "It has been rather a long day. Also, i would like to discuss more of direct relations between our countries with you."
GMC Military Arms
12-08-2003, 12:20
She nods, 'Sounds good, Empress; we'll need to take the helicopter back to Nihilanth first, obviously...As I said, you'll be staying in the officers' quarters tonight, so dinner's in their mess hall.'

[Skip to that?]
12-08-2003, 12:35
OOC: Yes, please, lead on. I have to go for tonight/this morning, though. Glad of this chance to get to know your country better. :)
GMC Military Arms
12-08-2003, 12:57
[That evening...]

The officer's quarters are pleasant enough, though a little plain given what the Empress is used to. There's been obvious effort to smarten up the mess hall; the whole room is immaculate, and the Empress might just spot some touched-up paint in a couple of corners.

Not that it's particularly necessary; the mess hall is a nice-looking room anyway. There's few long tables, and a piano in one corner.

Dinner is spaghetti bolognese, very well made, with a choice of wine, champagne or GMC-made 30-year-old whiskey.

Anne-Marie turns to the Empress, 'Incidentally, have you been sent any documentation on our space program yet? I believe there's some discussion on space within SATO.'
12-08-2003, 21:18
Glancing around, however, the Empress feels nostalgic. The simpler days when she was a mere Archduchess, doing her best to gain acceptance and not a strange subtle deference and envy from fellow officers in the wardroom...
At the Field Marshal's question, the Empress glances at General Schlabel, who swallows the wine he had just begun to drink and clears his throat.
"No, we have not received any documentation. In fact, that is an area we believe SATO is weak in as far as unified information and planning. Lavenrunz has a general program of battlesatellites, a number of which have been implemented, and I think you know that we have a mining colony on Ceres. The Empress' cousin, Archduke Amadeus, has brought back some valuable experience regarding that. But we certainly would like to hear more."
GMC Military Arms
13-08-2003, 10:23
'Well, our own speciality is launch equipment; we don't have what you'd call a conventional space program, most of our resources are concentrated on the High Velocity Gun project. Nihilanth's main armament was originally built as part of that, as was the Eye of God, although both ended up in the military after they'd finished gathering data for the final stage of the project.'

She smiles, and takes a slip of whiskey, 'SABRE. It's among the biggest objects classified as guns in the world; the barrel's thirty-two feet wide and one thousand eight hundred feet long, mounted vertically. It can manage a payload of one hundred and twenty tons, straight up to orbit. And since it's a Gauss gun, the only real expense in firing is electricity, as well as a little on routine maintainance; the main expense is the payload itself.'

'Obviously it can't manage manned launches unless you're using an antigrav or similar system to cushion the pilot's area; the acceleration is too much otherwise.'

'We had thoughts of allowing other SATO nations to use it for launches...Would you be interested?'
13-08-2003, 16:17
"Actually, Lavenrunz could use such a system for launching satellites and robot piloted craft into space, from the city of Astra. I don't know if you are familiar with it: Astra was actually built from a couple of small declining factory towns a couple of years ago. Expatriates of the former space colonies of Tsaraine, Derkesthai and Hephestus populated it for the most part--there was a series of terrorist attacks against inhabited satellite systems and L-5 colonies that left these people homeless--and their technological expertise put us in space. Research centers, launch systems and training centers have sprouted like mushrooms after the rain.
We do in fact have two big rail guns that Menelmacar built for us, but they are for defensive purposes." General Franze of the Imperial Rocket Corps says. He is a compact, blunt featured man who talks rapidly about this subject.
"What is your country's interest in space, in general?" asks Empress Joanna.
GMC Military Arms
14-08-2003, 09:19
Anne-Marie thinks for a moment, 'Can't say I've ever heard of it, actually.' she turns to General Franze, 'Our national defence grid includes a number of large electromagnteic weapons, principally the eight railguns that guard our coast and the six God Cannons; there's four tracked and two on rotating pedestals up at the SABRE faility.'

She pauses, 'Tracked ones are registered as the Hand, Sword, Voice and Eye of God, the two fixed ones are called Medusa and Spite. They're all 71.2 inch 95 calibre Gauss guns; the 71.2 is the biggest mass-producted shell calibre in existence, as far as we're aware.'

She turns back to Joanna, 'Our major interest in space is defence and intelligence; we've never been too worried about manned programs, although the shuttle project got to the point where we'd a had a pair of transporters commissioned before it was scrapped to free up funds for SABRE. Basically, spysats and anti-missile sats.'

She smiles, 'Incidentally, Empress, are you enjoying your meal?'
14-08-2003, 09:39
Empress Joanna said, "Oh, yes, it is very good. I was thinking that it reminded me of being in the service again. It was strange you know. You see, my brother was still the Heir, and there is not much for a second child to do until they have proven themselves. Joining the Marines did not please my father; he would have preferred I think that I joined a Guards unit or some such thing where he could keep an eye on me! He did warn me that I would find things difficult. There was an awkwardness, from the Naval Academy to my first year, with people not seeming to know quite how to treat me. Either overly harshly as though in compensation, or with muted awe. When I was first going into action, I remember the fleet admiral wishing me good luck personally.
But that first day...the People's Republic of Sorrow. Long forgotten, but we were at war with them, twenty five years ago. You know this story, Franze, Schlabel, but we had thrown a grenade into a bunker, my platoon, and then we were going in and I was leading. An officer had somehow not been hit, and he fired his submachinegun at me--and missed completely! He must have panicked and not held it properly, but to the eyes of this green lieutenant it was shocking as a miracle! So he went to reload, quickly, and the others--who unlike me had flung themselves down and away, were just hearing him putting the clip in--which all seemed dreamlike to me--and I lifted my rifle in a reflex action and shot him--" she tapped her forehead. "Foom! Right through the head! After that everyone thought I had nerves of steel! And after that, along with everything else, there was a true comraderie. This meal reminds me of that."
GMC Military Arms
14-08-2003, 09:44
Anne-Marie blinks, looking slightly shocked. 'I was just going to say I was the one who cooked it...'
14-08-2003, 10:45
Empress Joanna raises an eyebrow and looks faintly amused. "As I said, very tasty indeed. What about you, Field Marshal? What was your first time in the field like?"
GMC Military Arms
14-08-2003, 10:56
She frowns, 'Well, pretty unremarkable, to tell you the truth. I was first posted on-field during the Danneland Civil War*; that situation was eventually resolved by an airstrike by Army bombers escorted by Air Force Special Operations fighters; not much ground involvement, except in mopping up. Still, I directed that.'

