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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

GrimPagan

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Do they actually destroy all incoming missiles though? I thought they needed to be at least have a warhead of strenght 1 to be assured to destroy incoming missiles.

Edit: From what I understand at Aurora forums, missiles with strength 0 is basiclly decoy missiles, that will hit but not do any actual damage.
 
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Lord Martin

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Exploration of the new Tau Ceti jump point had led to the new system of Gliese 908. Three gas giants, 13 moons, 111 asteroids. Nothing habitable.

EDIT: Now that the Charlies have finished both ends of the Gate to Procyon, three Pratt Shipping and Mining Company Freighters have started making trading runs to our colony Dravar XV.
It seems like Charlie are some kind of JG building race. Lets hope nothing bad suddenly jumps out from the gate one day.
 

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Commander GaiusC of the ESN Newton has discovered a new jump point in the Tau Ceti system. He is investigating it now.
Woot, some fine action going on for me; a nice change from the freighter life.
I just hope I won't end like our esteemed late Polar Mongoose...
 

blue emu

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Woot, some fine action going on for me; a nice change from the freighter life.
I just hope I won't end like our esteemed late Polar Mongoose...
It's usually the Geo-Scouts that get whacked, not the Grav-Scouts... because the Geo-Scouts visit each planet and orbit it while searching for minerals. Grav-Scouts usually just pop into a new system, count the planets and then pop back out again.

Commander Hellvink in ESN Avernum has discovered a new jump point in the Gliese 687 system. He is investigating it now.

EDIT: the new jump point leads to the Gliese 625 system. Two rock-balls, two rocky planets, two gas giants, 54 moons, 70 asteroids. No habitable locations.

EDIT: My Galaxy map shows a habitable planet in that star system... but I can't find it, and it's not listed in my "potential colonies" list. This is the second time this bug... if that's what it is... has happened.
 
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blue emu

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It will be 14 months before our next tech (Ion Engines) is researched, and 27 months... ie: 13 additional months... before we get another (Expand Civilian Economy +20%).

Tugs will be ready in seven months, Carriers in fifteen.

We're losing money again :( not sure why... possibly because I've switched from building Financial Centers to building Research Labs. May have to switch back again.

EDIT: The six Charlie Freighters hung around on Earth for a few days, then three of them left, headed back to the Ross 248 jump point. The other three stuck around for a few more days, then took off and followed the first three towards the exit from the Sol system. Presumably, they brought six shiploads of goods and sold them, then three empty Freighters departed while the other three loaded the goods that they had purchased. This indicates a deficit in the balance-of-trade... we are importing more from Charlie than we are exporting to him... but that situation may change when they finally offer us a reciprocal trade agreement.
 
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blue emu

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Wooo-Hooo!



... we got ourselves a Construction / Production scientist! That's one of our two "empty" science slots. Now we just need a Missile / Kinetic Energy Weapons scientist.
 

TheLoneGunman

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Maybe we're losing money because Charlie is flooding the market with affordable consumer goods made by cheap foreign labor.
 

blue emu

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Maybe we're losing money because Charlie is flooding the market with affordable consumer goods made by cheap foreign labor.
Possible. Those six Charlie warships have been parked on Earth for over a month... with his Freighters making repeated runs to Earth, I suspect he's just guarding the far end of his shipping route.

We've built our first Research Lab, and I've queued up five Financial Centers. I think I might alternate that pattern: a bunch of Financial Centers, then a Lab. Research Labs are very expensive to build, and simply scandalously expensive to operate... it takes several Financial Centers to generate enough cash to run a single Lab.

EDIT: The contact team attempting communication with the evil Prix has decided to quit... "Communication Impossible". I suspect that these buggers are Precursors, because it's not supposed to ever be impossible to communicate with NPRs (Non-Player Races), according to the game designer.
 

TheLoneGunman

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Possible. Those six Charlie warships have been parked on Earth for over a month... with his Freighters making repeated runs to Earth, I suspect he's just guarding the far end of his shipping route.

We've built our first Research Lab, and I've queued up five Financial Centers. I think I might alternate that pattern: a bunch of Financial Centers, then a Lab. Research Labs are very expensive to build, and simply scandalously expensive to operate... it takes several Financial Centers to generate enough cash to run a single Lab.
How is the economy now that we've built an additional lab? Are we still in the black?
 

blue emu

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How is the economy now that we've built an additional lab? Are we still in the black?
We were in the black before starting to build it, in the red while building it. I'll wait a week or two for the economy to pass into a new 5-day construction/budget block, and check again. All that stuff is done and reported in 5-day increments.
 

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Greatest terrestial alvian, could you index the actual gameplay updates and post them to the first post? To be quite frank, I dont want to rummage through all posts to find new stuff.
At some point, yes... but it sounds like a massive job, with a couple if thousand posts to comb through and hundreds to list.
I've taken the liberty to do just that. Keeping track of the story so far was becoming complicated with over 100+ pages of discussion, so I've compiled the most relevant status updates and communiques into a 5-post narrative. And yes, it's been quite a massive job - my apologies if I missed anything crucial. :p

Stay tuned...
 

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January 1st, 2025.

We will start by sending out all of our Geo-Survey ships to search for mineral deposits. The most critical shortage was Solium, but that emergency has been superseded by the even more critical Neutronium emergency. We need to find and start exploiting a rich deposit of Neutronium within the next eight months, or we'll have to start putting some of our construction projects on hold.

Commander Billy Bob leads the four Geo-Survey craft out into space. They will split up, and one will head for the Moon, another for Mars, another for Venus, and the last one for Mercury... might as well check out the inner Solar System first, since any find there can be quickly exploited.

Meanwhile, our three Grav-Survey ships led by Commanders Avernite and Coinneach will start searching for Jump-point exits from the Solar System.

The Galaxy awaits!

Captain Arjyla will lead the Grand Fleet out on manoevers, to train the crews. We haven't yet produced any Missiles for his ships to carry... but he can start training for the Engine Room, Life Support and Maintenance crews now, and pick up some Missiles when his Task Force returns to Earth at the end of the Manoevers.
There are explorer-type ships available right now... one Jump-point explorer and three Geological explorers. Searching for pathways to other stars sounds more exciting, but our big problem at the moment is that Neutronium mineral shortage.

Aaaaand... they're off and running! Commander Billy Bob in the lead!

Commander Velko has been assigned to the Geologist class Geo-Survey vessel ESN Hutton. You are one of the most talented Survey Pilots in the fleet... a +25% Survey modifier (the very best we have is +30%).

EDIT: These light ships really zip around... within 24 hours of issuing our orders, we already have Geo-Survey vessels on station in orbit around the Moon, Mars, Venus and Mercury busily scanning the surface of those bodies, while our Grav-Survey vessels have crossed the orbit of Mars and are headed outward towards the suspected locations of potential Jump-points.
January 4th, 2025 : Geo-Survey ship reports that the Moon is barren. No useful minerals. Rat-boogers!

January 6th, 2025 : Geo-Survey ship reports that Mercury is barren. No useful minerals. Double-rat-boogers!

January 7th, 2025 : Commander Billy Bob's Geo-Survey ship reports massive deposits of Trans-Neutonian minerals on Mars, including both of the scarce elements that he was sent out to find. Preliminary reports indicate 334,084 tons of Neutronium at 70% purity (compared to 34,684 tons at 20% purity here on Earth), 6,853,924 tons (!) of Sorium at 60% purity (compared to 39,875 tons at 70% purity here on Earth), 417,316 tons of Uridium at 50% purity (compared to 15,964 tons at 20% purity here on Earth), and 5,035,536 tons of low-grade Gallicite at 10% purity (compared to 37,608 tons at 40% purity here on Earth.

... and Mars is simply the ideal spot to find these minerals, because it is the only body in the Solar System (aside from the Earth itself) that can support large numbers of Colonists at our current tech level.

Commander Billy Bob has solved both the Neutronium resource crisis and the Sorium resource crisis at a single stroke, only one week after receiving his orders! Commander Billy Bob may have just handed us the keys to the Galaxy!

A quick consultation between the Chief of the Naval Staff and the Planetary Governor results in the following announcement:





Commander Billy Bob, commanding officer of the ESN Agassiz Geo-Survey vessel, has been awarded The Order of Paradox, for conspicuous service to the cause of Humanity. The award includes a 100 point bonus towards his next promotion.

The possibility of awarding a Knighthood has been raised in the Planetary Council meetings. (I do have that ability in-game, by the way)
Commander Lord Blekinge now commands the ESN Thor, an Astronomer class Grav-Survey vessel, tasked with finding a Jump-path to neighboring star systems.

Commander Mazer Rackham now commands the ESN von Haast, a Geologist class Geo-Survey vessel. Captains are too high-ranked to command any of the available ships... you'll have to settle for the next lower rank (Commander).

Not only did Billy Bob hand it to us on a platter, but he picked the best possible platter. Mars is the most suitable spot in the Solar System for setting up a Colony... and that would still be true if it was out in the Outer System instead of next door to Earth.


No weapons, no armor, no shields. If something really nasty happens, you should try your best to be somewhere else at the time... say, two or three star-systems away.

EDIT: Politely declining the offer of an all-expense-paid vacation on Earth, Commander Billy Bob finishes filling out his Assay Log for Mars, and then sets course for the nearest Asteroid, to continue his survey.

Still on the January 7th turn, telesien has been appointed Governor of Earth's first colony... Mars.

(He asked a few posts before Taklagarn did)

Teep has been appointed as the new Public Affairs Officer at Fleet Headquarters.



... check out the "Personality Traits" box! :rofl:
The game typically generates about 1000 to 1200 stars for the local segment of the Orion Arm. I've seen Gas Giants with over 30 moons... multiply that by the number of systems, and that's a lot of objects to track.

January 8th, 2025. Minor quantities of high-grade ore located on Asteroid #1. Not worth going after, with Mars hanging in the sky over our heads.

January 11th, 2025. Further massive quantities of assorted ores located on Venus by Commander Rackham. Total tonnage exceeds 50 million tons, but the ores are extremely low-grade (nearly all in the 10% to 20% range, with none exceeding 30%) and quite difficult to extract considering the hostile environment of Venus. They will be considered as "Reserves" for the future. Possibly, the FAR future.
Commander Polar Mongoose is now in command of the Geologist class Geo-Survey vessel ESN Lyell.



... and that's the last of our Survey ships until four more roll off the ways a bit less than two years from now. Everyone else will have to settle for Naval Auxiliaries (Freighters, Scoop-Miners, Tankers) or become Fighter Pilots when the Fighters start rolling out a few months from now.
January 13th, 2025. Commander Coinneach of Astronomer class Grav-Survey vessel ESN Copernicus has located the first Hyperspace Jump point leaving the Solar System! It is located between the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn, and about 40 degrees clockwise of Saturn's current orbital position. After reporting his find to Fleet Ops, the intrepid Commander fearlessly heads his unarmed ship towards the Jump point. A new age is about to dawn... Commander Coinneach will be the first human being (except perhaps for Elvis) to leave the Solar System.



(Saturn is just off-screen at bottom right-center)
January 17th 2025. Commander Coinneach successfully entered the Jump-point. An instant later, he rematerialized in the Epsilon Eridani system. One star, two Super-Jovian Gas Giants, three Jovian Gas Giants, two rocky worlds roughly the size of Earth (but boiling hot and with poisonous atmospheres), a couple of small rock-ball worlds, forty assorted moons and fifty asteroids. No bodies suitable for colonization with our given tech level.



Since there are no prospects for immediate colonization in the Epsilon Eridani system, Fleet Ops has decided not to risk Commander Coinneach for little immediate profit, and has ordered him back through the Jump-point to continue exploring the Sol system for further anomalies. Mathematical calculations indicate that there could be as many as six Jump-points in the Sol system... perhaps a different one would offer a better risk-vs-reward ratio.
Lieutenant Commander Arilou is now in command of the Gas Station class Scoop-Miner ESNA Shell. As soon as our Geo-Survey vessels discover a Gas Giant with Sorium in its atmosphere, you will be sent to scoop-mine the Gas Giant's atmosphere for space-fuel. You are averse to risk, ignorant and set in your ways. Read that as: cowardly, stupid and stubborn. Sorry.

A little marginal note... you may have noticed that I've designated some vessels with an ESN prefix (Earth Space Navy) and others with ESNA (Earth Space Naval Auxiliary). Naval Auxiliaries are civilian-style vessels (Freighters, Transports, Colonizers, Tugs, Oilers, etc) which have been built, purchased or requisitioned by the Navy and are operated by a Navy crew and flying the Naval ensign. They aren't as much fun as warships... but they give you a chance to take part in the game, improve your skills, earn a few points towards your next promotion... and perhaps eventually contribute to an Alien's daily carbohydrate intake. Transfers will be available to Fighter Command starting next month, and to a real warship as they come off the ways.
January 30th 2025. Another red-letter day on the calendar. Today our Grav-Survey discovered THREE new Jump points simultaneously. Is some sort of strange space rift opening up? All three were discovered at the same moment, by Commander Coinneach. They are clustered together in an arc stretching from just inside the orbit of Jupiter, at the outer fringe of the Asteroid belt, out to a location roughly mid-way between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus. Since Commander Coinneach is the only Naval officer who has ever left Known Space and returned alive, he has been ordered to investigate the nearest Jump-point. Cautiously. The other two Grav-Survey ships are too far away to assist in any reasonable time-frame, so once again he's going it alone... where no man has gone before.
1st February, 2025. Commander Coinneach has jumped into the Ross 248 system. A Red Dwarf star, two frozen rocky planets, a Gas Giant and a little frozen rock-ball. Nine Asteroids (seriously? NINE Asteroids?), a crap-load of comets, and no prospects for colonization. He has been immediately recalled to the Sol system, to explore the second anomaly of the three.

EDIT: Lieutenant-Commander Felix Sylvestris has become our first Fighter Pilot. He is motivated, distant in his relations with others, and has the fifth-highest Fighter Operations bonus among our 88 officers... the four officers with higher ratings are too senior to fly combat missions in Fighter craft.
6th February, 2025. Commander Coinneach has jumped into the Procyon system... and found a habitable planet!

Procyon is a F5-IV star, considerably larger and hotter than Sol, and all of its inner worlds are either scorched cinders or blast furnaces... but the outermost planet, Procyon VII, is much cooler and has an atmosphere almost identical to Earth's own: Nitrogen 79%, Oxygen 21%. If anything, Procyon VII is too cold for comfort. The temperature is sixty degrees below freezing, and the planet's hydrosphere is locked up in a world-spanning ice-sheet. Still... this planet, as unappetizing as it seems, is the best Colonization prospect that we've seen since Mars. It is well within our technological capability to maintain a Colony on it.

Perhaps we're being hasty? Does someone already call this planet home? A hurried consultation within Naval Ops has resulted in the following orders: Commander Coinneach will transit back to the Sol system and investigate the last of the three Jump points. A Geo-Survey ship will move to this Jump point and transit into the Procyon system to start sweeping the planets, moons and asteroids for minerals... or signs of life...

... any volunteers?
8th February, 2025. Did someone mention Wolf 359? Commander Coinneach has transited to the Wolf 359 system. A Red Dwarf star, two Gas Giants and two little rock-balls... three if you include the solitary moon of one of the Gas Giants. Nothing remotely habitable... but this system looks like they're holding an Asteroid convention: 623 Asteroids. It will be a great place to set up Asteroid mines, once we've developed Space Habitats.

Commander Coinneach has been ordered back to the Sol system to continue his one-man search for Jump points.
Just to keep score... Commander Coinneach has so far discovered a total of 819 extra-solar bodies (planets, moons, asteroids, etc). No-one else has found even one. Almost time for a medal, no? Should we wait for 1000?
The Martian colony now consists of thirty automated (robot) factories, thirty units of infrastructure (for life support) and 50,000 colonists.

EDIT: Meanwhile, Commander Mazer Rackham has jumped to the Procyon system, and is approaching the habitable planet, intending to scan first it, then all neighboring bodies.

@Qorten: You are now in command of the Iche Bins RADAR/Anti-Missile/Point Defense Base #2. Fifteen Anti-Missile launchers, each capable of firing six times per minute.



You are highly educated but listless. With a skill in crew training, you will soon whip these slackers into shape... if you can be bothered to do it...
One month and 25 days since game-start.

Our battle-fleet has been training constantly for all that time... running out to the orbit of Jupiter and back, dodging Asteroids in high-speed manoevers, sky-diving the Sun...they can's start weapons training until the Factories cough up some missiles, but the ships crew are slowly coming together as a team.

Even the officers are improving:



... all this training has made Autonomous better at Training!

EDIT: two days later, Commander Edzako's Training bonus went up.

Meanwhile, in the Procyon system... Commander Rackham has been orbiting the habitable planet Procyon VII for more than a week, carefully scanning it for mineral deposits or signs of life. The world seems to be empty of hostile aliens, at least.

EDIT again: Commanders Rackham and Dorieus both just skilled-up. Our characters are improving.
Good news and bad news. Commander Rackham has completed his scan of the habitable planet in the Procyon system. No hostiles are present. It turns out that the planet does indeed contain ores... massive quantities of ores. Corbomite: 101,002,500 tons. Tritanium: 207,360,000 tons. Uridium: 21,622,500 tons. Corundium: 155,002,500 tons. The bad news? All four of the ores are at the lowest possible concentration level... 10%. Each mine will only produce 1.6 tons per month instead of (up to) 16 tons per month.

Rackham is now continuing to scan all of the nearby bodies in the Procyon system... perhaps a convenient nearby source of high-grade ores will be found.
Autonomous : Innovative, Patient, Crew Training 100, Fleet Initiative 460 (!), Factory Production +20%, Terraforming +10%
Octavian Durieus : Courageous, Enterprising, Friendly, Skilled Orator, Crew Training 100, Fleet Initiative 147
Bo Mosberg : Admin Rating 5, Survey +10%, Research Bonus +25% (Power and Propulsion Technology), Xenology Bonus +20%
... you are currently researching a miniaturized version of our new Nuclear Pulse Engine, to be fitted into a new generation of Missiles.

18th March, 2025. Only hours after sending us his report on the massive but low-grade ore deposits on the habitable extra-Solar planet of Procyon VII, Commander Rackham has sent us a second, almost unbelievable report. He claims that as he was leaving Procyon VII, he spotted the crumbled remains of some ancient ruins, visible on the surface.



Naval Ops immediately dispatched an urgent order to Commander Rackham, forbidding him to approach the planet more closely, and instructing him to stand off in stealth mode and continue to observe the site through passive sensors. We also queried his original assumptions... could it be an unusual but natural geological formation? Rackham... an expert in Geology, like most Geo-Survey pilots... curtly dismissed this possibility. The ruins are real.

Now what?

I feel that we should adopt one of two courses: either send in some Marines to secure the site before sending experts to examine it... which will cost us years, since we have no Troop Transport technologies developed, and no Assault Carriers built... or else put together a team of Xenology experts and send them in unprotected to look over the ruins right on the spot.

The first course of action is much safer, but will mean deferring the investigation by several years. The second course of action is much riskier... especially for the Xenology team... but offers the possibility of early, incalculable rewards. Could some alien technological artifacts still be lying in the ruins, just waiting for us to collect them? Could they be trapped, or somehow guarded?

I must convene a restricted council meeting to discuss this development. Spread the blame a bit, in case something goes wrong...
Julius Strange has joined the game... he has requested a transfer from the Army reserve pool to field duty... and do we have a job for him!

He is Ground Combat +15%, Xeno +25%, and his character traits include "Problem Solver" and "Risk Taker". Apropos, no?
We now have:

Trajan +30
Julius Strange +25
Bo Mosberg +20 (if he wants to go)
Avernite +15

... one more dude with better than +10 and we are actually OVER +100%.

EDIT: we still have another unclaimed non-player-character with a +25% bonus. Failing that, I think it would be time to give Coinneach his medal and add him to the team.
Aha! Seli has joined the away team. Xeno bonus of +25%, and a Survey bonus as well.

Now the question is... does Bo Mosberg want us to wait for him to finish his research so that he can come along, or should we use Coinneach the Explorer instead?

Either way, we have at least +105%
Commander Coinneach is awarded the Order of Paradox for his impressive achievements in opening up the Galaxy to Human colonization, by locating and mapping nearly a thousand extra-Solar bodies including a habitable planet which contains traces of an Alien civilization... all in less than three months.



Commander Coinneach is ordered to hand over the Astronomer class Grav-Survey ship ESN Copernicus to Gen.Schwuermann and report to the away team.

@Hellvink... haven't you been waiting for a ship since page three or so? Avernite will have to give his up if he wants to join the away team.
Commander Avernite is ordered to hand over the Astronomer class Grav-Survey vessel ESN Avernum to Commander Hellvink and report to the away team.

... and that's it! The team is assembled:

Trajan +30%
Seli +25%
Julius Strange +25%
Avernite +15%
Coinneach +10%

Total: +105%

Now to arrange transport from Earth to the Procyon sector...
MSG Fleet Ops to Cmdr Hellvink ESN Avernum
After completing your current op you will rtn Earth ASAP
Refuel in minimum time rpt minimum time
Take on board five member alien analysis team
Transport team to Procyon Seven unload
Then analyze Procyon system for jump point exits
Expedite
MSG ends XXXXX

Jules Verenti has been appointed as Director of Naval Intelligence at Fleet Ops HQ. Fleet Initiative 184, Intel +30%, modest, tolerant, embraces change.

Hrabar has been appointed as Director of Communications at Fleet Ops HQ. Crew Training 50, Fleet Initiative 190, FTR Ops +10%, Espionage +15%, Communications +20%, impatient, uncaring, stubborn, many social interests.

Syber has been appointed as Research Scientist. Logistics and Ground Combat research +25%, Admin 4, intolerant, observant, result oriented, Currently working on : Orbital Habitat Module to enable Space Station design.

Konstantin Mikhailovsky has been appointed as Squadron Commander for our #2 Squadron of Fighters (Felix Sylvestris is CO of Squadron #1) each Squadron will eventually number 11 Fighters. Crew Training 25, Fleet Initiative 137, FTR Ops +20%, ambitious, decisive, intolerant, stubborn.

Elise Mueller has been appointed as Research Scientist, Sensors and Fire Control research +15%, Survey +10%, Admin 2, Currently working on : upgrading fire control target tracking speed +2000 km/sec (commanding 10 labs out of our 40 total), research project due to complete in five months.

XVDravarVX : Once our Xenology Team reaches the alien ruins on Procyon VII, they will discover that the original alien name for the planet was Dravar XV.

Richard Nixon has been appointed as an Admin 4 Administrator. In view of his Xenology rating of +10%, he will be appointed as Planetary Governor of the Procyon VII (aka Dravar XV) alien ruin excavation site.

Jolt has joined the game as a Colonel in the Ground Forces. Xenology +15%, Ground Combat +10%, focussed, self-confident. No current assignment.
Thank you for entrusting such a vital task to me! Might I enquire what other skills and traits I have?

To the personnel under my command at the Procyon VII Excavation Site:

I am stern but fair. I'll have no nonsense going on at the Excavation Site. We will complete the monumental task before us and our very names will be pages in history!
Situation Report April 2, 2025.



Our Battle Task Force continues training manoevers. A private consortium has formed a shipping line, the Pratt Shipping Company, and has built or purchased a Mule class Freighter and started trading with our colony on Mars. This will provide extra tax revenue to the system treasury and will improve morale on the colony... but it gives the Navy another responsibility: trade protection.

Commander Velko reports that the atmosphere of Saturn holds over a million tons of low-grade Solium (20%). This is both good news (the tonnage) and bad (the low concentration). Hopefully our scouts can find better Solium concentrations on Uranus and Neptune... my scientific advisors tell me that the Solium concentration should get higher towards the outer edges of the Solar system.

Our colony on Mars continues to expand rapidly, and has already reached 300,000 people, with roughly 40,000 of them working in local service industries and another 50,000 working on supply and life support tasks. This leaves 210,000 colonists available as a work-force, so we have started shipping some Earth factories out to Mars on loan. They will use these loaned Factories to produce more Factories of their own... and when they can finally return our loaned industrial plant a few years from now, they will have "boot-strapped" up to an industrial colony. In the first three months, our Mule Freighters under Lieutenant Commander Stuckenschmidt have managed to ship 75 robot mines out to Mars, and followed them with a magnetic catapult mass driver, which will soon start hurtling the refined ores back to Earth.

The first mass driver shipment is due to arrive at Earth within a week. Thank God. Our need is great... our on-hand stockpile of Neutronium has dropped to only 1251 tons, which will be exhausted within months leaving us with a production shortfall (supply minus demand) of about -2700 tons per year. We need that Neutronium desperately.
April 8th, 2025. The first mass driver shipment from Mars arrived today, carrying over 20 tons of Neutronium as well as similar amounts of Sorium and Uridium and minor amounts of Gallicite. In total, about 69 tons of ore. If this rate of delivery can be maintained, it will halve our projected shortfall. We're still in the red, though. Our stockpiles are still dwindling... but not at the previous alarming rate. We have bought ourselves some time.

