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Author Topic: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale  (Read 34028 times)

cawest

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spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« on: 03 November 2018, 23:14:03 »
Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale

I do not own BattleTech, Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV series) or Hunted Tribes/But Somehow a Most Melancholy. Those last two are by Hotpoint and Cannonshop, and I have been cleared to do a spin off. 

This is a spinoff story.  It takes place after “But a somehow a most melancholy” and” Hunted Tribes”.  Please read those before this bit of work.  I will not be recovering those stories, but re-reading them will help you fallow this story.  This fiction also will be slow on the combat action. 

By Cliff
Beta By Nathan
Reviewed by Hotpoint. 


Chapter 1: 
The Beginning:  22 July 3046 CE
Planet surface of New Circe

Robert was walking down the brightly sun lit hallway with his back ramrod straight.  He was walking at a pace that few people his age, or a few years younger, would have found comfortable to copy.  He was moving with a sense of purposes, but he was able to make it look like he was not rushed or in a hurry of any kind.  It was a commander’s walk, and it was recognized as such by anyone and everyone he passed.  He was scanning his surroundings as he went looking at everything going on around him, as he counted down the passing closed office doors. 
“This hallway has way more people roaming around, than I can ever remember happing in the past,” thought the tall salt-and-pepper haired man as he came to the last turn, he hoped that he needed to make. 

“There sure have been a lot of changes since the Munchkins have arrived on our planet, and war had fallowed them.  Who would have thought we would be fighting robot beings from the edge of space, and not those Clanners.” 

Robert was mumbling has he found the number he was looking for.  He stopped at the door, which he long ago had given up hope of ever entering again.  At least not after having been retired from active service for a few years now.
 
The opening of the heavy Spartan wooden door, made the young and dapper Lieutenant look up from his keyboard and desk. 

“Oh, great another lost recalled oldster to deal with.”  said the younger man with a sign. He had clearly meant to be heard by the intruder. He had a slightly down turned frown on his face before he tried to expel the intruder. 

“Sir?  The Reserve Reporting Office is three floors up and on the south side of the building. You must be looking for them, Query-Affirmative?”  The young Lieutenant’s sad eyes locked on the intruder who had dared to come into his domain.  He was trying his best to intimidate the older man.  Surely the old man must have been in the wrong doorway. 

The older man knew exactly what the younger man was trying to do.  The lad’s condescension rolled off of him like water on a duck’s back in spring time. 

“Negative. I am here to see the head of Naval Personnel. I need to speak with Admiral Whitfield,” was the flat response he gave to the annoyed young officer. 

The young officer quickly looked at his boss’s event calendar displayed on one of the computer screens flat and vertically mounted on his desk.  Nothing was marked about any office meeting for the next few hours.  The Lieutenant looked back at the older man, and he felt the corner of his mouth dip down even further. 

“I’m sorry……Sir, but you must be mistaken.  The Admiral does not have any appoints, that I do not know about.  I would know, if you had an appointment with him.”  The tone was pure dripping with scorn. 

Robert felt his blood pressure rising like a launching DropShip, and he had to take a nice slow, deep breath before he made his next move.  He knew how the game was played in command.  He just did not want to deal with this young pup anymore.  He felt that it was time to drop the hammer on him.  Robert reached into the inner pocket of his jacket and pulled out an off-white envelope.  It had a seal embossed on the outside. He passed it to the clerk. 


The young officer took the offered envelope and started to absent-mindedly open it, but stopped when he read the outside.  It did not take long for confusion to run rampant on the younger man’s face. 

“This is impossible!  I did not send this out!!  It’s my job to send all the correspondence coming out of this office!” 

With wide eyes, he reached into the envelope and pulled out the folded high-end paper.  The young man carefully unfolded it to read what was written on it.  He read the short few lines of the typed message and when he made it to the signature block, he knew what he had to do.

 He did not like it. Not one bit.  He rose from his chair and turned to the only other door in this office.  He gave the hard, off-white painted wooden door two sharp raps, and then he entered the inner domain.  He quickly closed the door behind him as he left the front office.

 The young Lieutenant was gone for only a few seconds.  When re-entered the office he was visibly paler than when he had left.  Robert had heard nothing, but knew what had happened..

“Sir!  The Admiral will see you now.” 

The shaken naval officer stated, pointing to the open door to his left with a wave of his right arm.  The young officer stayed as far as he could, from the only other person in the room that was his office.  He was very rattled, by what had just transpired. 

“Thank you,” was the simple response from the older man. He walked past the Lieutenant.  A younger man who now had all the classic signs of having a strip of his hide removed by a senior officer.  It looked like it had been done by one who was a master of doing such things.

Robert entered the spartanly furnished office. It was dominated by a large wooden desk. Off to one side one whole wall were large, thick-paned glass windows.  Outside was the cool morning on cold city spread out in the sunlight.

 The man sitting behind that massive wooden desk did not look up from the “paperwork” he was doing.  He only pointed to an expensive high-backed leather chair. It was one of only two chairs in the whole office, other than the one behind the massive dark wood desk. 

Robert took the offered seat and waited for more information to flow his way.  He knew how the game of “wait” was played.  He was a Master of it, with many years of playing it under his belt.

 He had learned it as a master merchant for the Star league In Exile, or as the most people on this planet would call it, Clan Wolverine.  The rules were always the same, no matter what type of power was being displayed.  It was always about dominance over someone else in the room.  Robert could and would play that game all day long, with no problems and across many worlds. 

It was the man behind the desk who broke first, with a flash of a brief smile and waving hands in the air.  He was older than the Lieutenant, but younger than Robert.

“Okay! Okay you win!” he said, “It’s good to see you again Robert.”

“Good to see you too David,” Robert replied. “So, I see that you are robbing the Iron wombs early for assistants. He looks like he still should be still in school, not wearing a uniform.  Much less being an aide for someone of your current rank.  What, are you that short on personnel, now?  I thought that the personnel losses had been pretty light so far.” 

This was the offhand response from Robert, as he hooked a thumb towards the outer office.  Undoubtedly the younger officer left there was trying to figure how he had messed up so badly today. 

“He is not that young, Robert.  You are just that old. It has been a long time since you were so junior, Query-Affirmative?”  Admiral Whitfield stated with a smirk.  He had lost a point, but he had just made one back against Robert and he knew it. 

Robert did not make a reply, and only sat there.  He was still waiting to find out why he was in this office, of all places.  The office of the lead officer in charge of all of the personnel assignments for the entire space navy for this little system. 

The Admiral made a show of looking around his desk.  He picked up and put down different folders, searching for one in particular. After a moment he picked up a red one. 

“Oh, here it is.”  He stated.

Robert’s heart sunk to the tile floor under his feet.  Red was the color of a medical file.  He knew what was in his medical records all too well.  The Admiral flipped through a couple of pages, and then sat the file back on his desk, waiting for a response. Time passed in silence.

Realizing that he was not going to win this round, the Admiral finally relented.  He tilted his head to one side and looked the older man in the eyes.  “Robert, have you been keeping up on all of the news, Query Affirmative?” 

Robert levelled a look at the Admiral.  “David.  If you have to ask that question?  Maybe they need to start looking for a replacement, for you.  I could call for a circle, and try for your job.”  He let this tone of voice go lighter and take the sting out of the words. It wasn’t a threat, exactly.

“Yeah, right.” said the Admiral, dismissively. “Although, there are days when I wish that someone, or anyone, would have this mess to work through other than me.”  The younger man leaned back in his chair and looked up at the white ceiling.
 
Robert could tell that the statement he had just heard was only in half jest.  David was clearly under stress.

“Robert,” said the Admiral, “I want you to command a JumpShip again.  With the new drives that the Colonials have been selling us.  They have caused me some problems which I had never thought I would have to deal with. At least one problem is one I am not all that sorry to have.”

He continued. ”We now have more warfighting ships in service than at any time since we first landed on this planet. I’m not sure I have enough officers for all of them. I certainly do not have enough for both combat and non-combat ships.”

He tapped the medical file with his index finger. “I cannot assign you to a WarShip. Unfortunately, you failed your last physical in one important area.  Your heart will not stand up to sustained three to five g acceleration or rotational loading. That is something we expect a WarShip officer to be able to do for hours and hours in time of battle.” 

He watched the older man, his friend, visibly deflate at his statement. Both men knew it was true. Robert might never know the glory of a naval combat command.

“If I cannot legally put you in one of the modified Titians,” said the Admiral, “I had to come up with another idea.  We are still gearing up to full wartime production levels, and we will be at that higher level of production for some time.  This has caused some issues, which we hope have been caught in time.”
 
David rocked back and forth in his office chair distractedly. The Admiral was building up to something, but Robert wasn’t sure it was something he was interested in.

 “As you well know, we have never been completely self-sufficient with some very important items.  There just are some things that we had had to decide that it was too resource intensive to make with our limited manufacturing capability.  That is why we did those supply runs.”

“With the increase in production at wartime levels, we are wearing out tools we cannot replace quickly.  We would have to decide to stop making both Mechs and fighters to make those new parts and tools.  After that we would have to re-tool factories back to making the war-machines that we need.” 

David could see that Robert was about to start rolling his eyes.  “You commanded one of those JumpShips on the last supply run to the Inner Sphere.  The last one did well enough that higher command had not planned to make another run for another ten years are so.  They were hoping that we could wait till to maybe around 3055 if we were lucky before we had to send anyone back.  This war has changed all of those plans.”

The head of Naval Personnel stopped talking, and let that sink in. It was time to cut to the chase. 

“Robert.  The Styx is coming out of one of the Main Drydocks on The Station.  She will be cleared for operations by the end of the week.  They want you to take commander of her again.”
 
The Admiral looked his old friend dead in the eyes.  “Do you want to captain her, Query-Affirmative?  Then take her and make another supply run for us?”
 
Robert took a moment to consider, then spoke.

“Admiral Whitfield, why do you want me for this mission?”

 He wanted to jump up and down and start doing a dance right there in the office, but he had to find out a little more information before he could agree.  He needed to see if there was a hook hidden this bait somewhere. Something could be waiting to ruin or otherwise take his life.  It would not have been the first time he'd seen something like that

The Admiral cracked a little grin at his old friend. The man was just as sharp as he remembered.
 
“You were selected for a few reasons.  First, you commanded the Styx on the last supply run in 3030.  Second, you are on records as the fleet commander who took command of a few of the independent interaction stops. Those were very successful.  Third, you worked with Commander Xi on that mission, and she will be your boss again. We like to keep successful teams together. Fourth?  You will do whatever it takes to protect us out here from being found out by anybody from the Inner Sphere. Higher command knows this.  Lastly, you have worked with ‘The Families’ before, and know how to find them.

The Admiral stopped talking for a few long seconds.  “Commander Xi being in command is non-negotiable.  Higher Command insists. I just offered to be the pitch man.  But, Robert?  You will be a ship’s Captain again. 

The Admiral put his hands flat on the desk top.  “I am hoping that with some of the tech we are getting from the Colonials that we will be able to change the medical requirements for warship crews in the next eighteen to twenty-four months.  If I can, I will see about moving you over to a real combat command when you return from a run successfully.”

The Admiral shrugged, “That is, only if I can get them to relax those requirements.  If I cannot?  Then you going to be stuck in a support role until the end of the war.”   

As the Admiral finished his practiced speech, he passed a blue folder to the older man across the desk. He clearly wanted Robert for the job. He was the best choice for it, really.

Robert was one of the few people who had ever met any of the “family” in person.  There might be half a dozen that were left alive on the whole planet.
 
The Family were a close kept secret. Not even computer notes were kept about them.  They were the ones that the Wolverines had used as go-betweens and spies in the Inner Sphere.  They also had been the keys to supporting supply missions in the past.  They were so secret that no one in the planetary government knew who they were and how they might be contacted. 

No one knew who they were except the Copeland family.  They had provided most of the warm bodies for the formation of the group.  They also had been the ones that had helped smuggle those people to their new homes, off planet.
 
Robert flipped open the folder and signed the back page on the appropriate line.  He was taking the mission. He passed the folder back to the head of Navy personnel. 

The admiral took the folder and put it in the box marked “Out”.  With that bit of work done he stood up from his desk and walked over to one of the massive windows. It had a wheeled, wooden-topped serving cart beneath it. 

He took his time in selecting a decanter from a selection of a dozen bottle. He then poured a generous amount of liquid into two old, very ornately carved and inlayed tumblers.  He made sure that each glass had an equal amount and then offered one to Robert.

Robert pulled himself out of the comfortable chair, stood, and took the offered glass.  The two old friends touched glasses and took a deep sip.  Robert recognized the drink as soon as the liquid touched his tongue.  It had to have come from the case of real Terran whiskey that Robert had given to David years ago as a gift.  It had been when he had come back from the last supply mission, to the Inner Sphere. 
The two men were quiet as they savored the drink bottled on the surface of Terra, the cradle of mankind.  After the second sip, both knew it was okay to talk again. 

David spoke first. “Robert.  I will not say you are the key to winning this war, but I do not think you understand how much effect you could have on how this war is going to be fought.” 

Each of the men took another sip of the amber drink.  The younger man gave the older one a sly smile.  “I hope your uniform is ready.  You are going to report to Commander Xi in three days aboard the Station.  Your time on the sidelines is officially over, my friend.”  He could not keep his poker face on any longer. A wide grin came to his face. 

“Not a problem sir.”  Robert gave a grin of his own.  “I have been waiting for this day ever since I found out that we were going to have company on this planet.  Company that has been running from machines trying to wipe out all human life.” 

Robert finished his drink, put the glass down on the wood carrier, and reached out and shook the other man’s hand.  He turned for the door.  Just as he was opening it, he looked back at the head of Personnel. 

“Thank you for the drink David,” he said, being sure to speak loudly enough to be heard in the outer office. “I hope to see you when I get back.” 

Robert knew he was being petty.  He felt that he had to do something to the kid, if only to get back at him for trying to make his life difficult when he had first arrived.
 
He had made sure to use the Admiral’s first name where the youngster had no choice but to overhear him use it.  It would be the last time Robert could use that first name in public, now that he was recalled to the active military.  It was very much against regulations to speak with a superior officer with such familiarity.

David played along with the game he knew is long time fiend and one-time boss was playing. 

“Not a problem Robert. Good luck, and I will see you when I see you.”

