13:31:05 SSC Territory, Position Unknown
Data from various aspects of the reconnaissance apparatus that the SSC applied lavishly before the biological warfare attack poured in as the flood gates for operations were opened. The results of the galactic conference had changed many doubting minds about the complicity of the Immortal Empire in the chain of events that led to the current situation. The operation centered on several smaller operations, the idea was simple enough, much like the spokes in a wheel, if one were to be compromised then the others could pick up the slack for a while until the situation was returned to normal. The attempted jamming of R.U.S.E. was one such incident even if it was an utterly futile attempt. RUSE was still performing within accepted parameters and yet the enemy was still trying to bring the system down. In the end the collected information did not end at R.U.S.E. instead it was moved through secured courier to somewhere else, and then picked apart and analyzed to a detail that even a well-built AI unit was incapable of. The recent attempted biological attack added fuel to the proverbial fire as strategies in light of the galactic condition were considered and organized. Many a four dimensional holographic display hummed into the long night as plans were laid for what was to come next. Ironically what came next involved the very system the enemy had chosen to attack. Across the network R.U.S.E. stations were beginning to shift their spatial alignments to exclude the persistent interference and take aim. Polar alignments shifted in less than three hours as each station, and its sub stations linked with temporary emitters placed in Lagrange and Nadir points across numerous star systems within SSC’s territory. What was to come next however would likely be utter misery for the Immortal Empire.
17:01:00 Due North of the Immortal Empire’s Central Territory
The enormity of space itself provided the means for the special taskforce to arrive in position and creep close enough to observe the target several hours prior to the realignment of R.U.S.E. stations. The taskforce was a composite of normal SSC forces, a number of hunting fleet assets backed by assault units from the main fleets and some additional assets pulled from the territorial fleet. Checks and verifications of equipment and systems were made as the clock wound down towards the engagement time. The flagship for the task force; SCS Oregon sat at the center of the formation as information came in from forward elements actively observing the target. The details of the target, a system called Alane appeared on the holographic display with details on civilian traffic and such. The information was of the usual type that could be discerned through forward observers. The basic information of the systems structure and positions of stellar objects was rendered in a four dimensional readout including normal and artificial phenomena.
“Hmmm is ruse on track?”
“They are confirming the approximate time…three minutes until field effect is in place.”
“Are they certain of its effects?”
“Command confirms it it’s been tested elsewhere prior.”
“Alright, patch me in to the fleet, secure encrypted line.”
Commodore Luis waited a few moments as the communications techs worked through setting up the fleet communication, and the confirmations of connection from the other vessels in the task force. The commodore spared a glance at the holographic display and the arrangement of the vessels under his command, considering the crews present, and the probabilities of success or failure and what might have to be done given a few outcomes of the battle. In truth major offensives of this sort were seldom performed simply because of the cost and yet Special taskforce A and it’s mirror counterpart Taskforce B were about to do just that, assault the Immortal Empire as retaliation for their role in the biological attack. He knew that elsewhere the ships that had launched the objects were being hunted down while his goal was to deny them at least one location to return home to. The commodore’s considerations for current events were interrupted by a communications officer gesturing that the line was ready and that he could address the fleet. Commodore Luis reached for a corded microphone attached to the holographic display and lifted it. The square body of the unit resembled old styled intercom systems on maritime warships and there was no doubt the design was intentional. Literally there was something personal and perhaps a bit nostalgic about having seemingly archaic looking devices in the bridges of starships. The commodore pressed a button on the side activating the system which indicated active connection with a low chime that mimicked to some degree the whistle often used to call sailors to attention.
“This is Commodore Luis of the SCS Oregon, You have all been briefed on the reason why we are here so I feel no need to remind you of the current events. Since the Immortal Empire has decided to take the cowardly route in confrontation we bring the war to their back yard. Our objective is a star system called Alane that needs to be neutralized. Everything in it not flagged as non-combatant is considered open for destruction. We will offer no quarter and thus scorch the proverbial earth they call home. We will show them how a real Empire fights, I have faith that all of you will perform well beyond the requirements of your service. Remember the eyes of our nation are watching; there is no room for failure. Lastly all captains report status and perform your final pre-combat checks. That is all.”
By the time the commodore released the button it felts as if ages had passed and the microphone unit weighed a ton. Such was the real weight of command; he slipped the microphone back in its cradle on the holographic unit and looked to the Commander overseeing the sensor stations.
“Ten seconds Commodore…your holographic should show the changes immediately.”
17:04:05 SSC Territory, Position Unknown
The alignment of the R.U.S.E. network finished as each station began to channel a cumulative effect. Particulate emissions were bounced off suitable interstellar objects and shot through nebulae that amplified the effect. Even certain neutron stars were used in conjunction with temporary emissions replay devices to move and increase the signal effect. All and all while not revealing the actual source of the effect to temporal or any other form of detection the target area of the Alaine system and a sizeable chunk of the northernmost IE territory was targeted. Flux vessels in the region would find that nagging problem of temporal plague returning with interest. The Immortal Empire vessels would find themselves illuminated for targeting to the point that even in the void they would find the effect persisting. One would have to ask of course what the purpose of the intentional illumination of all Immortal Empire combatant vessels in the area would be. Aside from the obvious considerations of knowing precisely where and how many units were faced, it had the nasty side effect of negating stealth, and making the Immortal Empire’s ‘noise ships’ utterly worthless. More so it gave the SSC a long range and accuracy advantage that the Immortal Empire would have a hard time countering.
As though the strategic initiative having been won was not enough somewhere deep in the hallways of the Hub the quorum observed the events as they unfolded. The battle as it was forming was seen in almost realistic view as the First Prime stood in a holographic projection of the battle. The room itself was theoretically massive as the entire star systems and all known and illuminated vessels were shown at 1/16th scale. Stellar objects of all sorts were show so realistically one might have wanted to reach out and touch them just to feel what sensations they might provide. The special taskforce meanwhile began its move towards the Immortal empires border. Ironically the first shots of the battle were at extreme range against whatever patrol craft might have blundered across the large taskforce. At a thousand strong, what was the Immortal empire to do now that they were being pressed on a new third front?