12 posts • Page 1 of 1
Salvaged Narrative Summary (SNAFU rules):
Hampton Bay, Waring Isles
For Roy Periwinkle, it had been a disappointing night. Most of the details had been - perhaps mercifully - lost in a blur of cheap sparkling wine relabelled as champagne. A foreign affairs correspondent at the Shirekeep Gazette, Roy found himself, for most of the evening stuck talking to some damned Magister attached from the UDF, or rather, the Republican Guard nowadays. This Magister, it transpired, was a glutton and a bore. For Roy the whole occasion had been one of false pretences; he had been roped into this stupid war by the Steward against quite against his wishes, and Zinkgraven hadn't even had the good grace to attend a function hosted in his honour. Instead he'd spent his time sulking with the "honour guard" of his instead. It was disgraceful conduct. Even the trembling glutton who had somehow gained the magister's baton had struggled to suppress a sneer when Roy had asked whether the Steward would be attending.
Only one detail had stuck in his mind from the drab evening, the scene beheld from the conning tower, where some of the officers had retired after the usual toasts and brouhaha in the officers mess. Roy, with nothing better to do, had tagged along with fattie Flavius, as he had now nicknamed the Magister. They had indulged in some idle chitchat whilst looking over mass of shipping crammed into Hempton Bay. The fires that had been set by the Kontrakniki in the ruined and abandoned houses ashore had set the Magister off on a nostalgia trip about raking the embers of burnt Vanic temples in Mishalan, which had been mercifully interrupted by the dread inducing hum of seven Snaggletooths and five Kestrels passing over head. From what Roy had been able to deduce from the Magister of the Zjandarian Guards, the Kestrels were to pass parallel, north east to south west, along the Nova English coast. A show of strength and a reconnaissance in force.
Something else the Magister had said remained in the memory long after Roy had returned to his cabin and rifled through his travel bag for the indigestion and headache pills. Aside from the patrol boats guarding the landing ships and the commandeered vessels, the battleship he was aboard - the Aurangzeb's Revenge, a painted rustbucket leviathan modified out of all recognition and festooned with antennae, chain guns, and vertical launch modules - was the only warship present in the harbour.
It was very strange. Roy dropped a couple of pills into a glass of water and, as he watched them gently dissolve into a fizzing effervescence, he reluctantly contemplated trying to attempt another night's sleep in the most uncomfortable bunkbed in all of creation. It was a small mercy at least that he had the cramped space all to himself. The Steward had insisted that Roy have sole access to the four man sleeping quarters so that he could seclude himself from distractions in order to create the bulletins detailing Zinkgraven's glorious victory to the world.
Roy had his doubts.
Actions:The Amphibious and Reserve Divisions of the Western Armada have converged upon Hempton Bay in the Esther Isles. U-Boat patrols have been reestablished in the area and e-boats patrol the fringes of the armada which is guarded by the enhanced air defence capabilities of the venerable battleship under whose guns they shelter. Kontraktniki, civilians hired to perform military support functions, are ashore ransacking abandoned Vanic settlements on the main island.
A force of gravimetric airborne vehicles appears to be undertaking some form of reconnaissance roughly parallel to the Nova English coastline.
The whereabouts of the Battleship and Carrier Divisions, along with their destroyer and corvette pickets, is unknown to the protagonist, Mr Periwinkle,
an unfortunate journalist who has been compelled by circumstances to be Steward Zinkgraven's chief propagandist. An F-8 Shrike made a low pass over the crescent shaped formation of ships earlier in the afternoon, suggesting that some system of combat air patrols has been established.
There has also been a somewhat mysterious and rather loud ping from a depth of 200 m 150 km south of Port Neil.
Here is a map:
Last edited by Thorgils Tarjeisson on Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ardy: "Nonsense unloaded"
- Posts: 230
- Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:16 pm
- Location: Newcastle-Upon-Eastmoor, Nova England.
‘…their steward cannot handle a drink that the youth of this nation are suckled on.’ Stated the international affairs reporter for the ‘Faedertellus Today’ radio bulletin.
‘Exactly! A complete and utter bunch of Arselings! I tell you, if those jackboots come marching into my village I show ‘em what it means to be a real hu-MAN. Not some tree-worshiping, cow-humping peasant whose only sustenance is slurping the fluids left over from a Vanic gangbang...’ The caller’s line went dead as it was cut off by a panicking producer.
‘Oops it seems like we lost our caller there, let’s take another. Hi Irene this Alric Hunter of Faedertellus Today, so what’s your view on this torrid situation?’ Inquired the presenter.
An elderly women, a veteran of the days before the rebirth responded in her calm and soft Eastmoorland accent ‘Well dear I’ve got my trusty twelve-gauge locked and loaded. If they come near my cottage I’ll geld the bastards and turn them into Froyalanish skivvies!’
The drone of debate continued on the radio, Post Warden Torold Farrar of the National Defence Initiative blocked out the voices as he leaned back in the requisitioned office chair and attempted to relax. His office was now a dreary old tea room on the promenade of Plungeness and with little effort he could just about see the shingle beach and the sea crashing into it from his perch. Occasionally scavenging hordes of seagulls would take to the sky in quick retreat as columns of uniformed men marched down the promenade flanked by olive green LandFaras. A show of strength, alluding to any would be invader that every settlement along the coast would be crammed with hundreds if not thousands of Nova English fighting men and women.
Although the reality in this case wasn’t quite true, the guns were hemp-plastic mouldings sprayed black, the uniforms were surplus items found in a long forgotten shipping container and the soldiers were ‘volunteers’ from the nearby Plungeness Labour Camp. The only real thing about the roving platoons were the mounted machine guns on the flanking jeeps ensuring that the Ergonians kept their pace. Torold rolled himself a cigarette, reminding himself to stash a few packs of tobacco away. He was fairly pleased with himself, having been tasked with organising the defence of the town and given responsibility to ‘amplify’ the local People’s Militia groups. However his quiet moment of self-contemplation was interrupted by the eruption of chatter coming from his HAM radio-set.