[OOC: *Actually, this is the only war I've ever been involved in...Don't really like war RPs. But I guess there's been a few smaller ones, and Annie is a talented officer]
14-08-2003, 11:15
Empress Joanna and the other Lavenrunzians nod, falling silent for a bit.
So much for a night telling old war stories. thinks Empress Joanna ruefully. "What religion is practiced here?" the Empress asks.
GMC Military Arms
14-08-2003, 11:22
She thinks for a moment, 'Protestant Christian is the main one, but only just, and pretty much every religion is represented here. Kinda to do with how everyone ended up on this island in the first place, I guess...' she stops, although the Empress might have noticed a hint of anger in her voice at those last words.
14-08-2003, 11:38
Empress Joanna looks at her her eyes encouraging. "This is something of a tale...if it does not offend you, I would like to hear it."
GMC Military Arms
14-08-2003, 11:54
Anne-Marie nods, 'Well, this island never used to be inhabited by humans officially, and since there was only one Elf city left after whatever happened to them, they weren't in much of a position to refuse...' she stops for a moment, then continues, 'Some countries used to use this island as a dumping ground for anyone they didn't want, be they Christians, Jews, Muslims, lepers, whatever...They just dumped them here and hoped they'd die or the dragons would eat them.'

'The dragons are what saved us...This island was never officially settled, since they have a dislike of being hunted by settlers, I guess, so they just left us here.'

'Well, in time the people stopped coming, though we didn't know if that was because the empires sending people here had gone or they'd just sent everyone they didn't want. Didn't really care, to be honest, we were a little busy trying to survive...'

She thinks for a moment, 'Did you see the statue of the pirate down by the docks?'
14-08-2003, 12:13
" I did, in fact, and had planned to ask about the statue when there was opportunity." the Empress says.
GMC Military Arms
15-08-2003, 09:34
She smiles, 'The statue's of Captain Hans Gerhart...If you've heard of him at all, it's probably as Blackheart; people used to call him that...He was something of a legend among pirates.'

'Anyway, one day his fleet sailed into Hammer Bay and dropped anchor; back then, there wasn't anything here. Eventually, he found out the island was inhabited, and offered us a deal...He'd protect the island if we'd shelter his fleet. Seemed like a good enough offer; Gerhart Fortress out in the Bay was built to seal it.' she smiles, 'It's kinda hard to look at this place now and think the first stones were laid by pirates.*'

'Anyway, with the rise of modern navies they couldn't operate anymore, so they settled here...There's quite a few buildings on the waterfront with old ship timbers from pirate galleons in them.'

[*Watching GMC's television and films, you'd quickly realise Gerhart is thought of as a Robin Hood-like figure]
15-08-2003, 10:16
"I see--a fascinating tale of your origins." Empress Joanna remarks. "Well. I would rest now--to be fresh and ready for an early start tomorrow. Very much looking forward to seeing the maneuvers." she stands up.
GMC Military Arms
15-08-2003, 10:21
Anne-Marie nods, and lays down her cutlery. 'I'll be there for those too, Empress. Well, have a good night's sleep.' she smiles.

[I feel 'tis time to skip to tomorrow.]
GMC Military Arms
18-08-2003, 09:04
The next morning, the Empress arrives at the docks to find June waiting for her, along with two other women, both slightly shorter and younger-looking than her, one more so than the other. The youngest-looking is wearing civilian clothes, the older a captain's uniform; both have yellow eyes and long white hair. June steps forward, and salutes.

'Good morning, Empress Joanna. Just thought you'd like to be introduced to my sisters, since one of them will be accompanying us.' she gestures towards the taller woman, 'This is May, assigned to the Dreadnought Akujiki,' points to the younger, who looks in her late teens or early twenties, 'And this is Julia. She'll be assigned to Lady Yunalesca. She's going to be along today...It's important for her to see a real-life drill as well as simulations, as I'm sure you can imagine.'

Julia bows, 'Good morning, Empress.'

June thinks for a moment, 'Incidentally, the three of us...and, well, the naval defence command in general have one little concern regarding the third Dreadnought's assignment to SATO. While she's unlikely to be stationed outside the RPRA RDF anytime soon for support and maintainance reasons, there's a possibility she may be deployed to other ports...Including, possibily, your own. There's also the possibility of naval exercises between our nations to be considered, for that matter.'

'Which brings us to the question, regarding Julia...Would she be regarded as a citizen and an officer under your laws, or just a component of the ship?'
20-08-2003, 09:58
Empress Joanna frowns. "That is a very good question. When O1O had formed its own nation, I had made requests for an ambassador, and I have spent much time in conversation. But recent events have kept at bay legislation which might recognize citizen rights for--I beg your pardon, but I have no ready phrase than 'artificial intelligence'. However, I will personally guarantee that you will be treated as a person and not as a mere component. Just a warning: that will of course mean that you should familiarize yourself with our laws and customs."
GMC Military Arms
21-08-2003, 03:55
Julia nods, 'Thank you, Empress...I'm sure we have copies of Lavenrunzian legal documents on file somewhere...I'll have to look into it further.' she smiles brightly, 'Should be interesting.'

June continues, 'Today's drill is primarily a live gunnery exercise; you're lucky to see one, since we don't have them often since they're pretty expensive, but I've got to break in a new gun crew. Also, it's Bravo's last round before it needs replacing; that's the starboard gun barrel, by the way.'

'There's fifty targets set in the Bay...Mostly fixed targets representing escorts, two old freighters and a tanker as capital ships. After that we'll be running a couple of ASW drills, then returning so they can pull out that barrel and replace it.'
21-08-2003, 09:12
Baron von Bresnvorts comes over and speaks quietly to the Empress in Lavenrunzian. The Empress says, "Excuse me, please," and walks away with him.
They talk quietly, the Empress becoming very grim. She walks back and says, "I need to speak with the Ministers and the Field Marshal under secure circumstances, immediately. This is a SATO matter."
GMC Military Arms
22-08-2003, 02:45
June blinks, 'Ah...Sure, the briefing room on board is secure.'

Anne-Marie nods, 'That would probably be best...It's covered by internal security, but that can be deactivated, and only June could hear us anyway.'

[I guess this'd now switch to the SATO forum thread?]
22-08-2003, 08:16
OOC: Yes. Hopefully we can continue this...I'm just not sure how big a crisis this is, or if it is another tempest in the Reich's teapot.
GMC Military Arms
24-08-2003, 10:29
Anne-Marie smiles, 'Glad it turned out to be intel overreacting...'

June nods, 'So, shall we get on to preparing for the exercise, Empress?'
24-08-2003, 10:37
"Indeed, yes, a firing exercise, I believe." says the Empress. "Lead on."
The Empress looks very tired, but resolved.
GMC Military Arms
24-08-2003, 10:47
June smiles, 'This may seem a little weird to you...It usually gets people, the first time they see it.' she pauses, 'Alright...' her voice suddenly comes over the internal speakers, 'Battle stations, all hands to battle stations.'

