(RP) Tempest-Northeast Incident (4464 A.D) (Part 2)

Reinforcements arrive.

Shortly after exiting subspace approximately one hundred kilometres from Ignis-1 at 09:40 LST, Tempest Sector Fleet, 1st Rapid Response Division, Task Force Delta (TSF-1RR-TFD1)'s lead ship, an RV-class, Pattern 1, RV121, hailed the stricken INSD Frigate, EL0471.


RV121 Command Deck (Bridge) View

 

(>> Task Force) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, Captain: "All ships, set drives to idle and maintain holding pattern. We are establishing contact with the INSD Frigate EL0471".


(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, Captain: "Sensory, maintain Long-Range Active scans of the system. Patch to Neural and call out any anomalies. Gunnery, escalate to Status Amber. Comms, establish short-range secure link with Frigate EL0471. Patch to my Station."


(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, 1st Sensory Officer: "Understood. Neural overwatch online."

(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, 1st Gunnery Officer: "Understood, Captain."

(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, 1st Communications Officer: "Link established, at your station, Captain."


(>> INSD, Montes Ignis, EL0471) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, Captain: "INSD, Montes Ignis, EL0471, this is Command on RV121, Tempest Sector Fleet, 1st Rapid Response, Task Force Delta. Requesting immediate situation update: we are detecting an unknown cruiser-weight vessel drifting G-North, bearing 3-0. What is your status? Repeat: what is your status?"

 

*Static Interference*


(>> TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121) INSD, Montes Ignis, EL0471, Captain: "Good to see you, RV121, our status is O-K, we've taken hull damage, drive systems are operating at half capacity and have casualties on board, but we are O-K."


*Static Interference*


(>> TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121) INSD, Montes Ignis, EL0471, Captain: "Be advised Task Force Delta, Contact bearing 3-0 is assumed hostile, we managed to disable her in order to prevent escape. We are transmitting our final report on the situation via this channel."


 

(>> INSD, Montes Ignis, EL0471) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, Captain: "Copy that, we are receiving the report. Captain, we are detecting some static interference on your channel. Are your communication systems damaged?"

 

*Static Interference*


(>> TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121) INSD, Montes Ignis, EL0471, Captain: "Please hold, Captain."


*Static Interference*


(>> TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121) INSD, Montes Ignis, EL0471, Captain: "Affirmative, we have damage to our primary communications array. Engineering teams have their work cut out, Captain."

 

(>> INSD, Montes Ignis, EL0471) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, Captain: "Understood, standby, we will dispatch an engineering support package to you, callsign IFF Care-1, do you copy?"


 

*Static Interference*


(>> TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121) INSD, Montes Ignis, EL0471, Captain: "Copy that, RV121, much appreciated. Standby, docking ports are extending."


 

(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, Captain: "Comms, forward request to HY2034 from my station, deploy Engineering support team, callsign IFF Care-1 to EL0471."


(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, 1st Communications Officer: "Understood, Patching through to HY2034."


 

Once the order from the lead ship, RV121, was called through to deploy the engineering support package to the stricken frigate, flight deck crews on HY2034, a Hydra Pattern-2 Fleet Carrier began preparing one of the Carrier's two Albatross-class Corvettes for launch - carrying a standardised Imperial Navy engineering support package. The package consisted of raw materials in compressed matter pellets for use with macro/micro assembler systems (for fabricating replacement components), Nano-polymer base materials; and the equipment, tools and personnel to operate them.


Once the corvette was ready, HY2034's flight deck control cleared her for launch, and the Corvette engaged lateral thrusters and gracefully drifted side-ways out of the carrier's primary central hangar. Once in space, her main drives flared up, sending plasma trails outward behind her, as she made her way through the formation of ships toward the stricken frigate.

 

(>> TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121) TSF-1RR-TFD1, HY2034, Captain: "Lead, CV, callsign IFF Care-1 is dispatched."

 

(>> TSF-1RR-TFD1, HY2034) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, Captain: "Acknowledged, HY2034."


(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, Captain: "Comms, prepare a long-range S-communication package to Tempest Sector Command containing the sit-rep from EL0471. Update: Situation under control at this time, continuing as per Tasking Orders."


(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, 1st Communications Officer: "Understood, captain. S-communication antennas extending."


(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, Captain: "Helm, maintain holding pattern. Update Neural with standard defensive perimeter. We will hold this position while we investigate the disabled cruiser."


(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, 1st Helm Officer: "Acknowledged. Maintaining position, dispatching Neural update to escort."


(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, Captain: "Comms, dispatch to HY2034 to prepare a marine boarding party, codename IFF Talon, ready to dispatch to waypoint G-North bearing 3-0, contact cruiser weight."


(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, 1st Communications Officer: "At once, captain."


The communications officer interacted with his console for a few moments, putting together the required dispatch to the Task Force's Fleet Carrier, HY2034.


(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, 1st Communications Officer: "Dispatch sent, HY2034 acknowledged."


(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, Captain: "Comms, secure-channel short-range to INSD EL0471, patch to my station."


(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, 1st Communications Officer: "EL0471 accepted the channel, on your station, Captain."


(>> INSD, Montes Ignis, EL0471) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, Captain: "EL0471, this is Command on RV121, Task Force 1RR Delta 1: we have updated Tempest Sector Command on the situation. Given the circumstances, I am exercising Sector Fleet authority and transferring your assignment to this Task Force until the situation is resolved to Command's satisfaction. Repeat: EL0471 is to be assigned to TSF-1RR-TF Delta 1 until further notice. Do you copy, Captain?"

 

*Static Interference*


(>> TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121) INSD, Montes Ignis, EL0471, Captain: "Affirmative, Captain, we are awaiting Neural battlenet handshake."


