Solaris Proelium IC
Link to OOC: http://roleplayerguild.com/showthrea...laris-Proelium
It was a rather dark this particular evening. The command offices around the London based spaceport were normally bustling with activity, people running errands for the Admiralty, maintainers, and the admiralty themselves. This evening, however, was rather quiet. One of the highest ranking Admirals, the one in charge of the rising pirate problem, had called for a late meeting personally with Jaden over a secure channel while the Intrepid was on patrol. Jaden wondered why, but the admiral wasn't willing to disclose any information. Could it have something to do with his recent performance? Did somebody in his family kick the bucket? He didn't know. The air inside the command complex was dry, not unlike the air on starships. But it had a certain fragrance to it... one of sterility. That was strange, even for the UEC's most well maintained facilities. It reminded him of the hospital he had gone through his initial medical examinations before he shipped off to the Academy in Nevada.
Jaden didn't mind the silence, but the smell gave him the willies. It didn't help that he was in a state of shock. The meeting with the Admiral had taken an unexpected turn which sort of worried Jaden a little bit. Admiral Harkeem had just given him the news that he was to be the Commander of the UECS Iaculum and he would receive his first mission upon selecting a command crew. Many of the commanders in the fleet would have given their left arms to have a chance to command the Iaculum. She was the fastest ship ever built by the UEC, most heavily armored, and by far the most heavily armed with enough room for 4 marine landers or 6 fighters in the shuttle bay. But what really made the Iaculum special is she is the only ship in the known universe to sport artificial gravity via a Rotating section. For crew comfort, it was the greatest advance in technology since the UEC first put ships in space those long years ago, allowing for crews to stay in space longer without needing to return to a planet to rebuild their strength.
Even the access tunnel to the shuttle pads wasn't busy. Unusual for sure... everything about this night was unusual. Jaden passed through the gates to board his shuttle heading for the main station, Utopia. It was the largest orbital commerce center in the Solar System, and also served as the UEC's shipyard. He strapped himself in and waited for the flight crew to start their ascent. The shuttle's engines hummed into life, lifting it off the ground and propelling them up into a standard orbit. The journey lasted all of 15 minutes before Jaden heard air rushing around the shuttle once again as the dock was pressurized. The shuttle had docked in the zero gravity docking bay of the station, where he was released from his chair and deplaned the shuttle, floating effortlessly to the air lock and access tube. Above the tube was a sign warning about keeping your limbs and items clear of the doors as they close. There had been multiple instances of people losing limbs in the doors. As soon as depressurization was complete he made his way to 'Shipyard observation room 7', the nearest room giving a clear look of the Iaculum, freshly built and ready for her first shakedown. He floated into the observation room and suspended himself halfway down the window, tugging his uniform's top down as it started to float up to his chin. His mind had been active the entire way up about people he would consider for his command crew, but once he took the Iaculum in full view, his breath was taken away.
He spent maybe 30 minutes admiring his new ship before moving up to the Earth-norm gravity section of the station. Making a quick stop by the local spirits shop, he bought a bottle of 2113 Brandy (Not cheap stuff) to celebrate his new command, then made way directly to the Iaculum. The UEC had provided him with a temporary crew of green horn, secondary officers until he had selected his crew. Despite not being properly crewed the Iaculum was to depart immediately for Mars, Admiral Harkeem had told him that much. With the exception of his first officer, Jaden had been ordered to select his remaining bridge crew from Martian born officers. The Admiral had explained that the UEC was attempting to ease tensions with Mars by throwing them this bone. Wether his crew was from Earth or Mars, it didn't make much difference to Jaden. What made him slightly uncomfortable was that he had also told there would be a permanent detachment of Martian marines onboard his ship for possible planet side missions. They were to be under his full command, but with tensions as high as they were Jaden was a bit paranoid that if the shit hit the fan, the marines might try to mutiny against him simply because he was an officer of the UEC. Still, it didn't make much difference to him. This was his ship, and he would maintain order no matter who was on it. Otherwise the trouble makers would find themselves out an airlock.
