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DocBubonic
Mar 11, 2003

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis

Marek

"Red, start firing the graser at those incoming drones. Continue to fire at any incoming drones. Keep the anti-particle cannon ready for point defense against the drones. I'll man the rail gun, unless I'm need to switch to damage control." Marek began to check on the ranges of the drones and the carrier. He then fuses the rail gun shells for proximity detonation. It would reduce their damage, but would have a greater chance to hit.

Going to have Red fire the graser at incoming drones and keep the anti-particle gun ready for point defense. Using the entire RoF for that purpose. Meanwhile Marek is going to fuse the rail gun shells for proximity detonation against the drones.

Per: 12; Artillery/TL12 (Beams)-14, Artillery/TL12 (Cannon)-14, Gunner/TL12 (Beams) DX/E - 15, Gunner/TL12 (Cannon) - 15

DocBubonic fucked around with this message at Mar 18, 2015 around 01:55

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The Oldest Man
Jul 28, 2003



Hunter 425 Red turns to engage the enemy. Carl is good pilot. Maybe not a great pilot, but most of the time the difference between good and great is only in retrospect. He pushes the Hunter's conventional drive to full power and then sets it in a long arc to bring it into a closing vector with the drones without allowing them a straight shot into the front armor. It helps that the drones aren't trying to hold the range or flee; they're committed on a closing course so that they can get into range with the carrier, which is now maneuvering to avoid them.

Marek and Red open up on the drones as the range rapidly closes into the hundreds of kilometers. The grasers are the preferred weapon against numerous light-weight opponents. Red efficiently divides fire among the nearest, going through their thin armor like a hot knife through butter. Eight of the drones are turned into expanding balls of incandescent gas, while two of the targets are able to use their directional thrusters to keep the gunnery AI from effectively focusing the beams on them. Marek takes personal control of the main gun. It's not intended for plinking away at drones, but it does have an advantage: proximity fusing the antimatter rounds instead of firing armor piercing ammunition gives the gun a massive kill radius against lightly shielded targets. He uses that capability to rapid-fire the gun in short bursts at several more targets, relying on the huge danger area to make up for accuracy.

Meanwhile, Alarus and Moon refocus their efforts on preserving the boarding party. The cruiser drones quickly succumb to the electronic warfare suite once its re-targeted. Moon catches one of them pointing additional unshielded radio antennae toward the marines in an attempt to range them more accurately, and fries it with a burst of energy from the jammer.

The remaining drones turn toward the Hunter and open fire. Energy signatures indicate axial coilguns. Cheap. Each slug is about the size of a can of soda and carrying the energy of a locomotive. Against a damaged carrier or a floating marine boarding party, effective. Against the front armor of a Hunter-class attack ship, less so. Carl pulses the engines as the storm of high velocity slugs begins to pour down on the ship like rain; tens of thousands of rounds and far too many to evade them all. The anti-particle beam has nowhere near the rate of fire to combat the onslaught. The entire ship begins to ring with an unbelievable noise of metal on metal as the slugs deflect off of the glacis plate. Several of the forward sensors go dark as armored shutters explode into fragments under the assault. Red lights go on all across the damage control board.

"Glacis breached. Multiple plate fractures. Defensive ECM emitter destroyed," Red intones autonomically while its attention is focused on vaporizing more of the drones, "Infrared and optical sensor apertures destroyed. Main battery damaged but operational. Damage control swarms are evaluating."

And with that, the drones have passed on and both sides' kinetic weapons are out of range. The enemy carrier finishes its jump spin-up and vanishes. Agonizing minutes later, the voice link from the boarding party clicks on and Officer Everett's voice crackles, "Hunter 425, Strike One. We're on the carrier. Twenty percent of my drones are down and I'm not receiving any IFF or local comms from the carrier. I'm tasking a squad to force a breach on the secondary aft munitions loading hatch, stand by."

The remaining drones will be in range to attack the carrier directly with their coilguns in only moments.

Combat statistics time, by popular demand! Currently this is a Standard scale engagement on 3 minute turns (previously it was a Close scale engagement with 1 minute turns before the carrier arrived). I've pasted the Hunter's stat block into the OP for reference. The encounter starts off at Long range due to the scale, which is in range for the lasers but out of range for the grav gun or antiparticle beam. Carl makes a Space Tactics roll with a -4 multitasking penalty (effective skill 8) and fails. Carl initiates a Closing maneuver with the Web drone cluster. He gets an acceleration bonus of +2. He takes a -4 for multitasking two different types of tasks, for an effective skill of 13, and beats the drone formation's effective skill in a quick contest. He chooses an Attack Vector, closing to Short range. Marek and Red make gunnery rolls. Current beam range mod is -8. The drones are size mod +6. At this timescale, the lasers have a combined RoF of 2000 (+10 bonus). Red splits this across ten targets for an effective skill of ?? and hits 8 of them (2 dodged) with several dozen bursts each, destroying them. The main gun has RoF 20 this turn, for a +4 bonus. It's a spinal mount, which gives another +2. Marek uses proximity detonation for another +4. The gun has an innate -5 sAcc. Relative velocity bonus is 0. Total effective skill is 25. I'm assuming he'll split fire until he's rolling against base skill again, so he can split this between five drones. One dodges, the other four take 4dx10 burn ex rad sur, which is enough for a soft kill by knocking out sensors and communications. Moon and Alarus jam the cruiser drones. Alarus rolls a normal success in the quick contest, Moon rolls a critical success. Then enemy turns happen. After the drones attack, the range returns to Long.

