|Operation Gravy Train
Author: randomscifiguy1 PM
In the year 2400, a man named Mason Doyle will create the ultimate weapon of mass destruction and it is up to the crew of the Unified Human Starship Guadalcanal, led by their commanding officer, Commander Davis, to stop him. Can the Unified Systems defeat Doyle, or is it too late to stop his plans for destruction. Rated -T- for mild coarse language and sci-fi violence.Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi - Chapters: 2 - Words: 4,714 - Published: 01-05-13 - id: 3089563
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Frigate – Iwo Jima Class
Ship's Complement: 124 Navy, 24 Marines + 1 First Lieutenant
Engines: 2x Westinghouse F5W Nuclear Reactors powering two ion engines, 1x J99A2 Faster-than-Light Engine
Rated Sublight Speed: 1 200 000 km/h
Rated FTL Speed: Light Speed x40
Weapons: 88mm Mark 13 Railgun Turret (1x Ventral Bow), 25mm Mark 11 Automatic Railgun Turret (1x Port, 1x Starboard), Missile Tubes (8x Port, 8x Starboard), 20mm M199 Automatic Cannon CIWS (2x Port, 2x Starboard)
Embarked Spacecraft: 2x B/LC-7 Boarding/Landing Craft in internal davits (1x Port Amidships, 1x Starboard Amidships)
Operational Area: Lakota Cluster (NAVCOM Lakota Cluster Area of Responsibility)
Crew of the Guadalcanal
Commander Jane Davis – Commanding Officer, Former EVA Clearance Specialist
Lieutenant Commander Kate Quinn – Executive Officer, Space Warfare Officer
Lieutenant Commander Nicola Cruise – Chief Medical Officer
Lieutenant Omar Smith – Navigator
First Lieutenant Rebecca Donnelly – Marine Platoon Commander
Midshipman Shane Franks – Midshipman, Studying to become Space Warfare Officer
Midshipman Nicolai Yakovlev – Midshipman, Studying to become Navigator
Warrant Officer Class 1 Kane Ericson – Chief Engineer
Master Chief Petty Officer Boatswain Mike McCain – Boatswain
Master Chief Petty Officer Coxswain Robert O'Reilly – Coxswain
Chief Petty Officer Cook Wenona McBride – Ship's Chief Cook
Leading Crewman Radio Operator Kelly Buck – Ship's Chief Radio Operator and unofficial Ship's Hypochondriac
Leading Crewman Electronics Technician Andy Gureivich – Ship's Electronics Technician
Senior Crewman Joshua Banks – Junior Cook
Crewman Helena Watson – General Duties Crewman, First Year in Navy
Before I begin:
I haven't had much experience with this site. I've been working on this story for quite a while now and I've decided that it's time I released it to the world. I am happy to accept any criticisms that the audience may have and I try to use this criticism to create a better story.
Please enjoy the story.
Chapter One: Assassination Attempt
Location: New Hawaii Colony, New Honolulu City, Beachfront District
Time: 2145 Hours (Local Time)
Date: 4 January, 2404
/ Commander Davis, Jane
It was a Saturday night, and the crew of the UHS Guadalcanal were out on the town to celebrate the assignment of Commander Jane Davis as the ship's first Commanding Officer. The ship was due to set sail the following day for the Lakota Cluster and New Kabul Colony, NAVCOM's base of operations in the cluster and home port to the Guadalcanal, so the Commander announced a 12 hour shore leave so the crew could relax before the two week trip to New Kabul.
In the Beachfront Bar, a popular night club on Beach Street, which separated suburbia from the beach, surrounded by wide-eyed first year crewmen and Midshipmen was Mike McCain, the Guadalcanal's boatswain and a veteran of previous campaigns against Insurrectionist rebels in the colonies. He was telling stories about how he earned this medal and that medal while the seasoned crew sat at the bar counter, making 'pfff' noises every time he told a story of his 'heroics'. But the person who said nothing was Commander Davis, who was slumped over the counter with a half empty glass of scotch in front of her, her medium-long black hair, usually tied up into a ponytail, was free and ragged, a sign of someone who had taken a few too many drinks.
The ship's Executive Officer, the younger (and less experienced) Lieutenant Commander Kate Quinn, approached her, "Ma'am, are you okay?"