Anne-Marie continues, 'You'll probably get a better view of operations from the bridge...Although if you want a lie down until we get in position, I'm sure they could sort you out a bunk.'

June nods, 'Easily enough, yes. It's good nothing's going on...Wouldn't like to have to go out with a gun crew who'd never fired a live round.'
24-08-2003, 11:20
General Schlable and the Admiral wince visibly. Empress Joanna looks Anne-Marie in the eye somewhat coldly. "I am perfectly prepared, Field Marshal, to carry on with the inspection. And the view you describe seems excellent, I will see it from there."
GMC Military Arms
24-08-2003, 11:28
Anne-Marie bows slightly, 'I meant no offence, Empress.'

Looking out the front window the Empress will be able to see the Dreadnought casting off, several dozen white-clad sailors busying themselves with her moorings.

June turns to her, 'We'll be meeting the rest of the battlegroup as soon as we're underway. Should only be a few minutes.' an officer hands June a clipboard, and she glances over it briefly, 'That's good time*.' she nods.

[*It's the time it took for the crew to assume battle stations]
24-08-2003, 11:37
"Let's take a look at the targets." suggestst the Empress. "Are the ships to be targeted basically seaworthy?"
GMC Military Arms
24-08-2003, 11:48
June pauses, 'They float, certainly...Two are being retired anyway; the range is over a sandbank so they can be recovered for scrap. So they won't sink very far before they run aground.' she glances out the window, 'There...You can just make them out. The third, the tanker, caught fire while they were flushing out it's tanks...No casualities, luckily, but she's a write-off, so they've patched her up as a target.'

Anne-Marie continues, 'It's a visual-range shot, which wouldn't tend to be done in combat...Normally, the only thing you'd see of the target group is a satellite read-out.'

June voice switches to the speaker again, 'Load Bravo gun.'

A man's voice comes back, 'Aye, sir.'

She turns to the Empress, returning to her normal voice, 'Four minutes thirty or less is what we're expecting.'
26-08-2003, 21:50
"Thank you." says the Empress. "The reason I asked about the status of the targets: not to denigrate your tests or equipment, but the fact is we never know how good these weapons will be until they are in action. Because there are a lot of things that factor in combat that are never factored in such tests except theoretically. Countermeasures, the enemy's detection system and response following, and so on. In war games, the weapon is presumed to work or not depending on the construction of the game."
GMC Military Arms
27-08-2003, 08:57
Anne-Marie nods, 'Very true...Those ships out there today are only serving as targets rather than recovering test data; we have tested similar weapons on Wavell Gunnery Range against modern armour, and the results are as we'd expect. Countermeasure-wise, these rounds travel almost seven times faster than missiles, so they're extremely difficult to intercept, and given the number of projectiles involved damage to a target would be all but inevitable.'

June smiles, 'It's well proven technology, and it's effective in the situation it was designed for. That's all you can really ask for, with something like this.'

She blinks, 'Wow...Four minutes ten. Looks like they're trying to impress you, Empress.' her voice switches over to the speaker again, 'All hands, firing in five, four, three, two, one...'

At which point there's a thunderous explosion; the whole ship seems to move as the main gun fires. A streak of white fire curls off into the distance, spreading out into hundreds of trails as it seperates, two splashes in the water as it does so, two more a moment later. There are small explosions visible as the penetrators hit home.

June waits for a moment, then, 'Confirmed hit on all targets, I'll have more details soon. Good job, Bravo.'

The voice comes back, 'Thank you, sir.'

She turns back to the Empress, 'We'll be sending out a helicopter soon to check the damage, perhaps you'd like to inspect it for yourself?'
27-08-2003, 17:43
"I would indeed." says Joanna, feeling breathless but masking it with an officer-face. She smiles and says, "This time, i will let one of your pilots man the helicopter, as I would like to get a good view."
GMC Military Arms
27-08-2003, 17:54
Anne-Marie nods, 'I'm a little more used to Army helicopters, but I'm sure I can manage. Shall we?'

Pretty soon, they're hovering over the tanker. It's a mess; there's large, ragged holes in it's sides, and large sections of it's main deck are floating in the water nearby, some still burning.

Anne-Marie talks over her shoulder; 'The four splashes you saw when the round seperated were it's heat shield...It's a ton of ceramic, splits into four when the round seperates. They hit about as hard as battleship rounds, usually just splash down near the sep point. Means they're bad for collateral damage if they're fired over land, unless you're calculating to drop them on something.'

June carries on over the radio as they pass an enormous gash in the hull that looks like a slash mark, 'This is civilian grade material rather than armour, so the damage is a little exaggeranted, but I'm sure you can see it's an effective weapon.'

Anne-Marie nods, 'So, Empress, do you think one of these Dreadnoughts would be an appropriate contribution to SATO?'
28-08-2003, 17:10
Empress Joanna says quietly, "I am quite impressed. I think they will be a fine addition. Their slowness concerns me, however."
GMC Military Arms
29-08-2003, 11:07
Anne-Marie nods, 'Well, we find they're more suited to defensive roles, if you want an offensive vessel, they're planning on a second battleship group lead by a vessel similar to Isengard.'

June comes in over the radio, 'I'm glad you approve, Empress.'

Anne-Marie continues, 'Now, we've got an invite for you to inspect the Faith Park tank plant, if you're interested...It's one of the largest facilities of it's kind in the world. Either that, or I could show you around the capital?'
29-08-2003, 11:15
"I should like to see the capital first." says Empress Joanna. "Your country is so different from mine that I would like a first hand glimpse of its character."
GMC Military Arms
29-08-2003, 11:20
She nods, 'I'm sure you won't be disappointed...I'd be honoured if you'd stay in my house while you're there, if that's not a problem.' she smiles, 'First thing's first, though...I'd better land this thing.'

About an hour later, the Dreadnought has returned to dock. 'It's probably best if you go by plane...Quicker, certainly.'

[Unless you've got any objection to that, I'll carry straight on to landing]
29-08-2003, 11:22
Empress Joanna lifts an eyebrow, but she smiles at Anne-Marie and says, "Not at all, I should be delighted. May I ask if your culture is generally so informal?"

OOC: yes, if you wish to land, go ahead.
GMC Military Arms
29-08-2003, 11:32
She smiles, 'As informal as it's polite to be, Empress.'

Marshall City is very different to the Bay; instead of squat factories there are dozens of gleaming skyscrapers; the centrepoint of the city and indeed the whole island is Maiden's Tower, a volcano-shaped black tower rising a mile above the city, red anti-collision lights blinking on it's surface.