That time must be used to find a permanent solution to the resource shortage. More robot mines are currently under construction here on Earth, for shipment to Mars and other high-concentration Neutronium deposits. A second pair of Mass Drivers is being assembled. We are taking every possible measure to meet the emergency... and it still might not be enough. Tentative schedules are being drawn up... strictly as paper-studies at the moment... for shutting down selected sectors of the economy in order to reduce our Neutronium consumption to a minimum without crashing the whole economy. The shipyards are by far the main consumer of this scarce resource, and any full or partial shutdown will have to hit them hard.

How will I explain this to Captain Arjyla?

... perhaps it won't be necessary. It will be tight... very tight. But perhaps we can squeak through without halting production on any of the warships, and without slowing down the expansion work on any of the military shipyard slips. If we were forced to halt expansion work on the Civilian shipyard slips in order to conserve the last of our Neutronium for the Military construction... I believe Captain Arjyla would accept that solution.

Commander Hellvink arrived yesterday, refueled and departed this morning with the Alien Analysis Team, bound for Procyon VII. That's another can of worms. God knows what they might find... or what might find THEM. The Procyon system is by no means secure... we don't even know where the exit jump-points are, or how many of them exist. The system might be right on the border of an alien empire.

Well... there's one ray of hope, anyway. By the time Captain Arjyla and his men return from their training mission, our armaments factories will have some Missiles ready to load into their ships. For the first time in Human history, we will no longer be entirely naked to attack.
Theusje and Raczynski are now Fighter Pilots. Waiting on answers from Morrell8 and Lord Martin.

In addition to the list of available positions given above, there are two Naval Auxiliary Freighters available (the Colony Ship has been claimed), eighteen more Fighters, five ground installations that need Commanders (two Missile Bases, two Fighter Bases and one Point Defense/Anti-Missile/RADAR base)... and it's also possible to become a specialist in some field, to join a five-person Team like the one currently exploring the alien ruins on Procyon VII.

We need or will need Geologists (we already have a Geology team currently exploring the Earth for additional minerals, and none of those five characters have been claimed), Xenoarcheologists (although we are currently short of available units with that skill, since most of them have been claimed already), Diplomats (none needed right now, but probably later), and Spies (again, none needed right now, but probably later).
Message for Lord Martin in Survey Ops:

MSG ESN Avernum @ Procyon to Fleet Ops
Jump point detected May 5 2025 very near Procyon VII
Coord 1.75 b-km 01 deg from planet
Will investigate unless recalled
cc to Cmdr Rackham ESN von Haast in-sys
- Cmdr Hellvink out
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG Fleet Ops to ESN Avernum @ Procyon
Good job Commander
Proceed with caution
- Lord Martin @ Survey Ops out
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG ESN Avernum @ AD Leonis to Fleet Ops
New jump point leads to AD Leonis system
Seven planets none habitable
One gas giant two rocky worlds four rockballs three moons 143 asteroids
No signs of life apparent
Returning to Procyon sys to continue mapping
- Cmdr Hellvink out
MSG ends XXXXX




All good except that it will be ESNA Amalthea. You're in the Navy, Mr GaiusC! NA = Naval Auxiliary.
Here's a rough map of Known Space:



... the directions and distances are completely arbitrary, not representational. Since we jump directly from one system to another without actually crossing any of the intervening space, it literally doesn't matter how far away a system is, or even which direction it is. The map is intended only to show tree-relationships between star systems... eg: we have to pass through the Procyon system in order to reach the AD Leonis system. In Naval terms, AD Leonis is "two jumps away" from Earth.
Turns out that I cannot change the name of the design now that they are in production (or to be more exact, I can "change the name", but it doesn't actually change the names). We'll call our improved Fighter version an Avenger, after we tech up a bit and design a new one.

Lieutenant Commander SA Avenger is now a Fighter Pilot, commanding Fighter #4 in Squadron #1 (Wildcards) under CO Felix Silvestris. You have Fleet Initiative 171 and are tolerant.

@Qorten: You now command Vauban RADAR.
<Apr 29>
TO: GOVERNOR BLUE EMU
RE: DIVULGENCE OF CLASSIFIED MATERIAL

INTELLIGENCE HIGH COMMAND WARY ABOUT AAR AS POTENTIAL LEAK OF CLASSIFIED AND ABOVE INFORMATION. SOME INFORMATION PRESENTED HAS BEEN RETROCLASSIFIED AS TOP SECRET. THIS IS DEEMED AN UNACCEPTABLE SECURITY BREACH. THERE IS NO GUARENTEES THAT THEY HAVE NOT INFILTRAITED PARADOX OT AND USING INFORMATION GIVEN FREELY TO ENGINEER WEAPONS SYSTEMS TO DESTROY OUR FORCES. ALSO THE EXPLORATION DATA COULD BE USED TO LOCATE EARTH. THE DIRECTOR REQUESTS THAT YOU STOP CARELESSLY GIVING AWAY STATE SECRETS.

DEPARTMENT OF NAVAL INTELLIGENCE
Your Captain got promoted one rank to Commodore. Commodore Marius Balle is in command of Fighter Base #1 (the one with Felix Silvestris' Squadron #1 in it). Your base operates a Squadron of eleven Spitfire Fighters, each carrying three size-4 High Capacity Anti-ship Missiles (a more potent but shorter ranged version of the standard size4 Anti-ship Missile). The Airbase also mounts six size-2 Point Defense Anti-missile Missile launchers with 86 rounds and rate-of-fire of 6/minute/launcher, and has passive sensors capable of scanning out to 18 million kilometers and active sensors (which would give away your position) capable of spotting and "painting" targets out to 50 million kilometers.

You are ambitious, observant, focused, you embrace change, and have a shitload of skills, the most relevant of which are +15% each for Fighter Ops, Logistics and Espionage.

Where would you like the Airbase located? (eg: Biggin Hill AFB)
June 1st 2025. In the first five months of the year, our vigorous exploitation of the Martian resources has reduced our annual Neutronium stockpile defecit from nearly 2500 tons to only 900 tons... and it may be possible to reduce the gap even further over the course of the next few months. I am just beginning to hope that we might weather this resource crisis without making any cuts at all... if we are lucky, and if every man pulls his weight, we may not have to cancel or postpone a single project. In January, the "economic crash" deadline was seven or eight months away. Five of those months have already passed, and the "economic crash" deadline is now more than twelve months in the future. We have gained ten months already... and while our stockpile is still slowly going down, it seems clear that we are slowly and painfully pulling ourselves out of danger.

The Martian population is now 960,000 with a dozen factories running... making more factories, of course... and 114 automated mines busily ripping Neutronium out of the Martian crust.
Commander Darthkommandant is now Fleet Logistics Officer at Fleet Ops HQ. Talented Musician, Problem-Solver, Resourceful, Logistics +25%, Survey +10%, Diplomacy +10%, Fleet Initiative 106, Crew Training 25
... speaking of long-term comets...

@Taklagarn :

I've got a proposition for you. Take a look at this map of the Solar System.



Notice, in the top right corner of the shot, a large comet headed inward. It's a long-period comet... it probably only passes through the Inner Solar System once per century or once per thousand years. At the moment, it's still outside the orbit of Saturn, but it's headed in to swing around the Sun and then head out again. It won't be back until after we're all long dead.

Here's the Assay Report:



... it's even richer in terms of ore-concentration than the Martian mines.

15,518 tons of Neutronium at 100% concentration. Mars is only 70%.Earth is 20%.
14,046 tons of Sorium at 100%. Mars is 60%. Earth is 70%
12,446 tons of Duranium at 100%. Mars has none.
nearly 200,000 tons of Gallicite at 90%. Mars is 10%. Earth is 40%.
... and lots more.

Looks like a pretty nice haul... if we exploit it now. It's making one pass through the inner system, and then we won't see it again during our lifetimes.

I'm very tempted to send out as many of the Automatic Mines as we can spare and set them up on that comet... while it's still around. Then yank them all off it again as it heads back out toward the Oort Cloud.

The total tonnage is only in the tens of thousands... but we wouldn't have TIME to mine out more ore than that, anyway. It's going to LEAVE.

Would you like to be the Governor of a Comet?
Lieutenant-Commander Ccbasin is now Director of Operations at Fleet Ops HQ. Fleet Initiative 135, Survey +10%, Factory Production (useless in this role) +30%, Operations +20%, Inflexible and dogmatic, result-oriented, rude, wealthy family.


Nope... I was waiting for you to pick a position off that list given in an earlier post.


We can now design a new and more powerful series of missiles.

The first shipment of automated mines has arrived on the Comet of the Platypus. More on the way. The battle fleet has loaded enough missiles to fill their magazines, and headed back out for more manoevers.
Lieutenant-Commander GrimPagan has joined the #1 Fighter Squadron (Wildcards) under CO Felix Silvestrus, flying the #5 Fighter in that Squadron.
Wealthy, Fleet Initiative 142.
July 7th, 2025. This will be a short journal entry, because I have a date with a bottle of Champagne.

Our Neutronium stockpile is going up instead of down. The trend has continued all week. The Neutronium crisis has been beaten... without cancelling or even delaying any projects.
Julius Strange and his team landed on Procyon VII on April 15th... a bit more than three months ago. They haven't reported any signifigant progress yet. On the plus side, they're all still alive and healthy. Presumably, they are "proceeding with caution", which accounts for both the slow progress and their continued survival.
MSG ESN von Haast @ Procyon to Fleet Ops Survey
Geo-Survey of Procyon system complete.
Four planets and four moons have deposits.
Two major and two significant strikes. Others trivial.
Returning to Sol system to assist in prospecting Oort Cloud.
cc Governor Nixon, Procyon VII
cc Xeno Team in-system.
- Cmdr Rackham out
MSG ends XXXXX
August 20th 2025. Commander Gen.Schwuermann in ESN Copernicus has found a fifth Jump point here in the Sol system. He's checking it out now. Only one more potential Jump point location remains to be surveyed, and Commander Lord Blekinge in ESN Thor is approaching its estimated location. If the scientists were correct in their estimate of six Jump points leading away from Sol, then his search should also be successful. There's nowhere else it could be.
Proxima Centauri. Two planets. No moons. No asteroids. No spot to colonize. Just a miserable little Red Dwarf and its contemptible little solar system. Gen.Schuermann turned around and came back home in disgust.
MSG Fleet Ops to von Haast @ Procyon
Good job Cmdr Rackham
Planet data received for analyze
There will be sushi back on earth
- Lord Martin @ Survey Ops out
MSG ends XXXXX
24th August, 2025. The scientists were wrong. The Gravitational survey of the Sol system is complete, and only five jump-points were found, not six. I hope that's the only thing they were wrong about.

There was a hot debate in the council chamber yesterday over the possibility of building a permanent Jump Gate to the Procyon system. That would allow all vessels, whether Jump-Drive-equipped or not, to travel back and forth between Sol and Procyon. In particular, it would benefit our existing non-Jump Freighters and Tankers, and would allow us to build some really huge Civilian designs in our recently-expanded 3-slip 98,000-ton Civil Shipyard, without waiting years for our scientists to come up with a Jump Drive that will move 98,000 tons of mass.

Logistics was in favor of it, naturally. It would simplify their work tremendously, since right now the only way to send a non-Military vessel to Procyon is to have the Colony Transport Mayflower escort it there... our single Colony Transport is the only Jump-capable non-Military ship that we've got, and of course it's fully occupied round-the-clock shuttling colonists to Mars.

Intelligence and Threat Analysis were against it, objecting that a direct Jump Gate would make our Home Worlds more vulnerable to attack if we were to lose the Procyon system.

I had to point out that Commander Rackham has completed his Geo-Survey of every planet, moon, asteroid and comet in the Procyon system, and whatever dead aliens the archeological dig might find, there are no live aliens in that system, so any hypothetical aliens that took the Procyon end of the Gate away from us would have to have used Jump-capable ships to do so. They would need Jump engines just to reach Procyon from wherever-the-Hell they come from, so it hardly matters whether or not they would need jump engines to get from Procyon to Earth.

We left the matter undecided for the moment... but they'll have to make a decision soon. The shipyard has finished its upgrade, and it's a shame to leave three 98,000-ton slips idle.

The new mining operation on the Comet of the Platypus is off to a decent start. Since it's out in the ass-end of nowhere beyond Saturn, it takes a while for Commander Stuckenschmidt to shuttle back and forth, but he's already transferred six of our automated mines out to it, and has headed out with three more. Governor Taklagarn has been asking almost every day where his mag catapult is, so that he can start shooting the ore back to Earth... he claims that it's "stacked to the rafters" awaiting shipment.

I hardly think so. He's only had a handful of mines in operation, for a few weeks. He might have accumulated ten tons of ore by now, at best. Certainly we could send him a mag catapult... we have two spares on hand right now, not counting the three that are earmarked for Earth itself... but I'm reluctant to commit the shipping space to that as long as we could be shipping him more automated mines instead. We'll send him the catapult when we run out of automated mines to send.

That will be soon. Unfortunately.
Both the Wildcards and the Cossacks have now reached their full compliment of 11 Fighters. They have been supplied with missiles, and are fully operational. I have built a third Fighter Base to hold the additional Fighters now under construction, destined eventually for Carrier service.
MSG ESN Avernum @ Procyon to Fleet Ops Survey
New Jump Point Found in Procyon system
Location 600 m-km 123 degrees from Procyon => Sol jump point
Will investigate unless recalled
- Cmdr Hellvink out
MSG ends XXXXX


MSG ESN Avernum @ Gliese 205 to Fleet Ops Survey
New Procyon Jump Point leads to Gliese 205 system
Five planets, one rocky two rock-balls two Gas Giants
No Habitable planets, no sign of life
Returning to Procyon to continue search
- Cmdr Hellvink out
MSG ends XXXXX




The last time Arjyla's Battle Fleet refueled, it was directly from your ships, using fuel that you had scooped from Saturn.

EDIT: Known Space:

Lieutenant-Commander Boris ze Spider is now commanding the sixth Space Fighter in Squadron #1 (Wildcards, CO Felix Sylvestris) based on Nellis AFB under Base Commander Marius Balle. Your Fighter is armed with three size-4 SRAM (Short Range Attack Missiles) on hull-mounted hard-points... our Fighters carry no reloads and after launching missiles they must return to base (or to their Carrier) to be rearmed.

Like the rest of your outfit, your current mission is to protect Earth.
9th October. 2025. Our first two ship construction jobs have finished... two new Mule Freighters for supporting the colonization and mining programs. They have been formed into Cargo Task Force #2 and assigned to support the Mars colony while Stuckenschmidt and his Cargo Task Force #1 continue ferrying automated mines out to the comet. I have ordered that shipyard to begin construction of another two Mules.

There has been one worrying trend, which has continued all year. Since January, we have been spending money about 50% faster than we are making it. The planetary treasury has not yet dropped to the danger point, but this trend can't continue much longer or the whole solar system will go bankrupt. After this round of shipyard expansions, we will have to hold off on expanding the construction slips any further, until new funds become available. Similarly, once our current ordinance production programs have finished, further construction of Missiles and Fighters will be postponed. We have enough of both to last us for a couple of years, anyway... unless we suddenly find ourselves at war.
14th October, 2025. Three more ships come off the ways... Gas Station class Scoop-Mining Tankers. In view of the financial crisis, those three slips have been allowed to go idle, pending a decision by the council on whether to re-tool for a line of Jump-Gate Construction vessels.


December 5th 2025. Our ordinance production is nearly complete. One more missile contract needs to finish and we can mothball those factories until the new series of high-speed missiles which utilize the powerful new engines designed by Scientist Bo Mosberg has been designed and tested. That factory closure will reduce the deficit by some trifling fraction. Similarly, the last batch of Fighters will be completed in a month or two, and those factories as well can be mothballed until new designs are ready for production. Again, this will somewhat reduce the on-going remorseless erosion of our treasury. No real amelioration can be expected, though, without some sort of economic breakthrough. I must speak to my research advisors about organizing a team of scientists and economists to tackle this problem.
January 1st 2026. As I begin my second year as Planetary Governor, I can look back on the past year with a certain sense of modest satisfaction.

The resource shortage has been beaten... so far as resources are concerned, we are in the black across the board, and our resource base is still expanding day by day as the comet mines come online. In particular, both Solium and Neutronium are now available in the required quantities, and there is little reason to fear a renewed shortage in the foreseeable future.

The new colony on Mars has made tremendous strides... expanding in only ten months from a tiny outpost to a thriving planet of nearly three million people. Using industrial plant lent from Earth, they have started producing their own Factories... the first one has already been completed, and the second is expected to finish early in February. In another year or two, we will be able to reclaim the loaned industrial plant, and the Martian industries will be able to continue expanding by their own efforts. As the population on Mars continues to expand, we can start replacing the automated mines with regular mines crewed by Martian colonists... and send the automated mines out to the Asteroids.

Less satisfactory is the financial situation. We started last year with 38 thousand megabucks in treasury. We spent it all. Every penny. Then we printed some more money... and spent it, too. Tax revenues over the course of last year amounted to an additional 25 thousand megabucks. That, plus our original system treasury, totaled 63 thousand megabucks, of which we spent 40 thousand in twelve months. That leaves us with 23 thousand in treasury at the start of this second year... a net loss of 15 thousand megabucks from the treasury. Two more years of this will bankrupt us.

Hopefully, that won't happen. We have completed our phase-1 armaments plan, and have shut down both the ordinance factories and the fighter plants. Two of our eight dockyards have completed their expansion programs, and four of the remaining six will complete their expansions this year. That will reduce our daily expenditures considerably.

I have given the council my word that we will end this year, 2026, with a balanced budget.
"..and so criticism on the administrations financial policies has reached a new high as the" - the host was promptly interrupted by a grey haired, red faced man, delivering the same speech with the same intensity as he had done dozens of times in the past two weeks.
"And why wouldn't it? They are burning the tax payers money all over the universe, just not at home! Take the armament program! It's not just those huge and inefficient battleships, it's shipyards, expensive R&R and training that just eats up our fuel at home! And that despite statistics tell us chances of meeting a sentient alien are miniscule! How could a sensib-", Lt.Cmdr. Silvestris turned off the vid-screen in disgust.
Those damn fools... He sighed and turned back to the duty roster set up by his second-in-command. Raczynski was right: It was time to train some for the day a miniscule chance decided to rain death from a GSO.
Julius Strange's Log. Dated 1/1/26
Back on Earth they discuss budgets. Pah.
Here on Procyron, we are investigating an ancient past to secure a future where budgets like todays will be laughable trifles. My companian scientists are working hard at deciphering the language of those who stood beofre us on this world.
Myself, I hold onto my sidearm. Are those who once lived here a dead civilisation, or are they merely resting?
Julius Strange, Military Attache to the Procyron Expedition.
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Personnal Log - 1st January 2026...*noises*
connection...
identifying pilot: SA_Avenger
Entry 23...
1st January. It's the first time I spend it without family.
I called them yesterday night but they were worried about budget cuts and political scandals. We hear nothing of all this here.
We didn't celebrate much either.
We did had cake in the mess though but also a surprise drill at 3am.
CO FelisSilvetris doesn't stop saying that there is no night or day in space, even less new year's eves but he looks as tired as we are, some of us are getting grumpy though.
I think this whole waiting for action is grinding on us. We are all dreaming of the great deeds of the early explorers like billy bob.
But we are training for fighting, we don't know who or when but I can't wait to protect our fleet and finally see some action.
Over and out. SA_Avenger
*noises*
February 15th, 2026. The first mag catapult shipment from the comet is en-route to Earth, and will be arriving within a month; followed by an unbroken chain of packets spaced a week apart. Each one represents 139 tons of refined Trans-Neutonian ores... nine of the eleven known ores. We sent Governer Taklagarn both of our spare catapults, in order to help him clear out his backlog of stockpiled ore. Once the shipments have caught up with his daily production, we'll pull one of the catapults out again and a single catapult should suffice to keep the weekly shipments abreast of his ore production.



After more than a year of field-work here on Earth, the five-man Geology team has finally reported their results. They were able to locate an additional 100,000 tons of Tritanium, virtually quadrupling our reserves of that important element. They feel that further field work here on Earth would be unproductive, so I've asked Fleet Ops to have them dropped off on Mars. Perhaps they can locate further minerals there, too.
February 21st, 2026. The five-member Geology team arrived on Mars... and almost immediately made a major discovery. They found a vast and rich deposit of Corbomite which had been entirely missed by the orbital survey... 100,000 tons at 80% purity. Mars now produces five Trans-Neutonian minerals instead of four.

The team will be sent to prospect the comet next... although if they don't make a strike for several months, it will probably be too late to exploit whatever they happen to find.

Governor Taklagarn will be happy to have some company, at any rate.
Proycon.
Woke up with a headache.
While our intended research is slowly progressing some more pressing issues seem to have been solved by good teamwork. The combination of our improvised fermentation facilities and distillation equipment has yielded enough 'fuel' to keep the party running for the foreseeable future.
March 6th 2026. Captain Arjyla's Battle Fleet has completed its third training mission, and the crews are being given some rotating furlough while the yards overhaul the ships. While our Fighters and Missile bases make a formidable guard-force for the Earth itself, these three ships represent our only long-range striking power... and it seems prudent to keep them in top working condition.

We have started an important and long-range project on Mars. Our scientists and technicians have been working for months to assemble a series of Terraforming Stations for shipment to the Red Planet. Four of the Terraformers have been delivered to Mars, and have been coming on-line one at a time since the turn of the year. Our long-range plan is to turn Mars into another Earth... or better, into an Eden, since we have the possibility to avoid the errors made during Earth's own Industrial Age.

As the first step in the program, we have started flooding the Martian atmosphere with biologically inert greenhouse gasses. We intend to raise the temperature from its natural thermal equilibrium state of -48 degrees centigrade, up towards the freezing point of water. Once the temperature is up in the range where colonists require only respirators and warm coats instead of space-suits, we will start thickening up the atmosphere with Nitrogen, from its current 1% of Earth's density to a substantial fraction of normal atmospheric pressure. Finally, we will raise the Oxygen partial pressure up towards the level at which the colonists can throw their respirators aside, and breathe the air of Mars.

Several of my more vocal political opponents have denounced this whole operation as visionary and unrealistic... altering the atmosphere of an entire planet? At our current technology level? I have even been the butt of a number of rather feeble jokes and comedy routines on television.

Let them laugh. On my desk is a report from the monitoring station at Syrtis Major. The average global temperature of Mars has gone up more than a degree. In two months.
I sent you some company, Taklagarn...



... they brought your puppy.

========= =========== ========== =========

MSG ESN Avernum @ Procyon to Fleet Ops Survey
New jump point found in Procyon system
Coord 9.2 b-km bearing 178 deg from Procyon => Sol jump point
Will investigate unless recalled
- Cmdr Hellvink
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG ESN Avernum @ Lutyen's Star to Fleet Ops Survey
New jump point in Procyon system leads to Lutyen's Star
Red Dwarf no planets no moons no asteroids - nada
Returning to Procyon to continue mapping
- Cmdr Hellvink
MSG ends XXXXX
June 17th, 2026. The Battle Fleet has completed its overhaul, recalled its crews, and boosted out for further training patrols. By the time they return, we may have the first set of improved missiles ready for testing. Dr Holmes has been doing an excellent job converting Professor Mosberg's inspired designs into actual hardware... like Bo, she is a Power and Propulsion expert, not a Missile Scientist, so she's had to work outside her own field of expertise... but even so, she's managed to get four of the five missile designs translated into hardware in the past four months. Only the largest... and presumably the most difficult... missile model remains on the drawing boards. The ordinance factories are gearing up now for the new production run. It will take some time to create the proper jigs and dies to manufacture these new models, but I expect to see the factories back in operation by October.

The terraforming of Mars continues as planned. The fifth Martian terraforming facility has come on-line, and the global mean temperature has crept up to 1.4 degrees above nominal. Factory production continues, and the third home-built Martian factory is now operational, with more on the way. The population of Mars has reached four million.

Our efforts to master the financial crisis are beginning to bear fruit. Since the beginning of the year, we've built six new Financial Centers employing a total of 300,000 experts in business and finance. That's just about all that we've built... until the economy is under control, we must watch every penny. Fortunately, another one of the shipyards has completed its expansion, relieving some of the strain on the treasury.

It was one of the Naval Yards. Captain Arjyla will be pleased... we now have the capability to build 15,000-ton warships. That's nearly big enough for a Light Carrier.
August 3rd, 2026. The financial situation is slowly coming under control. In January of this year, our monthly deficit was averaging -1,250 Megabucks. Now in August, it's down to -450 Megabucks. I'm not sure that I'll actually be able to deliver on my promise to balance the budget by the end of the year... but we've made substantial progress at any rate. One key solution to the problem has been re-orienting our private sector towards finance and investment at the expense of production. This is a move that would have to be made eventually; as planet Earth gradually runs out of resources, it makes sense to ship the mines and factories out toward the expanding frontier and replace them with training facilities, research labs and investment banks. I'm not certain that we are really ready for this step, though, not yet... at the moment, the "frontier" only consists of one small colony of less than five million people.

