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Author Topic: A Pound of Flesh — from the Debtor’s Chest (A Ngo story by Cannonshop)  (Read 3221 times)

Trace Coburn

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[[Posted 18-10-2009, 22:39:03 ]]


Khe Sanh, Kowloon, 2768, June 11...

Tranh Truk Ngo's father died of cancer the very year he was born.  "You're sure about this?" he asked.

Denh Cu'ong never knew his grandmother.  "I'm certain.  Word from the Rockjacks, is that Amaris has a fight on his hands, now that New Vandenberg's been suppressed.  They say the RWS Black Riever has been sitting on some jumpers, and you've seen the Droppers moving out yourself."

"But could the garrisons really be that weak? it could be an exercise."  Tranh said,  "We can't afford another mistake like grandfather's."

"If the word is true, the Star League army's going to be fighting itself for a while yet-if we get the other cells moving fast enough, we might be able to secure enough...enough to pick a side, maybe, maybe even pick the right one."

"Not the Rimjobs." Tranh said grimly.

"Not them, no-but maybe we could get the Lyrans to step in, if we can manage a victory over the Tyrant here-sure as hell, they can't afford to send a full Division this time, and with the fleets on each other..." Denh insisted.

"You want me to call a gathering." Tranh said.

"yeah.  The Rockjacks will come in this time, your asking or not, if they move alone..." Denh said.

"They won't move alone." Tranh said, "I'll call it, we'll see who's ready to try for independence again...it's the best chance we've had since the Age of War."

Trace Coburn

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[[19-10-2009, 05:10:32]]


2769/09/14, Kowloon...

Forty years of waiting, forty years of remembering, suffering, enduring purges by the Rim -Worlds after Dinh Diep.  Forty years of silent rage.

The uprising did not begin with protests.  It began, in blood.

In the pre-dawn darkness, figures flitted through the streets of Khe Sanh, Nha Tranh, Ia Drang, and Vin Drin Lap.  They knew their targets and their business.  They knew the Rim Worlds loyal Militia's schedules and habits, where the governor would be.

In the pre-dawn of Sunday, 14 September, 2769, the peaceful silence of the Governor's residence in Hue was shattered by the sound of submachine-gun fire inside the building.  submachine guns, and explosives.

By 0630, the bodyguards were gone, by 0700, the Governor, and his immediate family, along with his mistresses and concubines, were savagely gunned-down.

"cái đui đèn hoàn tất." the Hue Cell Leader called in.  Bayonet, is complete.

in space over and around Kowloon...

Aung Lee waited for the signal.  It came over a sat-line telephone from Hue.  "cái đui đèn hoàn tất."

The Rockjacks had held their actions, and used the time well to prepare.  The RWS Python orbited the primary planet, unaware that, instead of being the great threat that would hold the population in check, they were now the biggest target in the star system, the Early Warning nets the Rim worlders relied on had already been compromised by codes obtained by the Bayonet teams in Hue.

The chosen weapon? a lump of nickel-iron and silica the size of a tractor-trailer, pushed into a slingshot orbit and accellerated to intersect with the  warship as it orbited the planet.

Timing the accelleration of the projectile had taken hours to prepare, and days to put into action-if the Bayonet team had failed in Hue, the Rim-Worlder crew would have had ample time to fire weapons and divert the incoming object, or at least, move out of the way.  As the stone moved out of the shadow of the planet, however, the crew of the ship remained unaware, their active sensors looking in the wrong direction.

In space, nobody can hear your transit-drives rupture explosively as a slug moving at cometary speeds comes up your tailpipe.

"Cái Búa hoàn tất."  Aung sent.  Hammer is completed.

Trace Coburn

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[[Posted 19-10-2009, 05:25:01]]


2769, Kowloon HPG station...

No word got out, as the teams moved through-part of that, was that this time there was no demonstrations, no protests.  Just a cannister of KD-7 nerve gas, tossed into the HPG compound.  Odorless, colourless, immediately lethal, and atmosphere neutral bouyant, the gas slid past filters into the station and killed the entire shift's staff, while teams moved from house to house in Nha Tranh, capturing or killing ministry of communications employees.

The Nha Tranh cell leader looked over the list, confirmed the dead (with the unwilling help of a manager who'd had the sense to surrender immediately).  When she finished, she transmitted one phrase...

"Im lặng là vàng"

Silence is golden.

High explosives at 0700 hours announced that Kowloon's occupiers would NOT be able to re-staff the facility quickly. (the heat also burned off the KD-7, rendering it inert and biologically neutral.)



Quote from: maddog2584, 19-10-2009, 08:36:07
this is why its a bad IDEA to use ship board weapons on a power plant and kill millions of people. The rest see that they have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by killing you.

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[[Posted 19-10-2009, 09:56:26]]


Nha Tranh, 21 September, 2769...

Tranh Truk Ngo looked at the mess left by ten days of violence, and sighed wearily.  "Resistance?" He asked. 

"Eliminated.  We've had some problems keeping prisoners." Denh Qua told him, "and we've had some problems keeping mobs from going after families."

"Jesus, Denh! Families?" Tranh burst out, "How many?"

"We're not sure, honestly.  Cell-leaders have stopped mentioning it." Denh told him.

"****** it Denh, we're not ****** animals." Tranh insisted.

"Irony." Denh said, gesturing at the Street of Lanterns, where each streetlight held a Rim-Worlder, lynched by vengeful mobs.  "We can stop some of it, but people haven't burned out on it yet."

"Anarchy leads to tyranny." Tranh said after a moment, "jesus, I'll never be able to sleep right again...okay, if you can't stop them, we'll direct it, narrow the focus...god, families."