‘Urgent Notice to all NDI field officers in the Ward of Port Neil. We have received notice that Shirerithian gravmetric vehicles are traversing the coast, ensure non-combatants are prepared in case they encroach on sovereign territory!’ Came the voice of Chief Warden Osegod Knight.
Torold almost choked on his cigarette as he leaped from his seat, grabbed his binoculars from his desk and dashed outside. The bell above the door dinged in defiance as he stepped out of his shelter and into the wind and drizzle. He scanned the coast looking for any sign of the intruders and almost jumped out of his skin when a number of jet engines tore their way through the sky above him. After realising that they were NERAF jets he followed their path into the horizon and sure enough in the far distance following the coast north were a number of black dots that contrasted with the grey sky.
Actions; Under the Unwalic Plan the citizenry of the Faedertellus has been devoted to its national defence.
3 No. JAS Níedgráp Multi-role Jets of the 4th Flight, 2nd Squadron NERAF are scurried to ‘escort’ the Shirerithian Recon force as it follows the Nova English coastline. They are ordered not to engage and to remain out of range of hostile weapon systems.
Nova English Coast
While Mr Periwinkle and the other guests were still mingling in the ill-fated drinks reception aboard the Aurangzeb's Revenge, the patrol of the Kestrels and Snaggletooths which had earlier overflown Hampton Bay continued on their flight course, taking them on a westerly course. Their route had taken them on a course parallel to Jingdaoese occupied Port Moorland, the quaintly named Cumdivock, and the coastline of Detsab Ward, all approximately 108 km to the north. The seven Snaggletooths, three in a 'vic' formation ahead of the Kestrel gunships and the remaining four in a finger-four, followed 400 m above and and 500 m behind, matching the 250 knots an hour airspeed of the five Kestrels patrolling at 2,000 m in a line astern formation.
In this manner the Hunting Party crossed the Great Bay and approached the shores of Arkmunster Ward, reaching the 22 km nautical limit approximately 5 km north of the town of Goldshore. Since the moment of passing parallel to the port of Hewe back in Detsab Ward, the Hunting Party had been trailed by three unknown contacts. “Overwatch” provided periodic updates of their Inglizi companions as the hunting party corrected course by turning southwards to match the line of the coast.
14 km south east of the Hunting Party's location, two zigzagging radar beams briefly activated and searched the night sky before going dark again.
Ardy: "Nonsense unloaded"
Hampton Bay, Waring Isles
The force had been disembarked for the past 15 days, whilst the armada of transports and small boats remained at anchor in the island's long fjord. The Regimental Combat Teams had been keeping their skills sharp by conducting hunts in the interior of the island, pursuing the local wildlife, abandoned livestock, and rumoured castaways, before posing for photos with their heaped kills at the end of each day.Their efforts certainly supplemented the meat ration, which for the most part comprised of cubes of processed meat suspended in what was purportedly gravy.
There were forty regiment sized works units on the island, the majority were at work in the old settlement of Hampton Bay itself, working to bring its abandoned harbour facilities back into the semblance of working order. As they did so, supplies continued to pile up along the weed strewn and crumbling quaysides, awaiting the repaired wharf-side warehouses that would receive them. Roy, as the Steward's pet journalist, had been at liberty to wander in and out of various meetings as he saw fit. Nobody paid much heed anymore to the tubby ginger civvy with watery eyes and ill-fitting overalls anymore. After sitting in on one supply meeting, scribbling the occasional note when he thought something noteworthy had been said - but mostly doodling, Roy had taken the liberty of pocketing one of the stores manifests:
The numbers made his head spin, but he also wondered silently, how long it would take for two hundred and twenty thousand men and women to eat their way through that? Certainly there had already been a few instances of pilfering reported, and it was a fair guess that those occasions which had come to the attention of the authorities, resulting in floggings, and in one grim instance the branding of a Kontraktniki with a red hot iron before the entire paraded regiment of his companions, was only the tip of the iceberg.Spoiler!
There were three other works units on assignment outside of Hampton Bay. Two were on road clearance duties, whilst the third, Roy had heard, was up at Mirkdale, near the tip of the eastern peninsula of Hampton's Fjord. The old airport, abandoned four years previously, had been secured twelve days ago by the Combat Engineer & Force Security Groups, who had been airlifted in by helicopter and had reportedly used the opportunity to indulge in a glorified live-fire exercise disguised as an airborne assault. The Works Unit had, apparently, been summoned up to help repair the damage caused by the Combat Engineers as they'd taken it over. Roy was admittedly no expert but he could not readily conceive of what had prompted one of the Viper attack helicopter pilots to slot a rocket into the derelict control tower. Perhaps it was just the sheer joy of it. Roy had tentatively inquired as to whether it would be possible to hitch a helicopter ride up to Mirkdale airport, but the notion had been poo-pooed. Presumably they didn't want even a house-trained correspondent near the site until they had tidied up the worst of the shambles.
Life on the island was somewhat spartan. Many of the houses had been deteriorating and left untended since the evacuation back in 1652, and of those that had remained in a good condition, the Kontraktniki had got in amongst them, tearing the interior walls out to get at the copper wiring and pipes, and generally just indulging in a proclivity for vandalism and arson which probably went some way towards explaining how they had been rounded up and palmed off onto the Steward for his Keltian jaunt.
As Roy finished his little promenade along the quayside, he made the spur of the moment decision to wander off into town. He'd heard that one of the Logistic Support Groups had dug a cache of plum brandy out of a basement somewhere and had taken over a beer hall near the old "godsgrove", some kind of Vanic sanctuary that had now been thoroughly dug over by opportunistic treasure hunters, and had even "borrowed" one of the rare-as-hens-teeth electricity generators to keep the lights and a drinks chiller running. Roy thought it was certainly worth investigating this rumour before the cudgellers swooped in and spoiled everybody's fun.
Actions: While the airborne fracas continues over the Nova English coast, the invasion force offloads supplies, brings the old runway and port facilities back into the semblance of working order, and finds the time to indulge in a spot of shore leave.
Ardy: "Nonsense unloaded"
- Posts: 230
- Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:16 pm
- Location: Newcastle-Upon-Eastmoor, Nova England.
