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 Second Contact - A Heraklean-Alpha Centauri First Contact RP

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Heraklea

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PostSubject: Second Contact - A Heraklean-Alpha Centauri First Contact RP   Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:23 pm

“Carry on and report,” came the order of Commander Regina Banes, the commanding officer of the HNS Ranger (CCL 173), as she stepped onto the bridge.

“Unidentified contact spotted, Skip. Traveling straight for Heraklea,” replied the OOD, Lieutenant Andrew Woley.  “Time-space dilation FTL in use, indicates not a natural phenomenon.  No IFF or registration being broadcast.”

“Understood.  WEPs, prep a messenger.  COMM, record message.”

“Prep a messenger, Weapons Officer aye.”

“Record message, Comms Officer aye.  Ready to record, Skipper.”

“Recording!  Silence on the bridge!”  Commander Banes pressed the flashing hot spot on her holographic display.  “Unidentified vessel.  This the Heraklean Naval Ship Ranger.  You are in Heraklean sovereign space.  You are here by ordered to decelerate to sub-light speed and identify yourself.  Upon reaching sub-light speed you will maintain your bearing and prepare to be boarded for inspection and interview.  End message.”

“Recorded, Skipper.  Transferred to messenger.”

“Recording received by messenger.  Ready to launch messenger on your order, ma'am.”  Commander Banes nodded her head in satisfaction.

“Very well COMM, WEPS.  WEPs, launch messenger.”

“Launch messenger, Weapons Officer aye.”

Less than three seconds later, a missile carrying a communications broadcasting warhead was launched from the forward missile tubes of the HNS Ranger


Last edited by Heraklea on Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Second Contact - A Heraklean-Alpha Centauri First Contact RP   Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:42 am

The UNS Mojendo-daro, named after the great archeological site of Old Earth, had been ordered to take a brief detour en route to their destination in their Galactic Core in order to investigate what had happened to the long-lost Sonoman Colonization Expedition. Such a long time had passed since the ill-fated expedition was launched that no one sincerely thought it would have amounted into anything. The Captain, Stela Terrel, expected to see nothing or maybe some wreckage if she was lucky. But that proved not to be the case.

Once they arrived in the Sonoman system, the scanners immediately reported that other vessels were present in the system. At the same time it could detect a inhabited planet, with energy signatures similar but somewhat different to those that Chiron itself gave. Could the SCE really have survived, and been forgotten after all of these years? How would they-

Her thoughts were interrupted when, without warning, one of the vessels (seemingly military) fired off a missile at the UNS Mojendo-daro. In less than a split second is the missile completely and utterly destroyed by a Tachyon Beam as part of the vessel's point defense system. With that, Captain Terrel frowned, and realized that the Sonoman system now appeared to be hostile to the civilization that had fathered it.

Then, turning her attention to her own crew, she said, "Power up weapons and shielding in anticipation for further attacks. I don't know what kind of weaponry these people have, so be ready for anything that comes along. Comm crew, report the situation immediately to the Council of Admirals. It is urgent that they are appraised of the situation as soon as possible."

Finally, she broadcasted her own message. Assuming the Herakleans still use communication systems to the Centauri, it should be quite easily detectable. "Attention unidentified vessels. This is the UNS Mojendo-daro, a vessel of the Planetary Defense Force of Chiron. Know that no further hostile action against our vessel will be tolerated and any further attempts will result in conflict against the Planetary Governate. Stand down your weapons and open your lines of communication."
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PostSubject: Re: Second Contact - A Heraklean-Alpha Centauri First Contact RP   Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:23 pm

“Tachyon burst!  Messenger destroyed short of broadcast!” called the Tactical Officer, and Commander Banes immediately toggled the 1MC.

“Set condition red throughout the ship,” she broadcast throughout HNS Ranger, then deactivated the ships announcing system.  “Very well TAC.  WEPs, prep forward fractal salvo.  Tubes one through four heavy EM, five through one-six heavy beam, one-seven through two-zero killers.  TAC, increase to full accel. and lay in new course.  Comms burst transmission to fleet advising upgrade.”  Each officer repeated back while carrying out their CO's orders.  “WEPs, was the messenger on an intercept path with the contact?”

“Negative, Skipper.  Messenger was wide.”

“Very well, WEPs.”

“FTL comm bursts detected from contact!  One encrypted, one in the clear!  Encryption not recognized!” reported the Comms Officer.

“Very well COMMs.  Forward encrypted burst to fleet.  Play clear burst.”  The transmission from the unknown contact was played over the speakers.

