Battle Of Beacon

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The following is a report produced by the Office of Naval Intelligence of the Core Systems Republic Navy for gamma-cleared Republic personnel. The contents of this report should be considered of highest confidentiality and represent a potential security risk or risk of mass hysteria if leaked to the general public, therefore no material of this report should be discussed with any person not possessing gamma-level clearance.


As of 8 SEPTEMBER 2498 Earth reckoning, it was discovered that the pirate installation SNAKE WHITE [HYDSECFLT designation for Beacon Station, Hessian System] was attacked by warships belonging to the Jensai Self-Defense Fleet. The Navy asset making the discovery was CSRS IMHOTEP, a VALIANCE-class destroyer belonging to 2nd Squadron, HYDSECFLT.

Imhotep's deployment to SNAKE WHITE was unexpected due to the reticence of CINCHYDSEC [Commander-in-Chief of Hydra Sector Military Operations Admiral Frances Beaumont] to authorize any operations in Hessian System, for fear of antagonizing the Jensai. Nevertheless authorization was given for a dispatch on 31 AUGUST 2498 to Imhotep commanding officer Captain Hudson Shankar and the destroyer set out the following day.

Office of Naval Intelligence performed an impromptu investigation of the dispatch authorization and its origins. In the course of this investigation, it was discovered that an encrypted CoreNet message was sent to CINCHYDSECFLT [Adm. Beaumont's subordinate VAdm. Corey Antrim, Commander-in-Chief of the Hydra Sector Fleet]. At the time of the dispatch order, the contents of this encrypted message were not known, but the transmission was sourced back to Hessian System, and as the timing was suspicious, ONI elected to attach an operative to the crew of the Imhotep.

In the intervening time, the contents of the encoded message to VAdm. Antrim have been decoded and are included below:

"They know about Schuh. You stand to lose as much as I do if the truth comes out. Don't think I'll refrain from talking, either."

This seems to incriminate VAdm. Antrim with conspiracy to obstruct justice and aiding and abetting known criminals, but as the metadata of the message was deliberately tampered with, no identity of the message sender has been identified.

The Imhotep attained jump-out at 1308 local time on 8 SEPTEMBER 2498 and ran a sensor query of the system. Data from the initial scan indicated SNAKE WHITE had taken damage, a large-scale ship battle had been conducted and concluded, and two Jensai Self-Defense Fleet vessels - one identified as an ARCHERFISH-class gunship, the other an unknown class under the preliminary codename STINGRAY-class frigate - holding defensive positions near the station. Captain Shankar hailed the Jensai vessels and discovered that they had attacked SNAKE WHITE with the intent of capturing Subject ADDER [the criminal lord known only by the alias 'Chao Sidh']. They claimed to have successfully captured Subject ADDER and several senior members of his organization, along with evidence of crimes against the Jensai people.

The Jensai commanding officer aboard the lead vessel, the Archerfish gunship identified as "IDHANRA" [hd'anhr, Jensaaran "watchful"] claimed also that Imhotep's arrival was coordinated as a means to allow Subject ADDER and his staff to escape to Republic space, and that there was a spy aboard Imhotep. Captain Shankar coordinated a search with the ONI operative of Imhotep to find this spy, and turned up one individual - a petty officer transferred aboard the vessel immediately prior to its jump to Hessian System who had an illegal polykey and cloned crew identification passes in his possession. His transfer orders were ultimately authorized by VAdm. Antrim, leading to further charges against him.

The Jensai warships held a brief standoff position against Imhotep before signalling their departure and jumping out-system. A Marine squad went aboard SNAKE WHITE with the intent of confirming or disproving the capture of Chao Sidh. No evidence of any senior pirate presence was found aboard, but significant information regarding Jensai boarding units was uncovered. Likewise, the study of the ship battle debris led to some troubling observations. Enumerated below:

