• The 'Comrade' title is now available in a fetching communist red for purchase by all of you capitalists who survived the Sietch gulag during the people's revolution. And in the spirit of all communists everywhere, it was broken until the capitalist pig dogs fixed it. ;)
  • Your beloved Boot here with a confession. The Boot tangled its laces and failed to properly set up the new Comrade user title. Thanks to the kind intercession of Emperor Tippy this failure has been corrected and the new user title is now actually on sale to everybody.

Original Fiction Tintagel

Part 1: Oops!

bintananth

Well-known member
Joined
May 6, 2021
Reaction score
204
Captain Wilczynski of the TSS Calypso was feeling confident. His raid had been a resounding success up to this point: 11 enemy merchant ships captured and 3 enemy warships destroyed across 5 star systems.

He listened to the steady stream of reports from his bridge crew. They were in high spirits.

"Captain, six ships detected. 41 light seconds distant. They're tiny. Looks like a local sublight convoy." reported the sensor officer.

"How tiny?" He queried.

"The largest is about 6,000 tons. They appear to be coasting between planets."

Compared to the 44 million tons of the TSS Calypso that was nothing.

"Helm, approach at 45 degrees oblique. I wa-"

Captain Wilczynski's orders were cut off by the sound of the proximity alarm followed by the hull shuddering from an impact. Almost instantly he yelled "SOUND GENERAL QUARTERS! DAMAGE REPORT!"

As the reports filtered in he wasn't happy. The FTL drive system, all weapons, and two of the eight reactors the TSS Calypso had were damaged and offline, along with various other less serious issues.

"Captain, detecting power spikes from all six contacts. Jesus! The smallest one is 37 petawatts." reported the sensor officer.

The communications officer barked "Incoming transmission. It's just one word: 'Bingo'."

Captain Wilczynski was suddenly having a very bad day and it was about to get much much worse.
 
Last edited:
Part 2: Charge!

bintananth

Well-known member
Joined
May 6, 2021
Reaction score
204
"Bingo!" came through the communications system.

It was a word Junior Captain Lindiwe didn't know the meaning of, but it was the signal to go to full power and engage.

At a distance of a little over 40 light-seconds the LRS Hailee opened up with her three resonance cannons while turning to close on the TSS Calypso, a ship over 7,000 times the size of the LRS Hailee, at flank.

It would be roughly two minutes of charging before the escorts would be within range. All Lindiwe could do was watch and wait.

When the Chizoba asked the Llyrians for aid and protection according to an ancient Treaty the only Llyrian warships available to immediately assist were Junior Captain Lindiwe's light cruiser Hailee and an escort flotilla. The Hailee, at about 5,200 tons without fuel, was the fastest cruiser her species had.

When Lindiwe was briefed about what she'd be facing she didn't actually believe that Terran warships were that many orders of magnitude more massive than the ones her people built, but the proof was in the sensor records.

The anti-ship missile which merely damaged the unshielded human ship would have vaporized any unshielded Llyrian battleship and served to reinforce the accuracy of the sensor records.

Lindiwe was scared, but she would do her duty. "Continuous fire. Slice that monster apart." she ordered.
 
Last edited:
Part 3: Worry and Relief

bintananth

Well-known member
Joined
May 6, 2021
Reaction score
204
Sergeant Suzetta watched the sensor readings of what was occurring almost nine light-minutes overhead.

He was impressed. The obsolete surface-to-space missile his people received from the Llyrians quite some time ago managed to disable the largest starship his society had ever detected.

LRS Hailee was engaging the human ship from a distance that would be about midway between the two Chizoba homeworlds when they're at closest approach ... far beyond the effective range of any Chiboza weapon.

He knew Llyrian weapons and sensors were good. The were, by far, the most ancient and advanced society in the Galaxy. He, and everyone else for that matter, had been vastly underestimating them.

He looked at the sensor readings, blinked, and double checked them before shouting with excitement, "Major! The Hailee just punched a hole clean through that alien behemoth from 32 light-seconds away!"

Major Aniki strode over to look at the display. He, like the Sergeant, was equally astounded.

****

Captain Wilczynski was worried.
Whatever disabled the TSS Calypso managed slip past her sensors undetected.

The sudden power spikes were even more distressing. Those six little ships went from looking like they were completely harmless to a combined power output exceeding the amount of sunlight the Earth gets in an instant.

"How long to repair the Jump Drive?" he asked?

"Two hours." was the reply from the Chief Engineer.

The tactical officer suddenly said, "Captain, something just pierced us from stem to stern."

"From what range?"

"Unknown. Our sensors can't detect whatever it is they're using."

Captain Wilczynski thought for a moment before responding to the Chief Engineer. "We don't have two hours. Ignore all safety procedures and other damage. Do a blind emergency jump the moment the FTL drive is fixed."
 
Last edited:
Part 4: Countdown

bintananth

Well-known member
Joined
May 6, 2021
Reaction score
204
A/N: The TSS Calypso, by itself, is more massive than the entire Llyrian fleet, combined. They're the only ones who even stand a chance of fighting back.

Senior Lieutenant Kirika counted down the range in light seconds for her captain. "32, 31, 30 ..."

When she hit 20 the LRS Gerfrid, a destroyer a fifth the size of the LRS Hailee, opened with all five of her resonance cannons and started bracketing the TSS Calypso.

