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Insiders say that his remarks were timed to assist him in his struggle to pass the so-called "Ship Bill," intended to appropriate funds for two additional Aurora-class clippers for RCES forces. Citing budgetary limits, the Coalition Assembly has proposed deferring the purchase of the keels that will be laid down at Aubaine's Standard Astrotronics yard later this month. The options for these vessels would then be picked up by member worlds, presumably Oriflamme. That would make these the first Aurora-class clippers not directly controlled by RCES, a move which Maggart strongly opposes, and to which he alluded in his address today. "These traders did not go into the unknown piecemeal. They went out under one banner, and under one vision, and it is that same vision that calls us after them. Had they sailed away each for her own reason, or only for the benefit of an elite few, their loss would not move us,and their sacrifice would not unite us. History is made not by an aggregate of individuals, but by diverse people united by a vision that pares away their selfish appetites and calls them to actions beyond themselves, in the name of something greater than themselves.
At the conclusion of his remarks, Maggart laid a wreath on the Trader monument To the Dawn," which was dedicated a year ago today. He departed immediately, as he is scheduled to preside one week from today over the Assembly on the first anniversary of its establishment.
Among the assembled observers, Maggart's remarks were taken as criticism of recent unilateral operations undertaken by Oriflamme and other worlds on the trailing face. They were also clearly a response to the Centrist charges that Aubaine and its supporters are opposed to a Coalition Constitution, and seek, in the words of Count Bourgund of Oriflamme, "to preserve a flaccid assemblage of half-hearted govemments, devoid of structure, devoid of vision, devoid of a future."
A Centrist-leaning dignitarypresent today was overheard to call Maggart's speech "more of that Aubanian pious preaching. This is real life, not Sunday school. The clipper ships at issue in the Assembly will be the eleventh and twelfth clipper hulls lad down.These two building ways will be available following the delivery of Thunderchild and ex-llilek Kuligoon to RCES.
The 12 trading vessels honored were dispatched in 1199 from various worlds around the periphery of the then Dawn League, with hopes that they would open up new star faring contact in the Wilds of Diaspora. As the months went by without word from any of these ships, speculation grew increasingly strident, resulting in the dispatch of several armed rescue missions to recover the crews or to discover information about their fates. To date, portions of only three of the crews have been recovered, and five of the traders have never been accounted for.
'You can't name a ship after a living person, especially not me. You can say what you like about me after I'm dead, because I won't be around to make you a liar. But why make some poor kids wear my name on their sleever when I might still do something to make them ashamed? You're better off naming it aftersomeonewho is safely dead. Dead, packaged, and marketed, of course.
"However, since you were so kind to name it after me, I claim the right to name it myself, and hereby change the name to Immanuel Kant That way you can keep the initials, and you don't have to worry about him embarrassing you. He was a finer man than me, and also unlike me, Kant was so reliable that people used to set their watches by him. Having his name around will remind people to think about some important things.
"What things? Fortunately I have with me a quote from the good Herr Doktor. "It says, 'Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or that of any other, never simply as a means, but also at the same time as an end.' What that means, for those of you who don't speak deathless prose, is: Give a damn about the people around you. We Imperials forgot that lesson once, and we continue on at our peril if we ever forget it again.
"Thank you. I hope you people haven't blocked me in again."
The clipper, the sixth of the class built, will be delivered from Standard Astrotronics' Aubaine yards this month. was named for Professor Kuligaan by a special motion in the Assembly earlier this year.
RCES has modified its deployment policy so that its Aurora-class clippers and their associated Manta-class fueler will no longer be considered indivisible tactical units. Each clipper constructed has been delivered with a Manta fuel which, until now, her deployed, trained, and operated exclusively with the clipper it was delivered with.
Under the new policy, Mantas will be assigned to clippers on an as-available basis, to simplify maintenance, repair and deployment scheduling. This policy has come n response to the difficulty in getting Cull CTAILNO 20062F) repaired in time to deploy witl mothership Eos (TAILNO 10062).
Rather than delaying the departure of Eos on her coming cruise, it was decided to give her Eagle (TAILNO 20071 F) which had just returned with Aube (TAILNO 10071). New built Manta-class fuelers will be assigned tail numbers the main series, rather than in a subsidiary series, and existing Mantas will be redesignated as opportunity allows.
Hiver convoy is due to arrive Oriflamme within two week, of 16/IX/1201. ID callsign is CONDUIT PENNY 1-6. Authentication procedures are available to authorized craft.
Unless authorized, stay well clear of convoy CONDUIT PENNY 1-6, as they will be travelling under Wilds rules of engagement
See also RCES Report 3: Interstellar Rules of Engagement, available at all RC-affiliated starports.
The Coalition cruiser Trigger arrived in port today following an expedition into Diaspora. Although the crew are still in debriefing and none have yet appeared in public, rumors are already circulating that Triggerhas had a very difficuIt cruise. Stories of high casualties among the crew and of a pitched battle are being heard. Notably, no lots of cargo have yet been downloaded from Trigger for Auction.
