Posted 10 June 2012 - 08:31 AM
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General Aleksander Kerensky stood alone at the armourplas window looking out quite possibly the greatest armada ever gathered. Shuttles flitted too and fro as they hurried to carry out the final deliveries of personnel or supplies for the 6 million personnel of the Star League Defence Force that was following him into exile.
Like him they had all fought to free Terra from the tyranny of Stefan Amaris and the Outworlds Alliance and after a long and far too bloody struggle, they had succeeded all be it a t a terrible cost. And of course there was the House Lords, without a Director General of the Hegemony they had all fallen into arguing who should be the First Lord and therefore rule the Inner Sphere, the domain of human occupied space.
Each of the four great Houses felt they had a viable claim to the Throne of the Star League and none would permit another to lead in their stead, so they had started fighting. Of course they had called upon him to act, to support them or to lead the Star League until a suitable candidate was found but Kerensky was tired, exhausted from months of nonstop combat and he felt and knew in his heart and mind that the Lords would not stop even if he placed himself on the Throne.
"I will not become another tyrant.." he had told them quite plainly and began his own plans. Calling upon his loyal commanders and troops to follow him instead of tearing space apart in what was sure to be a catastrophic war he and a so called 'cabal' of his most trusted officers had planned Operation Exodus.
The departure of 80% of the SLDF and its military assets to find a new place to live without the politics of the House Lords.
Out beyond the McKenna's Pride was 1349 Jumpships and over 400 Warship escorts, they carried a staggering number of Dropships, over 5000 of them, as well as three of the huge and incalculably valuable Newgrange class Mobile shipyards that were packed to the gills with supplies and equipment.
The stars were obscured by huge solar sails that even now were retracting for the jump, charging the Kearny-Fuchida jump drives that would take the ships further and further away from the Inner Sphere into the unknown of unexplored space in roughly 12 light year 'hops'.
"Sir, the Fleet will be ready to jump in 20 minutes, all fighters are aboard and sails are being retracted."
"Thank you Admiral O'brien, I am just taking one last look before we begin our journey."
"Understood Sir, might I suggest you take your seat, we will be nul-grav in 2 minutes for the jump."
"Afraid i'll bump my head are you Errin?"
"Afraid you'll damage some equipment Sir."
The General smiled, some would call the Admiral's tone insubordinate but not those who knew him.
"Very well..I would like a countdown to the jump to be transmitted, all ships on the tannoy."
"Of course Sir."
As the counter wound down the General gathered his thoughts, clearing his throat.
"Men and women of the Star League Defence Force, let this date the 8th of July 2784 mark a new beginning for us all. The Star League lives on in us all, its memory, its heritage, its strength and nobility will never die as long as we hold onto its ideals in our hearts and minds."
"3, 2, 1 Jump!"
The Kearny-Fuchida drives on the thousands of ships fired simultaneously, folding space to have their ships re-appear the planned distance of a dozen light-years away. Each ship disappeared in a flare of white light and burst of EM interference. But they did not end out a dozen light-years away, they ended out somewhere else instead. Somewhere that none could imagine even in a flight of fantasy.
The massed fleet burst into reality with silent white flashes of energy as the ships of Operation Exodus emerged from their first jump. The first thing to do would be to investigate the surrounding region. The area to the 'north' of the Inner Sphere had been partially explored but due to the lack of habitable and viable worlds the exploration was seen as a waste of time and money and had died a death many decades ago but there might be small bandit hideouts or frontier colonies so investigation was required whilst the ships jump drives charged up, a process which would take a few hours.
A vast array of electronic and visual sensors began sweeping space, looking for recognisable star constellations and known stellar phenomenon to give the fleet an accurate location and assist with the calculating of the next jump. Immediately something came back as simply wrong. The star constellations were instantly identified but what was being read didn't match. The fleets electronic 'ears' also heard and detected EM signals, radio waves, high and low frequency transmissions that were as yet untranslatable. Acting automatically the alert claxons on every warship started blaring as one.
"Comms, radar find out what the devil is going on, I want a report immediately!" Admiral O'Brien barked, his voice clearly heard over the claxon before it was cut off. The bridge of the huge battleship was filled with dozens of conversations, officers and ratings talking as one as they tried to make sense of what was going on.
