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Author Topic: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap  (Read 26539 times)

Liam's Ghost

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #330 on: 22 October 2021, 22:17:44 »

~Coyote WarShip Ma'li~

"The Pack Alpha and Wendigo have arrived at the Hood IV L1 Point." Star Admiral Gruber explained to his SaKhan. "They report they have met minimal resistance and are en-route to planetary orbit to begin the annihilation of the planetary population. They will be in position in roughly six hours."

SaKhan Erik Khufal nodded as he paced through the holographic map of the Hood system that filled the holotank. His own ship, the Ma'li could be found close to the top of the tank, a point of light moving down at a steadily increasing speed. The two new arrivals lay close to the center. At this zoomed out scale the icons virtually overlapped the icon representing Hood IV, making it difficult to visualize just how far they still had to go.

There were other icons as well. At the extreme right side of the tank there was an icon indicating the last known location of the WarShip Stalker as well as a cluster of icons representing the ships that had killed it near Hood VII. This reported location was over a day old.

But there was another contact, much closer and much more current. Like the two ships close to Hood IV, its proximity to the Ma'li at this scale left the icons overlapping. Khufal reached up to grab the empty air beneath it and pulled down, the holotank's reactive controls interpreting it correctly to bring the image down until the two icons were at eye level. Another hand motion zoomed area around the icons until they actually seperated into coherent, distinct objects whose projected tracks looked to intersect in about two hours.

Star Admiral Gruber seemed to understand his interest. "They are likely planning a missile strike as they pass."

Khufal tapped the icon for the contact to display a readout of known information. He wasn't completely unfamiliar with it. It was one of the small, primitive gunboats the locals used, already badly damaged and limping along. Readout indicated no signals from the ship's primary fire control or sensor systems. "How much of a threat is it?"

"Minimal," Gruber said. "Our closest point of approach will be at three thousand kilometers. I have already ordered the helm to reduce acceleration and concentrate on evasion. This will maximize the effectiveness of our own point defense systems and minimize the accuracy of any missile strikes. Based on prior engagements, it is all but impossible that any missile will touch us."

"What about other weapons?" Khufal asked.

"Our observations indicate that the ship's gun armament, if functional, is designed for short range engagements under two hundred kilometers," Gruber replied. "Even if the ship still retains functioning fire control systems and is somehow able to get into range, it would be quickly destroyed by our own weapons."

"Very well," Khufal said. "I leave that matter in your hands."

-----

~HSDF Lightning, some time later~

Lieutenant Commander Augustus Lee could feel his hand shaking a the stopwatch ticked along.

Common sense said what he was trying to do was impossible. Naval cannons like the cluster of guns mounted in what was left of the Lightning's nose were designed with tolerances and performance statistics optimized for a range of at best a couple hundred kilometers. This was simple practicality. Shells could only be flung so fast, even by the micro-scale fusion explosions used as propellants, and the further you got out, even tiny variables started growing quickly, like the limitations of the mounts for fine targeting adjustments, minute imperfections in shell or propellant design, flaws in the targeting system, or perhaps just the entire set of systems being out of whack because of shock damage from having so much of your platform shot away.

This didn't even get into hidden variables on the enemy side. They didn't actually have a fire control system. The plot for this shot was based entirely on visual observation of the target's drive flare and a lot of math. And the target, of course, wasn't flying a straight, predictable line, instead throwing in random puffs of lateral acceleration that shifted it as much as a few kilometers at a time.

So yeah, common sense... A single precise killing blow wasn't going to happen. A single precise hit of any kind wasn't going to happen.

"Blessed be Saint Barbara and Ching Lee, and may they guide our shot." Lee intoned as the last seconds on the stopwatch ticked away. "Start the firing sequence."

Through the decks, he could feel the vibrations as the forward guns came to life, started firing, and kept firing until the magazine ran dry.
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

(indirect accessory to the) Slayer of Monitors!

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #331 on: 22 October 2021, 23:04:45 »
What was left of the Lightning's nose?  Had they already been in a fight?
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Liam's Ghost

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #332 on: 23 October 2021, 01:08:44 »
What was left of the Lightning's nose?  Had they already been in a fight?

