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Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)

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Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)
Post by runsforcelery   » Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:45 pm

First Space Lord

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

SLNS Lepanto
Hypatia System

It was very quiet on SLNS Lepanto’s flag bridge. The quiet of shock and stunned, absolute disbelief, Commodore Sandra Haskell thought within the cocoon of her own numbed incomprehension. As chief of staff for Battle Cruiser Squadron 4012, she’d had the best possible perspective, and she still couldn’t understand, couldn’t even start to process, what had just happened.

The entire engagement had lasted less than eight minutes. How could that be possible? How could TF 1030 have begun it with ninety-eight battlecruisers, forty cruisers, and thirty-two destroyers and have only ninety-three warships left — total — less than eight minutes later?

Yet it had happened . . . and the task force’s current effective strength was even lower than that: twenty-nine destroyers, thirty-six cruisers . . . and eleven battlecruisers. She was pretty sure the four cruisers and three destroyers they’d lost had been accidents. The Manties’ concentration on the battlecruisers had been obvious, crushing, and lethal. All of the combat effective survivors — aside from SLNS Hamidieh and Lepanto herself — had taken at least some damage. Technically, there were another seventeen whose hulks might have been repairable, if there’d been some way to get them home. There wasn’t. Which meant they were effectively as dead as Troubadour, Stevedore, and Merchant Mart.

And as Vice Admiral Hajdu Gyôzô.

That thought took Haskell’s eyes away from the tactical display to the tall, powerfully built man in the command chair at the center of the flag bridge. Rear Admiral Martin Gogunov, CO, BatCruRon 4012. Aside from Lepanto, only two of Gogunov’s original eight units survived: SLNS Queen and SLNS Revanche.

And despite its sixty percent loss rate, Gogunov’s squadron had the most survivors of any of TF 1030’s original thirteen battlecruiser squadrons.

Nine ships, Haskell thought, looking at the man who had just inherited of what remained of Vice Admiral Hajdu’s task force. They did it to us wit h nine ships.

She gave herself a mental shake. Yes, the Manties had done it with only nine ships, but those deadly eight minutes had been time enough for them to put ninteen salvos into space before TF 1030’s enormous launch took them off the board. Seventy-five hundred missiles was barely six percent of the fire the Manties had taken, which made the loss ratio even more grotesquely unbalanced, but Haskell had come up as a tactical officer. As she’d watched those missiles, watched their ECM, those massive jammers and incredible decoy penaids, watched their attack profiles shift and adjust, she’d realized there truly had to be an FTL component to the Manties’ fire control. It was the only way they could have adapted that quickly or maintained their telemetry links so long, and if she’d needed any proof, there was what had happened to the final incoming salvos. There’d been no one left to provide them with additional updates, and their accuracy and — especially — target selection had dropped markedly, despite the fact that TF 1030’s missile-defense net had been torn to shreds by the earlier launches.

So when you come down to it, it’s not really surprising somebody with that kind of range, that kind of EW advantage, and FTL telemetry links kicked the living shit out of us. Especially not when you add complete and total surprise into the equation.

Despite her shock, despite her chill awareness of what the technology revealed here portended, despite even the loss of at least a hundred and fifty thousand more SLN lives, she felt an unwilling admiration for those Manties. She hated what Vice Admiral Hajdu had done to any survivors aboard their ships, and she regretted it even more deeply as she contemplated the sheer courage it must have taken for just nine ships, however great their tactical advantage, to take on a hundred and seventy.

They couldn’t have known how badly they’d hurt us, not really. They probably expected our losses to be heavy, but they couldn’t have expected them to be this heavy. And whatever they thought they might do to us, they damned well knew they weren’t going home.

And it wasn’t even their star system

She didn’t like to contemplate what that might mean for the future, either. Nor did she care for the “Grand Alliance’s” inevitable reaction to TF 1030’s violation of the Deneb Accords. The Accords were pretty damn specific about not targeting obviously disabled ships while they evacuated their crews. It happened sometimes, of course. Often, it simply wasn’t possible to abort an attack on a ship, however disabled it might have been, especially with missiles. But that wasn’t what had happened here. The salvo which had finished off the Manty cripples had been launched only after it was obvious they’d been totally incapacitated.