"Attention unidentified vessels. This is the UNS Mojendo-daro, a vessel of the Planetary Defense Force of Chiron. Know that no further hostile action against our vessel will be tolerated and any further attempts will result in conflict against the Planetary Governate. Stand down your weapons and open your lines of communication."

“Chiron?” asked Lieutenant Woley.  “As in Alpha Centauri?”  There was a pause as the people on the bridge attempted to mentally process contact with the mother colony.

“Comms, prep a burst to the contact.”

“Prep burst, Comms Officer aye.  Ready to record, Skipper.”

“UNS Mojendo-daro, this is the HNS Ranger.  You are in violation of Heraklean sovereignty.  You are here by ordered to surrender and cease all acceleration.  You will maintain your current heading and prepare to be boarded for inspection and interview.  If you refuse you will be fired upon.  Be warned that even if this ship is incapacitated, you will be overtaken by a squadron of capital ships and destroyed long before you could possibly escape the system.”  Commander Banes paused.  “I personally implore you to accept these terms.  We have no desire to declare war on our mother colony.”
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PostSubject: Re: Second Contact - A Heraklean-Alpha Centauri First Contact RP   Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:03 pm

A bit of tension was relieved from the Centauri crew when the comm burst came in, although not really. Captain Terrel appraised the change in the situation and considered what action to take now. Although they had no interest in fighting the Herakleans, as they called themselves now, she had no interest in submitting to a forced boarding and 'inspection' either. Still, at this point, it was not as if they had much of a choice. The UNS Mojendo-daro was classified as a Light Frigate, and could certainly not stand up to capital ship levels of firepower.

After some deliberation, she then decided what she would say. First, she turned her attention to the crew, and said over the intercom system, "Cease all acceleration. Secure all sensitive materials and prepare for a foreign visitation of our vessel. Remain on high alert for the duration of the visit and maintain all procedures regarding foreign contamination. At the same time, do not show them any signs of hostility; we cannot risk alienating them at this point in time."

With a sigh, she then turned her attention back to the Herakleans, and said, "The Planetary Governate fully respects the sovereignty of all independent polities, though we will note that we completely unaware that any such polity existed here. Nevertheless, in order to show our magnanimity and goodwill, we are willing to allow ourselves to be boarded. However, note that we reserve the right to deny access to sensitive materials and that we will resist any attempts at coercion."
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PostSubject: Re: Second Contact - A Heraklean-Alpha Centauri First Contact RP   Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:48 pm

“We appreciate your compliance, Mojendo-daro.  The security of sensitive materials and information will be respected at this time.  A cutter carrying members of our marine compliment will dock with your external airlock, as well as a member of my senior staff.  Please have significant personnel ready and available for interview.  Ranger out.”

* * * * *

“Lieutenant Morray will lead the marine squad on board the Mojendo-daro.  HM1 Fiemster will be going along to verify the atmosphere.  Subcommander Henries will interview the crew while MAS Thompson searches for any contraband.”

“Remind the senior chief that we will be treating this as an extraterritorial stop until further notice during his contraband inspection.  And replace Henries with Mayhew.”

“...Ma'am, are you certain you want to put a psyker in the boarding party?  They may take exception if they discover him.”

“I don't give a damn.  He'll be able to provide early warning of any aggression against us.

“Understood ma'am.  I'll away the party immediately.”

* * * * *

“Take us in,” Subcommander Mayhew ordered the cutter pilot.

“No hostility, sir?”

“Plenty of hostility, Thompson.  I'd be hostile too.  But there's not enough for me to be worried.”

“As you say sir.”  There was a barely discernible bump as the cutter docked with the Centauri frigate.

“Seal is good,” called the pilot.

“Atmo verified,” called the corpsman.

“Very well.  Masks off.  Open the door.”  The cutter airlock door opened and Subcommander Mayhew stepped into the docking tube, gliding effortlessly through the zero g before coming out into the Mojendo-daro.  He came to attention and saluted.

“Permission to come aboard?”


Last edited by Heraklea on Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:05 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Second Contact - A Heraklean-Alpha Centauri First Contact RP   Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:15 pm

Captain Terrel was present at the vessel's small docking bay when Subcommander Mathew came out into the Mojendo-daro, and when he saluted Terrel, she returned with her own salute. With only a slight trace of annoyance in her voice, she said to Subcommander Mayhew, "Permission is granted. I take that one of you would like to be shown the way to the cargo hold, for your inspection?"