I'm not going to give this much detail usually but just to demonstrate this is what's going on behind the scenes if you want to do specific tasks or reference stuff in Spaceships.

The Oldest Man fucked around with this message at Mar 18, 2015 around 07:21

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Carl

The important thing in that automated damage report? No meaningful loss of propulsion and maneuvering means that all things considered, they are still in the fight, such as it is. He brings around the ship to bear for another pass. "Prepare for another flyby engagement. Red, auxiliary sensors available? I need to have something to look at, here. Did anybody manage to catch the firing arcs of those drones? I can try to outmaneuver them."

This is working so far, anyway, so I will continue engagement patterns and elect for a flyby. If I get advantage and we actually identify an approach angle that won't get us shot at, I will attempt to use that instead.

aldantefax fucked around with this message at Mar 19, 2015 around 03:28

Pinche Rudo
Feb 8, 2005



Can you give a quick summary of what drones are left and what they are in range of attacking?

The Oldest Man
Jul 28, 2003



The remainder of the attack drone cluster (18 functional drones) has closed to Short range with the carrier on an Attack Vector, a 1-turn attack flyby. The two cruiser drones are at Long range to the carrier and the Hunter and are attempting to maneuver to Short range with the carrier but are unlikely to succeed due to their generally poor acceleration, as long as the carrier still has engine power. Both the attack drone cluster and cruiser drones are currently at Long range from the Hunter.

The Oldest Man
Jul 28, 2003



"Forward radar is still operational, Officer von Brandt," Red replies smoothly, overlaying a radar-only sensor display for Carl that clears away some of the static being fed in from the destroyed sensors on the nose. However, it's not a very clear picture. There are huge clouds of debris spiraling out from the destroyed drones that are obscuring the radar return from the active hostiles. Enemy active countermeasures will also be much more effective now that the computer can't correlate the radar contacts with optical and IR readings.

It's a -4 penalty for anything requiring sensors in that direction.

Ambivalent
Oct 14, 2006



Moon

With those most of the sensors destroyed, she sets about using what they do have to provide whatever information she can. “With a little more time, I could rig a faux-sensor system using our communications signals – echolocate.” But they don’t have the time. An idea worth refining for later, keep in her back pocket. Maybe even draw up a standard procedure. “Here's what we have.” System reports stream in, and direction feeds back out.

I guess I’m ‘Supervising a Damage Control Task’ for Emergency Repair using my 13 Comms skill because it is lower than my 14 Spacer skill, assuming I can in anyway supervise Hunter-425’s damage control systems. If not, let me know, I’ll have Moon do something else. Using Sensors 13 to use the Radar and provide whatever information Moon can - to assist Carl's piloting.

Ambivalent fucked around with this message at Mar 20, 2015 around 05:27

DocBubonic
Mar 11, 2003

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis

Marek

The ship was still functional at least, Marek thought to himself. Seeing what was damaged, he wanted to get things repaired fast. At least those things that could get repaired.

"Red, keep firing on the drones as best as you can. Don't bother with point defense, now. Just start shooting."

Going to help Red with shooting drones and check on what can be repaired currently.
Per: 12; Artillery/TL12 (Beams)-14, Artillery/TL12 (Cannon)-14, Gunner/TL12 (Beams) DX/E - 15, Gunner/TL12 (Cannon) - 15, Mechanic/TL12 (Hunter-class) - 11, Spacer/TL12 - 15

Pinche Rudo
Feb 8, 2005



Alarus Za'al

Alarus kept the pressure on the cruisers, fighting a running battle with the carrier AIs as he tried to keep them off. As the damage came through he switched his attention to jamming the drones that were now close to the UGM carrier, hopefully giving the marine team more time.

E-warfare 15

The Oldest Man
Jul 28, 2003



"Breach complete," Everett reports. And then, moments later, "The carrier's defense systems and drones aren't recognizing my IFF. All units are weapons free, we're moving in force to the aft-lateral auxil...."

The drone formation enters the terminal range for its attack and opens fire on the carrier. The ship is much less maneuverable than the Hunter, only moderately armored, and has already lost a great deal of its defense capability. The coilgun slugs tear through it, shredding internal systems and blowing massive streamers of debris out of the hull. Everett's signal breaks up and vanishes amid the clouds of metal that are billowing away from the ship.

Alarus attempts to jam the cruisers, but without success. The main tactical sensor array is too badly damaged, and the defensive ECM unit is offline as a result of the drones' attack. One of the cruisers peppers the Hunter with more laser bursts, ineffectively spreading fire all along the starboard side and failing to inflict any real damage.

