FRONTIER The Martian Dream

Discussion in 'Open Roleplay' started by Destin Antares Hunter, Jul 12, 2019.

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  1. Colony Ops deck, P&K Glastonbury - In orbit of Nautilus - Jules Verne System - Frontier
    Hunter stood where he had seven days ago, watching the planet with his good eye and his bad one. He'd never pointed out his cybernetic eye, but it was there, and the scar that lined it wouldn't go away. Not that he wanted it gone, but it wouldn't go away. He'd suffered the wound on a boarding action back in his old MCRN days. He'd left the Aegis on the Fletcher and went to Pallas to lay in wait. An operative reported that a pirate ship was plotting a course to intercept a Mao-Kwik convoy and steal supplies. Now that he thought about it, he should've let them go. Mao-Kwik had put them into this position with the protomolecule, and it wasn't the way it was supposed to be. At least he could admire Nautilus. After the tip, he waited for the ship to lift off, and when it did, he pushed off and went in pursuit. The pirates flipped and fired two fast torpedoes at the Fletcher. They shot them down, and now in CQB range, a PDC salvo from the Fletcher finished their railgun and hit their airlock. Another burst killed their drive cone, and the ship went adrift. He'd prepped his boarding team, and forced open the inner airlock door. Upon entering, he noticed that the ship he was boarding was of Martian design. It seemed to be a pre-modernization design, and was a fast destroyer, he thought. After rounding the corner he'd used his signature move, and in the null g the four Marines clamped their boots onto each wall, and started firing on the pirates. The pirates, unwilling to damage their own ship, were using less powerful rounds, and one such round glanced off a wall and hit a weak spot in his helmet. It caused shrapnel to enter his eye, and earned him a battle scar and a cybernetic eye. He'd fixed the helmet, and the ship they took turned out to be the MCRN Houston Nova, one of the ten experimental Cydonia-class fast destroyers. After the modernization a fast attack cruiser was also named Cydonia, in honor of the destroyer. The Houston Nova had its entire Martian crew cast adrift on a small shuttle, and were picked up by MCRN ships. The crew had told them about the theft of their ship, and upon being asked why they didn't scuttle the ship, the answer was "We tried, but the OPA hackers locked us out of our own system." The Houston Nova incident was also a part of the reason the MCRN black ops ships were used, and was indeed the wake-up call for the Earthers and Martians that the OPAN existed and had capable ships and crew. After recovering the ages-old ship, and sending the pirates to the Lunar Penal Colony, as they were Ceres born, Hunter considered adding it to his black ops fleet, but the ship was too heavily modified and old to do so. The Houston Nova was returned to the MCRN and they turned the ship into spare parts.
    Nautilus was making great strides, and a science team found a large lobster-like creature crawling on the beach, and observed it as it used the sand as food. That was interesting, that a large lobster was capable of eating sand. The hyperloop connecting First Landing and Dallas Nova broke down, and three of his light corvettes were being used as replacement transport vehicles. A farming team in Munich Nova managed to produce a bountiful algae growth, meaning that atmo fliers were not going to run out of fuel for a long time. The kelp and seaweed farms were also stabilizing, and the colony was at the first stop on a very long road to self-sustenance.
    An alert popped up on his modified terminal, and it was marked as high-priority. He opened it and it showed that all consuls were to convene for an emergency meeting on the consular ship Deliverance. He ordered that his shuttle be prepped, and several hours later was on his journey to the awaiting ship.
    Upon donning armor and entering the shuttle, he was greeted by his second, Natasha Byron, the best pilot and tactical officer the NCFN had to offer. She had fought with him in the old days, and trusted her with his life. Her long red hair was in a bun, the way the MCRN had taught them to so that hair didn't intervene in combat. He returned the greeting, strapped in, and told her, "Let's get off this rust bucket, shall we?"
    "Sa sa, bosmang!" came the reply.
    Lang Belta had been learned by all of the Martians in his fleet, as they were black ops, and it being the language associated with gritty exploration, it was customary for his sailors to reply orders and make gestures the Belter way.
    Byron used the maneuvering thrusters to exit the Glastonbury, the largest of the three repurposed colony ships from Pur'n'Kleen, and got to a safe distance with the fusion torches before firing up the ancient Epstein drive, weirdly clean and efficient, one of the best and most reliable civilian drives out there.
    "Looks like we're gonna have a new site soon," Natasha said.
    "Did the team find one, Tasch?" Hunter replied.
    "End of a valley, and on the windward side of a mountain range. Part of it's elevated, so it might split into two settlements."
    "As soon as this business is done, would you mind taking me there?"
    "To the settlement?"
    "Yeah. It can be in a corvette, but I really don't care what ride I take."
    "Be careful what you wish for, Skip."
    They both laughed.
    Hunter had the most fun flying to the Deliverance since all those years ago when he took his first flight into space. When they finished the braking burn, Hunter was releived and sad at the same time.
    When he peeked out, he saw the Deliverance, a different shuttle, and a patrol destroyer.
    And, what seemed to be Ashoka's fleet.
    [​IMG]
    @Karen Ashoka
     
