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Stand at Carpo (Text Version)
And picking things up where we left off...

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote: “Sir.” Comm-Lt. Davidenko spoke. “The enemy is already passing by Carpo on their trajectory. Within the next two minutes, we will be making our manoeuvre.”

“Perfect.” Cdr. Toparev replied, then chuckled. He turned to Combat-Lt. Aliyev after transmitting via laser communications Davidenko’s findings.

“Aliyev!” he alerted the Lieutenant. “Deploy kinetic mines.”

“Understood, Commander!” he responded in kind.

Why is he chuckling? Also, who is he transmitting information to?

The term 'findings' is usually used in connection with scientific or forensic research of some kind. It feels a little off being used in this context. I'd suggest using a different term.

Finally, when you say that the Lieutenant 'responded in kind' what do you mean by that? What has Toparev said or done that would justify responding in the same way?

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote: The kinetic mines were deployed into the trajectory UNAPA was going to take as they approached Carpo. Carpo was a very uninhabited moon with little of note. It was three kilometres in diameter and they were a few dozen kilometres in distance relative to it, and by the time those mines were deployed, Task Force 12 was already in the process of conducting its approach.

Task Force 12 began conducting the manoeuvre, retracted the primary radiators, and their primary engines began to roar. In reality, these engines would not be heard in a vacuum, but the “roaring”was felt by the crew as the engines began their work. Of course, the manoeuvre took some time to complete with the primary engines, despite their deceleration having recently finished earlier, and then they began their approach.

This section is kind of hard to understand. Meaning, it's not really clear what they are doing or why. The description of Carpo would probably work better earlier in the story, probably during the military briefing scene.

Also, how powerful are you thinking these engines are and why would they be vibrating the ship like this? One of our members recently did some work updating our pages on fusion and amat rockets and by and large they are low thrust (accelerations in tenths or hundredths of a gravity) due to waste heat and other issues.

Even with a drive capable of much higher accelerations, it's not clear that there would be a lot of vibration produced. Why would this be the case? An ionized plasma reacting against a magnetic field doesn't seem likely to produce a lot of vibration, let alone enough to producing a 'roaring' effect.

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote:
Meanwhile, the UNSDV Beowulf had detected the manoeuvre and the craft, along with the rest of the Task Force’s SDVs prepared for combat and the SCVs were given the order to take evasive manoeuvres.

“Sir!” spoke Rec-Lt. Zhang to Cdr. Schneider. “We have incoming bogies and several mines on our trajectory.”

“Damn it.” Schneider spoke to himself, trying to hide his emotions. “We have to pick our vectors carefully.”

Why couldn't they detect the TF-12 ships long before they got to this point? If they can detect incoming ships and mines, why can't they take evasive action (my sense was that the mines were on passive trajectories and so just moving a few km in the right direction would cause the mines to just fly on past harmlessly. Alternatively, why don't the ships have point defense systems to intercept incoming mines or missiles?

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote: Ramirez entered the CIC and turned to Schneider.

“Commander” he said. “Status report.”

“We have a minefield and multiple enemies on approach”

“Well then.” Ramirez replied. “If they want a fight, we can give them one they will never leave alive.” He activated the craft’s radio transmitter.

“All craft, I have two orders: one, avoid those mines at all costs and two, ready your weapons…...” he spoke into the radio and awaited for the weapons to be within range of the computer systems. The computer gave the firing solution a few moments later.“ ….and FIRE!”

Suggest you drop all mention of 'firing solutions'. This is not submarine warfare.

Suggest tweaking this last paragraph. It sounds rather stilted. For one thing, what else would he be speaking into?

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote: The coilguns in each SOV fired their kinetic slugs out the barrels and at a high speed, they were sent flying into the enemy.

This sentence is overly detailed (for lack of a better term). Basically it tells the reader a bunch of things they can probably already figure out or would already know (being SF fans). There are few, if any, guns that operate by firing a projectile into their barrels or at low speed. I realize you are wanting to be descriptive, but I'd recommend cutting this down to something like 'The coilguns locked on and sent a stream of kinectic slugs flying into the enemy formation.'

Or something like that.

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote:
“Incoming enemy fire!” said Comm-Lt. Ivchenko on the BKK Reaper’s CIC as UNAPA fired its coilguns.

“All craft” spoke Guskov over the radio. “Launch 30 drones, 2 each hostile craft and RETURN FIRE!”

So TF-12, with only about six ships, is going up against a fleet of 15 craft, each of equal or greater firepower? And is going to destroy them all? This seems somewhat unlikely.

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote: Task Force 12’s own kinetic slugs fired out the barrels and at high speed. However, the drones were also being launched, and they used their main stages, all gas core nuclear thermal engines, to accelerate in the direction of the enemy and change their trajectory.