RCES Headquarters has made no statement as yet.
The Reformation Coalition Exploratory Service, in conjunction with the Standard Astrotronics Orbital Shipyard, Aubaine, announces the sealing of RS Maggart, the first unit of the Croup IV Aurora-class clippers. RS Maggart was sealed on 25M11/1201 at the orbital building ways of Standard AstrotronicsAubaine yard.
The ceremonial act of sealing a starship is the orbital construction equivalent of launching an ocean-going vessel or a spacecraft constructed on a planetary surface. Itis traditionally considered tobe one of the most significant milestones in the career of a spacecraft, as it is now capable of preserving life. It is at the sealing that spacecraft are traditionally christened with their /lames, following the obligatory pressure test. Once a ship is sealed, its interior spaces are no longer in vacuum, but are maintained by artificial life support, which allows the vessel's construction to proceed to completion in a "shirt sleeves" environment.
RS Maggart is the first of a class of greatly modified Aurora-class clippers, called Group IV. The Group IV is also called the "Stretch" Aurora because of its greater overall length, allowing the clipping of more multimission modules to the ship's open spine. This greater carriage capacity also requires the Group IVs to have a new engineering section to allow maneuver and jump at the same performance as the earlier members of the class. RS Maggart is named for Burton L. Maggart (1110-1 1 95), First Minister of Aubaine and one of the founders of the intentellar accords that led to the League of the New Dawn, and ultimately, to the Reformation Coalition. Burt Maggart was also the father of the current Coalition Secretary Ceneral, Lon E. Maggart.
RS Maggart was christened by Enlilli Maggart, wife of First Minister Maggart and mother of the Secretary General.
Speaking against "the inefficiencies of Efficiency," junior Fijan delegate Catarrhina Mohler launched a campaign to rationalize I I the "pervasive" influence of the Committee for the Standardization of Armament and Ammunition in the Reformation Coalition, better known as CSAARC.
"Although the Committee fulfills an important role in husbanding the scarce resources of this Coalition and should continue to do so, certain of its in itiatives come under the heading of micromanagement and actuaIly waste energy, rather than conserving it. Now is the time, while CSAARC is still a relatively new organization, that we establish guidelines to ensure that CSAARC's oversight is confined to the rational use of resources, rather than the worship of the least common denominator."
Speaker Mohler introduced as evidence the Reformation Coalition Automatic Assault Shotgun (RCAAS), recently adopted by CSAARC as the standard combat shotgun of the RC forces. Mohler demonstrated that, although the weapon itself is manufactured at tech level 10, it is not completed until it is fitted with a laser sight manufactured on a tech 9 world. Because tech 10 worlds are capable of manufacturing more compact laser sights, the installation of a TL-9 sight on the weapon results in a combat shotgun "which is 40% more expensive than it needs to be, and which is 7% heavier than it ought to be." Mohler also produced internal RCES reports which evaluate the weapon as overweight.
"These are not the type of savings which we can afford. Rather than seeking to divide the production of each weapon across tech level 9 and 10 worlds, CSAARC's efforts would be better spent ensuring that each world's productive capacity was used to build complete systems. This would mean that Trybec and Fija would install locally built sights on locally built weapons, while worlds like Oriflamme, Baldur and Nike Nimbus were allowed to concentrate their full attention on building weapons from start to finish that are optimized for their technology."
Mohler asked that the Assembly create a panel to evaluate, define and, if necessary, modify the mandate of CSAARC. Mohler's motion was tabled after minimal discussion. Delegates from Oriflamme, originally one of the staunchest opponents of the creation of CSAARC, provided the margin of defeat.
CSAARC was established in 1200 to coordinate the design and production of weapons and ammunition by Coalition memberworlds. The Assembly sought to preserve the Coalition's limited manufacturing base by concentrating it on the production and support of standardized designs optimized for available technology, and based on common relic equipment. CSAARC has since expanded its mandate to include the creation of new designs unique to the Coalition, for example, the controversial 5.5mm assault rifle.
RC space forces have issued a Notice to Starfarers for the Arvid (0131/Aubaine) and Mitchell (3034/Khulam/Diaspora) star systems. These systems appearto present an active Viral or vampire threat, and are to be avoided until more information becomes available.
Arvid is thought to be connected to the disappearance of several vessels, including Dawn League Ships Reine Soleil and Elise, although it is not known by what mechanism these disappearances were caused, or even if they were the result of a single cause.
Mitchell is believed to bethe base of an active and growing vampire fleet, and is probably connected to the loss of Dawn League Ship Hellos, missing since 19/X1/1199.
RC space forces will attempt to evaluate and neutralize these threats. Private exploration is not advised. Exercise extreme caution when entering or passing nearthese systems, and if possible, avoid passing through them at all. Even gas giant refueling is considered to be hazardous in these systems.
Reporter Cabrielle Diabla, twice winner of the Nimbus Palm for Excellence in journalism has filed a freedom of information demand with the RCES to gain access to orders and planning documents pertaining to "Operation Cosmic Fire."