Fleet Ops Survey contacted me today with some very interesting news. Thought-provoking, to say the least. It seems that Commander Schuermann of ESN Copernicus has finished Grav-Mapping the Wolf 359 system... and found no exits. None at all. It has only one jump point, which leads directly here. In other words, as long as we control the Sol system, we control Wolf 359 as well.

The system has only one other interesting feature... but that feature is interesting indeed. The sun itself is a miserable little Red Dwarf, so dim that even the innermost planets are at sixty degrees below zero; it has a couple of semi-frozen Gas Giants, a few worthless lumps of rock and ice... and six hundred and twenty three Asteroids. There are more Asteroids in the Wolf 359 system than can be found in all the other systems we've discovered, all added together... including our own.

And it's totally isolated. No-one can reach it without going through our home worlds. Sounds like a pretty good place to set up an Asteroid Mining operation. A big one.
@Syber : As an expert in Logistics and Ground Combat Applications, your new research project is "Troop Transport Bay", which would allow us to build ships to shuttle our Ground Troops from one planet or moon to another. This still won't give us the capabilty to make opposed combat drops... that will require Drop Pods in addition.

Since our Ground Combat capabilities are almost zero at the moment, I've given you ten of our forty labs right away, to get the project done ASAP.

My usual technique with research is to keep all eleven Scientists working all the time, since they improve their skills only if they are employed. Since I don't want to wait twenty years for any research to complete, that means that I assign one lab each to about two-thirds of the researchers, and split the remaining thirty-two labs between only three or four projects... so that we have about seven or eight projects just "idling along" on one lab, and three or four pushing forward at full speed. When a full-speed project completes, I usually give the successful researcher one lab again, put him or her to work on a new "idling" project, and transfer the remaining nine or so labs to a project that's just been idling along on one lab. That way, the researchers take turns at full funding and minimum funding.

You've been lucky enough to get full funding twice in a row, because we are behind in your specialty: Logistics and Ground Combat Applications, and trying to catch up.
August 9th - four new Scout Ships completed: one Geo-Survey and three Grav-Survey vessels. Anyone want a transfer to the Survey service?
Commander Bjering has been appointed to command the Astronomer class Grav-Survey vessel ESN Kepler
Fleet Initiative 136, Survey +10%, Logistics +10%, Imaginative, Talented Musician.
Commander Hellvink has made a couple of good Geological finds in the Epsilon Eridani system... including nearly ten million tons of ore at concentrations of 80% or 90%. Too bad there's no habitable planet in that system.
MSG ESN Copernicus @ Ross 248 to Fleet Ops Survey
New jump point found in Ross 248 system
Coord 568 m-km bearing 329 degrees from Ross 248 => Sol jump point
Will investigate unless recalled
cc ESN Ptolomy in-sys
- Commander Schwuermann out
MSG ends XXXXX


MSG ESN Copernicus @ Groombridge 34 to Fleet Ops Survey
New Ross 248 jump point leads to Groombridge 34 system.
Two suns A + B both Red Dwarves
Groombridge 34-A has three rpt three habitable planets.
ESN Ptolomy remains in Ross 248 system
Intend to explore Groombridge 34 system instead of returning Ross 248
System characterization to follow later
Urgently advise you dispatch Geo-Survey vessel to Groombridge 34
- Commander Schwuermann out
MSG ends XXXXX
Considering how the jump points connect, ESN von Haast at Epsilon Eridani is the closest.

MSG Fleet Ops Survey to ESN von Haast @ Epsilon Eridani
Abandon current op and return Sol system
Jump to Ross 248 and commandeer fuel from ESN Ptolomy
Leave him enough fuel to return home
Proceed to Groombridge 34 and characterize system
Begin with habitable zone around 34-A
Expedite.
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG ESN von Haast @ Epsilon Eridani to Fleet Ops Survey
Proceding as advised to Groombridge 34 via Sol and Ross 248
Will rendezvous with ESN Ptolemy at point to be advised
Preference either Groombridge 34 jump point or Sol jump point in Ross 248
-Commander Rackham out
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG Fleet Ops Survey to ESN Ptolomy @ Ross 248
Abandon current op and proceed to Ross 248 => Sol jump point
Take station on Ross 248 side of the jump point and await ESN von Haast
Transfer 90% of your fuel to him when he arrives
Then return Sol system for refueling and resume your op
cc ESN von Haast @ Epsilon Eridani
- Fleet Ops Survey out
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG Fleet Ops Survey to ESN Agassiz @ Wolf 359
Abandon current Op and return Sol system
Rendezvous with Tanker now en-route to Sol => Ross 248 jump point
Refuel and proceed through Ross 248 to Groombridge 34 system
Assist ESN von Haast to characterize system
Expedite.
- Fleet Ops Survey out
MSG ends XXXXX


Last bench-mark was a month ago, with the monthly deficit down by nearly 2/3rds. Still building more Financial Centers.
When I said that one of the planets was "at least as habitable as Mars", that was actually quite an understatement. The planet is FAR more Earth-like than Mars. It's nearly as Earth-like as Earth.

The planet is nearly Earth-sized, with a surface temperature of +19.7 degrees centigrade (Mars is -48 degrees), and an atmosphere 58% as thick as Earth's (the atmosphere of Mars is only 1% as thick), composed of 87% Nitrogen and 13% Oxygen (there is no Oxygen in the atmosphere of Mars) which, considering the ambient atmospheric pressure, gives it an Oxygen partial-pressure of 0.076 atmospheres... and now the kicker... if the pp of Oxygen were 0.080 instead, we could breathe it without any special equipment. Our terraforming stations only need to raise the pp of Oxygen on that planet by 0.004 atmospheres (four one-thousandths of an atmosphere) in order to enable us to throw away our respirators.

With minimal (and I mean exactly that, minimal) terraforming, this place will become a Class-0 world: we can live there without any special equipment, and no population limits.

We have two Geo-Survey vessels headed for the system to check for aliens and/or minerals.
MSG ESN Copernicus @ Groombridge 34 to Fleet Ops Survey
Hot Flash Hot Flash
Thermal contact 10k km
No transponder ID
Am withdrawing towards jump point
Comm channels open but no signal received
Urgently advise you send no further unarmed ships to Groombridge
Will report developments
cc Fleet Ops Operations
- Commander Schwuermann out
MSG ends XXXXX




MSG ESN Copernicus @ Groombridge 34 to Fleet Ops Survey
Unknown ship has stopped rpt stopped
Speed zero range effectively zero
Thermal signature 240
FYI our DD-G sig 200, our CL-G sig 360
Am attempting to withdraw at full speed toward jump point
Hailing unknown ship, no response
Please advise
cc Fleet Ops Operations
- Commander Schwuermann out
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG ESN Copernicus @ Groombridge 34 to Fleet Ops Survey
Have backed off 300 k-km towards jump point exit
Unknown ship remains stationary rpt stationary
No activity apparent
No response to my signals
Will continue withdrawing towards jump point unless countermanded
cc Fleet Ops Operations
- Commander Schwuermann out
MSG ends XXXXX
The contact team is complete, two ex-Navy and three ex-Marine officers (four PCs and one NPC):

Brigadier Hyme, ex-Marine, Ground Training 50, Ground Combat +10%, Xeno +10%, Diplo +30%, dishonest, impoverished, methodical.

Lt. Commander Forgiven, ex-Navy, Combat Training 50, Fleet Initiative 299, Survey +10%, Xeno +15%, Diplo +20%, embraces change.

Brigadier Nisco, ex-Marine, Ground Training 100, Diplo +20, courteous, embraces change, history buff, pessimistic.

Brigadier Cleomenes, ex-Marine, Ground Training 50, Ground Combat +5%, Diplo +20%, observant, organized, poor family, self-confident

... plus one non-player character with Diplo +15%

I've set them to work trying to contact the aliens.

Now... what orders do we give Schwuermann? Continue withdrawing to the jump point to Ross 248? Picket it or pass through it? Picket the Ross 248 side of it, or withdraw further to the Sol jump point?

Remember that he's in an unarmed ship. It will take him more than three days to reach the exit from this system.

And what about our unarmed Geo-Survey ships? I stopped them when the aliens were spotted... but if they do let Schwuermann leave unmolested, is it worth sending through a Geo-scout to check out that Earth-like world and see if it's the home planet of the aliens?
MSG Fleet Ops Survey to Earth command
We can not gamble with our brave pilots lives
I suggest we withdraw until proper units with defense capability are ready
- Lord Martin Survey Ops out
MSG ends XXXXX
Lt-Commander Rockingluke has joined the Diplo team.

Fleet Initiative 264, Diplo / Espionage / Operations all +15%, aggressive, follows orders without question, impoverished.

... and that fills out the team.
The balance of opinion seems to be in favor of withdrawal until the Diplo corps makes some progress or gives up. Five people seem to support that idea (including me, incidentally).
MSG ESN Copernicus @ Groombridge 34 to Fleet Ops Operations
Thermal contact lost when I passed out of sensor range at 1.75 m-km
Unknown ships still stationary at last contact
Heading for jump point to Ross 248 system
Please advise stay or go interrogative
cc Fleet Ops Survey
- Cmdr Schwuermann out
MSG ends XXXXX


MSG Fleet Ops Operations to ESN Copernicus @ Groombridge 34
Jump through to Ross 248 system and picket near side of jump point
Well done Schwuermann
- Fleet Ops Operations out
MSG ends XXXXX
It's currently 6th September 2026

We have one Light Cruiser with three more building (ready 25th October 2027)
We have two Guided Missile Destroyers with one more building (ready 12th March 2027)
We have no Beam Destroyers with two building (ready 12th March 2027)
We have five Geo-Survey scouts with one more building (ready 13th February 2028)
We have six Grav-Survey scouts
We have five Tankers, seven Freighters (two more building), three Colony ships (two more building), 33 Fighters, three Fighter Bases, two Missile Bases, two RADAR Bases
Commander von Sachsen has taken command of the Astronomer class Grav Survey vessel ESN Chandrasekhar
Fleet Initiative 196, Survey +10%, Terraforming +10%, listless, substance abuse (you're a drug addict)
Lt-Commander Raaritsgodzilla is now in command of a Fighter. You have Crew Training 50, Fleet Initiative 133, Fighter bonus +20%.

Your fighter is armed with three size-4 SCRAM anti-spaceship missiles, with no reloads... you need to return to base to reload.

You are in Squadron #2 under CO Konstantin Mikhailovsky




Lt-Commander Matija is now flying a Fighter, in Squadron #1 under CO Felix Sylvestris. Fleet Init 141, Fighter +15%, Diplo +10%, ignorant, unkempt

Commander Chaos has been given command of the Astronomer class Grav Survey ship ESN Kepler, Fleet Init 107, Survey +10%, callous, patient, organized

So what name should we give these Aliens? Groombridgethirtyfourians is quite a mouthfull. Call them Goons?


We'll call them Grooms for now, then.


Communication established!



... now we need to improve relations enough to start setting up some treaties with them. Doing that will further improve relations. You need around +750 or so to ally, and it's hard to pick that much up one or two points at a time. Treaties will help a lot.
Hey! According to the Galaxy map...





... WE control that star system! Unless this is a "limited intel" situation, that can't be their home system.
MSG ESN von Haast @ somewhere to Fleet Ops Survey
Willing and able to proceed to Groombridge 34
All crew prepared to do their duty
Awaiting orders
- Commander Rackham out
MSG ends XXXXX


I say send a survey craft. We need to know what's going on there, and it's worth the risk now contact is established. Meanwhile, ramp up military production and prepare to (hopefully) colonise the system, even if there's nothing of value.

Speak softly until you know you have the bigger stick.
MSG ESN Ptolomy @ Ross 248 to Fleet Ops Survey
New jump point found in Ross 248 system
Coord 2.2 b-km bearing 185 degrees from Ross 248 => Sol jump point
Will investigate unless recalled
- Cmdr Chaos out
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG ESN Ptolomy @ TZ Arietis to Fleet Ops Survey
New Ross 248 jump point leads to TZ Arietis system
Primary is Red Dwarf
One super-jovian three gas giants one rocky world
Fifty-seven moons twelve asteroids
No habitable planets or moons
ESN Copernicus remains in Ross 248 system
Will remain here and explore TZ Arietis for jump point exits
- Cmdr Chaos out
MSG ends XXXXX
After eighteen months of dangerous and painstaking work on Procyon VII, our Xeno-archeology team of Julius Strange, Coinneach, Avernite, Seli and Trajan have finally made a breakthrough!

They have managed to enter the underground section of the ruined Alien base, and the records that they obtained and translated give them the locations of NINE sites on this planet where our Engineers can dig up artifacts of the extinct Alien race. We will need to wait until we have built at least one Troop Transport ship (currently being researched) before we can exploit this wealth of Alien data. The records also indicate that the original owners of this planet had called it Dravar XV... and from now on, the planet will be referred to under that name.

Well done to the Xeno team! Julius Strange, Coinneach, Avernite, Seli and Trajan have been awarded the Xeno-archeology Badge.

November 15th 2026. It has been months since my last entry. To say that I've been too busy to write would be an understatement. I've been too busy to think... to eat or sleep. It's been just one damned thing after another.

First there was the discovery of three habitable planets in the Groombridge 34 system. Three!... and one of them nearly Earth-like! That discovery set off a flurry in Fleet Ops that almost amounted to a stampede. In a series of exhausting Council sessions, I managed to convince them that we must exploit this opportunity even if it meant spending money that we didn't have... money that didn't even exist. Of course, this meant abandoning our efforts to bring the budget under control... and of course, I was accused of breaking my promise. Damn it... the budget was under control! I had promised to balance it within twelve months, and after nine of those twelve months had passed, we had reduced the deficit by more than 75%. We were exactly on schedule to reach zero deficit by the end of the year. I didn't invent the God-damned planets... but since they're there, the opportunity must be exploited. It would have been criminal of us to let this chance slip out of our grasp.

And then... Contact. Aliens in the Groombridge system. It's almost enough to drive me mad. We finally find the opportunity of the century... and someone else has found it too. Now the colonization plans have to be put on hold, while we deal with the question of these Aliens. Question? Dear God, I wish it were that simple. There are hundreds of questions... and no answers. Who are these Aliens? Where do they come from? Groombridge? Or further away? How much further away?

... and what do they want? Earth? Are they hostile? Warriors or businessmen? Angels or devils? And can we negotiate with them?... or are their modes of thought simply too different from ours to reach any common understanding?

No answers... but we must prepare for the worst. Thank God I was able to talk the Council into starting the Missile Factories up again back in April, before any of this came up... if we had left them shut down until now, it would be next May before any new armaments reached the Navy. What a fiasco.

The Diplomatic Corps has managed to establish a measure of communication with the Grooms, but I'm told that they're being evasive on just about every important point. After weeks of communication, they've still told us nothing about where they come from, or what they want, or even whether Groombridge is part of their Empire. Stalling. They must be stalling for time. Just like we are.

We need the time desperately. Our new warships won't be ready for more than a year. Our new designs are even further in the future. We still have no way to deploy troops off-Earth. No way to move our defense complexes. No way to guard the jump entry-points to Sol except by risking our fleet. Our fleet of three ships.

I suppose there are a few bright spots in the picture. Our Xeno-archeology team on Procyon VII... or perhaps I should say, on Dravar XV... made a wonderful breakthrough, obtaining locus information on nine probable artifact sites. Now all we need is some way to get Engineers to the spot, to dig up the booty. And Marines to protect them, of course. These old records mentioned Guardians... whether they would still be active, hundreds or perhaps thousands of years later, is an open question.

I guess we'll find out.
Julius Strange reporting in.

The ruins give up there secrets. After 2 months of struggling to get past the blast doors, we enter the depths. Into total darkness. Then Avernite pressed the light switch (I have begun a paper on how technology evolves along similar lines), and it glowed. Glowed a deep red. A warning red: the warning lights of a base under attack? That we never discerned. We did find other info though. We need some serious equipment though to analyse it. And that is years away... Years of waiting to discover the treasure of this burnt out place. And now I hear there are living aliens. Perhaps my faithful companions can be sent on a new mission. T scout out new worlds. To boldly go, where no man has gone before

Strange out.
*noises.....*
*Pilot: SA_Avenger personnal report 54*
Finally caught up with the buzz.

They do not tell us anything here at base, but they have doubled the training time. Figthing to keep my eyes open as I report this. Mom left a message, she was worried I'd already have been sent away to war, what war? Alien contact is on everyone's mouth but that's all we know.
I'm starting to get the hang of the fighter though we have no intel on the opponents so not sure on how well we'd perform who knows maybe our tech is totally outdated and they'd die laughing seeing us.
Most buddies are bragging on how much they want to be sent head on into alien territory I'm glad the HQ has more sense than this, 33 fighters, 3 ships, we wouldn't last long but should those alien get too close to earth we'll make them pay dearly.
Somehow I had hoped we'd have new ships before seeing action oh well, time will tell but the nights ahead will be short....*sirens in the background* oh heck training again. *other people calling*
over and out (fading out) XXXXX
*noises*
Cloneof has joined our research team. His specialty is Energy Weapons (Lasers etc), and he gets a +10% bonus within that specialty. His Admin rating of 4 allows him to coordinate 20 Labs toward his research goal. Xeno +15%, cheerful, history buff, poor family, sincere.

The ESN Kepler is exploring the Epsilon Eridani system, which is adjacent to Sol... only one jump from Earth. It's part of our first line of defense.

Aside from the list of ships and ship construction already given above, we have 1,401 of the old-model missiles in stockpile (including both Anti-Ship and Point Defense), and the Missile factories are now back on-line and have produced the first 98 of the new-model missiles. Production continues at full speed.

TheExecuter is in command of the Geo-Survey vessel ESN Gould, currently scouting rocks in our future Asteroid Mining system at Wolf 359. Crew Training 25, Fleet Initiative 162, Survey +20%, Mining +10%, calm, good judge of character, impoverished, tolerant.

I am becoming more and more convinced that the Grooms do not own Groombridge. I have the Galactic Map set to display flags in colonized systems, and there's no flag in Groombridge. I am seriously considering sending someone in to check. Billy Bob volunteered first, as I recall.

Commander Schwuermann is awarded the Alien Contact Medal for his calm and correct handling of Humanity's first contact with Aliens.
Our land forces haven't changed since the last time I listed them. 4 Brigade HQs, 14 Mobile Infantry Battalions, 5 Assault Battalions, 5 Heavy Assault Battalions, 5 Garrison Battalions, 2 Replacement Battalions, 5 Engineer Battalions... and the Civilan mining operations on Titan, Titania, Callisto, Dione and Asteroid #83 each seem to have hired a weak Mercenary Battalion to guard them... probably the equivalent of a Company, in practical terms.

Dr Morozov has joined our research team. He is an expert in Power and Propulsion systems, has an Admin rating of 5 which allows him to coordinate the activity of up to 25 Labs, a +10% bonus within his field of specialty, and is diciplined.
November 17th 2026. Terraforming efforts continue on Mars. The biologically inert greenhouse gas that we've been pumping into the Martian atmosphere now makes up 30% of the total atmospheric pressure. Its concentration has passed that of Carbon Dioxide, leaving it second to Nitrogen as the dominant gas in the atmosphere. The average global temperature of Mars is now four degrees higher than it was eleven months ago, when the terraforming efforts began.

-44 degrees is still a bit on the chilly side... but the project is obviously bearing fruit.
MSG ESN Copernicus @ Ross 248 to Fleet Ops Survey
New jump point found in Ross 248 system
Coord 1.6 b-km bearing 271 degrees from Ross 248 => Sol jump point
Will investigate unless recalled
- Cmdr Schwuermann out
MSG ends XXXXX
Colonel Vonyx (ex-Marine) has become a spy. Espionage bonus +30%. Focussed, impoverished, indifferent. He will be in training until we require his services.
Lt.Commander Dublish has become a Fighter Pilot. Fleet Initiative 135, Fighter Bonus +10%, Xenology +20%, Cautious.You command the seventh Fighter in CO Konstantin Mikhailovsky's Squadron #2 (Cossacks).

There's still only the one Civilian company, Pratt Shipping and Mines.
MSG ESN Copernicus @ Mu Cassiopia to Fleet Ops Survey
New Ross 248 jump point leads to Mu Cassiopia system
Two stars in tight binary orbit
G5-IV somewhat brighter than Sol and M9-V Red Dwarf companion
Two rock-balls one rocky planet two super jovian one gas giant
Thirty-two moons two hundred and thirteen asteroids
No habitable planets or moons no sign of activity
Returning to Ross 248 to continue mapping
- Cmdr Schwuermann out
MSG ends XXXXX
In order to safeguard our glorious leader and the mankind from the cancerous filth of the Alien-loving communliberal cowards, I hereby announce the establishment of the Emunian Military-Imperialist Party! Rally to my banners, defenders of fleet, freedom and human race! Missile destroyers to all! :mad:

Here's our official flag.



Fear, liberal scum. :mad:
Known Space, 30th November 2026

MSG ESN Ptolomy @ TZ Arietis to Fleet Ops Survey
New jump point found in TZ Arietis system
Coord 334 m-km bearing 214 degrees from TZ Arietis => Ross 248 jump point
Will investigate unless recalled
- Cmdr Chaos out
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG Fleet Ops Survey to ESN Ptolomy @ TZ Arietis
Good job Cmdr
Carry on the investigation
Report back after the jump for new orders
- Lord Martin @ Survey Ops out
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG ESN Ptolomy @ Lutyens 726-8 to Fleet Ops Survey
New TZ Arietis jump point leads to Lutyens 726-8
Tight binary both Red Dwarfs M5-V and M6-V
One rock-ball five rocky planets three gas giants three super jovian
One hundred and thirteen moons no asteroids
Two barely habitable planets no sign of activity
Am returning to TZ Arietis to continue mapping
- Cmdr Chaos out
MSG ends XXXXX
Colonel Quift has taken command of the 32nd Engineer Brigade, currently assigned to Earth awaiting transport to the alien dig site on Dravar XV. Ground Combat Bonus +10%, delegates easily, flexible and pragmatic, organized, career-focused (no outside interests)
Colonel GrapeApe has taken command of the 33rd Engineer Brigade. Ground Combat Bonus +10%, cheerful, reliable, organized, athiest.

I've been checking the Wiki, and it turns out that Engineers can assemble pre-fab Planetary Defense Complexes! So once we have some troop transports, I can just build PDCs on Earth in pre-fab sections, ship the components to Mars, and ship in some Engineers to assemble them!
MSG ESN Thor @ Ross 248 to Fleet Ops Survey
New jump point found in Ross 248 system
Coord 2.15 b-km bearing 157 degrees from Ross 248 => Sol jump point
Will investigate unless recalled
- Cmdr Blekinge out
MSG ends XXXXX


... only four more locations to check, and Ross 248 will be completely explored for Jump Points.
MSG ESN Thor @ Struve 2398 to Fleet Ops Survey
New Ross 248 jump point leads to Struve 2398 system
Double star system both Red Dwarfs M4-V and M3-V
Four rocky planets with one as habitable as Mars
Seven gas giants two super jovians
One hundred seventy five moons three hundred thirty nine asteroids
ESN Copernicus remains in Ross 248 system
Will remain here and map this system
- Cmdr Blekinge out
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG ESN Ptolomy @ TZ Arietis to Fleet Ops Survey
New jump point found in TZ Arietis system
Coord 816 m-km bearing 58 degrees from TZ Arietis => Ross 248 jump point
Will investigate unless recalled
- Cmdr Chaos out
MSG ends XXXXX


EDIT: Like Wolf 359, Proxima Centauri has also turned out to be a "Pocket" star system... adjacent to Sol, with only that one jump point. No other entrance or exit. Unfortunately, it's basically a "junk" solar system. Two planets, neither one remotely habitable, no moons, no asteroids. At least no-one will be sneaking up on us from that direction.
MSG ESN Ptolomy @ Teergarten's Star to Fleet Ops Survey
New TZ Arietis jump point leads to Teergarten's Star
Red Dwarf primary M6-V
Two rock-balls one rocky planet two gas giants
Thirty four moons one hundred and forty four asteroids
Rocky planet is slightly more habitable than Mars
Returning to TZ Arietis to continue mapping
- Cmdr Chaos out
MSG ends XXXXX
Damn!





Damndamndamn...the Goons had two ships parked right on top of the jump point, waiting for Billy Bob when he jumped in. They're freakin' big, too... 2101 Thermal. Our biggest warship only has a signature of 360 thermal.

