Major Reagan rubbed his eight-day old beard in frustration. The Kommand had obtained good intelligence about the movements of a Fed-Atlantic special operations team, but a snowstorm had delayed his units march through the mountains.
Usually, the weather in the Rocky Mountains played into his favor and it was infuriating to be on the other side of the table.
“Intelligence decays exponentially, I doubt we are going find anything. My scouts should be back shortly. KOMMAND, COUNTRY, GOD. Reagan out.” Reagan had been talking to a Kommand dispatch officer through a hardwired handset. The Kommand had run old style telephone cables underground all over their territory. If you knew where to find one, all you had to was dig a little hole, splice in and you had communication unsnooppable without a direct line.
The phone placed back into the hand of his unit’s Televiper, Reagan stepped out of the camouflaged command tent and looked down into the small alpine valley before him. The storm hadn’t hit this side of the mountain and everything was green and still. The tree cover in that relatively small space before him was so dense and the ground so uneven that he wasn’t afforded a direct line of sight to any space large enough to stash a Fed-A VTOL destroyer. Reagan was certain that even though the intelligence said it had been there eight days ago, it was gone now or worse air borne ready to drop cloak and strafe his ass.
Coming up the slope at Reagan’s feet was a form; indistinguishable in color from the surrounding rocks, tree trunks and evergreen needles. Reagan was not alarmed. The form was Sargent Polk a member of Lieutenant Nixon’s scouting platoon. The short enlisted man removed his veil like helmet to reveal a pasty baldhead glistening with sweat. “Kommand, Country, God” saluted the thirty some year old solider.
Reagan assumed that Polk’s presence meant that Nixon was still securing the former location of the Fed-A team looking for listening devices or sleeper bots. “Report Sargent, what did the Fed’s leave us this time.”
“We were ambushed Major, only Jefferson and I got out. We found their camp this morning spent, two hours observing, thought we went undetected, then started to head back. They chased us far as our sentry guns, turned away just before they got in range.”
Reagan smiled in spite of losing 26 good Merican men. He smiled because he would avenge them. He brought with him a new weapon, something the Fed-As would not suspect. Something that knock a Fed-A destroyer out existence with one shot. “What kind of unit is it. How were they armed?”
Polk eyes sparked to life and slavia collected at the corners of his mouth as he started speaking rapidly, “They were wearing encounter suits, some had Mark 15 some had Mark 16s. Interestingly the Mark 16 was designed with an eye back towards the original Mk. I encounter suit. It was cheap, it was made of a single layer or reactive material, with some double layer reinforcement over vital areas and the boots and gauntlets were basic armored but non-reactive material, and the helmet supported minimal function beyond imaging, short range communication, and air filtration. The Mark 16 cost a fraction of what the Mark 14/15 cost and was an instant success among lower end operations. Professional security companies, corporate security companies, and other emergency responder organizations bough the suit in large numbers. They liked the protection, but didn't need the fancy gadgets or highfalutin styling. Street cops wore 16s, and it became synonymous with law enforcement, or the One-Six as referred to by officers. This is very different from the Mark 15. The Mark 15 is a slightly heavier version of the Mark 14, and retained many of it's features, and it had an improved thermoablative resistant material bringing it's laser and energy weapon resistance up to match improvements in laser and energy weapons. The Helmet, gauntlets, and boots are reinforced, and a utility belt/harness were added. The Mark 15 is commonly used by marines and other infantry not equipped with power armor suits, as the harness could be easily swapped out with heavier military equipment, and the SmartWire system and helmet targeting system worked with anything from civilian light pistols to infantry squad support weapons. The Mark 15 saw greater use on the Moon, Mars, and other non-terrestrial locations.”
Reagan started to thank the Sargent when the short awkward man began to relay another piece of information. “We also saw a UAC standard Multi-Role Power Armor Suit. The UAC Mk. 35 is the best example of the jack of all trades power armor suit. It has medium grade armor plating, and isn't designed for any single specific purpose. The Mk. 35 lacks integrated weaponry, and instead is supported by a large selection of bolt on equipment and oversized rifle style weapons for the suit wearer. The typical Mk. 35 mounts an over-under multi-weapon, typically a heavy automatic rifle and grenade launcher.”
“What of the Destroyer? Was there was just one Destroyer?”
“There was no Destroyer sir, six carry-alls.”
Reagan was shocked. Normally Fed-A teams were backed by destroyer, and before he could finish this thought Polk was already explaining just that fact. Reagan stated rhetorically. “Box humpers huh, ballsy move coming into our turf in slow moving cargo ships.” This was a mixed blessing. If there was a destroyer and he got here before it took off he could have knocked it down with the SilkWorm Quantum Cannon he hulled here. But with in Carry-alls they weren’t going to make a break for it. It was going to be fight or siege. Either way he was not sure…Reagan’s thought came to an end when he realized Polk was still talking.
