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Rogue Trader - TO PRETHIAN
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Montresor
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:43 am    Post subject: Rogue Trader - TO PRETHIAN Reply with quote

TO PRETHIAN
- The Works of Man are ancient, and some so old as to appear alike decrepit edifices. But cast your eyes into the newest structures. Even from the arms of the most recently sculpted saints you will see that cobwebs hang. Dust settles quickly.
To the Depths of Sin, Aestann Ramirre

[Nearly two weeks have passed since the Invictus departed Footfall. It is the 52nd day since Embarkation. The crew has been rested and replenished, and fresh supplies were taken on board. Crew morale appeared to be better, though the rumours of horrors in the Lower Levels has caused edginess and fear amongst the ratings. The departure of the frigate’s new Explorator was considered an ill-portent for a Void voyage.

One week into the journey, as the Invictus was escorting three transport vessels through the Warp, it became known that Lieutenant Nathin Travic had deserted at Footfall. Moreover, he had managed to clandestinely sell three quarters of the frigate’s food supplies to a half-starved market for a fortune. Covering his theft, Travic had bought cheap and spoiled foodstuff. It has only just become apparent that the supply of edible food is fast running out. Roughly one month’s rations remain before the spoiled food must be used. So far, the ratings have only heard about this in rumours.

The Invictus escorts the Deltael transports through the Warp without incident, to the Kellion System, located just off the major Warp-Ways from Footfall. The Kellion System is considered a possession of the Deltael family, and the transports are intended to bring food and mining supplies to an irradiated mining planet there.

The Alid-Yuril Consortium are unhappy about the diversion
]

Three days of travelling through the outer limits of the Kellion System have passed without incident. Only one more day will see the Invictus within range of Kellion, the blasted and barely populated mining planet which is the only celestial body in the system. The bridge is occupied by all members of the senior crew, excluding Garrius Amphael. Injerian Praetus waits in the Navigator’s Pit. Lord-Captain Garrius Amphael is currently visiting the lead transport vessel the Dumaresq, on the invite of her captain. Radiation is heavy within the silent void of Kellion, and the Invictus’s systems crackle as the machine spirits are maligned.

Lieutenant Marla Vehle studies vox-readings intently for several minutes before broadcasting across the speakers: ‘Zarkov, we have movement from a belt of asteroids prow-ward. Two vessels. Our readings are scrambled and I can’t get a clear scan on them. One Void-Unit’s distance. I would guess they are on silent running’.

All eyes turn towards the prow, but only the depths of the Void and the distant asteroid belt can be made out.
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Last edited by Montresor on Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:40 pm    Post subject: Re: TO PRETHIAN Reply with quote

Zarkov wasted no time asking for clarification. "All hands to battle-stations! Unidentified vessels off the bow!" he roared over the ship's comms. "Vehle, continue scans - I want their size and class. Let me know as soon as they make a move, and open all hailing frequencies." He paused for an instant, assessing his options. Perhaps these were Deltael vessels, sent to rendezvous. He quickly dismissed the thought. Why would they hide in ambush for their own convoy, in their own system? It had to be raiders, or worse. "Have someone hail the transports in a coded burst and inform them of the situation, now. Tell them to adjust heading away from the asteroid field and take evasive action if necessary." He paused. Maybe they could draw the targets into a more vulnerable position. "Make sure Garrius knows."

He walked briskly to the gunnery control station. On the way he passed Enginseers rerouting ship power to combat systems and engines. "Be ready, brothers!" he called, but the Mechanicus continued their tasks mutely.

The gunnery station was a hive of activity. Sub-Lieutenant Bohn stared at a scanner screen, the green glow playing on his pale features.

"Bohn, I need targets."

The officer grimaced. "I'm working on it Sir; we're getting some backscatter from the asteroid field."

"I don't want excuses, Bohn! I want TARGETS!"

"Yes, Sir!"

"All batteries ready to fire as soon as we have a clear target profile, and no sooner." Zarkov's mouth was dry. He felt the cold anticipation of battle soon to be joined.

"Prepare the Lance."

[Zarkov has sent the transports around the asteroid field, in the hope that they will draw out any raiders. The Invictus is hanging back above and behind the transports, trying to get a fix and a firing solution on the unidentified ships. As soon as Zarkov has a clear ID and target, or detects the vessels powering up weapons systems, he will open fire with the dorsal batteries (barring any explicit word from Vehle, Garrius or the Deltael ships that these are not hostiles)]
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I walk onto the bridge. I nod at Zarkov, and touch my brow. It's not quite a salute. I start to look around the bridge as I say "Reporting for..."