While waiting for someone to come forward, she nodded towards a crew member and said to him, "Branković, you can help show them to the hold."

With that done, she turned her attention back to Subcommander Mayhew, and said, "As for the interview, well, you're free to interview any of us around. I would, however, prefer to be the subject of this interview, if that is at all possible."
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PostSubject: Re: Second Contact - A Heraklean-Alpha Centauri First Contact RP   Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:05 pm

“Senior Chief Thompson will have the pleasure of conducting the investigation of your holds,” Subcommander Mayhew responded.  “I also ask that he be allowed to make a cursory examination of a few other areas: crews quarters, mess decks, those sorts of locations.  No need to examine personal lockers, it's just to ensure that there are no slaves aboard. Heraklea has a particularly dim view of that.  I'm sure you understand.  I will need your executive officer and senior enlisted person to be present for the interview.  Shall we continue in your wardroom?”

* * * * *

“I must say, Captain, it is a pleasure to meet you,” said Subcommander Mayhew.  “Despite the circumstances.  We had thought that you lot got wiped out during the Progenitor War.  After all, there was no attempt at re-contact after our FTL burnt out.  Making our own attempt was regarded as an extremely low priority after we regained FTL capability.  We've had our own troubles in the region without going looking for more trouble.

“I hope you understand why Commander Banes was insistent on you surrendering your command.  We currently in a state of hostilities.  An ally of ours was attacked.  Though we have occupied the aggressor's home world, the government-in-exile has been sponsoring privateers that have been giving us some trouble, so we need to be careful.

“But enough about us.  Tell me.  What has been happening in Alpha Centauri since we've gone?”

* * * * *

“You know how these things go,” said MAS Gerald Thompson said to Branković.  “We go around, poke around a bit and make sure there is nothing of a threat to Heraklea.  Or at least, nothing besides your weapons systems.”   Branković nodded.  “So, when not giving tours to loudmouthed foreigners, what do you usually do on this ship?  I'm a marine, so I pretty much just do push-ups and spar until it's time for boarding parties or DC.  How about you?”
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PostSubject: Re: Second Contact - A Heraklean-Alpha Centauri First Contact RP   Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:41 pm

Captain Terrel nods to Subcommander Mayhew, and says, "Yes, we can understand the need for security. These are trying times, and it is rare when this galaxy does not come under some threat on a massive scale. Peace, as we have found, is a rarity. As for being wiped out, well, we too had thought that your line was extinguished. From what I have read, we had a very dim expectation of the SCE, and we thought it was in every way a failure, and evidently that was not the case."

"As for what has gone on, well... let's just say, a lot of things. The Progenitors were wiped out to the last some fifty years ago with Planet Busters. Around ten or so years ago we rediscovered the warp-drive, and made contact with some of the various other polities in the galaxy. Shortly afterwards, however, the galactic community as a whole was invaded by a foreign group known as the Sith, which we believe is based in the Gamma Quadrant. They invaded with a significant number of troops, including many metahumans, and a great number of bases were captured, with two of the most largest razed. Additionally, Brother Lal was nearly captured by the Sith; Morgan however was not so fortunate. They took a leg off of him in captivity, I think.

"In the last year or so, the galactic community was caught between two extragalactic alien species called the Gar"zhog and the Hildenburen, and ultimately we sided with the Gar"hog and defeated the Hildenburen in part thanks to a biological attack conducted by the Veridian Dominion, a polity in the 'western' rim of the galaxy, if you will. In the final battle a combined galactic and Gar"zhog force defeated the Hildenburen, including their leader. As a result the galaxy won its continued independence. I am sure I can provide you with some historical databases with further information, and some contact information with some other polities if you so choose."

She takes a breath after that long exposition, and then drinks a glass of water. Shortly afterwards, another man enters the room: Commander Dietmar House, the resident Executive Officer/Psych Officer, and an Empath. Very quickly he glances at Captain Terrel, sending to her a brief psionic message - That man is an Empath. He then looks towards Subcommander Mayhew, and salutes him before taking a seat. "My apologies for being late", he says, "but I was attending to some urgent business. I am Psych Officer Dietmar House, and the Executive Officer of this vessel. I hope I have not interrupted?"

Captain Terrel shakes her head, and says, before glancing back at Subcommander Mayhew, "No, I was just finished. Anyways, would you care to tell us a bit about what happened in Sono- I apologize, Heraklea?"