*Static Interference*


(>> TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121) INSD, Montes Ignis, EL0471, Captain: "Update: Engineering Package Care-1 has docked successfully, engineering crews are now working to restore full drive functionality. Much appreciated, RV121!"


 

(>> INSD, Montes Ignis, EL0471) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, Captain: "Don't mention it, Captain. Sector Fleet is always prepared to bail out the INSD!"


(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, Captain: "Comms, terminate short-wave secure with EL0471. Update Neural with the new Task Force assignments and integrate into the battlenet."


(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, 1st Communications Officer: "Yes, Captain."


(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, NEURAL: "Battlenet updated. INSD Frigate EL0471 now assigned to Task Force. Battlenet integrity diagnostics completed: all systems operational."


(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, 1st Communications Officer: "Captain, HY2034 reports marine part codename IFF 'Talon' ready to launch."


(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, Captain: "Cleared, I want continuous status updates from H2034 marine control, everything they see, we see, understood?"


(Internal) TSF-1RR-TFD1, RV121, 1st Communications Officer: "Understood, Captain, H2034 confirms acknowledged. Patching remote feed from Talon to your station."


 

The Imperial boarding marines remained silent as the Infiltrator-class corvette, callsign 'Talon' launched from the Task Force's Carrier. The sleek form slipping away from the central hangar gracefully, following an automatic flight-path established by the corvette's battlenet system. Once clear from the carrier; her plasma recycler drives engaged, following a half-loop around the carrier to place her trajectory on a conversion with the disabled Farlease-class cruiser; which was now drifting G-North away from the station complex at around 50 metres per second.


It wouldn't be long before the high-speed stealth/boarding corvette passed the Ignis-1 station itself, around two hundred metres from her damaged sensory mast, heading beyond the station's declaration zone towards the stricken warship. At around five hundred metres out, Talon engaged her lateral de-accelerators and the ship's flight control system began conducting fine-tuned adjustments to her course to intersect with the vessel perfectly. Since the Task Group wasn't detecting any high-powered systems functioning on the vessel, Talon was cleared for a precision insertion; conducted with a low-speed approach and deployment just aft of her command tower. Farlease-class warships were well known to the Imperial Navy, as such optimal deployment locations for forced boarding were already provided by Long-range sensors, to maximise the efficiency of the marine boarding operation.


Talon approached within 100 metres of the stricken cruiser; he was drifting at an angle, slightly to her port-side, away from the station, leaving a fine trail of debris and particulate matter behind her - likely from the vaporisation of titanium hull panels caused by the high-powered laser cannon on the EL0471 during the defensive action. On approach, Talon conducted a basic, high-resolution scan of the vessel, visual indicators detected no active running lights and her port-holes were either covered due to general quarters, or internal deck lights were offline; indicating catastrophic failure of both the primary and auxiliary power plants.


Old Federal Navy warships, including the Farlease-class light cruisers, were equipped with a completely independent, self-contained power plant and capacitor array for the internal atmospheric regulation and life-support systems. Directed scans indicated her environmental control system had failed, but internal cabin pressure was sufficient for human survival, at least for now. Thermal scans indicated internal temperature was low, and dropping rapidly. The marines had to act fast if they were to recover prisoners alive.


The metallic thud of hull-contact rattled the Infiltrator corvette as her external boarding port scraped along the dorsal section of her stern hull, just behind the command tower. Moments later, the thermic penetrators engaged, melting the external hull panels with super-heated helium plasma, before rotating nanopolymer actuators pried the armour panels open and forced the boarding tube into the exposed pressure hull, the process took approximately a minute, after of which the boarding tube connected with the internal atmosphere and a seal was created around the damaged pressure hull using rapidly solidifying nanofoam.


The marines on Talon didn't require any vocal cues over the intercom to know when to deploy, these men and women had trained almost all their careers for marine boarding operations, and while they weren't Crimson, they were still tough-as-nails and held to the extremely high standards of the Imperial Navy Marine Corps. A green light engaged over the bulkhead between the marine compartment and the boarding tube; indicating atmospheric seal had been established and deployment was a-go. Though the marines had pressure-regulated, environmentally sealed suits under their external armour (with approximately 20 minutes of purified oxygen supply internally), atmospheric pressure was preferred due to certain restrictions on movement and weapons discharge in vacuum environments, usually related to pressure loss from internal suit seals after damage from microparticle exposure - self-sealing nanogel layers could deplete fairly quickly in such a situation, reducing the time each marine could safely operate in a combat situation.


Boots slammed on the stricken cruiser's deck, followed by dozens more as the Imperial marines boarded the vessel, fanning out around the fairly open observation compartment above the crew quarters selected for boarding. Helmet-mounted low-light and multi-spectrum optics provided the marines with a fairly high-visibility view of the environment despite the presence of particle dust and lack of deck-lights.


The dozen marines took kneeled positions in defensive locations and awaited orders from the squad leader.

 

(>> TSF-1RR-TFD1, HY2034) TSF-1RR-TFD1, HY2034, Talon 1 Lead: "Base, this is Talon 1 Lead. Boarding successful, we've made contact. Seems like a ship-wide power failure, confirming scans. No crew contact as of yet, Talon is in a defensive position in the aft observation deck, awaiting acknowledgement."

 

(>> TSF-1RR-TFD1, HY2034, Talon 1 Lead) TSF-1RR-TFD1, HY2034: "Understood, Talon 1. Operation is cleared, confirm primary objective: locate and identify the crew, apprehend survivors and extract them alive. Secondary objective: breach the command tower and secure the vessel, extract everything you can from the onboard systems. Do you copy, Talon 1?"

 

(>> TSF-1RR-TFD1, HY2034) TSF-1RR-TFD1, HY2034, Talon 1 Lead: "Solid Copy, base! We're moving out."