Way back on page three in the times before the 'rona, it was disabled fighting the first skirmish between the 'yotes and the HSDF.

Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

(indirect accessory to the) Slayer of Monitors!

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #333 on: 23 October 2021, 01:39:23 »
I hardly remember the days before the ‘Rona.
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worktroll

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #334 on: 23 October 2021, 02:44:20 »
The Before Times, we call it here ...  which does set off a trigger.

Quote
Between the years when the mushroom clouds drank fair Terra, and the rise of the daughters of Marik, there was an age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms laid spread across the Inner Sphere. Hither came Alaric the Wolf, ego in hand, and destined to wear the crown of First Lord upon a troubled brow. It is I, his chronicler, who alone knows well his saga. Now, let me tell you of the days of high adventure ...

(yes, three fingers of Amrut were involved in the creation of this post.)
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Liam's Ghost

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #335 on: 23 October 2021, 23:08:22 »

~Ma'li, an hour later~

Through the massive bulk of the ship, the impacts felt relatively light.

But the fact that impacts could be felt at all was enough to startle Khufal away from his work. As he waved away the cloud of troop deployments and strategic data that surrounded him, he could already see Star Admiral Gruber barking orders while examining a readout of the ship.

"All laser batteries, saturate the surrounding area," the Star Admiral was saying. "Sensor arrays track and report any detected impacts. Gun crews are to eliminate any targets that appear in range." He looked up to his khan. "We were attacked," he said.

"Obviously," Khufal responded in frustration. "The enemy gunboat?" he asked as he called back up the overlay of the surrounding area.

"We detected no missile tracks," Star Admiral Gruber stated. "And the ship never came close enough to use its gun armament."

"And yet we were struck," Khufal said.

"Aff, my Khan," Gruber agreed. "I am ordering an aggressive sweep of the area to detect the presence of any craft that might possess some form of stealth equipment."

It seemed a dubious explanation. "Is such a thing possible?"

"A vessel large enough to deliver such a hit?" Gruber said. "Unlikely, my Khan."

"Then concentrate on the enemy in front of us," Khufal said, stabbing a finger at the gunboat. "Order your crew to pursue and eliminate this target, before they have a chance to hit us again."

Star Admiral Gruber hesitated. "My Khan, the distance between us is opening rapidly. It will take time to adjust..."

"Then begin immediately," Khufal snapped. "We have two other WarShips moving against the planet. We can spare the time."

-----

~Lightning~

"We hit him," Lt Commander Lee said. "Probably not much more than a scratch, but it got his attention. Optics say he's swung his nose around and started adjusting his trajectory."

Sommerville nodded grimly. "Suppose it's too much to hope that we scared him off."

Lee chuckled a little as he shook his head. "Seems unlikely."

"I'll settle for pissing him off. Chief, how much thrust can you give me?"

Chief Howard took a moment to consult his data slate. "Thust bottles can probably handle a few hours at 1.5," he replied. "But it'll be shaky. Anything beyond that will probably force an auto-shutdown."

Without a normal data display, Sommerville had to work out the numbers in his head. "We're almost on a perpendicular course," he said. "It'll take him some time to get turned towards us. Let's not discourage him. Hold on ramping up the engines until he's good and committed to chasing us. Let's try to buy as much time as we can."

-----

~Coyote WarShip Pack Alpha, four hours away from Hood IV~

"The locals have updated their message," the communications officer said.

"Oh?" Star Commodore Grimani said in response. "Do tell."

For hours since they had arrived in system the locals had been broadcasting the same message on repeat, disavowing the actual warriors that fought and died for them, promising not to attack first, but pledging to defend themselves if necessary.

It was contemptible, really, and the constant repetition stripped away any sympathy Grimani had felt for these pitiful souls. Their annihilation was necessary, of course, but now, seeing how willing they were to posture with words, he felt like it was an act of mercy.

"They have dropped all pretenses, OvKhan," the officer said. "Their leader is broadcasting his world's complete surrender to us. They ask only that we spare the innocent."

"Pathetic," Grimani said. "He shames the warriors that foolishly choose to fight defending him simply by association. All of humanity will be bettered when this stain on the galaxy is gone."

The assent of the bridge crew was abruptly interrupted by a sudden shout from the technician at the sensor station.

