Epistolary Experiment (2/30)

FROM: CINCSPIN (CS LIBERTY’S PRICE)
RELAY TO: ALL UNITS, SPINWARD FLEET
COPY TO: CORE COMMAND

***** WILDFIRE WILDFIRE WILDFIRE
***** FLEET CONFIDENTIAL E2048
***** STRATEGIC ACTION MESSAGE

1. THIS MESSAGE CONSTITUTES A WAR ORDER.

2. CINCSPIN DECLARES CASE SABLE, REPEAT, CASE SABLE.

3. AS SUCH, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT F6-UNLIMITED ARE THEREFORE IN EFFECT IN ALL BORDERLINE CONSTELLATIONS: CRIMSON EXPANSE, VANGUARD REACHES, AND CSELL BUFFER.

4. ALL FIXED INSTALLATIONS WITHIN THE AFOREMENTIONED CONSTELLATIONS ARE TO MOVE IMMEDIATELY TO STRATEGIC CONDITION ONE.

5. ALL STARSHIPS EXCEPT THOSE DESIGNATED FOR SCOUT AND PICKET DUTIES UNDER WAR PLAN VIRAGO WILL PROCEED AT BEST SPEED TO THE NEAREST SYSTEM LOCATED ALONG THE BORDERLINE AND FORM AD-HOC TASK FORCES. DISPOSITION SHOULD BE REPORTED IN ON ARRIVAL VIA TANGLE CHANNEL.

6. STARSHIPS DESIGNATED FOR SCOUT AND PICKET DUTIES UNDER WAR PLAN VIRAGO WILL EXECUTE SAID WAR PLAN IMMEDIATELY. THOSE ENCOUNTERING ENEMY FORCES WILL RETREAT IMMEDIATELY TO THE NEAREST UNOCCUPIED SYSTEM AND REPORT IN.

7. THIS INCIDENT IS NOW CODED FERVENT SPAN. TACTICAL AND STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS SHOULD NOW BE DESIGNATED EYES ONLY FERVENT SPAN, AND SHIFT IMMEDIATELY TO ONE-TIME PAD SERIES P337.

8. ALL ACCORD MERCHANT SHIPS ENCOUNTERED SHOULD BE INFORMED OF THE SITUATION AND INSTRUCTED TO RETREAT IMMEDIATELY FROM THE ENGAGEMENT ZONE VIA ISTRIA (CRIMSON EXPANSE), KARAL (VANGUARD REACHES), OR QUOR (CSELL BUFFER). BUNKERAGE WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO EXPEDITE THIS.

9. IN THE ABSENCE OF FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS FROM COMMAND AUTHORITY, INDEPENDENT ACTION IS AUTHORIZED TO COMPLETE MISSION OBJECTIVES OR ELIMINATE TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY.

10. WE’RE AT WAR, GENTLESOPHS. STAND FAST AND STAY LUCKY.

11. AUTHENTICATION FLAME SPROCKET SCORPION CHEESE SERPENT WEASEL / 0x772ED41D88162A3

FLT ADM DAPHNOTARTHIUS, CINCSPIN


 

“This is free trader Fimry Dancer, addressing all merchant starships ships in-system:

Up ship! Up ship, colleagues, and get the hell out-system while the getting’s good. The Vonnie fleet has crossed the border in force at Charach, and they’re not looking t’be diplomatic. Couriers may reach Vonnie assets in this system at any time. Abandon cargo, recall crew, and get under way immediately to avoid internment. Space-control authorities may be compromised at any time. Scatter and proceed independently. The Imperial Navy has offered zero-charge refueling services to all merchant starships making retreat through Karal System.”

“Message repeats. This is free trader Fimry Dancer, addressing all merchant starships…”

– general broadcast, coded to Starfall Arc Free Merchant Confraternity members, Ódeln (Vanguard Reaches)


“Codeword FIREFALL, ARCHANGEL priority. New orders follow:

  1. All leaves and passes are cancelled as of now. All crewmen report to their ships. All troops report to unit headquarters.
  2. Rules of engagement are active as of now. That means: if one of the local Vs or one of their sympathizers tries to stop you reporting in, shoot ’em.
  3. You have three hours.
  4. At planet dusk, prime meridian, all units are activated. Starships will disperse to preestablished locations in the belt and the Shards designated in war plan TERRIER, option FIVE. Marines will disperse to preestablished bases in the mountains west of Ódeln’s inhabited region designated in war plan VIPER, option SEVEN.
  5. Stand by for further orders. Do not engage the enemy unless engaged.
  6. Good luck, everybody.”

– all-hands corporate communication, Interstellar Interceders FK, Ódeln (Vanguard Reaches)


“Eilan Traffic Control to all vessels of Accord or Voniensan registry:

We have received information that a state of military conflict now obtains between the Voniensan Republic and the Accord of Galactic Polities. Therefore, in accordance with directives we have received from the First Military Directorate, all starships of Accord or Voniensan registry, whether military or civil, are ordered to vacate the territorial space of the Free Eilish Confederacy without further delay.

