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SCL-Invasion Campaign 2 - War Diaries

Introduction

Some of the more entertaining aspects of this campaign have occured when the players post "in character". This began in campaign 1 with Jason Weiser and his [RP Moment] posts and has spread to include many of the other players as they post 'character reactions' to the various news posts that are generated as the turns are resolved. While the shorter passages of role-playing are included in the Turn Reports, the longer passages will be showcased here, in the War Diaries.

War Diaries will be an outlet in which fan fiction relating to the the backdrop of the campaign can be showcased. I would like it to take the form of page / entry excerpts from the diaries of persons in the conflict (service or civilian) or ship logs. Regardless of the source, it should be about some (important) event experienced during the campaign. Anyone posting to the War Diaries will retain full ownership and copyright, and the excerpts will be noted as such.

March 2296

On the Bridge of the Duquesne 1

Michel Hébert stood on the bridge of the Duquesne and looked thoughtfully out the viewport at the lights of Nouveau Amman, the colonial capital, showing clearly on the night side of Nous Voila below. As a Captaine de Corvette it was a rare honour to be given temporary command of a Suffren Class ship as it awaited a replacement for its reassigned commander, but now to be sent on such an urgent mission, it was unexpected to say the least.

"Merde," he muttered as he looked down at the printout in his hand.

The orders were clear, head to Arcturus and determine the status of the outpost, a simple mission, but one that would expose the Duquesne to the same unknown fate that had befallen earlier contact attempts. Three ships were missing, and one a cruiser of the Imperial French Navy, one of the most formidable ships on the French Arm. This mission would not be a walk in the park, but it could make his career, or break it. It was an opportunity, at any rate, and he would not be passing it up.

"Communications," he barked, "send a priority message to Governor Laplante requesting help finding a xenopsychologist and prepare to send an encrypted message over ESA channels. Let’s see if anyone else is heading in the same direction as we are."

-- © 2007 by KevenJ.

Bridge of the SMS ARNHEM, March 2nd, 2296 - On Patrol in the Dunkelheim system

"Skipper, FYEO message incoming," said the Communications Officer Ensign Higginbotham.

Fregattenkapitan Ernst Udet acknowledged. "Send it to my console." Ernst mumbled "Damned disrespectful Texans" as he opened the email.(Higginbotham is an Ensign of the Texas Star Navy on exchange duty with the DeutchesSternKriegsMarine).

Ernst viewed the email, made a copy for the orders safe, and then went to his cabin/office to put the flimsy in the orders safe. All the while Ernst was wondering about the orders he had just received. "Why should he cooperate with the damned Frogs?"

Flash back to a scene in 2293...

Hochbaden System, SS Freier Kaufmann, heading outbound to jump outsystem…

"Kapitan, we have two unidentified stutterwarp signatures on the scanner."

"Sensors, try to get me more info on these contacts. Engineering, spin up the stutterwarp for max acceleration, I think we have something to run from."

Kapitan, contacts appear to be French, and we have 4 more stutterwarp traces leaving the first 2 and heading inbound"

"Helm, evasive maneuvers now. Engineering, pour it on, we have hostiles inbound."

Karl Udet, Kapitan of the merchant Freier Kaufmann, silently cursed his bad luck. He had managed to evade French patrols for several voyages now, only to get caught by a French commerce raid in a German system. Further bad luck, the Freier Kaufmann was unarmed.

"Commo, send a message to the system defense command, send signal RRR and attach our location and heading."

"Kapitan, the 4 inbounds are on intercept and almost here."

"Commo, dump the log into a message buoy, and launch the buoy. All Hands, brace for impact."

3 blinding nuclear fires bloomed, and the Freier Kaufmann was no more.

Back to reality...

"Why should I care if the frogs lost 2 ships? They killed Karl, and his merchant was unarmed. They are no better than pirates. And cooperate with them, that will be a hard pill to swallow." Ernst thought to himself. He pulled the flimsy out of the safe and read it again.