"Multiple emergence waves, L1!" he said. "Four contacts, unknown configuration, possible large corvette or small destroyer class vessels!"

For a moment, Grimani was confused, lost for words. Was this more reinforcements? He didn't know if other ships were in range, certainly they couldn't coordinate how ships would arrive, but...

He had only just started to register that the sensor tech had called them unknown contacts when they jumped again.

"Second emergence, Plantetary-lunar L1... close formation," the sensor tech's voice wavered. "I... I did not know you could hit a jump point that small..."

"Whoever they are," the XO said, "they are ahead of us now."

"Communication coming through," the comtech reported.

Still unable to find his words, Grimani hit the toggle on his console to receive.

"Cutter Flotilla 17, Kowloon Coast Guard, to unidentified WarShips. You have intruded on Sovereign Lyran Territory. State Your intentions, and begin deceleration immediately, or you will be considered hostile and destroyed. This is your only warning."
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

(indirect accessory to the) Slayer of Monitors!

Daryk

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #336 on: 24 October 2021, 06:01:20 »
Kowloon to the rescue!  :thumbsup:

Cannonshop

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #337 on: 24 October 2021, 06:20:58 »
Kowloon to the rescue!  :thumbsup:
Depends if the degen Clanners read their history books or not.
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and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Daryk

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #338 on: 24 October 2021, 06:24:55 »
True, but it also makes the Lightning's sacrifice even more meaningful.  The cutters can take on two ships easier than three.

DOC_Agren

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #339 on: 24 October 2021, 20:43:28 »
Kowloon to the rescue!  :thumbsup:
U know..  that great news...
here comes the SUNSHINE

Hope they have a history buff with them who knows of Crazy Kowloonese or those small ships won't be a threat to them
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BATTLEMASTER

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #340 on: 25 October 2021, 08:19:47 »
Is there something I'm missing about the Kowloon system?  I can't find much about it on Sarna.net other than it being a former RWR system having been conquered by the LC in the late 2700s or so.  Or is it just something I'm forgetting about in this AU?  I'm guessing this is in the same vein as how the "Arluna Flu" exists here and not in the canon timeline.
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Cannonshop

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #341 on: 25 October 2021, 08:49:43 »
Is there something I'm missing about the Kowloon system?  I can't find much about it on Sarna.net other than it being a former RWR system having been conquered by the LC in the late 2700s or so.  Or is it just something I'm forgetting about in this AU?  I'm guessing this is in the same vein as how the "Arluna Flu" exists here and not in the canon timeline.

You're missing a stack of crack in the fanfiction section, namely crack written by myself and loaned to Liam's_Ghost for this series.

Arluna Flu

In realtime, this dates from the FGC 3062 game run on this forum and later on a separate forum.  It was a plot point to counterbalance specific sabotage decisions done by a previous FGC "Lead player" for the Lyran state, who'd been specifically dismantling the Lyrans to recreate the Rim Worlds Republic-an action that got a lot of Lyran players in the game very angry and got him kicked along with one of the Gamemasters.  It was part of a 'reset' plot used to buy time to undo a shit-ton of damage and try to stem a loss of players from that faction.

It also worked pretty well as an engaging storyline that didn't require massive combat elements, but also presented a strategic crisis at a point where people were hurling thousands of leviathans at one another in border fights due to highly exploitable game-economy mechanics and a lack of need to pay upkeep on existing forces.

yeah, it was that bad.

but the storyline got  response, so, after that game finished its final death-spiral, I took the elements I helped create for it, and ran off to the fan-fiction boards.

Thus...

A Watery Silence

In the background of this setting, the Arluna Flu resulted in the creation of a spherical volume in Lyran space roughly 2 jumps in diameter from Arluna, this region is the 'quarantine zone'-worlds where the infection appeared, mostly worlds where it was contained before total annihilation, but horrific numbers of casualties and an incurable, lethal, long-term infection.

How lethal? Eleven point Seven five billion people died in the first three years of the outbreak, and thirteen 'named' worlds were placed under quarantine.

This quarantine had to be enforced with ships, because a Pirate/looter hitting a savaged world would carry it to wherever they were going, and panicked people fleeing the contagion would spread it.