The boarding umbilical for the Iaculum was brightly lit, and large enough for huge cargo containers to pass through. Jaden had to be careful not to get himself launched into the middle of the corridor, otherwise he would be stuck there until a rescue team with a large pole arrived. Finally he came to the Iaculum's main airlock. As he touched the access panel on the skin of his new ship, the massive doors began sliding open. He pushed himself inside, stood clear of the massive cargo doors and waited for the airlock to pressurize with the interior of the ship. Suddenly, his ears popped as the pressure changed, and the smell of fresh paint and newly forged metal filled his nose. The interior doors began to slide open, and once again he found himself breathless at the sheer size of the cargo and shuttle bays. It would take him more than a minute to cross these sections in zero gravity. He could see the small personnel door leading to the command, crew, and engineering decks on the far side. As he looked 'up' he could see large doors with rails, and the same type of doors on the bottom of the bays. Those must be for the Gauss cannons he thought to himself. His tour of the ship would have to wait, however. He needed to get the ship underway.
It took all of 5 minutes for Jaden to reach the command deck after that. The corridor leading up to the bridge was literally just a long tube with 2 ladders in it. The access hatch at the top of the tube looked very similar to what he imagined would have been in 20th century submarines. As he opened it, he heard an officer call 'Attention on Deck'. He emerged through the hatch, closed it, and floated to a good view point to see his temporary command crew. The first officer, a close friend of his, had been the one to call everyone to attention. Jaden laughed in the back of his mind at the way his crew looked, all attempting to stand at attention in Zero-G. It was really quite comical.
"As you were," Jaden spoke, trying to contain his laughter. "Paul you've served with me before, you know I don't require people to call attention in Zero-G. You all look like fools when you come to attention."
"Sorry, sir, but on the UEC's finest new ship I thought it would be appropriate. This is quite the occasion for all of us," Paul Tetryon replied. "Shall we get under way?"
"Yes, we shall. Helmsman, whats the status of our engines?"
"All engines are fully fueled, and the Ion Drive has been fully charged. The engineering deck reports the Fusion Reactor is at 86% efficiency currently," the helmsman reported.
"86% efficiency? I'm going to have to have a word with that engineer... Helm, clear us for departure if you would please."
The helmsman went about his task, going through the departure checklist with the docking control personnel on the station, chattering away. While everyone settled into their tasks, Paul pulled Jaden to the side to talk about something of a more serious nature.
"Sir, you should be aware that we have only a partial weapons load on board. The Gauss Cannon's slugs were delayed from the surface of mars, and only one quarter of our railgun munitions arrived. With our main generator at only 86%, I can't guarantee our lasers would be effective against anything larger than a large car."
"I know, Paul, the Admiral informed me. We are to pick up the remainder of our munitions when we pick up the rest of our crew, marines, and 2 shuttles at Mars. Lets just hope we don't run into any trouble on the way out there. As far as the lasers go, however, I want that reactor pushed up to 95% by the time we arrive at Mars. This is a brand new ship, there is no reason that reactor shouldn't be running at 100%."
"Sir, Control has cleared us for departure," the helmsman chimed in suddenly.
"Very well, detach the umbilical and back us out of here. Once we're clear of the doors, set a course for Mars at maximum burn. I want to see just how fast this ship really is."
"Aye sir, detaching umbilical and firing chemical maneuvering thrusters."
There was a shudder throughout the ship and station as the umbilical seperated from the Iaculum. The chemical thrusters on the front of the ship suddenly lit up. At first, it didn't seem like anything was happening except a pretty light show. But as the spectators on the station looked on, the ship slowly began moving backwards. After she had accelerated to a sufficient speed to exit the dock and clear the station in reverse, the thrusters went dark, allowing the Iaculum to coast. As she exited the docks, the helmsman flipped a couple of switches and the running lights lit up. The most impressive of these lights lighting up the word 'Iaculum' across the top bow of the ship. After about 5 minutes the Iaculum was well clear of the station, and a bright light was seen coming off of her forward left bow as another chemical maneuvering thruster came to life, pushing the front of the ship around and towards Mars. Once she was pointing the right direction, the helmsman slowed the ship to approximate zero and initiated the main Ion Engines, while firing the 3 large Chemical rockets in the rear of the ship, sending her hurtling towards Mars. After a 10 minute burn, the chemical engines cut out, and only the blue glow of the Ion engines could be seen from any direction, constantly pushing the Iaculum.
"Sir, at current velocities and planet distances, we will reach Mars in approximately 2 weeks. Engineering is also reporting they are ready to start rotation of the crew decks to simulate gravity," Paul stated.
"Alright, tell engineering to initiate the rotation, and I'm going to retire to my quarters. Its been a long day and I have a feeling its about to be a long 2 weeks," Jaden finished as he opened the hatch back down to the main access corridors.