He had called out just loud enough for the newly recalled officer to hear, but not loud enough to be heard at the lieutenant’s desk.  Familiarity with a subordinate was good, to a point. A former superior should be respected. Junior officers had to earn their respect.

mikecj

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #1 on: 04 November 2018, 00:13:19 »
Tag... this looks promising.
There are no fish in my pond.
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David CGB

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #2 on: 04 November 2018, 00:51:38 »
Tag... this looks promising.
yes, very much
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ckosacranoid

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #3 on: 04 November 2018, 14:21:57 »
nice to see someone doing something with those stories. they where fun to read. this looks cool and can not to read the rest. the writting so far looks cool.

snakespinner

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #4 on: 05 November 2018, 01:25:54 »
Good start. Looking forward to seeing how it goes. :thumbsup:
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DOC_Agren

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #5 on: 05 November 2018, 16:45:43 »
PING
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mighty midget

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #6 on: 06 November 2018, 20:38:47 »
Awesome to see you writing more, thanks.

For those that haven't read the originals...

Hotpoint's Hunted Tribeshttps://www.fanfiction.net/s/4083103/1/Hunted-Tribes
Hotpoint & Cannonshop's But Somehow a Most Melancholyhttps://www.fanfiction.net/s/5404879/1/But-somehow-a-most-melancholy
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Mackon

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #7 on: 08 November 2018, 04:51:58 »
We never did get to see giant Cylon Centurions duking it out with Battlemechs in the original two stories, hopefully, you will have better luck with your muse.

Looking forward to seeing where you go with it.

gladius

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #8 on: 08 November 2018, 07:07:15 »
Interesting. The dialogue could do with some polishing: there’s a fair amount of ‘as you know’, needless expositions for the audience that feels a bit forced, and some of the paragraphs get a little repetitive.

But as a fan of the original works pre Kowloon Invasion, bravo.

cawest

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #9 on: 08 November 2018, 20:41:00 »
We never did get to see giant Cylon Centurions duking it out with Battlemechs in the original two stories, hopefully, you will have better luck with your muse.

Looking forward to seeing where you go with it.

what will you see in the future... it will depend on if I do not drive my Beta reader nuts. 

cawest

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #10 on: 08 November 2018, 21:29:00 »
Interesting. The dialogue could do with some polishing: there’s a fair amount of ‘as you know’, needless expositions for the audience that feels a bit forced, and some of the paragraphs get a little repetitive.

But as a fan of the original works pre Kowloon Invasion, bravo.

Nathan pointed out the same thing.  I will be working on that. 

Mackon

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #11 on: 13 November 2018, 17:31:43 »
Are there many Aerospace Fighter focused Mercenary units in the IS they could hire? It would be a security risk but maybe its past the point of staying hidden from the Successor States.

Although even if be this point it might not be a disaster in the IS find out about them the Clans are always a worry.

cawest

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #12 on: 16 November 2018, 20:01:49 »
Chapter 2
3 Days later 25 July 3046
New Circe

By Cliff
Beta By Nathan
Reviewed by Hotpoint. 


Robert had thought that he would be taking a standard Small Craft to his destination.  He was thinking of something along the lines of an ST-46, KR-61, Mark VII or even maybe a one of the few Drop shuttles. Any of which were in operations around the system.  They were the main way to access the orbital base. 

That was not what he boarded at the City of McEvedy Space Port, for his first trip to his new office. 

 His trip had been on an alien craft.  Well, it was human made, but still alien.  It was not a ship design which had ever flown the skies of an Inner Sphere world.  The two small attendants working on the craft were the first Colonials he had ever seen in person.  They directed him to his seat with practiced ease. 

Roberts’s escort had said that it was called a Heavy Lifter when Robert had asked about the oddly shaped craft.  It was filled over half full of boxes. There were seats for passengers, some of which were occupied.  Then even more, if smaller, boxes were put into any empty seats that did not have a warm body occupying. 

The flight up and out of the atmosphere had been smooth.  It had been almost TOO smooth, as a matter of fact.  He had been dreading the lift off for three days.  For most of the first few minutes, of any fight out of the atmosphere you were under between two to three g’s of accelerations. Here he had barely noticed gaining altitude after liftoff.

It did not click into his old brain that something was not quite right.  Not until he noticed by looking out the window that they were in space.  As he looked at the deep black of space he realized that he had not felt zero gravity, yet.  As an old Spacer being released from the bonds of gravity was what told him he was really on his way.

It had to be the “Artificial Gravity” that these little people knew how to make. It was a true marvel. A technology even the Star League never new. Unfortunately, they did not know how it worked. 

He had heard about it but he had not really believed that they were capable of doing something that.  Artificial gravity without rotation or thrust was the realm of science fiction stories.  Stories that he still read as often as new ones came out.  He had always loved sci-fi tales. Now it appeared he was living in one.

The orbital traffic around New Circe was another shock for the veteran spacer to see through the ship’s unusually large portholes.  There had been a major news release the day before.  It had been about how the Colonials had made it back from their surprise visit back to their home planets.  The whole fleet of the Exiles and this new group of humans were all in one place. And they were all in close orbit around the planet. 

He had read the news story about the size of the refugee fleet.  But seeing over sixty-five interstellar space ships in one place? That had been very hard to believe.  Seeing them together was something new entirely.

As he watched the crowded orbitals he realized that that number wasn’t quite complete.  The reported number of ships did not include the blocky medium sized fighter craft called Raptors, dart shaped Vipers and the fifteen or so Heavy Lifter cargo/passenger ships flying around in the orbital lanes. 

The military also had released detailed, over-detailed if you would have asked him, reports about the huge space battle that had been between the Wolverines and Cylons.  Outlined in those reports was the trap that the Colonials had laid for their robotic adversaries. Thirteen battleship-sized carries, known to the Colonials as “BaseStars” had been destroyed. With them had died thousands of enemy fighters. The human forces had barely been scratched.

“Barely” being a relative term. Humanity had lost some of its number during the battle. He knew that all too well. Robert barely felt the itch of a tear trickling down his cheek at his own loss from that battle.

As they neared the orbiting space station the traffic got denser, with smaller ships flying between bigger ones at what must have been break-neck speed.  The pilot announced in his heavy accent that they would be flying by the Battlestar Galactica.  He pointed out that she was just visible on his side of the craft.  Robert had to crane his neck to see the massive warship as they went close by.  He had looked up some information about her when he’d had some extra time. 

Reading about her was one thing, but to see the almost 1500m long warship was amazing.  She was not the biggest warship, or even civilian ship, which he had seen.  Then again she came in at what must have been over a million tons.  She was in the top three of the largest of all ships he had seen in his long career. 

She was an amazing sight to see, but she had been wounded. He could clearly see the damaged on her hull, and he knew that she would be in one of the main Drydocks for some time to come.  She had borne scars, but would be made whole.

The Station was the center of the SLD- in-Exile’s interstellar fleet.  It had been started by one of their last Warships, the Cruiser called Buccaneer.  She had been stripped of any useful parts to help in the repairing the few other remaining Warships the Wolverines had had in service.  Not wanting to waste anything, she had soon stared her new life as the first step in rebuilding the Wolverines’ space manufacturing capabilities. 

As they had slowly stripped her to keep the other four Warship ships in fighting trim, she had slowly grown into something else. Things were added to the long hull. It was already outfitted with grav decks, life support systems, cargo holds, and docking ports. 

For the first major addition they had added two old Invader-class merchant JumpShips. These would never ply the space ways again due to age, damage, or just bad timing.  Higher command had determined that that they were no longer worth the effort in being repaired.  They had more than enough JumpShips to support the limited inter stellar trade the Wolverines could manage.  They had been towed from their final jump points and brought in to form the station.

Nor would they be the last vessels to give up their trade to become parts of the SDLF-In-Exile’s naval headquarters The Wolverines added three old Mammoth-class cargo DropShips about fifty years after the two JumpShips had been added to the cruiser hull.  These expanded the station still further.

Those three dropships had a proud history within the Wolverine Navy. They had been instrumental in the Clan’s ability to escape being wiped out, by the other Clans. The DropShips had been emptied of cargo once the last personnel had moved out. They had gone to help set up a colony on the other side of human-controlled space from the madness of the other Clans.  Once that colony had been established the Mammoths were no longer necessary for the SLDF-in-Exile’s transport needs, and they had been re-used to expand the station.

The now empty space was refitted to house offices, crew housing, and a good-sized chunk of the Wolverines’ space-based manufacturing.  Almost all of this effort was to support the two larger dry docks and the two small dropship repair areas. Theoretically its production was send down to the planet as well, but Robert wasn’t certain how much actually made it there. Some said that only about thirty-five percent of what was produced on the station was sent down the gravity well. 

Supporting the Navy was, after all, the station’s primary function. It was to help prepare against the time when the other Clans found them again and tried to wipe them out.  It was more space-based industry than a planet with less than a million people on it should ever need, but the SLDF-in-Exile built it anyway.  They had fought hard to keep it up and in working order, no matter how much blood it might cost. Their pursuers might find them at any time, and they needed to be ready.

 Now all of it was being put into full use for the first time in decades.  This was much to the joy of the people who worked on the beast for their whole life time.  Their pursuers had never dome, and the expense of maintaining such a station had started to look frivolous. Now, with the arrival of the Colonials and THEIR pursuers production was running at full tilt.

Just as the shuttle was docking to one of the old dropship’s hulls Robert was just able to get a glimpse of the Cradle.  The Cradle was a new idea brought by the Colonials.  In a short time it was made real by the SLDF-in-Exile’s Navy.  It was a building area that looked more like a spider web than a building slip or dry dock.  It resembled an upside-down child’s cradle floating space.  It had one of the few repair ships that had made it all the way from the Colonial home words setting on top of the mess of metal braces. 

In this Cradle there was a DropShip under construction. It was probably one of the New Olympus-class jump carriers which the news had been talking so much about.  The Cradle was much smaller than either of the two dry docks that were part of The Station. The thinking behind its use was that the Cradle, and any more like her class would handle the construction or refitting of DropShips that would normally had need a full dry dock in hears past. Now those could concentrate on maintaining the Wolverines’ WarShips. Or start construction of new WarShips.

Smaller classes of dropships were being built and/or repaired at the main planeside space port.  This was done at one of the main repair bases which had been expanded from its original mission into a more important role for the SLDF.  The Colonials might have only been about 50,000 people when they had first found the SLDF, but they were helping to expand the fighting and support ability of Robert’s people greatly.  Far more than any other group of the same size should have been able to do.
 
The Heavy Lifter was too large to dock inside a small craft bay. Instead, it had to dock to an escape hatch.  One that had been seeing a lot more traffic than it had ever been designed for.  The bottleneck of the escape hatch made the unloading of the heavy lifter a slow and laborious process.

Robert had to wait for the other passengers to grab their day bags before he could exit the craft himself. He turned to talk to some of the Colonials that were waiting to unload the cargo.  He knew they wanted to practice their English skills, and he was curious about them. He reached into his inner coat pocket and withdrew his copy of a Caprican-to-English dictionary.  One of the smaller Colonial looked at him and beat him to the punch. 

“Sir, if you do not mind.  I would prefer to speak in English,” he said.  “It will help me with traffic control.  The sooner I can past the vocabulary test, the sooner that I can start picking up cargo jobs where they do not have translators on shift. “

He continued. “Now it looks to me that you might have a question or two for me.”  The Colonial put his hand on the low-slung, holstered sidearm. Robert tensed for a moment, but decided it was not meant to be a threatening move.  It was more of a place to put a hand in a more comfortable position.  Robert took it as a sign that this man had seen some combat. 

“Well, his English is a lot better than my Greek,” thought Robert.

“As a matter of fact.  I do, if you have the time?  I promise they are not personnel questions.”  He said with a grin. He knew it would help set people at ease.  He was a very successful trader.   

“Well, we have nothing but Frakking time,” replied the stocky Colonial.  “It’s going to take a while for everyone to exit out the escape hatch on this slug.  I’m game. Ask away.”  He returned a nod to Robert’s smile. 

“Okay. First, why did we board your ship at the space port and not one of our local short ranged hoppers?“ Robert could see the back of the man started to straighten up some, starting to take offense. 

“I am not complaining about your skills as a pilot.” He clarified. “It was the fastest and easiest trip to the Station that I can remember ever having, in my life.  I’m just curious.” 

Robert gave a disarming smile. He was used to zero-g, but sometimes having your feet planted made for an easier conversation. Also, it was a lot easier being nice without microgravity induced nausea. 

“I am going to take over as a JumpShip’s captain soon,” he said. And I like to ask questions, when I see new things.  How did you pick up this job?” 

The pilot’s eyes got a little larger at the mention of rank.  He snapped a little hand salute.

“Sir.  I work for the Colonial Government, for now.  This little hopper was pulled out of orbit by Admiral Adama when he went back home on that raid.  The Colonial Government signed a contract with the spaceport for some extra hard currency.  Those funds go to help in the building of our Colony.“

“I’ve been driving one of these things since before the Cylons bombed us out, though only as a second seat.  I am waiting for a flight slot to open up in the regular fleet.  I was hoping for a Viper seat or maybe one of the new Avars when they come out. “

He grimaced. “I did not make the selections for anything like that.  They are very hard spots to get, much less for someone my age.  At least I will be getting to learn about Raptors in the next year or so.” 

The pilot waved his head around to point to his craft.  He had cocky smile on his face.  “This pays the bills and lets me keep up my required flight hours.”

He noticed Robert about to say something. “Before you ask.  Yes, I have rehearsed those lines a few times.”

The Colonial continued on. “I take it you’re being recalled to be a ship’s Captain.  You said some about a jumping ship? I don’t know what that means.  I know you Wolverines have different names and titles for what ships do than we do.  What does a jumping ship do?” 

“It is a JumpShip,” Robert corrected. “Two words together without a space. It is how the Star League in Exile transports things through interstellar space.”

“We will not be doing anything major, just running a supply ship for the fleet.  Or running from base to base outside of our little hidden solar system.  You cannot fight a war without beans and bullets, or so they say.” 

He had no intentions of letting this stranger know which ship he was going to be taking over.  OPSEC was ingrained into his soul. Who knew what his peril his mission really might in be if he were to risk a work being leaked out. 

“Well just my luck,” said the Colonial. “Too bad you are not picking up command on one of the warships.  I was going to maybe try talking you into giving me some stick time on of those big fighters you all like to fly around.  Oh well.  But if you have any cargo that need to be moved let me know.  I can bid on the job and fly it the same day.  We are always looking for a new way to pay the bills, if you know what I mean.” 

The talkative pilot passed Robert a small calling card with clipped corners and a Raptor logo in the center. 

“Sir,” he said, “it looks like the line is almost done.  Please be careful when you exit our craft.  Sometimes there are floating blobs of liquid in the corridor. You do not want to go through one of those face first.”

Robert started to push past to exit the ship. The pilot held a hand to stop him. “Speaking of that, have you heard when they are going to start putting artificial gravity plates on this thing?” 

