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Uncompromising honor snippet #10 (?)

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Uncompromising honor snippet #10 (?)
Post by runsforcelery   » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:17 pm

runsforcelery
First Space Lord

Posts: 2121
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:39 am
Location: South Carolina

Like I said over on the Safehold for him, real life is getting in the way again. However, here is the next little bit. Probably won't be a lot more snippets, since the book is due out in October, but I will try to at least get to the end of what's going on at Hypatia before I stop.

Assuming that my schedule gets sufficiently straightened out between now and October for me to do that, of course. :roll:

_________________________________________________________________

SLNS Camperdown
Hypatia System


“What the hell just happened?!”

“I don’t know, Sir!” Daphne Koopman admitted, her brown eyes shocked. “Just one second they were —”

“Excuse me, Admiral,” another voice interrupted, and Hajdu Gyôzô wheeled towards Commodore Honoratus Valentini, his staff electronic warfare officer.

“What?” he demanded, in a voice that was almost normal again.

“I think . . . I think I know what happened, Sir.”

“Well, don't keep it a secret,” Hajdu said, and realized that whatever his voice might sound like, his own sense of shock was still growing. Not surprisingly. It was less than ten seconds since roughly twenty million tons of his ships had ceased to exist.

“Sir, I think it was a drone. Drones, plural, I mean.”

Drones?” Commodore Brigman repeated. “Are you serious?”

“I know it sounds crazy,” Valentini told the chief of staff. “But just before Merchant Mart . . . came apart, we picked up an impeller signature. A small one. It came out of frigging nowhere, and it was awfully hard to localize even after we saw it. We only had about eight seconds to track it. Then it disappeared . . . along with Merchant Mart. I think it must’ve been a heavily stealthed recon drone, probably coming in ballistic, that brought its wedge back up for a terminal maneuver just before it rammed.”

Hajdu stared at his EWO, and his mind raced. It was ridiculous! Nobody used drones as shipkillers, for God’s sake!

But even as he thought that, he realized there was no reason someone couldn’t. In fact, the majority of modern SAMs used their own impeller wedges to kill atmospheric targets, like stingships. The problem was that any warship’s missile defense could kill any drone long before it could reach ramming range, and that was the only way a drone could attack something. But even though its maximum acceleration might be only ten or fifteen percent that of an attack missile’s, a drone impeller wedge was thoroughly capable of destroying any starship ever built . . . if it could get through.

And they weren’t maneuvering — didn’t even have their wedges up. They were frigging sitting ducks, and I was so damned confident I held all the cards that I just let the fucking Hypatians kill a couple of hundred of my people and take out my entire un-deployed supply of missiles.

His teeth clenched so hard his jaw ached, and red-fanged fury pulsed deep inside him, but he forced himself to draw a deep, steadying breath.

He was enraged, but even in his fury, a corner of his mind knew no reasonable person could have faulted the Hypatians for striking back any way they could. Yes, they were traitors, and, yes, he’d fucking well cut them off at the knees for this. But if he’d had the ability to hurt the people about to massacre his own star system’s orbital infrastructure and kill millions of his fellow citizens, he’d damned well have used it, too.

But where the hell did they get the capability? his mind asked him suddenly. We never saw this coming, but we weren’t exactly just sitting here! Our sensor net’s up, so where the hell did Hypatia get something — at least three somethings — that got through our sensors completely undetected? That’s not

Incoming!” Koopman barked suddenly. “Missiles incoming — many missiles incoming! Range at launch, fourteen-point-six million kilometers. Initial closing velocity, fifteen thousand KPS. Estimate three hundred fifty-plus inbound at forty-five thousand five hundred gravities. Time-of-flight two hundred twenty-five seconds!



HMS Phantom
Hypatia System


“All three targets destroyed, Sir!” Commander Ilkova announced exultantly.

“Excellent!” Rear Admiral Kotouč replied. “Good work, Markéta. Now let’s see how well the rest of the plan works.”

“Yes, Sir!” Ilkova nodded crisply, but her blue-green eyes glittered with satisfaction. And with good reason, Kotouč thought.

So far, at least.

