Rise of the Remorhaz Society|
Written by Sachmo
Give him Feedback at Here at Shrapnel Forums
Bright lights shone down from the roof of the cavernous space yard and played across the sleek surface of the craft. Scores of technicians, scientists, and laborers packed the slip, watching and holding their breath as their creation hummed to life. Chairman Sachmo gazed down on the scene from the control blister. This was the culmination of the greatest scientific efforts ever seen on Remorhaz. Sachmo smiled. It was destiny. Sachmo was determined to push Remorhaz into space. The glory of Old Earth would be reborn.
After years of trial and effort, it was now beginning. As the final checks were completed, the throng of spectators filed back into the airlocks. Once all were safely inside, air inside of the space yard was bled out, and the huge airlock began to open. Soon, the RSS Eagle would launch. She was the first spacecraft in what Sachmo hoped would be the most powerful fleet ever created. She would discover new planets for Remorhaz to colonize, and defend these worlds against all comers. She would lead them into the future.
RSS Eagle lifted from her berth, and silently ignited her main engines. Slowly she guided her nose out of the space yard. After her initial 3-week shakedown cruise, she would head for the first of 3 wormholes present in the solar system. Radio telescopes confirmed that there were planets out there, but what (or who) would be on them was a mystery.
Still, there was no time for Chairman Sachmo to rest. He heaped praise on the staff of the space yard, for it was well deserved. They had been working at a feverish pace for the last 3 years just to get Eagle together. Checks, simulations, and setbacks…they had overcome it all. It wasn't over for them. Construction continued on the second Eagle Class System Patrol Craft, and soon after that the first Colony Ship would be built. No, their work had only just begun, but the Chairman had every faith in them. The Remorhaz were excellent builders, and they would turn out a fleet to meet whatever needs would arise.
The shakedown cruise was eventful for the crew of the RSS Eagle. On the second day out, at maximum thrust, the main computer core went offline. That gave Captain Jager a bit of a scare, as the ship had to maneuvered manually while the core was brought back up. Of course, the crew survived this, and came through with flying colors. The test firing of the main gun was a bit nerve-wracking, as they compensators didn't absorb as much of the recoil as they were theorized to, and the result was a cracked seal around the main gun housing. There were no major problems, however, and all of the decencies were corrected before the start of the mission. Captain Jager requested additional supply storage, and so they techs scrambled to make room for the extra gear.
Before Captain Gina Jager knew it, it was the night before the mission. She couldn't get rid of the butterflies in her stomach. On thought kept going through her mind…IN THEORY. IN THEORY the gravity wells should allow the ship to survive passage through the wormhole. IN THEORY they should be able to return through the wormhole through which they had come. IN THEORY there should be no intelligent species within a million light years the solar system. Jager had dealt with theories before. The theory of the inversion drive had killed her fiancé. The early theory of inertial dampers had cost her the lives of many friends. It was understandable that she was a little nervous. "Nothing to be done", she muttered to herself. She decided to take a long shower, since she knew that she would not sleep tonight. In fact, she wasn't sure when she would be able to sleep.
RSS Eagle slipped from the berth the next day, intent on making history with her crew. First through a wormhole, first to see another solar system, first to spend an extended time in a spacecraft. How many firsts would the Eagle survive?
The crew settled into the routine of space travel. Most of the time, the crew's main enemy was boredom. Out in open space, there weren't many obstacles to worry about, so the crew spent most of the time monitoring a screen while Eagle sped them along for their date with destiny. Drills, exercises and simulations filled their days. Jager wanted to be sure that the crew was ready for anything. They were the best that Remorhaz had to offer, but they were green. For that matter, everyone was green!
At the end of the 4th week, the wormhole appeared on the edge of the scanners. The crew began the last minute preparations for the trip. Jager could feel the sweat beading on her palms. Quickly she threw into any project she could find, to take her mind off the fact that she, her crew, and Eagle could be torn apart by the gravity of the wormhole.