When I see the big viewport, I stop talking.

"Damn. Would you looky that view?"
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Salt wrote:

"Damn. Would you looky that view?"


Sub-lieutenant Bohn gives a quzzical look to Salt, and then to Zarkov, as if to say 'who in the Emperor's name is this?'

Meanwhile, Vehle continues to run scans of the unidentified vessels. The transport convoy shift their bearings based on Zarkov's new directions.

Vehle's voice comes on the Vox-casters: 'Destroyers . . . two . . . no - three. Zarkov, two Hazeroth Class destroyers, and one Havoc. They know we've detected them'.

The crackling relays and scanners of the Invictus register three distinct vessels, moving from the protective cover of the asteroid belt. The formation is wide, and dispersed in a V-pattern, with the heavier hitting though more fragile Havoc in the rear centre. Though the vessels are too far away to be seen with the naked eye, pict-enhancers relay the ominous sign of three black raiders silently cutting through the void.

'There's a message coming,' Vehle announces, before the Vox-casters of the Invictus crackle and blare. A man's voice, sounding raspy and faint through the interference, echoes through the bridge:

### Greetings. Surrender your cargo and two thousand of your crew and the rest of you will be spared. You have two minutes to decide ###
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garrius looked upon the readings in front of him with uncomfortable concern. The bridge of the Durmaresq was cramped, dark and damp. Though the cargo vessel was larger in size to his own vessel, due to excessive space given over to storage it was more lean in crew space. The bridge was crowded with staff all dedicated to their various tasks.

Garrius stood still behind Captain Nevou has he listened to the announcement of the incoming vessels. Tension grew as various crew cast nervous glances around the bridge. Nevou, whilst clearly a seasoned Captain was not a man of war, which was evident as he hesitated, trying to think of the best course of action. Garrius cleared his throat loudly before leaning in close to talk to the Captain.

"If you will excuse me captain, but I am entrusted with your safety. Seeing as I am unable to return to my own vessel, the best way I can do that is by directing your own ships. As such, I ask your permission to assume command of this and the other cargo vessels."

Nevou opened his mouth as if to say something before reconsidering. He looked up at the tactical read out before nodding, barely hiding his relief to pass responcibility on to someone else.

"Of course Lord Rogue Trader. The Dumaresq is yours to command, for now. What will you have us do?"

Choosing not to answer immediately, Garrius snapped to attention, clasping his hands tightly behind his back.

"Coms! He snapped crisply. "Open an encrypted line to The Invictus." The coms officer did so promptly. "Lt Commander, this is Garrius. I am unable to return to the Invictus so she is yours to command. I have assumed command of the trader vessels. I will attempt to draw the faster raider vessels across your front and into range of your batteries. Be sure to give them a battery. Make sure to vaporize the Havoc with the lance, that is your priority."

Garrius paused for a moment. He would much rather be on his own vessel, ensuring her through this battle. But he was not. It was a small comfort to know that a capable man, despite his flaws, was in command of The Invictus. He reached down and tentatively thumbed the send button.

"Zarkov, I have faith in you to care for my vessel and her crew. Garrius out"

Turning to Nevou "Captain, instruct the other trader vessels to form line abreast on these headings...."

OOC Garrius will have the Trader vessels pull away from the oncoming raiders in line abreast towards the invictus at a 45 degree angle to her starboard, hoping that the weaker vessels and their valuable cargo will be enough to entice the ships to give chase. If they do, once they are within the arks of the Invictus's broadsides, he will order all cargo vessels to turn 90degrees towards the invictus, forming a line astern. He will then order all vessels to fire broadside at one of the raider vessels. Hopefully in doing this he will create a killzone with crossfire between the merchant vessels and the Invictus which will be at approx 90degrees to one another. If the raiders dont persue he will loop around in line astern and present his broad sides to aid the invictus. PM if you require more clarification.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garrius Amphael wrote:
If they do, once they are within the arks of the Invictus's broadsides, he will order all cargo vessels to turn 90degrees towards the invictus, forming a line astern. He will then order all vessels to fire broadside at one of the raider vessels. Hopefully in doing this he will create a killzone with crossfire between the merchant vessels and the Invictus which will be at approx 90degrees to one another. If the raiders dont persue he will loop around in line astern and present his broad sides to aid the invictus. PM if you require more clarification.


[Just thought I'd point out for clarity. The Invictus cannot fire broadsides, its arc of fire is only directly forwards. I think thats what you meant however. Also, I'm sure Montresor will soon divulge the armament of the transports, but i'm unsure if they would all have side mounted macrobatteries. Turret mounted defences, certainly- If you could enlighten us, Montresor? Are they Vagabond class or something else in the source book?]