    #21 Destin Antares Hunter, Jul 23, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
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  2. CIC, MCRN Aegis - In orbit of Titan - Sol System - During the battle over Ganymede

    General Quarters, General Quarters. All hands man your battle stations.
    Alarms rang out all over the cruiser. The UNN ships that had the night before been orbiting the planet with his ships, trading friendly gestures, were now shooting at his ships. The report indicated that they were facing a Leonidas-class battleship, the flagship, three Pygmalion-class cruisers, old workhorses, and a smattering of escorts. Hunter had just ordered the Aegis to make a PDC run through the battleship and cruisers, while his escorts engaged with the enemy escorts. Chaos ensued, and in the mist of the confusion his ships began firing every single PDC they could at the UNN ships. He looked at his tactical display just in time to see the Musketeer, a heavy frigate under the command of acting captain Zev Aragorn, take a PDC burst to the reactor and vanished in a brilliant light show. He'd have a hard time explaining how Commander Ashlen Balboa was the only survivor of the Musketeer simply because she was on shore leave. Shortly after, the Morrigan-class patrol destroyer Avenger ate a railgun round from a destroyer, also vanishing. One ship was an acceptable loss. Two, especially for a fleet as small as his, was too much.
    However, he saw a way out.
    "Byron!" he shouted.
    "Sir?" Natasha Byron replied.
    "Put us in between those two cruisers, then flip and get a firing solution on that battleship!" he said.
    "Yes sir!" Byron replied.
    The Aegis streaked through the skies and slipped between two Pygmalion-class cruisers, his PDC fire shredding them. Adding insult to injury, several PDC rounds from the cruisers missed the Aegis and hit each other. Regardless, the two cruisers were heavily damaged, and soon later the Archer flipped and put a railgun round through the core of the first cruiser, and they were close enough that the explosion vaporized both ships.
    "Sir!" Felicia Sobieski, his gunner, shouted.
    "What?"
    "We have atmo loss on decks four, seven, and nine!"
    "Win now, and repair later!"
    "Sir yes sir!"
    "Doubleshot the coilgun!"
    "Done."
    The Aegis flipped around and fired two coilgun shots. The power flickered, and several alerts blared.
    A quarter of a second later, the Leonidas-class battleship Alexander III became a small star.
    Shortly after, Hunter passed out.
    When he woke up, he'd been told about the conspiracy.
    When he got the message from the Admiralty about the losses, he realized that when gods fight, their worshippers suffer.
     