Diabla made a public statement to call attention to the demand which she was filing, and to explain the background of the demand. Diabla explained that Cosmic Fire took place on Daaliisa (2725/Promise/Diaspora) some two months ago, and that involved attacks on "apparently peaceful alien Droyne," and that for the operation the troops were obliged to remove insignia, and take steps that this operation would not be connected to the Reformation Coalition. "This operation was piratical in appearance, if not in fact," Diabla said.
"I am not some fruit-loop peacenik who imagines evil motivations whenever a forceful act of will is committed. I am pursuing this story because I was aboard the ship when this operation was conducted, and I spoke to the troops when they left and hey returned. They were deeply disturbed by the operation. They felt they had done something wrong. I am not looking to blame these troops for carrying out a mission in good faith. What I am looking for is the reasons why the mission was ordered."
Cabrielle Diabla is a well-known and experienced military reporter. She has accompanied and covered numerous operations under Dawn League and Coalition auspices for several years, including the famous annexation of Vezina. Diabla wrote a book on the Vezina operations, entitled, "Say Good Night, Hoss," which won her her second Nimbus Palm, in 1200.
Diabla's demand for documentation is complicated by the fact that not all RC memberworlds recognize full information rights, which allows such worlds to deny access to commonly held RC documents in which they have a proprietary interest.
After months of speculation, the RCES has lifted the veil of secrecy that was wrapped around the most recent mission of RCS Trigger following her return from Diaspora in Scorpio. Trigger's captain and several ot her officers are to be tried for dereliction of duty in allowing the alleged massacre of civilians on Montezuma on her last cruise, RCES officials announced today.
Details are still sketchy, but it appears that several of Trigger's ground troops were killed by unusually high technology weapons in the hands of unknown Montezuman troops over a period of several days, and an attempt to capture the assailants misfired and resulted in the death of as many as 500 Montezuman civilians. Testimony gathered from Trigger's crew, and reportedly from Montezuman witnesses and undercover informants, indicates that the operation was poorly planned and degenerated into a vengeance mission.
Anonymous sources report that the "Trigger Incident" is proof of the wisdom of the RCN's program to divest RC-contrdled vessels of all private ownership shares. Because of the rapidity with which the Dawn League (and later, the Coalition) had to assemble a space force, itwas often obliged to obtain starships by buying a bare majority of iharer of the vessel, leaving the remainder of the vessel's ownership in private hands. It has been argued that such private or speculative ownerrhip runs counter to the ideal of military order and discipline advocated by many RC leaders. In Assembly session, Senior Balduri Delegate has referred to speculative free-lance operations as "no better thah reckless privateering, one step away from piracy."
CIN sources confirm that Trigger carried a 44% private ownership load, and that her crew contained a high proportion of free-lance personnel, both situations acknowledged by the RCN to contribute to "decreased mission reliability and performance standards."
The Reformation Coalition Navy(RCN) has completed negotiations for the purchase of six Manticore-class system defense boats (SDBs) from the Aubani Navy, with an option for more to follow. These vessels are being purchased to give the RCN a battle rider capability when used with Aurora or Maggort-class clippers. These SDBs are modified versions of the standard Shukugon( Dragon) class TL-12 SDBs, manufactured for centuries in the Last Imperium. The Manticores are distinguished from the basic Dragons by the absence of the Drogon's missile barbettes and fuel purification plant.These are replaced by a spinal meson gun which gives the Manticore a powerful short-range punch, sufficient to disable much larger vessels.
The Monticores, which have been used up to now in the system defense of Aubaine, will be used as "battle riders," carried into combat one or two at a time by RCN clippers configured as "tenders." The battle rider concept is an old one, and reflects a permanent principle of interstellar combat. Given the fact that interstellar jump driver and their supporting systems make significant demands on the mass and volume of a starship, two spacecraft of equal size, one equipped with jump drives, and one without, will demonstrate vastly differing utilizations of space. The ship without jump drive will have a great deal of additional space that can be allocated to weapons, armor, defensive screens, fire control, ammunition, greater maneuverability, and fuel, and will therefore be a better warship, albeit unable to travel between star systems on its own. In a confrontation between these two ships, the nonjump-capable vessel should beat the jump-capable starship every time. This fact is the basis of the system defense boat. By extending this concept to include large jump-capable ships which carry these nonjump capable warships from star to star, the battle rider concept is born.
The jump-capable ships. called tenders, carry several nonjump-capable ships, called riders, or battle riders, into enemy star systems. The battle riders detach and engage the enemy, and are recovered by the tender following the battle. The drawback to the battle rider concept is the fact that a losing battle rider force has a very hard time withdrawing, as battle riders cannot simply jump out of the battle to a safe system. The requirement to rejoin the large, non-maneuverable, and poorly defended tender in order to escape creates a vulnerability that ensures that a defeated battle rider force is usually annihilated, whereas a defeated jump-capable force is usually much less severely mauled.