The Quarantine Fleets came from the version of Kowloon created by myself in a series of stories that have become something of an 'establishment' in the fanfic boards (thankfully, nobody on the actual writing staff wants to touch this stuff, though Catalyst would own it per the terms of service if they chose to.)

https://battletechfanon.fandom.com/wiki/Ngo_Megaverse

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/indexed-the-ngo-saga-(central-directory-of-reposted-cannonshop-stories)/

I have, from time to time, toyed with creating a 'fanbook' guide for key events and elements, if for no other reason than because people occasionally ask for one-but while I can crank out tons of prose text in story format, I get dead bored trying to compile and organize actual information and I can't draw to save my ass.

Quarantine Duty is horrific-both for the people doing it, and for everyone else in the area.  We're dealing with an interstellar, spherical volume, that has to be kept patrolled, the invention of the "Huyn Swab" allows civilian traffic within the zone, and thus, the maintenance of interstellar civilization, but it's strangled traffic,  with limited outlets into the rest of the Commonwealth maintained by forces on both sides of the 'Q-line'.

How horrific?  How do you feel about shooting down dropships loaded with panicked civilians??

yeah, and that's not the worst of it, because sometimes you have GROUND duty containing new outbreaks, which have to be PHYSICALLY contained. 

often with guns.

The worst part of it, is that LCN Regulars really can't be assigned to this, because the Archon will eventually want them back, and since there's no vaccine (yet), that means you can't send people who haven't already survived the virus in unless you don't want them back.

Kowloon began enforcing the Quarantine at the same time they sent the first relief effort to the outbreaks on Arluna.  By the 3100s, (the timeline here) the other worlds inside the Q-zone have recovered enough to field some forces on their own, taking some of that strain off, but as you can see with Hood IV, some domestic governments have gotten 'used to' being effectively 'invasion proof' since the Falcons aren't stupid enough to infect their own people with a viral that remains contagious in Clan bodies after they've survived, and kills over sixty percent of the people who get it (eighty percent for people over 25 on average).

'flu scars' have turned out to be inheritable.  this includes discolorations of the neck, skin around the eyes and nose, and other near-surface areas leading to a mottled 'vacuum exposed' look for flu survivors.
« Last Edit: 25 October 2021, 09:11:35 by Cannonshop »
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

BATTLEMASTER

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #342 on: 25 October 2021, 09:08:00 »
Thanks for the background  :thumbsup:  That's pretty awesome how all that was based on a game that was being played.  Pretty creative!
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Cannonshop

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #343 on: 25 October 2021, 09:19:10 »
Thanks for the background  :thumbsup:  That's pretty awesome how all that was based on a game that was being played.  Pretty creative!

You're welcome, and thanks for appreciating it.  Something to parse from the other comments here;  Kowloon's 'quarantine doctrine' ties to their anti-piracy doctrines and is influenced by their experiences fighting the virus and the Jihad at the same time.

which means those Kowloonese boats are loading nukes, and not as 'emergency backup', but as 'first strike' in quantity.  The virus killed 11 BILLION people in its first year, and fractions of that over subsequent years through accidental spreads and outbreaks, and it poses a risk for the rest of the human race, and they KNOW IT.

Symptomology of the Arluna Flu:

after being contracted, the virus is active but has few to no detectable symptons for two weeks while it is contagious through contact and airborne phases.  The most common symptom observed in this period, is a general drop in aggressive behaviours and mild intermittent head and body aches.

symptoms after this initial two weeks to 30 days, include flu-like congestion and coughing, and escalating fevers, weakness, hallucinations, and a loss of inhibition for many patients (aka aggression and violence, extreme reactions to emotional states have also been observed, including extreme grief or depression as the virus continues)  victims also experience visual and auditory hallucinations and other factors similar to the effects of being drunk or intoxicated.

Flu-like congestion and mucus overproduction along with damage to many small blood vessels escalates along with fevers, until the patient either dies, or their immune system 'wins', breaking the fevers and allowing the body to adapt.

Most treatments revolve around keeping the patient alive until the virus has run its course.  This often involves packing patients in ice or cold-baths, administration of fever-reducing drugs, and the use of immune-boosting drugs.