    #22 Destin Antares Hunter, Aug 3, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
  3. Georgie Lang

    Georgie Lang The Unknown Scientist

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    [​IMG]
    Nautilus, Campsite

    He had been sensing something heavier afoot for a while now. It was only then that he was to go explore out to the direction his gut had been itching him to go to. It was the way where he was sensing heavy. He had fine tuned his senses after he landed. The tranquility and docility of the planet helped him to do so, but the peace was more or less shattered from the direction of the heavy footing. He pulled out his protective gear in case the others were armed, and set foot.

    Travelling through the ever-so-fascinating alternating biomes, it wasn't long until he came upon a clearing. Out there, in the purplish glow of the Nautilian atmosphere, were domes. Not just any domes, these were sporting markings that spoke of Mars. A closer look with his binoculars told a much more intriguing story. The domes flew a different flag than what he was expecting. Blue background, white accents, and a Nautilus shell in the middle. He was half-hoping that it was Martians who defected to their own space in this system. Probably with a radically different form of government than what he had seen on Mars. He knew he had to observe, and he set up a three-day camp a little ways away from the foot of the forest, well hidden from sight.
     
  4. Karen Ashoka

    Karen Ashoka Patrolling the Slow Zone

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    Ashoka braced herself against the violent rattling of the dropship as it plummeted through the atmosphere of Nautilus. She looked to her left and right and saw that the captains of the Atrax and Templar were looking about as good as she felt. They had been invited down to the surface of the colony by the local government, and Ashoka had made the decision, as part of the MCR's new doctrine on colonial relations, to take them up on the offer.

    There would probably be a big song and dance knowing the locals, being visited by representatives of the Martian Navy as probably a big deal. Ashoka was more interested in being down on the surface of an alien world, something she had only done once before when she travelled to Earth after the Io Campaign.

    As soon as it had begun, the rattling stopped, replaced by a gentle buffeting as the dropship moved through different layers of the atmosphere. The display built into a nearby wall showed the countdown, 15 minutes until touchdown. They were heading towards the main launch site, a facility at the centre of the three primary dome cities on the surface. From where they were expected to travel to the largest of the three, and meet with the representatives of the local government.

    Karen hoped it wouldn't take long though, as she just wanted to get outside the domes and check out the local wildlife.
     
  5. Cockpit, MCRN Sparrowhawk - NCFB Trident Lake - Nautilus - Jules Verne System - Frontier
    Modifying his ships wasn't easy. Most of the breakaway fleet's ships were equipped for short-range patrol missions within frequent resupply distance of a mothership or base. Now, all of his ships needed to work, not just be gimmicks within the bloated Martian military. His Silhouettes, for example, had their micro-Epstein drives swapped out for one, more reliable, and more powerful drive. More were being made, and some had swapped some of their atmosphere capabilities for more torpedo and PDC storage. Some of his Silhouettes had even been turned into marine dropships, with more flexible guns on the ships, their torpedoes removed. His Morrigans were receiving extra PDCs, and one ship, the Alamo, was receiving command ship upgrades, as he was sure unless the Sol Coalition granted him independence, the Archer was barely going to have any kind of armament.
    He had just landed at Trident Lake base, the designated meetup spot with Ashoka and her crew. He didn't know why Ashoka was trying to land, but there had to be something. He'd gotten a tightbeam from the almost-empty Deliverance saying that New Terryon Station had gone dark for reasons unknown. The colony on the ground was still responding, but the station wasn't. Weird. Ashlen Balboa of the Aegis, still running the MCRN flag, had tightbeamed the Deliverance, telling them that she was in the Hub somewhere, and would stay there for a while. Having a long-distance relationship wasn't easy, but at least he could see her again once this business was done.
    He clambered out of his corvette, accompanied the others who had landed on other craft, sans Byron, who stayed in space.
    Outside, Ashoka was waiting.
    @Karen Ashoka
     
    #25 Destin Antares Hunter, Aug 15, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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  6. Simurgh fleet

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    -"This the Wings of Fire"

    -"This is the Coordination Center, giving you the green light for the transfer. Good luck!"