He looked up at his friend, "Tell the Cell Leaders to pass it down-children under twelve are innocent, and women get trials with presumption of innocence unless they held an official title in the government-a Management title.  Women also can't be tried twice for the same crime."

"Men?" Denh asked.

"Fair game-let the Mobs have 'em unless there's a solid reason not to...and I want someone looking for solid reasons.  Nobody gets lynched without at least a hearing." He drove his fists together, "We are not going to become our oppressors."

Denh looked doubtful, "Tranh, you better make that speech-and soon.  I can pass it through the network, and most of the Cell leaders will follow the order if it comes from you-with me or without, but you're the man the civilians are looking to."

'Whose fault is that? I didn't want to be the ****** public leader." Tranh said.

"suck it up, you are."

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[[Posted 19-10-2009, 19:45:27]]


Dinh Diep Valley, 40 years after the last uprising...

The Star League had dumped billions into cleaning up the environmental catastrophe-but they'd left the Rim Worlds Republic the job of administering the funds.

The 'cleanup' consisted mainly of sending political prisoners to bury what was left of the city after heavy equipment converted the buildings that survived to fine-grained rubble, though there had been a fairly concentrated attempt to recover certain radioactive elements-particularly the fine quantities of Plutonium dust, so scrubbing equipment HAD been available...

for a time.

Protective clothing, dust masks, these were more...limited, and half-hearted examples at best.

"This is where my Father died." Tranh said, looking out on the gigantic sterile scar, "This is where they sent the children of the leaders-when they could find them."

"What do you want to do?" Kelly Chuan asked, "We've got a thousand people with varying stages of radiation poisoning-folks we recovered when we liberated the reclamation site."

'Put the people in the hospital for now, treat 'em as best you can, see about getting sand, laying it over the area, and baking it-they had the right idea, but it's got to be encapsulated or it'll keep leeching into the ground water." He turned to her, "We'll never recover the bodies, but we've got to protect the rest of our people.  I want warning fences up around the valley, beacons and sensors and anything else, and we're going to have to monitor rainfalls for a few centuries, winds too."

"That's going to take a lot of work-even with heavy equipment." she said.

"We've got heavy equipment?" he asked.

"Yeah, there's construction gear and stuff they trotted out for the Star League inspectors..." she said.

"Use it, as for labor, you can use the guards that survived." Tranh said coldly, "make sure they're better protected than the people they were guarding were-I want those bastards to suffer for as long as possible before they get sick.  You can also draft from any POW's we've captured-it'll keep them off the oil-drums, at least... People might stop going after their neighbours if they find out the guilty are being punished."

She frowned, "and what about runners?" she asked.

"Give 'em to their former neighbours and subjects.  A couple examples and they'll stay in hopes of getting a reprieve before they're dead."

"Will they?" she asked.

"Maybe." Tranh said, "Tempers might cool, people might get reasonable again-a sick man can be treated, a dead man can only be buried."



Quote from: Nikas_Zekeval, 19-10-2009, 19:54:16
If this was typical of Rim Worlds systems I'm surprised Kerensky found any place safe to set up camp, much less build up a force to retake the Hegemony.  Or was Kwoloon a case of being one of the few (only?) world that liberated itself, so denying Kerensky the chance to ride in as a White Knight?

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[[Posted 19-10-2009, 20:06:19]]


Arluna, 29 LY distant...2769/10/28

"The locals surrendered almost without a fight, sir."  Colonel David Simmons reported.  The 331st had just made it this far after 'sneak jumping' across most of known space ahead of the main body of the SLDF.

"Okay, that's your good news.  What's the bad news?" General Gordon McEvedy asked, putting aside the holos of his wife and daughter.

"The bad news...our next target's Kowloon, right?" Simmons said.

"Yeah?" McEvedy urged.

"Supposedly, the RWA's got a Warship and ready-reserve troops in there, but the HPG buffer shows no comms traffic.  The system went dark about a month ago.  No ships have come out, either."

"Think Amaris' general-staff have a surprise planned there?" Gordon asked.

"Well...that'd imply they knew WE were coming, wouldn't it? Intel's confirmed that the local Garrison C.O. thinks there's at least a Pinto with a group of assault dropships and a small dropship carrier in the system...funny thing is, signals sent out there don't get picked up."

"What, you mean nobody's answering the HPG?" McEvedy asked.

"No sir, more like there's no HPG to answer-if there were, there'd be a continuity tone when contact's enabled."  Simmons said.

"I want Intel before we go in, Simmons. See to it." McEvedy said, "We've got a lot of ground to march, I'd as soon not run into a surprise on the way."



Quote from: blacktigeractual, 19-10-2009, 20:26:09
And the plot thickens.  Developing nicely, be interesting to see how the SLDF responds; there is plenty of room for both heroism and villany here, even from the same characters.
Quote from: Ajax_Wolf, 20-10-2009, 06:57:20
Quote from: Krieghund, 20-10-2009, 06:39:50
I foresee a lot of misunderstanding and bloodshed before they figure out it'd be a better idea to just skip it.

I'm foreseeing the formation of the 171st Vol Brigade, and a LOT of dead Rimjobs.
Quote from: Ajax_Wolf, 20-10-2009, 10:56:22
Quote from: Krieghund, 20-10-2009, 09:36:00
Eh, I don't see the Loonies hooking up with the SLDF after the orbital.
The last time, the SLDF was following orders, to restore order and control to the Star League recognized government. Sure the orders given by the spineless dimwit of a First Lord who was being manipulated by a scheming psychopath sucked and weren't in the best interest of the local population. The Kowloonese forces didn't help the situation with the SLDF by resorting to force when they downed the first dropper that tried to land either, instead of opening up lines of communication to the SLDF commander and to the general media in an attempt to get the truth about what was really happening to the planet.