Survivors tend to have visible scarring from their experience.  In the initial outbreak on Arluna, the virus killed ninety percent of the population, reducing that world from a population of slightly over two billion, to a mere 200 million survivors before secondary factors such as loss of services, bad food, accidents, and violence are accounted for.

This all happened while Victor and Katherine were having their little civil war, preventing an organized response from the main state, leaving Kowloon as the only Lyran world to correctly interpret what was going on and do something about it.  They sent thousands of volunteers to provide immediate post-pandemic aid in restoring order and a government to Arluna, (those volunteers-about 60% of them, also died of the virus-they knew it when they lifted for Arluna, they were there as guinea-pigs to try and find some means to blunt the outbreak.)

Treatment methods were developed to help people survive infection, and methods of detection in the 'dormant but contagious' phase were worked out, and the Quarantine was established on worlds that, through contact with Arluna via trade and shipping, also had outbreaks.

By the time Victor was Victorious, Katherine under arrest, and Nondi was dead, the Quarantine included the 13 hardest hit worlds, and the flu's total death toll was over 11 billion Lyrans and around 2000 members of Clan Jade Falcon.

Archon Peter (and later, Adam, and tehn Peter agian and his successors) solidified the Quarantine Zone as a semi-autonomous part of the Commonwealth, and established 'quarantine stations' along the border for the movement of uninfected trade in and out, and to study post-infection survivors (and permit them in, and out.)

During the Jihad, the WoB had much the same idea that these Clanners did, in deciding to eradicate it by eradicating populations in the zone.  This granted the quarantine patrols something to fire on that wasn't panicked civilians, and may have actually stopped the rash of suicides among the Quarantine enforcement fleet known as the Coast Guard.

Post-Jihad, Devlin Stone's republic attempted to interfere with the Quarantine diplomatically, claiming that the vessels built to enforce it locally were a violation of Naval and Military treaties.  He stopped after David Lear was presented with full information on just what kind of bug was being contained, and what it takes to contain it.

Thus, the LCN reserve in the Quarantine zones has been sitting on an exemption from force constraints for decades-to allow the rest of the human race to keep going along in relative safety.

But, nobody's dumb enough to let Liz Ngo, or her successors Amanda or Sharon, have 'real' warships.

They're allowed to have these, and they have a lot of them. enough that sales to other stabilized worlds within the zone are possible, and serve to lighten the load carried by the LCN (Reserve) forces of the Kowloon Coast Guard.  I admit I'd LOVE to see the Kowloonese rocking these,  but I don't know if they'd fit with THIS storyline and setting.

which is for the best, really-for this kind of mission, you need coverage more than impressive battleships, and when your recruiting base is 'Survived infection or your parents did' as a first requirement, there's going to be the sort of manpower pinch that isn't experienced for the LCN *(REGULARS).

you need a high volume of vessels per sailor, and they need to be highly mobile to cover the area of responsibility to the extent needed to keep the virus from being spread by sneaky interlopers who won't listen to a plague beacon.

Not that the Kowloonese, at least, haven't been gaming a 'what if someone with a major warship fleet decides it's safe to come in and take over?'.  After all, the WoB sent a warship group in, and the Jade Falcons have been getting radicalized, and Brewer can't even 'spell' barely controlled pandemic.

so this is a clash with what amounts to professional naval types who've been training and planning to face this for decades.

while also eradicating pirates and bandits who stray too close to the line, and carrying out soul-destroying, horrifying, actions to keep people safe.

you might say these Clanners just gave the Kowloonese a morale boost by attacking a neighbour-they get to fight someone who deserves to die now.
« Last Edit: 25 October 2021, 14:07:16 by Cannonshop »
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Cannonshop

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #344 on: 25 October 2021, 10:11:16 »
{Liam's_Ghost, sorry for the threadjack!!}

"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

kioras

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #345 on: 25 October 2021, 10:54:06 »
I would view that deciding to genocide the quarantine zone generations after it has been running successfully and the flu has either evolved into something much less deadly as an attempt to forcibly break the quarantine.

After all, they just had to ignore it while fighting their invasion and in a fw more generations it might not be an issue.

Or a broad spectrum vaccine would have been perfected and tested.

Causing panic that might include having people flee the zone in desperation is not what they want to do.