There’ll be hell to pay when the Manties and their friends find out about this one, she reflected grimly. And there should be. There damned well should be. There’s a reason the Deneb Accords were written in the first place, and

“I want updated ammunition totals soonest.” Gogunov's voice was hard, flat, and his eyes were bleak. “I know most of our survivors’ve taken damage. Now that we’ve lost the pods, I need to know who’s got what when we reassign the targets.”

Haskell twitched inside. Surely he didn’t mean — ?

“We’re going to proceed with Buccaneer, Sir?” she asked.

“Of course we are!” Gogunov’s surprise was obvious, and he glared at her. “It’s why we came! Vice Admiral Hajdu may be gone, but that doesn’t change the mission!”

“Oh, of course not, Sir!” Haskell said quickly. “We’ll get those numbers for you immediately.” She nodded at Commander Gregory Ham, Gogunov’s operations officer, and Ham begin punching queries into his panel.

“Good.” Gogunov’s expression relaxed . . . some, and he turned to Captain Alexis Choi, his communications officer. “While Greg’s getting the numbers, raise Rear Admiral Yountz . Inform him he’s now the Task Force second in command. Tell him I’m assigning him operational control of our cruisers and destroyers and that I want him to take personal command of search-and-rescue.”

“Yes, Sir,” Choi said quickly. She glanced at Haskell from the corner of one eye and began entering the code for SLNS Yashima, Rear Admiral Thomas Yountz’s heavy cruiser flagship.

Haskell knew why Choi had darted that glance in her direction. If Gogunov was handing off responsibility for SAR with that many Solarian life pods and that many wrecked Solarian battlecruisers on his hands, it could only be because he expected to be too busy with something else to oversee it himself. And that meant —

“Sir,” Commodore Ham reported, “the numbers are preliminary, but it looks like about two thousand birds aboard the battlecruisers. You were right about the damage. We’ve lost at least one magazine each aboard five of the ships that are still combat effective. I’ll need at least five or six minutes to sort out a new queue for Buccaneer.”

“Well, two thousand should be enough to do the job,” Gogunov said. “Go ahead and start setting it up now.”

“Sir,” Haskell asked in a careful tone, “what timing do you want on the launch?”

“What timing do you think I want?” Gogunov snapped. “The one Admiral Hajdu gave them!”

Haskell swallowed hard. She hadn’t liked it when Hajdu Gyôzô refused to extend his final time limit for the Hypatians by one additional second. She didn’t care what their mission orders said; as far she was concerned, an Eridani Edict violation was an Eridani Edict violation, whoever committed it and no matter who authorized it.

And she’d just discovered she liked Hajdu’s decision even less now that its execution had fallen on BatCruRon 4012 and its staff.

On Sandra Haskell.

“Sir, I think we might want to consider —”

“Admiral Hajdu and Ms. Yang-O’Grady — both of whom, I remind you, are now dead, Commodore — did all the considering we’re going to do,” Gogunov said flatly, his eyes harder than ever. “The fact that those Manty bastards just ambushed us to try to stop us only makes it more important to prove they didn’t. That they couldn’t.

Haskell sat very still while her mind raced like a hamster in an exercise wheel trying to find some way, some argument, that might change his mind.

The problem was, she didn’t think one existed.

She’d never met a flag officer she respected more than Martin Gogunov. She’d been his chief of staff for almost five T-years, and his ops officer for two T-years before that, and she’d learned a lot from him over that time. But she also knew the Martin Gogunov she’d served for so long had become a driven man even before what had just happened to the task force.

His was a family with a proud naval tradition, and he, his sister, and all three of his brothers had graduated from the Academy and gone straight to service with the Fleet. Commodore Marguerite Gogunov, his sister, and Captain Allen Gogunov, his next-youngest brother, were both Frontier Fleet. His older brother, Vice Admiral Marshall Gogunov had gone into Battle Fleet . . . and died with Sandra Crandall in the Battle of Spindle. And she knew Gogunov had received confirmation just before they translated out for Hypatia that Captain Scott Gogunov, the baby of the family and another Battle Fleet officer, had been killed under Massimo Filareta at Manticore.

