PRELUDE TO WAR AUGUST 01, 2409 06:00 HOURS (MILITARY CALENDER) UNITED EARTH GOVERNMENT MAIN GOVERNING HEADQUARTERS LONDON, ENGLAND – TERRA PRIME
Rear Admiral Hoshino sat in his chair of the main counsel. Like always the discussion of war appeared on the front desk. In the 40 years he has served within the United Nations Space Command he has seen dozens of armed conflicts between the UNSC and the Expanse Sovereign Union,
and everyday the same fear of annihilation by one of the ESU’s nukes comes up. “Admiral?” He looked over at the President as he looked down at his Data Access Tablet. “This plan… You want to engage the enemy directly at Operon IV?” The Admiral shifted in his seat before activating the holographic display
sitting between all of the members of the council. “Yes. Operon IV is one of our important staging areas for the 2nd fleet, if the ESU were to attack one of our outposts they would more than likely attack here as it would deal a crippling blow to the 2nd Fleet, as well as our main carrier battle groups.
Vice Admiral Harper looked at the plans and shook his head. Before standing up and adjusting the angle of the hologram to show the fleet in its current position. “The idea is sound. But unfortunately, Rear Admiral we are already short of ships as it is? Our main battlegroup is deployed in the Tendara Sector 2000 lightyears from Operon,
and with the loss of the Columbia we are down a Heavy Frigate within the 2nd Fleet, without our main batteries we are dead in the water.” Hoshino snuffled a bit at his remarks. Admiral Harper was a veteran, but he was no means a brilliant tactician.
“That is why I want to remove the IMC Battle Carrier Oculous from the 12th fleet and have it rendezvous with the 2nd Fleet.” “And what ship would you replace it with, the only ship equipped for armed military conflict is sitting in a scrap yard at Scorpion Fleet Shipyards at the Epsilon Indi system”
“That is why I am making the large proposal of re-instituting the old retired Heavy Battle Cruiser the Spirit of Endurance by upgrading and retrofitting it for modern combat.” Admiral Harper stood up and slammed his hands down on the table in objection.
“That ship hasn’t seen combat in 45 years, for twenty years after the Interplanetary Wars within the Expanse is was deactivated and transferred in the merchant marines as a simple transport." The President raised his hand up and then pulled up the schematic for the Venator Class Heavy Battle Cruiser, before sending it up to the main screen.
He sat back in his chair as he lit up the cigar. “Hoshino you served on one of these years back the Regan correct?” Hoshino nodded before he went on. “The Battle Cruisers of the day were practically indestructible,
the thing is equipped with 23-inch titanium ablative hull armor that is connected to another 10 inch Iron Hull with the underlying super structure reinforcing the inside. An old Venator class can take a direct hit from a Havok Tactical Nuke and continue operating at 70% efficiency.
The main computers are un-networked because at the time they were launched the ESU was resorting to cyber-terrorism to shut down entire fleets. The Venators have a hydraulic fluid system, it requires little maintenance and can go about 100,000 lightyears without refueling.”
“What about this dual channel system?” “The ship was the first to be partially equipped with bio-nural circuitry, it allows faster communication with several adjacent sectors, but that was removed in 2370 when it was replaced with the older isolinear processing chips.” “And the armament?”
“20 forward array heavy cannons, they fire 100mm shells as a velocity of 10 miles per second, a well placed shot can impact a double hull easily, 13 phase cannons older plasma based weaponry, and 10 rear array cannons, and 32 point and shoot defensive turrets, it also comes equipped with 10 under-array light cannons.
The ship came standard equipped with 10 tactical nuclear misiles capable of space travel, an entire Scorpion Assault Squadron, and 4 black wing bombers.” “Completely outdated!” Harper barked across the room. “If you want to re-activate this ship you are mad.
With an unnetworked computer system you would need a fully operational CIC – no ships have CIC’s anymore, all we use are bridges, and there is only one Admiral in the fleet that is capable of commanding one of these dinasours – the man is so old he probably can’t tell which is up!"
” Hoshino looked at the old schematics before pulling up a feed of the old “Spirit of Endurance. ” The ship was ill-equipped, but what is makes up in speed it makes up in maneuverability and fire-power.” “That doesn’t matter – the Endurance, was equipped with type 10 quantum torpedoes.”
“How many? Those things were banned 10 years ago.” “32, one shot can take out a frigate.” “And possibly blow up their ship as well. We banned those because the last time is was used in combat it destroyed 6 ships.”
“The super structure should take most of the blast – the older Venator Class ships used older Quantum Jump Drives,class 4 as I recall so it was required to be built with a latteral support members.” “Can I ask you, does it still have those old QJ Drives?”
“Yes. It’s the only ship in the fleet that still has one.” “You said it was de-activated…” Harper sat down in his chair and took a deep breath as the President looked at him. “This is what I’m not going to like.”
“It’s still technically active, it was used as an experimental ship some 10 years back, it was tested against the new Halcyon Class Battle Destroyers.” “And?” “The Spirit won, and heavily damaged the Pegasus.”
“Is that why the Pegasus has been reduced to a mear reserve ship?” “The ship had extreme structural damage, the Venator came out with some dinks and a stress fractured super structure, with 10 forward sessor arrays destroyed.”
“Holy fuck…” The President was convinced along with Hoshino. He knew what they were thinking. Give the Spirit of Endurance the position of rear support in the 12th Fleet.
It would be a good way to send the ship into its last years. A image display from the Endurance came up with Commodore Paris at the helm – the man was a bat out of hell. “Helm – bow yaw 23 degrees starboard, pitch 1 degree, impulse to full.
Give me a tactical feed?” He watched as the Endurance out maneuvered the Pegasus exposing only the top half of the ship hiding its week points, but leaving the Pegasus open to a full barrage of their heavy frontal array cannons, and point defense turrents. “Enemy has locked on.”
“Turn on the automative jammer – release the phosphorus.” Around the ship a large glimmer of red appeared around the ship sending the missiles that were launched at them to miss their target.
“Fire all forward array cannons. Kill the Pegasus.” After several well placed shots from the forward array, and the Pegasus was dead in the water with decompression along their main hull. “This is the Pegasus we surrender…” Harper sat back in his chair and shook his head.
“So you want to put old technology against new ships.” “Unconventional technology for a unconventional time.” “May I ask, when was this ship built? You said its an old Class 5 Jump Drive, that would put the activation date, what 2201.”
“2170, it was built during the early days of the war. Specifically the Interplanetary war when the Expanse first launched their attacks.” “If we activate this, it should give the 12th Fleet and 2nd Fleet a fighting chance. What position would the Endurance serve in?’
“Simple. Point defense. If the Atlantia is destroyed or crippled it will be reinstated as flag ship. The ship has old subwave, it talks to subspace communication – its actually more secure since no ships use it.” Harper looked at the Hoshino and President Adar.
“You two are damn fools, but we are running low on resources, and it will take a year to build a replacement for the Columbia, so fuck it. Let’s activate her.”