"Admiral, the fleet is all present and accounted for! All ships are at battle stations we have fighters launching now, weapons batteries are fully manned."
Holographic maps hovered in the air showing the fleet as it deployed with practised ease into a combat formation. The warships and Dropships that were now being launched from their mountings would screen the defenceless Jumpships whilst the icons representing fighters filled the screen like snow.
"Understood, all ships are to hold fire we don't know what's out there."
"Sir!" It was a young Major from the astronavigation department, the officer hurried up saluting smartly, gulping slightly as he stood before the most senior Admiral in the Star League AND General Kerensky who was now stood by O'Brien.
"Sir, I've double and triple checked the system and the readouts manually..." He held up a print-out. "This is Ursa-major and Sagittarius..."
"Sir...this is what would be the view from the Sol system."
"We're checking the numbers again, the jump seems to have gone fine, we can't explain it, and..."
The young man had gone pale.
"Please make your report.." General Kerensky said, his tone soft, quiet, prompting the far younger man.
"We appear to be on the outskirts of a solar system with 9 major planets and one exo-planet, sir the locations and size of the worlds are a match for those in Sol orbit and we are not picking up any messages or signals on any recognised SLDF or Star League channels, what we're receiving is archaic Sir.."
"Very good how many know of this?"
"Just myself and those in my department but the fleets already scanning the area so soon everyone will know."
"Thank you Major that will be all."
General Kerensky watched the officer depart before turning to the window again, loping over to it in the low gravity of the warship's bridge. "I want a command staff meeting in the main briefing room in one hour. Admiral can you have a scout ship do a pass of the planets, I want them to not be detected. We need to find out just what in the name of the seven hells is going on."
"Understood General, I'll have a Bugeye carry out a sweep of the system, we can use long range scopes but a closer inspection would yield more useful data."
"See that it's done and done quickly my friend, before we have a panic on our hands."
"This is the BBC Science report, we have with us tonight Dr Campbell, part of the European Space Agency, Dr Campbell you announced that your team had detected something, could you tell us what you found?"
"Why yes George, four days ago we detected an unusual energy burst not unlike that left in the aftermath of a nuclear test. At first we thought it was a gamma burst which is for lack of a better term the death scream of a star but then the numbers started coming in. This burst was close, real close in spacial terms anyhow, within the orbit of Pluto."
"Is there any reason for this 'burst' as you put it? And is there any risk to us here on Earth."
"We're really stumped, and its not often you'll hear me say that. It could be a collision between two undetected asteroids moving at high speed or some other natural phenomena and the distance is so great that there is no danger to Earth."
"And what about something not natural?"
"Hah yes quite, I read that in a news paper today too, no I don't think this is ET trying to contact us or an alien space ship exploding. We have asked the American's to turn the Hubble telescope on the region of the burst but the distance is so great that I doubt we'll see much, just some expanding gas no doubt."
Sol System within Mars orbit.
The SLS Endeavour had been through two major wars and the brutal conflict to bring down Stefan Amaris, the man responsible for the Star League's fall and her crew knew their stuff. The Bug-eye class Frigate was a dedicated spy ship, designed to visually look like any of the common merchant jump ships or even large dropships its sleek mat black hull hid its weapons and powerful sensors behind sliding panels and layers of sensor baffling compound armour.
At the moment Endeavour's sensors were drinking in all the data they could, relaying it to the massive and powerful computers onboard. Sensor antenna absorbed radio transmissions whilst powerful external telescopes trained their eyes on their distant target. The ship was coasting through space, its twin engines cold and quiet, relying on momentum and gravity after the initial 4g burn to get them close. Operating under 'running silent' the ship was a shadow against the background of space, not leaking out any tell tale electronic noise that might give her away.
"Well Captain we're baffled...radio transmissions intercepted cite the date as the 28th of May 2011 and we have verified this multiple times...."
The captain nodded before the sensor tech continue. "Also baffling is the disparity between what we know about this time period and what we're seeing. We know that by this time there was the George Armstrong Luna colony as well as Point Gagarin and they are not there. We also can't see or detect Colony One or Skylab *1, all we have been able to observe is a rather crude orbital platform in low orbit that barely deserves the name space station. No sign at all of Crippen Station or the Woden satellite ring"
"I see....any conclusions?"