A lot of Solarian League Navy officers had lost family and close friends at Spindle and Manticore. Total casualties might be less than a statistical blip compared to the incredible total number of Solarian citizens, but for all its enormous size, the SLN was one of the smallest military organizations in history as a percentage of the population of the polity it served. Its peacetime strength was barely 155,000,000, and that included its entire uniformed dirtside establishment. In theory, that strength would more than triple on a wartime footing when the Reserve was fully mobilized, but no one was talking about mobilizing all those superdreadnoughts now, given their total obsolescence. The Navy’s pre-Spindle peacetime shipboard strength — the men and women actually fighting this war so far — had been only 27,400,000, and losses to date in KIA, WIA, and POWs, not counting today’s debacle, were already over five million. That was almost twenty percent of its total spacegoing strength, and despite its size, it was a tightknit community, with many families like the Gogunovs — and the Haskells, for that matter — who’d served in the Navy for T-centuries. So, yes, a lot of Solarian officers were hurting, but few of them had been hit as hard as Martin Gogunov.

And even fewer were in a position to act upon their grief and hatred.

“Sir, I have a com request from President Vangelis.” Captain Choi’s tone was even more carefully expressionless than Haskell’s had been.

“What does he want?” Gogunov bit off each word like a sliver of battle steel.

“Sir, he’s offering to assist us in search-and-rescue.”

“Oh, I’m sure he is,” Gogunov sneered. “I suppose that’s one way to try to run out the clock after he never bothered to mention to us that there were hostile warships in the system. The bastard knew they were there, knew they were planning to attack us, and all he did was keep whining about how he needed more time to get his damned people off the platforms! Hell, he was probably just stalling us until they could get into position to shoot us in the back!”

“Um, shall I transfer him to your display, Sir?”

“I can’t think of a single reason in the galaxy why you should,” Gogunov replied. “Please be good enough to inform the ‘President’ that I’m a little too busy to take his call just now and that I recommend he concentrate on expediting the evacuation of his own people. We’ll look after ours.”

Choi hesitated, her expression profoundly unhappy as she faced her displays, her back to her admiral. Then her shoulders sagged.

“Yes, Sir,” she said softly. Then she cleared her throat, pressed a key, and spoke into her own microphone.

“I’m sorry, Mister President,” she said expressionlessly. “Admiral Gogunov has instructed me to inform you that he’s too occupied at the moment to speak with you. He recommends, however, that you concentrate on expediting the evacuation of your own people while we deal with our search-and-recovery efforts.”

She paused for a moment, listening to her earbug.

“No, Mister President. I’m sorry. That’s the only message I have for you.” She listened again. “Yes, Sir. I understand.” Another pause. “I regret that you feel that way, Sir. And, yes, it has been recorded.”

She sat back as the connection with the planetary surface was broken, and Haskell could see her biting her lower lip.

The flag bridge’s silence was as total as it had been after the final missile salvo, but it was very different now. The chief of staff felt it around her, felt the uncertainty, the unhappiness, the horror . . . and the countervailing tides of angry, vicious approval from some of Gogunov’s staffers. She couldn’t tell how many of them felt which way, and that mental hamster raced faster and faster as she tried to think of some way — any way — to deflect her admiral, the man she admired so deeply, from Juggernaut’s course.

“Sir, I have a com request from Captain Turner,” Captain Choi said suddenly, and Gogunov glanced at her, then nodded.

“Put her through.”

“Yes, Sir,” Choi replied, and Gogunov’s petite, dark-skinned flag captain appeared on his display.

“Yes, Indira?” he said a bit impatiently.

“I understand from Tactical that we’re reassigning the Buccaneer targets, Sir,” she said.

“Of course we are.”

Gogunov had specifically requested Turner as his flag captain. They went back a long way, to their Academy days, and Sandra Haskell knew how deeply he respected Turner’s judgment. Despite that, his tone was testy, impatient.

I wonder if he already knows what she’s going to say. What I hope to hell she’s going to say, she thought. I bet he does. I bet that’s why

“May I ask how soon you intend to launch?” Turner asked.

“I intend, Captain, to launch on our previously announced schedule.” The voice which had been testy was icy now.