... well... he might as well just drive right past them and continue his scouting mission. If they're going to blast him, they might as well blast him while he's doing his job instead of while he's trying to run away.
MSG ESN Agassiz @ Groombridge 34 to Fleet Ops Operations
Hot Flash Hot Flash
I am being painted by Charlies
Targeting sensors locked on
Evading
- Cmdr Billy Bob out
MSG ends XXXXX


MSG ESN Agassiz @ Ross 248 to Fleet Ops Operations
Now back in Ross 248 system
Smaller Charlie ship chased me at 3136 kps with active sensors locked-on
FYI my top speed 3137 kps so Charlie may be faster but trying not to run past me
I doubled back to clear his field of fire and ducked back into the jump point
Waiting for instructions
Am prepared to proceed as planned to survey Groombridge 34 A-II
- Cmdr Billy Bob out
MSG ends XXXXX


OK, dudes... that was a really nasty thing for them to do.

No weapons were fired... I was only five seconds out from the jump point when they activated their active sensors, and I immediately evaded, switched my "Fleet Initiative" setting down to 1 so that I would move before them, and ducked back into the jump point. I didn't give them TIME to fire any missiles. But the question is: was it just a bluff? Or were they really going to shoot? As it worked out, they didn't commit any act of war... there's no law against using your active sensors, even if the other dude is so close that you can see him out your window. They didn't actually perform any hostile act... but I didn't give them TIME to do so. Were they about to?

And what do we do? Go back through the jump point and SEE if they shoot? Stay in Ross 248 and see if they come through here and shoot us up?
Update on Known Space:



The systems with red rims have not yet been fully explored for jump points. The systems without red rims are completely explored... at least with respect to jump-point connections

Notice... of the five systems directly connected to Sol, only TWO actually lead anywhere. The other three are dead ends.
Since the Galaxy is rotating counter-clockwise, "spinward" and "widdershins" also works. "Spinward" is "East", and "Widdershins" is "West". "North" is "Hubward" (the hub of the Galaxy lies in that direction), while "South" is "Rimward" (for obvious reasons).

..............Hubward
Widdershins.......Spinward
..............Rimward
MSG ESN Thor @ Struve 2398 to Fleet Ops Survey
New jump point found in Struve 2398 system
Coord 1.36 b-km bearing 60 degrees from Struve 2398 => Ross 248 jump point
Will investigate unless recalled
- Cmdr Blekinge out
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG ESN Thor @ V1581 Cygni to Fleet Ops Survey
New Struve 2398 jump point leads to V1581 Cygni
Loose double star both Red Dwarfs M5-V and M6-V
Two planets one habitable one marginally habitable
No Moons twenty two asteroids
Returning to Struve 2398 to continue mapping
- Cmdr Blekinge out
MSG ends XXXXX
MeanManTurbo is now the Governor of Asteroid #83. You can name it if you like. Stats displayed in the screen-shot... I had nobody with a Mining bonus, unfortunately. You'll probably pick one up through experience.

MSG ESN Thor @ Struve 2398 to Fleet Ops Survey
New jump point found in Struve 2398 system
Coord 2.1 b-km bearing 41 degrees from Struve 2398 => Ross 248 jump point
Will investigate unless recalled
- Cmdr Blekinge out
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG ESN Thor @ Gliese 687 to Fleet Ops Survey
New jump point in Struve 2398 system leads to Gliese 687
Red Dwarf primary M3-V
Two barely habitable rocky planets
One rock-ball two gas giants one super jovian
Fifty six moons thirteen asteroids
Returning to Struve 2398 to continue mapping
- Cmdr Blekinge out
MSG ends XXXXX
Known Space, March 6th 2027



Notice that virtually every habitable planet we've discovered requires going through Ross 248.
I would like to stay on in the Proyon/Dravar XV and help with the digs in any capacity that I can. The eventual governorship of Dravar XV would be most welcome.

Since the intentions of the Charlies is ambiguous as best, but more than likely hostile, might I suggest a slighly alternative but parallel option to gearing up all out for war?

Have our diplomatic corps run interferance and try to buy us time. If they succeed and manage to normalize relations with the Charlies, then great. If they fail, then every day they've bought us is valuable.

The ships that chases us out of the Groombridge system seem to have equal or great technologcal capacity than our own.

If war does break out it will be a disaster for us since there is a good chance we will be overhelemed by bigger, better, and larger star fleets.

Our military industrial complex might not be up to the task of winning such a war, even if we declare total mobilization of all of our assets.

Instead of gambling on military force I suggest we gamble on Dravar XV.

Yes, I said gamble. At this point, anything we do is going to be a gamble.

But who knows what untold riches, resources, and hidden technology lies beneanth the Tartarean ice of Dravar XV? If we can exploit its secrets as quikly as possible then the knowledge of the long dead Precursor's could catapault our technology ahead of the duplicitous Charlies.

It is to this end that I recommend that Dravar XV receive top priority. All men and women with the best and most relevant skillsets should be allocated to to the dig(s) on Dravar XV. On Earth, our reseach efforts should be directed towards technology that will help us exploit and secure the digs. Our production of troops and startships should directed with an eye towards their eventual deployment to the Procyon system. In fact, I think the Procyon system should recieve equal priority with Earth in terms of military allocation and defenses.
NEWS FLASH

Three Star-class Missile Destroyers have finished construction!

I know there are about forty people waiting for these ships... so who gets them?

My intention was to reward some of our scouts by offering them Fleet commands, and then induct some new scouts to take over their old ships. This actually makes sense, since the scouts have been in action constantly for two and a half years, and have skilled-up quite a bit. Also... eventually, when our tech level and slipway capacity permits it... we will be building a class of multi-role ships capable of both scouting and fighting (reconnaisance in force), and it would be useful to have some Officers with experience in both roles.

Voting on who should get the ships? (I am not bound by the result of the vote, of course, but I would be interested in hearing opinions). Billy Bob nearly got his ass shot off by the Charlies, in an unarmed ship... should we move him to an armed ship?
Commander Billy Bob is offered promotion to Captain and command of the Star class Missile Destroyer ESN Chimaera Commander Coinneach is offered promotion to Captain and command of the Star class Missile Destroyer ESN Procyon Commander Schuermann is offered promotion to Captain and command of the Star class Missile Destroyer ESN Centaurus

Captain Arjyla is promoted to Commodore
Commander Edzako is promoted to Captain
Commander Autonomous is promoted to Captain

Lt-Commander Trajan is offered promotion to Commander and command of an Astronomer or Geologist class survey vessel (to be designated).
Commander Avernite is offered command of an Astronomer or Geologist class survey vessel (to be designated).


Remember, people... we also have three Attitude class Guided Missile Cruisers building, so some of our current Missile Destroyer commanders (ie: Edzako and Autonomous) might be moving up to a larger ship, and handing their DD-G over to someone else.
Here's Billy Bob and his new rank and new ship:





Edzako already commands the Star class Missile Destroyer Sirius
Commander Hellvink has your old ship. You (Avernite) have been assigned to the Astronomer class Grav-Survey vessel ESN Copernicus.

Lt-Commander Trajan has been promoted to Commander and placed in command of the Geologist class Geo-Survey vessel Agassiz.

... and that fills up the roster again. More vessels come available on November 12th, but Commodore Arjyla will be handling the allocation and promotions from that date forward.
MSG ESN Ptolomy @ TZ Arietis to Fleet Ops Survey
New jump point found in TZ Arietis system
Coord 1.4 b-km bearing 340 degrees from TZ Arietis => Ross 248 jump point
Will investigate unless recalled
- Cmdr Chaos out
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG ESN Ptolomy @ Tau Ceti to Fleet Ops Survey
New jump point in TZ Arietis system leads to Tau Ceti
Yellow star G8-V
One planet not habitable
Ninety seven asteroids
Returning to TZ Arietis system to continue mapping
- Cmdr Chaos out
MSG ends XXXXX
Part 2
 

CptJoker

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That sounds pretty good. I would certainly like to have some info on Charlie... but if possible, we should use some other jump point to enter the system. He had two ships sitting on that one. We have scouts out flanking Groombridge now, trying to feel out Charlie's position.

Some compromises will have to be made... the faster the vessel, the more difficult it is to hit with a missile, but lots of engines also means higher thermal profile and higher visibility. Fortunately we have been studying a few techs to reduce our thermal profile.

========== ============ ========== ========== ============ ===========

As I mentioned to Stonewall, we are about to embark on a historic project... the colonization of the planet of Dravar XV in the Procyon system. It will be Mankind's first colony outside the Solar System. As Tsiolkovski remarked, the Earth is the cradle of Mankind... but one cannot live in the cradle forever.

I intend to send our entire force of Colonizers... three of them. Since they are the only Jump-capable Civilian ships that we have, each Colonizer will formate with two other (non-Jump-capable) Civilian ships and escort them through the Jump point.

That makes nine ships in total: three Colonizers loaded with colonists in frozen sleep, five Freighters carrying supplies for setting up the colony, and a Tanker.

This represents a sizable fraction... the bulk, in fact... of our Civilian shipping; so I also intend to send the Fleet, to escort them. It will be good practice for them. While they are gone, the defense of Earth will be borne by the three squadrons of Spitfire Fighters, the two Missile Bases, and the two Point Defense bases. I am confident that our Fighters, in conjunction with our fixed defenses, can keep Humanity safe while the Fleet is away at Procyon.

Comments or questions?
Lieutenant Commander Stonewall has been promoted to Commander and assigned command of the Mayflower class Colony Ship ESNA Forum. Crew Training 25, Fleet Initiative 101, friendly, results-oriented, risk-taker, Intelligence +25%

... and we are prepared. Here it is, the Procyon Expedition:



Hopefully, they will have an uneventful, boring trip out and back. Ships with numbers instead of names are unclaimed by any Forum member.

EDIT: ... and they're off!

MSG ESN Thor @ Struve 2398 to Fleet Ops Survey
New jump point found in Struve 2398 system
Coord 2.7 b-km bearing 102 degrees from Struve 2398 => Ross 248 jump point
Will investigate unless recalled
- Cmdr Lord Blekinge out
MSG ends XXXXX


========== ========== =========== ============ ============

MSG ESN Thor @ Sigma Draconis to Fleet Ops Survey
New Struve 2398 jump point leads to Sigma Draconis
Primary star orange K0-V
Five rocky planets one more habitable than Mars Nitrogen 81% Oxygen 19%
Four gas giants two super jovians
One hundred thirty nine moons four hundred asteroids
Am returning to Struve 2398 to continue mapping
- Cmdr Lord Blekinge out
MSG ends XXXXX
The Procyon Expedition approaches the Jump Point...



... refuels from the Tanker, and splits into five separate three-ship task forces to make the jump to Procyon. My current Jump tech only allows squadrons of three ships to pass through a Jump point at the same time.
The refueling operation uses only 20% of the Tanker's fuel load, and all the other ships are now back at 100%. Fuel will not be a problem on this mission.

Since none of the civilian vessels except the Mayflowers have Jump drives, each Mayflower will escort two other civilian vessels through the Jump point.

(AFAIK, you cannot make an "assisted jump" unless the Jump drive is carried by the most massive ship in the squadron. For this reason, when I initially designed my ships back at the beginning of the game, I made sure that my Jump-drive-equipped Mayflowers were slightly more massive than any of my other non-Jump civilian designs in that class).

The Light Cruiser Belligerent will go through first, with two Missile Destroyers in escort. They will use Active Sensors to probe the area around the Jump point, and then... hopefully... signal the "All Clear" for the civilian vessels to follow them through.

The Belligerent and her two escorts jump through to Procyon, and immediately "ping" with their active sensors... and detect nothing. The surrounding space is empty. They signal the "All Clear" by subspace radio.



Now the civilian vessels can start coming through, while the other three Missile Destroyers bring up the rear of the formation. Commander Stonewall takes his formation through first.

A problem develops immediately. Our scientists had assured us that the Mayflower's Jump drive would be powerful enough to escort two other civilian ships through the Jump point. This is clearly not the case. After hurried consultation with the Task Force Commodore Arjyla, one civilian ship is split off of each of the Mayflower formations... they will escort the non-Jump ships through one ship at a time, while the Cruiser force stands guard over the Procyon end of the Jump point and the three Missile Destroyers guard the Sol end. The Mayflowers will shuttle back and forth until they have brought all of the civilian vessels through.

They try again... and with only one non-Jump companion, The ESNA Forum successfully jumps through to Procyon... the first non-Military ship to leave the Solar System. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief, and the other ships line up for their own turns. Following behind Stonewall's small formation, first GaiusC and then Stuckenschmidt pass through the Jump point without untoward incident. All of the ships must now recover from the confusion caused by Jump-shock... a process which takes half a minute or so. Now half of the non-Jump civilian ships have been safely escorted through, and the three Mayflowers drop off their charges under Commadore Arjyla's protection and jump back through to the Sol system to pick up the other three civilian ships.

After recovering from the shock of their second Jump, the three Mayflowers each formate with one of the remaining civilian ships, and escort them through the Jump point to Procyon. After the last civilian formation blinks out, the three Missile Destroyers jump through as well...



... and the Procyon Expedition now re-assembles, and heads inward toward Dravar XV, with their active sensors ping-ing.
As expected, the surrounding space remains empty as the Procyon expedition heads inward towards Dravar XV.



This first operational mission provides excellent field experience for everyone concerned, both Naval crews and Naval Auxiliaries...



... and after three days of unloading Infrastructure, Colonists and automated mines, the colony is established! Mankind has conquered a new world!





Another unexpected glitch develops... the planet turns out to be somewhat colder and less habitable than the initial reports had led us to believe. The expedition did not bring quite enough Infrastructure to support 150,000 people in such a hostile environment. Governor Nixon predicts that unless more Infrastructure is quickly delivered, as many as ninety people might die over the course of the next year. Commodore Arjyla promises him that Earth will not let them down... a second expedition will be organized immediately upon the Fleet's return to the Solar System.
MSG ESN Thor @ Struve 2398 to Fleet Ops Survey
New jump point found in Struve 2398 system
Coord 3.1 b-km bearing 92 degrees from Struve 2398 => Ross 248 jump point
Will investigate unless recalled
- Cmdr Lord Blekinge out
MSG ends XXXXX


========== ========== =========== ============ ============

MSG ESN Thor @ Gliese 892-A to Fleet Ops Survey
New Struve 2398 jump point leads to Gliese 892-A
Primary star orange K3-V
One gas giant
No moons no asteroids no nothing
Am returning to Struve 2398 to continue mapping
- Cmdr Lord Blekinge out
MSG ends XXXXX
(UPDATED x4)
UPDATED MILITARY COMMAND STRUCTURE & INDIVIDUAL COMMISSIONS BY BRANCH

COMMAND

High Command
Generalissimus Emu
Rear Admiral Arjyla (Fleet Commander)

Fleet HQ
Lt.-Commander Ccbasin (Director of Operations)
Jules Verenti (Director of Intelligence)
Lord Martin (Director of Survey Department)
Commander Darthkommandant (Fleet Logistics Officer)
Public Affairs (Vacant)
Communications (Vacant)
Fighter Ops (Vacant)

FLEET

Rear Admiral Arjyla (ESN Belligerent) (Training Fleet Commander)

TRAINING SQUADRON 1 - Red Dragons

Captain Billy-bob (ESN Defiant) (1 - Fleet 1nd Deputy Commander)
Captain Coinneach (ESN Procyon) (2 - Fleet 2nd Deputy Commander)
Captain Avernite (ESN Sol)
Acting Captain (Commodore) Thelonegunman (ESN Chimaera) (SPECIAL: 6 month commission as a Captain)

TRAINING SQUARDON 2 - Blue Dragons

Captain Ezdako (ESN Aggressive) (1 - Fleet 1nd Deputy Commander)
Captain Autonomous (ESN Totally Pissed Off) (2 - Fleet 2nd Deputy Commander)
Captain Schuermann (ESN Centaurus)
Captain Kiwi Rackham (ESN Sirius)

SCOUTS
Commander Hellvink (ESN Avernum)
Commander Velko (ESN Hutton)
Commander Lord Blekinge (ESN Thor)
Commander Polar Mongoose (ESN Lyell)
Commander Bjering (ESN Keppler)
Commander Chaos (ESN Ptolemy)
Commander von Sachsen (ESN Chandrasekhar)
Commander TheExecutor (ESN Gould)
Commander Trajan (ESN Agassiz)
Commander Stamasd (ESN Copernicus)
Commander the_hdk Dorieus (ESN von Haast)

AUX

Commander Stonewall (ESNA Forum) Colony Ship
Commander Henkalv (ESNA The bay of Elms) Colony Ship
Commander Stuckenschmidt (ESNA Hansa) Freighter
Lt.-Commander GaiusC (ESNA Amalthea) Freighter
Lt.-Commander Arilou (ESNA Shell) Tanker
Lt.-Commander Guillaume HJ (ESNA Chinook) Tanker
Lt.-Commander Arnold "Kiwi" Rimmer, (ESNA Red Dwarf) Freighter.

FIGHTER COMMAND
Captain Felix Sylvetris (Nellis AFB)
Captain Konstantin Shepherdovsky (Other AFB)
Squadron Leader Theusje (Wildcats)
- Pilot Teep
- Pilot SA Avenger
- Pilot GrimPagan
- Pilot Boris ze Spider
- Pilot Matija
- Pilot Cromelex
Squadron Leader Raczynski (The Cossacks)
- Pilot BwenGun
- Pilot Morrel8
- Pilot Galleblaere
- Pilot Raaritsgodzilla
- Pilot Dublish
- Pilot Nabobalis

(Unclaimed) - 4 Freighters
(Unclaimed) - 2 Tankers
Commander (ESNA Texaco) Tanker
Commander (ESNA Mayflower) Colony Ship

LAND
Qorten (Planetary Defence) RADAR base
Iche Bins (Planetary Defence) RADAR base

ZERG

Brigadier Hyme (HQ)
Colonel Jolt
Julius Strange

Colonel Quift (32nd Engineer Brigade)
GrapeApe (33rd Engineer Brigade)

RESERVE / ON DEPLOYMENT
(Diplo mission)
Brigadier Hyme (Army)
Rockingluke (Navy)
Forgiven (Navy)
Cleomenes (Army)
Nisco (army)

Julius Strange (Army)
Colonel Jolt (Army)
Seli
Henkalv has been assigned to the remaining colony ship. The ship will be renamed to "The bay of Elms". Waiting for confirmation from Gen. Emu.
Commodore Arjyla has voiced his support for another full-up mission to Dravar XV... both to resupply the new colony and to perfect our training in fleet escort manoevers and squadron jump procedure.

The first exercise taught us some very valuable lessons... for one thing, we learned that civilian ships can only jump through in squadrons of two, not in the expected squadrons of three. This is unwelcome news, but it is much better to learn it during a peace-time exercise than to find this out in the middle of a battle, when it might wreck our operational plan.

In the first exercise, we limited ourselves to sending only five Freighters, since we were expecting to make the jump in squadrons of three ships (three colonizers + one tanker + five freighters = three 3-ship squadrons). That constraint no longer applies, since the "squadrons of three" tactic is unworkable. The second mission will include all nine of our Freighters, rather than just five as in the first exercise.
Henkalv is promoted to Commander and assigned to command the Mayflower class Colony Ship ESNA Bay of Elms. Fleet Initiative 262, Operations +10%, Logistics +15%, Indifferent, Untrustworthy.
Lt-Commander Stuckenschmidt is promoted to Commander, making him the senior commander of our Freighter unit.
Terraforming report, Mars project: Our biologically inert Greenhouse gas is now the dominant component of the Martian atmosphere, in greater concentration than either Nitrogen or Carbon Dioxide. The atmosphere of Mars is now 79% thicker than it was when the terraforming project began, and average global temperatures are roughly 3 degrees higher.
MSG ESN Thor @ Struve 2398 to Fleet Ops Survey
New jump point found in Struve 2398 system
Coord 3.3 b-km bearing 83 degrees from Struve 2398 => Ross 248 jump point
Will investigate unless recalled
- Cmdr Lord Blekinge out
MSG ends XXXXX


OOC: It's worth noting the format that I've been using for these messages.

The range and bearing info is always given from the point-of-view of a hypothetical ESN task force that is coming to the rescue... if a task force was dispatched from Earth to here, it would have to pass through the Ross 248 system to get here, and would appear in the Ross 248 jump point. So the range and bearing given is the range and bearing that they would need to use to locate the new jump point, starting from that exact spot (from the gate-way to the Ross 248 system).

The messages always end with "MSG ends XXXXX", so that the communications section on Earth can tell if a message is complete or was cut-off... by the destruction of the transmitting ship by hostile aliens, for example.
Lt-Commander Cromelex has been assigned to the eighth Fighter in Squadron #1 (Wildcats) under CO Felix Sylvestris

Fleet Init 190, FTR bonus +30% (!), Dispassionate, Psychological Problems

You're a bit crazy... perhaps more than a bit... but one of our most talented pilots.
It turns out that Deep Space Scanning Installations can indeed be transported by Freighter from planet to planet, according to the Wiki at least. I've put in a rush order for three of them, to be completed in about a month. We'll ship all three of them to Dravar XV.
Lt-Commander Nabobalis is pilot of the eighth Fighter in Squadron #2 (Cossacks) under CO Konstantin Shepardovsky

Fleet Init 119, FTR bonus 25%, Espionage 30%, Athiest, Cold Manner.
MSG ESN Thor @ Groombridge 1618 to Fleet Ops Survey
New Struve 2398 jump point leads to Groombridge 1618 system
Primary star orange K8-V
No planets no moons no asteroids no nothing
Returning to Struve 2398 to continue mapping
- Cmdr Lord Blekinge out
MSG ends XXXXX
Lt-Commander Guillaume HJ is assigned to command the Gas Station class Naval Auxiliary Tanker ESNA Chinook. Fleet Init 168, Logistics +20%, no outside interests, professional, sincere.
June 30, 2027. After promising Governor Nixon that a second expedition will be launched immediately, in even greater strength, Commodore Arjyla takes his fleet back into space. The Procyon system contains a super-Jovian planet, but it proved to be a bitter disappointment... the atmosphere contains no trace of Sorium. The Tanker must return to Earth with the fleet, there will be no scoop-mining operations in the Procyon system.

Commodore Arjyla reaches the Sol jump point without incident, and deploys the fleet for the jump to Sol. Again, the Cruiser and her escorts go through first, search the surrounding space, then signal for the civilian vessels to follow. The last three Destroyers stand guard at the Procyon end of the jump link while the three Mayflowers escort the Freighters and the Tanker through the jump point one at a time, shuttling back and forth through the jump point until all the civilian vessels have been assisted through to the Sol system. Then the last three Destroyers follow them through. The fleet reassembles, refuels from the Tanker, and heads inward toward Earth.

Commodore Arjyla has decided that the next mission will be even larger... nine Freighters instead of five, and three Tankers instead of one.


Excellent! One shipyard has reached 15,000 tons and is ready to start retooling for our Mountain class Carriers, and a second one has finished retooling and is ready to start producing Venture non-Jump Troop Transports!

EDIT: the first three Ventures will be finished building in eleven months! Woo-hoo!

EDIT again: we have four slips retooling for Mountain-class Carriers. Three will be ready to start production in about a year, the fourth one in about sixteen months.

EDIT once again: when I chose to call the Carriers "Mountain class", I had in mind names like: Krakatoa, Thera, Tambora, Vesuvius... volcanos which suddenly rain fiery death on unsuspecting people.
MSG ESN Thor @ Struve 2398 to Fleet Ops Survey
Two new jump points found simultaneously in Struve 2398 system
Coord 2.8 b-km bearing 72 degrees from Struve 2398 => Ross 248 jump point
Coord 2.4 b-km bearing 64 degrees from Struve 2398 => Ross 248 jump point
Will investigate in that order unless recalled
- Cmdr Lord Blekinge out
MSG ends XXXXX


That makes EIGHT freakin' jump points in the Struve 2398 system... so far!
MSG ESN Thor @ Kuiper 79 to Fleet Ops Survey
First new Struve 2398 jump point leads to Kuiper 79 system
Tight binary orange K4-V and Red Dwarf M3-V
One rock-ball three rocky planets one gas giant three super jovians
Seventy one moons twenty eight asteroids
Marginally habitable planet very cold but Nitrogen 75% Oxygen 25%
Returning to Struve 2398 to check second unexplored jump point
- Cmdr Lord Blekinge out
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG ESN Thor @ Struve 2398 to Fleet Ops Survey
Second unexplored Struve 2398 jump point
Has what appears to be a jump gate in place
Proceeding with caution
- Cmdr Lord Blekinge out
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG ESN Thor @ Giclas 9-38 to Fleet Ops Survey
Second unexplored Struve 2398 jump point leads to Giclas 9-38
This end of jump also has jump gate in place
Distant binary both Red Dwarves M5-V and M6-V
One rock-ball one rocky planet marginally habitable
No moons or asteroids
Returning to Struve 2398 to continue mapping
Unless ordered to examine this system for inhabitants
- Cmdr Lord Blekinge out
MSG ends XXXXX


The reason that Commander Blekinge is not immediately examining the system for occupants is that his ship is not ideal for that job... a Geo-Survey ship would be better equipped for it.
Governor Nixon can't get away from the hippie protestors even by fleeing to an alien solar system.

In one of the shipments going to Dravar XV make sure some of the news coloniests include a heavy percentage of policemen.

