deWulf Corporate Democracy Turn 139

Fiction by Sylvester Wrzesinski

Moderator: Xveers

deWulf Corporate Democracy Turn 139

Postby Xveers on Fri 25 Oct 2019 02:49

"You are about to embark"

*Catchy news jingle plays*
From the very depths of space to the lowest streets of Fenris, deWulf State News brings the facts of the galaxy to your desk!
*DSN News!*

Hello, I'm Georg Bunzen, reporting from the deWulf Combined Fleet, somewhere on the Elysian Front Line.

We're seeing here one of the largest gatherings of deWulf naval ships since the beginning of the war. Over a hundred navy ships are here, from light escorts to the latest in heavy battleships. We have ships from the deWulf Corporate Navy, the Ibizan Royal Navy, and ships formerly of the Sintillan Fleet all working together.

Not a day has gone by where another ship has come to join the fleet, and keeping the growing task forces organized is becoming more and more complex with every new warship. We've asked repeatedly for a statement on when the new offensive will begin, but the only information we've been told is "when it's ready".

All this firepower is coiling like a spring, ready to burst. When will it be unleashed? Only time will tell.

This is Georg Bunzen, somewhere on the Elysian Front Lines.
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Re: deWulf Corporate Democracy Turn 139

Postby Xveers on Sat 30 Nov 2019 02:26

"The Eyes of the World"


deWulf High Command, 8th Sub-Basement
Fenris Command Central, “The Pit”
Planet Fenris
deWulf Corporate Democracy


"I can't believe that they deployed us and THEN had us come back here for a briefing. Central Command's getting sloppy"

"It's not their fault your Sieg is as slow as she is. If they didn't do it like this, we'd be getting to the front next year. Besides, we'll still catch up before we cross the Cloak."

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

"So I hear you're short a few 'suits. Drop me a message after the briefing and we'll have a quick chat. I'm sure my quartermaster can scare up a few spares. You've still got contacts at Jenver, right?"

"You mean, 'do I still have three cases of `04.' And yes, I do. But you better be giving me set of Mark Tens, and not some of those Eight-Beths."

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

deWulf officers filed into the boardroom, idle banter and side deals floating amongst them as they jockeyed for seats. This many commanding officers in one place was a rarity even in peacetime, and many of them were taking advantage of the ability to do a little under the dock trading and shop talk.

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

"Look, if you want this seat then you're going to have to approve my request."

"Lormman is my best Master ECM Commander. I can't just give him up for a chair."

"You give him up, and I'll sign off on getting Junior Hunter Birn off your command deck."

"... Seat's all yours."

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

PackMaster Donnal reviewed the gathered Hunters in the auditorium. When it had first been built, the idea of having more than forty ship commanders here was viewed as excessively optimistic. Even so, the original architects had built the space to accommodate double that in steeply raked seats back and above the main working space. Now, though... every seat was filled, and the stairs themselves had been taken by squadron commanders and the seconds in command. And even that wasn't enough.

The holotank showed the same accursed star system that every officer there knew by heart, its baleful yellow star a single point of light as the rest of the star system orbited slowly around it. There were no converging arrows showing sweeping, artful tactics that promised a bloodless defeat in detail. Just a single broad line that went from the Dave's World warp point straight to the single shirtsleeve planet in the Elysian system.

Donnal took a moment to step up to the podium as the lights dimmed that little bit show that the final briefing was starting.

"I appreciate you all coming back here, especially on the eve of your departure, but it is, as most things, important that we have this discussion now, before we get to the front lines. There will be little time once you arrive on station to absorb last minute changes, as this offensive will go kick off as soon as possible after your arrival in Dave's World."

The display zoomed in to the warp point in Elysian space.

"Your emergence into the Elysian system will be led by the heavy battle line. Based on our continued reconnaissance, the warp point in has not been fortified and we expect to encounter no resistance upon entry. Still, we will lead in with our battleships and heavy cruisers to secure our initial entry. If we experience heavy resistance, you are to break off the attack and wait for fresh orders."

The holo then shifted to follow the broad red arrow leading in system.

"Once in-system, you will fall into a close escort formation, covering the carrier force as well as the Bombardment Fleet."

A young voice called out "Sir, why is that flotilla called the 'Bombardment Fleet'? It's only a bunch of freighters being escorted by a single battleship."

"I will explain in just a moment. While conducting your run in-system, we expect to be dealing with oncoming gunboat strikes. To deal with this, we will be counting on Junior PackHunter Kraft and his fighter squadrons to provide a combat patrol to protect the main fleet. Once we arrive 30 light seconds away from Attica, the Bombardment Fleet will begin to deploy their cargo of missile drones."

He stopped, watching as this soaked into the assembled commanders before continuing again.