Montresor wrote:
Salt wrote:

"Damn. Would you looky that view?"

Sub-lieutenant Bohn gives a quzzical look to Salt, and then to Zarkov, as if to say 'who in the Emperor's name is this?'


Zarkov, absorbed as he was in finding a target, did not see the young woman approach, nor witness her non-regulation salute. He did, however, hear her flippant remark, and cast her a withering stare across the command column. Any rebuke was curtailed by Vehle's terse announcement:

Montresor wrote:
'Destroyers . . . two . . . no - three. Zarkov, two Hazeroth Class destroyers, and one Havoc. They know we've detected them'.


Zarkov watched the raiders advance in formation, his eyes on the slightly larger Havoc class. He had seen these 'glass cannons' before, in docks all around the Calixis sector. The Infinite Fury's battlegroup had even put down a few, but they had been small fry, dealt with by the fleet escorts. However, he knew from his naval experience that while they were easy to disable, their armament was not to be underestimated. A single Havoc raider had badly damaged three battlegroup Cobras over Fidae Minos before succumbing to torpedo fire.

As a former destroyer captain, Zarkov knew the Invictus was more than a match for the two smaller raiders. With the Havoc in the mix, however, the advantage lay with the enemy. Their vessels were fast, and could easily outflank the transports. He was determined to wrest the initiative from the enemy - the Havoc would be his first target.

Montresor wrote:
'There's a message coming,' Vehle announces, before the Vox-casters of the Invictus crackle and blare. A man's voice, sounding raspy and faint through the interference, echoes through the bridge:

### Greetings. Surrender your cargo and two thousand of your crew and the rest of you will be spared. You have two minutes to decide ###


Zarkov bristled visibly at the hail. This destroyer captain had the gall to threaten him??

"Prepare to fire macrobatteries - concentrate on the trailing Havoc class."

Suddenly, the Vox-casters began to crackle again.

Garrius Amphael wrote:
"Lt Commander, this is Garrius. I am unable to return to the Invictus so she is yours to command. I have assumed command of the trader vessels. I will attempt to draw the faster raider vessels across your front and into range of your batteries. Be sure to give them a battery. Make sure to vaporize the Havoc with the lance, that is your priority."

"Zarkov, I have faith in you to care for my vessel and her crew. Garrius out"


Zarkov wondered how the Lord Captain had obtained such up to date tactical information - he knew Vehle was one of the best scanner operators he had worked with, despite her attitude. Perhaps the transports were more battle-ready than they appeared. They would have to be. Garrius' plan entailed much risk to the cumbersome ships. If the destroyer captains were worth their salt they'd have them bracketed with torpedoes within the first few minutes. He knew the more nimble Invictus would have to draw some of the fire. His gunnery crew was well drilled however...Garrius underestimated them. The enemy ships were already almost in range.

"Prepare for contact. Macrobatteries to fire on my mark..."

[OOC. Does Zarkov's experience (both as a destroyer group leader and as a larger ship officer routinely trained in dealing with raiders) give him any additional insight into the possible tactics/weaknesses of the destroyers, and their three ship formation?]
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrea knows that she will be useless at best in a naval battle, or a hinderence at worst. After several months of working with Lt. Commander Zarkov, she knew there was nobody better for this part of the mission.

She had planned on returning to her office in the Librarium, to work on tracking down how Travic had pulled off what he'd done. But as she moved towards the door to leave, she noticed the newcomer. Andrea approached, while the woman stood there gawking.

"You there. You're obviously not supposed to be here. Let's step outside so the crew can go about keeping us alive, shall we?" She took Salt by the elbow and politely urged her towards the door off the bridge.

Once outside, as the doors closed, "Good. Now, who are you, and what are you doing on the bridge? What section are you with?" Andrea looked the woman over in more detail, trying to determine from her dress if she was even military, or a rating, or an enemy spy.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gets taken to the hallway. "No but, I'm..." This woman isn't listening to me.

When she lets me talk, I say, "Look, Lady. I was told to be on the bridge. I'm Peraton's new bridge liason? You brought me on from Delta-x-7, don't you remember?"

"Nevermind. I know who's attacking us. I know how they fight. I have to tell your bridge people."

I snap my elbow out of her grip, and step back onto the bridge. To Zarkov, I say "They use that V formation to split your fire. When you aim for the central vessel, the other two move around to flank you, where you have no broadsides."

"Captain, those are Drondo's ships. They're more mercenaries than pirates, though they'll do both when times are tight. But they don't normally attack transports like this."
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The wolfpack head on to the Invictus, their surprise having been spoilt by Vehle's discovery. Soundless and black against the cold depths of the Void, the vessels are in full range of the frigate's batteries and cannot avoid a direct approach.

