Long Shots

“Roger that, inserting into orbit now.  Just waiting coordinates.”  The Pride and Joy was a newly fitted ship and finally had the sensors to read the battle on the planet down below and the reason to want to.

*PoJ, This is Arclight 5.  We are moving into position, will have targeting up in a few, just hang on up there.*

“Roger, Arclight 5, you have quite the crowd up here watching.”  The pilot looked at his scan of the neighborhood and winced.  It was almost crowded enough to worry about collisions.  Frigates from a dozen alliances jockeyed for position to get the best view of the battle below, like kids crowding the stage of a favorite band.

The pilot preened a little.  The others did not know that the ‘rockstar’ had yet to make an appearance.  HE was the true star though nobody had a clue,yet.  But, oh, they would soon enough.

__________________________________

“This is a really risky contract, you know that, right?”  The tech was busy making sure the proper leads were hooked up, then double checking each one.

“Hey, ”  Arclight 5 replied.  “This is why we are getting paid three times for this gig.  The combat op, the test platform above us and the one you should have ready to go by NOW.”

“One chance, one shot.  You do want this to work, right?”  The tech keyed in a sequence.  “Should be good except for final lock and fire.  You are go anytime.”

“Arclight 5 to PoJ, prepare to receive coordinates.”  She sent the orders for the troops engaged to either pull back or dig in and hang on.  Confirmations started coming in immediately.  “PoJ. Targeting sequences transmitted, drop in 60 seconds, on my mark . . . . MARK”

*60 and counting, this is where it gets good.*

The tech laughed.  “He is right about that, but only halfway.”

_________________________________

The pilot copied the targeting to the weapons system and watched the countdown.  He did jump the gun and fire with 20 seconds to go muttering, “Who cares, only Dusties down there anyhow.”

He waited for a minute before sending the question.  “Well?  How did it go?”

________________________________________

The bombardment cannon lit the sky as the fire sequence completed and as a wrath of god sent down from the heavens it struck in the center of the enemy fortified position.  The sound was a almost a secondary weapon as the blast front swept across the battlefield making anyone not prepared for it pause and look back at the rising cloud marking the graves of so many combatants.

Arclight 5’s people were ready and they were up and moving as soon as the shock-wave passed.  The tide of battle had turned irrevocably.  The assault pushed forward and rolled the opposition.

*Well?  How did it go?*

She turned to her tech and nodded as he switched to the second console.  “Target . . . . locked.  Fire sequence in 10, 9,  . . . ”

She smiled as she answered.  “The Mittani says hello”

” . . .2, 1, firing”

From two distant hillside the hidden emplacements fired at the bombarding ship and punched through its armor and shields like they were made of tissue.  The other ships in orbit swiftly scattered and warped off like a flock of birds suddenly startled.

“Who is ‘the Mittani’?  The tech asked as he started to shut down the equipment, passing a recording of the engagement to Arclight 5.

“Beats me.”  She replied.  “Our employer asked me to send that.  As long as he pays the bills, hell, I’ll sing some national anthem if he wants.  This recording is gonna make us rich.  I figure the recording may be of value to more than just the immediate hires.  When we get back to base I will contact some media folks as well as the makers of the weapons.  Maybe they would like reports of actual combat footage as opposed to test ground simulations.

The tech was laughing.  “The podders, always so sure they are the smart ones, the tricky ones.  He didn’t see that coming, did he?”

She looked up at the fireworks that were the remains of the ship falling down into the atmosphere.  “War has a way of changing the rules.  He thought it was funny, shooting down from a safe perch.  I wonder what he thinks now?”

A distance thunder of the battle as it ended was her only answer.

***************************************************************************

Lessons

How smug will we be if we can be engaged by the ground weapons?  With unlimited power and without ship size limitations they have the potential to be down right nasty.

All our promo vids have been Pilots being the fickle gods above but I look forward to the day where the ground shoots back.

This post is an entry ino the Voices from the Void contest.  I’ll let you know if anything comes of it.  (Oh and if you listen to the Voices you will know what ‘The Mittani says hello’ is about.

fly it like you won it

m

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4 Responses to Long Shots

  1. Corelin says:

    It’s not like planets would have more power, available. Wait. Well Planets would have a tougher time radiating heat. Crap. It’s harder to armor and hide things on…. damnit. At least gravity still sucks.

  2. mikeazariah says:

    Planets have a lot of advantages except the inability to move. But anybody fool enough to sit next to one should understand that the chained bear still has a bit of reach.

    m

  3. Naoru Kozan says:

    Very good read. Reminded me of the Rebels Ion Cannon in the Battle of Hoth.

  4. Jerod Trd says:

    There’s a good reason most ‘Planetary defense systems’ are orbital. It’s cheaper and simpler. Planet-based systems have to overcome the planet’s gravity (projectiles, rockets, and I’d think plasma charges (Hybrids) all have mass) this means that they have to…

    1. Reach orbit.
    To achieve orbit you gotta go fast enough long enough to actually GET to your target, that means getting through the atmosphere without dissipating (a problem for laser and plasma defense systems, they will tend to heat and react with atmospheric particles and gasses on the way through), melting (HOW hot did the SR-71 get while cruising around outside of SAM range?) or being intercepted (could defender missiles actually be useful here?).

    2. Hit the target.
    Even in eve online, 250 Km is a long way to aim to shoot some poor bastard, planetary defense is probably gonna be aiming a lot further than that, so accuracy and lag will be a problem.

    3. Survive the return fire.
    This is a last resort, but given the issues of actually hurting your target, odds are he’s gonna shoot back, and orbital mechanics are gonna be in his side, the atmosphere will shield ground installations from some of the impact force, but not enough to make a difference. I can see large shield generators being utilized to protect the batteries, but these are gonna be power hungry SOBs, and probably the first thing targeted by both ground and space forces. Either directly or indirectly.

    In short, don’t think it’s gonna be as easy as point and click, we are still talking CCP here, both sides are gonna be spewing some serious hurt. 🙂

    (P.S. sorry about the wall of text, I like thinking about this sort of stuff, and throwing it at people)

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