'That's our main administrative building, both corporate and government.' Anne-Marie says, pointing, 'And down there,' she points to a huge cathedral, 'That's the Grand Cathedral of the Sacred Blood, built by King George. You'll be able to visit the ruins of the old Royal Palace later, if you want to.'

The plane soon touches down in an airport on the outskirts of the city. It's strange to look around; the city visibily gets older the further from the centre they are, at least in this direction.

'There should be a limousine along to pick us up in a minute,' Anne-Marie smiles, 'Feel free to ask anything you like about the city...I grew up here, so I should be a good tour guide.'
29-08-2003, 11:48
"Why is your country no longer a monarchy, Field Marshal?" Joanna asks curiously. "And why have you left this palace in ruins? Were you ill treated by tyrants?"
GMC Military Arms
29-08-2003, 11:55
She shakes her head, 'The Royal bloodline died out a few hundred years ago, the last King left no heir...And The Palace was destroyed by fire about a hundred years after that; most of the roof collapsed, and I guess they needed the resources for other things, so it was never rebuilt.' she frowns, 'It's a shame, becuase looking at it you can see what a beautiful building it was.'

A pair of limousines pull up, 'Would you like to visit anywhere in particular, or shall we call it a day?'

[There's a lot of old museums, libraries and art galleries in the capital, some of which have spectacular collections]
29-08-2003, 12:14
Empress Joanna says, "I should like to see one of your museums. One that shows something of your country's history. I must say, I'm surprised--there was no remnant, even by marriage, of anything resembling the Royal Line?"
GMC Military Arms
29-08-2003, 12:19
GMC Military Arms
29-08-2003, 12:19
She shakes her head, 'None stepped forward to take up the crown, so it was assumed none remained.'

She thinks for a moment, 'There's a couple of good history museums, or the Marshall Island Museum of Science if you want a bit more of a technical history...They've got some amazing exhibits there.'
29-08-2003, 12:23
"A history museum would do splendidly." says Empress Joanna. She also looks around as they drive there, wanting to get a better feel for this place, what the people are like, what kind of monuments they have.
GMC Military Arms
29-08-2003, 12:36
Anne-Maire smiles, 'Of course, the best place to go for history is Fortune City, since they have a few thousand years more of it...But they don't know what a fair amount of that was.' she pauses, 'This Island's been inhabited for thousands of years; before there were humans here it was home to Elves, nineteen major cities, we think. Then...Well, nobody knows what happened, really, but all but Fortune were completely destroyed. You'll have an opportunity to visit there, I'm sure.'

Looking around, the City gets taller as you move in, from old wattle-and-daub buildings to new skyscrapers and apartment blocks. Near the museum is a square with a dozen or so monuments in the centre, some of which have statues of Kings, others of soldiers, and each of which has names carved into it. They surround a large fountain; from the steam that comes off it, it's obviously pumping warm water.

'It's not always been a stable place here,' Anne-Marie frowns, 'Used to be divided into about twenty city-states...It was King George who united them, in the end, that's why they call him George the Great.'

They head into the museum; the entrance hall is filled with paintings, some of battles, some of Kings and Queens. There's also a few statues, and some suits of armour.
29-08-2003, 12:51
"If I could express a wish, Field Marshal," the Empress says, looking at one of the statues, "It would be this: that if all my dynasty should fade, and my nation change in culture and ideals, that it should be able to do so in a way that lets it have museums, and places where old times can be reflected on in peace. Not told as folktales around campfires or whispered as forbidden stories. If we are successful, that will be so."
GMC Military Arms
29-08-2003, 13:00
Anne-Marie nods, 'It's always best to remember those who came before us...There's a lot than can be learned from the past.' she smiles as they pass a painting of a white dragon, 'You'll probably see one of those before much longer...There's most common around Miles Bishop Airbase, East of here.'

She thinks for a moment, 'I'd like to visit Lavenrunz, someday...Do you have any problems with psychics*?'

[*I forgot to say anything about this, but the Empress would probably have been told in advance; Annie is psychic. It's not a particularly uncommon gift.]
29-08-2003, 13:13
Empress Joanna turns sharply towards Anne-Marie, her eyes like a raptor's. "Have you been reading my mind?" she asks. " you have not, I think, for I've had the experience, and am somewhat sensitive to that myself. Forgive me, I had a bad experience with that recently." her manner softens, she puts a comradely hand on Anne-Marie's. "Yes, I would like you to visit sometime. Do you know, I have a dragon? An egg, at any rate, which is taking forever to hatch..."
GMC Military Arms
29-08-2003, 13:21
Anne-Marie shakes her head, 'It's not a particularly diplomatic thing to do,' she smiles.

She pauses, 'A dragon egg? That'll probably give you an interesting time, if it's anything like the ones we have here...The females can have a wingspan over two hundred feet. 'S why they can them Grand Dragons, I should think.'

They stop at a painting of a man with long, dark hair and a short beard. He's extremely handsome, and has a proud look in his eyes, 'That's George the Great,' Anne-Marie smiles, 'His birthday's still a national holiday, even after all this time.'
30-08-2003, 19:09
"So I should think." says Empress Joanna. She says, "I believe that this has been a rather full day--and I would like to sample the hospitality you offered me, Field Marshal. As to dragons...the people of the nation in question rode them, you know. So it sounds the same--the ones I saw were enormous."
GMC Military Arms
30-08-2003, 19:36
She smiles, 'Must have made interesting steeds...That's one thing nobody's ever tried, though I can't see our dragons being particularly hot on the idea.'

It doesn't take long for them to arrive at Anne-Marie's house. The Empress might be a little disappointed at the size of the place; it's certainly a mansion rather than a house, but it's not enormous by any standards. The driveway is lined with trees, with a frozen fountain halfway up it, while a larger one in front of the house pumps warm water into the air.

Anne-Marie grins, 'They wanted to give me somewhere bigger, but I just wanted a place I could call home, really.'

Elisa meets them at the door*. She's wearing a paint-stained overall. She smiles brightly, 'Hi, Annie,' then blushes as she notices the Empress, 'Oh, I'm sorry, Empress, I didn't know you were coming.'

Inside is beautiful; the floor is polished white marble, and the hall is dominated by a large staircase leading up to a semicircular raised balcony, with doors leading off from it. The walls are covered with paintings; mostly landscapes. There's also a pair of vases of flowers on the pillars at the base of the staircase. Most of the furniture is old oak, well carved and obviously valuable.

Anne-Marie smiles, 'Would you like something to drink, Empress? I'll get started on dinner in a moment.'