Goldshore was a small fishing village with a population that only just surpassed five hundred souls. Prior to the rebirth, its inhabitants had survived through subsistence fishing and a well organised self-protection group to fend off Ergonian bandits. Its fishing wharf had changed little since its construction hundreds of years ago save for the modern cranes and equipment that now adorned it. Within the shelter of the wharf were empty fishing boats, drained of their fuel by the NDI and stripped of their maps. The small promenade of shops and pubs that lined the wharf were devoid of life, the locals having either headed inland or assisting the Arkmunster Fryd’s defensive works. Windows had been boarded up, loop holes cut into the slate roofs and the stone walls of the cottages. Lengths of barbed wire was strewn across the entrance to the wharf and gutted vehicles, old fishing equipment and sandbags were turned into fighting positions.
Private Aldwyn Hooper shielded his eyes from the sun as he watched the distant marks that acknowledged the arrival of the Shirerithian gravships. He had heard the reports on the radio following their initial observation off the coast from Cumdivock and had awaited in anxious anticipation for them to pass this small insignificant fishing village.
‘Bollocks innit?’ Came a voice that startled Aldwyn, he quickly composed himself as he turned to see his compatriot Henry Gestron.
‘Christ Henry, I could have done for you then?! What are you on about?’ Replied Aldwyn.
Henry chuckled ‘Well the fact that they have all those spacey gravships. You know if the faedertellus hadn’t collapsed when it did, they reckon that we would’ve had our own flotillas of them things!’
Aldwyn shrugged his shoulders ‘Maybe but to be honest I’d like to see one of them come across a flight of our NERAF boys. I doubt that those slave built, floating house bricks would last long before crumbling apart.’
‘Aye’ replied Henry.
In the distance three shapes followed the path of the reconnaissance party.
Flight lieutenant Delwyn Key adjusted his headset slightly as he glanced down at the laminated card. Printed on it were a string of words written in Babkhi, Ivanistani and Elw, all stating the same thing.
‘SANE Aircraft this is Flight Lieutenant Delwyn Key of the Nova English Royal Air Force. You are encroaching on sovereign territory, any attempts to enter this territory will be considered a formal act of war. Turn around and go back to Benacia.’ Said Delwyn as his spoke into his headset, he repeated the message again using the translations on the card with no response from the distant gravships.
It was then when the computer display in the cockpit registered a brief report from an active radar beam. He adjuster a dial on the radio and spoke into his headset ‘Viper Team this is Viper Leader. Hostile forces are not responding to attempts at radio contact, we also have active radar contacts South East of the Shirerithian reconnaissance group. Keep your eyes peeled and be ready for potential contact.’
‘Aye Sir.’ Responded the other two pilots.
The three Nova English Jets continue their escort and issue warnings not to encroach Nova English sovereign territory.
Near Goldshire, Nova English Coast
“Officer on deck!” The Warrant Officer rasped the simultaneous salutation and warning as Prefect Jeremiah Avon-El stepped through the open blast door and hatchway and into the circular operations room from the adjoining wardroom. The assembled collection of junior officers and ratings briskly stood to attention. The youthful Prefect murmured for them to 'carry on', which the Warrant Officer followed up with a half-growled “As you were”, at which the men and women of the command staff once more sat down at their stations and returned their attention to the battery of monitors that enveloped them almost completely on each side.
“Where is the Captain?” The Prefect enquired genially of the Warrant Officer, a pot-bellied man whose dangling jowls were concealed ineffectively by a prodigious grey beard, as he returned the man's clenched right fist to heart salute.
“He's with the XO, Dominus”, The Warrant Officer answered, using the slightly sycophantic manner preferred by subjects of the Kaiser when addressing a titled Lord. The Prefect smiled and waited for a moment for the Warrant Officer to realise the obvious next question.
“Central Monitoring Station, Dominus. Problem with the witc... h... er... the Panopticon Node.”
Ah that again. Apparently routing a myriad of live data feeds from across a thousand kilometre battlespace all through the optic nerves and cerebral cortex of a single sentient being placed something of a strain on the aforesaid organic processing unit. Jeremiah had read this particular 'node's' service file. Her name apparently had once been Bracha. It was said that some of the Daughters of Ahriman, they were all women for some reason, lost all sense of their own self, after being immersed in the Panopticon for so long. Under the circumstances, Jeremiah had considered, those who did were probably the fortunate ones.
“I trust all systems are running as they should?” He merely enquired.
“Optimal, at 98%, Dominus. Better than usual.”
“Very good. If you would do me the kindness of summoning Captain Bragatine and the Commander, it is almost time to begin.”
“It shall be as you wish Dominus.” The Warrant Officer side-stepped, with crablike agility, over to the comms station, and lent down and conferred with the young communications officer, a lithe Babkhi whom the Prefect had begun to take the beginnings of an interest in. The Warrant Officer straightened up and turned about to face the Prefect.
“Message sent, Dominus.”
“Commendable.” The Prefect replied laconically as he stepped across the threshold and up onto the modestly raised platform on which sat bolted the plush leather commander's chair, flanked on either side, on a lower tier, by two executive command stations.
It was 2103 when the Captain and the Commander, both athletic Goldshirians in their mid-forties, barrelled through the hatchway that led to the control room and joined the Prefect in the centre of the operations room.
“Apologies for the delay, Sir.” The Captain spoke. His tone dutiful, but without deference.
“Nothing serious I hope?” The Prefect felt obliged to take an interest. The 'Daughter' was a mission critical piece of equipment. Without it, the Medusa would be unable to perform its function of 'Overwatch' and would merely be a floating lump of tungsten alloys and carbotanium.
“Nothing out of the ordinary. Just a flash of awareness. Anxiety. The usual. The doctor has adjusted the serotonin and dopamine mix. She'll be purring like a kitten for the remainder of the cycle.” The Captain spoke in an assuring tone/ The Commander, Kalric, seemed vaguely distant from the conversation.
“Glad to hear it. Now then, shall we? It is pass time. What is our position.”