'Enemy vessels increasing speed, Zarkov!' Vehle broadcasts across the Bridge as alternate lights bathe everything a deep crimson and the enemy raiders drastically increase their speed.

'They mean to charge us!' Lieutenant Tyor curses.

Bohn turns over his shoulder to Zarkov, telling him what he can already see. 'Macrobatteries ready to fire. Lance ready to fire. Enemy in range. Havoc targeted'.

Still too far for the naked eye to see, the enemy ships are enhanced on pict-projections. Bright flares erupt silently all along the batteries of the raiders.

'Enemy vessels opening fire! ALL GUNS ON THE INVICTUS!'

.... .... .... ....

On board the Dumaresq, Captain Nevou turns to Garrius Amphael, 'They're after your ship, Amphael'.

[Combat has now started. Keep in mind that all phases are in roughly 30 minute periods. I need to know precisely what actions are being taken and, if weapons are being fired, in exactly what sequence. The transports need to turn about 30 degrees to be able to fire]
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think she meant 'lady' as an honorific. Andrea just stared as the new crew member went back onto the bridge.

"Fine. She's clearly a military problem."

Andrea turns and heads towards the Librarium, intent on distracting herself from the possibility of instant death by burying herself in forensic accounting.

[Especially after the crowd-control issues she had during the storm, and knowing that she's not military trained at all, Andrea is going to stay away from anything combat-related. See PM for more details.]
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Sorry Andrea, I don't think you're going to get that luxury...]


Salt wrote:
To Zarkov, I say "They use that V formation to split your fire. When you aim for the central vessel, the other two move around to flank you, where you have no broadsides."

"Captain, those are Drondo's ships. They're more mercenaries than pirates, though they'll do both when times are tight. But they don't normally attack transports like this."


Zarkov's eyes narrowed. His left hand twitched by his bolt pistol and he saw a brief flash of red as the woman's head exploded from his bolt shell. Jerking himself back to reality, he responded icily. "I have my orders, from the Lord Captain himself. Do not question them again!" She remained staring at him, and he softened slightly, his anger fading. "Get out of my sight and make yourself useful, damn it." he growled.

Montresor wrote:
The wolfpack head on to the Invictus, their surprise having been spoilt by Vehle's discovery. Soundless and black against the cold depths of the Void, the vessels are in full range of the frigate's batteries and cannot avoid a direct approach.

'Enemy vessels increasing speed, Zarkov!' Vehle broadcasts across the Bridge as alternate lights bathe everything a deep crimson and the enemy raiders drastically increase their speed.

'They mean to charge us!' Lieutenant Tyor curses.

Bohn turns over his shoulder to Zarkov, telling him what he can already see. 'Macrobatteries ready to fire. Lance ready to fire. Enemy in range. Havoc targeted'.

Still too far for the naked eye to see, the enemy ships are enhanced on pict-projections. Bright flares erupt silently all along the batteries of the raiders.

'Enemy vessels opening fire! ALL GUNS ON THE INVICTUS!'

[Combat has now started. Keep in mind that all phases are in roughly 30 minute periods. I need to know precisely what actions are being taken and, if weapons are being fired, in exactly what sequence. The transports need to turn about 30 degrees to be able to fire]


"Tyor! Evasive manoeuvres!" Zarkov bellowed. The ship began to pitch and roll as Tyor accelerated out of the enemies line of fire. Whether it would be enough would soon become clear. Zarkov knew the avoidance manoeuvres would cost him accuracy, but he knew his gunnery crew were skilled enough to compensate. He had trained them himself. Besides, the destroyers had just loosed off the equivalent to a broadside from a light cruiser.

As the Invictus rolled back down towards the destroyers, Bohn reacquired the lock on the Havoc, now speeding towards them.

"Give them a volley." Zarkov ordered.

The ship reverberated as the macrobatteries fired, hurling their massive ammunition towards the raiders. Zarkov did not have time to see if they had hit or not, but he estimated the few seconds it would take for the salvo to reach the Havoc.

"Fire the lance!" he yelled, as the first of the destroyers salvoes began bursting around them.

Zarkov held onto the side of his command console as he activated his vox feed. "Seneschal! I need you to take Brother Clabo and some missionaries to the dorsal batteries! The men must know that the Emperor is with them!"

He turned to Tyor. "They mean to get directly behind us, helmsman. Accelerate to flank speed and prepare to turn. We'll show them what it means to dogfight..."