[*Since she went home about the time the Empress was visiting the docks]
30-08-2003, 20:22
Empress Joanna is taken aback by the informality for only a moment, but then is very touched, and warmly says, "Not at all, this is your home and of course you have other concerns. Field Marshal, do you enjoy cooking?"
(as they converse)
General Schlabel,meanwhile, makes arrangements to return to Lavenrunz, hearing news from Knootoss.
"This is a lovely home," says Empress Joanna. "What were you painting, Elisa?"
GMC Military Arms
30-08-2003, 20:31
Anne-Marie smiles, 'Always liked cooking...I think it runs in my family.'

Elisa points at the paintings around the room, 'Just finishing one off...'

Anne-Marie grins, 'Elisa's a professional artist; there's one of her paintings in the national gallery, actually.'

Elisa nods, 'Err...Maybe I could send you one, Empress? If you like my work, that is.'

[OOC: Is the whole party minus the General there, or just Joanna?]
01-09-2003, 08:48
OOC: Just the Empress.
Empress Joanna smiles and gives her a gentle reproving tug on the ear. "I haven't seen any yet." she says, "But I would like to."
GMC Military Arms
01-09-2003, 15:06
Anne-Marie grins, 'I'll just get started.' she points to the sitting room, 'If you'd like to take a seat, Empress, I'll be back in a moment.'

Elisa smiles, pointing around the room, 'All of these are mine, if you'd like to take a closer look at any of them*.'

[*As said, mostly excellent landscapes, some paintings of Annie or the two of them together. If you'd like a description, feel free to ask.]
01-09-2003, 19:13
Empress Joanna sits down and admires the paintings. However her expression becomes grim after a moment.
"Storms over the Atlantic. It is not good. It forces my ships to be apart, causes coordination to break down...and renders it impossible for me to join them." she stands and paces a moment like a caged leopard.
Then she stops, smiling. "You know, Elisa, I used to be something of an artist, before I became Heir. I was something of a poet."
GMC Military Arms
02-09-2003, 09:10
She smiles, 'Never known that much about the military...I was excused service.* Still, It's nice to meet a fellow artist.' she pauses, 'Might I ask why you stopped?'

Anne-Marie returns and sits down next to Elisa, 'I'll need to go back in and check it in a minute...' she blinks, and turns to the door.

There's a little girl standing there in a nightdress, perhaps two at the oldest. She's rather pale, with short white hair, and her eyes are red; she looks a little tired and upset. Anne-Marie smiles gently, 'Jenny? Did you have a nightmare?'

The little girl nods.

Anne-Marie holds out her arms, 'Ok, come here...'

Jenny sits on Anne-Marie's knee, with Annie's arms around her. Anne-Marie turns to the Empress, 'Empress Joanna, this is our daughter, Jennifer.'

[*Because her sister is an officer in Air Force Special Operations, this is allowed. She still did firearms training.]
02-09-2003, 11:16
She smiles, 'Never known that much about the military...I was excused service.* Still, It's nice to meet a fellow artist.' she pauses, 'Might I ask why you stopped?'

"Ah..." Empress Joanna looks thoughtful for a moment, but there is a momentary glimpse of pain. "My father forbade me to practice it. That was when I joined the Imperial Marines."

Anne-Marie returns and sits down next to Elisa, 'I'll need to go back in and check it in a minute...' she blinks, and turns to the door.

There's a little girl standing there in a nightdress, perhaps two at the oldest. She's rather pale, with short white hair, and her eyes are red; she looks a little tired and upset. Anne-Marie smiles gently, 'Jenny? Did you have a nightmare?'

The little girl nods.

Anne-Marie holds out her arms, 'Ok, come here...'

Jenny sits on Anne-Marie's knee, with Annie's arms around her. Anne-Marie turns to the Empress, 'Empress Joanna, this is our daughter, Jennifer.'

"How do you do, Jennifer." says Empress Joanna. She smiles reassuringly and gives Anne-Marie a look that she hope conveys 'carry on, deal with the child.' She says to Elisa, "Is this your only child, if I may ask?"
GMC Military Arms
02-09-2003, 11:36
Elisa nods, 'She's our only child at the moment, yes. Although we do often look after Shiala for Main R&D.'

Anne-Marie nods*, 'Shiala's our other AI; she's on about the level of a twelve-year old at the moment.'

[*Being as her daughter is also psychic, Joanna probably gets the impression there's another conversation going on that she can't hear; to be precise, Annie would be explaining who Joanna is, what an Empress is and where Lavenrunz is]
03-09-2003, 14:30
"She is actually your child?" Joanna asks with interest. "The Ienotheisans have a way of having children without male involvement, do you as well?"
GMC Military Arms
03-09-2003, 14:46
'Yes...It's actually a fairly simple procedure.*' Elisa nods.

[*And real / near-real, apparently]
03-09-2003, 14:56
Empress Joanna says, "Well, my congratulations. You have a lovely family. I have three children: Valerian--25, Magda, 19 and married to the Hegemon of Terraus, and Aurora, who's just turned 13." she says jokingly, "Since we're not sitting on a beach or a transport, I feel safe enough showing you pictures, if you'd like to see."
GMC Military Arms
03-09-2003, 14:59
Elisa smiles, 'It'd be nice to see.'

Anne-Marie blinks, 'Oh, better see how things are going.' she picks Jenny up and places her on Elisa's lap, then heads out to the kitchen.
03-09-2003, 15:10
Empress Joanna takes the pictures out.
Valerian is a handsome young man with similar features and somewhat lighter blue eyes. The impression is someone less charismatic but perhaps more thoughtful than the Empress.
Magda is red haired, with delicate features and there is a picture of her by herself and another with Hegemon Witzig of Terraus at their wedding, both of them looking into one another's eyes as their hands are placed together and blessed by the Archbishop with them.
Aurora is the one who looks most like Joanna, a pretty girl but also strongly made.
GMC Military Arms
03-09-2003, 15:19
Elisa looks through the pictures, and smiles, 'You have a wonderful family, Empress.'

Anne-Marie reappears with a pair of trays, placing them on a table nearby, then returning with another. She smiles as she places a tray down in front of the Empress, a delicious-smelling pasta dish, 'It's an old family recipe,' she grins, 'One part of my family, anyway.'
03-09-2003, 15:30
Empress Joanna hides her amusement. Anne Marie has to be the most unmilitary field marshal she's ever met. She lifts her glass. "Well, my generous hosts, I salute you. And, with the request that God bless this delicious looking meal to our bodies' use, I shall, as they say, dig in." which she does. Curious about every aspect of it; pasta is rarely served in Lavenrunz, since pastry and rice are much preferred.
GMC Military Arms
03-09-2003, 15:47
[It's very good, in fact]

Anne-Marie smiles, 'The Italian side of my family, the Forellis...Would you like a drink of something, Empress? There's wine, or I've got some good whiskey.'
04-09-2003, 06:54
"Wine would be lovely. How did you both meet?" Joanna asks. "If it is not too personal a tale..."
GMC Military Arms
04-09-2003, 08:38
Elisa blushes, 'It's a little embarassing...' she smiles.