Robert felt a flash of irritation at the abrupt halt. These Colonials did not show much in the way of decorum. He shrugged.  “From what I have heard they are stripping some of the stuff off of Colonial ships in the worst condition.  I saw a report about it, on the news.  I hear that the Star League Warships are getting a lot of grav plates off the ships that Admiral Adama brought back with him on his raid.  They’ll keep some for research, of course.”
 
“It is just a guess, but I suspect that the Station won’t get many of them if at all. That is until they can start making them in real job lots.” 

Clearly this Colonial planned to keep up this friendly interrogation. If it went on for a lot longer, Robert was concerned that the man would begin to question what brought a “merchant” captain on to a supply run to The Station. Too many questions, and things might get awkward. It was time to depart, and Robert knew something that would end of the conversation.

“I’m sure the new AI WarShp will get assigned quite a few.”

 Colonials had a blind spot when it came to anything related to artificial intelligence. A blind spot that the Wolverines did not have. Robert supposed that was to be expected. The Colonials, after all, had lost their worlds to the menace that was the Cylons. The Star League had used AI to defend their most important worlds. And when the SLDF’s implementation of AI came into contact with the Cylons, the outcome had not ever been in doubt

The technology of the Star League proved superior. And the Colonials had to live with the fact that AI had both destroyed their way of life, and saved their people. Most of them weren’t happy with the idea.

Robert saw the easy grin of the Colonial pilot freeze, and then sour.

“Welcome to the Station,” said the Colonial, finally moving aside.

Robert walked past. “Thank you,” he said.

He stepped through the transport vessel’s hatch. He took a moment to re-familiarize himself with the lack of gravity in the corridor, then floated off in the direction of his destination. He kept a wary eye out for uncontrolled masses of liquid as he went.


cawest

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #13 on: 16 November 2018, 20:02:19 »


He had been told ground side that any checked luggage would be dropped off at his cabin when he had checked in at the space port.  Normally he would have expected to get his bags upon disembarking the transport. Now he understood why there had been a change in procedure.  The hatch could either unload people or cargo, but it could not both things at the same time.  To tell the truth.  He did not want to wait for his two bags, before he continued with his other tasks for the day. 

The transition between shuttle and space station was as strange for him as it was for those people in front of him. Normally the transit from the surface to the station gave him time to get used to microgravity.  Even moving between a grav-deck and the rest of a ship had the transition of motion. This was like stepping off an airliner straight into zero-g.  It took him a few minutes to get his space legs under him. 

He had started floating down the metal hallways of the old dropship.  He did see a couple of crew members cleaning up floating liquid. He pulled himself down the corridor on the provided handholds.  The smell from the floating blobs was all he needed to motivate him to move a bit faster than was normal.  He didn’t want to think about where those blobs might have originated.

He knew where he had to go and how to get there.  He had checked the schematics for the station on his noteputer while waiting to dock. He wanted to know if the office needed to visit had moved.  He was a bit surprised to find that it had indeed moved since his last visit.  He had last been there years ago when he had to come here to get his last payments for a job competed.  He had lucked out because with all the changes going on the office had only moved by about six hatchways down the same corridor.  He made it there in plenty of time, and he was even early for his appointment. 

His next surprise was a little more enjoyable.  The office had been outfitted with Colonial artificial gravity plates on the floor.  A ‘look out for gravity’ sign was posted outside of the office door. He used one hand to press himself towards the floor before entering.  He stopped in front of the door marked “Commander XI:  Head External Supply Office” and knocked on the metal door three hard times and waited. 

“Enter!!” was the response given by a strong voiced woman from inside the room. That voice had no problem penetrating the pressure proof hatch. 

Robert entered the room.  It was the same small office you came to expect in space. Space inside the hull was valuable, and not to be wasted. 

“Commander Xi!  Captain Copeland reports!” Robert said, performing as close to a military-perfect salute as he could. 

There might be a half a dozen ways the next few minutes might go.  Robert didn’t know how this would go down, but he wasn’t going to let a lack of protocol start things off of the wrong foot. 

“Captain Copeland you are early. Good.” Commander Xi’s voice showed no mirth, and only the barest hint of approval.

The navy Commander was a harsh faced woman who would never be called pretty.  She was married to man that Robert had met just before he was let out of the navy.  He had never understood what the man had seen in her. Perhaps she wasn’t quite so dour at home. Or perhaps it was just that there was someone out there for everyone.  They even had three children together. 

“Some things never change, Query-Affirmative?” she asked.

“I try Commander,” he responded. He saw a disapproving wrinkle appear on her brow. It took him a moment for him to realize his response had been off.

These two would never be friends.  She was hardcore discipline, through-and-through. Protocol had never been all that interesting to him. They both respected each other, and that was enough for both of them. 

She had been the person in charge all of the “civilian” JumpShips on the last supply run to the Inner Sphere.  It was a task force made up of six JumpShips and the Battle Cruiser Rickenbacker.  That mission had been a complete success in getting much needed supplies for the SLDF-In-Exile.  Indeed, Higher Command had provided them with a wish-list that the expedition had not only manage to fill, but to exceed.  No one in the Inner Sphere had been the wiser on who they really were when they returned to their hidden home nebula.

“Will you have a seat, Captain query-affirmative?”  She said, as she pointed to a pair of chairs with a side table between them along one wall of the cabin.

 As she said that, she was rising from the chair behind her metal desk.  More lavish commanders would have replaced it by now, at least with something that had a wooden top.  To Xi such extravagance was unbecoming of an officer of the Star League, In-Exile or no. 

Robert took the seat, and made a face.  “Affirmative Commander, but I am still working on passing the language test.  I would appreciate it if you would go light on the query-affirmatives and query-negatives. Teaching an old dog new language tricks takes a while.”

The Commander gave a slight head nod at the request. The furrow in her brow deepened a bit, but she made no rejoinder. She took the nearer of the two chairs and passed a noteputer over to her newest subordinate.  Robert started review the text on the screen. 

She spoke as he read.  “The Styx came out of the repair slip yesterday.  She was ready before then, but apparently the yard hands do not like letting their toys go early.  At least not if they can help it.  It also did not help things that she was replaced in her slip by a functioning,, crazy, and battle damaged Caspar drone, of all things.  You would be amazed at the stories they used to keep her in the slip.” 

She sighed and continued.  “Let us start on slide one and work through this Captain.  Please stop me if I hit something odd to you.  Or you have a suggested change.” 

She looked at Robert, who only nodded his head to let her know that he was listing to her.  “Good.  You know that the Styx is a Tramp Class JumpShip.  She has had some changes since the last time you walked her decks.  I do not know if you knew that.  I know I did not before my briefing yesterday. She was built by Clan Snow Raven just before we had to leave Clan space. Her lithium-fusion battery and supporting systems were removed and no, you will not be getting them back.” 

Commander Xi waited for Copeland to say something, and was mildly surprised when all she got was a slight shoulder shrug.

 “They needed one for some tests they are running with Colonial jump drives.  The space and mass have been replaced by a Colonial jump drive from the Civilian ship called the Cloud 9.  She was approximately the same size as your ship, so the refitting went very quickly.  That drive has already been inspected and overhauled by both Colonials and our people before they shoehorned it to the Styx.  The original plan had us using that drive on the Star Lord Class JumpShip Old Tom because she can carry more dropships. 

Commander XI tapped her screen and the imaged changed.  “Then they found out the modifications necessary for her to carry a Munchkin would have hurt her ability to hide her identity.  Quite badly. A blind man could have tracked her, or so I am told.”

“The refit would also have taken too long,” she continued. “She would have been in the slips for about three times as long as was hoped for.  So we went back to the idea of using the Styx, and I think this will work better.”

The imaged changed again, this time to a list of named. “The assigned crews for the ships are all old hands from the other supply runs, but you can review them.  If you want any changes to the roster please let me know as soon as you can and we will see what we can do.  All of their personnel files are on the secure noteputer I gave you.” 

She stopped talking when she saw that Robert was studying the notes about the modification of the ship he was going to command on his own computer. He had disabled the connection she had been using for her presentation.  When he moved to a different slide she re-enabled the connection and started talking again. 

“This is going to be different mission than any other supply runs we have done before.  The Styx will be the only mainline Navy ship that is going with you.  She has had some of her armaments changed to fit this mission.  New barrel sleeves were added to conceal her ER large lasers so that they will just look to be standard old tech large bore weapons.  Just please try not to show the longer range abilities unless absolutely necessary. Her point defense systems are old-style, and look like heavy Gatling machine guns.  Those should not draw any extra attention. It was decided not to upgrade them with a laser system because they would too hard to keep hidden.  We have mostly removed ballistic antimissile systems from main line service, so there were plenty of systems available for you, and the ammunition to feed them.” 

Robert looked up from the little handheld computer and his face was like it was cut from stone.  “Commander.  First question, please?  Why only send one JumpShip as the interstellar transport for this supply run?” 

Robert did not like what he was hearing. He had quickly put his best poker face on as soon as he had read the first slide.  He understood that they might not have a WarShip as an escort, this time, but sending a single JumpShip on this supply run that was going to be this long was risky. 

Commander XI had been expecting this question.  In fact, she had asked the same question herself when the idea had been first presented to her.  This also meant that she had more time to find the answer.

 “We do not have the extra ships,” she said, simply. She had not liked the answer, but it was best to lead with the truth.

 “That is not the only change from how we used to run these missions,” she said. She leaned forward so that she could make this next part less formal than normal.  She needed to have Captain Copeland fully on board to take this mission. 

“With the newtech coming into service we will not be doing just one large mission at a time.  The new Colonial-style jump drive will make the round trip a lot faster than before. The plan is that you will be making multiple trips for supplies and trading. Your ships will use the normal K-F system while in close to the Inner Sphere.  You will use the Colonial system mixed with our computer tech to cut down the round trip travel time to the Inner Sphere.“

“The Colonial jump system is a civilian version, so it is not built to withstand the rigors of combat.  If it were, we would likely have assigned it to a WarShip. The experts think you will be able to make one twenty light year jump every hour, but recommend only one jump every three to four hours for normal operation.  A complete tech report is loaded on your noteputer for you to read later.  If you can come up with a reason that this is not workable then I need to know ASAP.“

She smiled in a way that was not entirely cheerful “Then I will have you give a detailed briefing on those issues to some very high brass.” 

Robert was stunned. Of course, he had read up on the Colonials tech.  He had even been able to access a few military reports about their capabilities.  But he really had not believed that these people had jump drives that could recharge so quickly.  He made a note to review all the classified files that he could on their technology now that he was back in the Navy full time.  He needed to know what he would be able to do before he might have to do it in an emergency.

His new boss, or should he say his renewed boss, kept talking.

 “We have two shakedown cruise missions planned out for you.  We need you to do them both before we throw you into the very deep end of the pool.“

For the first mission are having you clean up loose items around the local stellar areas.  We don’t want the Cylons to be able to acquire and reverse engineer our tech.  So we have been sending out scouts to look around the nearby stars.  This is the first re-survey we have done in about a hundred and fifty years.  Not surprisingly, some things were missed or may have changed since the last visit we did to those areas.  Now you might remember system LGR 2345?” 

Robert did not say anything for a few long seconds as he thought about the question.  When he found the information buried deep in his memory, he replied. 

“Yes, Commander.  That was where we found that loaded Scout-class JumpShip around a GV6 star.  It was a dead system with a few gas giants, but nothing of real use to us, if I remember right.  We did a quick inspection in-system.  We could have taken the dropship, but the JumpShip’s drive was dead and it would have requires too much work to retrieve.  Also, if I remember right we thought it was a Pirate ship that had broken down and died there.  No one wanted a dropship that might have the stigma of being a Pirate vessel, so we just left them there at the jump point.” 

His voice sounded a bit bitter, and with reason. Robert had been one of the strongest advocates of the Navy to build a mobile Yard ship, and he had been that way for decades.  Some thought that his vocal support of his idea was why he had been retired from active service at such a young age.  A yard ship would have made recovery of a “lost” JumpShip a hundred times easier than any current method.  That still did not mean that recovery of a damaged JumpShip or WarShip with a bad jump drive would be easy, but it would have brought it at least into the realm of possibility. LGR 2345 would have been the perfect testing ground for such a vessel.

Commander XI let another smile come to her face. This was much friendlier.  “I had almost forgotten that you had such a good memory.  Yes, that is the one.  Yes she was a Pirate, there is no doubt now.  She had been going by the name of Blood Eye when we found her, but she had apparently been a supply vessel for the Star League at one point.  How she ended up working for scum we do not know, or frankly care at this point and time.” 

Command XI kept the smile on her face.  She knew Copeland could be a handful, but he could be scary smart at the same time.  “The dropship she is carrying is a Leopard CV Class dropship called Hobgoblin.  We have four of those same type of Leos, currently in service with the Navy.  Thanks to Colonial technology, we have already changed them all into jump capable light carriers.  So far all of the reviews on those modified craft had been very positive, so the value of that system has gone up.  We can use that ship in this current war no matter what stigma it might have hung on it.” 

Xi watched as Copeland nodded his head in agreement. He had uncoupled his computer from hers again, and was poring over the crew manifest.

“If you go to the next slide, you will see that K-F drives and Colonial drives can co-exist without interference between them. A ship equipped with a Colonial jump drive can be in contact with or even carry a vessel with a K-F drive without issue.” 

The Robert was trying to process that she had said, but it wasn’t quite tracking with him yet. A drive equipped ship carrying another drive equipped ship? That meant…

”If you will go to the next slide, please?” asked Commander Xi. She again waited. 

What Robert saw slightly modified Titan-class Dropship doing something unnatural to a Triumph-class dropship that had been strapped to the bottom of the arrow-shaped fighter carrier.  Robert spent some time looking at the image before he commented on it.  There were only about four short paragraphs of data to explain the image. 

“I have heard about this, but will it work when Styx tries it with the Scout?”

Robert’s eyes were wide and wild. The prospect of the two drives working together was like opening a gift.

“That is what you were thinking about, right?  You said that Colonial and Star League K-F jump drives can work together without blowing both ships apart.  You have already said that the Styx had one fitted in place of the double jump system.  Who tested that little trick?  Also what about two K-Fs that are close together?  Why not just scrap the Scout in system, snag the dropship and the drive, and be done with it? Why bring it all the way back here?” 

Commander Xi’s smile turned sly.  He had jumped right at the time she had predicted, that he would.  “Captain, please go to the next slide.  I think that will answer your first question.  And for the second, we are not scrapping the Scout.  We are going to repair it, and then you are going to sell it on your supply run to the Inner Sphere.” 

She raised one eyebrow and waited.  Once the slide loaded the fireworks started in earnest. 

“Oh MY God!” Roberts said, nearly shouting. “Is that the Caspar being carried by a Colonial battleship? So that’s how they got it all the way out here!”  He looked up to make eye contact with the Commander. 