Commander Kalric had taken his seat at the First Officer's console by this time. “Altitude 10,662 metres. Forward speed twenty knots – loitering speed, lateral drift nought-point-seven kpm. A little bit of a gust coming from the east but nothing the stabilisers can't handle. Position remains constant. Forty-nine kilometres south-east of Hunting Party.”
“And the Hunting Party?”
“15 kilometres south of Goldshore. On the edge of the territorial waters. Dominus.” The Commander sounded pensive as he read a message that had appeared on his display screen. “The enemy fighters have issued another challenge.”
“All in good time.” The Prefect answered in good humour. It was close now. He could feel the tension and excitement rising.
“Send the data spike. All frequencies. Let's make sure the bastards hear this.”
The Captain nodded to the Warrant Officer, who in turn tapped the communications officer on the shoulder. She opened up a dialogue box on her console screen, rattled off a few deftly rapid key strokes and pressed return with great emphasis.
“Message sent, Dominus.” She said with discernible pride. She too realised that she was sharing in a moment of history.
It was an automated recording, set in a repeating loop. To use the Shirekeeper idiom, it would 'annoy the fuck' out of the Nova-English, but while they were clutching at their headsets and scrabbling to clear the system, the evening's festivities could begin.Spoiler!
“Comms. Signal the Hunting Party to come about. Target is Goldshore. They are to scour it until all resistance is ended or all ammunition is expended. Give the ingrates a foretaste of what is to come. Captain perform well today and the Steward and our Lord the Radiant Sun will bestow golden praise upon you. Fail, and you will wish that they had never heard of you at all. Now, this is your battle, proceed as you see fit, but there are three heretics aloft intruding on our party and I want them out of my sky.”
“Death spare us till victory.” The Captain exclaimed grimly before bellowing the first of a series of instructions, to which the Commander and Warrant Officer added their own harsh words of command. All around the ops room men and women looked absorbed in their work, watching the flashing lights on the display screens before them. Typing and clicking furiously. The klaxon reverberated all around the ship, whose corridors echoed to clanging footsteps and groaning of metal hinges as blast-doors were swung shut. In the armoured metal dome of the operations room, there was no single wall sized viewscreen on which the Prefect could watch the drama unfold. Space was at a premium, and almost everywhere was taken up by work stations, processing units, and server banks. To his chagrin the Prefect was obliged to make do with following the action as best he could on a palm top device. He thought about standing up and going to peer over the Captain's shoulder at the tactical display on his monitor, but in fairness he could hardly justify the intrusion at a moment when the captain's mind was on something far more important.
As the ship's reactor powered up the gravitational inversion rig roared to life with a deafening, metal vibrating, hum that reverberated through the entire structure.
The Medusa, mission codename 'Overwatch' was, in addition to being a fully armed and operational grav-rig cruiser, the primary airborne early warning and control asset of the Western Armada. This made her a prime target, but as a certain Beowulf Blaec had discovered, this gorgon could kill at a distance.
“Targeting solution on hostile contact acquired. Lock is firm” The Commander announced.
“Do you want my fucking blessing? Let it have it.” The Captain roared.
“It'll be at the edge of the engagement envelope.” The Commander queried.
“Cry havoc and let slip.” The Captain snarled. “We have cells to spare.”
“Aye Sir.” The Commander replied matter of factly and tapped a screen prompt on his display console. The Medusa buffeted momentarily as the Goatse missile – it was apparently mandatory for Shirerithian weapon systems to have horrible names – was ejected from the nose mounted launcher module. “Missile away. Hunter-seeker algorithm engaged.”
Hunter-seeker was an experimental AI progam, dreamt up by the Adepti of the Church of the Machine God, in an attempt to reduce the odds of a missile being bamboozled – for want of a better term – by the usual countermeasures of chaff and flares. This would be its first outing and somewhere, in Shirekeep's time-worn and blood soaked temples, a celebrant code writer would be waiting upon the outcome of this engagement almost as eagerly as the Prefect himself.
Thereafter, the Prefect could only discern snatches of dialogue. The officers on the two tactical desks were in almost constant dialogue with the Carrier Air Wing Commander of the ZNS Kaiser Mors IV. Vectoring the two protecting F-8 Shrikes towards the hostiles, whilst chivvying the scrambling of more fighters into the air.
The Prefect, his part in the show at an end for the moment, relaxed back into the chair. It was all in the hands of the gods now.
- 'Overwatch' (IRS Medusa), has utilised an overly verbose message from the Steward as a peculiar form of electronic warfare. One horribly-named and modified missile has been fired at the Nova-English.
- The five Kestrels have turned about, changing formation from line astern to line abreast in the process, advancing from 15 km south of Goldshore at an altitude of 2,000 m. In practical terms this means that the town of Goldshire is now under a sudden bombardment from 10 155 mm cannons. Three lead Snaggletooths are descending towards the town to strafe targets of opportunity whilst the remaining four loiter and continue to escort the Kestrels.
- The two F-8 Shrikes have been vectored by Overwatch to engage the hostile contacts. The Carrier Division has been tasked meanwhile to scramble its quick reaction flights to join those aircraft already on CAP this evening.
- (Outside the narrative) The City-class Submarine that earlier did a slightly cheeky, exploratory sonar ping of the coastal waters around Port Neil has concurrently risen to the surface strata and lofted four Banshee land-attack cruise missiles on a northwards terrain hugging flight path.
Ardy: "Nonsense unloaded"
- Posts: 230
- Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:16 pm
- Location: Newcastle-Upon-Eastmoor, Nova England.
Off the coast of Goldshore
‘Faeder nied hit! (God wills it)’ Said Flight lieutenant Delwyn Keys shaking his head as he finished listening to the Shirerithian message. ‘Viper team this is Viper leader, hold pattern and prepare to engage. It looks like they are getting ready for an incursion.’
‘Viper Leader this is Viper two, hostile recon party is changing direction towards the village of Goldshire.’
Delwyn checked the display to confirm his colleagues’ report, however before he was able to reply a new signal appeared on the radar system.