[Tyor takes Evasive Action (Difficult Pilot+ Manoeuvrability test) to avoid enemy fire. This in turn reduces the Invictus' accuracy. Zarkov fires a volley from the macrobatteries at the Havoc in an attempt to cripple their shields, seconds later he fires the Titan Forge lance. Ordering the Seneschal to escort the missionaries to the macrobatteries has two results: the missionaries extol the crew to "put their backs into it" and work faster in the name of the Emperor, increasing the macrobatteries effectiveness. Unfortunately, this also puts Andrea in the smelliest, noisiest, most dangerous place on the ship during battle...consider it a vote of confidence.

The ship accelerates (Adjust speed) out as far as it can causing the raiders to not only overshoot but be left far behind (hopefully), then turns sharply (Adjust direction) to reacquire them. The Havoc is still the main priority (if it is still a threat), though Zarkov will fire on targets of opportunity if he has a clear shot.
]
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garrius nodded at Captain Nevous words. He was right, the transports had not been bait enough to pull in the raiders. They intended to concentrate their power towards eliminating The Invictus. He could not allow this.

His thumb clicked the comms button, the encrypted channel to his own ship kept open at his request.

"Zarkov, I will do what I can to cover your flanks. Do what you must to ensure the Invictus safety first and foremost. Without her we are all lost. My line shall act as your flank guard for this battle."

He snapped up straight. He thought long and hard for a moment before issuing orders.

"Nevou, keep us all line astern. We shall remain aft of the Invictus and watch for enemy attacks on her flanks. Once the enemy moves for a side, move our line in to give her a full broadside of concentrated fire from all three vessels. In numbers we stand a chance to take on these destroyers should we need to."

He placed a forefinger and thumb to his chin as he thought for a moment.

"Coms, record a message and patch it through to the raiders via Coms officer Vehle on board The Invictus.

Garrius composed himself.

"Raiders, break off your assault immediately. You attack a vessel of house Amphael and her charges of House Deltael! As I speak our astropaths are sending word of your actions back to our base in Footfall and you are about to make grave enemies of The Amphaels and house Delteals and all her allies. . Break off your assault now and we shall be more understanding when we capture you. Otherwise prepare to meet your death."

[OOC] Garrius's line will remain slightly aft of The Invictus, watching for any of the raider ships to move to her sides. If one approaches either side of the Invictus, the line will move on a passing course to fire full broadsides into the enemy ships, repeating this as many times as necessary. The line is not to break, and concentrate its fire on one vessel only at a time. The message for the raiders is to be patched via the invictus so as to hide which vessel Garrius is on.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lt. Commander Zarkov wrote:
Salt wrote:
To Zarkov, I say "They use that V formation to split your fire. When you aim for the central vessel, the other two move around to flank you, where you have no broadsides."

"Captain, those are Drondo's ships. They're more mercenaries than pirates, though they'll do both when times are tight. But they don't normally attack transports like this."


Zarkov's eyes narrowed. His left hand twitched by his bolt pistol and he saw a brief flash of red as the woman's head exploded from his bolt shell. Jerking himself back to reality, he responded icily. "I have my orders, from the Lord Captain himself. Do not question them again!" She remained staring at him, and he softened slightly, his anger fading. "Get out of my sight and make yourself useful, damn it." he growled.


I'm mad. What an ass. "Stupid ass. I'm trying to help you obey your Lord-Captain's orders. I'm not saying you should disobey."

I walk back towards the door. "I just figured any competent commander would like to know more about his enemy and their fighting style. But I guess you'll figure that out once he's shown it to you."

I go outside into the hallway.

When the door closes, I lean against the wall, and slide to the floor. Now what, stupid? How can you do your job, if you can't get on the bridge? A shuttle pilot is no use in a battle like this.

"Stupid ass."
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Montresor
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lieutenant Tyor turns the Helm sharply, deftly manoeuvering the ancient frigate through the oncoming fire storm. Macro-batteries explode all around the Invictus as she returns fire. Most salvoes go wildly off target of the frigate while the searing blast of lance fire from the Havoc passes directly overhead.

The Invictus's shields overload from the tumult of blasts which impact across her, though her armour proves too strong.

Zarkov concentrates through the barrage and compensates for Tyor's evasive action, unleashing a devastating battery from the macro-cannons followed by a blast from the Titan Forge Lance. The Invictus rumbles audibly from the force of her own salvoes, while the batteries sound throughout the ship. The lance powers up over the course of minutes, while the Havoc's shields are overloaded and her hull mercilessly barraged. The lance fires - a white hot beam of power which causes the whole vessel to shudder.