“Well, if they can do it with a 680,000 ton warship we should be able to do with a Scout-class JumpShip,” she said. Robert was thinking as fast as he could. He took a deep breath to start asking questions.

Commander Xi held up a hand to stop him.

“I cannot go into all of what makes the SLS Nike special, at this time,” she said. “I will say that they ran and reran some tests.  I have heard it is somehow connected to the “Bright Star” Auto Scout project.  What that is I do not know, yet.  The Colonial drive can somehow put out a subatomic field that no had ever thought of.  That effect somehow insulates normal jump cores from each other.”

“In any event, that is your first shakedown mission.  It is the recovery and successful return to this system of both of those craft.” 

She paused, waiting for him to acknowledge. After a moment Robert nodded, still stunned by the information he had just been given.

“The next mission,” she said, “is to a system nine hundred light years from us.  It has been designated PHX 3345.  This system has three rocks, four gas giants, and an old Merchant class JumpShip.  It is older than the Scout, but not significantly so.  We have no idea what happened to her, but we want you to grab her.  While you are there you are to also pick up the two drop ships connected to her. They are what we think is a Trojan and what is left of a Mule class.” 

Commander XI sat back deeper in her chair.  “After that we will review all of your reports, finish refit of the Styx, and then you can start Phase 2.  This all needs to be kept quiet.  If some of the more religious of the Colonials find out that we are sending a ship to the Inner Sphere there could be trouble. You will be closer to Earth than any other ship in the fleet.  We might say something later, but for right now all information is on a need to know bases, only. Higher Command wants it handled as sensitively as knowledge of us given to someone in the Inner Sphere.“ 

She stopped talking and waited for a reply from the Captain.  She would not go farther until he acknowledged her orders. 

Robert stopped looking at the image on the handheld computer and made eye contact with his boss. His poker face had long since disappeared, and genuine joy showed on his face.

“Can do!” he said. “It should not be a problem.  The old hands should know how to keep their traps shut. Any new people my people can manage. How long do I have to work up my ship and crew before the first shakedown mission?” 

Commander Xi stood, straightening her uniform from sitting in the comfortable chair too long.  “If you are not ready in twenty one days from today, I will need to know why.  We do not want the Cylons finding either of those assets, Captain.  If something is wrong with your command, we will have to go with our Plan B.  That is to take care of it with firepower.  It would be viewed as a waste which we could have avoided. Do not make me look bad, Captain.” 

Taking the rising Commander as a hint that this meeting is over, the Captain stood up from his chair and started to turn his head towards the door. 

“I guess I had better get started,” he said. “Commander, you know me.  I will succeed if it is at all possible.”

He paused for one last question, thinking about his ride to the station.

“Are there any other changes to the rules on small craft rides to outlying ships that I need to know about?” 

“No,” she replied. “The rules on small craft usage are the same as always.”

She seemed puzzled at the question, but seeing that Robert had no further comment she continued.

“Captain Copeland, please message me in fourteen days with an update.  Your XO has a training plan already laid out.” 

She made a motion towards the door.  She was a very busy woman with a lot that she had to get done before this mission was allowed to leave the Nebula. 

Robert left her office with a speed just below reckless. He had a lot to do too. This was going to be fun.


mikecj

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #14 on: 16 November 2018, 22:58:53 »
uh oh.  he got ahead of her on something.
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
"Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime." - Belkar Bitterleaf
Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.

Cannonshop

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #15 on: 21 November 2018, 19:21:21 »
ping.
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

cawest

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #16 on: 21 November 2018, 20:38:07 »
ping.
next chap in getting Beta.  then Hotpoint has to review it. 

Cannonshop

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #17 on: 23 November 2018, 09:24:30 »
next chap in getting Beta.  then Hotpoint has to review it.
glad to hear Hotpoint's still around.
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Wereling

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #18 on: 23 November 2018, 12:11:57 »
next chap in getting Beta.  then Hotpoint has to review it.

My fault. I'm the beta writer for this, and I'm currently travelling. It's on my list when I get home.

cawest

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #19 on: 05 December 2018, 15:55:30 »
a little back ground.

Clan Wolverine Equipment 3045

Category A
Light mech
1-3 Sling II Omni 25 tons
4-6 Mercury III Omni 30 tons

Med mech
   1-4 Wolverine III Omni 55 tons
   5-6 Stag III 45 tons
Heavy Mech
   Golden Age

Assault Mech
   1-5 Pulverizer III VA Omni 100 tons
   6 Riflemen III Omni 80 tons

Category B
Light mech
   1 4 Sling 25 tons
   5 Firefly C 30 tons
   6 Golden Age
Med Mech
   Mercury II 40 tons
   Wolverine II 55 tons
   Stag III 45 tons
   Stag II 45 tons
   Golden Age
Heavy Mech
   Golden age
Assault mech
   1-4 Pulerizer II None Omni 100 tons
   5 Warhammer IIC 80 tons
   6 Rifleman II 80 tons

Category C
Light Mech
   1-5 Royal SLDF
   6 Firefly 3SLE
Med Mech
   1-2 Royal SLDF
   3 Mercury II
   4 Hoplite 4 BB
   5-6 Stag
Heavy Mech
   1-4 Royal SLDF
   5 Galahad 2D
   6 Thresher
Assault Mech
   1-4 Royal SLDF
   5 Pulverizer 90 tons
   6 Annihilator 1X 100 tons. 


cawest

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #20 on: 05 December 2018, 16:00:34 »
Units of the Star League in Exile.  (use base 4 for all units)
   331 Roya Battle Mech Div
      3311th Battlemech BDE Cat A
      3312th Battlemech BDE Cat A
      3314th Battlemech BDE Cat B
      3313th Mechanized Infantry BDE Cat A. 
1st Home Defense Infantry Div Cat B
1st Home Defense Mech RGT Cat B
2nd Home Defense Mech RGT Cat C
1st home Defense Tank RGT Cat B 
Training RGT Cat C

cawest

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #21 on: 18 December 2018, 23:42:09 »
Chapter 3
26 July 3046
New Circe Star System. 

By Cliff
Beta By Nathan
Reviewed by Hotpoint. 


Robert was able to hop a Colonial-made Raptor to his next destination.  It would take him for his first intersystem Jump from low orbit spot over New Circe to the Zenith jump point, where the Styx was waiting for him.  The Raptor was only a fifty ton or so craft, and it only held eight others going to the small transfer station located there at the edge of the star system. 

The transfer station was the hulk of an old Merchant class JumpShip which had cracked its jump core on the last jump to this system in 2950. It had slowly been turned into a short term housing and cargo transfer station when it needed to be.  The 40m grav deck was always in use.  The six hundred tons of cargo space was small but had made life a lot easier when transferring cargos.  To the few ships that left this star system, it was great.  When nothing was scheduled the transfer station was shut down and left un-manned. 

To his surprise.  The command crew of the Raptor were both Wolverines and the ship was marked in SLDF colors rather than the markings he studied of the Colonial navy.  He thought that their presence made it more likely he’d be able to get a Raptor design to his mission. He might as well ask.  What was the worst that could happen?  They might say no? 

“I will have put that on my list.”  He said aloud, as he floated out of the hatch and out of the AG field the Colonial craft had. 

Hearing the oldster say something.  The young crewman in charge of the cargo bay did not know if it was directed at him or not.  Robert was wearing a SLDF uniform with a Ship Captain’s rank on the shoulders.  You did not want to be accused of ignoring a senior officer. 

“Did you say something Sir? Query-Affirmative?” 

Robert made a face that he made certain was gone when he made eye contact with the crewmember.  There was no need to bite the young lady’s head off. She was only being polite.

“Yes, I did,” said Robert.  “I was going over the list of things in my head I have to do before my next mission.  I just realized I had forgotten something, which I should have added to it before”.  Robert exited the craft. 

The Raptor was small enough ship that it could fit in one of the two the Small Craft bay the former JumpShip had been built with.  Robert had that stomach turning event again when he went from normal gravity to zero g in a single step.  He held on to a hand rail this crew had attached to the low slung wing of the transport vessel.  He noticed that that there was a second Raptor in the same bay.  That was odd, because normally one small craft or fighter took a whole bay by itself, no matter how much it massed. 

The young Raptor crewman standing near the end of the wing saw the look.  He had a good idea of what the old timer was thinking. 

“Sir, we have regular services out here.  That one will be leaving in about forty minutes, for the return trip in system.  If you forgot something they can bring it back out in about a day, if you need it badly and it’s not too large.”

“That’s convenient,” Robert said.

The Raptor crewman shrugged.  “I do not know how much long we will be doing it.  I know that we have been doing it for a few weeks now.  I have heard there will be some changes.  They are going to start moving all the mothballed ships, support structures, and whatever else are all the way out here.  They want them closer in system, and away from the old jump points.  It is supposed to make them easier to defend, as well as cut down on fuel and travel time to keep checking on them.  Well, that is what they said at the brief yesterday.  I just go where they tell me, when they tell me.” 

Captain Copeland looked back at the small craft crewman.  “Thank you.  I will have to keep that in mind.  What will they come up with next?” 

Then Robert let go of the temporary hand rail with a push, and he slowly drifted to the hatch door.  That led the rest of the way through the ship.  He had to get to the second craft bay to catch his ride to his new home, and he did not want to miss it.  A ship’s Captain should not be late for his first ride to his command.  He was meeting his new crew, and first impressions were important. 

The Modified Tramp-class Jumpship Styx

A cheerful “Welcome aboard Captain!” greeted Robert as he exited the S-7A bus in the small craft bay of the Tramp class JumpShip.  A familiar face was behind the greeting, and Robert was glad to see it.

“Well good to see you, Jules!!  I cannot believe you gave up a Reserve Captain’s rank to take this job.”

Robert gave a sly grin. “What?  Your daughter could not find something you liked better?“ 

Jules Vaun, ex-captain, was the father of the current Lord Protector Jennifer Vaun.  Jules was proud of that fact, but also in his own abilities. Jules Vaun would have been livid at an implied accusation of nepotism from anyone else. From Robert he knew it was only teasing.

Jules let a very fake looking image of shock come to his face.  “Are you kidding me?  This is the only way they would let me off the planet again.”  They both were heading out of the small boat bay.  They were swimming side by side, as they made their way to the bridge with practiced memory.  It was even better than going back to your childhood home. 

Jules kept talking as they moved through the ship.  “You will recognize almost everyone on board.  Everyone, except the crew to mother the new engines, were on the last run into the wilds with us.  We have almost the same group of personnel.  There will be four officers, fifteen enlisted, four gunners, and ten bay personnel.  The other two officers and seven of the total Enlisted are assigned to maintain both jump engines that we are currently packing.  We are finishing up some work and will start buttoning up all the panels on the ship tomorrow, maybe about mid shift.  Then we can get down to knocking the rust off of the crew”. 

Robert nodded. He’d known all of this from the briefing documents he’d gotten from Higher Command, but information redundancy was a way of life in the Merchant Marine.

“Sounds like a plan,” he said. The door closed on them.  Then another one was just starting to open up on a bigger universe for all of them.  It was only a question if they would live to see much of it or die trying. 

Most of the time in space would be spent on drill, after drill, after even more drills.  Safety redundancy was a way of life in the Merchant Marine as well. Space was a dangerous place.

cawest

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #22 on: 18 December 2018, 23:42:49 »

6 Aug 3046:  Station office of External Supply Office
“The Station” New Circe Star System

A small, speedy vessel like the Raptor made it much easier to have meetings deep in the system.  It did not mean those meetings were productive.  It was just easier to have them, whether you wanted to attend them or not.  Robert had hopped a Raptor from the Jump point make the meeting with Commander Xi just as he had been ordered to do, in person.  He was setting in her office now cooling his jets, waiting for her to finish reading a report he had written. 

Commander Xi looked up from her computer screen and made eye contact with Robert.  She gave her subordinate a level look that could have frozen helium.  “So, Captain Copeland.  You have said in your reports that you are ready to launch Part One of Phase 1.  That is a six hundred light year journey. That is still so, Query-Affirmative?” 

It was needlessly formal, and Robert wanted to give a less than polite response to his superior. Instead he went with the old standby. 

 “Affirmative. Ma’am, we are ready.  The crew has done very well on all of their tasks and have passed all of the required tests.  Both of the jump engines have passed all tests.  The trial jumps have been made between the solar poles using both types of engine.  We have been fully supplied in consumables and our supply of Tylium topped off just before I came here.  I have done everything I can without leaving New Circe controlled space.” 

Commander Xi did not smile. “That is good to hear, and you are area a full week ahead of schedule.  I knew you were the right person for the job when I saw your name on the proposed plan.  Based on the pattern of your previous reports I cut orders three days ago for your assigned support ships to leave orbit today.” 

She smiled at the now quiet, and for once still, Captain.  “You will be taking the Buccaneer-class transport White Skies.  She is carrying the repair crews, tools, some spare parts that might useful for the next step.  The Elephant-class tug Hard Hat will also be with you.  She will be doing any of your heavy lifting, as well as performing as security.  She just came out of refitting. And before you ask, No.  She does not have a Colonial jump drive, anti-gravity plates, or Class 5 HOD’s.  Also, the Titan-class jump-dropship light carrier Themis will go out with you.  After checking things out, in the system you’re working in.  She will patrol the neighboring systems while your command does its job.  No matter what you think, she is not under your command.  Do not even think about tasking them.” 

Commander Xi held up her hand to stop what she saw as a percolating comment from Robert.  “We are doing it this way for a reason.  We want to ensure her Captain does not embarrass himself, again, with the Munchkins.”  She was about to say more.  The she decided that she did not want to poison the well.  This was a last chance mission, for that ship’s master. 

The Hard Hat was a legendary ship for the last defenders of the Star League.  There were now three active tugs in the star system working, on a long list of projects.  The Hard Hat was the oldest ship that this Clan had built.  She had not been built in clan space, the old Star League, or even near New Circe. 

She was the first dropship built by the fleeing clan.  It had been launched when they stopped over a planet that was 22.7 light years coreward from McEvedy’s Folly.  She was one of the main reasons that Clan Wolverine still had a working space fleet at all.  Before the arrival of the surviving Colonials, only one of the tugs were in use.  One tug had been mothballed for future needs and one of the other two tugs was always dirtside for services, but it was a very low priority.  Only one ship of this class was in operation, at any one time.  Now there was talk of starting to build a new one to help with the work load that the three were falling behind in supporting. 

The 15,000 ton Elephant-class dropship was an odd bird of a dropship.  She was part tug, and it could tow any spaceship up to and including the Zug.  It was also also were part cargo ship, and could carry over 2,000 tons of cargo.  That was about the same as the Buccaneer class dropship Captain Copeland were going to be hauling that was attached to his JumpShip.  It also was part ground assault ship, with heavy weapons, mechs, tanks and infantry compartments within her hull. 