The enemy drone carriers later on launched their drones and the two sides had their drones and kinetic slugs flying past them, with each side’s pilots trying their best to avoid damage or destruction.

Pretty much the same issues I raised before:

a) Why didn't the UN fleet detect TF-12 long before this point?

b) Why not take evasive action such that all the passive stuff just flies by?

c) Why no point defenses to destroy incoming weapons fire?

On a different note, how far out from Jupiter is all this happening and how far apart are these fleets?

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote:
After nearly 9 to 10 minutes, the drones began their approach, and depleted their main stage propellant. The fairings were separated, and the terminal attack stages were decoupled from the main stage. As they approached, the stages were within range of the SDeVs, which partially opened the combat mirrors and fired their lasers. These lasers, however, were not visible at all. In fact, the beams, even in visible light would never be visible outside an atmosphere. They were fired at 20 km of distance from the approach of the stages and within seconds, many of those stages were destroyed and those that were not, slammed into the enemy craft, either directly or after a period of course corrections. When it did, though…..BOOM!

Too much exposition here. Need to pare this down significantly. A lot of what's here is either saying too much or being too vague.

Why 'nearly 9-10 minutes'?

Just say the lasers are invisible in vacuum and leave it at that. No need to talk about never being visible in an atmosphere.

Why only deploy lasers at 20km distance? Even now we are close to or at the ability to shoot a down missiles with lasers over greater distances than this. Surely they could do much better hundreds of years in the future.

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote:
The alerts flashed on the tactical operations screen of the CIC, with the UNSDV Lazarus, the UNSCV Harry Truman, the UNSDV Shieldbearer, the UNSDV Nikolai Rhyzkov, the UNSDV Colossus and the UNSDV Robert Oppenheimer all physically obliterated by the sheer kinetic energy of a few simple tungsten rods. Ramirez, Schneider and Reed were all there in the bridge, the first who then spoke.

So six UN ships are destroyed in the first volley? But only 3 in TF-12? Why is that, other than dramatic effect? These ships seem singularly useless in the war fighting department. This seems highly unlikely for various reasons.

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote: “All craft, casualty report.” he spoke via the radio transmitters.

“Vice Marshall” spoke Cdr. Mei of the UNSDV Tokugawa. “We lost at least 50% of our forces. We still have 2 SCVs left, but we have taken heavy losses.”

Why is everyone in command some form of Marshall in this universe? It seems odd. Beyond that, why is it necessary for all the ships to 'manually' report damage and casualties like some sort of WWII story? They should all be networked together and feeding real-time updates to the command ship on a constant basis. For that matter, why are there command ships, when with proper networking all the command functions could be spread across all the ships, or you could have a set up where command can shift to any surviving ship if the command ship is destroyed?

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote: “Damn it” said Reed in the background. Ramirez then spoke.

“Gentlemen, we have several mines incoming and a rebel Task Force closing in. I want all remaining craft to initiate evasive manoeuvres and fire all available weapons. Whatever you do, keep firing and do not stop for any reason other than friendly fire. Got it?”

First off, there are no female commanders in this future? Second, why didn't they do this from the very beginning instead of just sitting there and getting pounded for no good reason?

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote: “Understood Vice Marshall.” spoke Cdr. David of the UNSDV Leviathan and the rest of the Task Force’s SDeVs and SOVs. The engines roared and they began their combat manoeuvre, all while trying to avoid the mines ahead. And it was not easy trying to avoid those mines and maintain a good approach angle.

The mines should actually be trivially easy to avoid since all they need to do is fly laterally for a few tens of km and they will avoid all of them. Carpo is about 17 million km from Jupiter, so they have lots of room to refine their trajectory before they get anywhere near the main moons.

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote:
At the same time, the CIC onboard the BKK Death Dragon was flaring up with casualty reports, as the terminal attack stages released by hostile drones wiped out the BKK Reaper, the BKK Fireball and the BKK Hellfire. The ECM and the SDeVs were able to keep them off, but things were not looking good.

“Sir!” Davidenko spoke. His tone then turned to concern. “We lost the BKK Reaper.”

If incoming fire has wiped out half the task force, things are looking a lot worse than 'not good'.

Also, you don't need to include the 'BKK' (or whatever the UN equivalent is) every time a ship is named. It serves no purpose and annoys the reader.

And you tell the reader that the Reaper was destroyed twice. Suggest you drop or modify the sentence where a crewman tells the character about this when you've already told the audience. For that matter, as mentioned above, a real-time display could do this far more effectively.

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote: “Crap!” Cdr. Toparev replied in frustration. He did not consider the circumstances, but given the craft is physically destroyed, the likely scenario was that the Lieutenant Marshall was either reduced to particles or is a floating corpse in the vacuum of space, surrounded by lethal shrapnel and space junk. The battle-hardened veteran then cleared his head.