“Sir, with all due respect, I believe we should delay launch.”


Turner’s gray-green eyes hardened ever so slightly at the flat, one-word reply. She gazed at him for a moment, then inhaled deeply.

“Sir,” she said with unaccustomed formality, “I strongly urge you to reconsider that launch time.”

“No,” he repeated, his voice even harder.

“Sir, we’re monitoring over eight thousand pod transponders.” Turner’s effort to keep her own tone reasonable and rational was obvious. “It’s going to take time to recover them all, and God knows there are probably pods out there with dead or damaged beacons. We need all hands for search and rescue right now. And, frankly, we really need the assistance of every Hypatian shuttle we can lay hands on. If we push back the launch time, give them the additional time they need to complete their civilian evacuation —” she emphasized the word “civilian” ever so slightly “— they’re a lot more likely to make those small craft available to us.”

I wonder if she really doesn’t know Vangelis just offered exactly that? Haskell thought. It doesn’t sound like she does, but

Whatever his chief of staff might have thought, Gogunov’s suddenly fiery eyes showed what he thought had happened.

“We have ninety ships up here, Captain,” he said coldly. “I feel confident we can find sufficient shuttles and cutters to pick up our own people. And if the local authorities are unable to evacuate all of their civilians –” unlike Turner’s, his emphasis was anything but slight “— in time, then perhaps they should have thought about that before they became traitors to the Solarian League and invited in the miserable sons-of-bitches who just murdered almost two hundred thousand of our people.” He glared at his old friend’s image. “You’ll pardon me if I don’t shed many tears over their reaping the consequences of their own fucking treason.”

“Sir, we don’t know which of the civilians in those habitats supported the secession referendum,” Turner replied unflinchingly, “but there are still over six million of them, and according to the Hypatian’s announced totals, twenty percent of the system’s population voted against secession. That means there are somewhere around a million Solarian citizens who never chose to secede — and their children — on those ‘targets.’”

“That’s too fucking bad,” Gogunov said. “We didn’t put them there.”

“There’s no military necessity for this.” Turner’s voice was as flat as Gogunov’s had ever been. “There are, in fact, military arguments — like the rescue of our own personnel — against it, as I’ve just pointed out. Under the circumstances, Admiral Gogunov, I protest your decision in the strongest possible terms.”

“What you’re pleased to call my decision was made by Vice Admiral Hajdu, with the support and endorsement of the ranking civilian representative of the Federal Government in the system, Captain!” Gogunov snapped. “Both of them happen to be dead now, thanks to the attack launched with no warning whatsoever by a hostile task force the Hypatians knew was there and never mentioned. Since they’re no longer available to alter the decision — and the timing — they laid down before they were murdered, I’m simply proceeding with the execution of the last legal order I was given. And that’s precisely what this task force is going to do. Is that clear?”

“Your intent is clear, Sir,” Turner replied in a measured, formal tone. “It is my belief, however, that it constitutes an illegal act under the Eridani Edict. As such, I must decline to carry it out.”

Haskell inhaled sharply as the flag captain’s steely words hit the deck like an ancient knight’s gauntlet, and Gogunov’s face darkened.

“You have no authority to refuse my orders, Captain! The Articles of War make that abundantly clear, and I remind you that the Solarian League is in a state of war. That makes mutiny a capital offense, Captain Turner!”

“Military and civilian courts have clearly established that military law does not override the Constitution, Sir,” Turner said unflinchingly. “And the Eridani Edict constitutes a Constitutional prohibition of the action you propose to carry out. And, I would remind you, Sir, that the Articles of War themselves both require a serving officer to refuse an illegal order and specifically state that that obligation applies in time of war just as it does in peacetime.”

“I’m not going to debate this with you, Captain. You will carry out your orders, or I will relieve you of command and place you under close arrest to await court-martial upon our return to base.”

“Sir, I must respectfully decline to obey that order.”

“Then you are relieved, Madam. Captain Yoshizaki will replace you as Lepanto’s commanding officer, and you will retire to your quarters and consider yourself under arrest. Now, are you prepared to obey that order, or do I need to send Marines to forcibly remove you from the command deck?!”