And fill a giant super star freighter full of truncheons.
Known Space:

July 18, 2027. Our scouts have been out in the field constantly for more than two and a half years, and the need for overhaul is becoming urgent. ESN Copernicus has reported that their Jump drive has broken down in the AD Leonis system... which is a damned bad place for a faulty Jump drive to quit on them.



They were able to repair it, but only by using up most of their on-board maintenance supplies and spare parts. Another such failure will leave them stranded. I have instructed Commodore Arjyla to order all the scouts home for maintenance and overhaul. I hate to interrupt our exploration efforts at such a critical time, but I would also hate to lose a scout to an avoidable hardware malfunction. They face enough risks already from hostile aliens and unknown dangers.

Terraforming progress continues on Mars, although the global temperature is not rising as quickly as I had hoped. A second, even larger, expedition has been dispatched to the Procyon system, carrying Infrastructure vitally needed on Dravar XV. It also carries two tracking stations, to finally allow us to monitor that system for possible intruders.

Progress also continues on building our fleet. Within a year, we should have three more Attitudes, the first three Ventures, and should have laid down the keels on our first Light Carriers. Fleet Tugs should follow shortly after that.
Once the scouts have completed their refit, the most urgent scouting priority is to find another habitable planet to Widdershins of us... in the area that the Charlies cannot interdict. If the system has one or more Gas Giants with Sorium-compounds in the atmosphere, that would be even better. Dravar XV in Procyon is our advanced refueling station, and that system contains no Gas Giant that can be scoop-mined for Sorium.

You will recall that Sorium is the only source of space-fuel... and that the reserve deposits on Earth itself will be exhausted in a couple of years. The situation is not quite as critical as that makes it sound... we've built up a fuel reserve of over ten million tons, and we have about a year's worth of mined Sorium that hasn't been converted to fuel yet, as well as the reserve deposits elsewhere in the Solar system (comets, Saturn's and Uranus' atmosphere); but we should plan ahead and continue to develop new sources of that critical element.

EDIT:



Tractor Beams are finished! Now we can design a Fleet Tug.
Dear diary
I wonder how long I've been on this comet, sure it's given me sights from the gods, and a murderous pink rabbit who is trying to kill us all,
that is me and Mr Snuggles. I got no clue where those scientists are I suspect the pink rabbit for this but it's good that he can don't gather
his army of doom rabbits. When I come to think about it, I wonder when we will get home!
August 14, 2027. We have all been working long hours to build up the defenses of Earth against a possible threat from the Charlies, and I fear that the strain of the past few months is beginning to affect Commodore Arjyla's health. He looked very tired when he returned from the mission to establish the colony on Procyon, but he brushed aside my concerns and insisted on taking the fleet out again, after spending only the absolute minimum time Earth-side reloading his Freighters and Tankers.



It pains me to even contemplate this, but perhaps the Commodore should be promoted to a less stressful position here on Earth, in overall command of all of our Naval forces, while a younger and more energetic officer assumes tactical command in the field. Naturally, I have no intention of making a unilateral decision on such a critical matter... but I must discuss this with the Commodore on his return from the supply run to Dravar XV.
I've just realized that there's a mouse-over tool-tip that tells me what we need for treaties. A trade treaty (the easiest type) requires +200. "Friendly" status requires +800. "Allied" status requires +4000. Currently +93
Arnold "Kiwi" Rimmer, commissioned on ESNA Red Dwarf freighter.
ESNA Schnitzel renamed as ESNA Hansa due to officer begging.

Lurkenius should be in contact with our personel department.

You'd get health issues too, with all those pinko liberal alien lovers flying around in uniform. :mad: High blood pressure, most likely.

What we should do is: As soon as ships are tanked & repaired, issue a permanent scout to Ross248 and another one on stuve 2998. Second, if we can expedite the matter, we will start researching mines. As soon as our new cruisers are trained, we take them out for a long walk. We deploy mines at the same time (preferably in massive quantity) around the sole known exit of Groombridge 1618. We then move our entire fleet to groombridge 34 and blast everything in the system. As soon as that is done, tuggers bring the alien ship remains to earth for research, Int Ops interviews all possible captives and the fleet will take positions in Ross System. We immediately ship all the necessary elements for a colony to Groombridge 34 and claim the system. The mines should hopefully give any charlies ships who jump a whole lotta things to worry about - we might even park our fleet in Stuve 2998 if possible. In the worst case scenario where the aliens come in force, we then mine the ross 248 jump point too and park our fleet to shoot from behind the mines.

Alternative plan: We colonize stuve 2998 first, and pack it with planetary defense & fighter bases. We can use the colony and its factories for producing mines in situ -> then we move for Groombridge 34.
*Noise*
*pilot log 423: SA_Avenger*
*All Hail our commander*
...not sure that new log system is much better. Hum.
Well still training around earth, lots of people are getting crazy about the "Charlies".
And we colonized a new planet...I can't believe we weren't even taken to the party. Lots of disapointment among the pilots.
Also we heard our commander might have to step down? That came as quite a shock, hopefully we won't end up with some pacifist as replacement, maybe he can keep on commanding from behind a desk but I'm sure he'll blast our ears everyday with a speech on how evil charlie lover liberals are.
If they let us rot in our fighters for too long I fear we might get fat, some are letting themselves go, and half the fighters are run by people we don't even know the name. I think the Fighter Fleet operation would need someone serious in charge.
Oh well otherwhise same s**t different day. Over and out*
*noises*
*you have used 3 foul word and been charged 30 credits/ducats*
....

edit ooc: finally caught up, nice work overall :)
as for the whole promotion thing a separated thread sure might be easier for you guys to track things up

I see in Arjyla list that: Fighter Ops (Vacant)
if he is moving behind a desk why not this one (so we can get a bonus?) or maybe raise thelongunman (who then would gives his spot to Felix Sylvestris who would give his spot to teusje)
September 24 2027. Our first Hurricane Fighter has rolled off the assembly lines, with several more to follow. This new model of Fighter is a bit heavier and slower than the original Spitfires, but carries extra fuel and an Active Sensor, so it can guide the rest of the Squadron onto the target and illuminate it for the whole Fighter group to attack. We plan to equip the Carriers with a 40/60 mix of Hurricanes and Spitfires, so that a Carrier Air Group can be composed of two five-Fighter sections, each with two Hurricanes and three Spitfires.

When Commodore Arjyla returned from his latest trip to Dravar XV, I insisted that he submit to a full medical examination. The results were not as bad as I had feared... his health is somewhat impaired by high blood pressure, but the Doctor has classified it as "Good" in his official report. The Commodore will retain his field command until we have accumulated enough warships to form multiple Battle-Fleets, and will transfer to the Earth-side C-in-C position once we have more than one Commodore out in the field.
I will be opening the sign-up thread now.

Colonel Lurkenius has replaced Hyme on the Diplo team negotiating with the Charlies. Ex-Marine, Ground Forces Training 50, Ground Combat Bonus +5%, Diplo +15%, authoritarian, unappreciative, wealthy.

Brigadier Hyme will be have his Ground Forces commission re-activated in order to prepare a Marine force for dispatch to Dravar XV, to guard both the colony and the Archeological site... our first Troop Transport ships will be ready in less than a year. More redeployments to follow.

Lt-Commander Arnold Kiwi Rimmer has been assigned to command the Mule class Freighter ESNA Red Dwarf. Fleet Init 153, Logistics +15%, lacks communication skills, listless, many social interests
At the moment, we only have six warships (1 x CL-M and 5 x DD-G), so we've got them all in one fleet. Within two or three months we should have three more CL-Ms, and can then start laying down Light Carriers. Once we are up to four Carriers, I was thinking of splitting the Fleet into two squadrons... one of (2 x CVL, 2 x CL-M, 3 x DD-G) and one of (2 x CVL, 2 x CL-M, 2 x DD-G).
We have now built up a fuel dump on Dravar XV totaling 1,000,000 liters of space-fuel... all of it shipped in from Earth, since there is no Sorium-bearing gas giant in the Procyon system. Our scouts exploring to Widdershins (once the overhauls are completed) need no longer return all the way to Earth to refuel.

The colony also now has a quarter of a million industrial workers available (not counting those working in agriculture, life support and service industries), so we can start shipping in some factories and mines.
Taklagarn's Comet of the Platypus, which was well outside the orbit of Saturn when we first established out mines on it, has crossed Saturn's orbit and is headed inward toward the Sun, still launching a steady stream of refined ore Earthward with its mass driver. We should still have several years to mine it before it crosses the Solar System and recedes outward toward the Oort Cloud. We still have not received any word from the Geology team that was sent out more than a year ago to complete the survey of the Comet, only silence... could Taklagarn's reported "Giant Killer Pink Rabbit" be more than a figment of his diseased mind?

The three most-recently-built Stars have completed their overhaul, and are waiting for the rest of the fleet to finish their refit before going out on manoevers. The three new Attitude (CL-G) Cruisers will be completed this month. Our first Attitude was "Belligerent"... tentative names for the three new Attitudes are "Defiant", "Aggressive" and "Totally Pissed Off".

The first of the scouts has finished overhaul... the Geologist class Geo-Survey vessel ESN Gould under Commander TheExecuter. It's tempting to send it Widdershins, but perhaps we should check out that anomalous class-0 world reading in Gliese 687.
Astronomer class Grav-Survey vessel ESN Chandrasekhar under Commander von Sachsen has completed its overhaul and has been dispatched Widdershins to search for jump points in the Lutyen's Star system.
MSG ESN Gould @ Ross 248 to Fleet Ops Operations
Hot Flash Hot Flash
Charlies in Ross 248
One ship Thermal 2101 speed zero waiting for me at Sol jump point
Urgently advise you prepare fleet for action
Continuing toward Gliese 687 as ordered
- Cmdr The Executor out
MSG ends XXXXX


Lt-Commander Rimmer, eager to prove that he has truly earned his Bsc. and Ssc. (Bronze Swimming Certificate & Silver Swimming Certificate), institutes a strict code of discipline on his freighter. Any crew member caught stealing from cargo listed on the manifest must play and lose a game of Risk to the Commander, and their guitars will be confiscated.
All crew members of the ESNA Chinook not engaged in essential operations are hereby instructed to direct their thoughts, hopes, prayers, etc (as appropriate to their belief systems) toward the safety and well-being of the ESN Gould and its crew.
MSG ESN Gould @ Ross 248 to Fleet Ops Operations
Proceeding as ordered toward Struve 2398 jump point
No activity from Charlie
No sensor probes no movement no signals
Will report again when I pass out of sensor range
- Cmdr The Executor out
MSG ends XXXXX




My point was that unless we wish to fire without warning on what might be peaceful, unarmed ships... even with our fleet in Ross 248 we could not prevent them from bringing in whatever ships they wished to. Not without starting a shooting war. I would really prefer that they fire the first shot.
MSG ESN Gould @ Ross 248 to Fleet Ops Operations
Contact lost as I passed out of Thermal sensor range at 12.5 m-km
No activity from Charlie
Still stationary and silent on Ross 248 => Sol jump point
- Cmdr The Executor out
MSG ends XXXXX




I don't want to start an interstellar war against what might be a peaceful race.
Brigadier Hyme has been PULLED from the diplomatic mission and is replaced with Colonel Lurkenius.

Brigadier Hyme has been placed in command of the Marine component of the space fleet, called Zeta Expeditionary Recon Group (ZERG). They will be the first to come and first to go. Hyme's staff will include Colonel Jolt (Heavy Assault brigade) and Julius Strange (Mobile Infantry). The first assignment of ZERG will be the procyon dig defense.

ZERG Organization:

Brigadier Hyme (HQ Brigade)
- Colonel Jolt (Heavy Assault Brigade/s)
- Julius Strange (Mobile Infantry Brigade/s)
The three new Attitude class Missile Cruisers have been completed! Commodore Arjyla will decide on their allocation, will also allocate any Missile Destroyers freed-up by its Captain moving up to a Cruiser, and will decide who gets transferred to take over any scout ships freed-up by the scout pilot moving up to a Missile Destroyer.

The shipyard which just now completed the three Attitudes is currently re-tooling for Light Carriers. It will be able to lay the keels for the first three Mountain class Light Carriers in July of next year.
Letter to Editor of The Seattle Times,
Written August 3rd, 2027
Published Sunday, September 26th, 2027

As an auxiliary officer of the ESNA, I've seen firsthand the miraculous capabilities of Trans-Newtonian technology, [redacted], and our mighty navy made capable by it. But I feel it somehow necessary to remind my fellow man that these marvels have not yet had any practical military trial-by-fire, or more than a few years of R&D. Following first contact, a nail biting situation for us all, many of our political and military leaders have clamored for war on those who occupy our "rightful expansion". I vigorously urge restraint. The Charlies, however ugly they may be, have unknown technological capabilities. The following analogy applies well to the situation: In the same way that an English Ship-Of-The-Line centuries ago could easily destroy a Greek trireme of old, our warships may not even last seconds against the technology of the Charlies, even if we could return fire ineffectually.
We humans are smart, adaptable creatures who accept change easily when we see which way the wind is blowing. Given access to the exciting [redacted] find in the [redacted] system, we could improve our understanding of Trans-Newtonian warfare. But a destructive intersystem war today, or even, I'd say, within the next decade or two not only threatens our small and possibly relatively inferior navy, but the whole of our species. I humbly recommend to our leadership and the hawks in government a sizable reserve of navy vessels, other established human colonies, and many years of diplomatic actions and intelligence gathering before we even consider offensive actions against this unknown and entirely alien threat, if it even is a threat. War is rarely productive, unless you have a decisive advantage.
Lt.-Commander Arnold Kiwi Rimmer, ESNA

[letter ghost-written by Rimmer's 2nd in command, Lt. Kochanski]
Here is an update on our current fleet builds (the current date is November 16, 2027).

We have four more scout craft under construction:
One Geologist due out March 8 next year, and three Astronomers due out October 28 next year.

We have five Troop Transports under construction:
Three non-jump Ventures due out May 25 next year, and two jump-capable Expeditions due out February 8th of the following year (2029).

We have two more Mayflower class Colony ships under construction, due out April 30 next year.

We have one slip retooling to produce a fifth Attitude CL-G, it will be ready to lay the keel on October 21 next year.

We have two slips expanding from 9,000 to 14,000 tons capacity, to be completed on December 4 of this year, after which they will start retooling to produce our Admiral class Command-and-Control ships.

We have three small 6,000-ton slips expanding to 11,000 tons. This is a long-term project, which will require about three years. On completion, they can start retooling for a new class of larger, more powerful Destroyers.

We have four slipways currently retooling to produce Light Carriers.
Three will be ready to lay down new keels on July 5th next year, and the fourth on November 3rd next year.
:MILITARY COMMLINK RELAY TO ALL OFFICERS LT. COMMANDER OR HIGHER:

--FLEET EXPANSION, PROMOTIONS AND NEW COMMISSIONS--

FLEET

Rear Admiral Arjyla (ESN Belligerent) (Training Fleet Commander)

TRAINING SQUADRON 1 - Red Dragons

Captain Billy-bob (ESN Defiant) (1 - Fleet 1nd Deputy Commander)
Captain Coinneach (ESN Procyon) (2 - Fleet 2nd Deputy Commander)
Captain Avernite (ESN Sol)
Acting Captain (Commodore) Thelonegunman (ESN Chimaera) (SPECIAL: 6 month commission as a Captain)

TRAINING SQUARDON 2 - Blue Dragons

Captain Ezdako (ESN Aggressive) (1 - Fleet 1nd Deputy Commander)
Captain Autonomous (ESN Totally Pissed Off) (2 - Fleet 2nd Deputy Commander)
Captain Schuermann (ESN Centaurus)
Captain Kiwi Rackham (ESN Sirius)

SCOUTS
Commander Hellvink (ESN Avernum)
Commander Velko (ESN Hutton)
Commander Lord Blekinge (ESN Thor)
Commander Polar Mongoose (ESN Lyell)
Commander Bjering (ESN Keppler)
Commander Chaos (ESN Ptolemy)
Commander von Sachsen (ESN Chandrasekhar)
Commander TheExecutor (ESN Gould)
Commander Trajan (ESN Agassiz)
Commander Stamasd (ESN Copernicus)
Commander the_hdk Dorieus (ESN von Haast)

FIGHTER COMMAND
Captain Felix Sylvetris (Nellis AFB)
Captain Konstantin Shepherdovsky (Other AFB)
Squadron Leader Theusje (Wildcats)
- Pilot Teep
- Pilot SA Avenger
- Pilot GrimPagan
- Pilot Boris ze Spider
- Pilot Matija
- Pilot Cromelex
Squadron Leader Raczynski (The Cossacks)
- Pilot BwenGun
- Pilot Morrel8
- Pilot Galleblaere
- Pilot Raaritsgodzilla
- Pilot Dublish
- Pilot Nabobalis

TRAINING THE FLEET

The fleet will remain acting as a single force, however for opposing force combat manouver practicing, it will be divided into two different squadrons where captains take turns in commanding the group. This way we drill our officers for the eventual expansion of the fleet. Promotions and transfers are considered in effect unless specifically challenged. Challenging a transfer is not guaranteed to change the HQ decision.

In the name of Emu, the high command would like to extend its congratulations to the hard working and professional officer corps of the space fleet. Ranks updated.

High command, SOL
-HQ OUT-
============ =========== ===========

We have completed Tractor Beam research, and have designed a Hercules class jump-capable Fleet Tug. The drydock that has been producing Mayflower Colony Ships is now retooling to produce two Hercules. The retooling will be complete, and the keels laid, in August of this coming year. When the vessels are launched, that will give us the ability to drag defensive installations (Missile Bases, Fighter Bases, Radar bases) out into other star systems... such as Dravar XV (to protect our colony) or Ross 248 (to cover our flank vs the Charlies).

============= ============ ============

The Astronomer class Grav-Survey vessel ESN Ptolomy under Commander Chaos has completed her overhaul and has been dispatched to Widdershins to investigate the previously-discovered but unexplored jump point in the AD Leonis system.

============= ============ =============

The 9,000-ton dockyard has finished expanding to 14,000 tons, and is now retooling to build our 14,000-ton Admiral class Command and Control ship. The retooling alone will require 18 months :(

======= ========== ========== ===========

December 10th 2027. Relations with Charlie now over +110. Still no agreement.

============== ============= ============

Colonel Cleomenes gains another +5% Diplomacy rating, increasing the total effectiveness of our Alien Contact Team to +110%.
MSG ESN Ptolomy @ Gliese 408 to Fleet Ops Survey
New AD Leonis jump point leads to Gliese 408
Red Dwarf M3-V
One super jovian planet
No other objects in system
Will map this system for jump points
- Cmdr Chaos out
MSG ends XXXXX
To: Rear Admiral Arjyla
CC: Captain Edzako

Let me take this opportunity to express my delight at the honour of promotion and being placed in command of the ESN Sirius. The ship will soon be made ready to carry out its duty in defence of Earth, in anticipation of the inevitable conflict with the Charlies.

While the discovery of a Charlie ship in Ross 248 is disconcerting to say the least, there are certain facts that must be acertained. This ship class appears to have the same thermal signature as one of the two classes previously spotted in Groombridge 34 - indeed it may be the same ship. On both occaisions it did not respond to the presence of our ship, which combined with it's large signature suggests it is likely to be a civilian model, or at least unarmed yet carrying special equipment. What is unclear is its purpose.

On both occaisions the ship was identified near a jump point, yet did not immediately jump. I would suggest it is either a gravsurvey ship, or a jump gate construction ship. The latter is a worrying possibility, and we must act immediately to determine whether this is correct. If so, it means the Charlie are perhaps six months to a year away from finishing a direct link to our homeworld, a situation we cannot allow.

Meanwhile, we must make all haste with recovering any xenotech from Dravar XV. Any technology uncovered would be of tremendous advantage when war breaks out.

Regards,
Captain Rackham
ESN Sirius
*Order of the day of Commander Stuckenschmidt to the Officers and Crew aboard of ESNA Hansa*

Hi folks. There is some business.

1. The cleaning personnel reminds all people to flush after having occupied the loo.

2. The ship`s doctor says to say hello. Since the last shore leave, there seems to spread some strange but highly contagious STD aboard and he wishes to examine the whole crew within the next week. Although it is not deadly, it causes some painful rash somewhere and thus interpersonal relations should be reduced to shaking hands.

3. Some joker has installed a camera in one of the women`s shower rooms. After heavy investigation of the confiscated footage with the rest of the Officers, I have come to the conclusion to grant the culprit an award for creative camera work and send him to the brig for the rest of the year.

4. Oh, and Charlie has been sighted in Ross 248. Anyone with friends *cough* among them can send the interstellar mail to that system.

Greetings
January 1st, 2028. Three full years have passed since we first began exploring our little corner of the Galaxy. A great deal has happened... but the years ahead will likely be even more eventful. So far, the fragile peace with the Charlies is holding. Our Naval build-up continues, and if the peace remains unbroken for another five years, we will be in a much stronger strategic position. New classes of ships are on the drawing boards, and our shipyards are tooling up to produce them: new Space Fighters, Light Carriers, Command Ships loaded with sensors and anti-missile defenses, Troop Transports and Fleet Tugs to enable us to freely redeploy our Space Marines and Defense Complexes anywhere in Known Space.

If the peace only holds for another five years...

Our colony on Mars has passed ten million people, and they are building new Factories every few months. Our interstellar colony on Dravar XV has reached nearly half a million souls, and we are making preparations to begin excavating the ancient ruins left behind by the enigmatic "Precursors". The data returned by the Xeno-Archeology team seems to indicate that the Precursors guarded their bases with heavily armed robot guardians, but whether any would still be active now, thousands of years later, is an open question. Certainly the initial dig found nothing more dangerous than piles of rust.

But we cannot take any needless chances... to lose the colony on Dravar XV would set back our colonization program by at least a year. We will be sending a large military force to Dravar XV before we attempt to dig up any of the new sites. Whatever we can spare from the defense of Earth will be sent...a Brigade HQ unit, Garrison Troops, Mobile Infantry; even some of our Assault Battalions equipped with armored vehicles. I hope it will be enough... but we must take this risk. The technical knowledge that we might gain from any buried Precursor artifacts is worth the risk. It might advance our technology by decades... or more.
To: Fleet Ops
From: CO ESN Agassiz

Request updated data and schematics on new ship designs be disseminated to all fleet commanders.

Commander Trajan
Ends
Top Secret : For dissemination to Naval officers Lt-Commander Grade and above only!


Our current fleet consists of four Attitude CL-M class Missile Cruisers, with a fifth one tooling up for production:



... and five Star class DD-G Missile Destroyers:



Our builds over the next few years will include four Mountain class CV-L Light Carriers, each holding four Hurricane and six Spitfire Fighters:



... plus two Admiral class AWACS Command-and-Control ships armed with massive point-defense batteries:



In addition to those vessels, one more Geo-Scout and three more Grav-Scouts are currently under construction.

We are also building a range of Civilian designs... two more Colony ships, both jump-capable and non-jump-capable Troop Transports (two and three respectively), plus two Fleet Tugs.
The last of our Battle Fleet has finished its overhaul, and has resumed training manoevers in the Sol system. This is the first occasion on which the fleet has sortied carrying nothing but upgraded "Bo's Boomers" missiles in its magazines... factory production has finally caught up with demand, and we can start thinking about de-commissioning and recycling the older model of missiles.

========= ========= ========= =========

MSG ESN Ptolomy @ Wolf 358 to Fleet Ops Survey
New Gliese 408 jump point leads to Wolf 358 system
Two rock-balls two rocky planets three asteroids
None habitable
Will map this system
- Cmdr Chaos out
MSG ends XXXXX




Hmmm... just had my first crash. Hope this is not a sign of things to come.
MSG ESN Kepler @ Ross 248 to Fleet Ops Operations
Jumped to Ross 248 en-route to Mu Cassiopia
That Charlie contact is still sitting on the Ross 248 => Sol jump point
No activity apparent
Continuing with my mission
- Cmdr Bjering out
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG Fleet Survey Ops to all survey vessels
A medal will be awarded to the cmdr of the vessel who
discovers a populated Charlie world
Good speed
-Lord Martin @ Survey Ops out
MSG ends XXXXX
Part 3
 

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Commander Stonewall in the ESNA Agora has made four further unescorted trips to our interstellar colony on Dravar XV, usually in the company of the Freighters ESNA Red Dwarf, ESNA Amalthea, ESNA Hansa and the Tanker ESNA Chinook. All of the trips were thankfully uneventful, with the jump-drive equipped ESNA Agora leading the squadron out near the orbit of Saturn to the jump point to Procyon, then shepherding her charges one at a time through the jump point, reassembling the squadron and continuing on to Dravar XV, unloading colonists, infrastructure, factories, fuel and refined minerals... then lifting into space and returning to the Sol system.