The lance arcs through the Void and passes straight through the Havoc, rupturing along its hull and causing untold hundreds to perish, most distintergrated by the searing blast before the Void can claim their corpses.

The rain of macro-cannons cease bombarding the Invictus's armoured hull as the raiders and their prey surge past one another.

'Shields returning to normal - all raiders still intact!' Vehle broadcasts.

Tyor turns the Helm sharply, to bring the frigate about. The vessels having passed each other at extreme velocities, more than ten minutes go by before both raiders and the Invictus approach each other's sights.

'Titan-forge three minutes from stabilising coolant levels. Macro-batteries reloaded'. Bohn intones.

The transport fleet, under Garrius Amphael's directions turn themselves to provide cover for the Invictus's flank, presenting a solid line of batteries which one Hazeroth raider approaches dauntlessly. But now the greater speed and manoeuverability of the raiders begins to tell, as they line themselves in firing positions before their quarry can properly react. One Hazeroth approaches towards the rear of the frigate at maximum speed, seemingly wishing to draw as near to her as possible, though she still remains thousands of kilometres away.

Another sustained barrage of macro-cannons is unleashed, arcing towards the Invictus. Most explode in the Void around her, or are deflected by the Void shields, though a disturbingly accurate barrage from one Hazeroth finds its mark.

'Shields overloading!' Vehle calls, while gripping the rails of the comms gantry. A dozen blasts erupt across hull of the frigate, and some with enough force to cause damage. The frigate shakes, but the crew keep steady.

Through the barrage, one Hazeroth strays into the firing line of the transports and the Invictus, and all vessels open fire on the one target. Countless blasts overload the destroyer's shields and a dozen more tear along her hull. The Titan-forge Lance fires again, finding its mark and pass straight through the hull of the raider with murderous velocity. Battered, and with parts of her hull coming free, the raider weathers the incredible firepower and begins to line up for a frontal pass of the frigate.

Klaxons begin to wail as Vehle blares throughout the Bridge and the vessel: 'Hazeroth class attempting to board! Raider firing assault torpedoes!'

[Round Four has begun. I wish I had software to create a map. The Invictus and the transports are almost paralell now. One very heavily damaged Hazeroth is between them, approaching head on to the Invictus. The Havoc is approaching at a reduced speed (also heavily damaged) and is within full range of the frigate's guns. The other Hazeroth is to the rear, and has drawn to within a few kilometres. It is releasing scores of assault torpedoes, with the intent of boarding what looks to be the cargo hold.

Roughly an hour has passed since the first volleys began. Damage has been minimal on the frigate, though at least a hundred would have perished so far. Andrea could easily have brought the priests from the chapel to the macro-cannons. The bonus has not been needed yet, but I need to know if Andrea did as she was requested or not
]
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"Yes," I said, "for the love of God!" - Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado.

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Andrea Chan-Gauthier
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Montresor wrote:
[Andrea could easily have brought the priests from the chapel to the macro-cannons. The bonus has not been needed yet, but I need to know if Andrea did as she was requested or not]


I'm still (barely) in my 72hr window.

Lt. Commander Zarkov wrote:
[Sorry Andrea, I don't think you're going to get that luxury...]

Zarkov held onto the side of his command console as he activated his vox feed. "Seneschal! I need you to take Brother Clabo and some missionaries to the dorsal batteries! The men must know that the Emperor is with them!"


Most of the way to the Librarium, Andrea hears the command on her microbead. She sighs, a bit overly dramaticly, and reaches up to tap the <SEND> button on the bead. "At once, Lt. Commander."

She begins to compose another haiku in her head, something about how she must be like the Emperor himself, since she leads His priests around, making them grant His blessings to people. Sadly, that damned claxon sound and the blinking red "danger" lighting, plus the shuddering of the ship, simply spoil her concentration. She couldn't fit anything to the haiku pattern. Honestly, it's like the universe doesn't WANT her to compose heretical poetry inside her own head.

[Unless there's another mob scene at the temple door, or some other issue that would cause the priesthood not to grant Zarkov's request, Andrea will request Brother Clabo, and ask him and his brethren to come to the batteries. Once down in that level, she disables her cyber-ears, instead of trying to deal with all the noise there.]

[I'm curious how we go about informing the ratings that the priests are there to bless them... they're all stone deaf. Laser pointer to get their attention, then point at the priests? But, that's Clabo's problem.]
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrea Chan-Gauthier wrote:

[I'm curious how we go about informing the ratings that the priests are there to bless them... they're all stone deaf. Laser pointer to get their attention, then point at the priests? But, that's Clabo's problem.]