"Huh?" She replied, sitting upright, "Yeah, I'm just… tired, that's all." She mumbled.
"How many of those have you had to drink?" She enquired, pointing to the glass of scotch.
"One, just one." She replied, "I'm not drunk XO, I'm just tired. I've been up since four making sure the ship was ready for inspection before commissioning, so I haven't had much sleep."
"Okay ma'am, whatever you say." She said, "You heading back to the ship then?"
"Yeah." She replied, dragging herself off the bar stool and slapping a five dollar note on the counter, which was picked up by the bartender, "See you in the morning XO."
"Yes… ma'am." She replied as Davis drowsily walked out of the bar and onto the footpath, walking towards the massive space elevator that led to the suborbital shipyards that hovered at an altitude of 10 000 metres and was the primary shipyard in the Kuiper Beta Cluster. As she walked by a dark alleyway, another person, about the same height and age as Davis, and wearing a Navy uniform, slipped out and started following her. There were lots of Navy, Army and Marine personnel on the streets at 9pm, and the other person simply blended into the sea of irregularly patterned camouflage uniforms of different colour combinations and origins. As Davis walked into a sparsely travelled area of the party district, the other person made her move, she pulled out a Navy-issue M50 pistol with a suppressor attached, but she forgot to cock the weapon before she snuck out of the alleyway, and Davis heard the all-too-familiar 'click-clack' of the slide being pulled.
She spun around and saw the sailor with the pistol pointed at her, "What are you doing?" She demanded, before the person shot her in the right arm, causing her to go down. Nursing her arm, she crawled back against a wall, looking at the sailor who shot her. She was exactly the same build and dimensions as Davis, but she was wearing a UHS Guadalcanal cap and a black balaclava. The rank slide on the centre of the chest of her uniform had the three bars and gold oak leaf insignia of a Navy Commander. There was something not right about this officer, Davis thought; she was the only Commander aboard the Guadalcanal.
"I'm your replacement, Commander Davis." The officer replied, in Davis' voice, before beginning to squeeze the trigger. Davis was now very worried, and in an act of desperation, kicked the person who could be her identical twin in the leg, causing her to lose her balance, affording enough time to Davis to get up.
"Nobody's replacing me." She replied, before running at the alter ego and knocking her onto her back, causing her to drop the gun. Davis reached for the gun and the copy kicked her in the stomach with the bottom of her boot, knocking the real Davis off her and giving the clone time to retrieve the gun and point it at her head, she was about to pull the trigger when Davis kicked her hard in the hand, knocking the gun out of reach. Now without a means to kill Davis, the copy decided to run. Davis got up and started chasing the copy, running at the highest speed she could reach, she maintained this for five minutes before the clone rounded a corner and entered a sea of marines, soldiers and sailors.
"Fuck." Davis said to herself as she gave up pursuit and pulled out her phone. She dialled the XO.
"Hello, you've reached Kate Quinn. I'm busy at the moment; please leave a message after the beep, thanks." The automated answering service replied.
She cursed silently in her head, before saying, "XO, it's Commander Davis, get all the crew back to the Guadalcanal ASAP, we have a situation that we need to inform NAVCOM about." She then hung up and rang up the UHS Guadalcanal, where (hopefully) the ship's dependable Radio Operator, Leading Crewman Kelly Buck, would answer her call.
"UHS Guadalcanal, Leading Crewman Buck?" Buck said.
"RO, it's Commander Davis, I need you to call Security and inform them of the possibility of personnel posing as crewmen from the Guadalcanal attempting to access the ship. I was just attacked by an imposter of myself, there's a possibility that there are more imposters out there." She told her.
"Yes ma'am… wait, did you just say imposters?" She replied.
"Yes RO, just inform Security and alert NAVCOM."
"Aye, aye ma'am. Buck out." The phone went silent and Davis set off for the Guadalcanal, and the medical bay, where she would get something done about the 9mm bullet that was in her right arm.Part Two
Security Gets Involved
Location: Aboard UHS Guadalcanal, New Hawaii Shipyard, New Hawaii Colony
Time: 0900 Hours (Local Time)
Date: 5 January, 2404
/ Commander Davis, Jane
Commander Davis sat in the ship's infirmary while the ship's doctor, Lieutenant Commander Nicola Cruise, did a full examination of her right arm, which she had operated on in the late hours of the night to remove a 9mm bullet that Davis' 'evil twin', as they were calling the copy now, from her arm. She sat there while Lieutenant Commander Quinn and Master Chief Petty Officer McCain looked on.