In the cockpit of Viper three warning lights strobed in angry red warning its pilot on a lock-on. Immediately she began to engage counter measures and pulled out of formation. ‘Viper Leader this is Viper Three. Hostile AA missile incoming on my position, I’m breaking position and climbing.’
‘Roger that Viper Three. Good luck.’ Replied Delwyn as he watched Viper three break formation. A flash bulletin from command notified him that the origin point of the missile was the Medusa and that it was now an immediate target of opportunity. ‘Viper two this is Viper leader. Climb to 4000 meters and prepare to engage the Medusa.’
‘Roger that sir.’
Meanwhile Flying Officer Elena Hwite, tore through the evening sky as she deployed chaff and electronic counter measures against the incoming missile. Below her she could make out flashes of light coming from the Kestrels, indicating that they had begun to engage the coastline. She adjusted her headset to use the radio’s internal comms ‘Wulfferd, I’m struggling to get this missile off our tail any idea on its spec yet?’
Wulffred tapped furiously on the inflight computer ‘Believe it’s a Goatse air to air missile but the targeting system has been modified in some way. Unless you pull something out the bag quick that things going to be hitting us!’ replied the fighter jet’s co-pilot.
‘Shit. Okay judging by current speed we have the total of fuck all time but we not taking it like a Babkhi wife!’ Elena wrenched the controls and sent the jet into a dive, dropping altitude rapidly as they closed the gap with the Kestrels below.
Wulffred sighed, made the sign of the cross and gave a quick ‘Heofon Abidan! (Heaven Awaits)’. Before engaging the jets air to air missiles and firing two each at three of the Kestrels. The radar whined as the incoming missile with its faster speed gained quickly on their position. Elena let rip with a burst of 27mm rounds at the closet target then adjusted her course towards the last Kestrel and threw the jet’s afterburners into full throttle.
She screamed ‘HEOFAN ABIDAN!’ as the jet screeched at the Kestrel with the Goatse missile following inches behind. Elena and Wulffred entered into martyrdom as they were engulfed in fire and vaporised.
Delwyn winced as he saw the readout for Viper three disappear, he was out of visual range to see what damage they had inflicted but hoped they had been successful. ‘Viper two be warned we have two incoming fast jets, expect contact shortly! If we can’t shake them, I want you to break off and approach the Medusa from its rear flank keeping in line with its engine outlets. Those outlets should give you some cover from the CIWS systems, target the bridge and engines.’
‘Roger that sir!’
Aldwyn and Henry watched the aerial ballet playout in the distance, before noticing the flashes erupting from the Kestrels and the high pitched whine of incoming munitions. He grabbed Henry’s sleeve and pulled him into the limited cover of their barricade as the shop front of the village’s butchers imploded. Showering the street in pieces of stone, wood and glass, more rounds followed in quick succession taking apart targets at random. Fishing boats vaporised, the stone wharf torn in half and stone cottages shattered. Soldiers from the company assigned to protect the village scattered into their dugouts, crawling into what shelter they could find from the savage bombardment. Dust clouded the streets reducing vision to a few meters whilst constant booms deafened all other sounds.
Another explosion tossed Aldwyn from his dugout, throwing him into a nearby wall. Dazed he crawled back to the unresponsive form of Henry and dragged him towards the open cellar door of a pub. As he reached the opening he slipped on the damaged wooden steps and fell into the cold darkness. It took him a few moments before he gathered his wits and switched on his torch to check on Henry. Illuminated amongst cobweb covered casks of ale and empty bottles of Stalemate Gin was the upper half of Henry’s torso. ‘Christ’ muttered Aldwyn as he looked down at the lifeless body of his friend.
Above him the bombardment continued, each explosion shacking the ground and adding to the destruction of the once picturesque village. Eventually the bombardment lessened but was replaced by a new ominous humming, sounding the arrival of the Snaggletooths. Rockets soon tore into the remaining buildings, pounding the remnants of buildings and scattering the survivors. At one point during this new assault Aldwyn swore that he could hear the roar of a MILAN being fired in response to the barrage and a subsequent explosion. He could only speculate that one of the attacking aircraft had strayed too close to a building and a soldier made his last stand. As the battle continued to rage on, Aldwyn settled in the darkness of his shelter. He checked his rifle and collected the undamaged magazines from Henry’s webbing.
Viper Three increased altitude deploying countermeasures, when these don’t work it drops altitude and fires 2 No. Air to Air Missiles (AIM-9 Sidewinder) towards each of the three targeted Kestrels. The fourth receives a short burst of 27mm cannon fire and the final Kestrel is subject to a kamikaze attack with the Goatse missile in close proximity… (Left that last attack ambiguous whether the missile or the crash got them)
Viper Leader and Viper Three increased altitude and made haste towards the Medusa. Viper leader plans to distract/hold off the two incoming Shirerithian fighters while Viper Three plans to drop altitude on the rear flank of the Medusa and fire an initial salvo of 3 No. Missiles (1 No. at bridge/2 No. at grav-engine)
Goldshore takes a battering. Of the 120 men guarding, 55 are killed through the barrage with 30 men wounded. Of the 35 assorted survivors most have either taken shelter and prepare themselves to make any necessary last stands. One soldier manages to fire a MILAN at a Snaggletooth, outcome unknown…
All fast jet Flights of 2nd Squadron are scrambled to Goldshore. 2 No. Flights of fast jets from 1st Squadron leave Newcastle-Upon-Eastmoor to take over air patrols over Port Neil.
Separate post to follow regarding cruise missiles.
- Posts: 230
- Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:16 pm
- Location: Newcastle-Upon-Eastmoor, Nova England.
The howl and whine of the air raid sirens pierced the otherwise calm of the evening. Flight lieutenant Gemma Hunt found herself running from the ready room, a somewhat glorified porta cabin, towards her JAS Níedgráp Jet. Moments earlier Squadron Leader Alwin Wayne had burst into the ready room announcing the commencement of hostilities off the coast of Goldshore. The 5th and 6th Flights were to take over airspace security over Port Neil whilst the remaining fast jets of the 2nd Squadron were scrambled to combat the incursion.
