Encounter by the Jump Point 2.0

Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim, dark future there is only war.

Encounter by the Jump Point 2.0

Postby Therion » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:29 pm

I re-wrote the story I posted some time ago:

Captain wasn't really present on then bridge. His body was there, integrated in the cybernetic nightmare of cables and pipes that was the command throne, but his mind was absent.
Captain Ignatius Severen was too busy being the starship to pay attention to the immediate surroundings of his mortal flesh.
The same could be said about the rest of the bridge crew. Cyborgs, slaved to their workstations, all of them. Things of cables, logic engines and mutilated flesh, living only to perform their function as a part of the giant mechanical organism.

He became aware of two reality re-entry signatures. Became aware is the only adequate description of what he experienced. A moment ago he was sleeping the squadron of two Gothic class cruisers that he commanded, Devastation and Holocaust sailed towards a jump point. Next moment he knew that two ships entered reality, he know their range, coordinates and vector.
A moment later he also knew that their engine signatures indicate that they are both Carnage class cruisers. Chaos filth.
This information came to him pre-digested by the analysis and sensor officers and their implants and cogitators.

Void war was far from the glamourized close range carnage presented on devotional paintings and in propaganda videos. It was cold, distant and almost sterile in presentation.
Two icons depicting enemy ships, their vectors, their predicted flight paths, their statistics accessible with a single thought. Two icons of his own ships. The incomprehensible scale of the void.

The most important thing to him wasn't the look of his opponents, the shape and decorations of their hulls but raw data:

Carnage class:
Side weapon batteries, range 90,000 kilometres. Firepower rating: 6,000 Firing Arcs: Left/Right
Side weapon batteries, range 120,000 kilometres. Firepower rating: 4,000 Firing Arcs: Left/Right
Prow weapon battery, range 120,000 kilometres. Firepower rating: 6,000 Firing Arcs: Left/Front/Right
Expected speed: 100,000 kilometres per hour.
Class 2 armour all around.

Gothic class:
Side lance batteries, range 60,000 kilometres. Firepower rating: 4,000 Firing Arcs: Left/Right
Prow torpedoes, speed 60,000 kilometres per hour. Firepower rating: 6,000 Firing Arcs: Front
Expected speed: 80,000 kilometres per hour.
Class 3 armour at prow, class 2 armour on all other directions.

While the ignorant saw glory in the gildings, in the ornate cathedrals growing from sculpted hulls, to captain the glory was in these numbers. These numbers so incomprehensibly huge that they became an abstraction, yet even if not comprehended were a reflection of incredible power of these ships.

The numbers were clear. They were out-ranged. The decision was obvious - to close in and release torpedoes.
++Speed unchanged, course unchanged. Fire torpedoes at range of 90,000 kilometres. Devastation fires on Bandit One, Holocaust fires at Bandit two.++
++Confirmed.++ Came reply of the second ship.

For the first torturous fifteen minutes, the enemy was sailing straight at him, initially without reaction. The imperial ships fired their torpedoes. Each salvo moved towards different enemy ship.
A few minutes later the enemy ships finally reacted. They burned their retros. They were slowing down and turning in opposite directions to get out of the way of the massive missiles. They successfully avoided the torpedo salvoes.

Each of them fired a pattern at an Imperial ship. His ship's shields overloaded when his ship was caught in the pattern of energy beams.

++Reload ordnance++ He ordered.

The enemy needed to be destroyed as soon as possible. Torpedoes were the obvious choice. Both ships needed to turn left to intercept the chaos ship that dodged to their starboard to maximize the chance of crippling or destruction.
The other enemy cruiser was to be fired at by both ship's lance batteries.

++Turn 45 degrees port.++

++Lances prepare to fire at Bandit Two.++

The complex task of firing the massive weapons started. Data was input into cogitators, massive capacitors were loaded.
The turn took about 15 minutes. First the ships had to be prepared to turn and then slowly turned, correctional thrusters working hard.

He became aware that torpedoes are ready to fire.

When they were in right position, he gave orders to fire.
++Fire lances++
++Fire torpedoes++

Lances registered hits that overloaded the chaos cruiser's shields and killed about 2000 of its crew. No further effects of fire were registered.

Torpedoes sped towards other enemy cruiser. It tried to shoot them down with its turrets but two of them hit and killed about 2000 of its crew. No further effects of fire were registered.

Did a pretty flame erupt from the hull? Has someone's life ended in the void? Was someone cut to pieces by shrapnel? Did someone evaporate from heat of an explosion? Perhaps. But these were personal dramas of the little people, of mere bloodcells of the ship. What counts that when the torpedoes impacted two thousands of people lost their lives.

Both enemy cruisers were now pm to to them, with them closing on the left cruiser and moving away from the right one.

++Reload ordnance++

++Lances prepare to fire at Bandit Two.++

Enemy cruisers fired a pattern of energy beams at Holocaust. It's shields were overloaded and it was damaged. Estimated losses were 1000 hands.

A damage report came from the prow. There was an accident during reloading torpedoes and torpedo tubes were disabled. A burst of anger pierced through his calm calculation. He just lost half of firepower that was to be directed towards Bandit One!
Nevertheless, he decided to keep his course to continue lance fire against the Bandit Two while Holocaust launched its torpedoes.

++Fire Lances++

This time lance fire was completely ineffective. The Bandit One was hit with a single torpedo, killing another 1000 of crew. No further effects of fire were registered.

Enemy cruisers fired a pattern at his ship. Shields overloaded and he cried out in pain when psychostigmatic wounds appeared on his body. The ship was wounded!

After a few minutes he received damage reports indicating that about 1000 of his crewmen died. He swore to avenge them.

Suddenly, a disaster stuck. The chaos ship that they were supposed to blast apart with their torpedoes fired a second salvo that got through his armour and immediately killed another 2000 of his crew. A huge gash opened in his prow, exposing further 1000 crew to the void. He was overwelmed by pain and went half-numb as he lost contact with so many subordinates - his mighty ship was crippled! He shook with anger and despair. He was bleeding from multiple wounds.

He needed vengeance, but was still too lucid to fire at the cruised that crippled him. He couldn't do anything more than take down his shields and disturbances from it could destroy torpedoes.

They were still moving towards Bandit One.
++Fire Torpedoes++
Missiles flew towards the Chaos cruiser. Three of them hit, killing about 3000 crew, crippling it too. He was avenged!

The crippled chaos cruiser changed it's course to move away. He considered chasing it, but then he became aware that Holocaust started receiving fire from the other Carnage – 70,000 km away, one shield generator getting overloaded.
The Carnage class had two times greater range than the Gothic class. If they would chase the crippled ship, the most probable outcome would be the other ship destroying his ship from outside their range.
The squadron needed to turn towards the other enemy cruiser and either destroy it or force it to disengage.
++Come to new heading. 90 degrees port.++

When they began their turn, the chaos ship disengaged, not interested in facing imperial torpedoes and lances. After a short pursuit it returned to the warp.

What do you guys think about it?
"There can be no bystanders in the battle for survival. Anyone who will not fight by your side is an enemy you must crush" -Scriptorus Munificantus
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