This Clan invasion is also making the same mistakes in regards to no intel on approach.  The quarantine should have been easily enough for any Clan traders to pick up information on to begin with.

monbvol

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #346 on: 25 October 2021, 11:02:29 »
Clans and logic are not known bedfellows when it comes to their reactions to plague.  Reference Galedon for a good example.

Cannonshop

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #347 on: 25 October 2021, 14:09:32 »
Clans and logic are not known bedfellows when it comes to their reactions to plague.  Reference Galedon for a good example.

reading the earlier entries in book one and two, the Homeworlders used genocide on their own worlds to stem the pandemic, leaving them in a position of having to unify or die-it's reasonable to assume what the Clanners are doing here, is rooted in the extreme measures they had to take in the Homeworlds, and the trauma they collectively experienced in the process.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

monbvol

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #348 on: 25 October 2021, 14:47:33 »
reading the earlier entries in book one and two, the Homeworlders used genocide on their own worlds to stem the pandemic, leaving them in a position of having to unify or die-it's reasonable to assume what the Clanners are doing here, is rooted in the extreme measures they had to take in the Homeworlds, and the trauma they collectively experienced in the process.

Either way the Clan response does seem to be glass the planet rather than let science do it's thing.

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #349 on: 25 October 2021, 16:20:42 »
Either way the Clan response does seem to be glass the planet rather than let science do it's thing.

Makes me wonder what the scientists think about this, or if there are even still many around after the annihilation of much of their caste in the late 3000s  xp
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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #350 on: 25 October 2021, 18:06:28 »
It definitely demonstrates the monoculture vs. diversity argument in a number of ways.  The Arluna Flu is the kind of threat monocultures can only fight with extreme measures, and the Star Adders are trying it via trying to burn out their Coyote absorbees at the same time...  ^-^

My personal bet is that the Coyotes will figure it out before they're nuked into oblivion by the KCG...  >:D

If not, they don't deserve to survive.  Mach nicht either way...

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #351 on: 26 October 2021, 11:01:11 »
reading the earlier entries in book one and two, the Homeworlders used genocide on their own worlds to stem the pandemic, leaving them in a position of having to unify or die-it's reasonable to assume what the Clanners are doing here, is rooted in the extreme measures they had to take in the Homeworlds, and the trauma they collectively experienced in the process.

OTL the Homeworld Clans lost about 40% of their controlled planets.  They might have had a population drop of anywhere from 20% to 50%.  Adding the Arluna Flu tothe mess and it is only due to the ruthlessness of the warriors that the Clans did not slide directly into techno barbarism.

They likely would have very little in reserves and who knows how frayed their society still is.  They might have had to go deep into the Iron Wombs to replenish their population.  If it even survived in large enough numbers.

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #352 on: 26 October 2021, 12:15:08 »
OTL the Homeworld Clans lost about 40% of their controlled planets.  They might have had a population drop of anywhere from 20% to 50%.  Adding the Arluna Flu tothe mess and it is only due to the ruthlessness of the warriors that the Clans did not slide directly into techno barbarism.

They likely would have very little in reserves and who knows how frayed their society still is.  They might have had to go deep into the Iron Wombs to replenish their population.  If it even survived in large enough numbers.

I hate to be the one to point out how much of THAT could actually be a hard-core motivator, especially if they also had to fight the scientist rebellion and lost a bunch of their biotech knowledge-enough to make, for example, inbreeding a risk.  That's a motivator for invasion right there- "mars needs women" (Clans need women), and to find the virus that savaged them after they just finished halfway demolishing their biosciences edge, maybe losing huge swathes of their genetic diversity?

This can maybe make things even MORE unreasonable, especially if they also held on to the Zalman line about Inner Sphere Corruption and their utter superiority complex.

Yeah, reason doesn't really factor in, does it?

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and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #353 on: 27 October 2021, 14:35:26 »
~KCGS Golden Lake~

"This world as well as your own has been declared subject to a trial of annihilation." the commander of the lead ship, a Conqueror, informed them with an air of menace. "Stand and protect these cowards, if you wish. You have merely moved up in the queue."