EDIT :

Scientist Elise Mueller has increased her research bonus to +30%. This is very useful, because she is currently working out of her field of specialty, trying to make progress on a tech that would boost our sagging economy by +20%. We are steadily approaching bankruptcy... we are now losing about 32 bucks each day. It was 42 bucks until I skilled-up my money generation trait.
MSG ESN Kepler @ Gliese 48 to Fleet Ops Operations
New jump point in Mu Cassiopia system leads to Gliese 48 system
There is a jump gate in place at this end
Primary Red Dwarf M3-V
One rock-ball two rocky planets one gas giant one super jovian
Forty moons no asteroids
Second planet from sun is as habitable as Mars
Will explore this system for jump points
- Cmdr Bjering out
MSG ends XXXXX




========= ============ ============ ============

Scientist Enkhuush has increased his Admin skill to 5... he can now coordinate up to 25 Labs. Too bad the whole Human race only has 40 Labs, to divide between 13 Scientists.
The ENS Gould has completed the Geo-Survey of the Gliese 687 system... the one which gave us the anomalous class-0 world reading. No class-0 world was found, and no life-forms. Commander TheExecutor did locate an excellent source of Sorium for fuel... totaling roughly 400,000 tons at 100% concentration, and the habitable planet that exists in that solar system looks very inviting. If only the Struve 2398 nexus and its constellation of nearby systems were not located beyond the disputed Ross 248 system...
Relations with Charlie now approaching +125. Still the same old song-and-dance... they continue evading any concrete proposals.

EDIT:

Commander von Sachsen has located a new jump point in the Lutyen's Star system... one of the star systems adjacent to our interstellar colony Dravar XV in the Procyon system.

EDIT:

The jump point leads to DX Cancri, a system with a single planet and no other bodies. von Sachsen will return to Lutyen's Star to continue exploring.

EDIT:

We have scrapped some of our obsolete Missiles, and this returned over 500 megabucks to the planetary treasury... enough to make up two month's deficit.

EDIT:

Commander Bjering has located a new jump point in the Gliese 48 system, not far from Groombridge 34. Could this jump point lead to the Charlie home worlds?

EDIT:

Three new Garrison Battalions trained on Earth. Another Garrison and two Brigade HQs begin forming.
The new Gliese 48 jump point leads to V547 Cassiopiae. A triple star system with three Red Dwarfs. One rock-ball, five terrestrial planets, three Gas Giants. No asteroids, 38 moons. One Class-0 habitable world!, two marginally habitable planets... and yet again, it's on the wrong side of the disputed Ross 248 system...
I am very tempted to just assume that Charlie won't attack us, and start colonizing all those attractive planets Spinward of Ross 248...

Another Geologist class Geo-Survey vessel has been built on Earth... our sixth... and is ready to go out exploring. Rear Admiral Arjyla will assign it a Commander.
MSG ESN Schoch @ Sol to Fleet Ops Operations
Hot Flash Hot Flash
Charlies in the Sol system
Sitting on Ross 248 jump point
Will investigate.
- Cmdr NotYetAssigned out
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG ESN Schoch @ Ross 248 to Fleet Ops Operations
No sign of Charlie in Ross 248 system
Jump points to Sol and Groombridge 34 have Gates on this side
Heading through Mu Cassiopiae to Gliese 48 to scan class-0 world
- Cmdr NotYetAssigned out
MSG ends XXXXX


I hope poor Commander NotYetAssigned will be OK...

I'm sending our Battle Fleet out to watch Charlie set up that Gate. Active Sensors OFF. Tough choice... but I don't want him to think that we've locked our fire control onto him.
Captain's Log 141421

It seems my suspicions were correct, the Charlies have apparently built a jump gate highway leading directly to our doorstep. I've withheld that particular piece of information from the men for now, until the situation becomes clearer. At the moment all they need to know is that Charlie has made it to Sol, and we must be prepared to do our duty.

I sincerely hope that this is some attempt by the Charlies to establish a trade link. While we have courage, we lack the means to do anything more than fight tooth and nail for survival if that is what it should come to. If only we had the time to extract the secrets from the ruins of Dravar XV, if only we had the time to finish building up our fleet, if only we had the time to determine what is motivating Charlie and where their weaknesses lie. I can only hope the diplomatic core show the necessary spine and tact to buy us that time, letting us come out of this either as victors or with strong allies in a hostile universe. Still, if this does lead to war, the Sirius will give a good account of herself.

Captain Rackham
ESN Sirius
MSG Battle Fleet @ Sol to Fleet Ops Operations
No change in situation
Charlie still stationary on Sol => Ross 248 jump point
Apparently building a Gate
Tactical display attached
Will approach to half sensor range and take station
- Rear Admiral Arjyla out
MSG ends XXXXX


I realize that the Charlie side of the map seems to be a cornucopia of worlds and resources but I am not so sure if we should press forward there with new colonies at the moment.

Charlie has been acting very aggressive. They're scouting our home system! If it turns into a shooting war our colonies closest to enemy space could be lost or heavily damage. Our budget is stretched thin as it is, how difficult would it be to adequately defend Earth and any Charlie-side colonies?

Instead I favor turning Earth and our system into a fortress chokepoint while continuing to explore the other side of the galaxy and researching/protecting the Precursor digs.

I'm assuming carriers are expensive. Would it be more economical to set up cavernous hanger/refueling starbases close to the jump point the Charlies are using to get into Earth? Then we can use our Carriers to ferry starfighter to the "wasp hives" around the jump gate.
MSG Battle Fleet @ Sol to Fleet Ops Operations
Have closed within half Thermal sensor range 18.7 m-km
All vessels now within extreme missile range of Charlie
Taking station
Crews on full alert
- Rear Admiral Arjyla out
MSG ends XXXXX


<ENCODED MESSAGE>
From: Director Verenti, ENI
To: High Command

May I advise High Command that firing on Charlie's gate ship is entirely unadvisable. Instead of wasting ordinence on taking out a vessel of that size we could rush out a prototype tug and use that to capture the vessel, thus gaining a first hand knowledge of what Charlie's technology and pysiology, as well as gaining control of a functioning Jump Gate construction vessel. May I remind your excellencies that despite the length of contact with Charlie, we know next to nothing about their people. We cannot allow good intelligence to be destroy haphazardly if we expect to push Charlie all the way back to his homeworld.

<MESSAGE ENDS>
<ENCODED MESSAGE>
From: Autocrat Emu, High Command
To: Director Verenti, ENI

Our Tactical Planning staff advises me that ships cannot be captured by Tractor Beams, since they can always break the lock by starting their engines. The only known way to capture a ship is by boarding, which requires development of Boarding Pods, design of a suitable ship, retooling of a dockyard and construction of said ship. A project for the future. We expect to begin research on Boarding Pods in June of next year.

I agree that we should not initiate hostilities, and Rear Admiral Arjyla has already received orders to that effect. The council will decide in the near future whether to launch an operation to colonize the class-0 world discovered in the V547 Cassiopiae system beyond Ross 248. That decision is currently on hold pending a report from the Geo-Survey scouting vessel to be dispatched to that system as soon as it finishes overhaul.

- Autocrat Emu, High Command

<MESSAGE ENDS>
Relations with Charlie are still going up... now nearly +130. So the presence of the Gate Construction ship in our system is not affecting them too much.

EDIT:

Geo Survey vessel ESN Schoch is en-route to V547 Cassiopiae to scan the class-0 world known to exist in that system.

Geo Survey vessel ESN Agassiz has completed her overhaul and will be dispatched to the adjacent system, Gliese 48, which also contains a habitable planet.

EDIT:

Commander von Saschen has located a new jump point in the Lutyen's Star system, to Widdershins of Earth.
Unfortunately, we are not exactly flush with ships. The only ones that carry sensors are our warships... and I would really prefer not to split up the fleet and offer a weak, isolated detachment to whoever wishes to destroy it... or one of our scout-ships, which might be more usefully employed scouting.

EDIT: exploration of the new Lutyen's Star jump point has led to the Sirius system. One rock-ball, one super-Jovian, six moons, no asteroids. None habitable.

EDIT: ESN Copernicus has finished her overhaul and has been dispatched to Gliese 205 (to Widdershins of Earth) to search for jump points.

EDIT: ESN Thor has completed her overhaul and has been dispatched to Mu Cassiopiae (to Spinward, near Groombridge 34) to search for jump points.

EDIT: ESN Chandrasekhar has located a new jump point in the Lutyen's Star system.

EDIT: ESN Lyell has completed her overhaul and has been dispatched to the Sigma Draconis system (to Spinward, near Groombridge 34) to hunt for minerals in a system containing a habitable planet.

EDIT: exploration of the new Lutyen's Star jump point has led to Ross 47. One rocky planet, two gas giants, seven moons, 147 asteroids. No habitable planets or moons.

EDIT: new jump point found in Wolf 358, our furthest penetration to Widdershins.

EDIT: new Wolf 358 jump point leads to GJ1156. One little rock-ball, no other planets, moons or asteroids.
<ENCODED MESSAGE>

To: Commodore Arjyla, High Command
From: Commodore Gunman, Nellis AFB


Sir, after learning of the Charlie incursion into the Sol System, I have placed Nellis Air Force Base on high alert. While we all hope for a peaceful outcome to the latest situation, we are prepared to defend Mother Earth to the death. Both the "Wildcats" and "The Cossacks" have been prepped for intercept of any Charlie ship that is determined to have a course set for Earth. Will await further orders.

-Commodore Gunman, Nellis AFB

<MESSAGE ENDS>
Known Space, April 21st, 2028.

To: Commodore Gunman
From: Rear Admiral Arjyla

Commodore,

What the hell are you still doing on Nellis? I thought your current assignment was to ESN Chimaera. :mad:

Good to see that you're doing your job well, even if it's in the wrong place. Get your ass here ASAP. Expedite.

RAD Arjyla
END
No. That requires Boarding Pods on a Military ship, not Transport Bays on a Civilian ship. We won't even be able to begin researching Boarding Pods for another fifteen months.

What we can use those Ventures for is transporting a crap-load of troops out to Dravar XV to prepare for cracking into those Precursor ruins.

An update on the situation out at the Sol => Ross 248 jump point:

Still no activity from Charlie, except that he continues setting up that Gate (presuming that we've analyzed this correctly).

Our entire fleet is in stealth mode about 18 million km away from him, buttoned up, engines off, watching him through passive sensors. We are within missile range (which is about 21 million km), so we can whack him if it becomes necessary. He is still putting out a thermal signature like a burning house... presumably from the construction work. We are about twice as close as we need to be to pick him up at that temperature... because I don't want to miss it if a much smaller ship comes through the Gate. He has pretty well zero chance of detecting us at this range (unless he suddenly uses active sensors, which we would detect), because with our engines shut down, our thermal signature is effectively zero. He must suspect that we're out here, though, because we had to use our engines to get here, and he would have spotted the exhaust plumes at that time.
Jeeze... we might even be able to avoid bankruptcy at the very last minute... I've got the deficit down to about 15 bucks per day. It was 47 bucks per day only a few months ago. Still 4,400 bucks in the bank.

EDIT: False alarm... it went back up again. I guess the deficit fluctuates up and down, and I just happened to check when it was way down.

Exploration of the new jump point in the Gliese 205 system led to a junk solar system EG-290... a D9-VII White Dwarf star only 1/10,000th as bright as Sol, with no planets, moons or asteroids.
ZERG Force is now being organized for dispatch to Dravar XV, when the Venture class Troop Transports become available next month.

ZERG Force Brigade HQ is commanded by Brigadier Hyme. His direct subordinates are Colonel Joker commanding 10th Mobile Infantry Battalion, Colonel LordLeto commanding 11th Mobile Infantry Battalion, Colonel Morrell8 commanding 1st Heavy Assault (Armored) Battalion and Colonel Jolt commanding 16th Assault Infantry Battalion.

A large (four Battalion + HQ) Garrison force will also be deployed to guard the colony, as well as two Engineer Battalions to crack into the ruins. That leaves room in the Troop Transports for about three more units... so additional temporary attachments are also under consideration.
Our new Venture class Troop Transports are loading now, to carry ZERG Force out to Dravar XV. It will take a month or more to get the troops on-board... a slow process. I may need to upgrade these ships with Cargo Handling gear.

Commander Chaos in ESN Ptolomy has found a marginally habitable planet in the FL Virginis system.
Known Space:



... 36 systems mapped, and no back-doors anywhere.
Found yet another jump point in the Struve 2398 system... look at them all:



... the orange dots are jump points. Struve 2398 is "the Crossroads of the Galaxy".
The Venture Task Force is now on its way to the Procyon jump point, carrying ZERG Force, a group of Garrisons, and an Engineer Brigade to Dravar XV to begin unlocking the secrets of the Predecessor ruins. We all wish them luck!
<ENCODED MESSAGE>

To: Rear Admiral Arjyla
From: Commodre Gunman

Apologies sir, there appears to be a mix-up at HQ. Older out of date orders are being maintained on a separate database. As of this message, en route to ESN Chimaera. Gunman out.

<MESSAGE ENDS>
Fixed. Still lots of omissions in the data base, though... scientists, ground troops, espionage, etc.

So ZERG Force and the Engineers are on their way to Dravar XV, to start digging up those ruins. We all hope that they will find some cool alien technology, to advance our capabilities. I also hope they'll find some money. We could really use it.

The exploration of the new Struve 2398 jump point has led to the 70 Opiuchi system. Two planets, neither one habitable. No moons or Asteroids.

The Struve system now has nine jump point connections... and we're not finished searching it yet. That, plus the habitable planet, make it sound like a good spot for a Fleet base.

The exploration of the new Wolf 46 jump point has led to the Giclas 221-5 systtem. Three planets, one rock-ball, one rocky, one super jovian. Fifteen moons, 119 asteroids. None habitable.


Our 15,000-ton, 3-slipway shipyard #4 has completed retooling, and we have laid down the keels for our first three Mountain class Light Carriers.

Tentative names: ESN Krakatoa, ESN Thera and ESN Tambora (all very destructive volcanoes, which unexpectedly rained fiery death on those around them).

The Carriers will be launched on December 26th, 2030... two and a half years from now.
Relations with Charlie now +146.

Commander Stonewall in ESNA Agora has now made five trips back-and-forth to our interstellar colony on Dravar XV. As a result of his extensive jump experience... each trip required a dozen or more seperate jumps to shepherd his non-jump-capable companions through the Sol => Procyon jump point... we have developed new tactics for moving small formations of non-jump ships through jump points. It will no longer be necessary to shuttle back and forth... they can all be brought through in a single jump.
With the transfer of some Engineers to our interstellar colony on Dravar XV, we now have the ability to ship out a pre-fab PDC and assemble it on that planet. Accordingly, a NORAD Missile Base has been constructed in three pre-fab sections, and will be shipped to Dravar XV and assembled by our team of Engineers. Getting missiles out to it is a bit trickier, since we do not yet have any Fleet Tenders built... we may need to send out the Fleet, and have them unload some of their own missiles directly into the magazines of the missile base.

EDIT:

The ZERG Force expedition has jumped to the Procyon system and is now crossing that system towards Dravar XV. Commander Stonewall has departed Earth on another re-supply mission to the same destination, carrying colonists, infrastructure, and a pre-fab missile base for our Engineers to assemble on Dravar XV.
A new jump point in the Wolf 46 system has led to the Wolf 47 system. A Red Dwarf primary, two rock-balls, four gas giants, sixty two moons, no asteroids, no habitable planets or moons.
I am currently building NOTHING but Financial Centers.

The Venture Troop Transports will be arriving on Dravar XV in a day or two to begin unloading Zerg Force... followed a week or two later by Commander Stonewall's resupply mission carring more colonists, infrastructure, and a pre-fab Missile Base.



We all pray that the colony will not be overrun by Giant Japanese-Anime Killer Robots... and that they will find some useful technology in the ruins. And some money.
Shipyard #5 has completed their retooling for Hercules class Fleet Tugs, and two Tugs have been laid down. Estimated completion date: April 2030, about a year and a half from now.
The ZERG Force is unloading at Dravar XV, a process that will take the better part of a month. By the time they are done, Commander Stonewall will have arrived, completed his unloading, and departed again for Earth. A second resupply mission is already en-route, led by the Bay of Elms.
ZERG Force HQ under Brigadier Hyme has unloaded on Dravar XV, along with the attached Armor, Assault Infantry and Mobile Infantry units.



... it will be followed by the colony's Garrison units, then the Engineers to start digging up those Precursor sites.
ZERG Force:



... some of the team members already have some Xeno experience. It is entirely possible that they are about to get some more...


That certainly doesn't sound like a warship... thermal signature of over 2100 and a speed of only 1500.
Trade with the Charlies is double-edged... it will bring in cash, which we need, but might put some of our own traders out of business by competition.

The ESN Amalthea has been part of Stonewall's mini-task force, so yes, you've already made several trips to Dravar XV and are on your way back from there now.
<<< BEGIN RECORDING >>>

PERSONAL LOG, Colonel Joker, 10th Mobile Btn.

Finally arrived on Dravar, the first habitable hellhole outside our own star system. All the reports haven't done this planet justice: it's a dismal place, naturally hostile to life. I bet the bright-eyed first colonists were a bit surprised when their initial habitability estimates turned out to be woefully optimistic. It's cold enough to freeze spit before it hits the ground, if you're dumb enough to venture out of your survival suit. The Tenth has been drilling for months in preparation for our babysitting operation - assigned to guard a bunch of techs and bleeding-heart alien researchers while they examine some centuries-old garbage heap. Huh, if mankind is going to conquer this galaxy, it's going to be at the end of a bayonet, not drooling over some petrified alien turds. But I do as I'm ordered, and who knows what we may find in these alien artefacts if and when we actually crack them open - could be all our maneuvers back on Earth might come in handy after all, if the rumors of ancient killer robot bogeymen prove true. We'll just have to wait and see... Looks like we'll be on this snowball for some time.

<<< RECORDING ENDS >>>
Good luck to all members of the ZERG force from the Crew of ESNA Hansa.
Dravar XV now has a NORAD missile base.

... unfortunately, I hit a series of game-bugs (with pop-up error alerts) while trying to assemble it... and all the pre-fab components disappeared! :mad: So I used Space-Master mode to simply PLACE the assembled base there.

It seems to be armed with first-generation missiles... but we'll ship some of the new ones out to it once our fleet is relieved of the duty of watching Charlie set up that Gate.
Charlie has finished assembling the Gate at the Sol => Ross 248 jump point, and has moved over to the Sol => Procyon jump point. This one will connect Earth with our colony at Draver XV. Nice of him to do all this work on our behalf.

I think we can recall the fleet and use it to ship some new-model missiles out to Dravar XV, to replace the old-style missiles currently mounted in the NORAD missile base there. We really should build a Tender or two when we get the chance... and the money...
The Grav-survey of the Struve 2398 system is complete... there are a total of NINE jump points leading to-and-from that star system.



We will have to start calling it "The Nexus". Four of the systems in that cluster have habitable planets. Looks like a nice place to set up a few colonies.
Rear Admiral Arjyla has taken the Battle Fleet back into space and headed for our colony on Dravar XV, carrying a load of 100 new-model size-2 Point Defense Missiles and 40 new-model size-8 Ship-killers for the NORAD Missile Base on Dravar XV, which is currently equipped with rather obsolescent first-generation missiles. One Cruiser and one Destroyer are still carrying their regular combat loads, while the other three Cruisers and four Destroyers have off-loaded half of their usual load-out in order to make room in their magazines for the missile shipment to Dravar XV.

... we really must design and build a Tender as soon as we can afford to do so.
Commander Stonewall of ESNA Agora is now departing Earth, along with the Freighters ESNA Amalthea, ESNA Hansa and ESNA Red Dwarf plus the Tanker ESNA Chinook, en-route to The Nexus to establish the Earth's second interstellar colony... and the first one that we've attempted to set up beyond the disputed Ross 248 system.
Everything added together. Research, upgrading drydocks, building PDCs, missiles and fighters, building automated mines, building ships and maintaining them, maintaining our colonies, converting Sorium to fuel... we're just expanding faster than our budget really allows. It seems like a good idea to me, though. Get the jump on the competition.
... and speaking of getting the Jump on the competition... a team of researchers on Earth led by Professor Morozov has made a breakthough which promises to give us more efficient Jump drives, 25% smaller than existing models. Considering that a Jump drive for a 15,000-ton warship occupies 100 hull-squares, a 25% reduction will allow us to carry more engines and/or weapons... perhaps a CIWS.

It will be a couple of years longer before Professor Morozov's theoretical breakthough can be translated into designs for ship components, though. Perhaps two and a half years.
Some news from our xeno-archeological digs on Dravar XV: the 32nd Engineer Brigade under Brigadier Quift has uncovered an alien Fighter Factory which can be adapted to produce our own design of Fighters. Work continues on the remaining eight ruined sites.
Yeeeesssssss.

On the very first dig on Dravar XV our findings have already partially compensated us for the resources we have spent on the colony and its defenses.

Can the bellicose and foolhardly proponents of establishing a new colony in the Nexus cliam we will be so quickly rewarded for our efforts there?
I want to state my reservations on setting up a new colony so soon when Dravar XV has yet to be fully exploited. My preference is still for dividing all resources, both civilian and military, between Earth and Dravar XV. Dravar XV could elevate us to the status of Galactic superpower. It seems foolhardy to disperse our strength in such a haphazard manner.

I am alarmed by these new jump gates the Charlies have constructed. It is the height of presumption to enter our systems and build these contraptions when we have no formal treaties. And the newest of these gates will be heading towards my colony in the Procyon system. That the Charlies have the riches and resources to construct such vast installations speaks volumes. There grasp is almost certainly equal to their reach.

We are starting a new colony without any firm understanding of the Charlies' intentions. The Charlies are also building a galactic superhighway straight to our treasure world of Dravar XV. As Governor-General of Dravar XV I must state that our current defenses are manifestly inadequate to defending the Secrets of the Precursors. We apparently have some marines and a lone missile base. And yet here we are setting up a new colony which will doubtless require that even more resources be siphoned from Dravar XV.
I understand your concern, Governor, but I must deal with those concerns and with others as well.

Humanity is still confined to two adjacent systems, both of which have already been located by these enigmatic aliens from the Groombridge sector. At the moment, all of our eggs are in a single basket. By colonizing The Nexus, which contains a habitable world and is adjacent to three other habitable systems, we hope to spread Humanity too widely for a hypothetical alien aggressor to wipe out. The Charlies have so far shown themselves to be rather cautious... if they are not confident that they can conquer all of our worlds at a stroke, perhaps they will be disuaded from risking the attempt.

From what we know so far of the layout of star systems in this segment of the Orion Arm, The Nexus is the most valuable real estate in Known Space. It is also roughly equidistant from Earth and from the spot where we first encountered the Charlies. We cannot allow this valuable region to fall into alien hands by default.

No reasonable effort will be spared to develop and safeguard our colony on Dravar XV... one Brigade of Engineers, four Battalions of Garrison Troops and four of our finest combat Battalions are already on the spot, plus a missile base fully equal to any of those guarding Earth itself and recently re-armed with the latest, most advanced weaponry in our arsenal... but to turn our backs on the rest of the Galaxy does not fall under the heading of "reasonable effort".
If there is a conflict with the charlies, they'll be coming through the jumpgate to Dravar XV which passes through sol system. This means, that diverting defensive resources from earth to Dravar XV on permanent basis and large quantity would not help to defend either planet, on the contrary.
I understand the Governor`s worries, but unfortunately we have no other option than expansion.

It is pretty unimportant to us right now, what Charlie wants, since even if they are hostile, we are probably unable to oppose them. And if they are friendly, there is no harm in asserting our claim to further systems, especially since systmes with inhabitable planets are pretty rare.

I support the motion, that Sol and Procyon are of more importance and should have a higher priority in terms of supplies, but nevertheless we have to divert some resources to our new colony.
Wait, what? You support this? :mad:
Rear Admiral Arjyla is on his way back to Earth from the Procyon system, where he dropped off roughly 100 of the new-model missiles for the NORAD base on Dravar XV. He also unloaded half of his spare parts and maintenance supplies at the colony, to be used to service our scouts operating from this advanced base.
MSG RADAR Station Iche Bins reporting
Hot Flash Hot Flash
We have four unknown vessels in the Asteroid belt of Sol system
Thermal signatures 720, three different ship classes
Sensor readings match Charlie designs
They appear to be headed away rpt away from Earth
Urgently advise that Admiral Arjyla be recalled to the Sol system
- Iche Bins out
MSG ends XXXXX






FYI they are NOT coming from the jump point to Ross 248. We have a colony task force on that heading, already past them, which made no contact with them.

EDIT : Rear Admiral Arjyla will be back in the Sol system (at the Procyon jump point ) in two-and-a-half days.
From the Asteroid Belt out towards Jupiter's orbit. Not headed directly for anything that we can see. Headed approximately towards the jump to Procyon and Dravar XV. Our entire fleet will be appearing in that jump point before they can reach it, though.

