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[ME] Carina Shepard Setting Notes 2014

Elsepth Jul 18th, 2019 87 Never
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  1. Systems Alliance Navy, 2149 (wet-navy forces remain under local jurisdictions)
  2. Orbitals: Earth, Luna, Mars, Belt.
  3. Luna-Mars shipping - rail-launched fusion-boosted shuttles.
  4. Earth-Mars shipping - rail-launched SSTO shuttles, orbital recieving stations, fusion shuttles to Luna.
  5. Mining ships - Asteroid mining vessels across the solar system.
  6.  
  7. At the moment of first contact, the surviving ship from the relay activation expedition returns with scans of the Turian warships involved. Correctly deducing that the fleet was only a patrol squadron that happenned to be in the right place at the right time, Alliance Command comes to the conclusion that their naval forces are woefully insufficient for dealing with a hostile alien race, and the same day, unlimited spending is authorised.
  8.  
  9. Shipyards go into overdrive, weapons systems are lifted from Earth into orbit, new mass-effect colony ships and passenger liners are hastily outfitted with armour and barriers, their interiors stripped and replaced with hangars. Fighters are flown from the ground into space by the thousands, everything from the newest prototypes to century-old reserve craft. Mining vessels are recalled and mounted with everything from prototype mass accellerators to railguns and nuclear missile launchers.
  10. When the Turian fleet came out of the relay at Shanxi, they were met by every warship the Systems Alliance had before first contact - by Citadel standards, fifteen frigates and two light cruisers. Those were the ageing battleships Phobos and Deimos, constructed in the 2130s to protect Martian interests in the face of cislunar expansion, and refitted with mass effect drives a few years ago.
  11.  
  12. The battered remnants of the Alliance First Fleet retreated to Arcturus to repair under the massive guns of the station, while the ships Second Fleet were hurriedly brought into a battle-ready state. That thirty-seven days were enough to transform a civilian flotilla into a jury-rigged battlefleet capable of smashing a Turian occupation fleet is a testament to the dedication of all those who worked through that month.
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  14. When the Second Fleet came through the relay, it left behind a wing of stealth bombers carrying nuclear ordnance. No turian vessels escaped.
  15. The Second Fleet kept station near the relay while defense stations were towed into place and scientists raced to reverse-engineer the Turian vessels before a second attack wave came. Three scout squadrons vanished without a trace later, the Hierarchy sent a full battlefleet. Having secured the 314 relay, the Turian fleet came out of transit expecting nothing, only to be met with weapons fire from  hundreds of satellites and the rebuilt First Fleet. Fifty-three transports refitted specifically to counter observed Turian tactics and vessels: Just enough armour to withstand GARDIAN fire, no direct-fire weapons, high speed, kinetic barriers, and missile launchers. Many, many missile launchers.
  16. Lacking cruisers and dreadnoughts, and fighters having suffered high casaulties in the previous battle, the First Fleet was armed with a stopgap solution: Nuclear lances. Short-ranged but powerful weapons, Earth's old strategic reserves were emptied to refit into lance missiles. Deployed en masse at short range, enough survived CIWS fire long enough to reach effective range and initiate. Prioritising cruisers and the dreadnought, the Turian fleet was plunged into disarray as its heavy vessels were decimated, and rapidly routed. Just under five minutes elapsed between jump-in and jump-out, but the battle claimed over a hundred ships.
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  18. The Hierarchy could not exactly hide the loss of a dreadnought and five cruisers, leading to Asari contact and termination of hostilities.
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  22. tl;dr: Not quite the Kzinti Lesson, but close, and nukes are generally impractical weapons in Mass Effect, but if you have no alternatives and numerical superiority, they will do in a pinch.
  23. Humanity does a Bismarck and shows way more strength than it actually has - the resources of three star systems pushed fully into war, fighting with hastily refitted civilian ships, and they only manage to pull a phyrric victory out of it - three-quarters of humanity's mobile space assets are destroyed, including the civilian ones, three months of the entire GDP of the Alliance consumed, most of the remaining old WMD stocks - all for scratching out perhaps at most five percent of the Hierarchy's active navy, never mind their fleet mothballs and the rest of the Council.
  24.  
  25. But the Hierarchy didn't know that, and by the time they were allowed to know what the First Contact War had cost the Alliance, the Alliance was already strong enough to stand on its own.
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  30. The Second Fleet at Shanxi fielded four Carriers - which were mistaken for dreadnoughts by the Turians, intelligence which captured prisoners took back to the Hierarchy when they were released after the war. Misinformation that Alliance Intelligence was only too happy for them to spread.
  31.  
  32. Three of them were refitted Phoenix-class colony ships, and the other was a refitted space station, which "unfolded" to a fully deployed length of 1.8km - entirely an intimidation tactic.
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  34. Rumours of an alliance superdreadnought have yet to stop circulating, and the Alliance has in fact begun construction of actual superdreadnoughts - the Arcturus-class Superdreadnought is a composite vessel made of five individiual sections, each a dreadnought in and of itself, that gattai to link their mass accellerators together in-system. The vessels are deceptively large due to their large radiator sections, and the Arcturus unit cost is only three times as much as the Kilimanjaro-class, a feat achieved by using already-developed standard components for over 98% of its systems.
  35.  
  36. The technology is being downscaled on the experimental Berlin-class light cruiser, made of connected frigate-sized sections, resulting in a lower eezo cost. By using as many light elements as possible in its construction, the Berlin class has a nominally high, but actually low, production cost, since the market value of light elements and composites is inflated by transport and pipeline costs.
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  38. The Arcturus class differs greatly from standard dreadnoughts in that it fires a much larger projectile than the standard alliance 20kg mass accellerator round - a projectile estimated to tear through even projected superdreadnought-grade kinetic barriers in one shot. The tradeoff is reduced projectile velocity, so the Arcturus fires a guided 1t missile at 580km/s. The missile contains its own mass effect generator for course correction, and a well-placed direct hit is capable of killing a dreadnought with one shot.
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