To:      Fregattenkapitan Ernst Udet
         SMS Arnhem, DSKM

From:    Kommodore Ritter von Freholt,
         ESA Arm Command, DSKM, Commanding

Subject: Arcturus Reconnaissance

You are directed to move immediately, departing Dunkelheim and transitting Hochbaden,
DM +18 2775 and Eta Bootes systems, sweeping for pirates, privateers and hostiles.

After that you are to go to Arcturus and attempt to locate the Hamid class survey
ship Stansfeld, which is 2 months overdue and out of communication.

You may cooperate with other human war, and scout, ships but you are discouraged
from placing your vessel under the command of any officer of the Marine Spatial
Imperial Francais.    Should you do so, and the action you are involved in fail,
and German arms not requite themselves with honor, there will be consequences.

Good luck to you Kapitan.

Deutchland Uber Alles

Kommodore Ritter von Freholt,
ESA Arm Command, DSKM,
Commanding

"Crap and double crap, they put us on the sharp end of it now." Ernst thought to himself.

Two hours later, the communications officer informed Ernst that the flight plan for the Arnhem had been plotted and the Dunkelheim system command notified of Arnhem’s departure. 20 minutes later the Commo told Ernst that there were three messages, two from British vessels and one from a French ship, requesting a renderzvous in Eta Bootes system.

"Comm, send to Hebert (Duquesne), Winsor-Williams (Blazer), and Pellew (Indefatigable) and tell them that Arnhem will sail alone but may meet them in Eta Bootes in 3 weeks."

"Helm, plot a course to Hochbaden. Engineering, spin up the engine and let get underway."

In for a pfennig, in for a mark…

-- © 2007 by John Carroll.

HMSS Blazer, outskirts of the DM+36 2393 system

A freshly warmed bag of coffee floated towards William, who deftly gripped it and inserted it into his zero-g mug. Watching stars, currently those appearing in the Dunkelheim system, from his commander seat in the Exeter-class system defense boat were a favourite way to pass time. It gave him time to think.

Lieutenant William Winsor-Smythe was young and fresh out of the RSN academy. The HMSS blazer was his first command, an Exeter-class system defence boat, one of the smallest vessels in the RSN. The class didn't even rank a ship classification, only the lowly boat classification.

But a command was a command and the Blazer was only his first step on the career ladder.

Williams thoughts kept circling around the recent orders, which told him to go to the frontier of the French arm and have a look see. At least three vessels was missing or overdue, not to mention the lack of contact with the French science station in the Arcturus system.

Shortly after the orders arrived the French commander of the MSIF Duquesne had sent out a bulletin over the ESA network requesting aid in a joint recon mission to Arcturus. Very fortunate indeed. William had only waited a couple of hours before acknowledging the request and offering to join. Maybe he could form a liaison with Captain Hérbert which would be useful in the future, besides having company of a Suffren class cruiser should signal to pirates and other rif-raf that the navies meant business. But which pirate was so daft that he raided so far out in the periphery.

Anyway in the morning the Blazer would stutter to Hochbaden and meet up with the French cruiser.

-- © 2007 by Michael Siiger.

On the Bridge of the Duquesne 2

"Capitaine, we’ve crossed the FTL threshold, we’ve reached Hochbaden."

Cpt. Michel Hébert turned to the operations officer, "Report contacts Lieutenant."

"Sir, we have 5 civilian transports and what appear to be two British military transponders."

Hébert growled, "Are they British or not? Do you think the doubly-cursed Allemand are above using British transponders?"

The young operations officer nervously entered commands into her console and sweated visibly, "confirmed, sir, two British contacts, a destroyer and smaller defense boat, at exactly the coordinates we were to rendezvous with them."

"Too slow! Mon Dieu, we must identify targets faster than that, or we will be finished." Hebert scowled at the young officer and added, "I expect to see you putting in some time on the simulators after your shift today Lieutenant Bouchard."

Hébert had been hard on the crew since taking command, but he and they were both new and relatively untested, he couldn’t afford to let them think he was soft.