"Without going into the realm of science fiction...none Sir. We're grasping at straws here. In truth...we don't know what happened. We've checked the jump data for the fleet when we began Operation Exodus and the only anomily that we found was a slight flare in the EM band as the fleet jumped. Perhaps it was because so many ships jumped at once or local conditions combined with that....I..somehow we're back 773 years to an earth that is like ours but...slightly different."
The sensor tech looked both confused and scared. "I've relayed the data to the McKenna's Pride as we took it in as per standing orders."
SLS McKenna's Pride - Flagship of the Exodus fleet - Commanding Officers quarters.
Buried deep in the hull of the 1400 meter long battleship the CO's quarters were well within the the internal rotating grav decks giving normal earth G for the Admiral and his guest.
"General...this is unprecedented, this is Earth, yes it's not our Earth but its Earth." Admiral Obrien said, taking a sip from his glass of whiskey as he read the data spooling over the screen.
"The cold war is long over, where as our one ended in 2012 with the Soviet Civil War and the nuking of Moscow..yes they are behind the times in space development but.."
"But what Admiral?"
"You're thinking it as well as I am General...we should establish contact. We could build the Star League anew, no need for the exodus, no need for the Amaris civil war or the wars against the Periphery nations..we can do it again, only better this time. And with our tech and knowledge of the Inner Sphere we can settle planets and begin construction to spread humanity under the control of the Star League."
"But is that what they want, and are they ready for it?" General Kerensky said, looking at a frozen image of Earth. "If we go down to Terra and accounce who we are, where we're from..it could cause panic and backlash against the governments and us."
"General...with all due respect thats bullshit. We left so we could reform the League as it should have been, without the petty squabbling of the House Lords, humanity united for the peace and prosperity of all. Yes we could go to another star system and set up home there, but this is Terra, its our cradle. We can't let it burn again and again..."
General Kerensky, Supreme Commander of the Star League Defence Force chuckled softly into his glass of Vodka. "You know my thoughts too well my friend and you are right. If we left this world this Earth we would be doing a disservice to humanity now and for the future.
We can not allow the old Leagues...errors to be repeated, by acting now we can save billions if not trillions of lives as well as save whole worlds from being rendered uninhabitable. But as I said to the House Lords, I will not be a tyrant. We have enough military force to conquer this planet ten times over but we shall not use force, diplomacy and a gentle approach is what is needed here.
With time and guidance and suitable incentives....I am sure that we will be able to help Humanity walk from the cradle as was intended, not as we did."
"So...how the hell are we going to do this?"
"We need to establish communications first, if we sent the entire fleet into local Earth space they would be alarmed, hell I know I would. We can use this..United Nations to establish peaceful communications and maybe arrange some dirt time for the civilians."
"Hmm...then can I suggest we communicate with either America or the United Kingdom? Both are stable nations and have a history of working together."
The General nodded. "We're still far out, we'll have to release the news to the fleet of course, we'll make an annoucement once we're within the orbit of Mars."
"Moving at our slowest speed that will still take three weeks. Some of the merchant ships are overloaded and should have had maintenance before we left beyond what we was able to give. This...jump put us well outside the zenith point of the Sol system hence the travel time."
"Very well General, order the fleet to begin the burn towards Mars and i'll start drafting our message to the American government and think of what I will have to tell the troops, crews and their families."
Earth - Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute - 4 days later.
Robert Nills and Sameena Rajh worked at their computers relaying the information they had been given from the EAS to change Hubble's 'aiming point' in space to swing it to look at the area of space the strange radiation burst had been detected. They had been expecting the request, or order if it came from the government the past few days and they both chuckled, loosing a bet to their colleagues that the graveyard shift, IE them, would be the ones who would have to move Hubble.
"Azimuth and pitch are correct, iris is opening and we'll be getting a visual in about ten minutes. Lets start off with a narrow field view first, make sure nothing was shaken loose up there. Are you seeing anything Sam?"
"Still resolving at the moment Rob, looks fine at the moment." She replied, watching the image on her screen resolve 'live' from Hubble. The computer detected something, altering the image slightly automatically and zooming in.