“Carry-all aren’t that big a surprise sir. Not if you know UAC military history. The Atlantic Federation fielded the first military carry-alls, and currently maintain seven carry-all designs. The most common Federation carry-all is the ubiquitous Taurus. The Taurus has dozens of variants, but the most well known version is the mecha carrier. The Taurus-M carries a complement of 3-5 mecha and can deploy them from a low hover, or from an atmospheric drop. It has moderate armor and moderate firepower to defend itself, and is a staple of military entertainment shows. Other variants include a light freight model capable of hauling 600 tons of cargo, an open frame lifter that can move up to 900 tons of equipment in a sling under it, an infantry/power armor transport, and a coach class civilian air liner.
The Transom class carry-all is currently the most cost efficient transport in use by the Federation. It is not the largest, nor the most common, but in the cost per ton per mile calculation, it is the winner. Three times the size of the Taurus, the Transom can deliver a full mech platoon (10+ mecha) in the same manner at the Taurus, or carry up to 2100 tons of cargo. Transoms are heavily used by the logistics departments of most megacorps, and by the Federation military for it's high cost efficiency. The carry-all is disliked by it's crews, as the design is utilitarian, cramped, and uncomfortable, especially in light of the long hours that most Transoms run. The Transom-C gunship is a known and feared weapon in the Federation arsenal, as it can carry an impressive amount of weaponry with it's cargo capacity, and Transom-C's are commonly attached to military ground units that are not deemed important enough to field a supporting sky destroyer or frigate. Despite their high firepower, these are paper tigers and in actual ship to ship combat, are easily destroyed by actual destroyers and frigates.
The Warlord carry-all is the main combat carry-all of the Federation. The large vehicle can carry up to 30 or more mecha in it's cavernous holds, and the Overlord cargo version can carry over 10,000 tons of cargo. The only real variants of the Warlord are the Overlord cargo version, and the Warlord-C3, a mobile command and communications vehicle. The Warlord's profile is iconic to the Federation, and goes hand in hand with the Wolverine main battle mecha, and the Corsair III aerospace fighter in military iconography. Entertainment aside, very few Warlords are ever used to perform combat drops or evacuations, as the vehicle is large, a generous target, and slow compared to anything else in the air.
The Cambrai was built with a singular purpose, to deliver an infantry battalion to the ground, and remain in close support of this ground force. As such, the Cambrai is well armed and armored, which limits it's cargo capacity and ability to provide logistic support to it's battalion. The Cambrai is a newer design, and is being well received by the infantry forces. Prior to the Cambrai, the most common infantry support was a Transom-C gunship, or a modified ground assault Transom. The Cambrai has no real variants as it was purpose built for deploying infantry and power armor, and nothing else. Size wise, it is comparable to the Transom, but is faster, and more resilient.The Avenger class carry-all is a purpose built craft, functioning as a pocket aircraft carrier. A fraction of the size of the mighty Federation class Battlestar, the Avenger carries a single squadron of aircraft, typically helocraft or electrojets. These secondary air assets are used in support roles, or as air support for secondary operations where an actual aerospace carrier is not called for. The Federation doesn't have a many Avengers in service, and most that have been built have been sold to other nations, megacorps, or private interests.
The Humpback is a commonly seen carry-all despite there not being all that many of them. The Humpback was designed for heavy lifting, and is a military cargo hauler. Moderately armored, it can carry 40,000 tons of cargo at just over 180 mph. Humpbacks are used for providing fleet support, moving cargo from bases to ships, and vise versa, as well as moving stupendously large objects such as mobile bases, marine boats, or the frames and components of aerial warships during construction, battlefield recovery, or scrapping operations.
The largest carry-all in the Federation arsenal is the actually impressive Oceanic type. There are only a handful of these in service, and almost all are owned by ship builders and megascale engineering firms. The current heavy lift record is held by Oceanic-6 (AFS Behemoth) by lifting the wreckage of the Amerikka Command warship USS Valley Forge, at a listed weight of 382,000 tons. (The Valley Forge was the grandiosely named and poorly armed Ark class floating fortress). Oceanics are largely used for spaceframe construction, moving seacologies, and other monumental operations.”
Polk then started in on explaining the history of the Ark class transports.Go to Comment
I would say it is useful to world building. No I get it Scras likes inhuman facts described with hand of God certainty. Nothing wrong with that, but this just a very large footnote. So I tease. Agree with max, could have been folded into another sub or a story could have been folded into this or Scras could nut up and start stating up his sourcebook. That would increase the "play with me" factor of the posts. But don't misunderstand me, as to the post itself I think it is a solid write up. Useful stuff. Another niche filled.
Also, yeah it can be dry but Scras is a writer first who has spent years studying art and literature. He has more on his menu than toast.Go to Comment
General:"But Mr. President a launch on the targets you suggest the shockwaves will likely destroy as much American infrastructure as Canadian"
Chief of Staff: "Be more specific General"
General: "Detroit, Buffalo, Rochester ...gone...uh...Billings and Seattle would get dangerous fallout levels, New Hampshire would be-"
President Bush the 6th (VR conferenced in from Dallas): "Better hit em with two volleys then. Darn shame about the voters in Billings though."
*If you want to learn more about Canada there are several high Quality docu-dramas produced in the 80s and 90s. Might I suggest Strange Brew starring Rick Moranis or Canadian Bacon starring John Candy. If you want something more contempary check out the reality show Trailer Park BoysGo to Comment