The other closes with the carrier and fires a burst of mass driver slugs directly into the jump drive of the beleaguered ship. With a flash, the colossal energies contained within the core escape. Whirling metal and exploding power cells tear a 50 meter rip in the side of the hull as the jump drive disintegrates. Atmosphere and fuel begin spraying out of the ship in huge plumes that begin to start it spinning in a slow pinwheel motion around its vertical axis. The carrier enters a complex spin as metal and composites strain and tear as it rotates.

Meanwhile, Moon feeds Carl additional position data as the battlespace rapidly becomes more complex. He's unable to close back into range to fire the main battery again as the drones rapidly break away from the carrier's hulk. However, he is able to keep firing lines clear of metal or vented atmosphere gas for Marek to re-engage them with the burst lasers. The gunner and AI split the laser batteries between them, assigning fire to the drone clusters and vaporizing another dozen of the attack drones from long range.

"...ob... ched," the voice link from the boarding party buzzes, "Need... ediate... miss..."

There's too much bad data in the transmission.

Hunter ranges: Drone formation (6 left) - Long; Cruiser A (attacking carrier) - Long; Cruiser B - Long; Carrier (now drifting) - Long.
Carrier ranges: Drone formation - Short; Cruiser A - Short; Cruiser B - Long.

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Carl

"Do not copy, Officer Everett, weak signal. Brevity, brevity," Carl says while maneuvering. External communications are encrypted and compressed into milliseconds-long bursts "Catastrophic damage registered on the carrier's hull. Advise exfiltration and signal boost to reestablish communication with the marines. Marek, get ready for engagement with the Web cruisers - any more damage on the carrier and we're in trouble." The flight line adjusts on the artificial horizon for Carl's new path - outflank the Cruisers and prepare for rendezvous with the carrier, now in an uncontrolled drift.

I'll maneuver for advantage and come up on Cruiser A in Short range from its rear facing (since, from what we know, its main guns are forward firing and not omnidirectional). I plan to remain in engagement with it until it's toast.

Ambivalent
Oct 14, 2006



Moon

The field of engagement is starting to clear and that frees her up to focus more on the objective. She seizes on the signal, chasing the data that does come through, trying to clean it up, boost it and use gapfilling algorithms to rapidly reproduce Everett’s likely transmission. “Repeat, Everett.”

Comms boosting – 13, plus whatever bonus for our systems.

DocBubonic
Mar 11, 2003

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis

Marek

"Red keep mopping up the drones. I'll target the attacking cruiser." Marek mutters under his breath. Leaving Red to finish the drones off, he focuses his attack on the cruiser now.

Red can take on the drones with the graser and Marek will fire on the attacking cruiser with the railgun.
Per: 12; Artillery/TL12 (Beams)-14, Artillery/TL12 (Cannon)-14, Gunner/TL12 (Beams) DX/E - 15, Gunner/TL12 (Cannon) - 15, Mechanic/TL12 (Hunter-class) - 11, Spacer/TL12 - 15

DocBubonic fucked around with this message at Mar 22, 2015 around 03:40

Pinche Rudo
Feb 8, 2005



Alarus Za'al

Alarus switches over the weapons battery as the E-Warfare suite is next to useless thanks to the damage. He grabs a hold of the antiparticle beam controls (since Red is using the Graser and Marek is using the rail gun) through the neural interface and fires at the cruiser close to the disabled carrier as they try to flank it.

Gunnery: Beams 12

The Oldest Man
Jul 28, 2003



Carl is flying half blind now, but the nearest cruiser drone is a big, fat target and too slow to escape. He pulls a narrow arc that allows the Hunter to come up behind and traverse across the cruiser's rear. Marek lines up the main battery for a burst but finds that the damage caused by the drone attack has thrown off the gun laying drive by a thousandth of a degree. At combat distances, that's enough to guarantee misses until the computer can correct for the error. He manages to manually correct his burst for the last few rounds, putting an armor piercing round into the cruiser's main drive that shatters the surrounding armor and wrecks the engine.

Alarus is no expert gunner, but the antiparticle beam is nearly a speed of light weapon over its effective range. He fires a series of snapshots that incinerate the cruiser's fuel tanks, jump drive, and finally its reactor in a series of soundless explosions. When the reactor goes, superheated plasma blows the drone to pieces. A rough sphere of debris begins to slowly expand from the drone's position.

Meanwhile, Red mops up the remainder of the light attack drones with the Hunter's laser battery before they can swing around for another attack run.

"...cjkkl immediate exfiltration, vector three one zero, elevation twenty. Repeat, I have the data core. Do not approach. Preparing to exfil on vector three one zero, elevation twenty," Everett repeats, the comm signal clearing and then becoming crystal as the enemy cruiser drone is destroyed, "The carrier's reactor has sustained critical damage. I'll exfil using remaining boarding propellant, vector three one zero, elevation twenty. Stand off for retrieval."

"I can't tell how serious it is," Red says, "The sensors are too badly damaged. In a worst case scenario, the carrier's Hawking reactor will detonate. With our glacis armor damaged, we must remain at least 50 kilometers away to ensure sufficient safety margin."