***

Seaman Branković chuckles at the 'loudmouth foreigners' comment, something of a rarity for the rather staid Centauri. While leading MAS Thompson to the cargo hold, he says to him, "Me? Nothing much in particular. Usually I work on the weapons systems, and make sure that everything's in working order. I'm not a gunner, though, mostly I'm just a technician. Most of us here are technicians, actually."

Then, once he arrives, he gestures with a sweep of his arm in the small cargo hold. "Not much to see here, but you're welcome to look around if you like. I'd say 95% of this is just rations."
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PostSubject: Re: Second Contact - A Heraklean-Alpha Centauri First Contact RP   Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:38 pm

“A pleasure to meet you commander,” Mayhew greeted, noting the brief spurt of telepathic communication.  No doubt his own ability had been discovered, but if they weren't going to make an issue of it, he wasn't about to.

“You know, we thought no trade came through on account of the piracy problems.  Let see.  Briefly we were ruled by King Lambert after the FTL system burnt out, stranding us in Heraklea.  Tyrant of a man, and hopelessly corrupt.  Eventually a revolt successfully displaced the Kingdom and replaced it with the Republic, also corrupt but highly unstable and bloody-minded on top of that.  Then a period of warlordism until finally Grand Adiral Kirrin succeeded in unifying us under his banner.  He renamed the star to Heraklea, as well as renaming the planets and the moons.  He established our state and secured it.  A few subsequent Chiefs of State expanded our sovereignty by, oh I suppose you could say we went fishing in troubled waters.  We're not quite so expansionist any more, though we do a significant amount of 'expeditionary' work.”

“I hate to ask, but I truly must.  What exactly was the reason you finally decided to check up on us?”

* * * * *

“Weapons tech, eh?” said MAS Thompson.  “Good stuff.  Some of my favorite sissies are gunner's mates and missile techs.  At least you aren't some dumb ass yeoman or cook.”  The two laughed.  “So, man to man.  Where does the crew put the stuff they don't want the Skipper to know about?”

“I'm not sure what you-”

“Ah, don't give me that shit.  Every crew has their smuggler.  Look, I don't give a shit about your porn.  Or your booze.  All I really care about is the presence of slaves.  I haven't seen anything to suggest that you've got a bevy women forced to be R&R nurses.  So where is it?”
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PostSubject: Re: Second Contact - A Heraklean-Alpha Centauri First Contact RP   Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:19 pm

Captain Terrel's eyebrows noticeably raise when Subcommander Mayhew mentions the name of King Lambert. A King? What kind of Centauri was he? OK, maybe the memetic engineering wasn't quite as good back then, but what kind of person would set themselves up as a King? It was an incredibly alien idea to Captain Terrel, as it was to Commander House, who himself looks visibly displeased by the idea. Still, they tried to keep it from showing, until Subcommander Mayhew was finished speaking. Once he was, Captain Terrel said,

"What was the reason we were sent here? That's a hard question to answer. I would say it was largely a matter of curiosity: beforehand we as a whole were too preoccupied with other matters and it was only convenient for us to take a detour on our last expedition towards the core. Also, remember that we believed that the SCE was a failure up until now, and so we saw little motivation to send a vessel to check."

***

Branković stares at Thompson, not sure if he was joking or if he was serious. Either way he had absolutely no clue how to respond. The idea of slaves being present on a Planetary Defense Force vessel was something so absurd that he couldn't even imagine it. The whole concept of slavery was something universally denigrated by all of the factions in their memetic engineering, and it ran entirely counter to Centauri beliefs. He considered what to say for a moment before he decided upon a satisfactory reply.

"Well, I think the reason you haven't seen anything to suggest that is because that's really... not a thing. I don't think you'll find anyone here who wouldn't be disgusted by something like that. You're free to look and ask around, but I don't envy your chances of finding slaves in here."
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PostSubject: Re: Second Contact - A Heraklean-Alpha Centauri First Contact RP   Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:30 pm

“Fair enough,” replied Mayhew. “We had written you off as well. Any who, let's discuss a little bit about the future. Once the inspection is done, you'll be invited to HNSS Elysium. There you'll be greeted by members of the Diplomatic Service, laden with messages for your leaders, blah blah blah. A bunch of state stuff. Then you'll probably be sent on your way. Then you can get back to... what was it you said you were going to do in the core?”