“You have the authority to relieve me, and I will accept relief,” she said coldly, but then her voice changed. “I’ll accept relief, but speaking as someone who’s no longer your flag captain — someone who’s known you for forty years — think about this, for God sake, Martin! Haven’t enough people already died today?”

“Not the right ones!” Gogunov snapped, and stabbed the disconnect key.

“Where’s that launch queue?” he demanded.

“Working on it, Sir,” Commodore Ham said into the ringing background stillness.


“Sir, Admiral Yountz is on the com,” Captain Choi said.

“Put him on,” Gogunov replied, then nodded to the pickup as Yountz appeared on his display. “Admiral.” His voice sounded almost normal, despite the confrontation with Turner. “What can I do for you?”

“Sir.” Yountz’s eyes had an odd look, the look of a man trying to grapple with a nightmare . . . and failing. “May I have permission to request Hypatian assistance in search-and-rescue efforts?”

“No!” Those shadowed eyes widened at Gogunov’s snapped response, and the task force’s new commander shook his head sharply. “They have —” he checked the time display “— ninety-seven minutes before we execute Buccaneer.” He showed his teeth in a thin not-smile. “I won’t have it said we prevented them from evacuating as many of their people as possible before the deadline, even if they are traitors.”

“But, Sir, I’m not sure we’ve got enough small craft to pick up our survivors and —”

“I don’t want to hear any crap about our not having sufficient small craft.” Unlike Yountz’s, Gogunov’s eyes burned like blue lava. “We’re the fucking Solarian League Navy, Admiral. Not get the job done!”

“Yes, Sir,” Yountz replied. “But, Sir, if I may finish, I don’t have enough small craft to pick up the Manticoran survivors, as well. That’s why I thought the system authorities might —”

“Pick up the Manties?” Gogunov erupted. “What the fuck do I care about the goddammed Manties?

“But the Deneb —”

Screw the Deneb Accords!” Gogunov barked, and his fiery eyes took on a sudden, icy glitter. “But you’re right, Admiral. We can’t just leave them floating around out there, can we? And their drift velocity means they’ll enter Javelin range in about ten minutes.”

“Sir —” Haskell began, unable to keep the horror out of her voice. Firing on life pods was a violation of every rule of war. Surely he couldn’t intend to —

“Do you have hard locks on their transponders, Admiral?” Gogunov continued, ignoring her, his eyes locked with Yountz’s.

“Well, yes, Sir.” Yountz’s expression had gone totally blank. “On some, at least. Are you instructing me to fire on them when they enter Javelin range, Admiral Gogunov?”

“That’s exactly what I’m ordering you to do,” Gogunov said flatly. “It’s time someone taught these butchers actions have consequences. They’re responsible for every drop of blood that’s been shed from the moment they murdered Admiral Byng and every man and woman aboard his flagship. Now it’s their frigging turn.”

“Sir, are you sure —”

“Of course I am!” Gogunov roared. “What the fuck is wrong with you people?! You’ve got your orders — now carry them out!

“Yes, Sir,” Yountz said woodenly.

“Sir,” Haskell began again. “Admiral Gogunov, if we —”

“Missile launch!” Ham said suddenly. “Multiple launches at —” He paused for a moment, as if unable to believe what he was about to say. Then he looked over his shoulder at Gogunov. “Sir, the range at launch is sixty million kilometers. Acceleration approximately four-five-one KPS².”

"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
Re: Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)
Post by Randomiser   » Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:40 pm

Rear Admiral

Posts: 1261
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Arngrim only has about 20 Mk16's for each of those 11 battlecruisers, but they will come in very fast and the SLN point defense is pretty beat up.
Re: Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)
Post by saber964   » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:01 pm


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Randomiser wrote:Arngrim only has about 20 Mk16's for each of those 11 battlecruisers, but they will come in very fast and the SLN point defense is pretty beat up.