All such starships must be under way within 72 hours, standard time, of this broadcast. Any vessels not actively making their way out of Confederacy territorial space within this time will be interned by the Confederacy for the duration of the conflict. Voniensan starships will be permitted passage via spinward stargates and Accord starships permitted passage via trailing stargates only.

Any attempt to engage vessels of other powers within Confederacy territorial space or within one million miles of the stargates leading out of Confederacy territorial space will be responded to with deadly force by the Confederate Navy.”

– general space-control broadcast, Eilan (Crimson Expanse)

Epistolary Experiment (1/30)

FROM: BORDERLINE DEFENSE MATRIX (107 – CHARACH)
RECEIVED AT: BORDERLINE DEFENSE MATRIX COMMAND
RELAY TO: CINCSPIN (CS LIBERTY’S PRICE)

***** EXPEDIENT
***** FLEET CONFIDENTIAL E256
***** SITREP

INCURSION INCURSION

TRANSIT DETECTED REPEAT TRANSIT DETECTED SIGNIFICANTLY EXCEEDING TREATY PARAMETERS AT REPUBLIC GATE, CHARACH SYSTEM.

MORE FOLLOWS.

AUTHENTICATION ROSE FLARE GALL DIADEM GALLANT CREEK / 0xAC2243D0E891B336

ENDS.


FROM BORDERLINE DEFENSE MATRIX (107 – CHARACH)

RECEIVED AT: BORDERLINE DEFENSE MATRIX COMMAND
RELAY TO: CINCSPIN (CS LIBERTY’S PRICE)

***** EXPEDIENT
***** FLEET CONFIDENTIAL E256
***** SITREP

INCURSION INCURSION

TRANSITS REPEAT TRANSITS DETECTED. MULTIPLE MILITARY VESSELS HAVE MADE TRANSIT THROUGH REPUBLIC GATE, CHARACH SYSTEM.

ESTIMATED TASK FORCE STRENGTH INCLUDES >45 SHIPS OF THE PLANE AND MULTIPLE SUPPORT VESSELS.

MAJORITY OF TASK FORCE PROCEEDING ON BRACHISTOCHRONE –

<signal terminated at source>

AUTHENTICATION ROSE FLARE GALL DIADEM GALLANT CREEK / 0xAC2243D0E891B336

ENDS.


FROM: BORDERLINE DEFENSE MATRIX COMMAND

TO: CINCSPIN (CS LIBERTY’S PRICE)

***** WILDFIRE WILDFIRE WILDFIRE
***** FLEET CONFIDENTIAL E256
***** CONFIRMATORY

INCURSION INCURSION

BORDEFMATCOM CONFIRMS DESTRUCTION OF DEFENSE MATRIX STATITE 107, CHARACH SYSTEM, BY HOSTILE FORCES.

IN THE LIGHT OF THIS AND ONGOING ANALYSIS, OUR CONFIDENCE IN DATA RECEIVED IS HIGH. REPEAT, CONFIDENCE IS HIGH.

RECOMMEND PROVISIONAL CASE SABLE.

MORE FOLLOWS.

AUTHENTICATION GOLD SANGUINE SCEPTER ICE NAIAD TYPHOON / 0x66C397DAE455411B

ENDS.

Welcome to the Seam

“The Seam” refers to the region of the Associated Worlds in direct contact with the Voniensa Republic, consisting of the Crimson Expanse, the Vanguard Reaches, and Csell Buffer constellations on our side of the border, and Vonis 31, Vonis 36, and Vonis 41 on the Republic side.  The Borderline arterial runs down our side from Istria (Crimson Expanse) to Quor (Csell Buffer) via Karal (Vanguard Reaches), and those three systems have Imperial naval depots in them.  They’re safe.

The Borderline route and the links back into the rest of the Worlds are heavily patrolled.  They’re mostly safe, as are some of the systems other navies base out of – depending on where you’re from, of course – and the freesoil world Ódeln (Vanguard Reaches), the principal entrepôt between the Republic and the Worlds.

The rest of the Seam?  Well, it’s a nice place for pirates and perversions, raiders and Renegades, and smugglers, snakeheads, and spies.  Also unbonded mercs, slavers, black labs, blacknet nodes, survivalists, the crazier kind of cult colony, and everyone else with a good reason not to be found – and the people trying to find them.  And it’s a not so nice place for the law, insurance companies, and anyone who’s not a walking arsenal.

No, not like the worst bits of the Expansion Regions.  Worse than that.  With the Conclave and the Republic staring each other down across the border, waiting for each other to blink, and twitching every time a decent-sized military ship moves towards the Supposedly Demilitarized Border Zone, no-one’s investing any time in bringing civilization or even keeping the peace hereabouts.

Good places to visit in the Seam?  If you fit any of the above description, you already know where you’re going.  If you don’t, for the love of Flame and Star, go somewhere else.  Even if you’re fixing to die, Nepscia’s cheaper.

– Around the Worlds on ¤1,000 per Sol