Saameena Rajh looked at her screen and did a double take. There was clearly metallic objects in space, the sunlight was reflecting off them. Adjusting the gain and zoom she manipulated the Hubble telescope like the professional she was.
"Rob...you'd better come here..."
On the screen was a construct, clearly artificial, and it was not alone. There were dozens of them, some chunky and blocky, others narrow and long with sphereoid bulges on their backs and sides.
The two scientists looked at one another wide eyed before reaching for a nearby phone at the same time.
Posted 14 July 2012 - 06:50 PM
The huge battleships engines fell silent, the rumble of the three drive's firing that made the deck tremble ever so slightly dying as the ship now drifted, driven by inertia deeper into the Sol System.
The massive Warship would lurk near Mars whilst its precious cargo was transfered to the Endeavour that was still undetected by anything on Earth. From there General Kerensky would contact the leader of America to open a dialogue, but before his departure there had been a disagreement at the airlock for one of the many shuttles onboard the gleaming grey juggernaught.
"General DeChavilier.....Aaron, I understand your concern, but from what we have been able to gather this planet has no ground to space capable weapons and the Endeavour is quite safe."
"Sir, I understand the need for approaching with our hands open rather than clenched but at least have an escort. One frigate or Corvette is all I ask."
"When the time comes to meet the leader of the United States you can hand pick the personnel for the Security detachment but until then no overt displays of strength. Please my friend, trust me on this."
The grizzled General crossed his arms before grinning. "You're a stubborn ******* Aleksandr..."
"One of my few good points Aaron..I will see you when I get back."
"You'd better come back, I don't want to have to run this madhouse all by myself!"
The laughter of General Kerensky echoed in the hallway as the airlock clicked shut with a hiss of pnumatics.
United States of America - The White House.
The White House was busy, as it always was save during the depths of night. With the President in his office it was a busy day for his staff, the security personnel and all involved in helping run the country, plan ahead and try and counter any political moves that might be taken by the current Presidents opponents both at home and abroad.
"Well Mr President you've got a meeting with the Chairman of the House at 1030 and then a lunchtime phone call with the British Prime Minister about the ongoing problems in Libya at 1200."
"Thank you Mrs Glenmoore is that all for the moment?"
"Yes Mr President."
"Wonderful, can you get some tea for us when the Chairman arrives, if you could that would be great."
The Presidents secretary smiled and turned to leave, she was a coffee lady herself, not understanding the Presidents love of English tea, she thought putting milk in it was just plain wrong. 'He's the President' she reminded herself with a chuckle.
SLS Endeavour - two hours later.
"What we're doing General is in essence hacking their satellite system to call the White House. We'll be routing the call through multiple satellites for security but we can't promise good quality, our systems and theirs are barely compatable but what they have is pritty advanced, supprisingly so i'd say."
Realising he was babbling the sensor Officer gave up his chair to the old, balding General and started manipulating the controls of his console.
"If you put these on and speak normally please Sir.." He said passing Kerensky a pair of headphones with a mic attached.
"Okay...Mr Chen, if you could make contact please..."
The General let out a slow breath, glancing at the speech he had brought with him on a dataslate. There was a squall of static that made him wince before it faded.
It was silent on the bridge as the General spoke.
Pandemonium and muted arguments sprang up as the tech officers sprang to terminate the call. The General turned slowly in the seat, one eyebrow raised. "Whats a Pizza Hut?" He said dryly.
The tension on the deck evaporated with smiles, laughter and much appologising from the tech officers. After a few minutes they were sure they had it right this time. The General nodded and the Endeavour's systems went to work.
The White House - moments later.
"Thank you David, its a great relief to know that England and America will stand together and help the people of Libya alongside the international coal..."
President Obama stopped as the line suddenly went dead, confused he held the phone to his ear as bursts of static and what sounded like an old modem noise came out of the earpeice.
He was about to ask for his Secretary before a new voice came over the phone, the call quality was terrible and Obama frowned slightly. The Cheif of Staff and Press head were both in the office and all three exchanged confused glances as the static yowl receded to a faint hiss.
"Hello? This..is the President of the United States of America..can you hear me?"