* * * * *

“You'd be surprised at what happens in some corners of the galaxy, kid. Slavery was part of life before we began enforcing civilization in our little corner. There were plenty of planetary navies that had such comfort nurses on their ships, and slave vessels criss-crossed the stars. After we started patrolling, there was an unofficial policy on slavers. You find a ship with slaves, you bring the slaves and the ship back to Sparta. If you didn't arrive with any slavers, command didn't launch an investigation. Now we have to bring them back, just in case someone big enough to make us hurt takes exception. You know how it is. Personally, I'd just strap the bastards to the next missile to be launched and let go for a one way space walk. Might not be too humane, but... eh.

“So how about those hidey-holes for the booze and porn?”
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PostSubject: Re: Second Contact - A Heraklean-Alpha Centauri First Contact RP   Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:18 pm

Captain Tarrel says, "I see. Standard procedure for such situations, it seems. As for what we were going to do at the core, well, we are examining various planets identified at a distance that are considered ideal candidates for settlement or exploitation. That, and identifying whatever small independent colonies there might be in the region. Fairly standard expeditionary procedure, really."

***

"Oh no, I don't doubt that slavery's a thing - we've found our fair share of slavers and pirates in independent space. Hell, I've heard rumors that the Veridian Dominion has an entire underclass of 'collard' slaves. It's just the idea of us keeping slaves on this ship that I can't imagine."

Then, he chuckles, and says, "As for the porn and booze, well... let's start with the porn. It's not actually considered contraband here unless it's unauthorized: it's treated pretty much the same as any other holovid would be. I bet that you could find one or two in pretty much all of the personal trunks here. As for booze, well, funny you should ask."

He gestures at Thompson to follow him, and leads him to a box that appears to be full of rations. However, he digs through the box a bit, and a smaller box can clearly be seen inside. "That," Branković says, "is a bottle Zakharov's Formula-5 Synthvodka. It's literally only meant for immortals to drink, and when I say immortals I mean the few people who have been on the receiving end of so many longevity treatments that regular Synthvodka does nothing to them. A University friend of mine brought it onto here, and you know what, if you want to confiscate that, go ahead. Call me a wuss, but one of these days he's going to break it out and I would rather not die drinking it. That's an actual thing, by the way."
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PostSubject: Re: Second Contact - A Heraklean-Alpha Centauri First Contact RP   Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:47 pm

“A worthy endeavor to be sure. Well, you don't appear to be too much of a concern to Heraklea's security. The inspection is probably almost done, then we can continue our ride in system. Just let me check in with Senior Chief Thompson.”

* * * * *

“Confiscate? Like I said, I don't give a shit about booze. But here's what I will do. How about a trade? That there bottle of Formula for this bottle of what we like to call 'the Grog.' 95.5%, guaranteed to make you forget about the girl who Dear-Johned you. Believe you me-”

“Senior, Commander Mayhew. Report status of inspection.”

“Shoot. Let me deal with that right quick.” MAS Thompson thumbed his comm. “Report inspection status, Commander Mayhew, Senior Chief Thompson, aye. No contraband to report.”

“Very well, Senior. Wrap it up and meet me at the cutter.”

“Meet you at the cutter, Commander Mayhew, Senior Chief Thompson, aye.” Thompson deactivated his mike. “Well kid, how about that trade?”
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PostSubject: Re: Second Contact - A Heraklean-Alpha Centauri First Contact RP   Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:51 am

Captain Terrel nods, and smiles, "Best of luck in your future endeavors, then."

***

With a shrug, Branković, "Well, it's not actually mine, strictly speaking, but I guess I can take some liberties, here. 95.5% still seems more survivable than Formula-5. I think it's supposed to be only 45%-50% alcohol, not much more than traditional vodka, but there's supposed to be all sorts of 'enhancers'. I have no clue what they might be and I don't really feel like finding out."

He digs out the small crate, and presents it to Thompson.
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PostSubject: Re: Second Contact - A Heraklean-Alpha Centauri First Contact RP   Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:00 pm

“Ah, Senior Chief.  Good inspection?” asked Commander Mayhew.

“Yes sir.  Everything seems to be in order.”

“All right then.  Captain Terrel, it's been a pleasure.”  Commander Mayhew rendered another salute before turning and entering the cutter.  “Let's get back to the Ranger.”

“Uh, sir?” interjected the cutter pilot.  “I've got a sensor reading at the system boundary.”

* * * * *

“Hyper space translations!  Masses indicate twelve battleships and thirty-three cruisers.  Attempting to classify... confirmation of Wyrm class battleships!  Fleet is Cortane in origin!”