He’d hoped, when Vice Admiral Hajdu relented and granted the first extension on his truncated time limit, that the Solly would allow total evacuation, after all. Throwing his own people’s lives into the scale to save “only” industrial platforms and the Hypatians’ homes would have been an even harder decision. He might have made it in the end, after all, but if Hajdu had simply waited long enough for Vukodlak[/b] and some of the other promised reinforcements to arrive, he wouldn’t have needed to. Under those circumstances, the Solly might have thought better of committing an act of wanton destructiveness on such a scale. It was always easier to make the right moral decision when there was somebody waiting to shoot you between the eyes if you didn’t. So, yes, Hajdu might have opted to leave Hypatia intact if he’d seen a Manticoran squadron bearing down upon him with what [i]looked like a superdreadnought leading the way.

Not that Kotouč had really expected it. If Hajdu was willing to cold-bloodedly murder several million Hypatians who simply hadn’t gotten out of his way in time, then the odds said he’d send off as massive a missile salvo as it took to ensure the system’s infrastructure was destroyed before he disappeared into hyper. And unless Vukodlak had come along on exactly the right vector, not even Manticoran compensators could have overhauled him before he crossed the hyper-limit and escaped.

But it would’ve been nice, he thought almost wistfully. I’ve always admired Edward Saganami; I never really wanted to be him, though.

It had been clear that the Sollies had failed to detect Kotouč’s ships, especially after he’d moved them so much deeper into the Alexandria Belt, away from the central node where they’d been quietly sequestered upon arrival. Given that head start, simply avoiding Hajdu’s ships would have been child’s play, even without the advantages state-of-the-art Manticoran stealth systems provided. Maneuvering into a position from which he could them, instead, had been a more ticklish proposition.

The good news had been that even if he’d been detected coming in, the Sollies could never have intercepted him against his will. His acceleration advantage was too great, and despite his position “inside them,” he could have dodged around the inner system almost indefinitely, or else simply turned away and shown them his heels as he accelerated across the hyper-limit long before they overtook him. The bad news had been his certainty that if they’d detected him, they would have accelerated “Operation Buccaneer” to complete it before he got close enough to intervene. Although, to the fair, they might have been confident enough — given the numerical odds — to stand and fight, instead.

He certainly would have been.

But he’d managed to creep very cautiously, at a mere trickle of acceleration, from his hiding place in the Belt to a position considerably closer to Hajdu’s task force. He, Clarke, and Ilkova had taken their time analyzing the Solly flag officer’s dispositions, and the one thing Kotouč could fault him on — tactically, at least; there was quite a lot he could fault him on in terms of moral leprosy — was that he was so busy watching his back, it never seemed to have occurred to him that his adversaries might actually have beaten him to Hypatia. His remote platforms were spread along the hyper-limit, with much sparser, almost casual-afterthought coverage of the inner system. He didn’t have enough overlap even along the hyper-limit to reliably defeat current generation Manticoran stealth, although that wouldn’t have been an issue against a new arrival, since no stealth system could hide the energy flare of a hyper footprint. In the inner system, however, the lack of overlap had created chinks through which TG 110.2 could pick a surreptitious way.

Picking a spot to creep to had been a tad less simple.

Initially, his ships had been little more than nine million kilometers from Hypatia, but he’d moved them — slowly and carefully — all the way around the system primary from the capital planet to get them safely away from any Solarian sensors in orbit around the planet. That had seemed only prudent when the Sollies first arrived; it wasn’t until Hajdu’s Buccaneer ultimatum that he’d realized just how badly placed he was to intervene. Fortunately, he’d had a lot of star system to work with, and he’d moved to a point just over eighty million kilometers from Hypatia, then held that position relative to the planet for the next forty-five hours.

When the Ghost Rider platforms informed Kotouč that Hajdu had begun deploying the missile pods to execute Buccaneer he’d known he could wait no longer. So two and a half hours ago, his ships had begun accelerating toward the Sollies at a miserly 175 G and acquiring a closing velocity of just over 15,000 KPS in the process. He hadn't wanted to do that, but he'd had no choice. For the first time since Spindle, the SLN actually had the range advantage thanks to the Cataphract's second drive. His Mark 16s could outperform them; the Saganami-Bs' Mark 14s couldn't. Despite their extended range, they had only a single set of impeller nodes, which made any ballistic phase impossible. That meant they had to close with the enemy. They had to come within his reach if they meant to reach him. But while they were doing that, Commander Ilkova had sent the final programming — by light-speed directional laser, to avoid any betraying FTL com grav-pulses — to the quartet of Ghost Rider platforms she’d maneuvered into position and parked unobtrusively in Hypatian orbit long before Hajdu approached the planet.