But I see it as a question of who the Loonie's hate more, the SLDF or the RWR forces. And there is little doubt to the answer to that question.

Besides, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.  >:D
Quote from: Warclaw, 20-10-2009, 11:07:00
No, the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend.  They MIGHT be, but what they certainly are is a potential tool to use against my enemy.

In this case, it's not a question of which one the Loonies hate, but which one is highest on the priority list, and is their any way they can hurt BOTH sides enough for them to leave Kowloon alone?
Quote from: DoctorMonkey, 20-10-2009, 11:07:38
At the risk of further diluting this story... I think the Kowloonians feel that the enemy of their enemy if also an enemy of their's, should just take a ticket, Kowloon justice will be along shortly
Quote from: Jimmyray73, 20-10-2009, 15:46:45
I believe their view may be along the lines of "The enemy of my enemy may be a useful distraction, but if they nuked my capital city then they're just another target to be serviced when I get a chance..."
Quote from: Nikas_Zekeval, 20-10-2009, 15:57:35
Quote from: Ajax_Wolf, 20-10-2009, 10:56:22
The last time, the SLDF was following orders, to restore order and control to the Star League recognized government
Given who initially settled Kowloon "I was just following orders" are less an excuse and probably more of a curse.  Certainly not gonna cut the SLDF any slack.  If you are familiar with B5 at best the SLDF will get a replay of G'Kar cutting his palm, and chanting "Dead, Dead, Dead, Dead!" for each drop of blood that falls.

G'Kar: "How do you beg forgiveness from the dead?"
Vir: "I can't"
G'Kar: "Then I can not forgive you."

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[[Posted 20-10-2009, 20:19:59]]


SLS Blackbird, Bugeye Class, Nadir point, Kowloon system, 25 October, 2769...

"Confirm the transponder signal for RWS Python, Aegis Class."  Lt. Ben Stryker reported.

"Can you get visual?"  Commander Sara Cloud asked.

Sam Clearey announced, "Hey, I got a visual...son of a bitch, what hit them"  On the primary display, a broken silhouette tumbled in Kowloon's orbit.

"I'm picking up radio traffic near the gas-giant, sounds like there's a fight going on."  Stryker announced.

"Can we get the telescopes on it?"  Cloud asked.

"Not from this position, sounds ******, what is that? some language, it's not english."

"French maybe? I know there's a couple Francophone worlds in the Rim Worlds..." Cloud speculated.

"No, sounds asian,  but it's not chinese or Japanese." Stryker said, "Wait, I got english here too..."

He put it on the speakers.

"Pull back!  All fighters in range, this is Carrier Leonstein, we're taking heavy [static] primary drives are down, get these ****** off us!![static]"

"Leonstein...is there a transponder sig on that one?" Cloud asked.

"Running it now...Warbook says Leonstein was a block-one Titan, sold as surplus to the Rim Worlds about fifteen years ago."  Stryker said.

"They're getting reamed out there." Cleary commented.

"I'm getting  a couple more english signals-sounds like the carrier's not by themselves getting hammered...whoever's pounding on them really is doing a number." Stryker said.

"Keep monitoring, we'll RTB as soon as the drive's charged, but it sounds like we arrived in time to pick up after a civil war." Cloud said, "That should make the General's whole month...in the meantime, see if you can nail down who the guys pounding on the Rimjobs are."

Stryker looked up, "They're surrendering." he said.

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[[Posted 20-10-2009, 20:47:15]]


Boojum ring system, Kowloon Star System, 7th Planet, 2769/10/25...

The Vulcan is an excellent heavy fighter, but heavy fighters have a problem in a turning fight with anything light and fast.

Especially light, fast things supported by heavier assets.

The Black Market had been good to the Rockjack community around Kowloon-trading in illicit goods in exchange for surplus military hardware considered too ineffective, old, or out-moded for sale even to the private armies of Star League Lords in the 'big Six' houses.

Nobody, after all, thinks much of the FWL manufactured Aquarius smallcraft, much less the ubiquitous, (and thus, inexpensive) SB-25 Sabres that were now playing turning-fights against the less agile, and vastly better armed, Rim Worlds Vulcans.

The SB-25 carries one Medium laser and an SRM-2 pack, but it can accellerate at five G's in a straight line, or make hairpin turns on a dime.

Pilots who've lived the bulk of their lives in space tend to have perceptual advantages over pilots who, two years ago, lived on the ground, and had to train to conduct ground-support missions as well as aerospace superiority.

The battle had been running since September, the game now, was running into the final period-the Rim Worlders were out of much of their ammunition stocks, had no spares, and were running low on fuel.  Their dropships proved all too vulnerable to "Miner's Tricks", and the experienced Pirates who came when the call was issued last August had taken the bulk of their supplies early on.

Mai Cu'ong pulled another immelmann, and lined up the damaged Vulcan she, and her wingman had been playing blood-tag with all evening.

The laser scored across the Rim-worlder's thinly protected aft-mounted primary thrusters as he tried to end-flip to bring his nose guns to bear-the strain was too much, the Rimjob's fighter tumbled out of control.

She rolled left, and a flight of long-ranged missiles from the patrol-lead's Aquarius snapped into the enemy fighter's damaged zones.

The rim-worlder's attempt to organize their CAP failed, as the assault boats- a trio of K-1 dropshuttles, made hull contact with the stricken enemy titan.

The last Rim-Worlds vessel was being boarded...

"Mọi phi công thiết bị chắn trở lại cơ sở."  the Patrol Lead's voice came over radio.  "kẻ thù ghét con tàu của ông đã đầu hàng,  Mọi phi công thiết bị chắn trở lại cơ sở!"

The Leonstein had surrendered, and it was time to return to base-the enemy pilots still surviving had their landing gear doors open-signalling surrender.