"Well, your arm's fully healed." Lt. Commander Cruise told her, moving back to her desk, "You can return to duty now ma'am."
"Thanks doc." She said, getting up, "What are you two looking at?" She asked Quinn and McCain.
"Nothing ma'am, we're just here to inform you that an officer from the Navy Security Forces is here, a Captain James Lopez, and an officer from Fleet Intelligence Branch, Captain Holiday, came as well, they're waiting for you outside." McCain replied, "Would you like me to ask them in?"
"Yes Master Chief," She replied, "Doc, we need to have a private conversation." She said.
"I understand," Doctor Cruise said, "I'm going to my lab." She picked up a data card and walked into her lab, which was separated from the medical bay by a ten inch bulkhead and a steel door. When she left, the two captains walked into the room, they were wearing their dress uniforms and their peaked caps. They took them off and they all took a seat, with Captain Lopez in Doctor Cruise's seat and everyone else, bar Captain Holiday, on the other side of the deck, Holiday stood between the two sides of the deck.
"Commander Davis," Captain Lopez said, pulling a PDA out of his briefcase, "The report your RO gave us is disturbing, to say the least. You were attacked by what seems to be a carbon copy of yourself, you then fought back and attempted to apprehend the individual before she ran away. I'm not criticizing your actions Commander, you did the right thing, but this couldn't have happened at a worse time."
"Captain Lopez is right," Captain Holiday said, leaning over the desk, "This attack coincides with several assassination attempts against field-grade officers in the Armed Forces, all on the same day." His face then morphed into one of graveness, "The others appear to have come through unscathed, so we can declare these attacks a failure on their organizer's part. But what concerns us the most is your case, Commander. None of the other officers reported being attacked by a carbon copy of themselves."
Lopez also shared Holiday's feelings towards the subject, "We've acquired intelligence with the help of Captain Holiday's department that will help us locate the organizer of these assassinations. We believe the person who organized those assassination attempts was Rafael Vargas, a man with no criminal history, but hangs out with some very seedy people." Lopez told them, "Now we believe that Vargas is now on the payroll of a terrorist associate named Krueger, Krueger is working for a man, the leader of the organisation."
Holiday chucked Davis a PDA, with a file on it, "Mason Doyle, age 38. He's ex-Navy, got kicked out for fraternizing with a Midshipman. After he was kicked out, he studied chemistry, biology and medicine at the University of New Earth and became a doctor in these fields. After he graduated from university, he disappeared and we lost tabs on him. That was until a year ago, he resurfaced and used some sort of horrific biological weapon on a colony called Red's Junction, in the Rubik's Cube."
"The guy's now building chemical weapons for Insurrectionist rebels and terrorists and he's selling his trademark weapon, known as Alpha Six, by the shipping container. We've found shipping containers filled to the rafters with barrels and warheads in rebel and pirate bases throughout the colony." Lopez added, "But we don't know where is base is. We need you to find his contacts, pull down the organisational ladder until you hit Doyle, once you're there…"
Holiday smiled, "We send in the fleet, pound his base into dust and bring this scum in to receive the punishment he ought to have handed down to him. For this mission, I've pulled some strings with your NAVCOM commander in the Lakota Cluster. He's approving your transfer to Captain Lopez's task force under Operation Gravy Train. Officially, we're supposed to be building ladar early warning systems and civil defence bunkers on the colonies in the Rubik's Cube to improve relations with the colonies, but unofficially, we're sniffing for Doyle's organisation." He then looked at Lopez.
"I'm not actually leading any task forces. You've got free reign on this mission, do whatever it takes to get Doyle." Lopez told her, "You should brief your senior staff; they'll need to know what's going on. Also, Captain Holiday is putting a Fleet Intelligence Service officer on your ship, a Lieutenant Jacob Summerfield, he's only there to observe and provide intelligence, he won't get in the way of your mission."
They stood up, packed up and put their caps back on, "We'll leave you to it Commander. Good hunting." Holiday said before leaving with Lopez in tow. Once they were gone, McCain huffed deeply.
"This is not going to end well." He said, "I get the feeling that the crew's not going to be happy about going after Doyle."