    The captain nods and sits in his seat. The lights of the CIC darkened as the ship prepared to make the transition. The reactor slowly lowers its power ready to come into contact with the strange susbtance/matter that is the wormhole. The inside of the ring is made of something that looks like a puddle that reflects backwards. And like the water of a puddle, its reflection is twisted and distorted as waves spread over it every time something passes through it.

    The ship's external cameras disable as stipulated by the protocols. According to reports, very strange things happen when they stay on during the transition. Cold sweat drops slip down his back in preparation for the fateful moment.

    Then it happened, slowly as if we were sliding the ship into the water. A transparent wall passes through the floors to collide with it. Contrary to what his body thought, he didn't get hit. No instead the wall would pass through him and his CIC like water. Instead of the feeling of being wet, it is a big feeling of cold that shakes his bones.


    And that's when the strangest moment comes along. When the first layer passes, there is a small space of undetermined size between the first and second layer.
    But before anyone can properly see what's inside, the second layer hits him in the freezing cold and the ship reactivates the external cameras to show the new starry background.

    This strange space, rarely seen during transitions, is the source of many frightening rumours. All certainly false, but the captain still has a huge goose bump just thinking about it.

    The reactor regained power again while the pilot performe a back-and-flip to set off for the world of Nautilus....
     
  7. This is the NCFN Astute of the First Expeditionary Fleet to the rogue forces occupying New Terryon Station. Surrender immediately or die.
    This is the
    Wings of Fire of the Simurgh Fleet, requesting permission to transfer into the system.
    This is the Coordination Center, giving you the green light for the transfer. Good luck.
    This is the
    Astute. You have thirty seconds to comply.
    We refuse. Get on with your game. See what it takes, futile Belter sympathiser!
    This is the
    Astute to the boarding ships. You now have permission to board.
    ...
    This is the Astute to the Deliverance. Operation successful. Rebels in custody. They're...Earthers? Shall we return command?
    Data of the battle is being uploaded.
    This is the
    Deliverance to the Astute. Return command to the Belters. Leave immediately. There's more ships entering the gate. It looks like the Simurgh fleet.
    This is the
    Astute, acting as command ship of the NCFN under orders from Fleet Admiral Hunter. All ships, stand down. Stand down immediately. Repeat. Stand down. Do not fire on the MCRN ships.
    ...
    This is the Astute to Admiral Hunter. What shall we do? This looks like an invasion to me. It's the most ships the MCRN has ever sailed through our gate.
    "This is Fleet Admiral Hunter. Call an emergency meeting of the consuls. Do it now."
    He opened a connection to a securely encrypted New Tycho-based drop server. Ashlen met him there.
    "Hey, Ash. Do me a favor. I'll owe you one. Here goes:
    Why is the MCRN sending the Simurgh Fleet out towards Nautilus?"
    Hunter knew he owed Shaver a favor, but he didn't think Shaver needed to bring his fleet to ask for it...
    "Hunter to the Deliverance. I'll be there in a day. Postpone that meeting until I reach it."
    "Hunter, this is Deliverance. Copy that."

    Hunter continued walking towards the corvettes Ashoka parked there.
     
    #27 Destin Antares Hunter, Aug 15, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
  8. Simurgh fleet

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    -"This is the Wings of Fire of the MCRN fleet heading to Nautilus and accompanied by a Sphinx model transport shuttle and the Ignite squadron. We ask for confirmation regarding our arrival on Nautilus."

    The captain crosses his fingers in front of his screen while waiting for the latter to calculate the expected transmission time. When the screen returns a respectable waiting time, he gets up and leaves the CIC.

    He desperately needs to get rid of the horrible impression that the transition has left to him. The elevator is empty as it descends to the ship's common room.

    His footsteps echo in the hallway as he thinks about what he might drink. Five marines passed by him and stopped to greet him. It gives him the opportunity to admire their new armor. Shaver thought it would be a good idea to give his fleet a sense of belonging by customizing the accessories a little more.