Wish I’d left more of them, Kotouč thought now. And if I’d had a clue Markéta might come up with an off-the-wall inspiration like this one, I damned well would have! Of course, if I’d left enough to take a real bite out of Hajdu’s task force, even the Sollies probably would’ve spotted them, whether or not they were actively emitting at the time. But there were only four of them, damn it, and those frigging missile colliers had to go.

“First salvo should enter their CM basket in . . . twenty-four seconds, Sir,” Ilkova said, unaware of his thoughts. “Penaids coming up in twenty seconds from . . . now.”

“Very good,” Rear Admiral Kotouč replied once more, and settled himself more firmly into his command chair’s shock frame.



SLNS Camperdown
Hypatia System


“Where — what — are they launching from?” Hajdu Gyôzô demanded as the first incoming missile salvo was followed by a second, equally massive, twenty seconds later.

“Sir, I don’t know — not yet,” Koopman replied. “We only know where to look because we caught the flare as their impellers came up, but we can’t see a frigging thing out there! I’ve got half a dozen recon platforms closing on the launch locus, but until they get closer —”

The commodore shrugged. It was a gesture of frustration and anger – mostly self-anger, Hajdu knew — and the vice admiral nodded in unhappy understanding.

“Sir,” Commodore Brigman said quietly, standing beside Hajdu’s command chair. Hajdu looked at him, and the chief of staff leaned closer. “Sir, we’ve got to return fire.”

“At what?” Hajdu asked tartly. “Do you see any targets out there? Until we can at least tell the missiles what to look for, our chance of hitting anything at this range doesn’t exist.”

“But if we throw enough birds into their faces, it might push them back onto defense long enough for Daphne’s platforms to ID them. Or at least find them.”

“And under normal circumstances, I’d do just that.” Hajdu’s tone was sharper, and he shook his head, lips pressed together and eyes glittering. It took him a second or two to regain command of his voice. Then he said, “These people — whoever the hell they are, and however they got here — knew exactly what they were doing when they went after the freighters. The pods that’re already deployed are the only ones we’ve got now, Fred. That means we can’t waste them on blind fire.”

Brigman looked at him for a moment, then shook himself.

“Yes, Sir.” He grimaced. “I hadn’t thought that all the way through.”

“Understandable, given the surprise quotient.” Hajdu shrugged. “And don’t think I enjoyed thinking about it myself.”

Brigman nodded, his expression grim, and Hajdu nodded back, trying very hard not to think about the literally millions of missiles which had been eliminated along with the three TUFT freighters. He’d gone from an effectively bottomless pool of ammunition to the twenty thousand pods he’d already deployed plus his internal magazines . . . and only his battlecruisers could launch even first-generation Cataphracts internally. Of course, each of those pods contained six improved Cataphracts, and applying the adjective “only” to 120,000 missiles was patently absurd. Except that it wasn’t. Not against Manty EW and Manty missile defenses.

Maybe not, he thought grimly, but whoever these bastards are, and however they got here, there can’t be very many of them. Not with salvos that size.

Each of the incoming salvos — there were eight inbound now, and as he watched the display a ninth wave of impeller signatures blossomed upon it — was “only” about three hundred and sixty missiles strong. And they were spaced twenty seconds apart. That meant they were coming from internal launchers, because a pod-launched salvo would have been much heavier. He was realist enough to know his missile defense crews would be hard-pressed — at best — to stop the next best thing to four hundred Manty missiles. What had happened to Eleventh Fleet at Manticore was ample proof of that. But they’d be one hell of a lot more effective against four hundred than they would have been against four or five thousand, and the Manties had to know that as well as he did.