It's unlikely that they came directly from the Ross 248 jump point... we have a colony expedition headed out that way, which is a long way past them (nearly to the Ross 248 jump point) and it is equipped with Thermal sensors and spotted nothing along its route. They have just now been spotted much closer to the sun (closer than our colony expedition, I mean). It's possible that they've been lying doggo in the Asteroids with their engines off for some time, and were only spotted now when they came up to full power. Hard to say. The fleet will be back quite soon, anyway.
Charlie ships have boosted speed to 4735 km/sec and have swung around and headed directly for Earth. Course 131 degrees takes them right down our throats. They are about three days out. The fleet will be back in two days, but will be starting from the Procyon jump point near Saturn's orbit. All Military forces being brought to high alert. Charlies still show as neutral (not hostile) on our displays.

EDIT: eight hours later

Now six Charlie ships in two formations, running parallel. Still holding course for Earth.

Formation #1: one Conqueror and two Tapi
Formation #2: one Aung Zay Ya and two Nowrat

All ships running at 4736 km/sec course 131 degrees.
We have no major warships in-system. The Battle Fleet arrives at the Sol => Procyon jump point in 20 hours 18 minutes. Meanwhile, they have swept in very close to Earth; almost within bombardment range... only 25.6 million miles out.

I cannot allow our Fighters to be caught on the ground. I am launching our Fighters, and firing up one of our Active Sensor arrays for battle management. All ground-based missile and anti-missile installations are loaded and ready to fire... once I paint Charlie with our Active Sensors.

MSG Tanker ESNA Chinook to Earth Command

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Standing ready for any order you deem necessary.
May Earth endure eternal!

Lt.-Com. Guillaume HJ out

MSG End XXXXX

-----------------

MSG Tanker ESNA Chinook to task force Commander Stonewall, ESNA Agora

In light of recent events, propose we abandon caution and make all haste toward destination
It is not unlikely Earth face gravest threat in history.
In event of enemy assault and victory, we must ensure humanity continues beyond system now jumpgated by Charlies.

Lt. Com. Guillaume HJ, ESNA Chinook, out

MSG End XXXXX
I have full confidence in our missile bases, point defense bases, and Fighter squadrons to defend the Earth until the fleet arrives. In fact, if we are going to end up fighting Charlie... which is still only a possibility, not a certainty... I would much prefer to do it as close to Earth as possible, since without knowledge of his technology level, I am not certain that our Fleet can take him on but I expect to hurt him badly with our ground-based defenses, softening him up for Admiral Arjyla. By pure coincidence, this deployment may work out very well, since the Fleet will be appearing behind him, cutting off his retreat to the jump points.

All Fighters and Bases have been checked for combat load-outs and fire-control assignments. All report "Ready". Launching Fighters and powering-up the Active Targeting Sensors now... let's see what Charlie thinks of that.
MSG Fleet Survey Ops to all survey vessels
Earth is under direct threat
If communication from Earth is broken you will be placed directly under Fleet Ops command
Follow the directions in order 56b and c
Good Speed
- Lord Martin @ Survey Ops out
MSG End XXXXX
All Fighters launched successfully... fifty of them. We have a good hard lock on Charlie with our active sensors at 26.3 million km. Our PD radars won't pick up any missiles until they close to 2.2 million km from Earth. Charlie stopped dead in space as soon as we painted him. Sensors read all six vessels as between 7,550 and 7,600 tons... Destroyer sized. Two of the vessels are painting us with active sensors.
Charlie has resumed course 131, speed 4736, range 25.5 m-km. Still headed straight for us. He is already well within range of our big ship-killing missiles in our four missile bases. The missiles on our Fighters have a range of 16 million km... he (or they) needs to get about 10 m-km closer before he is in range of our Fighters. I am still holding them back in orbit, so that they remain within the zone of our Point Defense launchers.
I'll let him come in closer, rather than send the Fighters out to intercept him, beyond the range of our anti-missiles. Every minute that we delay the battle... assuming that battle is immanent... brings the Fleet one minute closer to Earth.
Charlie still holding course and speed. Range 18.5 m-km... nearly within range of our Fighter missiles (all 150 of them). He'll be landing in about an hour, if that's what he intends.

MSG Cpt. K. Shepherdovsky to all Pilots
Terra is under threat.
Three vessels are inbound to our planet.
I trust all of you will not hesitate to do your
duty for our mother-planet
Shepherdovsky out
MSG End XXXXX
Two Squadrons of three each, actually. Only the two flotilla leaders are painting us. Still holding course and speed. They are now within range of the 150 (first salvo) size-4 anti-ship missiles carried by our 50 Fighters. If they go hostile on us now, they are dead meat. They've been within range of the 24 (first salvo) size-8 ship killers from our NORAD bases for quite some time. Charlie had better behave himsself and play nice.
If Charlie opens fire, we'll simply vaporize him at this range... our up-front first salvo of missiles probably masses more than that squadron of Charlie ships does. I built five Air bases (six PD launchers each), three RADAR bases (fifteen PD launchers each) and four missile bases (six anti-ship and six PD launchers each). Plus our 50 Fighters, each carrying three missile launchers. That's an impressive opening salvo.
Range now down to 8.5 m-km. Still holding course and speed. The Fleet is 19 hours and 17 minutes from the jump-point to Sol. All of our defense forces have him cross-fired and zeroed. We'll just see what he wants.

In fact, it's your (Iche_Bins) RADAR base that I'm using to paint him. I'm only revealing a couple of bases, keeping the other ones stealthed. (Why reveal two bases instead of one? I don't want to lose track of him to a random component breakdown.)

Relations a bit over +161.
Range down to 3.9 m-km. He'll be close enough to hit with our PD batteries, soon! Still holding course and speed for Earth.

... I wonder if he's planning to drop off an Intel team? Alien Spies?
Range down to 1.65 m-km. He is now so close that we would spot even a size-1 missile the instant he launched it.



I wonder if he really DOES intend to land?
He has crossed the orbit of the Moon, still headed inward. No change in course or speed.

Any ship can land a five-man espionage team.
The Charlie ships landed, then almost immediately took off again. They seem to be making for the jump-point to Ross 248. I must suspect that they've dropped off an Espionage team.

All forces remain on full alert.

Should we form a team of Spies on Earth, and see if we can Counter-Espionage and maybe round those dudes up? Not sure what they look like... if you see anybody with six eyes and tentacles asking where the Naval Dockyard is, call the police.
Well... that was pretty tense. A good training drill for our bases and Fighter Squadrons, though. I managed to figure out some aspects of this insanely complicated interface.

Not sure if counter-espionage is even possible, but we might as well give it a shot. I'll form a team headed by Vonyx to search for them.

EDIT:

OK, we've got a five-member team, headed by our Player-character spy Vonyx, searching the Earth to locate those clowns. Not sure if Counter-Espionage is even in the game, but we might as well try it.

Is everyone agreed that the Charlies really did drop off a Spy team? It's the only explanation I can think of that makes sense of their actions. We might have panicked and SHOT at those ships!
Charlie has crossed the orbit of the Moon, headed outward. Speed 4736, course 310 degrees, which will take him directly to the Ross 248 jump point. If the Fleet arrives in time, it would be nice to follow him and see which system he's headed for... it might be their home world. But 4736 km/sec is about twice as fast as our Fleet. We wouldn't be able to stay within sensor range.

Well... that was quite a test of nerves. Glad we didn't do anything hasty.

EDIT: Charlie has now passed beyond 50 m-km, still holding course and speed. I'm landing the Fighters, but keeping the RADAR and Missile bases on alert.

EDIT: All 50 Fighters have been recovered without incident and fully refueled. They don't need rearming, because (thankfully) no shots were fired.
Charlie is now 326 m-km from Earth, still headed for the jump-point to Ross 248. Our Battle Fleet has arrived back from Procyon, and is in position to reach the Ross jump-point ahead of them. It's hardly worth trying to follow them, though... they are booting along at over 4700 km/sec, and our Battle Fleet can only do 2500 km/sec. They'll shake us off quite quickly.
We have three RADAR/Point Defense bases, each of which has fifteen Point Defense missile launchers, slaved in groups of three, and five different PD fire controls. That allows each base to attack five targets at a time, with three missiles each, and a cyclic rate-of-fire of six rounds per minute per launcher.

ie: on average, we have a sustained rate-of-fire of one-and-a-half PD missiles per second with each of the three bases.

Each of our other bases (Missile base, Air base) has six Point Defense launchers, slaved in groups of three, and two PD fire controls.
Hot Flash

Charlie has changed course from 310 to 285

FYI the jump point to Procyon is 286 relative... our Fleet is at 285. He appears to be headed directly for our Fleet.

Theory: he has a Gate Constructor parked on the Procyon jump point, and our battle fleet coming through the jump motivated him to abort his intention to exit via the Ross 248 jump point, and bring his ships over to protect his Gate Constructor instead.
... well... there goes THAT theory, out the window.

Hot Flash!

Charlie's gone Hostile!



He is now showing on our "Hostile Contacts" list, and is closing on our fleet with active sensors!
Jeeze... I don't even trust my tactical displays...

Charlie shows as Hostile (red), and is in my list of Hostile contacts... but when I zoom right in with high-power, he still shows as "neutral" (grey, not red). Relations are still +160 or so.

I'm changing course to Saturn... not because I intend to go to Saturn, but just to pull 90 degrees out of his path. We'll see if he also adjusts course to intercept, or if he simply stays on course for the jump gate. If he ignores my manoever and lets me go wherever I want unmolested, we'll have to call it a sensor malfunction.
OK, I'm pulling out of his path as fast as my 2500 speed allows. I'm now at bearing 272 relative to him, and he's still holding course 285 for the jump gate where his constructor ship is sitting. He's ignoring me. Looks like a false alarm. The range is still coming down simply because he's so much faster than me... but he isn't heading towards our fleet. He's simply headed over to his buddy.

Man, that was close. After all that tense screwing around near Earth, I though the last war was about to start anyway, out here where our fleet is unsupported by ground emplacements. I'll keep pulling out of his path until I'm sure he's not interested in me, then resume course for Earth.
Meanwhile, aboard the freighter ESNA Red Dwarf...

MSG ESNA Red Dwarf to All Nearby Vessels
Hot Flash Hot Flash
A large unknown blip has been detected by passive sensors in system!
From its size we must conclude it to be an alien invasion fleet 10 million km off our starboard bow.
Recommend high alert, and a battle fleet dispatched to save us!!!
Lt-Commander Rimmer signing off
MSG ends XXXXX


One Minute Later...

MSG ESNA Red Dwarf to All Nearby Vessels
Please disregard the last MSG sent from our ship. Upon further investigation the blip turned out to merely be one of our janitorial staff's congealed sneezes. Terribly sorry for the mix up.
MSG ends XXXXX
False alarm. I'm now more than 70 degrees off his course, and he's ignoring me completely and heading straight over to see his buddy who is building the Gate. The range is opening again, and never got closer than 220 m-km... well beyond missile range unless he's got some pretty funky missiles.

Heh... that sensor malfunction couldn't possibly have happened at a worse time. By chance, I was positioned right between him and the Gate Constructor ship, so it really looked like he was headed right for me. Good thing I decided to make sure he was after me, by vectoring out at 90 degrees from his course, instead of clearing the decks to fight him.

I'm adjusting course for Earth.
Well that was quite a tense couple of days.

The Charlie squadron has jumped to the Procyon system, but they're just chilling near the jump-point, not going anywhere. Dravar XV has enough nasty missiles in that NORAD facility to dissuade them, even if they were hostile... and they aren't. Relations are still rising, now over +162. We should have a treaty with them in a year or two... if we can avoid any further misunderstandings.

Three new Grav-Scouts have been built, and are ready for Admiral Arjyla to hand out. I'll send one through the Procyon jump point, just to test Charlie's intentions.
Part 4
 

CptJoker

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Captain's log 161803

That was too close for comfort. Two Charlie squadrons at Earth, with the fleet not even in the same system. One false move from either side and it would have been nuclear war on a much greater scale than the cataclysm of 2012. The Charlie's appear to have dropped an espionage team, but why they would be so obvious about it is beyond me. Perhaps they are trying to overawe us with their arrogance? Maybe they consider us so inferior that they don't care? Or perhaps they are trying to provoke us, their hawks seeking a cassus belli to persuade their doves. If only the diplo team could hurry up and find out just what it is Charlie is after.

Still, as tense as the encounter was, it paled in comparison to what happened next. As soon as we passed through the jump gate to Sol, the Charlie squadrons changed course in our direction. We still had no idea of their intentions, and our massed fleet for all its splendor was vulnerable without Earth's defences. The pressure proved too much for our scan officer, and he cracked, painting the Charlie's as hostile and greenlighting missile launch. Of course, the integrated battle network passed that on to the entirity of the fleet. Fortunately the weapons officer did not launch missiles, being at too great a range and not having my orders. A pair of quick thinking scan technicians disregarded rank and restrained the scan officer, and communicated to the bridge what had happened. The officer is currently sedated in the brig, awaiting psychological testing. The technicians hve received a verbal reprimand and an extended shore leave, including an expenses paid holiday at a destination of their choice.

Anyway, the fleet turned off course to give Charlie some space, and Charlie seemed content to let us go. We came through unscathed and apparently still at peace, but I'm deeply concerned about the whole affair. I'm also concerned that that one scan officer can come so close to setting off a galactic war, we need to implement more stringent security protocols for the battle network. I shall make sure to pass this on at the court martial of that officer.

Captain Rackham
ESN Sirius
Destroyer-sized starships can't do much to a planet... especially one with a NORAD base and eight combat units on it. I seriously doubt that the Charlie squadrons we've seen so far are a threat to Dravar XV. They are a distinct threat to spaceships however.

One Fighter facility is pretty useless. Earth already has 117 Fighter factories, and it still takes a week or two to build each Fighter. One Factory would take decades to build a Fighter. At this early stage in Dravar XV's development as a colony, your population is is better employed in construction factories (building more construction factories) or in mines or finance centers.
We now have three Grav scouts and one Geo scout who lack Forum commanders. Applications should be made to Rear Admiral Arjyla, in the sign-up thread.

We have laid down the keel for our fourth Light Carrier. Three scout ships have been sent through the Procyon system from different angles, criss-crossing the system to try and locate that Charlie squadron that ducked out of the Sol system through the Procyon jump point. No sign of them anywhere. They are either sitting in stealth mode somewhere with their engines off, or they ducked out through a different jump point and headed off into a different system.

Bankruptcy steadily approaches... we've been building Financial Centers as quickly as possible, but I doubt that this measure alone will be enough to keep our treasury afloat. We've already shut down the Fighter factories again, and I'm considering shutting down the Missile factories next.
'Anything you want to add to that report?'
'Perhaps one more thing: their ships, they had no windows. I was a few meters in front of what seemed like a command-bridge. Neither it, nor anything else had windows... I thought that was odd.'


Debriefing of Lt.Cmdr. Silvestris after the first Sol incident.



Well, at least we have to assume they know of our colonies now, using their tricksy espionage means. Should keep that in mind. They do seem rather docile/peaceful, tho. Either that or they are probing at which point we will react to their acts that can be seen as aggressive.
NEW PROMOTIONS:

The following officers are given a brand new scout ship (named by Lord Emu himself, in line with the existing names):
Guillaume HJ
GaiusC
Henkalv
Arnold "Kiwi" Rimmer

I'm also trasferring Nabobalis to ESNA Chinook, for a new career path.

RAD Arjyla
Commander Stonewall's expedition is now in the Struve 2398 system... "The Nexus"... and is crossing that system towards the habitable planet. It will take him about two months to cross the system; it's a freakin' BIG star system. Then we set up that colony and start reinforcing it. I will start building a NORAD base to ship out there as soon as the current run of Financial Centers is done.
FYI here are some shots of the important systems:

Procyon, with our colony on Dravar XV:



... there are two more jump-points off-screen: one to AD Leonis to Hubward (off the top edge) and one to Lutyen's Star to Rimward (off the bottom edge).

Sol, and its jump points:



... this is a view from a long way away, outside the orbit of Pluto. The jump-point to Dravar XV is the grey dot labeled #3, it is grey because there's a Charlie Gate Constructor parked on it, obscuring our view of the orange jump-point. The jump point above it, #4, leads to the Ross 248 system, the Charlies, and the Nexus.

Here's the Nexus:



This is a HUGE star system, with nine jump points and two suns, each with their own family of planets, moons, asteroids, etc. It takes literally MONTHS for a civilian ship to drive across it... although those Lagrange points will provide some short-cuts. You can see Stonewall's expedition crossing the space between the two suns to establish the new colony on one of the planets at top left.
No. I dislike stationing ship and leaving them in one spot. The early part of the game is all about exploration and gathering information so that you can make sesnsible plans. For example, without the discovery of the Nexus and the surrounding habitable worlds, we might have felt committed to fighting for the Groombridge 34 system.

OK... on December 1st 2028, our relations are +166.9
January 1st 2029... the beginning of year 5.

Confirmed: Relations with Charlie are gong up by 0.1466666 per day. It will take seven and a half months to reach +200 (and probably a trade treaty).

We have 801 bucks in the bank, and -18 per day... bankruptcy is immanent. That's what we get for trying to expand as fast as possible, I guess. Repairing the economy must be a major goal for this year.
The 32nd Engineer Brigade under Brigadier Quift, deployed on Dravar XV, has uncovered an alien construction factory which can be adapted to our use. Stonewall had earlier shipped in seven construction factories from Earth, so this brings the total up to eight. All eight are busy building more construction factories, to expand the colony's capabilities.

The Battle Fleet has finished another quick overhaul... something I do whenever there's a lull in the action, to keep their maintenance clock close to zero for any unexpected action... and can now deploy the first few Sensor Buoys at our jump points.
Mid-January, 2029. The Battle Fleet has completed a short overhaul and returned to space. Each ship off-loaded one ship-killer missile and four point defense missiles in order to make room in the magazines for each ship to carry two sensor buoys each... a squadron total of eighteen sensor buoys between the nine ships. They will begin by dropping buoys on each end of the Sol => Ross 248 jump point.
Lt-Commander Rockingluke has again increased his Diplomacy skill, to +30%, further boosting our Diplo team that is negotiating with Charlie.

Our cash-on-hand has dropped to 490 bucks, losing 9 bucks per day. When the batch of 50 sensor buoys is done, I will shut down the missile factories. Our production factories will be building nothing but Financial Centers for the forseeable future. Tighten your belts, everybody!
OK, I think I've finally figured out how to do this...



... jeeze, this game interface is freakin' complicated. I thought for a few minutes that we were going to have to open an airlock and just TOSS the damn thing out.

EDIT:

After placing a buoy on our side, I jumped through to to the Ross 248 end of the jump point and dropped another buoy.



I might as well place the remaining buoys in this area... one at each end of the Nexus jump, and one at this end of the Groombridge 34 jump, before returning to Sol to place the last pair straddling the jump to Procyon. That will give Charlie a bit of time to finish the Gate and clear off.
Commander Henkalv in ESN Hugin reports that he has found a new jump point in the Gliese 229 system to Widdershins of Earth. He is investigating it now.

EDIT: Commander Henkalv has found a habitable planet!... and two marginally habitable planets, as well.

The new Gliese 229 jump point leads to the Gliese 257 system: Two Red Dwarf stars, both M3-V. Three rock-balls, four rocky planets (two of them with Nitrogen/Oxygen atmospheres), two gas giants and one super-Jovian. 62 Moons and 587 Asteroids. The habitable world would be quite Earth-like if the atmosphere were thicker (ie: a higher pp of Oxygen), and one of the marginally habitable planets would be quite nice if we warmed it up a hundred degrees or so. It's a bit on the chilly side. Oxygen atmosphere, though, which is uncommon.

This looks like a good find... especially since it is about as far from Charlie's area as it's possible to get... it lies to Widdershins of Dravar XV. Congratulations to Commander Henkalv!
To: Crew of ESNA Chinook
from: Commander GuillaumeHJ, departing ESNA Chinook

It is with a heavy heart that I must announce I have been transfered to the geo-survey vessel ESN Schloch. While I relish the opportunity to serve our Mother Earth in a new capacity, and to go forth and observe new worlds, I must say that serving as your commanding officer has been an honor and privilege, and that you have been a formidable crew.

I trust that you will welcome my successor, Lt. Commander Nabobalis, as you welcomed me. This in mind, I've made sure that all sneezing powder, exploding gift packs, shock buttons, fake cakes and badgers were taken off the ship before I left.

May Earth Endure Eternal.

Cmdr. Guillaume HJ, ESN Schloch, Out.
Our two jump-capable Expedition class Troop Transports have been built on Earth, and that civilian dockyard has been allowed to go idle, to save money. Cash-in-bank, $462, GAINING (ie: no longer losing) $0.40 per day! Forty cents! We're rich!
That's the plan... but slowly. We've got four Carriers building, and their air-groups are already built and waiting. We have another Attitude building, plus two Hercules Tugs. In May of this year, we will be laying down two Admiral Command-and-Control ships. That's likely all we can afford for now.

I wonder if we've really managed to turn the corner on the Economy, and can avoid going in the hole? Wouldn't that be awesome?
ESN von Haast under Commander Octavian Dorieus has been dispatched to the newly discovered Gliese 257 system to search for mineral deposits.

A quick run-down on our current and planned Fleet:

Once the Carriers, the two Admirals and the fifth Attitude are completed, our Battle Fleet will number sixteen vessels:

five Star class Missile Destroyers
five Attitude Class Missile Cruisers
four Mountain class Light Carriers
two Admiral class Command ships

... that's enough for two fairly strong squadrons.

We have fifteen scouts:

six Geologist class Geo-Scouts
nine Astronomer class Grav-scouts

Our support vessels number twenty-six, nine of which carry jump drives:

five jump-capable Mayflower class Colony Ships
two jump-capable Expedition class Troop Transports
three Venture class Troop Transports
nine Mule class Freighters
five Gas Station class Tankers
two jump-capable Hercules class Fleet Tugs

Total: 47 vessels (completed or building) after four years of play.
The Nexus Expedition under Commander Stonewall has arrived at the Nexus and successfully established Humanity's second interstellar colony! The ESNA Agora, ESNA Amalthea, ESNA Red Dwarf, ESNA Hansa and ESNA Chinook have unloaded colonists, infrastructure, automated mines, some of their maintenance stores and nearly half of their fuel, to provide a forward base for scouts.

They are now returning to Earth to prepare for a second trip out to the Nexus.
Holy crap! On his way back from the new colony, I had Commander Stonewall try an intra-system Lagrange-point jump across to the other star in the loose binary... and it shaved EIGHTY DAYS off his trip-time! That's 160 days off the round-trip time! I'll have to use that new route for all our trips to and from the Nexus. It does have the disadvantage that both the stars and the Lagrange points move, unlike jump points, but still it has to save a lot of time whenever the system geometry is right for it.

EDIT:

We have dropped off sensor buoys at both ends of the Ross 248 => Nexus jump point, and are heading over to lay one on the near side of the Groombridge 34 jump point.

EDIT:

Relations with Charlie are now +176.5
Cash-in-bank is now up to $534.00 and +$4.00 per day. That's with all of our Fighter Factories, all of our Missile Factories, and several of our Shipyards shut down, of course, so it's not quite as rosy as it sounds. Still building more Financial Centers.

Our Engineers on Dravar XV have dug up an automated mine, which has been immediately put to work on the planet. Three of the nine sites have been explored so far, and nothing major unearthed. Hope they find some tech or some money... we could use both.
Commander Henkalv of ESN Hugin has found two new jump points simultaneously, in the Gliese 229 system. One of them seems to be INSIDE the star. Let's hope they are as profitable as his last discovery.

EDIT: As he closes in, he sees that the second jump point is not quite inside the star... it is about 3 m-km outside it. He will explore the other one first.

EDIT As our Battle Fleet moves in on the Sol => Procyon jump point to lay the last set of sensor buoys, sensor readings reveal the Charlie Gate Constructor to have a displacement of 69,600 tons. Almost certainly a civilian vessel.

EDIT: We've laid the last two sensor buoys, bracketing both ends of the Procyon jump point. Found Charlie... all six ships have been lying dead in space inside the Procyon system, about a million km from Sol jump point. Heading back to Earth to top-up our magazines. I think each ship will carry two buoys in addition to their offensive and defensive armament.

EDIT: Jeeze... on his second (ever) exploration of a new star system, Commander Henkalv finds three MORE habitable worlds! That's six in his first two attempts. This time ALL of them are as habitable as Mars. A G5-V primary star quite similar to Sol, two rock-balls, six rocky worlds (one with 1.6g, 84% Nitrogen/16% Oxygen, -25 degrees), four gas giants, one super-Jovian and 107 moons in total. No Asteroids. Commander Henkalv will return to the Gliese 229 system to check out the remaining unexplored jump point. Could it be as good as these last two?

EDIT: Our Engineers on Dravar XV have dug up an installation that is too badly ruined to be useful for anything. Five more to go.

EDIT: Commander Henkalv has discovered our first back-door... not a very useful one, unfortunately. The star systems Procyon - Lutyen's Star - Gliese 229 - Gliese 205 form a round-about back to Procyon. Henkalv will continue searching Gleise 229 for additional jump points, then move on to survey the two systems containing the newly discovered habitable planets.