Kowloon was, for the moment, Free.

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[[Posted 20-10-2009, 21:17:39]]


SLS Inchon, Arluna System, 29 October, 2769...

"...based on the signals, it's either the biggest pirate fleet I've ever seen, or it's damned organized." Cloud concluded.

General McEvedy looked at the results of Blackbird's stealthy mission.  "They broke an aegis in half...from behind." Commodore Lois Osterhaus said, "I'm not sure what could do that."

"Meteor strike? Comet?" McEvedy speculated.

"Could be-but still...that's a damn big strike.  It'd have to mass a couple hundered tonnes, and be moving damn fast." the Commodore said, "no radiation cues, so it wasn't a nuke."

McEvedy paused, and brought up the one clear shot they had of the fighter unit that had taken down Leonstein.

"Those look like Sabres." He said.

"They are-a really old version, the 25's haven't been in service with anyone since before the Reunification War-not even the Outworlders were still using 'em."

"They appear to have been effective enough." McEvedy observed, "You're sure about the signals intel?"

"Yeah, the Translator insisted on the results, and they even translated coherently-with some minor glitches.  Vietnamese, which rules out Combine, Lyran, Cappie, and Leaguers-sir, there's only like, three places in the universe that use Vietnamese, and none of them have a military organized enough to pull this off."

"These guys did." the General pointed out, "Data on Kowloon says Vietnamese is the dominant primary for the population, and that's in spite of efforts for the last two hundered some-odd years to force them to use English.... the ****** barbs Finally did it."

"did what?" Cloud asked.

"You're a little bit young to remember, but I grew up hearing about it from an Uncle who was there-the 336th was sent to that dirtbag rock back in '29, to put down a rebellion that the Rimmers couldn't handle..." He said.

"Chivington." Cloud said quietly.

"Yeah, and a First-Lord's pardon that the Regent couldn't overturn because the Council didn't even want to look at it." McEvedy stated grimly.  "Three million people died down there from one tactical blunder."

"Didn't he like...commit suicide or something?" Osterhaus asked.

"General Chivington succumbed to cancer, Captain Reynolds committed suicide." McEvedy corrected, "He was the CO of the Belleau Wood."

"oh yeah..."

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[[Posted 20-10-2009, 22:06:10]]


Provisional Government Headquarters, Nha Tranh, Kowloon, 01 November, 2769....

"...I won't accept the position." Tranh Truk Ngo stated, "period-I've got a good reason for refusing."

"What kind of reason is worth refusing to be the new Head of State?" Denh Cu'ong asked.

"Remember me telling you about Aunt Dao?" he asked.

"Yeah, she had Cholmann's syndrome, died in her forties... oh shit." Denh said.  The other leaders of the September Revolution looked at each other.

"Yeah. I'm still in stage one, at the rate of progression, I'll be too ****** up to govern in a few years-way too soon to have things organized enough for proper elections." Tranh said.

"How're you controlling it?" Chin Vanh, from the Golden Lake district, asked, clarifying "Neuroin's kind of unobtainable..."

"Heroin right now." Tranh said, "LOTS of heroin.  I'm probably running enough right now, that if I wasn't afflicted, I'd be dead of an overdose.  We've got to get someone in that office who isn't frying their brain to stay coherent."

"You already passed the morphine stage?" Denh asked.

"Yeah." Tranh said, "about six months before you asked me to call the cells together for this try at independence."

"That shit's going to kill you sooner, we've got to open contact with the outside." Anne Li, the leader in the Ia Drang district, announced, "For one thing, we can't go around legalizing black-poppy cultivation."

"Why legalize it?" Tranh asked, "I'll be dead in a few years, so what?"

"We're over-ruling you, Tranh-sick or not, your name's got manna with the People, does your wife know you've been chasing dragons?" Li asked.

"I haven't exactly advertised it to her, no." Tranh said.

"Well...we're going to have to open commo with somebody, maybe find a dealer on Arluna or one of the Lyran worlds...I'll get my people on it." Cu'ong said,  "They need you as a symbol, sick or not.  This stays in-chambers, if you get sicker enough that you can't make it in brief appearances, we'll just tell the People what you're giving up to lead them."

Tranh sat back..."You guys can make decisions, apparently...okay, I'll be your poster-boy for now."



Quote from: bg20161, 21-10-2009, 11:18:40
Quote from: Cannonshop, 20-10-2009, 21:17:39
[
"You're a little bit young to remember, but I grew up hearing about it from an Uncle who was there-the 336th was sent to that dirtbag rock back in '29, to put down a rebellion that the Rimmers couldn't handle..." He said.

"Chivington." Cloud said quietly.

"Yeah, and a First-Lord's pardon that the Regent couldn't overturn because the Council didn't even want to look at it." McEvedy stated grimly.  "Three million people died down there from one tactical blunder."

"Didn't he like...commit suicide or something?" Osterhaus asked.

"General Chivington succumbed to cancer, Captain Reynolds committed suicide." McEvedy corrected, "He was the CO of the Belleau Wood."



Hard to blame the Council Lords for not overturning the pardon. I don't quite understand why Jonathon Cameron would pardon Gen. Chivington. However Alexandr Kerensky became regent of the Star League in 2751. Presumably Chivington died of cancer before then. Personally, I feel there is no sense in overturning a pardon when the subject of that pardon is already dead.

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[[Posted 21-10-2009, 21:26:55]]


Nadir Point, Kowloon System, 2769/11/15...

Thermal PUlse...

The SLS Inchon was a Potemkin class, and now, it was the largest mobile object in the Kowloon system.

"ồ, chúa trời chê trách nó!"  Captain Nhu Trung cursed under her breath as the transponder signals indicated the arrival of an SLDF vessel carrying nearly a full task-force. 