[The mere presence of the missionaries is a great boost, plus the gunnery crew are used to visual stimulus]

Andrea rushes to the Macro-Cannons while the ship resounds with the din of battle. Impacts from hab-sized explosives, and the constant booming of the frigate's own batteries reverberate with holy fury. Brother Clabo and most of the other missionaries accompany the Seneschal to the loading chamber. Electing to wait in reserve with a cadre of his staff, Brother Detronimus remains behind in case the enemy assault the chapel.

The Macro-Cannon loading chambers are scenes of regimented hell. Enormous rounds are being loaded from trains of ammunition into the firing chambers of the great cannons. Hundreds of ratings in tattered and dust covered clothes march incessently on rotating treads which are designed to mechanically lift ammunition into loading points. Precise lights signify when loading procedures must stop, and when corridors must be cleared.

The cannons unleash more rapid-fire batteries, and the cavernous chamber is filled with smoke, dust, and the agony of ear-splitting noise. The missionaries begin their work, blessing gun-crews, annointing individual rounds before they are loaded, and delivering sermons, now soundless in the cacaphony. Officers in blackened uniforms deliver occasional blows to ratings with the butts of their pistols, while scores and scores of men and women rush in ordered ranks to and from the loading corridors.

Near the entrance to the main loading tunnel, a missionary delivers a final prayer for a woman half-crushed by an ammunition train.

[all BS tests for the Macro-Cannons are now at +5%]
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"Yes," I said, "for the love of God!" - Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Montresor wrote:
Klaxons begin to wail as Vehle blares throughout the Bridge and the vessel: 'Hazeroth class attempting to board! Raider firing assault torpedoes!'


At last. Action

I run to grab my full kit. My gangers help me put on my armor. I tell them to get what weapons they can and to follow me.

I speak to them in our own dialect, "Boarders are coming to take away our shiny new home. Let's show the Amphael how Darksiders show their gratitude!"

We go to the cargo bay and wait for our enemies to come and die at our feet.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Salt wrote:
"Stupid ass. I'm trying to help you obey your Lord-Captain's orders. I'm not saying you should disobey."

"I just figured any competent commander would like to know more about his enemy and their fighting style. But I guess you'll figure that out once he's shown it to you."


Ass? Zarkov looked at Bohn, puzzled and aghast, as the ship shot away from the raiders. Bohn shrugged. "Some Hive-ganger slang, probably."

Zarkov was still taken aback by the strange woman's cavalier attitude. Where was the respect for the chain of command? The sacred decorum of battle? He watched her back for an instant as she stormed off the bridge. Such behaviour was unheard of in the navy. Was this how merchants fought battles?

Montresor wrote:

Through the barrage, one Hazeroth strays into the firing line of the transports and the Invictus, and all vessels open fire on the one target. Countless blasts overload the destroyer's shields and a dozen more tear along her hull. The Titan-forge Lance fires again, finding its mark and pass straight through the hull of the raider with murderous velocity. Battered, and with parts of her hull coming free, the raider weathers the incredible firepower and begins to line up for a frontal pass of the frigate.


Zarkov felt grim satisfaction as each hit from the macrobatteries and lance cut through the enemy. He knew he and Garrius had successfully split the raiders formation, damaged their ships and retaken the initiative, but the Havoc still loomed large in his mind. It had to be destroyed.

He voxed Garrius. "Captain, I am moving to destroy the Havoc, as ordered. If the transports can keep the other Hazeroth off our backs that would be appreciated, Sir."

He turned back to the targeting screen. The Havoc was heavily damaged but still a threat. She was venting gas into the void, probably in an attempt at controlling the fires burning within her. Zarkov gave the order.

"Macrobatteries open fire! Lance to fire on my mark!"

Once more the ship shook from the violence of the unleashed barrage. He waited a heartbeat.

"Mark. Destroy her."

Montresor wrote:
Klaxons begin to wail as Vehle blares throughout the Bridge and the vessel: 'Hazeroth class attempting to board! Raider firing assault torpedoes!'


Zarkov cursed. He opened a voxline to the entire ship. "All hands, prepare to repel boarders, repeat, prepare to repel boarders. Master-at-arms, we need a contingent of armsmen to the cargo hold." Zarkov found himself wishing for once that Peraton would do his job competently. The defensive turrets would be key in minimizing the number of enemy combatants on ship.