It was the perfect multi-mission craft.  It was a jack of all trades, and a master of none.  If they ever put a colonial jump system into it, it would be the perfect raider. That is if Clan Wolverine were so inclined to do something like that.

“So, what did they do to the Old Lady?” 

He was not going to ask about the Themis.  He would wait to see if he needed to ask about the Captain of the Titian.  Robert thought that he must have done something bad.  He also had been in the wrong, to have upset both the Colonials and SLDF High Command.  Enough things had happened between the two cultures to have caused major waves.  So far no one had lost their command over it.  The Cylon POW issue and the ship nicknamed the Beast both came to mind. 

In each of those incidents the higher Commands had backed up their people on the ground against the Colonials.  It meant that a certain ship’s Captain must have stepped on his crank rather badly to be need a second chance.  Maybe Robert could try to use the trip to work on some leadership development for the escorting carrier’s young commander.  It could save a promising career or be the final proof that said captain was a waste of skin and oxygen.  The Clan did not like to waste anything, which also included effort for a lost cause. 

Commander Xi did not seem to notice that the Captain in front of her had more going on in his mind than the question he had asked her, or did she? 

“All of the medium class lasers and 10 tube long ranged missile launchers have all been removed from the Tug,” she said.  “The lasers went into storage at Frank Hallis Airbase for now.  In the near future, they will be either are to be sold to the Colonials for their 10 ton Viper fighters, or held as a strategic reserve for a later need.  The LRM systems are sitting dirtside waiting either to go into a bunker defensive point or into the turret of a new hover tank.” 

The Commander was looking down at the notes and shook her head from side to side slowly.  “We had wanted to put a few of the LB 5 UACs or HODs into her.  There are not enough of them to go around yet, so that is one upgrade that will have to wait for a while.  Maybe we will do it after you get back and go into your supplemental refit.“ 

Robert raised his eye brows.  “What about the putting a colonial jump system in her and her class mates?” he asked.  “I would think that she would be about perfect in picking up anything the other scouts found that needed to be brought back home.  My other question is: why bring the extra parts for the Scout class?  Why not just grab her, and come home?  I looked in my orders and briefing papers.  That was one of the things that was never explained.” 

“Both of those are good questions, Captain.  I will start with the first question.  The Colonials only have about sixty odd transport ships.  And that is what they had in total, when they stumbled onto us.  We have bought or will have access to maybe ten of those ships.  So, call it about 1/6th of their total fleet at best.  A large part of their government and population are worried, about the Cylons coming back.  They are afraid that they will be found helpless.  They want to keep as many of their ships jump worth and ready go as possible.  Given what they been through I am surprised we got as many ships as we have.  For what it is worth, I suspect our Ancestors would have been just as ready to flee during their Exodus from the Clans.” 

Commander Xi had to shake her had to clear an image from her mind of mushroom clouds over her home.  She then continued.

“The answer to the second question is that any work they can complete on that small JumpShip before you return will speed up the mission.  The workers will at the very least perform an inspection of the vessel while you are on route. They will have completed or mostly completed drawing up lists of repairs need on that ship by the time it gets back to us.  That alone will cut down on the timeline getting your ready for the Phase 2.” 

She looked at her chrono.  “I do not mean to rush, but are those your only questions. Query Affirmative?”  She said as she cocked her head to one side waiting for a response. 

“Affirmative, Ma’am,” Roger replied.  I think that is about it.  Thank you for your time.” 

Robert did have more questions, of course. He knew better to ask them of Commander Xi.  When he got back to the Styx he would just ask the COB to see what he could find out through other than official means.  The senior enlisted personnel on the ship had, by tradition, had his own unofficial information network to farm for data a ships commander might need.  A Captain who had a good relationship with his chief non-com could expect to tap into that network from time to time.

Commander Xi opened up her calendar after checking her notes.  “Good.  Your two tagalongs should be at the jump point, on the 14th or early on the 15th of August.  Once they have attacked to the Styx it is up to you to start your mission.” 

She passed to Robert a data storage device.  “Here is a copy of the crew files for each of the dropships.  It also has a copy of all the orders that could impact your mission.  This will include what had been given to the Captain of the Themis, just in case.”

Robert nodded, thinking about the Carrier captain. Whoever it would be wouldn’t be under his orders, but the inclusion of the carrier’s itinerary meant that Xi at least expected them to work together. 

Commander Xi continued. “If you are not back by twenty five days post-jump then we will send out a ship to check on you.  If you run into anyone, review the cover story before communicating with them.  It has been updated since you last reviewed it, but only on the fine details.  The gross story is the same one you are already well familiar with.”

She stood and saluted, signaling the end of the meeting. “Good luck, Captain.  I look forward to seeing you in less than twenty five days.  The faster you get back and complete your second trip the better it will be for the security of the all of the human race.”  Robert also stood, and saluted. Then the two officers went their separate ways.  Only one stayed in the office and the other left the room, but both had a lot of work to do. 


cawest

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #23 on: 18 December 2018, 23:43:38 »
15 Aug 3046
New Circe Star System

“Sir.  All ships are secured.  All stations report ready to jump,” called out the XO of the Styx to her Captain and rest of the bridge crew. 

“XO.  We will be using the standard jump engines for a thirty light year jump.  Please check the target coordinates.  If they are correct then you may start the jump clock at a ten minute countdown and start the countdown.  Please let the Dropship Captains know when we have started the jump count down.  They should provide us a go or no-go no later than the two minute warning.”  These directions were standard across all of the reaming ships of SLDF in Exile.  It was used for every non-combat jump.

This was a well-worn procedure, and well known between the long time professionals on all three ships.  Under normal circumstances it would have been entirely route. This time however was a bit different.

This was the first full range test, of the old K-F jump drive.  The Styx had jumped between the polar jump points in-system, but this would be the first multi-light-year test of the K-F drive with the Colonial drive installed alongside.  There was still a nervous energy among the crew, who knew just how badly a mis-jump could go.

“Coordinates match,” reported the XO. “The Clock is Set and counting down.  All dropships report ready for jump.” 

The space around the Tramp-class ship was empty.  The old ship had used its station keeping drives days ago to push it over 5,000 Km from the any object larger than a basketball on the odd change the object’s mass could cause an issue with the test jump. That was likely an excessive amount of caution, but no one on the crew had complained. Mis-jumps were often fatal to an entire crew.

What happened next was amazing, and routine.  It happened fast, and in the space of two seconds an invisible field first engulfed the ship and then started to expand.  The Styx and her passengers at first slowly faded and then disappeared totally from the New Circe system.  In the space of less than sixty seconds a ship that was almost 300,000 tons and holding cargo and people, had successfully been moved thirty light years. 

A lone star shone brighter than all the others. They were in another system. After a moment the XO spoke.

“Jump complete. We are on target in the target systems. All crews secure from jump.”

There was no audible sigh of relief from the crew, but the tension eased. They had passed their first hurdle and now knew that they could jump to a star system with no more than the usual amount of danger.

As the long lost feeling of the jump started to wear off of the crew Captain Copeland checked his display screen.  “Tell engineering to inspect all systems.  Do not deploy the sail.  I want a report in four hours.  Let me know when the Themis jumps in system please.  I want to launch the “Series A” of jumps with the Colonial engines in eight hours.  Let’s get to it people.” 

It was the word of God and in a hand full of seconds over thirty people jumping or floating to their jobs, checking for any damage that the jump might have caused on the three different ships.  Robert felt his own tension drain from his shoulders. He had made hundreds of jumps, but the presence of a second jump core had made this more stressful than most.

Four hours later the operator for the FTL detection systems station called out contact.  “Target. Colonial or Cylon jump drive system.  Range 10,000km. emergence in 1 minute.” 

The operator flipped up a cover and pushed a large red button hard enough that if they had not been strapped into the chair they would have floated off of their seat.  Throughout all three ships everyone reacted to the General Quarters alarm.  Gunners hurried to weapons stations, thick metal blast doors closed, and damage crews started putting on protective suits in case of a hull breach.  There was not an ounce of panic. 

Captain Copeland knew approximately when the fighter carrier was supposed to enter the system.  It was supposed make sure that there were not any issues with the first full scale jump using the old K-F drive.  If there were any issues the little fighter carrier was to rendered aid, or jump out of the system and get help it things went REALLY wrong. 

Copeland and his XO had not notified the crew of the impending arrival of the Themis, and were using it as a way to test the crew on how well they react to a surprise attack.  Attacks on JumpShip were rare, but rare was not the same thing as never.  They did happen, especially in light of the appearance of the Cylons.

“Talk to me.”  This came from the voices from two different people floating in from two different doors at the same time.  It was the XO and the Ship’s Captain making their way to the bridge.  It had been planned that both men would not be on the bridge when their escort might be coming in.  It was good training for the crew to have to respond to emergencies without having a command officer immediately available. 

“Sir, it is the Themis,” reported the sensor tech.  “She is sending a drill code.”

An icon flashed on the tech’s console.  “Sir, we had a statues update!  Six smaller craft separating from the main target.  Looks like they are forming up into an attack formation.  They are moving toward us and picking up speed.” 

Robert nodded. “Pass the word that we will be doing a drill.  Notify all gunners, on all ships, to set their weapons on simulation mode only.  They are to defend their zones.  We do not want to put holes into our Fleet’s ships.” 

Captain Copeland then settled in to his command chair.  It was time to let his crew work as their training told them.  Copeland let his crew fight the ship.  A fighter raid from an incoming DropShip was a standard type of engagement for a JumpShip to have to deal with.  This was the sort of engagement that his crew right felt they could handle by routine. He was waiting on that to change. It just was a matter of time. 

A few minutes later an enlisted woman from across the bridge called out “Statuses change!  The fighters have...jumped?  HOW CAN THEY DO THAT?!” after a moment she regained a bit of composure.

“I still have the Titan on long range system,” she reported.

Robert watched his bridge crew closely.  He knew about the jump-fighters even before he was recalled, and so did his crew.  But there was a difference about knowing data and having to fight against it.  All of the testing to counter an attacker had been focused against an Inner Sphere tech or Clan tech attacker. The new wrinkle of jump-capable fighters was something many in the SLDF-In-Exile’s navy had yet to adjust to.

“Sir,” the sensor tech reported, “They are on us. 10 klicks off the bow, making an attack run.” 

The squadron of hundred-ton Kirghiz aerospace fighters had used their surprise jump to good effect. They swooped down on their prey, spitting marking lasers. The Styx’s gunners found themselves looking the wrong way, and took a moment to re-orient themselves on the new position of their targets. They were out-gunned, and out-maneuvered. Robert knew the simulation report for this was going to be ugly.

The more massive JumpShip only had the firepower equal to two of the fighters, and very thin armor made up her skin.  The Styx was a cargo transporter that was over two hundred years old, and not a weapon to use on the front line of a war.  It could find itself there, but it only had enough weapons to keep smaller fighters back.  At least until it could jump to safety.  The dropships would be harder to kill, but without a way home they also would have been in trouble. 

The computer reported four of the fighters were “destroyed” before the computer noted that the JumpShip was inoperable and “destroyed” also.  The gunners might be older, and they had been surprised by the tactical jump.  But they knew how to track and hit targets from years of experience doing this job for real.  The log book was full of the kill markers she had earned threw out her long life. 

“Well that went better for us, then it should have.”  Lt Vaun said.

His flat, emotionless voice said a lot about how this little combat training had gone today.  He had to fight to keep a snort from passing his lips.

Robert turned to his comm tech. He kept any comments he might have had to himself. The crew knew how things had gone, and there was time to remedy their issues later.

“Communications,” he ordered, “Please contact the Themis’ Commander.  Pass along my congratulations to him on his victory, and ask him to come over for an After-Action Review in two hours.  I will be in my cabin.” 

With that Captain Copeland rose from his chair and pushed himself off the bridge like an old spacer should.  He had his own AAR to write. Some changes, it seemed, were in order.

2 hours later main briefing room SLS Styx

LT Vaun completed his briefing to the two ships’ Captains.  Benedict was the Captain of the Titian carrier, and he did not look like he cared for the computer results of the drill.  He also did not like being in Zero G, just like the Styx’s briefing room was in.  His face and his bearing communicated his displeasure.

In short, he was acting like a pain in the butt. Captain Copeland was taking mental notes on the other man.  When the XO had finished his briefing he strapped the report down on the table so it would not float away. 

“Those pilots!” griped Benedict. “They should have broken formation down into smaller units.  They have forgotten even the most basic attack maneuvers.  I will note that in their records.  And I will have them drill until they get it right.  Losing four out of six fighters is unacceptable.  You are only civilian JumpShip.  Maybe I should head back to New Circe and get a new set of pilots.  Ones that are not so green.” 

The carrier captain stopped talking for a few heart beats, then started up again.  “They lack discipline. They are almost as bad as the Munchkins.”

He had just dug a hole for himself and he did not even know it, yet. 

Robert knew the man’s type. Benedict had been an aerospace pilot before taking command of his own ship. He had primarily been based on planetary surfaces, and still thought about space combat in atmospheric terms. He was so uncomfortable in microgravity that Robert was certain he was the sort of captain to use up reaction mass just to maintain acceleration to mimic gravity.

Captain Copeland decided that he had heard enough.  He knew who had planned this attack. It had not been the fighter pilots.  He also knew what orders they had to follow during the attack.  He had listened to a copy of the transmission between the fighters and the Captain of the larger ship. 

“Was it really all the fighter jocks fault, Captain?  Yes, they should have had more spacing between the fighters during the attack.  You were the one that sent fighters configured for long-range combat into knife-fighting range.  Your pilots were disoriented by the jump, but reacted quickly and changed formation.  We were the “Baseship” in your plan of attack.  You sent just six fighters after a capital ship that had DropShip support, without their own support of any kind.  Where were you, with that up-armed carrier and the dozen Visigoths still in their bays?  You never leave your fighters without support when attacking larger vessels.” 

Robert was on a roll.  “Captain that is Tactics 101.  I know because I taught the course.  I know the first wave of fighters asked for support, when you order them to jump and attack.  I have a copy of the intercept if you need a little refresher.” 

Captain Copeland decide right then to be old school, to snap the other captain into shape.  Benedict might not be under his command, but Robert still had seniority over the man.

”Captain you are arrogant.  Confidence is good for an assault dropship or warship captain, but you have to have skills to back it up that confidence. Skill is the difference between confidence and arrogance.  You are not superior simply due to your station.  All you will do is get a whole lot of good people killed.”

 Robert stopped talking and waited to see who the other officer would react to his verbal slap.  It could go one of two ways.  One was that the younger officer would take the hint, and accept help fixing himself.  The other was…

Benedict practically exploded in apoplexy. “YOU CAN NOT TALK TO ME THAT WAY!  YOU BOTH ARE NOTHING BUT JUST A PAIR OF JUMPED-UP TRASH HAULERS.  I SHOULD DEMAIND A CIRLCLE!” 