Following well practiced drills, Gemma was soon strapped into the cockpit alongside her co-pilot Beowulf Palmer. Ground crew quickly guided her to the runway and within a turnaround of five minutes she was airborne, cruising above Newcastle-Upon-Eastmoor International Airport which served as joint civilian/military airfield. Aesthetic glass and brick passenger terminals contrasted with the grass covered concrete hangers that shielded the military aircraft. The city itself had disappeared within the darkness, with the NDI operating a strict blackout policy.
‘Okay 5th Flight lets pull up in formation and head towards Port Neil.’ Said Gemma into her headset. The other two jets in her flight adjusted their flight paths and acknowledged her orders.
As the two flights continued their journey, an urgent flash bulletin fed into her flight computer. ‘URGT! INCM 4 SCM – BEARG NNW 109o FRM PRTNL– ESTM TGT NWCSTL – INTECEPT AT ALL COST’. Gemma quickly acknowledge the message and confirmed the change to her mission status.
‘5th Flight. Change of plans we are to intercept inbound cruise missiles, believed to be heading on a course directed at Newcastle-Upon-Eastmoor. Radar tracks are being transferred to flight computers now.’ Flight Officer Palmer attacked his computer with renewed vigour as he plotted a course to intercept the incoming missiles.
Several minutes later the 5th Flight had managed to adjust course and now had a limited window to seek and destroy the missiles. Gemma was perspiring heavily as she adjusted the jet to ensure a good lock on to the weapon of destruction streaking through the night. A green indication around the target, confirmed the air to air missile had a lock and was ready to be fired. Below her the missile swept over cottages, farms and empty country side, intent of striking its target.
‘Okay. Lock is good, fire when ready FO Palmer.’ Commanded Gemma.
Beowulf nodded and fired their missile towards the cruise missile, within the jet only a tiny jolt gave an indication that their own weapon was airborne. From the view of the cockpit, Gemma saw the flash of light as the air to air missile accelerated towards its target, on board processors making small adjustments to its flight path. Within seconds it had caught up to the hostile cruise missile and both of them lit up the countryside raining scrap metal into the fields below.
‘Nice shooting!’ Said Gemma, she adjusted the headset for Flight comms ‘Confirm current status of intercept.’
‘Spere Two. Can confirm positive visual on destruction of assigned SCM.’ Affirmed one of the other pilots.
‘Flight Leader. I have a negative on SCM four, I repeat negative on SCM four. Intercept struck a stray building, do note SCM three successfully intercepted.’ Replied the remaining pilot.
‘Fuck it!’ Sighed Gemma. The computer was unable to provide another intercept before the missile struck Newcastle-Upon-Eastmoor. All she could hope for was that it didn’t do too much damage.
Summary: 5th Flight which had been tasked to take over aerial patrols over Port Neil is diverted to intercept cruise missiles. Following the intercept three missiles are destroyed and once missile escapes without damage. The remaining missile hit its target of the NERAF base in the Newcastle-Upon-Eastmoor International Airport. Missile strikes one of the aircraft hangers destroying two parked JAS Níedgráp Jets, partial damage to runway, killing two members of the ground crew and injuring a further three during fire suppression.
Remaining fast jets of the 1st Squadron are ordered to begin air patrols above Newcastle-Upon-Eastmoor in revolving teams of two Flights utilising standby sites for resupply.
AAMM (Anti-Air Multiple Missile) Launcher Vehicle commanders are given authorisation to shoot down incoming cruise missile. Data from those not intercepted is to be provided up the line immediately.
4 No. B-1 Wígárs of 4th Flight Bomber Group (5th Squadron) leaves Port Neil climbing to an altitude of 17,000m on a NNE bearing. Upon reaching the Hempton Bay Fjord, 1 No. B1 to drop 84 sea mines at the mouth of the Fjord, 1 No. B1 to drop 84 sea mines across Shirerithian Naval assets, 1 No. B1 to fire 24 Air to surface missiles (4 at each of the Mortis class aircraft carriers/6 at the Hover Kitty class carrier and remaining 10 at the Aurangzeb), final B1 to drop 84 no. unguided munitions on port/warehouse facilities.
I feel tiredness creeping on so responses re the Medusa and the carrier strikes to follow tomorrow.Goldshore
Kestrel LZ-001 loses aft gravimetric repulsor to proximity airburst of AIM-9 Sidewinder. Failure of power regulators causes feedback and electromagnetic discharge, rupturing fuel cells and causing an uncontainable EM cascade. Ship is lost with all hands. 235 deaths.
LZ-004 sustained two missile strikes on forward superstructure. Buckling of carbotanium plating. Partial failure of fire suppression systems in forward sections. Non-essential personnel assigned to fire fighting duties to prevent spread of conflagration to magazines and cargo hold. Main armaments remain operational. Disengages and retires eastwards, trailing smoke. 46 deaths, 89 injuries.
LZ-002 is flamed by debris from the destruction of 'Viper Three'. Extensive hull buckling. Bridge section sliced through by shards of the fighter jet's disintegrating delta wing. Command and navigation crew decimated by impact. LZ-002 experienced loss of control whilst navigation control was rerouted to engineering. Disengages and retires eastwards. 25 dead, 184 injured.
LZ-003, struck amidships, significant structural damage. Crew habitation area lacerated by shrapnel and secondary fragmentation of over-arching bulkhead. Mission critical systems remained operational. Retires in good order, reversing along a south-easterly bearing, continuing a bombardment of Goldshore until out of range. 34 dead, 19 injured.
LZ-020, struck by a 3 second burst of 27mm cannon fire, approximately 50 rounds, distributed between the upper decks of forward and midship sections. Mission critical systems remained operational. Provided covering fire for the 3 withdrawing kestrels. 12 injured, 1 critically.
The four Snaggletooths (Blue Flight) of the escort party split. Two covered the retreat of the three damaged kestrels while the remaining pair provided cover for LZ-020.