[Zarkov fires macrobatteries and lance at the Havoc. His intention is to destroy it (or at least completely cripple its weapons systems or power) and then to move on to the heavily damaged Hazeroth, to bring the raiders down to one ship (unless of course the damaged Hazeroth is destroyed by Garrius before Zarkov can fire, in which case he will try to acquire the other Hazeroth using Adjust direction). If possible he will order Tyor to take evasive action again to avoid the guided assault torpedoes.]
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sustained barrages of macro-batteries erupt from every quarter as the battle becomes interwtined and furious. The line of transports tear through the shields of the closest Hazeroth and blast apart its armour, sending great explosions throughout one of its dorsal cannons. The Invictus opens fire even as it comes under heavy bombardment itself.

For a moment there is confusion. Tyor tries as best he can to weave the frigate through the hail of fire, as the Void shields overload. Munitions impact harmlessly across the Invictus's hull as assault transports begin to latch on. The anti-ordnance batteries account for several of the torpedoes, slaughtering scores before they have the chance to board.

'Void-shields overloaded!'

The Invictus unleashes a furious barrage at the Havoc, cutting through her shields and blasting its hull.

'Havoc lance firing. Brace for -'

In an instant, the lance of the Havoc cuts straight through the hull of the Invictus, passing through the ancient vessel's heart and dealing horrendous damage. Hundreds or more die instantly - vaporised or seared into the walls, their remains bubbling through distorted grates and shattered hull.

The impact causes those on the Bridge to stumble, while Vehle almost falls from the comms gantry. She regains her feet, and studies damage reports while the Invictus lines up its return fire.

Minutes of sustained battery on the Havoc see large chunks of her hull tearing free. The lance fires, cutting through her target almost from prow to stern. The Havoc comes on, for an instant appearing undaunted and resolute. Moments later, dozens of explosions tear along her, blasting whole sections into the Void, slaughtering the crew in the thousands, and opening her interior to cold vacuum. Drifting without power, fires blazing at every opening, the Havoc is in ruins.

No victory cheer is sounded. Vehle broadcasts across the Bridge: 'Damage critical. Life-Sustainers directly hit. Fire raging throughout and threatening to spread to neighbouring components. Estimated loss of life from lance strike - one and a half thousand souls. Probability of inferno high'.

The two Hazeroths, cowed by the loss of the Havoc and the damage one has sustained, break from the battle and begin to flee. They do not attempt to engage their enemies, or rescue their own crew now locked in deadly struggle on the Invictus.

.... .... .... ....

The cargo hold resounds with the chaos of battle. Las blasts and auto-fire criss-cross the great bay. Pirates, clothed in makeshift armour and cloth hobbled together from a dozen sources steadily advance using cargo crates as cover. The crew of the Invictus, caught unaware, are hard-pressed to stop them, and in twenty minutes of fighting hundreds have perish.

The newly appointed officer, Lieutenant Salt leads her Darksiders, and any security details and crew close to hand, in a desperate battle to stop the raiders. But the raiders, knowing they have been abandoned, are resolved to take the ship or sell their lives dearly. Clearly veterans of numerous battles, they are close to routing the frigate's crew from the cargo bay entirely.

Drak-Kung, having been grievously wounded, is dragged from the battle by Armsmen. Captain Gauis Trulitch, gore-smacked chainsword in hand, leads the Alid-Yuril security force against the raiders alongside Salt.

[The raider vessels will flee, unless you choose to pursue them, in which case they will probably have to turn and fight. Those raiders on board the Invictus do not have the option of fleeing, and are currently winning the battle by a large margin. Loss of life has been high, and the cargo hold is the scene of slaughter. Bodies hang from gantries, over crates, or are heaped on the floor. Smoke from grenades, las blasts, and autoguns hangs thickly in the air, obscuring vision to a large extent. So far I have abstracted the battle in the cargo hold, though this may change.

Meanwhile, a serious fire rages in the Life-Sustainers
]
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"Yes," I said, "for the love of God!" - Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarkov grimaced. If they had only stabilised the lance coolant seconds earlier this could have been avoided. Now, the battle was beginning to feel like a Phyrric victory. He knew that he could not allow the fire to spread to the rest of ships systems. Reminding himself that most of the crew in the area would be already dead, scorched by the lance or incinerated in the inferno, he gave the order.

"Seal off the life-sustainers and vent the inferno into the void. Send skeleton fire-control teams to the surrounding area, now!"

Zarkov voxed the transports. "Captain, we have disabled the Havoc, but she got off a lance before the end. Our life-sustainers took heavy damage, and we're fighting unknown numbers of boarders." He paused. "We are still able to pursue the destroyers, however. One Hazeroth is nearly crippled, weapons at half capacity. What are your orders?"

[Is the heavily damaged Hazeroth moving at half speed also? This would make it a straggler. Also has its movement brought it out of the arc of fire of both the Invictus and the transports for the next turn?
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