The countdown continued. "18, 17, 16 ..."

Junior Captain Lindiwe listened and waited. She didn't have enough firepower to quickly destroy the massive human warship, but she did have enough to maul it.

When the countdown reached 12 light-seconds the remaining four Llyrian ships opened fire and she gave orders.

"Comm, signal the fleet, maintain 11 light-seconds, cloud formation. Helm, hard 30 degrees to starboard, 20 degrees down, maintain flank."
 
Part 5: Escape

bintananth

Well-known member
Joined
May 6, 2021
Reaction score
204
Electricians Mate 1st Class Higgins was deep in the bowels of TSS Calypso's FTL drive looking for a broken wire.

He wasn't wearing a spacesuit. Or any other protective gear, for that matter. When the alarm sounded he'd been asleep in his bunk and he was still in his underwear.

The order to ignore safety precautions told him all he needed to know: this was bad.

He frantically continued his search as the Calypso shook around him every few seconds as a result of what he figured could only be hostile fire.

Finally, he found it.

A few seconds of quick work saw the control wire repaired and the FTL drive started to power up.

He ran.

****

Captain Wilczynski breathed a sigh of relief when the Chief Engineer announced. "FTL back online. Jumping, NOW!"

For the past 40 to 45 minutes he'd been receiving reports of how his ship was being damaged by the ones taking potshots while circling in the distance. He was no Engineer but knew that the Calypso, upon reaching a starbase, wouldn't return to service for several years if she wasn't deemed damaged beyond economical repair and scrapped.

Once the jump was complete and the FTL drive shut down he looked at the navigation officer and asked "Where are we?"
 
Part 6: Picnic

bintananth

Well-known member
Joined
May 6, 2021
Reaction score
204
Several weeks later ...

Brussels, Belgium, Earth

"Ambassador, what can you tell us about these ships?"

Ambassador Caytaya reviewed the sensor records several times before replying. "You say these came from a crippled starship which barely escaped?"

The General he was meeting with nodded.

"And that it was crippled almost instantly?"

The General nodded again.

"On the record, I would need to consult with my government first."

The General frowned and turned off the display before saying, "Off the record then."

"I think tomorrow would be a very good day for us to have a picnic at a secluded spot in a nearby park so our children can get to know each other better."

General Volske smiled. "That sounds like an excellent idea. Shall I pick you up at ten?"

****

The next day ...

Ambassador Caytaya's and General Volske's children had full bellies and were off doing children things while their wives kept an eye on them and made smalltalk.

Caytaya turned to Volske and said, "Those starships are Llyrian." Volske nodded and listened while Caytaya continued with, "They are a very ancient race and do not like to be disturbed. You woke them up."

"You either attacked them or attacked something or someone they've said they would protect. Based on where the Calypso was damaged I can make an educated guess as to who asked them for help but I might be wrong so I won't say."

"The best piece of advice I can give you is this: make peace with the Shalmaneseer. They don't have a defense treaty with the Llyrians but someone they're friendly with certainly does."

Ambassador Caytaya turned his attention back to the sky. "It's such a lovely day for watching clouds. Wouldn't you agree?"

General Volske simply said "Yes" in reply. He had a lot to think about.
 
Part 7: Attrition

bintananth

Well-known member
Joined
May 6, 2021
Reaction score
204
Shalmaneseer homeworld, Admiralty headquarters

Admiral Chizeta read the latest after-action report with dismay. The last battle with the Terrans had cost his people a carrier, a cruiser, and three destroyers. Every other warship present was damaged, some severly.

Yuck!

The Shalmaneseer intelligence services and technical experts all agreed on one thing. The Terrans were very new to the interstellar stage and sorely lacking a lot of technology spacefaring races took for granted. Like artificial gravity.

The Terrans more than compensated for how primitive they were. Sure, their ships were clumsy, sluggish, and handled like a draft animal stuck in mud. They were also enormous, could shrug off obscene amounts of damage, and hit hard enough to hold their own in a fight.

Publicly, Admiral Chizeta would have to announce that the battle was a victory. Technically that was the truth since they had been driven off.

When he met with the Cabinet in a few hours he would present a different conclusion. His people were losing and it was only a matter of time before the number of damaged ships overwhelmed the ability to repair them in a timely manner.

It was not a meeting he was looking forward to.
 
Last edited:

skychan

New member
Joined
May 17, 2021
Reaction score
0
I admit I think I'm going to need more to make any kind of judgement on this. It's an interesting set up, but the plot is as yet entirely elusive.
 
Background Information

bintananth

Well-known member
Joined
May 6, 2021
Reaction score
204
I haven't yet decided where the plot is going and my writing style doesn't include a lot of exposition.

The basic situation:
- Humanity is the new kid in the neighbourhood, trying to proove themselves, and irritating people in the process.
- The Shalmaneseer have been around awhile, have a very strong military, but aren't prepared for a long drawn-out fight.
- The Chizoba have a small population and mostly interact with others via trade. Their merchant ships are getting attacked, hence the request for aid.
- The Llyrians are the grownup in the room. They're generally uninvolved with what the kids are up to but will intervene to say "knock it off" when necessary.

The societies which have direct dealings with the Llyrians don't openly announce that fact. Most of the ones who don't have dealings with the Llyrians have at least heard rumors of them.
 
Top Bottom