Benedict was literally livid. He had forgotten this ship was in zero g, and the blood had started to pool in his face when he began to shout. He tried to jump from his seat as he yelled with the full force of his modified lungs.

He suddenly found himself floating in the middle of the room away from any kind of surface. All he could do was fail around until the moving air current pushed him close enough to grab the large desk.  Only then he could pull himself back to his seat.  It did not improve his mood any.  His face was still bright red with rage. 

“Benedict.”

Robert did not raise his voice.  But the dropping of the rank of the other officer was a dead giveaway that he was not happy. 

“Get ahold of yourself.  If you cannot control yourself I will have you escorted off my ship. In fetters, if necessary.” 

Benedict looked like he was about to start shouting again. Robert forestalled him by indicating the man’s rank flashes.

“You are a ship’s Captain.  You had better start acting like one.  Your name was not pulled out of a hat, so you are supposed to be smart.  I do not know what you did on your last mission, but I will say that if you do not get your head out of your four points of contact you will not have the Themis for long.  LT Vaun and I both have been ship’s Captains longer than you have been alive.  You might want to listen to us.  We have been around the block. We have been there, done that, gotten the t-shirts, and wished we could give them back.  And we have the scars to prove it. 

He shrugged. “Or do not listen.  It’s up to you.” 

He hoped the lecture might get through, but he saw something in the younger man eyes.  This was not going well.

“On second thought,” he said, “You may leave my ship. Now.  By the time you get to your ship you will have our coordinates for the next four jumps.  We will see you at the last set.  Good day!” 

Both Robert and Jules left the room, showing the younger captain how real spacers handled zero g.  It took a few minutes to make it to their command chairs. They did not talk as they traveled. As the two officers entered the bridge of the JumpShip, the COB made eye contact with them. 

He floated over, and in low voice said “That Frakker’s Bus has left the bay.  And he did it without scratching the paint.  I did not know that he had it in him.  Maybe he could go back to be a pilot of some kind.  He sure can’t command a dropship with a damn.” 

“Thank you, Chief.  Is everything ready?”  Robert didn’t really need to ask, but tradition was tradition. If there had been any issue the COB would have given Robert the heads up himself.
 
“Sir, all departments report ready to jump.  We had no reports of damage or anything else of concern.  Engineering reports the drive is good to go and is in good working order, and I concur.  I have signed off in the ships log that she is ready to proceed.” 

That was high praise from the COB, who had helped tear down and rebuild that old engine twice until it had finally met his standards.  Per SLDF regulation the COB had veto power on any jump made outside of combat conditions, and he took that right to heart. The man was fanatical about the condition of “his” ship.

Robert floated to his command chair and made sure the small craft from the carrier was well away from the JumpShip.  He pitched his voice so that the whole bridge could hear what he was going to say. 

“XO.  I believe the next test is a rapid set of jumps using the Colonial tech jump engine.  I want four jumps of varying distances plotted out.  Allow for about one hour between each jump.   We need to keep to the plan, so the last jump must put us at our planned first day target location.” 

The COB looked at each of the senior officers as he turned from his anchoring slippers.  He had to ask a question now so that the rest of the bridge and then soon after the whole crew would know.  He hoped that it would stop any of the more wild rumors from getting traction on the JumpShip and her two attached dropships.  This mission was dangerous enough to not have to have something worrying the crew. 

“Sir.  I assume that we will not be having an escort?” 

Captain Copeland knew what the senior enlisted man was driving at, and he agreed with his intention.  “Captain Benedict’s orders say that he must be at certain jump points, on given times, and dates.  We will keep to that schedule.” 

Robert did not speculate as to whether Captain Benedict would keep to the schedule. Commander Xi had obviously wanted Robert’s evaluation of the man, and he would provide it to her in time. With supporting documentation.

“XO, I want a copy of the drill and a video copy of the AAR all on a drive.  We will turn it in to command when we get back home.” 

It would have been nice to be able to transmit his initial findings now. Unfortunately this ship was not equipped with the mobile HPG he’d gotten so used to on his last command.

A pity, he thought, but he had other things to worry about now.

“XO, you have the ships.  I will be in my cabin working on my reports. Transmit our jump schedule to the Themis as soon as you have it plotted.” 

Unfortunately for him, what he had to worry about now was planning and paperwork. Lots and lots of paperwork. 

“Sir,” said Lt. Vaun, “I have the bridge.  I will see you at shift change.” 

The XO had not even looked at the Captain, because he had expected that statement to come any minute.  The XO already had the jumps planned out and loaded into the computer.  They were timed out and unless something came up they would be leaving this system in less than three hours. 

It was right on time, by the ships clock.  And after a double check of the systems the command was given again to move between the stars.  In the blink of an eye the long ship disappeared as the Colonial drive pulled it out of one location and put it in another location, just like it had done with the Colonial ship the drive had originally been built for. 

This location was in the deep space in the cold of between stars.  It was not a standard location to want to be at the end of a jump.  Inner Sphere ships almost never wanted to be in such a place, if they could help it.  They would be so far from a source of cheap power to recharge the jump drives that they depended on for day to day operation.  Then the only way to recharge the drive, historically, would have been to power up the fusion power plant that burned through some of a JumpShip’s limited fuel supply. 

Most JumpShip Captains tried to keep enough fuel on board for at least one jump charged, that way for emergencies.  But keeping that much fuel on hand could mean the difference between making a profit and losing their ship.  Some Captains had chosen poorly in the past and lost their shirt on a bad shipment. Or worse, had found themselves short on reaction mass without the ability to get more. 

The modified JumpShip sat floating in the space between stars for exactly sixty minutes.  An hour was just long enough for the engineering team to check over the engines again and report any problems.  None were found, and the go-ahead was given for the next jump.  After another hour the next jump was made, and so on until the last jump had been made.

The SLS M/V Styx was in her planned end of day location.  It was with some relief the crew noted the end of their jump chain. They had made it to a place where, if they had an issue, someone in the SLDF-In-Exile’s Navy would know to look for them. Other than Captain Benedict, of course.

This system was a twin Class-F star system, with only three major planets.  All of them were of the rocky type and close to the star bigger F3 star.  There was no life in this system, not even the famed Star League could have terraformed this hunk of real estate to support human or even planet life. 

It was a good navigation point for longer trips, and the twin stars would help recharge a jump drive quicker than other systems in the local stellar group.  They were now a little over a hundred light years from the New Circe system.  Even if the Styx had her lithium-fusion battery, and she had used the second jump capability that system would have allowed, it would have taken closer to three weeks to make it to this system safely from there, rather than the one day it had taken using the Colonial drive. 

The Styx had entered the system far out from the core of the system, in the null gravity zone that formed around the twin stars.  This was for safety as much as it was out of habit.  The Styx did not have gravity plates installed in her hull.  Those allowed the Colonials to jump closer to planets at a much reduced risk.  Most of the command staff and engineer staff had read that the Colonials could even jump into the atmosphere around those planets.  That had its own dangers, but the fact they could seemed nearly unthinkable. 

Those plates seemed like the future of the Wolverine Navy, and Robert found himself thinking about Benedict. The man seemed completely incapable of understanding how microgravity worked. Robert wondered if those plates would lead to future generations of Captains who simply couldn’t think in Newtonian terms. The Third Law of Motion was understood by any spacer who had spent their life in zero-g.

While Robert was thinking about the pros and maybe long term cons of one of the Colonial supplied the heading of the 660m long ship slowly changed so that it was pointed at the twin stars.  They would be spending the rest of the 24 hour cycle here, before moving closer to their target system for this part of the shakedown cruise.  The next day would give the crew a rest, and allow them to settle into the routine of a normal space deployment.

“Sir,” came the voice of the XO through the intercom. “We have arrived in our target system.  I have directed all engineers to run their post mission checks on both drives, and to start the sail deployment.” 

Robert picked up the handset to reply. “Thank you, Jules.  I will be there in a few minutes. Good job.”

Robert disconnected the line so that he could finish his report.  He did not need a lot of time type out his thoughts on Benedict. The after action report for the combat drill would be clear enough.

About half an hour before he was to take his shift, Robert entered the bridge to get a status update.  As soon as he slid his feet into the floor mounted slippers he stated getting an update from his staff.  It seemed that everyone was already sliding back into familiar habits.  It was a good, almost homecoming like feeling. 

“Captain,” reported a briefing crewman. “The Engineering Department reports the Colonial jump drive spun down and in safe mode.  The jump sail is deployed, locked, and has taken over supplying power to the ship’s power grid.  The reactor is powered down but is on a ten minute restart protocol.” 

The two old enlisted crewmen read from their displays.  If Robert had stayed in the active service after the last supply mission he would have been near mandatory retirement age, just like these two spacers.  There were times when he wished he had, but now he had considered that had he retired he would never have been allowed to participate in this mission.  “The world works in mysterious ways,” he thought as he finished receiving the reports. 

Robert looked to his old friend and gave a professional and knowing smile.  “Jules, I think we will start shift change ahead of schedule.  I will be here for a few more hours.  Why don’t you call it a day?  I still have to re-read and finish my reports from the home system.”

“You don’t have to tell me twice Captain,” said the XO. “I’ve been short on sleep ever since I got recalled.”  The last was called over the XO shoulder as he floated out of the bridge.  He had already started making his way to his quarters for some much deserved rest. 

cawest

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #24 on: 18 December 2018, 23:43:58 »
Several hours latter

Well into Robert’s shift, the sensor operator called out. 

“Sir, I have detected a jump signature.  It was very weak and on a bearing towards one of the rocky planets.  I picked it up on light speed systems, so it has been there for at least a few hours.” 

The enlisted operator was nervous, but he had done this before.  It was just a matter of knocking off the rust and getting into the pattern of things again.  He had transferred in from the Zug when he had found out that the Styx was coming out of a refit cycle.  He had just been a small craft bay person, even if a senior one, on the last trip out.  This time he did not have a million tons of warship between him and the crazy robots that wanted to destroy all human life. 

Robert checked his monitors and then the time. It might be the Themis, but there was no way to be certain. 

“Stay on it,” he ordered.  “Let me know if it moves.  Please make sure that our emissions control protocols are being followed.”

He shrugged. “We are one small dot in a big-ass sky, as long as we do not make noise.  Whoever it is will have to come looking for us.  The odds of it being Cylons on this side of our space and in this system are very small, but we will play it safe” 

Captain Copeland gave the enlisted man a sly smile and pitched his voice to carry to the rest of the bridge.  “I will bet you a bottle that Benedict is playing games with us.” 

The sensor operator was the closest to where Robert’s chair was mounted, so he was able to turn to look at his captain.  He met his captain’s grin, but a hint of uneasiness showed around his eyes.  He was very careful and pitched his voice a little lower.  He did not want to embarrass himself, at least not this early in what should be a long mission. 

“Sir, are you starting the board early?” he asked.  “I am still not going to take that bet.  But if you want the score board put up I will let the COB know.  I think we can have it set up by the end of next set of jumps.” 

The External Supply Fleet had a tradition of posting a fleet wide matrix of bets.  It listed who owed who, what, and what each of the bets was about.  The senior enlisted person on each ship had supervised it so that it did not get out of hand and to monitor any problems that might come up.  It was a public notice of debts that must be settled when the fleet returned home and not before. 

The most popular currency used in the betting, was measured in bottles of Scotch whisky. Those were rare, only available in the Inner Sphere.  It was not the only commodity bet, but it was the most popular.  That was because of the resale value, when they returned to the hidden system, they all called home. 

Robert had to fight to keep a sly smile from coming to his face.  “I think we will hold off on the betting boards, for now.  We don’t know exactly who will be going on the main run.  I will remind you that we might not be going on one after these shake down cruises.” 

The pleasant conversation was interrupted by an audible warning from the sensor console.

“Jump detected!” said the operator.  “50km starboard side… very small. Colonial or Cylon type… IFF code coming in.  It’s one of ours!!!!!” 

Captain Copeland could see the systems operator visibly relax when the IFF confirmation showed the contact as friendly.  His hand was almost to the exposed GQ alarms when the threat icon had gone from white of unknown to green of a friendly ship.  The Green icon was just as quickly joined by a name of the “Friendly” vessel.  It was about as Robert had expected and he was not surprised by the small craft. 

Copeland looked at this screen and nodded to the radar operator.  “That is what I was waiting on.  If you would contact the fighter and say ‘hi’ please.” 

The Captain had been keeping an eye on the time.  It had been getting close to the time that their escort had to be in place. Or their absence would signal an abort of the mission with an emergency return to home port.  Robert was thinking that a certain Captain had been pushing as near to the deadline as he could without breaking his orders. That was a very fine line that very few experienced ship’s commanders could pull off for long. 

The communication station operator’s head came up and her hand flew to the headset coved ear.  “Sir, Message coming in.  Putting it on Speaker.”  He hadn’t asked for that, but she had worked with him before and knew how he worked.  More importantly, she knew what he thought was important. 

From speakers around the room, a young strong male voice come out. “Styx this is Hammer 7.  Do you read, over?” 

Robert pushed a button and activated his helmet-mounted microphone.  “Hammer, this is Styx Actual.  It is good to see you.  So, is that your ride hiding in system near one of the rocks?” 

Robert could hear the catch in the voice of the fighter.  Robert could tell that they younger man did not want to cause trouble between two ships’ captains.  Those can be very deep and predator infested waters. 

“Yes, Sir. Captain Benedict has been using the Colonial-built scanning systems to look for any Tylium deposits closer into the solar masses.  I was sent out to let you know that we were in system.  If you run into trouble, all you need to do is call out on “Guard”.  He is expecting the scanning of this system to take all cycle using the Colonial’s “outdated systems”. 

Robert could hear the quote marks on the last set of words.  It seemed to him that the Themis’ captain was not winning over his crew. 

“Hammer this is Actual,” he replied.  “Thank you for the heads up.  You and your people have a warm roost whenever you need it or if you need a break.  Styx Actual out.” 

Robert knew this invitation would be passed along, to the other aerofighter pilots.  It would go a long way to show that there was no bad blood between him and the crew of the Themis.  It was just their ship’s Captain on his target list. Of course, that could be bad enough. 

There was a moment before the pilot’s reply. “Actual, Hammer.  Thank you for the invite.  I will pass it along.  Good luck.  We will see you in another twenty four hours, or so.  Hammer is out of here.” 

The fighter turned on its main axis and fired is massive aft mounted engines.  It was a showy way to add some km between it and the larger JumpShip after it had drifted closer.  It was not necessary, but it was it was a nice safety measure of distance.  Its Colonial-made jump engine spun up, and then it disappeared.  The drive ripped the hundred ton fighter out of the area in a flash.


cawest

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #25 on: 14 January 2019, 20:11:28 »
Chapter 4
By Cliff
Beta By Nathan
Reviewed by Hotpoint. 