“Set condition red throughout the ship!” Commander Banes ordered.  “TAC, report minimum time to Fleet at max accel.”

“Report min. time to Fleet, Tactical officer aye.  Two hours, ma'am.”

“Report time to Cortane fleet overhaul.”

“Time to overhaul is... four-five minutes... ma'am.”  There was little fight in the TAC officers voice.  The silence of the already dead filled the bridge.

“Very well, TAC,” Commander Banes responded and broke the stupor.  “TAC, Crazy Ivan.  WEPs, verify fractal salvo still preped.  COMMs record burst to Mojendo-daro, then burst to Fleet updating situation.”

The bridge erupted in a flurry of activity as Commander Banes recorded a message to the Mojendo-daro.

* * * * *

“UNS Mojendo-daro, this if the HNS Ranger.  A hostile fleet is headed in system.  Make maximum acceleration to the heart of the system.  We will cover your flight.  You should reach Home Fleet within two hours.  We'll attempt to delay the enemy... Please, Captain.  Carry my people home.”

* * * * *

The smallest of Heraklea's capital ships is capable of launching salvos of 122 missiles.  If properly prepared, it can launch 12 salvos every minute.  It can maintain that rate of fire for almost seven minutes straight before the magazines were depleted.

Unfortunately for the HNS Ranger, it was only a light cruiser.  As such, it only could launch a maximum salvo of 20 missiles, at a rate of four salvos per minute for five minutes before depletion.  Worse still, a light cruiser is much more lightly armored and with weaker shields and smaller point defense capabilities.

28 minutes after turning and beginning its maximum acceleration toward the Cortane fleet, the raiders entered HNS Ranger's effective missile envelope, whereupon the light cruiser began launching its salvos.  20 missiles screamed from ranger toward the hostile fleet.  12 seconds after the launch, the warheads split open, discharging ten more smaller missiles each.  56 of those missiles began pumping electromagnetic interference to prevent point defenses of the enemy fleet from gaining a lock on the actual dangerous warheads.  Of the 144 remaining missiles, 31 were destroyed by point defense systems.  89 of the missiles that survived to attack the enemy fleet detonated to begin pumping tachyon beams into the various ships.  Many of the beams were deflected by shields, but those that weren't dug deep gouges into the hulls.  Two of the battleships and seven of the cruisers belched atmosphere.  The other 24 missiles carried nuclear warheads which impacted with three of the battleships.  Two of those were partially gutted, just short of incapacitation.  The third however was completely destroyed.

HNS Ranger successfully launched two more such salvos of decreasing efficacy as the enemy point defenses learned how to counter the Heraklean EM interference.  Ranger didn't get to learn of its successes, however, for just as the first salvo arrived at its target, a salvo of Cortane missile hit the cruiser.  Ranger bucked and jumped as the missiles wreaked a holocaust on the cruiser.  Atmosphere burst from ruptures in Ranger's hull before the destabilized power plant experienced a catastrophic failure.  The resulting explosion left few pieces of the cruiser larger than a park bench.

With the exception of the boarding party sent to the UNS Mojendo-daro, the HNS Ranger was lost with all hands.
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PostSubject: Re: Second Contact - A Heraklean-Alpha Centauri First Contact RP   Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:04 pm

Though completely caught off guard by the incident, the UNS Mojendo-daro pushes towards the heart of the system as instructed, sending preemptive hails to whatever fleet might be there, identifying the ship as well as the Heraklean personnel still on board. While the ship accelerates forward, sensor personnel do take careful recordings about the weaponry used by both the Heraklean and Cortane fleets. Such information was always valuable to the Centauri in their efforts to develop effective defenses against all manner of foreign weaponry.
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PostSubject: Re: Second Contact - A Heraklean-Alpha Centauri First Contact RP   Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:39 pm

Subcommander Mayhew watched the holographic projections as HNS Ranger was destroyed.  The knowledge that the cruiser was hitting back as it was obliterated was little solace and his shipmates were erased from existence.  Behind him, MAS Thompson began singing the ages old dirge sung by Heraleans.

“If I should return,
With my body on my shield,
Tell my son I chose to die than yield.”


The other Herakleans soon joined in.

“Though my soul may soon be gone,
I know you will carry on,
Remember me as one who would not kneel.”

“Fight with blood, fight with steel,
Die with honor, never yield.
Fearless hearts, filled with pride.
Into glory we shall ride.”

“I am driven on,
In the face of all despair,
Trust the stars,
You will find me there.”