    This, combined with the fact that the Simurgh fleet uses prototypes long before other parts of the armed forces do, gives a slightly different appearance and identity to the others.

    The armor of the marines is therefore of a more recent model, with colors that draw more in the shades of black with more red. The Republic logo is still there, but the bird in the Simurgh fleet is more visible.

    After returning their salute, he continued on his way to the common room. The ship is calmer than usual. Most of the officers and crew are absent from the common room.

    He rubs his chin while walking to the section dedicated to beverage machines. It is not every day that Shaver directly entrusts him with a mission in the Cabal's interest.

    "Mars is dead, the Republic killed the Dream, long live the New Dream."

    He mumbled the mantra of the Cabal in a mechanical way. It has become, for him and many members, a truth that helps them to be anchored in reality. As if by magic, telling it help him get rid of the strange feeling that the transition had left him.

    He clicks on the tea button and watches the liquid pour into his cup. Coffee's not really their style...
     
  9. NCFB Trident Lake - Nautilus - Jules Verne System - Frontier
    Trident Lake NCFB was an elegant place. The landing strip flowed with the minimal air traffic, mostly surveyors and the occasional military recon plane. Half-tracks moved about, capable of traversing the rough terrain of the unpaved areas, moving people and parts from one place to another, the guns of the workers in the air.

    There were two things most every Nautilian knew, and those were how to fly and how to shoot. The core principle of the nation was self-independence, and though they were still a colony, it didn't prevent them from acting as though they were independent. Most of the officers on Mars had called him a traitor, but Shaver and the Cabal were even more traitors than he was, and they didn't notice.

    Ashoka's lander stood by a row of atmo fliers, MRF-3s and ADF-7s by the looks of them. Some half-track passengers noticed him and gave a nod of recognition or a quick salute. A flight of ADF-7s streaked up, their hexagonal patterns where the cockpit cameras linked up shining in the glare of the sunlight. Several PDC and SAM emplacements studded the ground, and TLS emplacements floated in the three rivers upstream that gave Trident Lake its name. Multiple civilian versions of the Silhouette flew nearby, no doubt going on scientific missions. Farther downstream, a jagged bluff held the spaceport where numerous small shuttles descended.

    A thought struck him.

    If Ashoka was coming to the capital city to meet with the Consuls, then she'd gone the wrong way. They were all on the Deliverance while working. But he'd called the meeting, and his second, Natasha Byron, was already there, covering for him. He hoped the others were too.

    If Ashoka just wanted to see what the citizenry was like, then he'd be perfectly fine.

    "And so we meet again, Commander."
     
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  10. Simurgh fleet

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    The elevator doors open and let the capitan and a small squadron of marines through. The hangar is teeming with life, mechanics run left and right while carts carry crates. His shuttle is waiting for him at the end of section number 3. A new model from Celestial Bird's labs, a real blessing that this project still manages to produce stuff even with government cuts. The shuttle has the same tofu square shape as the others, but with modifications. Its angles are all sharp and its upper corners have some kind of sharp claws (or knives) as if the shuttle wanted to violently pierce Nautilus' atmosphere. As soon as he enters the shuttle, one of the marines whispers into his microphone "The Eagle has entered the dagger, I repeat the Eagle has entered the dagger".

    The interior of the shuttle is much more comfortable than what he has already seen. The Simurgh's firebird is engraved on the wall in front of the airlock, he takes the stairs to his cabin while the marines and crew head for the seats. Its cabin is a small room of 2m square, all its walls are made of a single screen and a anti-push chair is in the middle. If necessary, a bed can be taken out of the floor and a small desk. As soon as it is placed in the seat, the wall screen is activated and broadcasts the flow of external cameras. Their layout gives the perfect impression of being in the centre of the shuttle, of being the shuttle.