  1. The total tonnage of destroyed ships in Hessian System proximate to SNAKE WHITE was estimated to be in the range of 30,000 dtons. Most of that was taken up by a single vessel of unknown configuration whose purpose was to carry a bevy of smaller vessels into the fray. To wit:
    1. One (1) 25,000-dton large vessel: Unarmed and unarmored. Appears to have been a megafreighter in its original configuration. Converted to carry ~30 100-dton ships beneath shrouds blown at the time of the attack. Paraphernalia found aboard this vessel appears to identify it as a ship of Penitent Brotherhood origin.
    2. Appx. thirty (~30) 100-dton vessels: Armed with concealed fusion guns in lower fuselage. Appear to be converted Compass-class Scout vessels of the type used by the Penitent Brotherhood as convoy escorts and raid ambushers, designated SWORDCANE q-ships
    3. Appx. seventeen (~17) vessels of assorted tonnage: Various low-grade armaments. Thought to be the defensive ships of SNAKE WHITE, with the varying levels of size, armament and protection that pirate vessels employ.
  2. The large vessel and the Swordcane-type vessels showed evidence of being fired upon by the pirate defenders' laser weaponry; conversely, several pirate defenders showed signs of fusion gun damage from the Swordcanes. However, none of the human vessels showed signs of having destroyed one another despite their damage - all critical structure failures were caused by Jensai weapons fire.
  3. The total tonnage of the Jensai Self-Defense Fleet vessels in Hessian System proximate to SNAKE WHITE at the time of Imhotep's downjump was no more than 1,500 dtons. The Archerfish-class gunship's weapons capability is unknown at this time, and nothing is known of the newly discovered Stingray-class frigate. However, it cannot be denied that these two ships destroyed - either in part or in full - over 20 times their mass in human vessels without showing any signs of damage or enemy fire.
  4. Of the ships destroyed by Jensai weapons fire, the primary mode of damage appears to be from missiles; the warheads used are of a relatively low-yield type on high-powered gravitic engines, producing a high-speed missile package. The damage done by the missiles appears to be through a tightly contained plasma detonation.
  5. Some vessels show signs of critical and catastrophic system damage or crew radiation poisoning that nevertheless shows no sign of entry or exit, nor signs of being dissipated by shipboard armor. The damage resembles theoretical work done on meson-type weaponry by the League in the pre-Human-Skaald War era, work that failed to bear fruit due to inconsistent meson decay, prohibitive weapon size and extreme hazard to the crews firing such weapons. The Jensai, assuming they indeed use such weaponry, appear to have worked out most or all of these problems in their own vessels and use the final product to devastating effect.
  6. In the aftermath of the battle, a Series Six human salvage probe was found floating in the debris field. It was placed in an operating position, not cast off from a destroyed vessel. What it was doing has yet to be ascertained, but most likely it was placed as a predetermined meeting location for Subject ADDER to meet the Imhotep's infiltrator
  7. Aboard SNAKE WHITE, several instances of high-temperature weapon discharge were located. It is inferred that the Jensai utilize plasma-based weaponry for their boarders, akin to Marine battle suits and PGMP weaponry.
  8. Aboard SNAKE WHITE, several pirate bodies were found under odd circumstances. In one case, three guards were killed in melee in a long corridor which the Jensai proceeded down, somehow without being seen. In another case, a docked freighter's entire crew - complicit in hoarding a Jensai device of some sort, by camera data - was taken out by seemingly a single individual with an unsilenced weapons-grade laser who was unseen the whole time by the freighter's surveillance cameras. The inference is that the Jensai boarders have access to equipment which hides them from visible light detection.
  9. The Marine squad participating in the sweep of SNAKE WHITE mentioned in their post-action debrief that upon removing their helmets in the shuttle on the return to Imhotep, a foul, alkaline smell was observed. It is unknown when or how the smell occurred, but it is possible that it occurred in ADDER's sizable menagerie of xenofauna - or that one of the Jensai boarders was wounded in action and the smell was that of Jensai bodily fluids.

ONI investigations taking place on SNAKE WHITE in the weeks following the battle turned up freighter manifests from Schuh Colony in Shoemaker System, which has recently been in the news due to the workers' revolt against the factory owners and their PMCs. It was discovered that a Jensai Seeker named Mekhamri and her mate were being held hostage by one of the PMCs in an underground facility in Schuh's main city center. The Seeker's ANGELFISH-class scout too was found in the underground warehouses, and it had been stripped of its valuable equipment.

It is not outside the realm of possibility that this Angelfish's stripped equipment - not to mention the kidnap and torture of two of their citizens - was the rationale for ordering the strike on SNAKE WHITE and Subject ADDER. The stolen Jensai technology aboard the docked freighter at SNAKE WHITE was removed during the Jensai's boarding action, and nothing more was found of it.

In this sense, the encoded message to VAdm. Antrim ("They know about Schuh") implies that word of Subject ADDER's involvement in the Seeker Incident had gotten back to the Jensai Concordance and that he expected an attack on SNAKE WHITE. ADDER ordered VAdm. Antrim to extract him back to Republic space to avoid the repercussions of Jensai involvement, but before the Imhotep - the unwitting 'rescue' vessel, with the infiltrator aboard - arrived in Hessian System, the Jensai Self-Defense Fleet had already arrived and captured him.

This interpretation of the data at hand has some fairly large questions - such as that regarding the Brotherhood's large-scale and overt intervention against the pirates, ADDER's exact role in the Seeker Incident and the means by which the Jensai learned of it, the rationale of using a Core Systems military vessel to escape when he had jump-ready vessels at his fingertips, and so on. However, with Subject ADDER in Jensai custody and the Jensai themselves reluctant to talk about it, we can do little but speculate.


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