A Roland class destroyer has twenty reloads per tube. If she uses double broadsides she'll nail at least ten SLN BC's. Remember Mk16's can disembowle a super dreadnaught. But if the next link in the chain of command is smarter than a fruit fly and surrenders mighty fast a few will survive.
Re: Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)
Post by ksandgren   » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:13 pm

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Location: Los Angeles, California

I loved this section and what follows when the earc became available. Thanks for the snippet.
Re: Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)
Post by Bill Woods   » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:31 pm

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

runsforcelery wrote: “Admiral Hajdu and Ms. Yang-O’Grady — both of whom, I remind you, are now dead, Commodore — did all the considering we’re going to do,” Gogunov said flatly, his eyes harder than ever. “The fact that those Manty bastards just ambushed us to try to stop us only makes it more important to prove they didn’t. That they couldn’t.

Haskell sat very still while her mind raced like a hamster in an exercise wheel trying to find some way, some argument, that might change his mind.

The problem was, she didn’t think one existed.
• Tactical: Haidu's hard deadline was driven by the fear that the Manties would show up and kick the pants off TF 1030. Well ... they did show up, (and did that,) and were disposed of. So what's the urgency now?
• Strategic: The goal of Buccaneer was to cow wavering systems into staying in line. Well, when they hear what a handful of BCs and CAs did to us, other systems aren't going to be overly impressed. So, since Buccaneer is a failure, why kill a bunch of people who aren't the ones that shot at us?
•• Also, Eridani? Deneb? How big a blowtorch do you want to put to the Navy's — and the League's — reputation as the protectors of law & order? How many systems are going to think, "we need a squadron of Manties in residence, to protect us from the SLN?"
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?
Re: Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)
Post by SYED   » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:52 pm

Rear Admiral

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Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:03 pm

Before the manties made their missiles, it was energy combat that was mainly ship combat. So I wonder if the destroyers and cruisers even have missiles, if they do I bet they are limited. It seems only the battle cruisers got the missiles for the operation.

The manties made history when a group of lesser ships forced a fleet including ships of the wall to surrender. I wonder if the destroyers and cruisers might surrender. Even if they don't, they likely will be occupied getting naval personal rescued. They were facing difficulties before, but the loss of the support of the remaining battle cruisers, and needing to rescue their survivors, they will be too busy to continue the operation or go after the manti survivor.

I could see the local system salvaging the wrecks to start their own defence for, or to sell to allies. I bet the prize money would at least help the families and survivors of the manties.

I wonder if the ships database contain details about the operation, including a list of potential targets.
Re: Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)
Post by Kael Posavatz   » Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:38 am

Kael Posavatz
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I've been lurking here for a while, only to finally come out of the woodwork so...yay!

Reading this last two snippets, two things cross my mind.

First, the trite expression about history being written by the winners, which is true, to an extent, in the near term. In the long term unless the victors are prepared to utterly erase the other culture (admittedly not unheard of) and actually succeed in doing so (far less common), the various historians (archeologists, whichever) can usually piece together a rough outline that is at least factual.

The second thing are the parallels between Martin Gogunov to Heinz-Wilhelm Eck, Anthony Miers, and Dudley Morton.
Re: Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)
Post by Daryl   » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:37 am


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Location: Queensland Australia

Thanks for the last paragraph, makes the cliff hanger both more cheerful and interesting.
Re: Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)
Post by Randomiser   » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:29 am

Rear Admiral

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Location: Scotland

Well, looks like I was wrong again and tiny snippet #5 is coming right up! :o

In which case, one way or another, Adm Gogunov isn't staying in command much longer...

20 Mk16's that hit would be more than enough to total a BC, my concern is how many it would take to get enough hits to do so, when they are being fired in small numbers against 80 effective ships. Even SLN PD stops some.

Yountz looks like he might be smart enough to quit while he is alive. If he isn't, there's a CLAC about due ...
Re: Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)
Post by Garth 2   » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:45 am

Garth 2
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Love the snippets, but haven't read the EARc (waiting for the final book) but... when did the SL confirm that a state of war existed between the SL and the Grand Alliance?

I know Honor totalled Flairatta (spelling) that a defacto state of war existed when he didn't back down, but surely the SL goverment would still need to confirm the status...

Also, if it is an illegal order the Flag Captian should be sending her marines to take the admiral in to custody

And if a state of war does existed, then the SEM/RMN units have full rights to engage any SL/SLN unit they in counter via any means ("The Manties struck from ambush", just shows that the SLN failed to ensure that its operational area was secure)

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