"What do we do now?" Her navigation officer asked.

"Well...first, we send a warning to the provisional government and an alert-scramble to every fighter, smallcraft, and drop-ship we've got-which puts us right about...a quarter what he's got.  Then, we snuggle up close to him, and demand to see his papers."  Nhu said, "Worst outcome is that they'll laugh at us and we end up sucking vacuum, best outcome is that their CO wants to talk to the Provisional Government in Nha Tranh, since we are, after all, free of Rim-Worlds taint...at least for the moment-but we can't just let 'em go in-system un-challenged either way."

"Alerts sent, channel to the SLDF vessel is open, ma'am."  Denny Nghien announced.

"Star League vessel, this is Coast-Guard ship Leonstein, you've entered the territorial space of the Kowloon Free Republic, Please state your intentions and stand by for a safety inspection."  Nhu announced.

"Think they'll comply?" Bianh Truong asked.

"Not likely, but they might." Nhu said...


Inchon...

"Ballsy." Commodore Lois Osterhaus commented as the challenge from the tiny (relatively) former- Rim-Worlds owned carrier came over the airwaves.  "Damn ballsy-big steel ones."

"Do we tell them to heave-to?" Lt. Commander Liam McBeckett, the comms officer asked, "We are the superior vessel, and nobody's recognized their apparent little rebellion as legitimate yet..."

Osterhaus frowned, "Lemme call the general-in the meantime, pipe 'em some gooey music with a 'technical difficulties' sign, and put out a CAP in case they get a wild hair and try to push things."

"Would you?" Beckett asked, as an enlisted man went down to the General's quarters to wake him.

"I wouldn't have taken that scrub force against an aegis with a battlegroup-they did, now that they've got presumably decent gear-or at least, more-decent, I think it's even money they might be contemplating taking on something Bigger."  she paused to let that sink in, "Easy wins-or even tough wins that shouldn't have happened? make people a touch over-confident."

five minutes later...

"...Leonstein, this is General Gordon McEvedy, commander of the 331st Royal Battlemech Division, and commander of this naval task-force, can you confirm the removal of Rim-Worlds governmental authority from this system, Over?"  the General asked.

"Three Thirty-One, we can assert with great confidence that the Rim Worlds Occupation has been eliminated from our world, and our star-system.  We can also assert that we will take whatever measures are necessary to prevent that occupation from being restored. Over."  the woman on the other end had a slight German accent-indicating she learned her english somewhere in the Lyran Commonwealth.

"In that case, I need to talk to the people in charge." McEvedy said, "Can you arrange that, Coast-Guard vessel Leonstein, Over?"

"There's a twenty minute communications delay at your location, General, I may be able to secure an appointment, but there will be conditions before we expose the Provisional Government's location to the SLDF, after Dinh Diep, we're a little bit jumpy about telling people where the leaders are...or who. Over." the tone was neutral and professional, but the meaning was clear.

"I'll wait."  McEvedy said, "Over."  he looked at the Commodore.  "YES, I know we could take them, Commodore-at least, in a straight fight, but our orders are predicated on denial of assets to House Amaris, we can accomplish that as much by supporting these rebels, as we can by invading."

"I didn't say a word."  Osterhaus said.

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[[Posted 21-10-2009, 23:55:07]]


SLS Bailey, Overlord Class dropship...

It took almost twenty hours to arrange, and the course-burn took another day and a half.

"Crazy, sir, you shouldn't have to do it like this-we came here to-"  Simmons was ranting.

"Shut up, Major Simmons, be glad they felt like being reasonable." General McEvedy snapped,  "Everywhere else," he added, "We'd be greeted like we were on Arluna, or we'd have a no-questions fight like New Vandenberg-we're lucky we don't have a no-questions fight here."

"Come ON sir, they've got, what, some outdated junk and-" Simmons continued until the General held up his hand for quiet.

"no, they've got a weapon that blew an Aegis class Cruiser in half-one that didn't leave radioactive trace behind, and an army that caught a ready-division with their pants around their ankles, and didn't let up on the ****** until they killed it...and that's within forty years of having their capital city blown to radioactive debris."  The general adjusted his collar in the mirror, "Do you know what that makes them, Major?"  He turned and looked over his aide, "It makes them organized and determined-a hell of a lot more determined than those Taurian Separatists, and better organized as well...and a tiny bit psychotic in the motivation department-the New Vandenberg revolt intended to spark a general uprising-and it did...These people cut off communications-they weren't looking to trigger off a big reaction, they just wanted the Rimjobs gone."

"Oh, my god.  You want to recruit them!" Simmons said.

"General Kerensky thinks they might be useful." McEvedy said, "He thinks they're useful, then they probably are...mind you, Jerry, they've got reason to hate us as much as they hate Amaris, so this could still drop into a case of having to bring the Division down on their heads."

"You spoke with the General? when??" Simmons asked.

"While we were on Arluna, after the Blackbird report.   I've got orders to either get the natives here to play ball, or make sure they can't get in the way."  McEvedy said.  "The Supreme Commander would prefer it if they play ball, so I get to try my hand at being a diplomat before I have to use the bag of hammers."

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[[Posted 22-10-2009, 09:18:56]]


Provisional Government, Nha Tranh, Kowloon...

"...try talking to them first." Tranh Truk Ngo stated, "Not, mind you, that we're going to leave it up to the powers of talking-at minimum, if they're here to force us back in, we'll have time to get position on them, set up for a seige, and this time..." He looked at the Assembled council,  "THIS time, no easy targets."

"How're we going to do that?"  Denh asked.