"Officer Everett's retrieval beacon is active. She's detached from the carrier and is moving away. Wait one..."

The remaining Web cruiser has switched targets and is now punching laser bursts into the destabilizing hulk of the carrier, which can't be helping matters.

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Carl

Relatively speaking, 50km is not that big of a standoff distance. Quite short, actually - however, it remains to be seen whether or not Everett is actually going to get to the standoff line with the exfiltration before the carrier goes critical. With the remaining Web cruiser safely out of that range, though, it leaves Carl free to engage with it and plot a flyby course to complete the exfiltration, then ripcord out safely. At least, that's the plan. "Prepare to engage the remaining cruiser - I'll be bringing the 425 about. Projected flight solution and marine retrieval also coming on-screen. As the old saying goes, let's get it done."

I will attempt to do a flyby attack on the remaining cruiser and continue towards the designated exfiltration point that Everett's beacon is at. After that, it's time to GTFO from this engagement range!

Ambivalent
Oct 14, 2006



Moon

She sweeps through the data incoming, disregards the damage control reports and hunts after the predictive algorithms. Everett is in a precarious position. The cruiser and carrier are making this space incredibly inhospitable. And it’s going to take every ounce of Carl’s talent to pull this off. “Trajectory data, here. Predictive scenarios are these.” Data from her and Red’s simulations and their radar sweeps feeds paths forward to the astrogator, “Best of luck.”

Sensors – 13 + systems bonus to aid Carl’s piloting action. Let’s not get blown up.

Pinche Rudo
Feb 8, 2005



Alarus Za'al

"Yes!" Alarus grins as he helps finish off the damaged cruiser. Marek's good shooting had set up an easy kill. "Good shooting, Marek. Let's take this other motherfucker down." Alarus re-adjusts the targeting module for the antiparticle beam and trains it on the remaining cruiser. He concentrates, putting all his effort on holding the reticle on the target and fires a few staccato beam shots, hopefully that will be enough combined with Marek on the main gun to destroy it.

Gunnery: Beams 12

DocBubonic
Mar 11, 2003

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis

Marek

"A little adjustment and there we go." Marek fixes the targeting and fires at the Web cruiser.

Just going to fire on the last cruiser.
Per: 12; Artillery/TL12 (Beams)-14, Artillery/TL12 (Cannon)-14, Gunner/TL12 (Beams) DX/E - 15, Gunner/TL12 (Cannon) - 15, Mechanic/TL12 (Hunter-class) - 11, Spacer/TL12 - 15

The Oldest Man
Jul 28, 2003



Carl maneuvers the Hunter to try for a close pass at the cruiser drone, but it's already reversing thrust to keep them at range. Web heuristics may not be great, but they're not stupid. After seeing a ship with identical specifications destroyed in one volley, the second drone is holding the range open. That leaves only the option of an ineffectual laser duel as both ships scratch the other's armor with thousands of pinpricks, searching for an opening. Laser combat is a matter of precision and slowly destroying exposed systems, or failing that, drilling a precise hole in the enemy's armor. The Hunter's powerful main sensor array is destroyed, which gives the cruiser the advantage. Damage control alarms start to sound as the glacis is eaten away by the barrage. The cruiser is taking a lot of hits as well, but Red and Marek are having a much harder time concentrating their fire without the targeting lidar.

"Safety margin is degrading," Red announces, "The main glacis has been sufficiently degraded that it can no longer reliably defeat attacks of this magnitude."

Carl breaks off the approach to the cruiser; it's now opposite the Hunter from the crippled carrier and attempting to close with it will mean drawing further and further away from their extraction corridor to retrieve Officer Everett. As he angles the attack ship to return and pick up the remains of the boarding party, the forward radar registers a massive return and then goes blank.

"The carrier's main reactor has detonated," Red says. As the ship rotates, Moon is able to point some secondary sensors at the carrier. What's left of the carrier. It's a subcritical detonation: the energy of a few nuclear bombs, but not the worst case scenario. Massive fragments of debris are spinning outward. She feeds the course data on the largest and most threatening objects to Carl's nav plot so that he can continue toward the pickup without smashing the Hunter into a five hundred ton piece of a wrecked jump drive.

That's when she sees that Everett's course has intersected with one of the debris fragments obscuring her small radar cross-section, and her locator beacon is no longer transmitting.

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Carl

Too much time lost fighting that cruiser, is it? Carl adjusts the course to the last known beacon signal. It could be anything that caused the transmitter to stop - some of them benign, but others which may have ultimately cost them the mission. He closed his eyes - though, with a direct neural link to the virtualized space that was displayed in front of it, it only meant the ambient light in the shock pod was blocked out. Only the charts remained.

"No significant changes to flight plan. We're going to keep on course," Carl says. Attack vehicles did not maintain any sort of external retrieval devices - in the case of retrieving boarding parties like the marines, it was up to their own propulsion systems to get back onto the boarding capsule, which had a door on it that can be remotely operated to open and close.