Captain Rosenstein shrugged. "Cowabunga it is," he said before switching to a fleetwide broadcast. "All Cutters, prep for a saturation strike, two volleys, all tubes. Support boats, one-eighty diameter KK curtain at fifteen kps. Hold until ordered." The enemy's projected track said that they were almost to the turnaround for the deceleration burn. With just a little bit of time to move Flotilla 17 into position and they'd be dropping clouds of nuclear and kinetic kill munitions straight into the enemy's vulnerable ass.

At which point, these Coyotes would have to grin and bear it all the way in, or swing around and give up on bleeding off enough velocity to make their orbit. Or, if they were bad at point defense, they might just die.

That settled, Rosenstein switched over the comm channel again. "Prime Minister Duvalier, sorry to keep you waiting. Duchess Ngo sends her regards."

If he had to guess, the prime minister of Hood IV sounded like he was somewhere between abject defeat and mind shredding denial. "We specifically requested that no ships be sent," he said. "Your actions may have escalated this situation beyond control."

How much further out of control could this possibly get? "With all due respect, Prime Minister, Kowloon hasn't received any message from you regarding this encounter, We did, however, receive a mysterious HPG signal purported to come from an HSDF officer, and the data it contained was considered worrisome enough for the Duchess to send us to determine the situation."

There was a pause for a moment. "The officer you speak of has gone rogue," the Prime Minister said. "Our naval forces are currently operating without orders."

Rosenstein's flotilla actually was in communication with the HSDF naval forces, and had been since arriving in system thanks to their black boxes. So the catastrophic breakdown between the HSDF and their civilian leadership was pretty clear. Rosenstein didn't envy the legal teams that would have to sort out that mess between the mutineers, their leaders, and... the Terran Hegemony? Ugg... layers. His job was just to make sure there were still people left to argue about it.

"Prime Minister," Rosenstein said evenly, "if you are ordering my ships out of the system, I regret to inform you I am unable to comply. Repositioning our ships to respond to the iminent threat to Hood IV necessitated using up the charge in our lithium fusion batteries. We can't leave the system at the moment."

"You could relocate your ships away from..." Duvalier started to say, but Rosenstein cut him off.

"Furthermore, the Coyotes have openly stated their intentions to wipe out this world's population, along with those of another twelve star systems. I cannot in good conscience allow that to happen. I and the personnel under my command fully acknowledge that I am violating your sovereign authority as the elected leader of this star system, and I am prepared to accept whatever punishment you and Duchess Ngo determine is necessary once the threat is dealt with."

"They...they wouldn't exterminate a non-resisting population..." Duvalier almost sounded like he was pleading.

Rosenstein almost felt bad for him. "If I do my job right, we may never have to find out." He then cut the connection.

He looked to his comm officer. "Pass the log of all of that, and our sensor logs, to Captain Fielding and his merry band of pirates. Tell them to get their friend with the HPG to send it on to Kowloon along with the necessary identifiers." A data set that large over the limited bandwidth of a black box would take time, but they should have just enough to pull it off before the shooting started. "Tell the Duchess the threat is very real and I think we're gonna need everything she can send us."
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #354 on: 27 October 2021, 15:07:18 »
I wonder if they're going to find out that some of the Coyote ships have whatever shields the CCS Ancestral Home had...  Maybe I'm being too optimistic for the Clans  :D
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Giovanni Blasini

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #355 on: 27 October 2021, 15:18:21 »
Good dramatic feel, especially at the end there.  Strangely, it reminds me of a scene early in the Fifth Element:

President Lindberg: Steadert.
General Staedert: Yes Sir!
President Lindberg: I have a doubt.
General Staedert: I don't, Mr. President.
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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #356 on: 27 October 2021, 18:35:36 »
That situation right there is why officers do NOT have "obey" in their oaths. They are expected, nay REQUIRED, to exercise their own judgment.  Of course, they have to face the consequences of doing so...  ^-^

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #357 on: 27 October 2021, 19:48:29 »
I have, from time to time, toyed with creating a 'fanbook' guide for key events and elements, if for no other reason than because people occasionally ask for one-but while I can crank out tons of prose text in story format, I get dead bored trying to compile and organize actual information and I can't draw to save my ass.