"Evacuation plans for the population, don't give 'em an easy mass-target to bombard from space." Denh said, "Have the 'coast guard' keep track of their movement and position and give warning if that warship gets any closer."

"That's going to take time." Rachel Kahane said.

"I'll just have to buy time." Tranh said, "Get the plans drawn up, and start getting Cell leaders to work on implementation and disaster-drill training."

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[[  Relevant poster discussion ]]

Quote from: JediBear, 22-10-2009, 11:53:12
Quote from: Cannonshop, 19-10-2009, 05:10:32
Timing the accelleration of the projectile had taken hours to prepare, and days to put into action-if the Bayonet team had failed in Hue, the Rim-Worlder crew would have had ample time to fire weapons and divert the incoming object, or at least, move out of the way.  As the stone moved out of the shadow of the planet, however, the crew of the ship remained unaware, their active sensors looking in the wrong direction.

For what it's worth, CS, you lost me right about here. I don't care how incompetent the Rimmers are, this simply isn't a credible scenario. There's more than one way to skin an Aegis. This just isn't one of them.

There are a good half-dozen reason something like this just shouldn't work, no matter how workable it might seem at first glance.

Quote from: Nikas_Zekeval, 22-10-2009, 16:13:50
Quote from: JediBear, 22-10-2009, 11:53:12
For what it's worth, CS, you lost me right about here. I don't care how incompetent the Rimmers are, this simply isn't a credible scenario. There's more than one way to skin an Aegis. This just isn't one of them.

There are a good half-dozen reason something like this just shouldn't work, no matter how workable it might seem at first glance.

Incompetence or complacency?  If Bayonet failed the Rimjobs would have gone on alert.  OTOH if you are at an anchor watch in orbit however much it might be SOP to keep an eye out for space junk the natural assumption is that local traffic control is watching too, and certainly not letting someone boost something big and fast enough to dent a Warship into an intercept...

Quote from: JediBear, 22-10-2009, 16:40:34
I just said incompetence wouldn't justify it. Given that, how does complacency have a chance?

Quote from: maddog2584, 22-10-2009, 17:31:25
complacency can kill you the same way it has killed a number of real life ships, you fail to prepare the ship for what it needs to do. for sample not having enough of the steam plant of a coal fire ship up and running killed a battleship and some of its escorts in the Caribbean.

If some one failed to properly set the sensors or maintain the engines, the ship could have been unable to move when the warning came in or failed to have enough time to react.

it is a reference to speeds and location. if the ship was in a clear area of space, where nothing would reach it for months, then sensors could be set for a very close gate and to detect jumps with the drives. down. in that case it the rock is moving fast enough then it could cross the range when the warning sounded in minates or seconds, before the crew could react effective.

Quote from: JediBear, 22-10-2009, 17:52:45
Quote from: maddog2584, 22-10-2009, 17:31:25
complacency can kill you the same way it has killed a number of real life ships, you fail to prepare the ship for what it needs to do. for sample not having enough of the steam plant of a coal fire ship up and running killed a battleship and some of its escorts in the Caribbean.

As such, it's indistinguishable from rank incompetence, which I was saying would be insufficient to explain the event in question.

Quote from: maddog2584, 22-10-2009, 17:31:25
If some one failed to properly set the sensors or maintain the engines, the ship could have been unable to move when the warning came in or failed to have enough time to react.

Yes, if the radar was off or noone was watching it, or the engines were powered-down in some way that would mean they would take several minutes to bring on-line and the ship's maneuvering thrusters were similarly unmanned or unready, sure. Of course, under any of those circumstances, the ship could just as easily be directly pushed out of the sky rather than being hit by a rock.

That level of incompetence (or complacency if you prefer) simply beggars belief, and it's a poor call for a guy who's noted for writing competent opposition forces.

But even with that level of incompetence, there's a number of factors that still argue against a successful attack, and the need in this case to anticipate that level of incompetence makes it either an astoundingly successful application of a strategy concocted by people who didn't know better or an excessively grandiose (and still shockingly successful) strategy by people who did know better.

Quote from: maddog2584, 22-10-2009, 17:31:25
it is a reference to speeds and location. if the ship was in a clear area of space, where nothing would reach it for months, then sensors could be set for a very close gate and to detect jumps with the drives. down. in that case it the rock is moving fast enough then it could cross the range when the warning sounded in minates or seconds, before the crew could react effective.

The ship was in orbit. Around a planet. No part of that description matches your condition.

"As the rock cleared the shadow of the planet" it was no further from the ship than the planet's surface, and was fundamentally in the same direction. It was also at orbital (not "cometary") velocities, and with a limited overtake velocity (an object can only move so fast without reaching escape velocity. If it were much above escape velocity, it would be impossible for it to strike an object on the other side of the planet on an inertial course.)

Quote from: Ajax_Wolf, 22-10-2009, 19:41:31
I have to agree with JB on this being a stretch of creative license. What I find questionable is the timing of the collision. The Pinto would have to be in a very predictable orbit, and remain there, unchanged, from the time to the last course correction of the rock until impact.

That means the Pinto didn't fire a single thruster, have a dropper dock with it for resupply or personal rotation, have to avoid a satellite or jettison a load of garbage. Any of these could change the orbit enough for the rock to miss.

Of course, the rock could have a primitive guidance system and thrusters to do minor corrections.

Quote from: Nikas_Zekeval, 22-10-2009, 19:46:47
The rock could have come in on a retrograde trajectory, or in a polar orbit.

At any rate does an Aegis ship maintain a radar watch in what is considered a friendly port?  Much like Pearl Harbor, relations might have been deteriorating, and the base was on alert.  But no one seriously expected an attack to come without warning.