21 Aug 3046
LGR 2345 over 600 light years from New Circe, 800 light years from Inner Sphere

The SLS Styx popped out into real space five days later in a null gravity zone.  There was no way that any would have called this a standard jump point. They were far too close to celestial bodies for that. Instead, the transient point of equalized gravity was known as a “pirate point”. 

They had an updated location of the wrecked JumpShip, which was “only” few months old.  Months old data and orbital body movement meant that the relatively small JumpShip would be relatively difficult to locate.

Captain Copeland hoped that they might be able to register some sort of emissions from the ship. It seemed that centuries of drifting abandoned had left their target completely dark. The Styx even tried thermal imaging, hoping to locate the leftover heat from the fusion power plant, but to no avail.

At least they had time. It should have taken over twenty jump cycles to get here, even with using the lithium-fusion battery to do double jumps.  If everything had worked perfectly in years past it would have taken the over sixty weeks to make it to this one location.  Now, with the use of the Colonial drive the Styx could have me the trip in even less time than it had, save for the need for security.

The escort vessel for the modified Tramp-class JumpShip had only been around at the end of all the jumps completed in a day.  It always seemed to be on other tasks.  Ones that also just happened to be on the other end of whatever solar system the stop happened to be in. 

The Captain of that vessel was fallowing the letter of his orders, but not the spirit of them.  He thought it was going to protect him when they returned home.  Doubtless he felt he would be vindicated by the mission review. 

Robert knew otherwise. He was giving the man enough rope, and he expected the arrogant officer to hang himself. Every detail of the escort’s actions was noted in the larger ships log, by whatever person had deck duty when the “escort” would check in. 

Robert knew a little secret he was sure the younger man did not.  It was that higher command did not have room for a person who only fallowed the letter of the given orders.  Adherence to orders was neither and excuse for bad behavior in the Wolverine navy.  Both Robert and Jules had seen what happened to officers that thought so and knew what would be done.  All they had to do was to hold their temper until they got back home. 

The 660 meter long Styx fired its station keeping drives and pointed its nose toward the star at the center of this bit of the deep dark.  The jump sail started its deployment and, unlike before, an active radar started its screaming into the open cold of space. 

It was looking to bounce its attenuated energy beams off of what the ships and their crews had traveled so far to find.  Active light-speed sensor use would be slowed by distance, but sure. Eventually they would find their prize.

It took less time than Robert had feared. A few minutes after the start of the active scan, the sensor crewman reported.

“Sir, I have a contact,” they said.  “100,000 KM out and down 45 degrees from the nose and 67 to 66 degrees to port.  It looks like she is moving at about 1.5 km/s on a line taking her away from us.  It reads about the right mass for our baby.” 

“Good,” said Robert. “Pass along that information to the Hard Hat, with an okay for them to depart whenever they are ready.  Have the White Skies launch when she is ready.  I want her to be ready to move crews over to that wreck.  The faster we can get this done the better.  Be safe about it.  I do not want to have to write any letters to surviving families when we get back home.” 

The 15,000 ton Hard Hat was an Elephant-class, nearly unique among the ships of the SLDF-In-Exile. It shared the standard spheroid DropShip shape from the trusters to about halfway along the hull. From below, it could seem to be a Mule or Union-class DropShip, or any one of a dozen other ship classes.

The specialty of the Elephant was from admidship forward. A massive, heavily articulated series of manipulators tipped with magnetic clamps allowed the Hard Hat, and other of her type, to move around ships many times her own size. The Hard Hat would use that ability to retrieve the damaged JumpShip.

It only took a short burn from tug’s massive drives to get the tug moving towards the Scout-class JumpShip.  It did not take long for the tug’s support systems to spot the target and her cargo, which was strapped to her single docking collar.  Once clear of the Styx and its fragile jump sail.  The tug fired it massive engine for a 1.75 g burn for a few minutes. She needed to get her speed built up to catch up to the target. 

When the tug was half way to the tumbling target ship, it flipped, and then re-fired its engines a second time.  It was not a full powered burn, but was only to slow down some.  It needed to find out more about its target before any work could be done. 

The Hard Hat flew the length of the ship, training its sensors on the stricken Scout. It had been out in deep space for a long time without anyone to look after it.  That was never a good thing to happen to a high-tech item, and centuries of exposure to space dust and hard radiation could do all sorts of nasty things to any piece of high technology. 

The scan was quick, but thorough. Watching a video relay on the Styx, Robert could see the hull of the vessel pitted by micrometeorites and scraped by space dust. To an untrained eye, the ship would have looked like a worthless hulk.

He wondered to himself. Whatever had happened in the past?  It had not killed every one of the crew at once.  What would it have been like to be stuck here in a strange system, with no hope of escape?

Someone had tried to deploy the jump sail, but now no one could tell if it had worked, helped, or not. Whatever power might have built up within the K-F drive had long since dissipated. The sail was mostly gone.  Just a few hundred meters were left streaming behind the wrecked ship connected by two deployment wires still connected to the outer hull of the small ship.  The tatters of the sail streamed behind it like a forlorn banner. It looked pitiful, but that banner must have been why the Styx’s scan had gotten results so quickly.

The tug fired a short burst of its massive main engines to stop its motion relative to the Scout.  The huge tug fire maneuvering thrusters and started the process of closing the gap to the JumpShip, but very slowly. Their grapple point was on the nose. They needed to get the Tug in line with that, and would have to pass quite close to the docking ring, and the DropShip attached there. They only missed it by a few meters.  The fine control jets were fired to match the exact rotation of the 90,000-ton tumbling ship. Robert felt himself tense. Failure could badly damage one, some, or all of the three vessels.  It was a credit to the Hard Hat’s crew that they did it with precision and care.

The next move was the trickiest, and it was the reason that only the best pilots were given the job as a Tug pilot.  Tug pilots in the Wolverine navy were paid more than combat pilots, and with good reason..

This tug pilot made more per month than any DropShip Captain in the fleet.  She earned every penny of her paycheck today.  She had to flip her ship.  It moved 180 degrees after passing the JumpShip.  Robert felt himself tense as the bell-like protrusions of the main engines came perilously close to the prow of the JumpShip. After the maneuver, and the firing of a few more thrusters, the Hard Hat sat nose-to-nose with the Scout.

She was moving perfectly in all three dimensions.  She was mirroring exactly the JumpShip’s rotation so they could start the next part of the job.  SLDF Navy doctrine said that she would only have three tries to snag her target.  After that she would have to turn the task over to her back up pilot.  This person would also only have three tries.  If all six tries had failed?  They would need to wait a day before they could do it all again.  Salvage pilots had nerves of steel that no one, not even assault pilots, could rival.

The Hard Hat now closed the distance to the wreck, at only about two meters a second.  It had to be slow, so as to lessen the chance of damaging the target any more.  At about ten meters from the JumpShip, the DropShip halted its approach.  The triangle shaped plate on the front of the Elephant extended, and the clamp ended arms readied themselves for action. 

When the arms were fully deployed, the two ships slowly started to close again, and then the clamps reached out.  The magnetic fields from the manipulators started to reach out further and further.  They started pulling the ships closer together until the ball-shaped front of the scout vessel touched the smaller tug.  Then the thick and perfectly shaped armored plate standing off the nose of the old DropShip was standing out almost two meters from the tug. 

Now as one big mass moving through space, the Hard Hat finished attaching herself to the larger ship with all of the docking arms.  Each arm was tested to ensure it was secure, one at time. If the hold was weak it would be reset and tested.  It was imperative that the two ships not separate from each other. 

When all of the arm testing had been completed a group of small-to-medium sized thrusters in a set sequence came to life.  First, they had to stop the roll. 

That had to be done over s space of minutes. Though the roll was slow, they took two hours to bring the roll to a stop relative to the Styx. Any faster would have caused a torquing stress towing the vessel.  This torquing stress would have warped the jumpdrive, damaging it further than it already was.

Robert, who was in constant contact with the captain of the Hard Hat, could occasionally hear the stress of the tug’s pilot through the communicator. Several times he heard what must have been the tail end of a stream of invective from the pilot coming over the mic of the Hard Hat’s captain. The deceleration had to be adjusted to avoid damaging the JumpShip, and the stress of the adjustments was apparently quite frustrating.. It was very unseemly behavior, but Robert let it slide. The pilot had enough on her plate already.

She did get points for being able to snag the errant JumpShip on the first try.  The next step was to stop the end-over-end rotation of the 90,000ton JumpShip, which somehow had developed while it had been in this star system.  They wanted to do this maneuver in such a way that the Hard Hat’s main engine was also pointed way from the Styx.  Only one set of thrusters were going to be used, for safety’s sake.  This rotation was more aggressive than the roll, and took the tug and pilot four more hours to stop.  By the end, Robert was fairly certain the pilot of the tug must be hoarse from her tirade.

You would think, thought Robert, that after all of hair pulling out stress that had been already been endured that slowing down the escaping ship would be child’s play, It would have been right normally, though Robert had hs doubts.  Six hours of tense work ad left the Hard Hat’s crew drained. They were at the limit for non-emergency work load, and it was time to take a break, lest someone’s exhaustion lead to negligence.. 

The Captain of the Hard Hat knew went it was too dangerous to continue.  When the time came, he pulled the plug on the operation for eighteen hours of down time for his key personnel.  The crew went to minimum manning all around the DropShip.  A bridge watch was kept to keep an eye on things, but for most of the day the assembly of tug and JumpShip simply floated in space.

The first bit of work the next day, before any work on recovering the JumpShip could start, was to contact the Styx and ask for a situation update.  The only thing the Styx reported was that one of the jump fighters was in system.  They did not know where it, or the carrier it was assigned to. had gone. 

The next hour was spent re-checking all the towing systems and locks between the two ships.  While there had been so indications of a possible failure, salvage crews knew better than to simply trust that everything was safe. A failure now could destroy both vessels.

With all the grunt work done, the engines on the Hard Hat fired up to the idle power setting.  The massive main engine could have pushed the DropShip along at over 4g if it needed to.  Now it only slowly built up thrust to 0.5g of output.  Any more could damage the JumpShip, which was never intended to move at a significant acceleration.

The Scout-class JumpShip had been alone in space for a long time, and it had picked up enough velocity that it would take some time to bring the vessel to rest.  The low power setting on the Tug’s engines was a way to safely slowly stop the wreck.  It kept the target from getting even farther from the Styx, which was the tug’s ride home.   

Now that the ship was not getting farther from help, it now started to slowly make its way toward the other ships.  This allowed the next phase to start in the recovery of the target.  A group of three repair techs entered a repair tube that had extended out from the primary hull of the Hard Hat, through the armored plate and arms that connected the two ships. 

The tug-class onboard computer systems had been loaded with the schematics for most ships that had been produced up until the SLDF had left on its Exodus.  This included all civilian ships that had been designed during that time frame.  That way the tugs would be able to help them, when they got into trouble. The techs would use this information to make a survey of their salvage prize.

It was easy for the repair techs to direct the access tube to the emergency hatch. This would have held one of the four escape pods while the Scout-class was operable.  The tube sealed up tight to its target, and the crews tried to open the hatch, but soon they were stopped by built in safeties that were still working.  Without power, the hatch indicator still registered the passage as open to space, and would not budge. 

That obstacle took the survey team a few hours to overcome.  Each lock had to be cut through, one by one.  By the time they made it into the ship, the first group had little air left. Their primary job was to patch as many holes in the skin of the craft as they could and close any open hatches. 

They also ended up counting all the dead bodies, still held by the hulk after centuries.  The mummified remains of over twenty people were found, in different areas of the ship.  That was far more people than the crew of the little JumpShip was supposed to have.  This first group also found out that all the doors and hatches to the DropShip, and the main bridge of the JumpShip were locked down tight.

It took three days for the two ships to make it back to the target location, just two Km from the Styx and the jump point.  The Styx’s other DropShip, the White Skies, was not launched until the second day of the recovery.  She used her small craft to send crews over to the hulk a few at a time.   

The two recovered ships would be lifeless hulks, at least until their fusion engine could be fixed.  Until then the Hard Hat was supplying all the power to run the lights and repair equipment on the Scout.  If this had been done by any other class of DropShip, it might have been a problem.  For the Hard Hat it was just another day at the office, and the work went on. 

The Captain of the Hard Hat was a rail-thin man with skin that looked too thin for a living person.  He had all the appearance of someone who spent too much time in space and preferred for it to stay that way.  It did not seem to matter to him what the health effects might be. 

Since they did not have to exercise emissions protocols, he used the radio to transmit a live image to his Robert.  He was of the opinion, that if you had to deliver bad news you should be able to look your boss in the eyes when you give it. 

“Sir, said the Hard Hat’s captain, “We cannot get this ship to jump on her own core.  We have completed all the repairs that we can using our allotted spares.  We should have a detailed list of possible item or systems, which need to be fixed for a bigger facility.  My team has done everything that they can with our limitations of parts and time.” 

He had hoped that some spares and a little work would be enough to get this Scout back into service. Before the Colonials had moved in he would have told his mission commander just to blow the wreck to bits and move on.  Times had changed. The Colonial drive meant that this ship was now salvageable.  That was all a tug commander would wish for. 

A third and new image was soon displayed on the screen being used for this meeting.  He started talking as soon as his image cam on.  “Captain.  Can you give everyone an update, to what your people have found out about this ship?”  This was from the Captain of the White Skies.  He was the youngest of the three men, and on his first mission outside of the home system.  He was still trying to figure out where and how he fit in. 

The thin Captain of the Tug came back on the line, and he had a frown on his face.  It was his opinion that this should be handled via written reports, not chatting on a video conference.  But he had been asked a direct question, and it needed to be answered. 

“We know that all of the escape craft were ejected. Not used, just ejected from the ship.  All the hatches, bay doors, and anything else that would open to space had been opened to space.  Mostly likely due to a computer or system command.  The only hatches that were not opened were the ones going to the Dropship and to the Bridge.  The Bridge hatch was dogged and locked from the inside.  I can tell you that it took some time and precision cutting to get inside of both of those areas.” 

“When we did get the hatch open to the Bridge we found one body. Female.  We think that she was in her late teens or early 20’s, but we are not for sure.  It looks like she opened the ship to space.  Why was this done we do not know, and we might never know.  All of the data storage areas are ruined and with the ship open to space.  Any lose paper or notebooks went out airlocks at the same time the air did. Kerensky knows where that all is now. We were going to do a burial in space for everyone, as was planned for before we left New Circe.  Now that this might be a crime scene?  We have put everybody in body bags and stored them.  All the personnel effects have been cataloged and boxed.  I had them put it the same room as all the bodies.” 