Hours pass, and still the wormhole drew closer. All was ready…they just had to ride it out. Jager glanced at her XO. He was sweating more than she. "Good, I'm not the only one", she thought. The XO flashed her a weak, but brave smile. 5 minutes to contact. Everything was in the green. The helmsman was calling out readings, as was the sensor station. Everything was as it should be. 30 seconds…Jager's heart began to beat so hard it felt as if it would fly out of her chest. She took a few deep breaths, and tried to calm down. The wormhole filled the forward window. Before she could call out for a status check, they were in…
Captain Gina Jager knew she was dead. First, she saw a brilliant white light. Then, she felt herself floating and time seemed to stand still. "Well, I'm glad it didn't hurt." Only it did hurt. Suddenly and severely, everything hurt. Her entire body felt as if it had collapsed in on itself, and then just as suddenly felt as if it were going to burst. Just as suddenly as it had come, it was over. Captain Jager suddenly remembered to open her eyes. She could see the bridge, and her crew, and the inky blackness of space.
"Captain, we made it!" Gina heard her XO shout. He was right, they were alive. She struggled to regain her composure. Gina toggled the intercom.
"All sections, report. I want a thorough search of your entire section. Let me know about anything that seems amiss, no matter how small."
Suddenly the bridge became alive with activity.
"Nav, I want you to be absolutely sure that this is the Koltan system. Helm, take us in on full ion."
The navigation officer snapped to it. Gina smiled as she sat back in the captain's chair. She checked her timepiece. The entire trip through the wormhole took less than a second. "I'll be a son of a gun", she thought, "The damn gizmo works."
Chairman Sachmo leaned back in his chair, gazing out of the window. Two hours since Eagle went into the wormhole. All that the scientists could confirm was that she wasn't destroyed going into the wormhole. Other than that, they had no answers. He steepled his fingers on his chin, thinking about how much work would be lost if the gravity wells couldn't withstand the stress of the wormhole.
"Mr. Chairman?" the com console chirped.
"We received a communication from FSS Eagle, sir. They made it."
"Sir, they found…eh, something in the system."
"Well, we are trying to confirm, but it seems the entire Koltan system is overrun with some sort of…organic infestation."
"I don't understand. How can entire solar system be…infested?"
"Sir, we aren't sure of that, but it seems that the Koltan system is worthless to anyone but scientists."
"Thank you, Major. Please let me know what you find."
This grand step for the Remorhaz Society was off to a very poor start.
One month later, the second Eagle Class System Patrol Ship was launched from the Space Yard. The plans to start a colony ship were put on hold with the discovery of the infestation of the Koltan system. There were no suitable worlds found to colonize, so priorities were shifted to exploration.
Meanwhile, the Remorhaz scientists focused on Ship Construction technology. They felt a breakthrough imminent.
In 2400.2, the RSS Falcon became the second ship to travel through a wormhole. Aside from the unpleasant physical effects reported by Captain Jager and her crew, there were no ill effects. Upon entering the Nekron System, the Falcon immediately set word back to Remorhaz of the discovery of two suitable worlds:
1. Nekron V, a medium rock planet with an oxygen atmosphere
2. Nekron I, a small rock planet with an oxygen atmosphere.
Neither planet showed any abundance of minerals or radioactives, but Nekron I did appear to possess excellent farmland, and would be used as an organics farming colony as soon as possible.
Also present in system were Nekron II and VIII, both rock world but with unsuitable atmospheres. If they were to be colonized, they would have to be shielded by a protective dome, thus limiting the usefulness of the planet.
Meanwhile, Captain Jager and the Eagle were continuing on to the next system through another wormhole.