"We're going to go for a scoop."

I'll just go for Evasive Maneuvers at this point to avoid slamming into debris and close in on Ev's transponder before it gave out. I dunno the dimensions of the actual aperture, but I guess I'll figure it out once we find out if we have something to retrieve. TOM advised me that the doors are 15m^2 so they are huge.

aldantefax fucked around with this message at Mar 24, 2015 around 18:44

Ambivalent
Oct 14, 2006



Moon

There’s a breaking moment where she’s no longer engrossed in the data and she becomes keenly aware that she’s suspended in goo again, harbored in a pod on the attack ship. Her feeds no longer give her the information she wants and so she just… watches. The improvised radar assistance has been streamlined to automatically dole out relevant information Carl’s way, so she just watches. One way or another, it'd be over soon - at the corner of her consciousness, the ripcord timer spins.

Same as last turn

Ambivalent fucked around with this message at Mar 24, 2015 around 19:37

DocBubonic
Mar 11, 2003

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis

Marek

"We're losing our combat capabilities. We need to get out of here as fast as possible. I'll try to keep the Web cruiser occupied, but I don't know how long we got." Marek tries to use what's left of the sensors to target and fire on the web cruiser.

Per: 12; Artillery/TL12 (Beams)-14, Artillery/TL12 (Cannon)-14, Gunner/TL12 (Beams) DX/E - 15, Gunner/TL12 (Cannon) - 15, Mechanic/TL12 (Hunter-class) - 11, Spacer/TL12 - 15

Pinche Rudo
Feb 8, 2005



Alarus Za'al

Alarus winced as the beacon cut off. "poo poo hopefully we can make the extract." He said. Or there's enough left to recover the data he thought. Smashing into debris at high speeds was not a pleasant way to go.

Alarus refocused his attention and fired another antiparticle beam at the cruiser to keep it distracted. "Come on motherfucker just get close enough for us to toast your rear end."

Gunnery: Beams 12

The Oldest Man
Jul 28, 2003



The laser duel continues. Marek and Red are fighting the cruiser to a standstill, but damage is starting to get through the armor. The lasers aren't powerful enough to cause critical damage to any one system, but the overall structural damage is going to render the Hunter inoperable in a matter of minutes. When that happens, ripcording out will be the only option. Unless the reactor is hit. Or the ripcord device itself. Or the control module, with the crew nestled inside.

Moon sorts through the debris to find Carl an intercept vector for the missing marine. Everett's locator beacon isn't transmitting, but they have her previous course and the course of the debris cluster that she collided with. It only takes a minute or so for Moon to sort through the clutter and find the marine's distinctive armor signature. She's in a complex three axis spin, rotating at almost eight revolutions per second. For a marine, wearing armor, and with an automated trauma support unit, that might be surviveable. Barely. She must be unconscious.

"Trying comms. No response from her onboard AI," Red says.

Carl takes one look at the marine's trajectory and realizes there's a problem. Matching course and speed is easy, but with that much rotational velocity, attempting to capture her would be the same as hurling her into a collapsium laminate wall at several hundred meters per second. He'll have to spin the Hunter to approximately match Everett's rotation before attempting to scoop her, and spinning the ship up that much will put a massive amount of stress on the spaceframe; with the damage already sustained, and with the cruiser continuing to punch in laser bursts that are now vaporizing chunks of structural support rather than armor, there's a serious possibility of catastrophic failure.

And there's another problem: the boarding module door isn't aligned with the Hunter's center of mass. The ship was designed to put the control pods there, to minimize the amount of torque applied to the crew during radical combat maneuvers. The boarding module is almost twenty meters toward the tail, so it won't be enough to simply spin the ship. He'll have to apply a controlled, continuous thrust to spin the Hunter around a pseudo-axis rather than around its true center of mass. Doing so will also take the shock pods off of the spin axis, which will radically increase the amount of force they'll be subjected to. A quick mental calculation indicates at least 20 sustained g forces. The shock pods themselves are only rated for a maximum combat load of 16 g.

The Hunter has less than 25% positive dHP remaining and various penalties to ship actions are in effect. Catastrophe checks begin shortly.

Ambivalent
Oct 14, 2006



Moon

“We’ve got this, Carl. The ship can hold.” Maybe. And even if it does, this is going to hurt. “Red, we reel back in as soon as we have Everett and we’re clear, right?” She engages with the systems again, the telemetry for all the objects in motion, grimacing a little at the projection for the tumbling marine. The window is slim, but if anyone can do it…

Same as before, giving Carl any bonus to piloting she can.

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Carl

"Alright, here's the deal," Carl says as Everett's suit is identified. "I'm going to need to do some fancy stuff that's going to go beyond the limits of what the shock pods can handle so that we can get Everett back on board. This has a good chance of knocking some or all of us unconscious and put the 425 in structural danger due to the sustained force. The solution should be coming on screen shortly. Red, in the event I lose consciousness during the operation, I need you to button this vehicle up and ripcord - " a brief, intentional pause at Moon's communication - "after Everett's been retrieved ASAP. It would be much easier to do this if we can get her suit to fire, but, given the damage, I'm not sure that's likely. Any other options, lay them out now, otherwise buckle in."

hoo boy here we go

Pinche Rudo
Feb 8, 2005



Alarus Za'al

"Well gently caress it might as well go all in at this point." Alarus says with a grin. Given that he can't hit the cruiser with the anti particle beam he tries to hack the cruisers targeting system.