"Yeah, I'm probably going to be up to my neck in transfer requests by the end of the day." Quinn added, "Ma'am, when does this…"
"Captain, XO, Boatswain, bridge, at the rush!" An announcement came over the loudspeaker, causing the three to suddenly look alive.
"Let's go then." McCain said.
Commander Davis and Lt. Commander Quinn rushed out of the elevator, followed casually by MCPO McCain, who hung back a bit. They rushed over to the Officer of the Watch, the ship's navigator, Lieutenant Omar Smith.
"Smith, what's the situation?"
"Ma'am, a bomb just exploded in the Central Business District, infrastructure damage is severe and civilian casualties are high, we've been directed by dockyard command to undock and stand by for disaster relief operations." He replied, "Also, a Lieutenant from NAVCOM and our two new Midshipmen have come aboard, they're waiting for you at the back of the bridge."
"Very good, XO, you have the ship." She said, before heading towards the new arrivals.
"On the bridge, XO has the ship!" Quinn announced, just as Davis reached the three new crewmen.
"Ma'am! Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Jacob Summerfield, Navy Security Forces Headquarters. I've been assigned as you liaison for the mission, to ensure the ship is secure." Summerfield said, before saluting.
"Very good Lieutenant, take up your station." She said, returning his salute.
"Ma'am! Midshipman Shane Franks, trainee Space Warfare Officer." The first Midshipman said, saluting.
"Very good Midshipman, I'm assigning you to Lieutenant Thorpe at the tactical station, he's your first stop for anything, understood?" She replied, returning his salute.
"Yes ma'am." He replied.
"Take up your station Midshipman."
"Ma'am, Midshipman Nicolai Yakovlev," The second Midshipman said, saluting the Commander, "Trainee Navigator."
"Very good Midshipman, I'm assigning you to Lieutenant Smith, our navigator. He's your first stop for anything, understood?" She replied, returning his salute.
"Take up your station." She told him, before he nodded and walked over to the navigator.
"XO, stand by to deploy." She ordered the XO, moving towards the front of the bridge.
The XO grabbed the intercom microphone and said, "Stand by to set sail, cable and gangway parties retrieve gangways and cables, all hands rig to cast off."
The ship's gangway retracted away from the pier and the dockworkers pulled the cables off the pier, allowing the cable parties to retract the cables using a mechanical winch. The Commander nodded to the XO, who smiled, "Helm, fire port thrusters, pull away from the pier."
The ship's Coxswain, Master Chief Petty Officer Robert O'Reilly, "Firing port thrusters, pulling away from the peir." He announced as he turned the wheel on the control yoke towards the right, firing the port thrusters.
"Helm, ion turbines, revolutions 400."
"Ion turbines, revolutions 400." O'Reilly replied as he eased the throttles up slightly, causing the ship to slowly move away from the floating dockyard.
"Very good." The XO said, before turning to the Commander, "Ma'am, we are away."
"Very well XO, sound action stations and stand by landing parties."
"Aye ma'am." She replied, before grabbing the microphone, "General quarters, general quarters! All hands man your action stations! Stand by to deploy landing parties!" She ordered, before pressing the button that activated the alert klaxons and the strobe lights, which started flashing and honking. Immediately, the crew began to seal off each compartment from each other and the firefighting parties and the damage control parties put their job-specific gear on and prepared to keep the ship running should something go wrong. Meanwhile, the enlisted members of the landing parties geared up on the boat deck, a common area amidships of the ship where the ship's two boarding/landing craft were located, as well as the ship's armoury.
On the bridge, the Commander looked at the two midshipmen, "Midshipmen!"
The two midshipmen walked up to the commander, "Yes ma'am?" They replied.
"I want one of you each to go on a landing party; however, command of the party will go to the highest ranking NCO on each party." She told them, "Your job is to learn from the NCO's; they know what they're doing. McCain?"
"Accompany Midshipman Franks, show him the ropes. Midshipman Yakovlev, you will accompany the second landing team, their leader is Lieutenant Rebecca Donnelly, she's a Marine Officer who you can learn a lot from."
"Aye ma'am." They replied, before rushing to their posts. Commander Davis was impressed by these Midshipmen's reaction times; they were faster than most first year crewman aboard. She then looked down at the shipyards, which the ship was climbing away from.