Anne-Marie continues, 'It was just after I was made up to Field Marshal, actually...We have quite a few military parades every year, especially here in the capital, and sometimes college students come along to see if they can pick up a soldier for the night,' she smiles, 'Or sometimes longer. Anyway, a bunch or Elisa's friends dragged her out that night, and since she's pretty shy, she ended up sitting on a bench on Victory Road on her own in the middle of the night. Happened that I was walking back to my old student flat to start packing for here, and saw her sitting there, so I went over and started talking to her.'

She smiles, 'Kinda in the nature of being psychic that you get to know people quickly,' she takes a sip of wine, 'But I knew there was something special about her straight away...So I invited her back to my flat.' Annie grins at Elisa, 'You were freezing cold...'

Elisa nods, 'As I said, it's a little embarassing.'
05-09-2003, 06:04
Empress Joanna feels a certain shock at the story. What kind of people are these? They freely admit (while remarking about 'embarassment') that their initial involvement was casual sex, and between women at that--and open peer pressure to do it. She realizes her expression is visible, and she says, "I can see that you are both happy together, and I am glad for that. But..what you described now would not be possible in Lavenrunz even now. When I was young, it was impossible altogether.How did your society become so free?"
GMC Military Arms
05-09-2003, 08:29
Elisa blushes, 'Ah, I think you might have the wrong idea about what happened...We didn't...Err...Do anything that night, Annie just thought I looked like I needed someone to talk to...'

'...Which she did' Annie-Marie smiles, 'Anyway, no harm. But with regards to your question, it's always been this way, as long as we have records. I guess nobody thought it was that big a deal...'

[Skip ahead soon?]
05-09-2003, 09:02
The next day, the Empress gets up very early and exercises for a while,then bathes and dresses. She good mornings the Field Marshal and says, "I need a weather report for the mid Atlantic, please."
GMC Military Arms
05-09-2003, 09:09
'I haven't heard of any change, Empress, though I haven't really had time to check,' Annie-Marie says. 'Won't be a moment.'

[OOC: She's off checking with the met office by phone...Is it still stormy, or is that for me to decide?]
05-09-2003, 09:13
OOC: Just for fun I thought I'd leave that up to you.
Empress Joanna frowns. "Why don't you have any pets?"
GMC Military Arms
05-09-2003, 09:20
Elisa blinks, 'Well, we do...I guess you just haven't seen her yet.' She hunts around for a moment, returning with a small tabby kitten, 'Not many people here have cats, for some reason...Dogs are a lot more popular. Her name's Kitty.'

Annie-Marie returns with a printout, 'Still stormy, but it's easing off...Should be clear in a couple of days, Empress.' she smiles, 'So, are you ok for visiting Faith Park today?'
05-09-2003, 09:44
Empress Joanna pets the cat a bit and sighs. "No one hunts with animals or anything?" as Anne-Marie comes in she takes the printout and frowns.
"Still high. Can't risk flying out to join the Fleet..." she frowns. "Field Marshal, I need to borrow a secure faxline. I'm going to order an escort to divert here." she stands up, putting the cat down. "And yes, the tour is a good idea. Forgive me, I know that you are giving me the best of your hospitality, but there is action imminent."
GMC Military Arms
05-09-2003, 09:53
Elisa shakes her head, 'It's rather cold for hounds or anything, I suppose, Empress.'

Anne-Marie nods, 'My line is secure, if you want to use that.'
07-09-2003, 14:06
Empress Joanna does use the fax, and then returns.
"We use leopards in Lavenrunz, in fact, a special breed of them. You could always breed animals adapted to cold." she remarks. "Well? The Park? Or are we having breakfast here?"
GMC Military Arms
08-09-2003, 08:21
Anne-Marie smiles, 'Most of the wild herds are out in the East...They're what the dragons eat, so it's not a particularly good idea hunting them.' she shrugs, 'And if you don't mind a little wait, I'm sure I can get you some breakfast.'

[Skip to the arrival?]
09-09-2003, 03:05
GMC Military Arms
09-09-2003, 09:59
It seems they've been flying over ancient, craggy mountains for a long time, when Anne-Marie calls out, 'Just up ahead, take a look...'

The mountains suddenly open out onto a vast, open plain, with patches of forest here and there. Roads and railways can be seen, snaking off into the distance, converging on a facility which looks to be the size of a small city.

'That's Faith. We'll be landing in a few minutes.'

As the plane approaches, the layout and sheer scale of the plant becomes apparent; marshalling yards, barracks, fabricating yards, depots and myriad other buildings surround a single immense structure that covers almost ten square miles of ground.

Anne-Marie points at it 'That's the primary assembly line; it was built to produce Mark Seven Mammoth Tanks...You'll see one, later on. She points over to another set of buildings near the edge of the facility; like many of the outer buildings, they're steel-and-glass; administrative buildings, for the most part, but these are walled off from the rest of the facility, and somewhat larger, 'And that's the main research and development centre for the Army Special Projects Division...Wavell Gunnery Range isn't far from here, either.'

The pilot calls over the intercom, 'We'll be landing in ten minutes.'

On the ground, they're met by a small group of officials, including a man in a General's uniform, who salutes, first to the Empress, then to Anne-Marie, 'Welcome to Faith Park, Empress Joanna.'
10-09-2003, 13:26
"Thank you, General." says Empress Joanna. "This is all very impressive. You may present yourself and those with you--and then I would like to be briefed about the Gunnery Range."
GMC Military Arms
10-09-2003, 14:05
He bows, 'General David Kent, sir, I'm the Facility Commander,' he points across the others, 'James Peters, senior foreman on the main line, and Michelle Stevens, head of research and development for the Army Special Projects Division.' as their names are called out, they bow.

He smiles, 'Wavell Gunnery Range is about ten miles that way,' He points down a road leading out of the complex, 'It's a state of the art gunnery testing range, used primarily for new weapons, from infantry right up to the gun they mounted on the Eye of God...There's also some excellent urban combat training facilities there...A lot of our units are assigned there to do FIBUA training during their terms of service.'