Nothing I can really do here so trying a hail Mary hacking 15

DocBubonic
Mar 11, 2003

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis

Marek

"Do what you gotta do, but do it fast. We're not going to hold up much longer. I'll try to keep that enemy cruiser occupied." He continued firing at the cruiser, trying to take it out before it took them out.

Continuing to fire on the enemy cruiser.

Per: 12; Artillery/TL12 (Beams)-14, Artillery/TL12 (Cannon)-14, Gunner/TL12 (Beams) DX/E - 15, Gunner/TL12 (Cannon) - 15, Mechanic/TL12 (Hunter-class) - 11, Spacer/TL12 - 15

The Oldest Man
Jul 28, 2003



Pilot and AI work with the sensor data from Moon to plot a skewed corkscrew course that winds closer and closer to the spinning marine until, eventually, if all goes well, they intersect and Everett is safely captured. Then Carl can de-spin the Hunter and initiate the ripcord to return to the Okeanos. Carl feels Red's mental nod, and then a stream of mild warnings from the avionics as the AI begins pre-emptively silencing flight warning alarms. It's hard enough to do something crazy without the neural interface blazing with mental klaxons. And then, it's time.

"You'll be extremely disorientated once the maneuver reaches the terminal phase, and acceleration forces will make it difficult for you to concentrate," Red says, "Focus on the intercept. I'll interpret the sensor data from Moon and give you the corrections as we approach."

Carl starts the burn. The ship must twist around a spiral that takes it closer and closer to Everett as the angular velocity closes, and make the course intercept precisely at the point where the marine's three dimensional tumble matches the ship's relative motion. As the ship passes sixty RPM, the stars blur and the ship's frame groans audibly through the shock pods. Marek can barely even follow the whirl of the enemy cruiser as it whips around, much less focus laser fire on it. The enemy, however, has no such disadvantage. Incoming beams carve a spiral pattern of scars around the Hunter's hull as first one side and then the other is exposed to fire. Carl has to focus all his energy on correcting for the slight variations in the Hunter's center of mass as it burns fuel and loses chunks of ultradense armor to the attack.

"Thirty five seconds," Red intones, "Correct plus one positive cam open left elevation nine. Initiate terminal burn."

Carl vectors the main engine and fires a quarter of the ship's reaction control thrusters in tandem to take the ship's spin off of its center of mass and send it into a pinwheel. The left-right whirl of stars becomes a complicated oval loop with strange epicyclic movement that induces instant vertigo. The g forces on the crew instantly double as they move further from the center of motion. Alarus finds that his nose his bleeding, a thin stream of blood from a blown capillary instantly wicked away into the cocoon gel.

"Correct plus two negative cam open left elevation negative one," Red says, then immediately adds, "Correct minus one, open right elevation, down cam one point five, right forward ten degrees elevation negative four."

The ship's nose begins to disintegrate. It's the section farthest from the spin axis, and the most heavily damaged. The main battery's end-stage firing coils rupture and then fly out of the now-gaping breaches in the glacis. An entire armor plate, ten meters across and over a hundred tons of hyper-dense laminate, snaps free and spins away into the void. Alarus and Moon are blinded by the blood leaving their eyes even as the pods fight to simply keep them conscious. Marek blacks out entirely.

"Twenty meters. Correct minus two negative cam, close left elevation negative two forward."

The secondary batteries wrench free from their mounts and go offline. One of the main engines begins flashing a critical overstress alarm before Red silences it.

"Correct plus five, open right elevation two rearward, cam nominal. Five meters. Four. Three."

There is a shudder as something buried in the ship gives way and snaps. Alarus and Moon lose consciousness. Carl hangs on by a thread, thousands of hours of simulated high gravity combat flight training giving him a tiny reserve to clench every muscle in his body and keep the crushing force at bay.

"Capture."

Carl begins applying retro thrust to bring the ship out of its death spiral. The brutal weight smashing him subsides slightly, but the main engine begins to sputter and a siren he can barely process begins blaring across the neural interface. Underpressure alarm. The engines are starving. The main fuel tank has ruptured, and the extreme spin of the ship has instantly centrifuged the entire fuel load out into space in a spray of frozen liquid that's already several kilometers long.

There's no way to bring the ship's rotation back under control.

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Carl

Even in a vat full of nanomachines and kinetic dampening gel can go beyond stress limits for very long - shock pods had a lot of technology in them and probably were the pinnacle of dampening technology. Experience was barely what kept him on board, and his many hours brought him into a situation like this one before (though, he was able to get it under control that time). Under normal circumstances, there are measures in place to ensure ripcord safety, specifically because the ripcord does not have any kinetic neutralization when displacing relative to its home carrier. Whatever's in motion is going to stay in motion, and unless they're real lucky, it's basically the equivalent of driving a cargo freighter on fire into a parked warehouse, but the cargo freighter is airborne, 150 meters in length, and spewing debris everywhere.