"Communications, hail Hochbaden Station and log a flight plan, let’s avoid making them scramble their fighters." Hebert himself had been involved in an unnecessarily tense standoff at Neubayern when he, as a frigate commander, had neglected to inform the Germans of his intentions in entering the system; he had no time for that today.

"And send a message to the British ships, let’s form up and head to Arcturus, see what fate awaits us."

Hébert was concerned about whom, or rather what, awaited them at Arcturus, but he was anxious to get underway. Whatever it was couldn’t possibly be as bad as the rumours he had heard before leaving BCB...

-- © 2007 by KevenJ.

From the bridge of the SMS Arnhem

Hochbaden System

"Sensors, report"

"Skipper, 5 merchies, 2 Brit transponders and a froggie"

"Good, weapons, run a plot to the French vessel. I want a firing solution maintained on that can until it leaves the system or I tell you to stand down."

"Yeoman, enter that last order into the standing orders for the CIC crew."

"Comm, let's keep the transponder offline. Seems like we may have snuck up on the frogs. Let us see how ;long we can play hide and seek with them"

15 Minutes later...

"Kapitan, we have picked up a message from the french vessel."

"Well, what is it?"

"They are filing a flight plan with Hochbaden Control."

"Let's keep shadowing the French vessel as long as we can."

Kapitan's private log

That damned Higgenbotham, he is good on sensors, but that 'skipper' thing is just not good practice. How long until the crew starts to copy him?

The French, what can I say? I may have to put up with them but I will embarrass the verdamnt schneckeesser if I can. We will continue to play hide and seek with them as long as we can in Hochbaden.

I have sent a communique to the American task force, Hudson Force, to see if they want to meet in Eta Bootes and travel together to Arcturus.

Passive sensor sweeps of Hochbaden continue to reveal nothing unusual. The mission continues along its boring way.

-- © 2007 by John Carroll.

On the Bridge of HMS Indafatigable Hochbaden system

In the captain's cabin of HMS Indafatigable approaching the stutterwarp limit outbound

On the viewscreen of the Indafatigable the MISF DuQuesne was centered.

"Communications to Captain I have a secure Laser link to HMS Nymphe"

Edward Pellew , Acting captain of the MS Indafatigable acknowledged the signal and turned to the comm screen, On the screen was the captain of the HMS Nymphe Leutenant Isreal Pellew his younger brother. He grinned at his brother.

"Good hunting Isreal, let's hope the Pellew family look holds here we are commanding the two largest RSN ships on the frontier and not yet even apointed commander yet."

His brother grinned back. "Hard luck on Commander Thompson that vacc suit accident at Grosshidenhafen, but good luck for you. What's her prognosis?"

Edward Grimaced. " Not too good, the doctor had to transfer her to Hochbaden there was to much lung damage to keep treating her onboard. He hopes she will make a full recovery but she might be disqaulified for space duty is she doesn't recover full lung capacity. It seems taking the 1st Leutenant's job on Indafatigable was a better choice than yours but at least this way we both get a command."

He paused. "Anyway Isreal , we go FTL shortly good luck and try to find those survey ships , while I try to make sure that the French don't steal all the credit for rescuing a bunch of scientists"

On the comm his brother grinned. "Good Luck 'Captain' and bring your ship back with some nice pictures of those aliens causing the scare"

-- © 2007 by Andrew Moreton.

From the Bridge of the SMS Arnhem

Excerpt, Kapitan's Log...

Appears the Frog cruiser never sighted us. We have traversed the Hochbaden system and are soon to warp for DM +18 2776, our next destination. No sign yet of Hudson Force or the SMS Heidelberg. We will continue on mission. I pray to God that boredom will not be the end of us...

Bridge, SMS Arnhem

"Nav, plot and set course for DM +18 2776"

"Engineering, spin up the Stutterwarp for FTL transit"

"Comm, send to System Command, Hochbaden that we are outbound to DM+18 2776"

"Nav, start countdown to FTL Stutterwarp"

"Bridge to all crew, standby for FTL stutter"

"10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, stutterwarp has accelerated past C.