2400.3 saw the launching of the RSS Hawk, the last of the initial line of Eagle Class System Patrol Ships. Immediately, the Remorhaz space yard began construction of a Colony Ship. The scientists also discovered how to create a larger hull size, and Chairman Sachmo immediately ordered Admiral Urian to design a Frigate to give the fleet some firepower. The result was the Nemesis Class Frigate, and production was queued up for immediate work as soon as the Colony Ship was complete. Chairman Sachmo "suggested" that Admiral Urian hold the command of the initial Nemesis for Captain Jager, in honor of her achievements. The Falcon became the first craft to explore 2 systems. The Yullado System was a poor star, with only one suitable planet for colonizing, Yullado II was a medium rock planet but had a methane atmosphere. On the upside, it appeared that the planet had an above average mineral content.
Meanwhile, Captain Jager finished the "jump" into the Zanthris System, which held nothing more than an asteroid field and 3 stars.
In 2400.4, Captain R.J. Brennan jumped into the Organtrix System. Immediately, the sensors on RSS Hawk screamed in warning.
"Sensors, what have we got?", R.J. shouted.
"Captain, we have exited the wormhole right in the trail of a gas core. The sensors misread the cloud as a huge mass of foreign objects. I've compensated for the density of the cloud, but we might want to report this to the techies back home. It scared me to death."
"You and me both, Sensors."
Captain Brennan tried to calm his nerves. What a way to finish your first jump!
By the end of the day, sensors confirmed Organtrix as another useless system.
Back in the capitol, Chairman Sachmo went over the resource figures. Remorhaz possessed a good surplus of minerals, organics, and radioactives, but as the fleet grew, so did the demand for these resources. He considered rushing the production of the colony ship, but then decided to let the work proceed as planned. "We should be fine for the year.", he thought. Meanwhile, the scouts continued exploring the galaxy, looking for a solid planet to colonize.
2400.5 saw the exploration of two new systems, a scientific breakthrough, and the construction of a colony ship.
Captain Jager and Eagle jumped into the Hollifax system, and beheld a sight that took their breath away. The system was empty of planets, as any matter within the system must have been swept up into the process taking place in the center of the system; the birth of a star. At least this system would yield valuable scientific information for the scientists back home to help them unlock the mysteries of the universe, but in practical terms, the system was dead. Jager reported her finding back to Remorhaz, and continued on. She started thinking about home. She knew her crew was getting tired and restless, and the supplies wouldn't hold out forever. With a sigh, she made her decision. A couple of more months, then we head back. She knew the crew would stick with her…at least she hoped they would.
Back on Remorhaz, the entire planet watched as the huge colony ship set out for Nekron V, which would be the first planet colonized by the Remorhaz Society. Also, the scientists had just discovered a more efficient depleted uranium cannon, with increased range and lethality. Admiral Urian wanted to get them on the ships as soon as possible. The scientist's next task was to try and create a ship mounted repair bay. Also, the Naval Bureau decided to design a multi-purpose transport that could move people and supplies to the new colony, but could also deploy defense satellites if needed.
Two new systems explored:
Neither system contained planets with breathable atmospheres, but there were some large rock planets rich in resources. Chairman Sachmo decided that they might just have to resort to colonizing these places. It would be hard on the colonists, but they would survive. Possibly the payoff would be worth the trouble and expense. With the added resources, maybe the scientists could concentrate on terraforming. Meanwhile, RSS Eagle, running short of supplies, started for home.
The colony ship brought itself into orbit around Nekron V and began deploying the colony modules. Once deployed, the craft brought itself down in a gentle decent. The entire colony ship was designed to deploy into usable resources for the colonists. The first colonists stepped off of the colony ship, and a Remorhaz flag was planted in light, frosted ground. The first Remorhaz colony was born.
They named the planet Glory.
Chairman Sachmo watched the replay on the com unit. A warmth passed through his body. "This is our destiny", he thought. "It's all coming together."
On Glory, the colonists set up their living areas and began assembling all of the facilities required to survive on this new world. They began building a Space Port to facilitate transport craft coming and going from the surface of the planet.