"Override ripcord safety, Red, authorization release CBA-5579-73...Eject all remaining non-essential ordnance. Pull ripcord," he keys in through the neural link. "I'll see you on the other side."

The Oldest Man
Jul 28, 2003



"Ripcord spin safety disabled," Red replies, "Magazine dump in progress."

There's not much to be done to prevent the havok an unsafed ripcord return will wreak on the carrier. But there is something the ship can do to save its crew.

"Crash nanostasis activated. See you on the other side, Carl."

The pods flood with preservative nano that isolates and shuts down all metabolic functions within seconds, freezing the occupants and hardening them to withstand massive deceleration forces. Blood becomes solid and flesh becomes like rock. The nano attaches to every braincell and synapse, recording their firing states before shutting them down so that they can be reactivated later.

The world goes black.

The world stays black. The shock pods are empty, drained of the cocoon gel. The neural interface is off. No one is standing over them. There's no sign of the extraction gantry. And most troubling, there are flickering, purple and white flashes of light glinting through the transparent pod windows, throwing into stark relief the cramped innards of the control module where the shock pods are cradled inside the Hunter.

Everyone is back up. Carl is down 8 HP. Alarus, 4. Marek, 5. Moon, 8. This is area crushing damage from minor fractures, bruised organs, etc.

The Oldest Man fucked around with this message at Mar 27, 2015 around 06:48

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Carl

Last one out, first one to get back into the game. The color of the lights beyond the drained pods can mean boarding action, high temperature fire, uncontrolled electricity, or a mix of everything. He locks into what his old instructors at the academy told him: observe, orient, decide, act. His senses were just coming back to him. He checks his body - battered, but still in one piece. Vision, hearing, touch, all fine. Taste, smell? Something's not right. The pod emptied of the gel because of the impact, not because he had the shock gel removed from his system. He set about extricating himself. There was an emergency kit with a trauma support module in it somewhere. He'll have to get that. With the neural link down, Red was likely offline as well.

First thing's first. Observe.

surprisingly, i am still alive, so i will attempt to get a better read on the surroundings in greater detail. I have Observation 12 and Perception 13 for this purpose, and I'm looking for a general read on what's happening outside the bubble. What is here that is not supposed to be here; is gravity functional; where's the closest place to get out of the Hunter and onto a stable platform?

Ambivalent
Oct 14, 2006



Moon

Her first thought is a flash of a memory from a party in Songdo, no context. Her second thought is of wanting to go back to bed. Her third thought is pain. These come slowly but the rate accelerates. Red? Nanostasis. Ripcord override. Okeanos. Red? Red? Red? And finally, into the weirdly open air of the pod, with a dry, weak voice, “Red?” More than anyone else on board either of the ships, Red is the… person she’d known most thoroughly and who’d been in near-constant contact with her. Red’s absence is more unsettling than just about anything else right now.

No extraction, and what’s with the lights? Had they done it? Had the override and resulting ripcord scuttled the carrier? Stupid. The override… Would she have made a different call? Hard to say. Her body hurts all over and for once, there’s no immediate data to pull. The others, they should be fine, right? If she survived, she’s certain they did too. “Red?” Again, experimentally.

More or less the same as Carl – is there gravity, is the atmosphere intact, blah blah, but she’s going to force an opening the second she thinks the atmosphere seems safe

The Oldest Man
Jul 28, 2003



It takes a few moments for the members of the crew to reorient themselves. There's no gravity, but that's normal in the cradle bay. Flight suits are intact and onboard computers are running, as are (apparently) the dumb units hardwired into the pods themselves and their dedicated power supplies. There's enough wireless communication to see that the pods deactivated crash stasis and drained the cocoon gel when their rudimentary sensors detected that the ship was stopped and the control module wasn't on fire. According to suit clock time, it's been eighteen minutes since the stasis nano was injected.

But beyond that, there's nothing. No neural link, no answer from Red, and no wireless communication other than low-level stuff from nearby components with dedicated backup power. Wide area damage control systems aren't responding. And there's no radio comms from outside the ship at all.

Suit seals seem to be intact, because there's no atmosphere in the pods or outside them according to the diagnostic readouts.

Carl fumbles for the emergency release level nestled above his head and pulls it, the pod splitting open and then sliding apart so that he can extricate himself. He peels back the protective film over his pod's emergency kit and clips it onto the back of his suit. It's not much: first aid and trauma support kit, hand thruster, survival laser, a few days of compressed rations, and a basic repair kit. It's something.

He can see the armored loading hatch below the control module has been sheared off, as well as the exterior armor plate below it. Through the crack in the Hunter's hull, Carl can see a slowly moving star-field and wisps of evaporating atmosphere. A cloud of glittering debris flashes under his helmet beam as it drifts by.