Kapitan, we are outbound and FTL"

-- © 2007 by John Carroll.

The engine room of the Duquesne

Ingénieur en chef René Devereux had spent many years in the engine rooms of the Marine Impériale Français, and although all ships had their charm, he thought there was nothing equal to the hum of the reactor that powered the Suffren cruiser. Although Devereux wasn’t happy with the overall situation on the ship -- the command crew was largely new, the captain was a junior officer, and the latest mission was fraught with the rumour of danger -- he could find no fault with the engine, nor the engineering staff under his command.

Devereux checked the efficiency of the power plant one last time and prepared to go off shift. Sergent-chef Baroukel would be expecting him for cards. Without the usual compliment of troops aboard the Sergent was forced to look beyond army staff to fill out his weekly game. Devereux was not offended though, he always gained a few livre when they played.

Ah well, he thought, glancing with satisfaction at the monitor before him, whatever dangers awaited the ship, the Duquesne would face them with a very impressive engine efficiency.

-- © 2007 by KevenJ.

Midshipman Jefroi aboard the Duquesne

Aspirant Gerard Jefroi opened the hatch and pushed through, still adjusting to the zero gravity after emerging from the spin habitat. He struggled to simultaneously adjust the damage control pack on his back and secure the helmet of his vacuum suit, all while cursing the ship's klaxons and the incessant drills mandated by the new Capitaine.

He would be late again to his station. "Merde encore, why are the drills always called when I’m off shift sleeping?" he wondered half-aloud. It seemed he hadn’t had a decent rest in days. Things were significantly different on board the frigate La Capricieuse under the relatively lax Capitaine Laflour. He cursed the bad luck that put La Cap in the same system as the under-crewed Duquesne when it was ordered to Arcturus.

He had been excited about the sudden re-assignment, but now he would give a month’s pay to return to the frigate and its uneventful colonial patrols.

He rounded the last corner and sped full-force into a figure hurrying in the opposite direction; a shoulder sending his unsecured helmet flying. He began a curse, but bit his tongue as he met the cold eyes of Sergent-chef Baroukel glaring at him through the glass-steel of his armored suit. Thankfully Baroukel had more important duties than disciplining a careless midshipman and shoved by leaving him spinning briefly out of control.

He took his station, jammed the helmet on his head and attempted to secure the pressure lock, but nothing happened. The helmet had connected to the suits power source but the heads-up display stilled flashed red showing the air-tight seal had not been made. He tried again, but still the suit would not seal. The run-in with Baroukel must have damaged it, he thought, but perhaps it would not be noticed.

The klaxons halted their drone and the lighting levels returned to normal as power was shunted back to non-essential systems. The intercom announced the drill was over and as he moved to return to barracks his HUD flashed with an incoming message from operations.

"Aspirant Jefroi," said a tinny voice in his hear, "I show your suit was not sealed during the exercise, please confirm."

"Oui," Jefroi began, "It seems to be damaged and would not ..."

"Une moment," the operations officer cut him off.

Jefroi was just beginning to realize he would not be returning to his cot when the Capitaine’s voice cut over the intercom, "Aspirant Jefroi, you are aware, are you not, that secion 8 of the duty manual states your equipment must be maintained in a state of readiness?"

"Oui, mais..."

"But nothing, your suit is damaged, yes?"

"Oui, Capitaine," Jefroi realized there would be no explanation the captain would accept.

The operations officer returned, "Aspirant Jefroi, report to the armoury immediately for repairs and then report to the mess. You will be working double shift this week, starting tonight. Captain’s orders."

Jefroi sighed. He would report to the armoury, but he would take his time. He brightened a bit - perhaps the kitchen duty would at least mean extra rations. He pushed himself in the direction of the armoury and wondered if he would be transferred back to La Cap when this mission ended. No, he thought, not if his luck had anything to do with it.

-- © 2007 by KevenJ.

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