For that matter, even though they still hadn’t managed to locate the Manties, the short range at which they were attacking was revealing. According to ONI’s best guesstimate, their missiles really could reach a powered range of thirty million kilometers, yet they were attacking from less than half that. That put them deep inside his own range basket, and while he might have lost the pods still aboard Troubadour, Merchant Mart, and Stevedore, he still had the ones they’d already deployed in preparation for Buccaneer. So if he could only find them, and if there were as few of them as he thought there were . . . .

“First salvo entering the outer zone in twenty seconds,” Koopman announced. “So far —”

She broke off, then suddenly raised her right arm, pumping her fist exultantly.

Got them, Sir!” she announced. “Seven — no, nine — bogeys at one-four-point-five-seven million klicks! Looks like at least two of those huge ‘battlecruisers’ of theirs. The others might be smaller battlecruisers or those outsized heavy cruisers. Either way, we’ve got them.”

“Program an alpha launch,” Vice Admiral Hajdu Gyôzô said. “Let’s see how the bastards like that.”



"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: Uncompromising honor snippet #10 (?)
Post by isaac_newton   » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:56 am

isaac_newton
Captain of the List

Posts: 650
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:37 am
Location: Brighton, UK

runsforcelery wrote:Like I said over on the Safehold for him, real life is getting in the way again. However, here is the next little bit. Probably won't be a lot more snippets, since the book is due out in October, but I will try to at least get to the end of what's going on at Hypatia before I stop.

Assuming that my schedule gets sufficiently straightened out between now and October for me to do that, of course. :roll:

SNIP



double YAY
[for those who donr e-arc!!

thanks again!
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Re: Uncompromising honor snippet #10 (?)
Post by JohnRoth   » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:58 am

JohnRoth
Admiral

Posts: 2343
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:54 am
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA

Thank You.
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Re: Uncompromising honor snippet #10 (?)
Post by cthia   » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:56 pm

cthia
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 10029
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:10 pm

Never let real life run your life. That's surereal. LOL

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Uncompromising honor snippet #10 (?)
Post by cthia   » Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:37 pm

cthia
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 10029
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:10 pm

Kotouč wrote:I’ve always admired Edward Saganami; I never really wanted to be him, though.


Quote equals my brother: Anyone wants to be a hero take one step forward. Ok two. Ok three.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Uncompromising honor snippet #10 (?)
Post by Bill Woods   » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:38 pm

Bill Woods
Captain of the List

Posts: 535
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:39 pm

cthia wrote:
Kotouč wrote:I’ve always admired Edward Saganami; I never really wanted to be him, though.


Quote equals my brother: Anyone wants to be a hero take one step forward. Ok two. Ok three.
Approximate quote: " 'Adventure' is someone else having a hell of a time, far away."
----
Imagined conversation:
Admiral [noting yet another Manty tech surprise]:
XO, what's the budget for the ONI?
Vice Admiral: I don't recall exactly, sir. Several billion quatloos.
Admiral: ... What do you suppose they did with all that money?
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Re: Uncompromising honor snippet #10 (?)
Post by cthia   » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:32 pm

cthia
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 10029
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:10 pm

“Program an alpha launch,” Vice Admiral Hajdu Gyôzô said. “Let’s see how the bastards like that.


Alpha beta be good. LOL

Good to see some of the holes have been plugged in SLN intel.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Uncompromising honor snippet #10 (?)
Post by Daryl   » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:53 pm

Daryl
Admiral

Posts: 2465
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:57 am
Location: Queensland Australia

Speculation as I haven't read the earc, but I wonder if he Manties are where the Sollies think they are, or just decoys?
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Re: Uncompromising honor snippet #10 (?)
Post by Louis R   » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:51 pm

Louis R
Rear Admiral

Posts: 1041
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:25 pm

Do you actually want the answer?

Daryl wrote:Speculation as I haven't read the earc, but I wonder if he Manties are where the Sollies think they are, or just decoys?
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Re: Uncompromising honor snippet #10 (?)
Post by SYED   » Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:07 am

SYED
Rear Admiral

Posts: 1334
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:03 pm

How big is an Alpha launch of missiles? The impression I get that it will be heavy to make a statement. Also, how much of the salvo will be those longer ranged missiles.
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