The Oldest Man fucked around with this message at Mar 28, 2015 around 08:46

Ambivalent
Oct 14, 2006



Moon

She’s in to her emergency kit and out of her pod. Had they completely taken out Okeanos and 425? There’d be some other operational system, some other response, if anything on the carrier was intact, right? But that didn’t make sense – even the Hunter’s violent return shouldn’t have caused enough damage to ruin the carrier – was it hit while they were out?

At the very least, the absence of gravity allows her to avoid putting much stress on her leg or ribs. Emerging, she nods to Carl, reluctant to try to even speak. What can she say? He knows what she does, more or less. She needed to find out more. There are devices, sensors, systems all throughout the bay, some still active, some with more information than others, some would still be hardwired to other parts of the ship. They had to be able to tell her something, unless they couldn't, which would be telling it's own right.

Not even sure what sort of roll I can make, but I guess I need to make some sort of spacer roll or something to traverse the bay, and then Moon would want to access a system, any system, and try and find any more information about how extensive the damage to Okeanos, or well, anything.

DocBubonic
Mar 11, 2003

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis

Marek

"Ow." he woke up in pain. Looking around he tried to make sense of what was happening. Realizing that its an emergency situation, he allows his training to take over in the situation. He pulls the emergency release and grabs the kit. After finishing up with his preparations, he goes to check on his ship mates.

Pinche Rudo
Feb 8, 2005



Alarus Za'al

Alarus groaned as he came too. Some nasty bruises and aches but nothing a few shots of nanomed drones couldn't fix. He quickly grabbed his emergency kit and tried to activate any scanning equipment for locating the nearest UGM ship

Uhh sensors 12?

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Carl

Out of the Hunter, he turns on his suit transponder. He lifts a hand to acknowledge Moon, gesturing to the far side of the docking bay. By his calculations, the damage to the carrier should not have been this catastrophic. With the emergency kit still in one piece, he began a controlled drift to the marine pod. The whole point of going out there in the first place - was the data core intact? Was Everett still in one piece? There was no shock gel in the module. Getting a read on Marek, he realized that Alarus wasn't responding either. He needed to interface with the carrier AI to find out what happened. Moreover, if the 425 was no longer operational, Moon would be the one responsible to retrieve Red's data core, Marek would need to ensure personnel safety. So to Everett he went.

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The Oldest Man
Jul 28, 2003



Carl drifts down through the blasted control module and through a twisted rent in the side of the ship. It should be five, ten meters to the outside but he finds himself drifting for over twenty before he is clear of the twisted hull and can look around. He's not in the cradle bay. He's not even inside the carrier. A smooth expanse of hull metal extends out for hundreds of meters in every direction. He reorients himself to make the hull "down" and the stars "up."

There are a clouds of slowly drifting debris everywhere. He can see the flare of the carrier's main drive a few hundred meters away toward what must be the tail, and uses that to piece together the orientation of the attack ship and the carrier. The Hunter must have slammed into the inside wall of the cradle bay so violently that it ruptured through and embedded itself there. The tear in the Hunter's outer hull has been fused into the rip in the carrier's inner hull where it impacted, creating a 5 meter by 15 meter hole straight through to the outside. He takes a look at the damage. Some of the surrounding hull plates have not only buckled but entangled or fused together. Cutting the attack ship free will require heavy equipment, and a lot of time.

With the two ships enmeshed this way, Carl can't reach the Hunter's external boarding pod door. It's oriented on the opposite side of the Hunter's hull from the control module hatch, so it's likely that it is still accessible if he can get back inside the cradle bay. The main bay doors are on the opposite side of the ship, but there are a few other ways Carl can think of. There should be a munition loading port about 80 meters away, around the curve of the hull. There's also the main personnel airlock toward the nose.

There's no sign of the glaring light he saw when he first regained consciousness. Carl flips on his emergency transponder.

Meanwhile, Moon spiders out through the still-operative systems aboard the Hunter to gather information. The main data bus has been totally destroyed, but some of the internals are linked together via auxiliary data paths and she can get information that way. Nav, sensors, and comms are all totally dead, as is fire control. There are two auxiliary power cells still working, providing a trickle of power to the ship's systems. That's not enough power to run the AI core, which explains Red's silence. However, rear of frame ninety, approximately the location of the ruptured fuel tank, there's no response from anything. Engines, reactor, nullgrav generator... all silent.

Moon is able to patch into a ventral docking camera. It's a low resolution feed, typically only used by the avionics to provide an optical fix during manual docking, but it's on the opposite side of the hull from the breach Carl just drifted out of and it's still working. She can see that the entire cradle assembly, extraction gantry, and maintenance arms have been destroyed; their remains are drifting around the inside of the bay. It looks like the Hunter's angular momentum ripped it free of the cradle the instant they ripcorded back, smashing it "up" into the ceiling of the bay. The camera provides only a fixed view, so Moon is unable to see either the jump drive toward the carrier's tail or board windows into the flight operations deck toward the nose.

The Oldest Man fucked around with this message at Mar 29, 2015 around 01:06

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