Back on Remorhaz, the fleet had a new flagship; the RSS Nemesis. Admiral Urian was ecstatic. In a grand ceremony, Captain Jager took command. There was much celebrating and eating of fruits, and vegetables, and antelope, and wildebeest, and or…never mind.
Meanwhile, in the newly explored Fezzran System, two small, oxygen atmosphere planets were discovered. Fezzran looked to be particularly rich in both minerals and radioactives. Remorhaz immediately began working on a new Colony Ship.
"I have a bad feeling about this."
"Pardon me, Chairman?" Admiral Urian looked confused.
"Nothing, nothing. I was just thinking about defense."
"Sir, I have drawn up plans for a new defense satellite design, and General Werman has been tinkering with a weapons platform capable of defending the planet from the surface."
Chairman Sachmo looked up from his plate. The light from Velocitas Prime shown down on the balcony where the Chairman and the Admiral were taking their lunch.
"Admiral, do you think that we are alone in the galaxy?"
The Admiral thought for a moment, started to speak, then paused again. After a few moments, he spoke.
"Sir, eight months ago, I would have told you yes, and I would have believed it. Since then I have seen entire systems infested with organic infestations, witnessed the birth of a star, and watched an entire gas giant hurl itself through space. Sir, there is just too much that I don't understand for me to believe that we are alone here. Who, or what they might be, I have no idea, but I hope they're friendly."
Chairman Sachmo laughed. "I feel pretty much the same way. That's why I have this nagging suspicion that we should be preparing for our defense, in case they aren't friendly."
The Admiral straightened. "Then should we proceed with the construction of the weapons platforms and defense satellites, Sir?"
"Yes, but let's not lose site of the main goal of colonization."
The men went back to their lunch, making small talk and trying not to think about the uncertainties that were sure to come up.
Captain Jager smiled as the RSS Nemesis cut smoothly through the darkness of space. Just a few days ago, Nemesis had accounted well for herself in a simulated hit and run attack by three System Patrol Ships. Nemesis' missiles took out two of the SPC before they could get into guns range, and while the third got a few licks in, Nemesis was ultimately able to destroy her, too. It made Gina a bit sad, as one of those System Patrol Ships was her old command, RSS Eagle. They hadn't been together too long, and her former XO, now Captain Hanks was a fine skipper, but she felt a bit out of touch with her new crew. They were promising, but as green as the plains of Glory. Currently, she was taking on a shakedown/routine patrol, and things were going well. She wondered how long that would last.
The scientists created the ship mounted repair bay. They began their next project; ground attack weapons. Chairman Sachmo was serious about preparing for anything. This month also marked the first production shortage of the empire. The reserves were holding, but they would not last another entire year.
Nemesis discovered the Wurtuy System, which was almost entirely filled with asteroid fields.
Glory constructed their Space Port, allowing the import and export of resources. The Society was running at a surplus again. The colonists began the work that they had been trained to do…mining.
Captain Jager and the RSS Nemesis enter the Xillantha System and collect planet data. Five rock worlds, small, without breathable atmosphere. Captain Jager is discussing the next hop with her XO and Nav officers when she hears her Sensor Officer, in a very weak voice, call her over.
"C-C-Captain? I have an unknown contact just completing the jump into the system."
The bridge suddenly got very, very quiet.
"Sensor, did you say unknown?"
"Yes Captain. Bearing 120. It's definitely a ship, Cap'n. I just don't know who's."
"Alright people, let's get this in gear! XO, sound general quarters! Sensor, you let me know if that contact does anything, copy? Sparks, send a standard hail at that ship. They probably won't be able to understand us, but it's worth a shot."
The bridge got very noisy, very fast.
Contact had been made, but who were they.
Also, as the Admiral and the Chairman were so curious about, were they friendly?
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Written by Sachmo
Give him Feedback at Here at Shrapnel Forums
Copyright © by the author, posted with permission.
Published on: 2003-08-08 (58629 reads)[ Go Back ] - [ Fan Fiction ] - [ Content Home ]