“A warriors fate awaits me,
And my vision guides me on,
I will not stray from the path I'm set upon.”

“I'll fight with blood, fight with steel,
Die with honor, never yield.
Fearless heart, filled with pride.
Into glory we shall ride.”

“You will not return,
I shall bring you on your shield,
I'll tell your son you chose to die,
You chose to die than yield.”

“You fought with blood, fought with steel,
Died with honor and never yield.
Your fearless heart is filled with pride.
Into glory you did ride.”

“You fought with blood, fought with steel,
Died with honor and never yield.
Your fearless heart is filled with pride.
Into glory you did ride.
You died fighting with your brothers side by side.”


A somber silence fell on the Herakleans as the dirge came to its end.

*Dirge is adapted from the song "Die With Honor" by Manowar

* * * * *

The damage inflicted by the HNS Ranger slowed the invading fleet as the surviving ships adjusted their speeds to keep the fleet together.  The time bought by Ranger's sacrifice allowed the UNS Mojendo-daro to reach a section of the Home Fleet.

The 16 superdreadnaughts of the 23rd and 24th battle squadrons sailed past the UNS Mojendo-daro.  The gigantic, hulking behemoths moved through space with deadly purpose, preparing to unleash the Heraklean vengeance on the Cortane fleet.  As the two fleets entered their effective missile envelopes, they unleashed their attacks.  The damaged Cortane fleet was still able to launch several salvos of of almost approximately 1200 missiles.  Many of these were intercepted and destroyed by counter-missiles.  More still were drawn off by decoy beacons.  Even more were knocked down by the interlocking point-defense networks of 16 superdreadnaughts.  By the time any reached the point of making the attack run, there were scarcely 100 missiles left.  Shield and armor absorbed most of that damage, and what few warheads that did more than superficial damage still didn't stop the superdreadnaughts.

Meanwhile, the superdreadnaughts unleashed their own salvos 4000 fractal missiles, becoming 40000 missiles in each salvo.  A salvo burst from the ships every five seconds for 30 seconds, for a total of seven salvos.  The defensive capabilities of the Cortane fleet were completely saturated, and almost as one the hostile warships exploded in an orgy of violence.

Then all at once it was done.

* * * * *

“And finally, for her brave leadership as the commanding officer during the HNS Ranger's final action, Commander Regina Banes is promoted in absentia three grades to the rank of Commodore, and is awarded in absentia the Medal of Sacrifice and the Medal of Valor.”  Lieutenant Commander Jeffery Mayhew, Acting Commanding Officer of the Heraklean Naval Ship Ranger (CCL 173) closed the awards notice in front of him.  “HNS Ranger, attention to muster.”  The remnants of the Ranger's crew came to attention.  “Commodore Banes, Regina.”

“On patrol,” announced Senior Chief Marine Gerald Thompson.

“Captain Lawrence, Matthew.”

“On patrol.”

“Commander Blakely, Catherine.”

“On patrol.”

“Commander Hodgins, Stewart”

“On Patrol.”

* * * * *

“Thank you for attending the funeral, ma'am,” Mayhew said to Captain Terrel.  “I realize it's not an ideal ceremony to begin diplomatic relations with a foreign power, but such things cannot always be helped.  I certainly hope you will convey our hospitality and the Chief of States desire for peaceful relations to your government.  Hopefully when next we meet, Heraklea will no longer be at war.”
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Selathorn

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PostSubject: Re: Second Contact - A Heraklean-Alpha Centauri First Contact RP   Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:24 pm

Captain Terrel says, "I too hope that peace will come to this sector of the galaxy, and it was nothing less than my honor to come here. Though I know not the men and women who lost their lives, their sacrifices spoke to me their character better than any words ever could. I will try to relay what I have experienced here to my superiors within the Governate, and I hope that in the future we enjoy the fruits of commerce and a good relationship. Perhaps in the near future you may be on the receiving end of a few official diplomats."

With that, she departed back to the UNS Mojendo-daro, and immediately made a full report of the situation to the Council of Admirals. Shortly afterwards she was recalled, in order to be thoroughly debriefed as to what happened. Quite thoroughly she recalled her experiences in the system, and told them what she knew of the Herakleans. Shortly afterwards, an official press release was made.

***

UNS Mojendo-daro Reestablishes Contact with a Past Centauri Expedition

During a routine exploratory expedition towards the Galactic Core, the UNS Mojendo-daro took a detour through what was once known as the Sonoma System, the intended destination of what was thought to be a doomed colonization attempt during the Progenitor War. When the UNS Mojendo-daro arrived, however, it found that the system was not deserted as they thought it would be, but instead populated and at the core of a interstellar polity.