"Yes Mister President, my name is General Aleksandr Kerensky, I am the leader of the Star League Defence Force and I would very much like to speak with you."
The President put the phone on speaker to let the others in the office listen in.
"Star League Defence Force, i'm afraid I do not know of that organisation. If this is a prank I can assure you that although a good one, you interrupted an important call."
"My appologies Mr President, but this is no prank although what you will hear will no doubt sound outragious but I urge you please hear me out. I am speaking to you from the bridge of the SLS Endeavour, we are currently between the Earth and Mars, hacking into your satellites to speak with you."
The President could not help but chuckle. "I'm sorry but..this is rather hard to belive." It was a good prank, the man on the phone sounded old and with a hint of a Russian accent in his tone, clearly no nerdy kid doing it as a joke to boast about on Anonymous.
"We can give you proof, have the telescope at Mauna Kea turn to 69 degrees north with an azimuth of 159. I will call you back in two hours time, I look forwards to continuing our conversation."
With that the line went dead.
"Mr President that was clearly a fraud and should be ignored, we should have traced the call and if its US based we can have agents there if you want."
"Please see where the call came from and find out how they did it, damn clever of them who ever it was."
"What about those co-ordinates Sir?"
"I don't think the people at Mauna Kea would be happy turning their telescopes away from what they are looking at chasing a prank."
"Now lets call David back and.."
The President was cut off as the Secretary of Defence came into the office without knocking, followed by a flustered looking man wearing a NASA tie.
"Mr President, i'm sorry to disturb you but you really should see this..."
After looking at the images the NASA man had brought with him for a few minutes the President looked at his Cheif of Staff. "Best get Kea to look in that direction...."
Posted 14 July 2012 - 08:41 PM
The President nodded, idilly flicking through some of the data that they had recived from the SLDF. History texts, pictures of gleaming cities, genetic details, pictures of alien worlds, it was almost too much to belive. The discrepancies between the 'visitors' history and what was known was clear as day, prompting the few scientists who had been made aware of the contact with the still distant fleet postulate theories about alternate or parallel universes which as fantastic as they sounded, made the most sense.
"The General will be arriving in three days and we don't want to greet them with massed armed men, they are human and no human likes having a gun pointed at them."
The Chief of Staff nodded in agreement but he didn't like it. "And what about the rest of the world?"
"The General has asked to address the UN Security Council, there's a meeting scheduled in five days regarding the ongoing action in Libya and I can think of no better a place to have this come to light. No cloak and dagger, no coverups, the truth. Our world has changed and that meeting will be only the beginning."
"The General has promised to share all their technology with us save their warfighting equipment and the ships drive systems. Think of it...fusion power systems that can fit in a large SUV, advanced medical research including cures for many forms of cancer, the keys to interstellar exploration...its almost unbelivable."
"Almost too good...Kerensky is a General in exile from what i've read and they are keeping tight lipped on their military capabilities which must be considerable considering this isn't some civilian fleet but a huge military force. Mr President I advise you to raise our alert level as a precaution and to inform our friends in NATO to do the same. The Russians and Chi-comms will see us calling up men and counter by doing the same."
"Won't that cause undue tension? With the ongoing rumbles in Korea..."
"Mr President its better to be prepared, if Kerensky is as good as his word then we can stand the armed forces down. I suggest that he and his committee land at Edwards Airforce Base and we can move from there to New York."
The President nodded. "Make it so General, i'll speak to Prime Minister Cameron shortly."
Edwards Airforce Base AKA Area 51 - 3 Days Later.
The bases security detachment long use to not having to ask questions about military goings on had conducted the most thorough sweeps in recent memory, clearing out the UFO watchers from the perimeter whilst overhead helicopters and F-22s patrolled the skies.
On the ground Stryker's patrolled the airbase whist electronic radar eyes scanned the sky.
"Sir! Radar is reporting a large contact has just appeared almost directly above us and descending rapidly."
The descent of a Union Class Dropship was not a subtle thing. The spheroid dropship launched from the SLS Warspite shook as it descended through the Earth's thick atmosphere, hull still glowing cherry red from the atmospheric friction. Inside the ships hold the security detachment were making final checks on weapons and uniforms, they were to make a good impression and their sadly rarely worn dress uniforms certinally would do that as would the four looming shapes in the mech-bay safely secured in their racks. A battlemech never failed to impress.