UEC Martian Omicron IV
Nubian Expanse Colony
Mars was a wasteland. On the surface, it seemed to thrive under the guiding hand of the UEC. Some even said that the colony was flourishing, a promising beacon of light that proved mankind could conquer the stars. But those people were utter fools. The true workings of the UEC-controlled Martian government involved political red tape, firewalls, and thinly veiled contempt.
Kaila wasn't privy to the specifics of the diplomatic meetings between the Martian president and the UEC delegates. But, as a first lieutenant, she was privy to the military briefings that came as a result of the meetings. The 344th Regiment, the UEC regiment stationed on Mars, was always at attention, reading for a fight. The UEC officials were certain that the colonists wanted independence. But what the officials didn't know, was that a revolutionary movement was already forming.
Kaila pushed the thoughts out of her head as she reached the communications tower on the eastern side of the outpost. The UEC Iaculum was scheduled to arrive in less than an hour. Communications had been opened and the approach vector had been plotted. Kaila was present to oversee the landing procedure, then she was to greet the captain and the rest of the away team on the surface.
The soldiers saluted her as she entered and she disinterestedly saluted back.
"They're approaching the atmosphere now," the communications controller said. "Reentry should begin any moment."
"Good," she replied. "Keep me appraised."
UEC Iaculum - In orbit of Mars
"Sir, Omicron IV Control has made contact with us and transmitted a landing vector from our current location. They are reporting our munitions shipment, marine landers, and provisions are ready for loading. Shall I have our passenger shuttle prepped to take you to the surface," Paul asked, floating about 5 meters do Jaden's left side.
Jaden just floated there in a sitting position, a thoughtful look coming across his face. "The Iaculum is capable of landing on the surface of the planet, right Paul?"
"Uhm... yes sir she is. But it isn't recommended due to high hydrazine fuel consumption, and the folks on Mars are expecting a shuttle."
"I'm not worried about our fuel, Paul. There is an excess of Hydrazine in the UEC right now anyway, and I'm sure they can refuel us on the surface. Besides, I need to know if my ship will be capable of landing should an emergency situation warrant it. I'm sure it'll rattle a few heads in the Martian press as well when they see this beautiful piece of engineering touching down instead of a mere Personnel shuttle," Jaden replied, glancing in Paul's direction with a smirk. "Set her down on Omicron's landing pad Paul, nice and easy."
"Yes sir." Paul pushed himself to the comm panel and pressed a button that turned on a shipwide broadcast. "All hands, secure all sections, Code orange. Engineering prepare to lock the rotating section in landing configuration. Section commanders report when ready." He turned back to the communications officer and stated "Inform Omicron Control that we'll need a very large piece of their landing apron and anything not moved out of the way will probably get crushed or incinerated. Helm, put the Iaculum on the transmitted approach vector. Take us in at 500 meters per second. That should allow us enough time to lock down the Iaculum."
"Aye sir, 500 meters per second. Firing quick response thrusters."
The Iaculum's orientation changed slightly in space, her nose dipping down towards the planet slightly. Her chemical thrusters in the rear pushed her gently towards the planet before going dark. Paul glanced at the control board at his station, and stated to Jaden "All sections report ready. Engineering is asking for clearance to lock the gravity section in place."
Jaden tapped something into the command console positioned slightly to his right. About 30 seconds later, he felt the Iaculum shudder. Outside of the ship, small thrusters could be seen firing in the opposite direction of the Gravity section's rotation, bringing it to an effective halt parallel to the widest part of the ship. Another shudder could be felt inside the ship as internal clamps engaged on the section, preventing it from moving from this position. The entire ship was now in zero gravity, and those who had been asleep in their bunks rudely awakened by the sensation of going weightless.
"Continue landing procedures," Jaden ordered to the helmsman. "Set speed to 1000 meters per second, set ship approach angle to six degrees."
Throughout the landing process, the helmsman and Jaden kept up a steady conversation of commands, responses, and relaying of Omicron Control telemetry. After about 30 minutes, the Iaculum's nose thrusters were burning at maximum burn to slow the heavy ship down, as the 4 thrusters on her belly burned at varying powers to level her out. Large landing struts had extended out not far from each thruster on the Ventral side.
"Sir, Omicron control reports their landing apron is not yet fully clear," the helmsman stated urgently.
"Thats alright, Ensign. Maintain a reasonable distance from the airfield until they clear us. And do try to keep us at a high enough altitude that we don't incinerate anything below us with our thruster wash," Jaden replied calmly.