The three Snaggletooths (Red Flight) pressaged their part in the assault by launching in total six Ubiquitous Archer Guided Missile (an amalgam of the Hellfire missile with the tandem warhead of a Brimstone) against prominent structures located in and around the fishing village of Goldshore, before engaging in several strafing runs against the village and the beach front wharves. All were struck on multiple occasions by small arms fire with each passover. Enemy positions were identified incrementally on each pass and each of the Snaggletooths would, in sequence, break off to engage and silence the positions. This was not without its risks however.
'Red 1' was engaged by x1 MILAN launcher. Alerted by the gunner-observer's frantic warnings, the pilot wrenched the Snaggletooth out of its strafing run into a high G rapid ascent and corkscrew spiral, although the latter part of the manoeuvre was probably not intentional, in an attempt to break the missiles lock. Returning to a hovering position, nose angled down, the furious, and slightly disorientated, gunner-observer let rip with a fusilade of 75mm shells at what he took, from the dissipating smoke trail, to be the origin point of the attack.
The cockpit of 'Red 2' was struck repeatedly by well-placed 7.62mm fire, cracking the canopy and finally mortally wounding the gunner-observer. With this the attack was broken off and the Snaggletooths joined the move to retire eastwards.
Following the retiring of the Snaggletooths, LZ-020 and its escorts joined the general move to disengage.
But before I do:
A total of 81 Banshee cruise missiles have been launched from a variety of platforms in theatre. The breakdown being as follows:
44 from 11 Elwynn class corvettes (targeted at 11 known runways, including those presently under civilian control)
12 from 6 Taube amphibious maritime patrol aircraft (6 at suspected reserve airfields in Redoubt Ward and the remainder at command and control facilities in Redoubt Ward)
25 from 5 City Submarines (all at command and control facilities in Port Neil Ward)
Ardy: "Nonsense unloaded"
“You see that? The bastard is going to try and outflank us.” Bragatine spoke in tones that verged on admiration as he jabbed a calloused finger at the display monitor set into his station. Jeremiah Avon-El glanced down to his right and was able to vaguely discern the two vivid red target indicators set against the backdrop of a black display screen where the coast and other features were picked out in flickering green lines, like fragments of wire. Behind the red dot, seemingly encased in a grid of constantly changing numbers that tracked speed, altitude, other variables, yet which seemed to the Prefect to be entirely random, were a series of fading red dashes that indicated the flightpath of the attacking aircraft. Ahead of it, spooling out like thin neon threads, were probable trajectories, some veered to the north and east but the great majority seemed to track around to south, taking the attackers behind the Medusa. The projections were coming direct from the serotonin-addled Daughter of Ahriman who, under electrical and biochemical stimuli, was effectively being induced into hallucinating what would happen next based on the raw data being dumped direct into her cerebral cortex like grain shoved down the gullet of a force-fed goose.
“If they were going to, shouldn't they have fired by now?” Jeremiah enquired as he glanced around the operations room, trying not to betray a sense of anxiety.
“They probably want a better heat signature, get themselves a clearer shot on the engines.” Interjected Commander Kalric. “More fool them. Tactical!” This being shouted to two adjacent stations crewed a pair of midshipmen. “Prepare to engage with two Goatses apiece.”
“Don't wait for the command. Launch as soon as you have a lock-on.” The Captain yelled across, before remembering to put on his headset and repeated the order into the microphone.
“Launching, aye!” One of the midshipmen responded. The Medusa jolted as four more missiles were ejected from their launcher cells.
“Missiles away. Hunter-seeker algorithm engaged.” remarked the Commander as he brought up the tactical data feed on his monitor.
“All hands. This is your Captain.”
“Buckle yourself in Dominus.” The Captain said slyly. “I'm about to attempt something that broke the simulator last time that I tried.”
“Dare I even...” Jeremiah had barely begun to ask when the Captain's roar cut him off.
“Helm! 90 degrees to starboard on my mark!”
“Aye, Captain.” The Warrant Officer responded
Jeremiah gripped the arm-rests, his knuckles-turning white, as the world seemingly lurched suddenly to the right and tilted. Sirens and klaxons suddenly began to blare and seconds later the cry of “brace for impact” rang out in the operations room. There was a muffled thud somewhere far to aft and for a brief awful moment the Medusa shuddered violently and Jeremiah experience the distinctive nauseating sensation of being in free fall.
Then it was over as suddenly as it begun, the Operations Room, and by extension the Medusa, was once on an even keel. The crew glanced about, disbelieving and grateful to be alive. Kalric turned his gaze towards the display screen before him.
“Fire suppression systems engaged on decks three to five. Reactor is secure. Propulsion systems operational. Inversion-rig is engaged. Altitude...” he paused. “606 metres and holding. Speed 20 knots, bearing south-easterly.”
“And the enemy?” Bragatine asked, his voice a hoarse whisper.
“Between the Goatses and the Shrikes, I'd say they're fucked – Sir.” Kalric replied in grim satisfaction.
“Well then.” Said the Captain as he glanced across to Jeremiah. “Orders, my Lord?”
“Get us the fuck out of here.” Answered the Prefect without missing a beat.
OOC: Just bringing things up to date.The engagement at Goldshore, the retaliatory airstrike against the armada gathered in Hempton Bay, and the barrage of cruise missiles sent broiling towards the airfields of the Nova English, had been a bruising affair for both sides. The hunting party of gravships had taken a severe pounding, with one kestrel destroyed and all of the remainder suffering battle damage of varying degrees of severity.
The four B-1 Wígárs of 4th Flight Bomber Group (5th Squadron) outward bound from Port Neil had the misfortune to encounter the Quick Reaction Flights launched by the ZNS Kaiser Mors VI and ZNS Kaiser Mors IV (seemingly so named as to be a perennial source of confusion), amounting to eight F-8 Shrikes in total.
The B-1 tasked with launching the glide-bombs had the best of it, ejecting its payload at 130 km from the central aiming point, the battleship "Aurangzeb's Revenge", and turning tail before the Shirkes could close to engage. The remainder however had to run the gauntlet. Three pairs of Shrikes were vectored to intercept the remaining three bombers whilst the fourth pair were tasked to try their luck against the JSOWs. Therefore each remaining B-1 had the pleasure of continuing their own-ward flight path towards target whilst four AIM-120 missiles converged upon them. Two were scrubbed in this manner whilst the third, with the judicious use of chaff and flares, was able to evade destruction and press home its attack on the Fjord.