Anne-Maire nods, 'It's where the first Dreadnought's guns were originally mounted and tested, too.' she smiles, 'So, would you like to inspect the main assembly hall?'
12-09-2003, 01:28
"I would like to." Empress Joanna says, "Miss Stevens--I would like to meet you personally. You were at the conference recently held, were you not? And you are as pretty as Schlabel told me you were." her eyes hold her with warm approval.
GMC Military Arms
12-09-2003, 08:27
[OOC: Arrgh...Thought that name sounded familiar. Oh well, no real problem with it being the same person.]

She smiles, 'Well, that shouldn't be a problem...Although I'm not really sure quite what sort of meeting you have in mind, Empress...*'

She smiles brightly, 'Anyway, shall we get started on the tour?'

[*She's not being disrespectful, she's just a little confused]
14-09-2003, 10:35
"I meant that I wanted to see you face to face and say hello, as we have done." the Empress replies. "And yes, let us continue. General,may I ask first what experience you have had?"
GMC Military Arms
15-09-2003, 10:00
He grins, 'Of course, Empress: I started out my military career as a Drill Instructor in the Fourth Armoured Division; from there I was promoted to Major in command of a artillery battery a couple of years later. After that, I commanded the Fourth and Seventh Brigades before being promoted up to command of the Third Army a year and a half ago.'

Anne-Marie smiles as a small open-topped bus-like vehicle arrives, 'Here's our ride.'

They swing around some of the outer buildings, 'Most of the outer part of the facility is storage, either for completed orders waiting to be shipped or materials coming in...There's also sections for processing materials coming in, as well as administartive buildings and a fairly large area of housing for the facility's perminant staff.'

They pass a lot full of tanks, varying in scale from small Land Sharks right up to gigantic 1,000-ton Mammoth Mark Sevens. Anne-Marie points to one, 'Of course, that's the reason this plant was originally constructed, to deal with the Mark Seven...There's only a handful of plants in the world that can turn out armoured vehicles of this size in any quantity.'

It's certainly an impressive vehicle; over a hunderd feet long, carrying two main turrets with 14-inch naval cannons mounted in them, and an assortment of smaller weaponry. There's five of them parked in a row, brand new and painted in Arctic camoflage. 'Of course, our whole stock of these vehicles are being returned here gradually for updating to the new Mk7 A3 standard, like those in front of you...They're probably going to be marketed internationally soon, too.'
15-09-2003, 10:09
Empress Joanna frowns. "It's most impressive. But calling it a tank is rather strange, don't you think? Where can it possibly maneuver apart from in open country? It's more like heavy naval artillery made mobile. And furthermore, let us say I wanted to buy some. How on Earth do you keep weapons on land supplied with such heavy ammunition? General, prove to me that this weapon is useful."
GMC Military Arms
15-09-2003, 10:30
He grins, 'Yes, they're a little difficult to support in an assault role, although their ammuntion's not that difficult to handle, if you load it onto trucks...It's best to deploy them in areas with road access.'

'The actual strategic role envisioned for these tanks is providing extremely heavy supporting fire for an advance by a conventional armoured colmun, or indeed a retreating one...' he pauses, 'A lot of the vehicle's design reflects a defensive unit...It's fairly slow, but it's got a lot of autonomy for an armoured vehicle...Shell payload is large, and there's thirty-six inches of armour plating on the front, with a minimum of twenty-six. And of course, even a near-miss from the main gun is enough to destroy any conventional MBT.'
15-09-2003, 10:38
"Very well." Empress Joanna says. "My son Valerian would be particularly interested here, he is an armor officer. But I am sure that any of them would point out that tanks units in war don't necessarily stand still. And I'm sure you know that as well. So tell me about the targeting and firing control systems--how good is this in an anti-tank role in a modern battlefield where mobility and force projection are everything?"
GMC Military Arms
15-09-2003, 10:59
He smiles, 'That's where the Mammoth comes into it's own, really...A tank this size can support a much more complex and effective fire control system than a smaller MBT...The one we're using at the moment is actually derived from the ANVIL secondary fire control system used by our Dreadnoughts.'

'It's got air-intercept and OTH radar, along with satellite guidence for rounds fired...The older Mammoth versions fired rocket-assisted guided shells, these newer ones are using Gauss guns instead of conventional ones...Brings the range out to two-hundred ten miles accurate, with the fire control compensating for movement as you'd expect from a modern tank.'
15-09-2003, 11:12
"Interesting. Now tell me about the fuel system and cooling systems. Following that, recovery and support--is there a similar vehicle to tow or maintain this one? What kind of ammunition carrying system do you have? And then the machine itself--it will take damage from weapons that can penetrate, so how does that take effect? For instance, we are experimenting with turret separate tanks so that the crew are not killed by a direct hit, and the main body could say be recovered--have you such a situation here?" the Empress asks.
GMC Military Arms
15-09-2003, 11:27
'Well, the fuel system's been updated a couple of times...The orignial Mk7 A1 used a diesel-electirc plant, but that was only ever a stopgap since the fuel demands were, to put it bluntly, horrific. The A2 used a nuclear reactor with batteries as backup, and the A3 in front of you uses a fusion unit, cooled with liquid nitrogen.'

'Support and maintainance is generally carried out by vehicles based on the same chassis as the Mammoth itself, yes.'

Michelle smiles, 'Although ASPD's looking into producing a smaller vehicle for towing them...A 'land-tug' that would make deployment easier.'

The General continues, 'Ammunition is usually shipped in standard supply trucks, sometimes on flatbeds if the demands are high.'

'Damage limitation...Well, the forward turret's ammunition bin is designed to focus any blast upwards in the event of a penetrating hit, so you'd lose the ammunition but not the turret or loading crew...The rear turret has a near-full barbette, so hits to the turret can't do much damage because the ammuntion is in the magazine.'

'The command section is actually below the forward turret, so the loss of one turret wouldn't affect the other anyway.'
15-09-2003, 11:46
"Let us talk about mobility." says Empress Joanna. "Speed--and under differing conditions? To say nothing of NBC protection."
GMC Military Arms
16-09-2003, 11:36
'Maximum rated speed for the A3 is twenty miles per hour...Fairly constant on most terrain types you'd expect to be able to operate armoured vehicles on, since there's not a lot that can slow it down, although it does have problems with especially unstable ground, and it's best off with ground being prepared for it...Can't cross most bridges, but it's excellent at fording, so that's hardly a problem.'

He grins, 'NBC protection is good, given that it's built to operate in freezing fog which imposes almost the same restrictions...It's well sealed, and it can operate for twelve hours completely sealed off from the outside world if need be, should there be something that damages the filters.'
16-09-2003, 12:35
"Hm. And the crew...tell me the lot. From operational control to command control." Empress Joanna is walking around it now (OOC: hint to give me a full description) and opening panels (unless strongly advised not to) looking at outside equipment and so on.
GMC Military Arms
16-09-2003, 12:54
[Oops...Forgot the description. Eheh.]