"General Kerensky Sir, we're approaching the landing point, radar's picking up local aircraft, having some difficulty tracking them though Sir."
"A radar problem?"
"No sir, they are...well hard to track is all."
"We're learning as we go along Captain. Just make sure our landing is steady, this isn't a combat drop."
"Aye Sir! All hands stand by to go Vertical. Rig ship for landing, inform the Lance Commander he's free to deploy once we've got the ramps down."
The 3600 tonne craft slowed its descent, thrusters blazing in the night sky like a magnesium flare for a brief moment before fading as the drop ship slowed her descent, falling through the sky at a 'stately' mach one before the thrust of her engines slowed her enough for a smooth and gentle landing, the roar of the dropships four Federated-Boeing engines echoing over the desert.
The landing zone was lit by floodlights, the Dropship looming over the desert like a metal mountain, the tarmac sizzling under its thrusters, shrouded in steam for a moment as the hull cooled. The American President, his staff and a detachment of Marines in full dress uniform, eyes wide at the sight of the strange craft, came forwards to a small podeium. There was no red carpet. Well not any more, the downwash and heat had shredded and burnt it to cinders.
From the..starship there were deep mechanical noises as four huge panels slide aside and ramps were lowered. The noises didn't stop there, deep reverberating thumps were clearly audiable as four metal titans walked from the ship with a grace that belied their great size, the huge machines moving like massively scaled up men. Stomping forwards, making a fine mess of the tarmac and concrete runway the huge machines, each one painted a deep royal blue with red highlights and white numbering took up position by a far smaller door and ramp that had descended and opened. At the head of a small group of smartly turned out soldiers with strange looking rifles was an older, bald man in a rather drab, uliterian, olive green uniform.
"General Kerensky I assume."
"Yes Mr President, sorry to have startled you but my Cheif of Staff insisted on some security..." Kerensky said appologetically whilst gesturing to the looming battlemechs.
"Oh yes, there is a pilot up there in each one, the big one on the right is my own personal Mech."
"Amazing...like something from a Japanese Manga?"
Kerensky tilted his head slightly, clearly confused and Obama smiled. "You'll no doubt find out soon enough General, now if you and would come with me we have a great deal to discuss."
New York - UN Building - 2 days later.
"And now to address the UN Council is Aleksander Kerensky as requested by the American Ambassador."
Although not a full meeting of the UN Security Council all the major players were there. There was some mutterings, no one knew who this Kerensky was, his name was on the itinery that had been published a few days previously in an alteration, speaking instead of the American Ambassador who he was sat next to.
The military looking man cleared his throat as the chamber went silent.
"Ladies and Gentlemen of the United Nations, my name is Aleksander Kerensky, General. And, if you will indulge me, I have a story to tell you...."
What followed was a speech that signaled the start of a new age for Humanity. That new age was however to be baptised in the fires of warfare when on the 8th of June a North Korean artillery barrage landed on the Island of Yeonpyeong, prompting the South Koreans to reply in kind. Their return fire killed a high ranking North Korean official who had gone to observe the artillery 'training exercise' as well as several dozen North Korean troops. Tensions escalated along the boarder with gunfire being traded almost hourly despite pleas to both sides to back down.
Ten days later North Korean troops began attacking all along the DMZ whilst heavy artillery shells rained down on the suburbs of Seoul. Long range rockets targetted at US troops were mostly intercepted by Patriot missiles but due to the sheer volume, many got through.
The Second Korean War was officially declared later that evening, and in a unanimous vote in the UN save China declining to Vote the UN declared War on North Korea for 'shameful acts of aggression and terror'.
General Kerensky offered the full support of the SLDF and this assistance was gladly accepted.
1* The Generals 'bodyguard' consisted of a Lance of four battlemechs an Altas, Rifleman and two Commando's.
2* A drawing of Kerensky shortly before his address of the UN.
Posted 19 July 2012 - 12:15 AM
Posted 31 July 2012 - 08:54 AM
I'm anxious for more
Edited by Z0MBIE Y0SHI, 31 July 2012 - 08:54 AM.
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