The Shrikes sent to engage the wave of twenty-four air to surface munitions had, unlike their Nova English counterparts, neither trained for nor contemplated this particular set of circumstances and their attempt to fire off a succession of three ASRAAMS and six sidewinders succeeded in yielding only three paltry kills, which was probably better than might have been expected considering that their target was a radar cross-section rather than an infra-red signature. This however was enough to save the Mors VI, whose point defence CIWS downed the remaining missile in a last gasp hail of ballistic projectiles.
The Mors IV on the other hand was saved by the ESSM surface-to-air missiles lofted by its protective picket of three Elwynn-class corvettes.
For the distinctly carrier-like LSV-02, with its slow speed, lack of escorts, and obsolescent armaments, there was no such protection and it was ripped open from bow to stern by armour-piercing submunitions released from six converging missiles. Bound for the Fjord and loaded to the brim in its under-deck hanger space with munitions for invasion force, the LSV-02 burned through the night and into the next morning when the last of the fire-fighting teams reluctantly heeded the order to abandon ship. With the fires progress now uncontrollable flames finally reached the ad hoc jumble of stored munitions and the resulting cataclysmic explosion saw the 156 m long ship rent half and slip ignominiously beneath the waves. 732 crew members perished.
The Aurangzeb's Revenge, lacking defensive pickets, and as the sole warship of any substantial size stewarding the transport ships of the armada nestled in the Fjord, faced the incoming barrage of ten glide-bombs alone. Equipped with sixty-one RIM-66 standard air defence missiles and twenty-nine RIM-161 anti-ballistic missile interceptors in lieu of its aft gun turrets, the "Angry-Aurang" responded with twenty RIM-66s against the incoming threat. Unfortunately, lacking a CIWS system or computer assisted gunnery for its copious anti-aircraft batteries, the battleship had no answer as two of the JSOWs survived the counter-barrage and successfully ejected their submunitions against its exposed superstructure.
Flames and chaos abounded as fire-fighting and rescue crews set to work. Nonetheless, the Angry-Aurang remained operational throughout and, as if to prove the validity of its choleric nickname, left fly with four RIM-66 and one RIM-161 against the last as it overflew the Fjord.
That the doomed mine-laying bomber had been successful in its mission was evidenced by the loss of eight patrol boats and fourteen small boats during the frantic minesweeping operation undertaken in the wake of the raid.
The cumulative effect of which had been to take the wind rather out of Zinkgraven's sails. Figuratively as well as literally, the expedition was stalled and lost momentum. The battle-scars upon the Aurangzeb's Revenge, and the retreat of the Medusa to Benacian shores for urgent repairs was taken by the rank and file as mute evidence of the Steward's hubris in attacking a well armed and well-led neutral country.
By no means willing to relinquish his dreams of conquest, Zinkgraven nonetheless recognised the need to take stock of the situation, to undertake repairs and to improve the position of his forces now well established on the largest of the Warring Isles. With this cynical calculation firmly in mind Prefect Jeremiah Avon-El was once again dispatched, under a flag of truce, to Port Neil to begin negotiations for a cessation of hostilities.
The Nova-English, although by no means fooled, were however receptive. The bombardment to which their defences had been subjected had left a trail of death and destruction from one end of the country to another, which in turn would take time to repair and make right.
So it was that, for three months or there abouts, Shirerithian and Nova English delegations toasted each others health, muttered meaningless platitudes and gave vague assurances whilst all the while preparing for the renewal of the struggle.
Ardy: "Nonsense unloaded"
- Posts: 230
- Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:16 pm
- Location: Newcastle-Upon-Eastmoor, Nova England.
The last few months had been a burst of frenzied violence followed by a significant lull. Following the counter-strike undertaken by the martyrs of the Nova English Royal Air Force, the Shirerithians had responded in kind with a blitz of cruise missiles. A number of which devastated small civilian airfields, vaporising their flimsy hangers and tearing out great clods of earth from their grass runways. In the National Redoubt, sirens burst into life as NERAF was called into action once again to defend the region from the incoming missiles. Anti-Air units attached to the Nova English Artillery Regiment quickly mobilised, firing upon the incoming cruise missiles as they entered into range. Of the twelve missiles targeted at the region, seven were destroyed with five making it through the defensive net. One of which through luck struck the heavy steel blast door of Reserve Air Base 5, damaging the opening mechanism and leaving the bunking unusable for two months as repairs were made. Newcastle-Upon-Eastmoor International Airport was bombarded once again writing off much of the main runway. The National Redoubt bunker shrugged off the couple of missiles that struck the heavy blast doors, the only destruction being the incineration of the guard position outside within which two soldiers were killed.
Port Neil had borne the brunt of the destruction due to the limited warning time. The headquarters of the Fisheries Protection Group, a non-descript office within the port area was struck by a missile that caused the collapse of half the building. Following intense rescue efforts one hundred survivors were pulled out from the rubble alongside eighty martyrs. Counter fire from the city’s Anti-Air units engaged a number of the missiles but 60% broke through striking command and control positions throughout the city. Senior ranks from the Nova English Navy were evacuated into the tunnels under Port Neil’s Nexrecad, whilst sections of ancient stonework and modern concrete were blasted from the fortifications above them. Commander Eric Voss and his security team were killed by a direct impact into their position as he directed staff and fellow sailors into the shelters. Two missiles off-target struck a block of flats, collapsing the building and killing or trapping the inhabitants.
Despite the destruction wrought on the two major cities, the Provisional Witan agreed to the ceasefire proposed by Shireroth as both counties attend the NAM conference in Caputia. This uneasy period of calm continues as the Nova English Armed Forces rebuild and expand the nation’s defences, gather new recruits from Mercurian Nova England and pressgangs operating in the Green. Whilst the military-industrial complex rushed the production of Kalgachi designed Anti-Grav missiles and experimented with other systems in preparation for any renewed hostilities.
Wrapping up the Nova English POV.