It's an impressive thing to walk around, a hundred and fourty feet along the flanks and seventy-five feet wide, the top of the upper turret a little over forty feet above the Empress. The hull is stepped, with the forward turret mounted on the lower section, the rear one mounted above it, offset to the opposite side of the hull. The main weapons are obviosuly the tank's 14-inch guns, but it also mounts weapons on the edges of it's hull, to the front a pair of quadruple antiaircraft guns, astern a pair of double-box two-by-two surface-to-air missile launchers, along with a single large cannon on the hull's front. There's also a pair of weapons mounted near the front and rear; the front one a large rotary cannon, the rear seemingly some kind of laser. The tank sits on six large track units.

The General smiles as he notices where Joanna is looking, 'A tank this size wouldn't be much good without point defence...The forward gun is also for CIWS work against troops, since the laser's bad for that. Those .50 cals up on the turret hatches are for use against troops as well.'

'With regards to the crew, standard is fifteen; A commander, driver, radio operator, engineer, seven gunners and four loading crew. They're not all needed, really, and generally three or four of the gunners also have engineer training.'

Anne-Marie nods, 'They're there because the old model required them...You could probably knock the crew down to ten on these new ones without losing anything in performance...We're looking into that now.'
17-09-2003, 08:56
Empress Joanna shakes her head, looking thoughtful. "I'm not so sure of that. Tanks, for all their power--and this one's power is immense--are also very vulnerable. Indeed, this one's very size and heat signature makes it so. Make those extra crew covering infantry or combat engineers and the machine is dual purpose."
GMC Military Arms
17-09-2003, 09:03
The General nods, 'You're right, of course; mostly the idea is to reduce their crew during peacetime while keeping them effective,' he grins broadly, 'Since they are assigned some duties other than combat, expecially those stationed in Marshall City.'

Anne-Marie nods, smiling, 'If it's snowed really badly, they tend to hook them up to bulldozer blades and use them to clear off the main roads.'

'But yes, normally we'd have extra combat engineers staioned in addition to that basic crew, and it would be supported by infantry when it advanced.'
17-09-2003, 09:29
"Hm. Well, what kinds of terrain tests have you given this beast?" Empress Joanna asks. "Obviously cold weather..."
GMC Military Arms
17-09-2003, 09:37
The General nods, 'It's been tested on most terrian types, and with the spectrum of nations who operate these tanks they don't seem to have many problems...The original A1 used to have some rather severe problems in desert combat from air conditioning failures and engine filter issues, but those were ironed out with redesigned filtration systems in the A2.'
18-09-2003, 09:45
"What about temperate zones? Areas for instance prone to very soft mud, like Knootoss? Or thick forests, like Menelmacar?" the Empress asks. "Also, while we are on the subject of other nations--are there any lined up to try to purchase this new line, or is it exclusive?"
GMC Military Arms
19-09-2003, 09:19
'Mud isn't much of a problem...The ground pressure on the A3 is lower than some main battle tanks...It's hard to run a tank this size on snow without broad tracks.'

Anne-Marie nods, 'As for forest, it's not a good environment for armour at the best of times...You could do it, but you'd be pushing trees down the whole way...' she smiles, 'Mind you, you'd be better off using helicopters in that kind of environment, or light tanks...There's not much of a role for a tank like this in dense forest or jungle.'

'As for buyers...We tend to offer upgardes to existing buyers first, then actual sales after that...Usually minus any particularly sensitive systems in the domestic version.'
19-09-2003, 09:47
"What about a test, eh?" suggests the Empress. "Let's see the inside first though." she says, "First of all: access. What hatches, and how efficiently can a person get in and out?"
GMC Military Arms
19-09-2003, 10:58
Anne-Marie nods, 'We could arrange a test for tomorrow, certainly...I'm afraid we don't have a crew on hand for these ones, since they're shipping them off to a military base in a few days, but I can see if Wavell's got a spare crew.'

'As for hatches, there's none at ground-level, lowest is the side hatch there,' She points up to an armour-plated door about four feet above, 'The main boarding hatches are on the upper surface...This one's the emergency exit, really. It's mainly to stop infantry from getting inside.'

She points to a ladder folded down towards the tank's rear, 'Shall we?'
20-09-2003, 12:23
Empress Joanna needs no further invitation; she climbs right in and looks around. One thing she is curious about: is it like most modern tanks (or superior ones)? Fairly easy to control?
She has a brief reminiscence of when she was a young marine lieutenanat. A tank then was unbelievably cramped, smelly, hot and had at best a 75mm gun. Now...
GMC Military Arms
20-09-2003, 12:45
It's surprising how much space is inside...It's more like the interior of a ship or submarine than any conventional tank, with each section connected by rather tight hallways...The reactor room, turret loading areas, magazine, and, for want of a better word, the bridge.

Since the main guns are in turrets above them and the ammunition is in the magazines, the bridge is remarkably open; there's several firing stations, radio, and the driver's console, all neatly laid out. The seats still have plastic wrap on them from the factory they were shipped in from.

Looking at the controls, most things seem fairly straightforward.

'So, what do you think?'
20-09-2003, 13:53
Empress Joanna says, "I think we should take her for a spin. We have enough here for a crew."looking round decisively, she says, "General, you drive. I'll be the commander. Anne-Marie, you be the radio operator. Von Bresnvorts--you're an engineer, aren'tyou?"
"Yes, Majesty," said the startled young man, "But on a ship--"
"Good. You're it. You were on a nuclear submarine?"
"Yes, Majesty." said Baron von Bresnvorts.
"Good. You two aides--you can be gunners." She looks at Anne-Marie and the General with a 'wont this be fun!' expression.
GMC Military Arms
21-09-2003, 10:09
Anne-Marie smiles, shaking her head, 'You'll have to wait a few minutes...She's empty at the moment, and we need a charge in the main battery to start up the reactor. I'll just call in a team...'
21-09-2003, 16:05
"Very well." Joanna says. She takes time to get familiar with the controls then.
GMC Military Arms
22-09-2003, 10:57
Anne-Marie is leaning over Baron von Bresnvorts explaining the finer points of starting up the tank's reactor, when a call comes in. She picks up the headset from her position, and turns to the Empress, 'All set...Unless you'd like me to send for ammunition.'
02-10-2003, 06:44
"Ammunition? I think not..." Joanna grins. "It would hardly do for us to try to ransack one of your cities. No, no, we'll take it for a spin."

OOC: I'm sorry it took me so long, but there's been so much to do with the bloody kidnap thread!