"The Saaman-class freighters have been optimized for 'fast' drone deployment. Unfortunately they still represent a war-emergency class, and it is estimated that it will take them approximately 23 hours to complete full drone deployment. It will be imperative for the fleet, and especially the carriers, to protect them while this evolution is underway. The good news is that this fleet will have seven of the Sieg-Class siege dreadnoughts along for the fight. We've developed a 'canister' round for them that should be especially effective against any inbound small craft strikes."

The holotank zoomed in further, till the planet loomed over them all, barely showing the assembled deWulf fleet.

"That single battleship is a new design of ours, a Kortex-Class command battleship. Instead of weapons, it mounts multiple drone command suites. It has the ability to manage over a hundred individual drones at once, which represents several orders of magnitude more control than we have ever fielded in the past. Using intel we have recovered from previous engagements, it will target all PDCs on the planet that are equipped with the longer range Capital missiles. While this bombardment will likely not destroy all such emplacements, it is expected to cripple the currently existing batteries."

"But that still leaves the rest of the batteries on-planet." Another voice, older and considerably more wary commented. "Our battle line won't be able to close with those still operational."

"Correct. But in conjunction with repeated gunboat strikes, we will be able to identify and knock out the rest of those long-range missile PDCs. Once offline, the Siegs will move in at their maximum range and commence a saturation bombardment of all identified PDC sites. While this may take several days, the Siegs have the ammunition capacity and the endurance to carry this out. Once they are offline, the rest of the fleet can move in and properly implement Directive 525."

One of the gunboat commanders stood up from his seat on the stairs "What are our expected casualties for strike craft?"

Donnal shifted a bit before steadying himself, eyes locking on the Sintillan who had asked the question. "We are expecting heavy casualties. Current projections point towards approximately 50% casualties on the fighters on the run in and in defensive operations. Gunboats will be held back from defensive operations unless required. But we expect to take heavy casualties when they move in to strike the planet. PD fire will be especially heavy, as the initial strikes will be ignoring dedicated PD as well as mixed bases. As such we're projecting upwards of 75% attrition over the course of the operation."

The temperature in the room felt like it had dropped a few degrees as those words were spoken. Sure, losses were to be expected. But that heavy? Elysium was expected to be a hard target, but everyone always thought they would be the lucky ones to make it through. With those numbers, one would truly need luck to survive.

"Replacement equipment and crews will be shuttled to Dave's World and staged for immediate replacement. Damaged squadrons will consolidated or rotated back, depending on losses. I'm sorry, Lev. But this is going to be a maximum effort operation. Casualties are unavoidable."
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Re: deWulf Corporate Democracy Turn 139

Postby Xveers on Thu 19 Dec 2019 03:11

"In Company With Our Brave Allies..."

dWMS Karl Franz
Felo-Class Blitz Transport, DKS-Line
Falke Star System
deWulf Corporate Democracy


"I had no idea that they made ships this fast." Vice Ship Commander Illescas looked at the ship readout on the cabin wall, showing what would have been a respectable speed for a transport or a gunboat. That it was being made by a destroyer, and it was sustainable, was at the very least mind boggling.

"They don't, generally. The Tannenbaum Yards only built two of these ships, and there's barely enough business to keep them in the black." Ship Commander Forez chastised his executive officer, though he didn't really fault him. The Felos were a result of designers gone mad, having gone too far in pursuit of a fast freighter, and then deciding to keep going to see what would happen if they went further still.

Forez turned back from the window, pouring himself a drink. "So did you meet anyone interesting at the briefing?"

"A gunboat commander named Varga. Pretty high rank for a Sintillan. Seemed to know his stuff. Took part in the last two battles of Elysium, and flew strike in the liberation of Dave's World."

"Oh?"

"Yeah. Total gunboat jock, and not ignorant of the political ramifications of his position. He knows he's cracking some ceilings with his growing rank. Kashnekov might be the Sintillan in charge of the strike groups, but it's pretty clear that Varga's the brains of the operation. You could tell how every decision of importance passed by Varga first. Assuming this assault carries through, his uniform's going to get the broad stripes, mark my words. How about you?"

"PackHunter Markus Phelan. An older bluejacket in the service. Was one of the first fleet commanders, the only fleet commander really, back when the Sintillans and the deWulf were fighting. Seems he's hit a bit of a roadblock in his career, but just as sharp as ever. My guess is that he's hoping a successful offensive here will give his career an updraft."

"But? I can hear a 'but' in there."

"But he's a good ship handler and squadron commander. Not as sharp for fleet command sadly; that's a job for someone who's got the big picture knack, and that's just not Phelan. He flies by the wind in his teeth, and he's good at it. But that's not the kind of person you need in a fleet billet. There's more than just charging into oncoming fire. It's like running an orchestra. Everyone has to do their part at the right time; like my old instructor said to me. 'There's only three things you need to worry about when commanding a fleet engagement: acting too early, acting too early, and acting too early.' That's a lesson Phelan just can't learn."