The RWR controls the system, a KF drive gives several minutes warning of inbounds.  The other thing to consider is that the rock was likely ballistic when it popped into view.  If you are filtering for active fusion torches and KF drive signatures at range then a radar watch might not be looking that far out.

Also it depends on why the Pinto was in that orbit.  If it was convenient for some reason, out of the normal traffic patterns, well located for personnel rotation, or hell well placed to rain down fire at a moment's notice on any known 'trouble spot' then it could have been actively keeping that position...

Quote from: Cannonshop, 22-10-2009, 22:05:33
Quote from: JediBear, 22-10-2009, 11:53:12
For what it's worth, CS, you lost me right about here. I don't care how incompetent the Rimmers are, this simply isn't a credible scenario. There's more than one way to skin an Aegis. This just isn't one of them.

There are a good half-dozen reason something like this just shouldn't work, no matter how workable it might seem at first glance.

Sorry about that, then.  There's reasons it did work, but my powers-of-description weren't up to the task on this one.  (Hey, everyone has an off day.)

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[[Posted 22-10-2009, 23:18:27 ]]


Hue, Kowloon, 2769/11/20...

The SLDF dress uniform is a startling garment of white, with coloured highlights.  It's made to impress, the more so with the glitter of Medals, rank insignia, and florid ribbons.  Being of advanced materials, moreso, it's also rather less uncomfortable than most dress uniforms in history-it's designed to keep the wearer cool when it's hot, or warm when it's cold.

General Gordon McEvedy felt horribly over-dressed.

"Have a seat, General, and we can begin."  Tranh Truk Ngo was the 'leader', or so everything from the statements of the "Coast Guard" crew to the claims of the spaceport staff in Nha Tranh, even the statements of the few representatives of the provisional government...

Tranh wore a canvas bush-jacket over a black turtleneck and military-surplus six-pocket fatigue pants...with boots.

"You know, Mister Ngo, you Look like a terrorist." McEvedy commented.

"Great. Thanks for noticing." Tranh said with a wry expression, "I left the monkey-suit at the cleaners, and the cleaners got blown up by retreating Rimjobs...anyway, enough excuses and fashion-jokes, alright?"  He folded his hands, "What are you people doing here? The Rim-Worlds Republic is...ah..." He pointed up in an imaginary line through the ceiling, "Thata-way....and the Terran Hegemony's not out this way either."

"Believe it or not, Mister Ngo, we're against the same people."  McEvedy said, "If the Cameron-Loyal forces lose this, Amaris will come back here-and next time, he probably won't stop at one city."

"We're aware of that."  Ngo told him, "One Might say we're painfully aware of it...but last time, it was the Star League that did the bombardment, we had the Rimjobs beaten."

"There's never been a long-term successful revolution in history without outside support." the General said, "WE can provide that outside support...for a price."

"How much?" Ngo asked, "Mind you, with my accounts frozen by the Tyrant on Terra, I might not be able to make your payroll."  He said it with a slight twinge of bitter humour.

"We need to stage out of your system." McEvedy said, "There are four...no, five enemy-held star systems within one jump of Kowloon, we're going to be leap-frogging through House Amaris and we need a base here."

"Let me see if I've got your strategy doped out-you want to cut him off from his support out on the periphery, then move inward against him in the Hegemony.  For that, you need 'safe haven' bases in case someone truly and utterly screws the pooch."  Ngo said, "You want to use This world for that...and afterward?"

"What about afterward? You'll be free of House Amaris-" McEvedy said.

"Can I get that in writing, please?" Ngo said, "Witnessed, preferably by someone with the authority to make your successors obey."

"That could be...a bit complicated." the General said.

"Yeah.  It just could." Ngo agreed, "Let me see now...the bloody First Lord pardoned Chivington and his men for Dinh Diep, then gave House Amaris a blank chequebook on the promise that they'd clean up the disaster...guess what?"

"They didn't, did they?" McEvedy replied.  He'd had the area scanned as the dropship went into de-orbit burn-and the radiation scar was still enormous.

"That...would be correct-except they did-they used slave labor to do it-with shovels and buckets."  Tranh told him, "The billions for clean-up equipment mostly went to help build up that huge bloody army they've got sitting on your homeworld...an army YOU built for them.  Over the last forty years, somewhere in the neighbourhood of anoither million people were sent into the Dinh Diep Valley as prisoner-workers, we managed to rescue about a thousand who're still alive-at least, alive enough that they might be able to survive treatments and live some kind of half-life."

"You want clean-up gear? I've got a Battalion of NBC personnel trained in decontam."  McEvedy suggested.

"Gonna take more than that, General-but it's a ****** Start."  Ngo stated, "it might be enough that the Council won't tell you to go pound sand."




Quote from: maddog2584, 23-10-2009, 07:11:22
at least there were no weapons drawn in the middle of the opening talks, thats always good.

this might work without everyone killing each other.

Quote from: Unicornzvi, 23-10-2009, 15:30:53
I'm really enjoying this story so far. I do however agree that the scene with the warship being taken out by a rock was very poor. Not because it's impossible (I can think of several ways it could be done) but because the description of how it was done doesn't work. Either there are some important facts missing (and I can't think what they are) or I misunderstood what the characters did or the scene as written is impossible.

Two methods of the top of my head to take out a warship with a rock:

1>Attach a satellite maneuvering pack/ion drive/other extremely low signature maneuvering drive to rock. Accelerate the rock using some other external drive from far away on a vector that will have the planet between it and the ship before it gets within several AU of the ship then once it's close to the planet slingshot around the planet (accelerating the rock further) into the latest reported position of the ship which will have at most a couple of seconds from when the rock comes around the planet to when it hits. Unless the ship has a sensor network and pay attention to what it was reporting  or paid careful attention to what was going on a long way away they aren't going to notice anything before the rock comes around the planet.