If you every do make one, I will be one of your fans who will enjoy it
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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #358 on: 27 October 2021, 19:53:07 »
I suspect Cannonshop has LEGIONS of fans who would be wiling to help with any such project.  Though I suspect most would hesitate due to worrying about it slowing down his production of the fiction we crave...  ^-^

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Re: And I Feel Fine: Book III: Thunderclap
« Reply #359 on: 01 November 2021, 20:46:24 »
~Pack Alpha, two hours later~

"Missiles inbound," the tactical officer reported. "One minute to engagement range."

"Very well," Star Commodore Grimani said. Not particularly honorable, but not unexpected for the tainted denizens of the Inner Sphere, and a situation the Clan had learned to adjust to out of necessity. The invaders that had scoured the homeworlds had relied heavily on saturation strikes with nuclear weapons, either from well beyond engagement range or from ambush. To counter this, the Clan had built vast numbers of remote operated point defense drones based on early Star League designs, twenty of which currently surrounded the Pack Alpha and Wendigo. On the latest generation of WarShips, this was further augmented with vastly improved integral point defense systems. 

Finally, the two ships were operating in close formation, allowing each ship's point defense array to augment the other. Simulations suggested it was all but impossible for a capital missile barrage to breach such an extensive layered defense.

"Point defense are engaging," the tactical officer reported. "Interception rate projected at 98 percent."

That would have caused a moment of anxiety for Grimani, but before the words were even out of the officer's mouth, the two missiles that had survived the point defenses had already crossed that last bit of distance. One, possibly damaged, continued on its way, passing the Wendigo without detonating or even attempting to adjust its course to attack.

The second detonated a scant two hundred meters from the Pack Alpha's hull with a brilliant flash of light. 

Without contact, there was no sensation of the force of the blast, but it still had its own affects, as on Grimani's display a cone of shadow appeared in the Pack Alpha's sensor readouts and fully a third of the ship's complement of point defense drones abruptly shifted to ofline status.

"High energy electromagnetic pulse!' the tactical officer announced, a conclusion that Grimani had already reached. "Drone control is reporting that they are in the process of restoring control over disconnected units. One minute to system restart."

Grimani could tell that the blinded sensor arrays were either coming back to life or secondary systems were engaging to take up the slack. All in all, their performance was wholly unacceptable. A minute to full restart was an eternity in combat.

"The scientists promised that these systems were impervious to EMP from anything short of a strategic weapon," the XO stated in frustration.

"The scientists promise a great deal to keep favor," Grimani said ruefully. "This will be addressed." For now he would take solace in knowing that the missile attack wasn't severe...

Almost on cue, impacts began shuddering through the ship.

----

~KCGS Golden Lake~

"Optical reports one near miss from the missile volley," Lieutenant Giao reported. "First Kinetic kill cloud looks like it's bagged maybe half of their little escort boats. Can't be certain how much damage to the big ships, but they're continuing on."

"I like it," Captain Rosenstein said. The next wave of kinetic kill projectiles would hit them in about an hour, if they held their course. The third just about when they made orbit. "All ships prep for saturation strike, full magazine timed for simultaneous impact. Hold until ordered."

-----

~Pack Alpha~

The second attack seemed to pass as quickly as it started. Grimani's tactical display was alive with damage indicators covering the aft flanks of the ship. None of them severe, but too numerous to ignore. "What were they?" he demanded.

"Some form of munitions cloud, ovKhan," the sensor technician reported. "Our main sensor array failed to detect them until we were already in their midst."

"Likely the same means the enemy used to attack the flagship," the XO said.

"Obviously," Grimani said. The shear volume of space the enemy had covered was staggering. Not only had both the Pack Alpha and Wendigo been hit, but their screen of point defense drones had been devastated. They were now vulnerable to a second missile strike.

"Cease deceleration," Grimani ordered. "Swing the bow one eighty, down forty five. Once complete, begin one point five gravity burn until further orders. Advise the Wendigo to match. If the enemy is familiar with our capabilities a second missile strike is already on its way. If they are not, it is only a matter of time."

"Do we abandon the approach, quineg?" the XO asked.

"For the moment we re-evaluate," Grimani said. "Advise the SaKhan of our situation. We cannot afford to act without coordinating our actions."
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

(indirect accessory to the) Slayer of Monitors!