The Herakleans, as they are now called, are the survivors of the colonization attempt. Though initially, the situation was somewhat hostile, the situation was shortly defused. The Heraklean vessel requested boarding for interview and inspection, and Captain Stella Terrel of the UNS Mojendo-daro assented. On board Captain Terrel engaged in a discussion with a Heraklean officer, during which both sides learned about what had happened to their forgotten brethren in the intervening years.

However, during the end of the interview, a group of vessels operating under the group known as the 'Cortane' (suspected to be a warlord polity in the region) entered the system and launched an attack. The HNS Ranger, which had made contact with the UNS Mojendo-daro, was destroyed in the attack and the UNS Mojendo-daro quickly made way to the core of the system. A Heraklean fleet then destroyed the invading Cortane vessels, and on the ground Captain Terrel met with Heraklean leaders as well as attended a funeral for the crew of the HNS Ranger. The Planetary Governate looks forward to excellent relations with the Herakleans, and details for contact and location are enclosed.

***

Brother Lal's Office, UN Headquarters, MY 2282

A ringing sound brought Brother Lal's attention to the door, the automated indicator that a visitor had arrived. When the door opened he saw Talent Nancy Zhang, who had become a de facto Foreign Minister of sorts for her exceptional service on the behalf of the Governate in negotiations with various groups. She nodded respectfully towards Brother Lal who returned her in kind, and she quickly sat in the chair before Brother Lal's desk.

Looking away from a terminal that had a report on the year's latest economic figures, Brother Lal said to Talent Zhang, "So, what do you think about these Herakleans?"

Talent Zhang smiled slightly, and said, "Well, there is much to be thought. I suppose I am quite pleasantly surprised that the Sonoman Colonization Expedition was a success at all, but I can't say the same for how it turned out."

Chuckling, Brother Lal looked back at her, and said, "No, I cannot say so either. What happened during the tail end of their voyage repudiates everything that our memeplex stands for. Obviously this was a time of less rigorous engineering, and clearly the Spartan elements of the joint-expedition proved dominant in the intervening years. A shame, really, for to have a fellow Charterist power in the galaxy would have been a boon like none other."

"Indeed," Talent Zhang said, "nevertheless, I still feel they represent a great diplomatic opportunity. Though their government is in some ways reprehensible, they are nevertheless by nature with a friendly disposition to our own government. We must leverage this for all we can, for this galaxy is in many ways hostile to our memeplex. The Veridians work with the Hive to subvert our government, and we have seen them become closer to the OrdenReich as to gain influence over them. We cannot allow them to isolate us and tear us apart internally, and as such we must act on this opportunity."

With a single nod, Brother Lal says, "Yes. While their memeplex leaves much to be desired, they nevertheless would make good allies in the face of continued Veridian encroachment. You are dismissed, Talent Zhang. In the days to come you may yet see more of them."

(OOC: Think my part's done here. With the press release and all, you can do some first contacts with others if you want Smile)
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Heraklea

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PostSubject: Re: Second Contact - A Heraklean-Alpha Centauri First Contact RP   Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:44 pm

“The galaxy is a lot bigger than our little corner,” said Grand Admiral Adelei Kirrin, Chief of the State of Heraklea.  “If what we got from the Centauri is true... It may be time for us to reach out into the universe.”

“We'll be inviting people to look in on us,” replied High Admiral (of the Red) Henry Heidendale, the Vice Chief of State cautioned.  “People with parity.  This sector is our pond right now.  We may lose that.”

“'War is diplomacy by other means'” said High Admiral (of the White) Athea Burke, the Chief of the Diplomatic Service.  “To quote Clauswitz.  Fact is, we need to get out there and start talking to people.  We can flex all we want in our pond, but this pond has let us get as big as we can in it.  It's time to move into the ocean.”  The conversation paused.  Kirrin looked over at MCPOS Olivia vonNurnberg.

“You're yet to way in, Olivia.”

“You already know all the arguments, sir.  You just need to make the call.”  Kirrin nodded.

“Very well.”

* * * * *

The Heraklean ship drop out of hyperspace just short of the Alpha Centauri system boundary.

“This is the HDS Olive Branch, carrying an ambassador from the Chief of the State of Heraklea to Brother Lal of the Planetary Govnerate.”

(OOC: END)
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