2>While people like to say there's no such thing as stealth in space there are exceptions. An unmanned rock with a cold gas or ion maneuvering drive that was painted black and kept in the shade for a long time is one of those exceptions. they could spot it if they were looking, or more likely spot the ship that accelerated it but it would require an alert and/or paranoid crew because it would not be noticed by most casual scans.

The Unicorn
Quote from: Nikas_Zekeval, 23-10-2009, 17:35:12
The things is there is also 'hiding in plain sight', for the 'stealth in space'.  At this time Kowloon apparently has asteroid mining (the Rockjacks), so seeing someone push around a space rock isn't apparently that unusual.  And if they aren't paying close attention to exactly where that rock is being pushed...

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[[Posted 23-10-2009, 21:08:07]]


conference room, Hue...

"...how you managed to kill that Aegis."  McEvedy asked.

"You'll have to ask the Coast Guard how they did it, everything I've been told says it shouldn't have worked."  Tranh said, adding, "I suspect they put thrusters on the rock and steered it through a slingshot orbit timed to pass across the Cruiser while they were hanging in position trying to raise the garrison on the ground."

"But you don't know." the General asked.

"I don't know." Tranh said, "I just know that Li's people came through in taking it out when we needed it taken out."

"OkAy, let's go over this again-the SLDF will provide assistance on the Dinh Diep cleanup and containment operation, guarantee your independence up to the end date of the conflict, and oppose reintegration with the Rim Worlds Republic..." McEvedy said, "We'll also confine on-planet activity to Hue, and the Dinh Diep site for the duration, in exchange for which, we've got a safe haven in this system, and the right to recruit for the war against House Amaris, with the proviso that any and all volunteers be allowed to return home when either their term of two years is completed, or the end of the war."

"That's right." Tranh said.

"Two year troops is going to be a strain-we can't integrate short-term units like that." McEvedy said.

"That's what I'm offering." Tranh said, "I can't make anyone stay in service to a foreign power longer than that-or I'll end up decorating a lamp-post too."

"We can figure something out." the General said, "Maybe just create a formation for it..."




Quote from: maddog2584, 23-10-2009, 21:38:09
and we now have the birth of the 171th vol infantry reg.

great to finally understand some of the actions that are referred to in other stories.

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[[Posted 23-10-2009, 22:08:07]]


Council meeting, Nha Tranh, Two days later...

"...can't ask them to go." Denh said, "You know how much the people hate the Star League better than anyone, Tranh."

"I'll go." Tranh Truk Ngo said.

Stunned looks.

"I'll go." he insisted,  "Think on this: we did a great job on the rimjobs because we had the advantage of surprise, and they were complacent.  Next time we face 'em, we're going to lack those important qualities...hell, next time we face ANY invader, we're not going to have that on our side.  To fight off an invasion, we're going to need a competent, organized military with experience in more than minor dirty-tricks operations and fighting the scrubs left behind-we're going to need a big force, that's capable."

"You're sick." Denh said, "You need medications..."

"Yeah.  That has occurred to me." Tranh said, "It's also occurred to me that with access off-world, I can treat my illness more reliably, with fewer side-effects, and it has further occurred to me, that any state that needs a single man or it falls apart isn't going to out-last that single man...and the one way to guarantee a good, experienced military, is to fight.  If we're fighting them away from home, they won't be able to come here."

Denh frowned.  "What about your illness-I know the SLDF won't take you-"

"As a colonel of a Volunteer regiment, they'll have to-at least, as long as my condition's stable enough to control with medications." Tranh said, "Regulation 2582/March/15, sub-paragraph five."

"That's for nobles."  Denh said, then caught himself.  "We appointed you..."

"You did." Tranh said, "YOU wrote the language in the bill, and the rest of you went and passed it-you even over-rode my objections when you passed it."

"AS long as you're stable." Denh said, "You could go stage two at any time."

"I could.  If I do, I get sent home, and someone else has to take over...which is why we're not doing it like everyone else does it."  He said, "We'll have a limited front-line size with two-year enlistments, at the end of that two years, people rotating back spend another year training the replacements...for their replacements.  Continuous rotation from training, through service, and then passing along lessons to the next batch-that way our folks don't get blended into foreign units as patch-plate or temporary bullet-sponges.  TECHNICALLY we'll be fielding elements of an allied army, rather than SLDF regulars-which keeps our people 'in house'-but with Star League pay and Star League equipment in the field."

Anh Li barked a short laugh, "You're going to make the Star League pay for our army!"

"Exactly." Tranh said, "They pay our people, supply and support them, we get trained people back with experience to form the core of our OWN military."




Quote from: lowrolling71, 24-10-2009, 02:26:52
Nice work and thanks for sharing. And here all along we mistakenly thought that the Steiners were the masters of the art of the deal.

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[[Posted 24-10-2009, 20:29:04]]


A few notes from the guy pounding this stuff out...

1. Yeah, Tranh got a hell of a deal-note that by the time the 1st Succession War's under-way, Kowloon is Lyran, and not forced.  Someone IS better at the "art of the deal" than Kowloonese.

2. I bolo'ed the destruction sequence on the warship, thanks to those who've put effort into salvaging that segment with explanations-you all recieve a "no Prize" (digital).

3. I don't have a title for the next story in the series, but it will take place among the filthy bastards of the 171st Volunteers.  This story was the 'setup' for that one (and yes, Bob, the Rimjobs will be competent!}

4. I need suggestions, folks: what campaigns (beside Elbar-thanks to the FGC for that one), should I highlight the 171st at?  It's 2769 in this story, they probably don't get moving until '71, so it's still pretty early in Kerensky's war with Amaris.  Where did the Kowloonese fight?  Gimme suggestions and ideas.



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