This section is mainly one long and garbled sentence. Suggest you break it up and rewrite it to make it clearer.

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote: “Gentlemen?” he spoke before the CIC and the rest of the crew. He then turned to the radio transmitter. “This is Lt. Marshall Yuri Mikhailovich Toparev. I am currently taking command of the remaining craft of Task Force 12. I want all survivors to report.”

“BKK Strength of Jupiter reporting.” Abdulov said via the radio transmitters.

“BKK Hand of Svarog, awaiting orders.” Kalinin said via the radio transmitters.

The entire crew of the ship is in the CIC (what does that mean btw?) so he can talk to them all at once? And why does he need to get everyone's attention before talking into the radio?

Also, you really don't need to tell the reader they are communicating via radio transmitters every time they do.

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote: “Then I have new orders” Toparev replied via the radio transmitter.

“Sir!” Davidenko barked to Toparev.”We have multiple bogies beginning their attack run!” Toparev turned away from the radio transmitter for a few moments.

“Well, then…..” he said confidently and turned back to the radio transmitter. “All craft, initiate combat manoeuvres and ready all weapons.” He then turned to the Vice Commander “Savvin? The BKK Death Dragon is yours now—Commander.”

“Understood, Lieutenant Marshall.” he replied with a crisp military salute. “You can count on me to lead us out alive.”

“I trust you will, Commander.” Toparev replied. “Now, contact the bridge in the Command Module. We need those engines running to engage the enemy. Lt. Aliyev, are we within range?”

First off, how are these orders any different from the first batch that were given?

Second, how can they not be detecting (or expecting) incoming fire long before this?

Third, you keep introducing new characters on both sides of this conflict every time there is a conversation. This simply fills up space with new names the reader needs to remember, but probably won't bother to because we know nothing about them (since they've just been introduced) and don't care yet (and based on experience we're never going to see most of them again so why should we?). You would do better to have a small cadre of main and secondary characters with names who handle the bulk of all dialog in the story. That gives the reader someone to care about instead of just another 2d name cutout that appears, says half a dozen words, and is never seen again.

Fourth, what is the Command Module, and when did it's engines stop working? This is never mentioned before this point.

(05-13-2016, 01:52 AM)Ace009 Wrote: “Yes, Commander.” he replied. “Specifically, we are talking at a range of 15,000 km and getting closer. That is the majority of the enemy craft, all SDVs, whereas the remaining SCVs and hostile Drone Carriers are attempting to stay behind.”

“Alright, good enough.” he replied to Aliyev. He then began to give orders to the fleet. “All weapons, fire on my signal.”

The craft on both sides began their next approach, even with dozens of depleted uranium slugs of ammunition (with their shrapnel) being affected by the ECM systems while their engines roared in order to get a precise approach vector and then fire their volleys of ammunition. It took them some time, of course, as they approached a distance of 5,000 km relative to each other, they began to aim their coilguns at each other, and when they did, the barrages of ammunition began to be released from their coilguns, Over a period of four minutes, the two sides would begin to receive the opponent’s barrage of weapons fire, and their ECM systems and the SDeVs would do everything to keep them away from the craft. These slugs were a problem, especially when they used a shrapnel shell-type method.

What sort of ECM systems can stop inert projectiles?

Also, for these ships to be where they are, they must be moving at tens or hundreds of km per sec. They really can't make repeated passes at each other like dogfighting aircraft. Unless TF-12, accelerated out here, slowed down, and accelerated back in toward Jupiter on the same trajectory as the UN fleet until they matched speed (all of which would be very very visible), then they are essentially moving toward or past each other at very high speed such that their closest approach will likely last no more than a few seconds.

So, it's not clear that this sort of battle is even physically possible. At least in the way currently described.

I'm going to stop here, because the remainder of the story has pretty much just more of the same issues as I've already pointed out previously.

I credit you for aiming to do a hard science fiction story, but there are a number of issues (scientific and otherwise) that need to be resolved or corrected in order for this to be a story that is both hard SF and a pleasure to read.

I think you can get there, but it will take some rewriting and changing things around some.

My 2c worth,


Messages In This Thread
Stand at Carpo (Text Version) - by Ace009 - 05-13-2016, 01:52 AM
RE: Stand at Carpo (Text Version) - by Drashner1 - 05-13-2016, 12:41 PM
RE: Stand at Carpo (Text Version) - by Drashner1 - 05-14-2016, 11:36 PM
RE: Stand at Carpo (Text Version) - by Drashner1 - 05-16-2016, 12:43 AM
RE: Stand at Carpo (Text Version) - by Drashner1 - 05-16-2016, 12:28 PM
RE: Stand at Carpo (Text Version) - by Drashner1 - 05-19-2016, 01:05 PM
RE: Stand at Carpo (Text Version) - by Drashner1 - 05-20-2016, 01:32 PM

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