It was apparent that talking about dealing with dead bodies was wearing on the tug ship’s master.  He gave his head a slight shake to clear some remembered image.

Robert stepped in. 

“Thank you, Captain,” he said.  “I know stuff like that is hard to deal with.  Please pass along to your crew that they did a top shelf job, and it will be reported as such when we get back home.  What about the rest of the ship?” 

“The JumpShip’s hull has been patched and is now air tight and good for jumping.” replied the Hard Hat’s captain.   “All of the computers have been damaged by cosmic rays, but no more so than was expected.  We are repairing a lot of the computer and support systems with the spares we have.  But this hulk will need a complete software reinstall.   We do not have the right software here.”
   
   “The jump sail will have to be replaced.  We had to cut what was left and just let it float off.  It was getting in the way of other tasks, and it was of no use to us.  It will be cheaper to replace most of the power system instead of trying to repair it.  The entire helium system will have to be replaced all the way from the main holding tanks to the seals going into the core.  The Fusion engine will have to have some rebuilding, but we think it can be repaired.  Overall not too bad.  If we had a Yard ship here?  We could have gotten her fully jump ready in a month or so. 

   He shrugged. “As it is, we need to go with Plan B after all.” 

   Plan A had been to repair the Scout in place, put a skeleton crew aboard her, and jump her back to New Circe. It would have taken a while, but with escorts it was by far the safest method,

   Plan B was riskier, even if only because it involved a new techniquie. The Styx would need to carry the Scout to her destination using the Colonial drive. That still seemed impossible to Robert, but it was apparently quite possible.

The Tug captain stopped talking, and checked his notes, and took a sip of water from a zero g bulb.  “We have been checking out the leopard CV.  Her computers were not as damaged as the JumpShips, so we found out that she was built for House Kurita around 2705.  How did it wind up on this side of space we could not find out. Well, not yet.” 

He gave the camera a sly grin.  “She was sealed but is in bad shape.  It’s nothing that a good cleaning, could not take care of.  She was being used as a pirate vessel operating in and around the Free Worlds League. The records end around 2825.  She has five fighters loaded, all of them damaged. Some more than others, but all have seen battle before they were stranded out here.” 

“We found a Cheetah, a complete lance of Lightnings, a huge Stuka, and the worst damaged is an Ironsides.  I do not know if we have parts to repair them, even back on New Circe.  We did not expect to see them. We assumed the ship had been stripped. It is a decent haul, but I would bet that they will wind up in storage or scrapped for spare parts.” 

The meeting went on for another half hour before Robert put an end to it.  They were starting to rehash items that had already been covered or out of their control. 

“That does it gentlemen,” he said.  “Let’s wrap this up.  I think we have covered everything now.  I want to start pushing the Scout towards the Styx and get her tied down by the end of the week.  I want to be on the way home, with that hunk of junk, in four days ladies and gentlemen.  We will have six more days on the road to find or fix what we can on her.  I will get a message to Benedict to let him know about the change of plans.  I am sure he will really love it.  And no, do not pass that last part to your crews.” 

Robert had a sly smile on his face.  He had stopped calling Benedict by his rank among this group of Captains by his rank some time ago.  It was bad for, but all of them had reason to dislike the man.

He looked around the screen and then around room.  With a nod to each person.  Robert stood up from his chair and pulled himself out of the meeting camera frame.  It was time to wrap this up and get home.

cawest

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #26 on: 16 January 2019, 20:54:21 »

Chapter 5
By Cliff
Beta and Clean up By Nathan
Reviewed by Hotpoint. 

06 Sep 3046
New Circe system
Zenith Jump point

The Styx materialized with little warning at the jump point. It had left LGR 2345 a few weeks ago.  They announced their presence both through their IFF transponder and through a prearranged code that referenced their mission.

The radio waves raced out at the speed of light, so it reached the transfer relay only about ninety seconds after the Styx had entered the system.  In times of peace it would have taken longer. Traffic control on The Station would have been content to wait for a signal at light speed.  These were not those time., however. 

A Raptor launched out of one of the small craft bays from The Station.  Just after clearing to a safe distance, plus a little more.  The 50ton craft disappeared, only to reappear a second or two later in low orbit around New Circe.  It relayed to higher command that the Transport/Salvage ship had returned home with a full load of “something”. 

The Hard Hat had her orders pre-written.  As soon as the Styx had returned to this system and the all-clear was given, personnel and machinery came boiling out of hatches. They began the laborious process of freeing the Hard Hat and the Scout from the connections they had used to keep them together during transport.

It was very quick work to release the bonds that held the two JumpShips together.  It took longer to deal with the mess that was caused by the unhooking.  Before the ships would be able to safely part the small cloud of debris created by their disconnection would need to be cleared.

Cables were retreated and repacked into the small cargo area of the Styx.  They were simply solar sail cables that could easily be re-used. Clamps and belts that were used to secure more delicate bits of the Scout were returned to the Hard Hat for use in later salvage operations. Lastly, a cleanup crew swept the space around the two ships for other loose materials, lest they be turned into deadly projectiles by the force of a drive firing.

Just as the Tramp was about to fire its station keeping drives, so that the two spacecraft could be separated, something appeared in the restricted area between them. Operations ground to a halt immediately.

The Radio operator spun in their chair to pass the alert. 

“Sir,” the operator said, “we are being contacted by a Raptor courier.  They have orders for you, and they would like to physically relay them.  They also said that they have someone who wants to have a meeting in your office.  They say It is urgent but there is no farther information.  They are in the posted exclusion zone.” 

Robert was irritated at the interruption.  Whoever it was had better have a damned good reason for delaying operations. Still, he thought, they might have one. Better to hear them out.

“Communications tell them to come on in,” he said.  “We will halt all operations until the Raptor is in the Small Craft bay.  I will meet them in the briefing cabin.  Please pass that along, to the Raptor.” 

He paused. “When the Raptor is in the bay let the Hard Hat know that we can start again. Whoever it is can wait to leave until we have finished separation.” 

He floated up from his command chair and headed to the rotating artificial gravity deck.  They had been in space for weeks, and as much as he loved free-fall, he would be back in a gravity well soon. While he waited, he planned to do a little time on the hamster wheel.   


A short time later Robert sat at the conference table in the briefing room as the Raptor’s passenger entered the room. Commander Xi strode through the door with purpose.

“I thought it might be you,” said Robert.  “Please, have a seat.  I am finishing up the download for your taxi to take back.”  Robert barely looked up from the computer screen he was working with.

The Commander of the Clan Wolverine External supply office took a seat in the second of the three chairs in the room. 
“You are early,” she said.  “How was the shakedown run?  I know you already downloaded your first reports.  I am sure someone on my staff is reading them and going through them, with a fine-tooth comb, but I would like a verbal report as well. Can you give me the rundown now?” 

From any other commander such a request might be mildly disrespectful, but Robert and Xi had enough history for him to understand her concern. She had sent him out with the Themis and had trusted him for an evaluation, even if she had never actually told him as such. Robert put his screen on pause and locked eyes with his one and true Boss. 

“The drills with the Themis did not go as well as I had hoped at first.  We barely saw them after the very first drill and after-action review.  I have a copy of the AAR and the raw sensor data for when you have time.”

He shrugged. “I had hoped to do some leadership development on the mission, but it did not work out that way.” he hadn’t said much, but he had said enough. Xi’s eyes narrowed slightly at the implication.

“The good news, he said, “is that we got a lot of data on the jumps back.  We were able to load them up and do some tests.  The simulations say we can carry a little over 300,000 tons and still make thirty light years per jump with the Colonial drive.  It will burn a little less than twice the fuel per jump than what we do under a ‘normal’ load.” 

Robert accessed a different file on his computer.  After looking it over for a moment he started talking again.  “We kept the jumps down to only twenty light years on the colonial drives, both going out and coming back to New Circe, each hour.  With more testing we might find out that we can carry even more strapped to our hull. 

He smiled. “It would be nice if we could find an abandoned Olympus station somewhere.  We could have a real recharging and support base out here after all of these years.  A deep space charging point would be very handy.”

He returned to the topic at hand. “Both drives held up well.  The engineers want to strip both of them down before we take the next run.  They want to re-do most of the post refit computer-based tests again.  I think it’s a good idea if we have time.” 

Commander Xi nodded her head, but her face was like stone.  “I will need that report, and any other relevant information, before I leave.  I want to pass those reports along to Admiral Franks to have his people review them.“

“By the way it is good you’re back early. I want the crews released for a fourteen-day R-and-R as soon as the ships are handed over to the maintenance crews.  I will have an engineering team come out to the jump point to expedite things.  I will see if I can get them on one of the Colonial Heavy Haulers first thing tomorrow morning.” 

Xi had a slight smile on her face.  “I have had them on standby since the fourth of September.  Just on the off chance, that you might be a few days early.  I am glad I did.  They will take care of those jump engines and that transport can take you and your crews back planet-side. The Colonial transport will handle it much quicker than a DropShip. You should be back on solid ground tomorrow.

She gave a tired shrug.  “I worry about that, you know. I do not know how long we are going to keep high value items out at the end of such a long support chain.  Being able to work closer to a planet safely is going to becoming the new normal for space operation.  Space combat is about to get a lot closer to planets. We’ll have to get some real traffic control and defense set up there.”

She stared off into space for a moment. After the brief deviation from the topic she returned to the task at hand.

“What else do you need?”  she asked.

Robert let his hand move across the screen of his computer, and without looking up he decided to drop another proverbial manhole cover.   

“I would forward to Admiral Franks a note that Jules is not very happy about Benedict either.  As in, he will not talk about the man at all.  Not even to me.  That will not last. You know he will not jump the chain of command, but if he is asked directly you know he will tell people what he thinks, even if happens to be over dinner with his daughter.” 

Robert was tired of spending brain power on anything related to the Titan’s commander.  He decided to change the topic.

“Now to get to the more relevant subject.  Here is what I think we need to make our next step more successful.  First off, we will need about double the amount of anchor points fixed on the outer hull. If we were going after anything bigger than that Scout class JumpShip we would have been out of luck.  We had to stop every day and spend about a dozen hours just to check and adjust the tie down lines.  I think we would have been here three days ago if we had not had to keep doing that.  Our checks after the first day indicated far more stress than we had originally calculated. 

Robert sat down this screen and looked at his boss.  “I know we will be out way too far to use it.  but a mobile HPG would be nice.  I was thinking we could put in listen mode to eavesdrop on those ComStar nuts.   They might not be a problem now, but I would be they will be in the future, and it anyone stand a chance of blowing our cover it will be them.

He grinned at her sheepishly.  “I know the stuff is in short supply, but is there any way we can get some gravity plating in the living areas of the JumpShip?  I know all too well that I am going soft in my old age.  But not having to do so much PT in the hamster wheel?  Now, that would be nice.

He shuddered. “I keep thinking about the last trip.  We were gone almost three years each way. With only the gravity deck and one or two stops at the waypoint planets to feel the pull of Mother Nature was hard going sometimes. Not only did it slow us down, but it hurt like crazy getting used to one g again.” 

Robert shook his head, his face taking on an expression of wonder.  “How did we do it and not kill ourselves or each other? “

Commander Xi blinked her eyes rapidly before she said anything.  For a moment Robert thought she might answer his last question.

“Hmm,” said Xi. “I had not thought about deploying a HPG system in listen mode.  And I don’t think anyone else had either.  I will have to kick that one upstairs and see if they have already re-tasked the one that I know used to be in storage down on Boyar base.” 

She pulled out one of the two noteputor she now carried all of the time and tapped a few keys with her finger tips. 

“I will get with the engineers and pass along your note on the anchor points.

She smiled wryly before continuing.  “Yes, you are getting soft in your old age.  That is if you cannot handle sleeping in zero g anymore.” 

They both had a chuckle before she went on. 

“You are still a tough old man, and you are not getting any Colonial gravity plates.  There is no way in Hades, as the Colonials say.  None of those plates is going anywhere near the Inner Sphere.  I will take care of getting a tanker to come out here and refill your Tylium tanks, while everyone is on R and R.” 

Robert hit his forehead with this palm.

“I knew I was forgetting something,” he added.  “None of the systems we will be stopping in have been surveyed yet for Tylium deposits, have they?  The Titan Carrier was doing that, or I should say that this is what they reported to me they were doing.” 

   He had another thought.

   “‘Can we get…?”  He started.

   Robert looked down, moving his hand over his noteputor until he found what he was looking for. 

   “I think it is called a DRADIS system,” he said.  “Maybe one of the larger, shipboard sets.  I do not think the ones that the Raptors carry will have long enough effective range to be very useful.  We will also need to have a full set of qualified operators for continuous daily operations.  We could do a few surveys along our routes of travel if we had the right equipment.” 

He looked Xi in the eyes to show her that he was not joking.  “They will have to really know what they are doing.  This operation may depend on them finding the right deposits.” 

Xi nodded in understanding and agreement.

“Doing some preliminary surveys on those systems would be a good idea and could bring back some good information.  We had not considered equipping the Styx with that equipment, but perhaps we should have.

She tapped some notes into her device. “I do not know if it is possible to find the system and have it installed before you have to start your next mission.  Operators for such a system are an additional problem. At the moment all of the qualified personnel are Colonials, and they are still restricted from travel to the Inner Sphere.”

She was silent for a while She was thinking hard, and Robert could tell. He did not interrupt her, waiting for her to speak again.

”Agreed Captain,” she said.  “Installation of the system is a current violation of regulations, but I agree than it would significantly add to your chance of success. I will see what I can do, but I do not know if it’s workable to get the system installed before you must depart.  If it is not, then we will see if we can add it to the list of possible upgrades for a later time.”

Some of the stiff formality left Xi. From that point onward, the meeting between the two officers became far more congenial. Xi was able to catch Robert up on what had happened in Wolverine space while he was gone, and for a while they were just two friendly colleagues catching up on old times.

Kerensky, Robert thought, I have missed this. 


cklammer

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #27 on: 17 January 2019, 05:22:51 »
Nice update there.

Plotwise, it appears to a be a small break at the end of this chapter.

I am looking forward on how this will continue: will there be the next excursion/trip or will you have an interlude? For an Interlude: the business with the Titan's Ship Captain certainly remains sort of unresolved ...

Cannonshop

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #28 on: 17 January 2019, 07:40:28 »
Personally I'm wondering what happened to cause the murder of the crew.
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cklammer

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Re: spinoff BSG crossover Copeland Supply, Salvage, and Resale
« Reply #29 on: 18 January 2019, 02:45:24 »
Yes, there is a Cylon skinjob pattern to it, isn't it!? Only Scout jumpers do not have an "Aft Damage Control" ...

 

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