    The "daggers" have a rounded shape around the sections facing the shuttle, to provide desirable protection against attacks. The shuttle's PDCs are hidden behind each of the four. He had just read somewhere that they were also made of carbon-silicon, but it doesn't really matter. Windows appear on its flow to indicate the current situation. He points at the communication window and with a simple bending of the fingers transforms it into a holographic object close to him.

    -" This is Capt Jonathan Millers, I'm notifying NCFN of the upcoming arrival of the shuttle carrying representatives of the Martian High Command. As well as the entry into orbit of a Firebird class ship named Wings of Fire, a Sphinx class ship and the Ignite squadron."

    The airlock around the shuttle begins to close and depressurize. Then the external access is open while the magnetic arms release the shuttle. Facing him is the world of Nautilus for a while. Then the latter approaches him more and more as the pilot approaches the shuttle of this world. His cameras allowed him to see the Ignite squadron in the distance, escorting the Sphinx class ship. The latter bears his name because of the sphinx look it has because of the positioning of its rear engines.

    His chair shakes as they enters the atmosphere. A loud BANG noise occurs when the shuttle hits it at full speed....

    @Destin Antares Hunter
     
  11. Karen Ashoka

    Karen Ashoka Patrolling the Slow Zone

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    Ashoka stood in the gardens with the rest of her crew, enjoying the pleasant company and the food. It had been so long since she had tasted anything else than recycler food and by the looks of her crew, they were more than enjoying themselves. Every time a new plate came out of the kitchen they'd swarm the wait staff until there was nothing left. It took a quick and stern word to them from Ashoka before they remembered their manners.

    She spoke to several government representatives, local law enforcement, the dean of a local college, a botanist, two ex marines and even a weathered pilot from back in the early MCR days. They were all proud of their accomplishments on Nautlius, obviously the fact she was impressed with their world was showing as their eyes beamed and faces glowed with pride as they regaled her with their exploits.

    Deep down though, she really wanted to step outside the domes. Her reverie was disrupted by the announcement of Admiral Hunter. He strode through the carefully manicured gardens, ignoring much of the guests who tried to get his attention, and continued straight to her. "We meet again Commander," he said, a thin smile on his lips.

    She saluted the Admiral, not a necessary gesture as he no longer served in the same military as her, but still polite. "Good evening Sir. My crew and i were just enjoying the bounty of your colony," as she spoke another place of food went past. Out of the corner of her eye she could see her crew eyeing it like a pack of vultures. She casually picked up two disks of what looked like compressed rice topped with tomatoes, onions and other grown foodstuffs, handed one to Hunter and then put other in her mouth. The flavour exploded in the best possible way.

    "I must admit, if you feed your boys with food this good the MCRN might have a mutiny on its hands. Recycled textured protein only goes so far," she savored the taste a little longer before becoming aware of Hunter looking at her with an amused expression. "Admiral, you have a beautiful colony here. It is truly an honour to see our Martian brothers and sisters able to thrive on a new world. I do have one favour to ask of you though, would it be possible to venture outside the domes? Only for a short while."
     
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  12. Georgie Lang

    Georgie Lang The Unknown Scientist

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    Nautilus, Near the NCFB Colony

    A disturbing amount of shuttles landed from orbit. He gazed to the sky to see MCR vessels, many of which were smaller variants. Lang grew increasingly worried, but he stayed put, confident that he was effectively hidden from view. He thought about sending a drone to get a closer look, but the recent developments had barred him from safely doing so, he thought.

    What he did risk though, was the gleam of his binoculars' lenses. He strained further, trying to identify any important Martian figure, thoughtful that his binoculars could gleam from the purple tinted sun. As he strained further, he found that the defects and the official MCR figures were amicably going along. He and the local fauna were safe, for now. The biggest worry that he had was their proximity to the exit doors...

    @Karen Ashoka @Destin Antares Hunter
     

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