The two officers looked at each other, Forez's eyes glancing into his glass as he drank.

"So, do you think there's any truth to this 'conspiracy'?" Forez's head didn't look up from his drink.

"I don't know." Opined Illescas as he sat down on the couch facing the center of the room. "Rollen's command team certainly seems to believe he knows what he's doing. And he's shown that he's not afraid of criticism. Sure that gave his detractors some ammunition, but the rest of the navy... let's be honest, pretty much the WHOLE navy probably thinks he could fly from Fenris to Falke just by flapping his arms. It's not hero worship, but it's something close."

"Who was it we were having dinner with yesterday... Korman was it?"

"Junior PackMaster Korman. Slated to be in charge of the Bombardment Fleet. Yeah. That was an odd conversation, wasn't it?"

"I can't understand why Rollen would have someone so... not paranoid... twitchy, perhaps?"

"Concerned."

"Okay, concerned, in charge of that much firepower."

"You noticed that he was making a lot of oblique questions about our supply contractors and our procurement process too, huh?"

"Figure he was trying to suss out if any corporations had their hooks in us?"

"I doubt he was looking for places to invest his retirement funds."

Forez took a seat opposite Illescas as the latter went to get his own drink. "And then there's pulling both Felos onto this run. Even a regular passenger liner would have had the speed we needed. But instead he has us moving on a Felo. And for what, to shave a week of the transit times?"

"There's something else going on here. I just don't know what."

Illescas looped back over to his couch, theatrically flopping down before picking up his tablet in his free hand. "So do you believe that Rollen's running a conspiracy in his high command?"

"I'm not sure. Given the size of the command staff, it's entirely possible we just haven't met the right people. But I doubt it." Forez looked past Illescas and out the armourplast window, watching as a pair of Rafftal-1A-class corporate destroyers ran herd on the little convoy. Both of the Felos were part of the convoy, carrying the command staffs of an entire fleet out to their warships, still a jump ahead of them and trying to open the distance.

The two officers didn't speak for several minutes, both lost in their own thoughts, the only sound the low rumble of the drives as they drove the ship on her course.

"Do you know if the parts have arrived?" The change of topic was welcomed by them both.

"Yes Sir, they're at the Egon Gruzelier Memorial Highport, and we've arranged some time with the..." Illescas flipped to another message on his tablet "The Olza, to have all of the sensor systems refitted onto our ships. Should be a quick job. We dock up to the repair ship, they cut out the hard patches and drop in the sensor systems. A few days to weld them in place and hook up the runs, and then the ship pulls away to do full-power tests while the next one docks up."

Forez finished his drink, setting the empty glass into his lap. "So, no conspiracy?"

Illescas looked back, his own face pensive in thought "Nothing concrete. But there's something here, even if we can't identify exactly what it is."

"Well, I'm sure we can at least provide a little information..."


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Felo-class DDf(FT) 30 HS / 9 TS
[3] S1HtQv×15Qa(Ice)(Ice)(Ice)(Ice)(Ice)(Ice)Qa [6/6]
Trg: 1 Def: 0 Cost: 353.5 / 53.1 SL 6 {SOLAR}
25 HTK S×1

Built as an experiment in ultra-high speed passenger service, the Felo proved to be utterly incapable of turning a profit on the usual routes. As a result, the production run was cut short after only two hulls, Felo and Feto. Still, they managed to eke out a slim profit running high priority cargos and passengers from system to system, as they had a sustained cruise 50% faster than the common freighter. The Felo found herself most often on the Fenris-Dave's World run, and the Feto on the Fenris-Puerto Pollo route, but often enough the runs were losing money. Even so, the DKS-Line found it worthwhile to keep them in service, if only to claim that they had the fastest regular service routes in known space.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rafftal-1A-class DDf 30 HS / 9 TS
[3] S1×4A1×3HtLe(CC)LeYaQa(Ice)(Ice)(Ice)(Ice)(Ice)(Ice)Qa [6/6]
Trg: 1 Def: 0 Cost: 436.4 / 65.5 SL 6 {SOLAR}
20 HTK S×4 A×3 Le×2

Originally commissioned by Eisenmauer Bank, the Rafftal fast destroyers were intended to be high speed security interceptors for dealing with ships that tried to skip free of the bank's loans. That required a ship that could fight, and be capable of running down freighters that had redlined their engines. While they proved exceptionally effective at this task, they still had shortcomings. Initially, they lacked a comprehensive sensor suite capable of identifying their quarry under combat conditions, and a powerful enough communications system to reliably tie into the local Datawings communications network. This was corrected in two short refits (the -1 and -A refits), at the cost of offloading a laser and the only PD mount. Given their usual quarry of unarmed freighters, this was judged an acceptable tradeoff.
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