A second alien installation on Dravar XV has turned out to be ruined beyond repair. Four more to check.

Sensor buoys detect the Charlie vessel Conqueror I leaving the Procyon system, headed for the jump point to the Ross 248 system... quite possibly, on his way home to wherever the hell these Charlies come from. It is not known whether this vessel is alone or accompanied by others of its squadron.

Relations with Charlie now over +180.
The only ones that we've found, yes. Unfortunately, the Wolf 359 system with its six-hundred-odd asteroids didn't pan out nearly as well as we'd hoped. Nearly all of them are junk. Henkalv's latest discoveries are pretty cool, though... six more habitable worlds, four of them (and three in one system) as good as Mars or better.

EDIT: $630 in the bank and +$5 per day... still in shut-down mode, of course. We may even be able to avoid bankruptcy entirely, if we don't encounter some nasty surprise that forces us to start spending big wads of cash again.

EDIT: Damn! Yet another ruin on Dravar XV was empty... that's three in a row. Three more to check.
ESN Schoch to Autocrat Blue Emu

At your request, sir, I have combed through the onboard database of ESN Schoch to identify major report of ship actions, especially pertaining to discovery of star systems.

In some cases no broadcasts were made regarding the discovery of various star systems, or only minor broadcasts mentioning the discovery, and as such the information is not in the Schoch's database. This is a recent issue. Affected systems largely are systems of little/no interest, but if possible to track down information in Earth database please advise.

Epsilon Eridani - ESN Copernicus - Coinneach
Ross 248 - ESN Copernicus - Coinneach
Procyon - ESN Copernicus - Coinneach
Wolf 359 - ESN Copernicus - Coinneach
AD Leonis - ESN Avernum - Hellvink
Proxima Centuari - ESN Copernicus - Schwuermann
Gliese 205 - ESN Avernum - Hellvink
Lutyen's Star - ESN Avernum - Hellvink
Groombridge 34 - ESN Copernicus - Schwuermann
TZ Arietis - ESN Ptolomy - Chaos
Mu Cassiopia - ESN Copernicus - Schwuermann
Luytens 726-8 - ESN Ptolomy - Chaos
Struve 2398 - ESN Thor - Blekinge
Teergarden's Star - ESN Ptolomy - Chaos
V1581 Cygni - ESN Thor - Blekinge
Gliese 687 - ESN Thor - Blekinge
Tau Ceti - ESN Ptolomy - Chaos
Sigma Draconis - ESN Thor - Blekinge
Gliese 892-A - ESN Thor - Blekinge
Groombridge 1618 - ESN Thor - Blekinge
Kuiper 79 - ESN Thor - Blekinge
Giclas 9-38 - ESN Thor - Blekinge
Gliese 408 - ESN Ptolomy - Chaos
Wolf 358 - ESN Ptolomy - Chaos
Gliese 48 - ESN Kepler - Bjering
V547 Cassiopiae - ESN Kepler - Bjering
Sirius - ESN ??? - Von Sachsen
Ross 47 - ESN Chandrasekhar - ???
GJ 1156 358 - ESN ??? - ???
FL Virginis - ESN ??? - ???
DX Cancri - ESN ??? - ???
Wolf 46 - ESN ??? - ???
HR 511 - ESN ??? - ???
EG 290 - ESN ??? - ???
Gliese 229 - ESN ??? - ???
70 Opiuchi - ESN ??? - ???
Gliese 257 - ESN Hugin - Henkalv
82 Eridani - ESN Hugin - Henkalv
Giclas 221-5 - ESN ??? - ???
EG 381 - ??? - ???
Wolf 47 - ??? - ???

Other accomplishment of note:
(Mars Geo-Survey: ESN Agassiz, Billy Bob)
(Procyon System Geo-Survey - ESN Von Haast, Mazer Rackham)
(Procyon VII Xenoresearch Team Transport - ESN Avernum, Hellvink)
(Groombridge 34 Attempted Geo-Survey : ESN Agassiz, Billy Bob)
(Detection of Charlie incursion in Ross 248: ESN Gould, The Executor)
(Further detection of Charlie incursion in Ross 248: ESN Kepler, Bjering)
(Detection of Charlie gatebuilder in Sol: ESN Schoch, Unassigned)
(Discovery of Sol and Groombridge 34 Gates in Ross 248: ESN Schoch, Unassigned)
(Detection of Charlie incursion fleet in Sol - ESN Iche Bin, Iche Bins
(Fist LaGrange Jump : ESN Agora and Colonial Fleet, Stonewall)
(Discovery of Procyon-Luyten-Gliese-Procyon backdoor: ESN Hugin, Henkalv)

Humbly propose that after retired from naval service, ESN Copernicus be marked for transformation to museum vessel as first jump/first contact vessel.

Cmdr. GuillaumeHJ, ESN Schoch, out.
MSG ESN Lyell @ 82 Eridani to Fleet Ops Operations
Hot Flash Hot Flash
Intercepted by Alien ships in 82 Eridani system
Range 2.8 m-km and closing
These do not rpt do not look like Charlie ships
Reversing course to evade
Will let Diplo Corps handle this one
Will keep you advised
- Cmdr PolarMongoose out
MSG ends XXXXX




Well, curses. We finally find an interesting world to Widdershins...and of course the aliens are there waiting for us. And of course they're one jump away from the system that lead to our OTHER interesting system in that direction.

Familiar, innit?

Edited to add:


People who have discovered Light or dark Blue Worlds :
V1581 Cygni: Cmdr Blekinge, with ESN Thor
(Gliese 687): Cmdr Blekinge, with ESN Thor (That's the fake)
Sturve 2398: Cmdr Blekinge, with ESN Thor
Sigma Draconis: Cmdr Blekinge, With ESN Thor
Teegarden's Star: Cmdr Chaos, with ESN Ptolomy
Groombridge 34: Cmdr. Schwuermann, with ESN Copernicus
V547 Cassiopeiae: Cmdr. Bjering, with ESN Kepler
Procyon: Cmdr. Coinneach, with ESN Copernicus
Gliese 257: Cmdr. Henkalv, with ESN Hugin
82 Eridani: Cmdr. Henkalv, with ESN Hugin
MSG ESN Lyell @ 82 Eridani to Fleet Ops Operations
Targeted by active sensors
Alien ships closing at 9614 km/s
- Cmdr PolarMongoose out
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG ESN Lyell @ 82 Eridani to Fleet Ops Operations
Missiles launched
Incoming
Taking evasi


<<< Fleet Ops Communications reports that they have lost contact with Commander PolarMongoose on ESN Lyell >>>


Dear citizens of the Terran Federation. The exploration of space was always a dangerous enterprise. Today, one of our young heroes has paid the ultimate price, when making the first contact with another race, that immediately opened fire. His commitment and accomplishments will be remembered.

I count 19 size-6 explosions, not counting the ones that missed. If their targeting was as good as their engines, that salvo was probably 24 missiles... 12 missiles from each ship. Our Cruisers have four anti-ship-missile tubes each, three on the Destroyers. I seriously doubt that our entire fleet... four Cruisers and five Destroyers... could take these clowns on. Their to-Hits would be far better than ours, for one thing, even ignoring any tech advantage... we would be shooting at 9,700 km/sec targets, while they shoot at 2,500 km/sec targets.

So... strategy. Do we send our Fleet to Procyon? Or hold it back where the fixed defenses on Earth can cover it?

If these dudes are Predecessors, they are unlikely to explore for us. If they are nasty aliens... I would really prefer to have our Carriers finished before we try to take them on. Three are due out at the end of next year, one more seven months later.
I'm hoping that these dudes are Predecessors, because they don't explore... at least, the info from the ruins on Dravar XV indicates that they gave up expansion thousands of years ago, and decided to just entrench themselves in their controlled systems.

If they're an Alien race, they're way beyond us in tech. We'll have to beat them with numbers, and we don't have the numbers yet. We'll also need better anti-missile defenses. Plus quite a strong ground force.
So what should we call these Aliens? "The Dickheads"?
"Xylons"?

"The Borg"?

EDIT:

... or maybe...



... "The Rebs"? That looks like a US Civil War southerner's uniform.
I've decided to call these new Aliens "The Prix" because they've been acting like pricks.
<Letter sent to Mrs. Polar Mongoose, London, Earth>

Dear Mrs. PolarMongoose,

Please accept my most profund sympathy on the recent loss of your husband
Cmdr Polar Mongoose, Geo-Scouts, ESN Lyell, who died in the service of his planet on 22 March 2029 performing his duties.

Polar Mongoose death came as a shook to all who knew him. He was a dedicated man,
who was well liked and respected by his fellow comrades.

I sincerely hope that you will be comforted in your sorrow by the abiding faith we all share in our common cause.
When the future generations read about the past, brave men like Polar Mongoose will be remember as the pioneers who
made it all possible.

Sincerely,

Lord Martin
Director of Survey Department
Fleet HQ, Earth


<Letter ends>
Commander Polar Mongoose is awarded the Alien Contact medal for discovering a new race of Aliens, and the "Pro Patria Mori" medal for giving his life in the cause of Humanity.

It's going to be quite a while before we can get those Minelayers out. With most of our Military yards tied up making Carriers, Attitudes or retooling for Admirals, we must wait for the other yard to finish its expansion next year, then retool it for Minelayers, then build them. The only other option would be to cancel either the new Attitude under construction, or the retooling for the Admirals.

EDIT: The 33rd Engineers on Dravar XV have unearthed another automated mine. Two more sites to check. No real goodies so far.
March 22, 2029. War. Mankind's first interstellar war has begun, and we don't even know why. A second race of Aliens has been encountered, this time in the 80 Eridani system and they opened fire on sight, destroying our scout ship and killing Commander PolarMongoose and his crew of 503 officers and men.

Their ships were huge, fast and deadly. According to the fragmentary information that we have pieced together, they were at least three times larger than our biggest warship, nearly four times faster, and each Alien ship mounted a broadside of anti-ship missiles equivalent to all of the Cruisers in the ESN added together.

There was no warning... no attempt at communications. We don't even know what these new Aliens are called. Some of our men have been referring to them as "The Prix". I suppose that name will do, for now.

An Alien contact team is being assembled, to attempt communication with these new Aliens... although I don't hold out much hope for success. They showed no inclination to talk to our scout.

Unable to strike back at such a powerful opponent, we must look to our moat. Designs are being put forward for new types of Mines and Minelayers, to defend the jump points leading to Procyon and Sol. Unfortunately even these hasty measures will require years to put into place. Design, research, retooling, production... it's a slow process, and meanwhile the new enemy may already be searching for us.

Well... we must start by doing what's possible, and leave the impossible for tomorrow. Commander Arjyla has departed Earth for the Procyon system, to start placing Sensor Buoys at the entrances to that star system. At least we will have a little warning if they do find us.
A letter,

Dear Mr. Polar Mongoose Sr. and Mrs. Polar Mongoose,

It is my sad duty to inform you of the loss of your brave son, Polar Mongoose, who two days ago in Eridiani 80 system made the ultimate sacrifice of in the line of duty. As his superior officer, I had many encounters with young Polar Mongoose, who I could tell had all the qualities of a fine officer and a natural born leader. Ever since he entered the Naval Academy, Polar Mongoose took care of his duties with pride, energy, dilligence and dedication which made him one of the brightest and most promising young stars of our officer corps. It was for these very qualities that he was assigned to this important and dangerous mission, which he took care of with the composure and courage of a genuine officer right until the end. He was an inspiration to his men and fellow officers, and we all are deeply sorry for his loss.

Your son will be missed, and on behalf of the naval corps I offer you our deepest sympathies in the name of Emu. I am fully aware that it is but a small consolation in this dark hour of your lives, but I can say with a full confidence that the sacrifice of your son was not in vain.

His offspring shall be given free access to the finest military academies of Earth, in honor of the deeds and memory of their late father. (Feel free to reroll :p)

Yours in grief,

Rear Admiral Arjyla,
Commander in Chief

---

Now how do we nuke these sons of bitches to kingdom come? :mad:
Sensor buoys in the Procyon system reported a contact coming through the jump point, setting off a flurry of alarms. The contact was quickly identified as the Charlie Gate Constructor ship that we've seen many times before. It's good to know that the sensor buoys work as designed, anyway.

EDIT:

The Battle Fleet has reached the Procyon => Gliese 205 jump point without encountering our new enemies. They will first drop sensor buoys at all of the exits from the Procyon system, then refuel, then head to the last jump before the enemy system and drop another buoy.
April 7th, 2029. The second Nexus Expedition is departing the Sol system, bound for Struve 2398 carrying 10,000 more colonists, a load of minerals to jump-start their economy, a construction factory, and more infrastructure for life-support. The ships involved are the Colony ships ESNA Agora and ESNA Mayflower, the Freighters ESNA Red Dwarf, ESNA Hansa and ESNA Amalthea, plus the Tanker ESNA Chinook. A third expedition will be assembled and dispatched without waiting for this one to return, carrying more infrastructure and a force of Marine Garrison battalions to guard the new colony.

EDIT: April 8th. A new jump point has been found by Commander Henkalv in ESN Hugin, in the Gliese 229 system, adjacent to the Prix-dominated 82 Eridani system.

April 10th. The new Gliese 229 jump point leads to a new system, Lutyen 745-46, a binary White Dwarf/Red Dwarf with one super-Jovian, one gas giant, one rocky planet and two rock-balls. Seven moons, no asteroids, no habitable planets.

Relations with the Charlies are now over +187.


We have now placed sensor buoys at all but one of the jump-exits from Procyon. The Battle Fleet is headed towards that final location, after which it will make a quick raid as close to the Prix system as we dare, to drop off more sensor buoys.
April 22nd, 2029. A third expedition to the Nexus is departing the Sol system. It includes the Colony ship ESNA Plymouth Rock, the Troop Transports ESNT Corregidor and ESNT Gibraltar, and the Freighters ESNA Dynasty and ESNA Venice. It carrys 50,000 colonists, more infrastructure for life-support, and two battalions of Garrison troops to guard the Nexus colony.

EDIT: Another ruins site on Dravar XV has come up empty. :(

So far, we've only found crap in these ruins. Only one site left to search. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
Despite the crisis occurring elsewhere in the Empire of Man, terraforming efforts continue on Mars. Our output of biologically inert greenhouse gasses has now tripled the density of the Martian atmosphere, and makes up 65% of the total gas pressure. Average global temperatures on Mars are now nearly six degrees higher than they were when the planet was first colonized, four years ago.

After reaching a low point of around $400, our global treasury has rebounded to over $900, with +$4.40 per day. Much of the industrial sector is still in shut-down mode, however, to make this slight economic recovery possible.
MeanManTurbo is now Governor of our colony on The Nexus.
Our engineers have dug up the last of the ruins on Dravar XV... an automated mine. All nine ruins have been excavated, and nothing significant was found in any of them... a bitter disappointment. Troop Transport ships will be dispatched to bring the Engineers back to Earth, but the combat forces under ZERG Force HQ will remain on Dravar XV to defend our colony world nearest to the evil Prix.

The Diplomatic team attempting communication with the Prix has made no headway at all, and advises us that communication may prove to be totally impossible.
May 3rd 2029. Sensor Buoys in the Procyon system again registered the arrival of an Alien ship... this time of an unidentified class. A hurried analysis of the data led us to the conclusion that this was not the Prix, but a new, previously unknown class of Charlie ship. It seems to displace only 2800 tons, so it has been tentatively identified as a small military ship or perhaps a scout-craft.



Relations with the Charlies now over +190.
May 9th, 2029. Our dockyard has finally finished tooling up for the Admiral class Command ship. During the long wait, new developments by the research team have allowed us to make significant improvements to the design. The new, more compact Jump Drives developed by our practical scientists based on the theoretical breakthrough by Dr. Morozov has allowed us to improve the vessel's Point Defense by replacing a bank of three PD missile tubes and the associated PD fire control with a CIWS system. The reduction in Magazine space permitted by this removal of some torpedo tubes allows us to increase the engine power, speed and agility of the vessel, with no reduction in operating range. A Flag Bridge permits senior officers to accompany the task force, and lend their expert guidance to the Captains of the task force vessels.

Now that this more compact Jump Drive has been developed, proposals are being put forward to retro-fit it into our existing Cruisers, to free up displacement for a CIWS system, and to alter the Light Carriers still under construction.
Our Mountain class Light Carriers, which had barely begun construction, have been altered on the ways to use the new, more compact Jump Drive. This freed up enough room for a CIWS, and by reducing the number of Engineering sections (and accepting a higher probability of breakdown) also gave us enough uncommitted displacement to add a couple of extra engines, raising the rather poor speed of this class of ship to something approaching the average speed of our battle-line.

I am waiting for Rear Admiral Arjyla to return from the buoy-laying mission in the Procyon sector, so that he can offer his views on the advisability of taking our other warships into drydock for rebuilding, to add CIWS and perhaps more engine sections.
A quick check on the design screen shows that a retro-fit of the Attitude class Cruisers with the new, compact Jump Drive will allow us to boost their capabilities significantly... increasing their speed by +333 km/s, their fuel endurance by about +25%, doubling their PD missile battery from three to six tubes (plus a second PD fire control), upgrading their PD active sensor to +50% of its current range, and adding a CIWS to provide an inner layer to the ship's point defense. All in all, a major improvement to the ship's survivability in a missile duel.

Another quick check reveals that retro-fitting the Star class Destroyers would allow a similar large jump in their capabilities... improving their speed by +500 km/s, increasing their cruising range, doubling the number of their PD missile tubes and PD fire controls, adding a CIWS, and increasing their anti-ship-missile broadside by +33%... all at the cost of a slight decrease in reliability.
May 14th 2029. Relations with the Charlies are now up to +192.7

On the subject of the possibility of retro-fitting our fleet... another possibility would be to accept somewhat less of a speed increase in order to add Shields to the ships. Shields aren't really that effective at our current tech level, but any Shield must be better than none. We have developed the first three levels of Shield technology.
MSG Battle Fleet @ Procyon to Fleet Ops Operations
Hot Flash Hot Flash
We are under missile attack at jump point to Lutyen's Star
Size-24 missile incoming
Anti-Missiles firing now
Attacker not yet detected
- Rear Admiral Arjyla out
MSG ends XXXXX


MSG Battle Fleet @ Procyon to Fleet Ops Operations
One rpt one size-24 missile incoming range 1.9 m-km
No sign of attacker
We have launched PD missiles from ESN Sol, ESN Sirius and ESN Belligerent
Turning toward the hostile to run in and spot him
- Rear Admiral Arjyla out
MSG ends XXXXX




Half a minute or so later:



Later still...

MSG Battle Fleet @ Procyon to Fleet Ops Operations
Target destroyed. No casualties.
Telemetry reports that size-24 missile was stationary rpt stationary when intercepted.
Possibly an expended round from a battle previously fought at this location
Will continue advancing to scan the area for wrecks.
- Rear Admiral Arjyla out
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG Battle Fleet @Procyon to Fleet Ops Operations
Have swept through the target area
Active sensors report no contacts within 28 m-km
No ships no wrecks no debris
Returning to Procyon => Lutyen's Star jump point to drop our sensor buoy
- Rear Admiral Arjyla out
MSG ends XXXXX
MSG Battle Fleet @Procyon to Fleet Ops Operations
Sensor buoy deployed
Returning to Earth
- Rear Admiral Arjyla out
MSG ends XXXXX


Well... that was a bit scary.
June 14th, 2029. Relations with Charlie +197.5

The second expedition to the Nexus has arrived and unloaded. It is now on its way back to the Sol system. The third expedition was dispatched weeks ago, and is still en-route to the Nexus.

EDIT:

From its low point of 400-odd bucks, our cash-in-bank has tripled to $1264, with +5.60 per day. Major sectors of the economy remain shut down.
Exploration of a new jump point in Gliese 229 has led Commander Henkalv of ESN Hugin to the system of V557 Monoceri. Two Red Dwarf stars M4-V and M7-V, two rock-balls, four rocky planets, one of which is only slightly less habitable than Mars, five gas giants and a super-Jovian. 99 moons and 330 asteroids.
At the end of June, relations with Charlie passed +200 and a Trade Pact was offered to them. So far, they have not reciprocated with a similar offer. Early in July, sensor buoys in the Ross 248 system registered the passage of "an unknown ship" through one of the jump points, but were unable to get a fix on it. On the 9th of July, sensors buoys in the Sol system made an identical report. Since this "unknown ship" passed through Ross 248 into Sol, it is presumed to be a Charlie ship, traveling too fast to be firmly identified by the short-range sensors on the buoys. Forces have been placed on alert, just in case.
Our Thermal sensors have spotted six Charlie ships of a previously unknown class in the Sol system... these must be the "unidentified contact" reported earlier by our sensor buoy network. Probably not a cause for concern, but our forces remain on alert in any case.



Once our four Carriers, the two Command ships, and the fifth Attitude are all completed, we will finally have enough forces in hand... assuming that none are lost in the meantime... to form two fairly strong fleets. One with one Command Ship, two Carriers, three Cruisers and two Destroyers; the other with one Command ship, two Carriers, two Cruisers and three Destroyers: eight ships each. By then, our Tugs will be finished, our Minelayers will be under construction, and we can settle on a design for an armed "space station" (which will actually be just a ship with no jump drive or engines, just armament, armor and shields, towed into place by a Tug) to guard our jump points.
How does this look for a tentative Space Station design? As I said, it's just a ship with the jump drives and engines left out. It can't move, except under tow by a Tug.

It is, however, heavily armed. It has two banks of four size-8 ship-killer missile launchers (8 tubes total), five banks of three Point Defense size-1 missile launchers (15 tubes total), seperate fire controls for each of those missile batteries so that it can engage seven targets simultaneously (two ships and five incoming missiles), my best long-range thermal and (ship-size) active sensors, PD active sensors that can detect incoming missiles at the extreme range of our PD system, four CIWS systems for point blank defense, and our best model of Shield.
Sensor data reveals that the ships are capable of only 1506 km/s. A thermal signature of 1050 and a low speed sounds like a commercial Freighter. I just gave them a trade treaty last month, remember. They are headed directly for Earth. When they get close, I'll launch our Fighters just in case... but I'm 99% positive that they are here on a trading mission.

Exploration by ENS Hugin of another new jump point in the Gliese 229 system has led to EG 45, a bare White Dwarf, no planets, moons or asteroids.
OK, they're about 82 m-km out, still headed straight for Earth. I'm positive that these are just Freighters, here to trade with us... but I'm launching anyway. You guys would never let me live it down if I let the Charlies "Pearl Harbor" us.

Scramble the Fighters!
All fighters space-borne... 50 of them. The Battle Fleet has launched and moved around into the shadow of Earth. Not sure if the game still allows them to detect me with a planet in the way. I can still see them, because I've got a couple of PDC bases using active sensors. They'll be landing... assuming that's their intent... in about twelve hours.
Nearly here.

They've landed. Passing through my active sensors allowed me to measure the TCS (Target Cross Section), giving me a pretty accurate idea of their displacement... 34,850 tons. Either Freighters or Troop Transports. They're here to trade.
They spent four days trading, and then took off again, headed for the jump point to Ross 248. These guys are slow enough that I could actually follow them, and find out where they come from... but it might be more prudent to wait until WE get trade access from THEM, and then follow the next trade mission back to its home planet.

Landing the Fighters and recalling the Fleet. Should I start retro-fitting the Fleet up to modern standards, a few ships at a time?
Exploration of a new jump point in the Gliese 408 system has led Commander von Sachsen of the ESN Chandrasekhar to the LHS 292 system. One rocky planet, one gas giant, 14 moons, no asteroids. The planet is not habitable.

Fuel isn't a problem. Even with six of them burning 96 fuel per day, that's less than 10,000 fuel in 100 days. I won't often be out of the Sol system that long, at this stage of the game.
The Fleet Tugs will be launched in nine months, the first three Carriers in eighteen.

Well... I think I'll call it a night, people.

Feel free to continue discussing points of interest: the current situation with Charlie and/or the Prix, the upgrades to our Battle Fleet, the intended plan to build Minelayers and two types of mines (the big boomers and also "chaff" rockets to confuse their Point Defenses), the idea of building ships without engines or jump drives, and towing them into place to serve as fortified space stations... whatever.
Part 5

And there you have it, the whole story so far. The rest continues from post #2255.
 

blue emu

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I am informed that the Commander-in-Chief of the Earth Navy Space-Fleet has been killed in a freak accident involving a skate-board, a 300-kg Gorilla, and a banana:



That leaves the post of Fleet C-in-C vacant. I am offering the job to Rear Admiral Arjyla, although he may prefer to retain his field command until the Light Carriers and the Admiral-class Command Ships are launched, giving us enough ships to form two Squadrons.
 

Evie HJ

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I note also that it appears our scouts are beginning to suffer structual integrity failures again. Time for more overhauling?
 

Qorten

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Excellent of you that you multi-quoted the most important posts of today, oh Blue Avian Leader! I was quickly losing track due to time constraints.