So I am proud to bring to you for your reading pleasure, "Cerulean Sky Redux"; now fully using Twilight of the Arnor, and a revised and internally consistent story universe.
First, let us meet the Cerulean Union:
Quick Notes: The Cerulean Union is a Custom Race with that as its Base. It has the following Inherent Statistics:
Trade Routes: 1
It is using a Modified Drath/Korx Hyrbidized Tech Tree
Ok, now on to our Galaxy Setup
Using Twilight of the Arnor 1.99rc Beta
All Victory Conditions Enabled
Blind Exploration On
Mega Events On
Super Abilities On
Tech Stealing On
Tech Trading On
Tech Brokering Off
Abundant Habitable Planets
Very Fast Tech
Uncommon Extreme Worlds
Frequent Random Events
9 Random AI
on Suicidal Difficulty
and on to the story:
Episode I: Near Extinction
December 9th, 2226
"Everything is set into motion?" she asked as she wrapped herself around him, and let her fingers slide through his thinning hair.
"Yes, everyone is in place, and I have managed to get some trusted friends on board her ship." Henry responded as he gave her a light kiss on her parted lips.
"Wonderful! Who would have guessed all this happening. You never cease to amaze me, my darling!" as she kissed his lips, his neck, letting him caress her.
"Thank you my dear, and soon, all the you could have ever wanted will be yours." Henry said as he pulled her closer.
"I have everything that I could want in you. But yes, I will love to see you finally get everything you've dreamed of, what you deserve, in a few weeks." and she looked at him longingly in the eyes.
"I couldn't do it without you, Laci. Everything is all set to go, all thanks to you." and he kissed her hard on the lips again.
"No my love, this was all your doing." and Laci and Henry fell back under the covers of his bed.
December 18th, 2226
"Madam Vice President, does the Administration feel slighted by the Secretary of Defense for announcing his own candidacy for the Presidency even though President Ashton is only in his first term?"
"Madam Vice President, what about the crisis on Rhea? Does the administration plan on sending troops?"
"Madam Vice President, can you comment on the rumors that your husband was caught having an affair with your lead aide?"
"Madam Vice President, is it true that the colonists on Ceres Station have rebelled against Union control?"
"Madam Vice President....Madam Vice President...Madam....."
....Markus, my new lead aide, knocked soflty on my office door and poked his head in, "Madam Vice President? The President is here."
Rubbing my temples, I pushed away the latest stack of reports, newspapers, and other paperwork I had received that day. "Thank you Markus, please send him in." and with that the small but athletic frame of President Ashton entered my office. I stood. "Welcome, Mr. President."
"Thank you." said President Ashton as he strode over to grasp my hand. He turned back toward the door. "Markus, can you close the door behind you and don't let anyone disturb us unless its very important."
"Of course, Mr. President. I'll be right outside if you need anything at all."
The President turned back towards me, now cusping both my hands within his. "By the gods Jackie, you look like hell."
I laughed. "Well if I only look like hell, than thats better than how I feel. Can I get you something George? I think I have some Hermian Cabernet, 2217, a very good year."
George Ashton took a seat on the dark leather couch across from my desk. "Yes, that would be lovely Jackie. Thank you."
So as I went to my private stock, reaching for the dinstinctive blue Hermian bottle "So what brings you here George? I doubt its just to drink all my good wine."
Ashton laughed but that quickly turned into a sigh. "I wish. Its been a bad week, I don't need to tell you that. Of course, probably a tad worse for you than me. Have you talked to your husband this week at all?"
The bottle slipped in my hand as he mentioned Michael. "No, not really. He's staying with his sister on the outskirts of the city. I think Amee is there too." Amee was my former lead aide, and now apparently my husband's favorite passtime. I quickly took a swig from the bottle.
"Ah, I see. Well, we'll have to say something eventually. Its going to get out that he's not staying here at the manor. But we'll cross that bridge later." I handed George his glass and he took a sip. "Westings's announcement came at a bad time. Why couldn't he have resigned first? Talk about gunning for my job."
"I warned you George, about making him Secretary of Defense."
"And he warned me about picking you as my Vice President. Thankfully, Jackie, I didn't listen to him or I wouldn't be in office." Raising his glass he toasted me. "To you Jackie, the gods keep giving you grief and yet you keep on ticking."
As I finished another sip from my already nearly empty glass "So what are we going to do about the Rhean and Ceres Station conflicts?"
"Well, I was hoping I could convince you to go to Rhea and get the colonial leaders to sit down at the table. Secretary Westings is already on board the 'Victorious' near Ceres heading up a review on Fleet functions. I may send him over with a small fleet to show the rebels that we're not sitting idly by. "
"I see. Well, of course, anything I can do to help." and with that President Ashton got up, gave me a big hug.
"You'll be alright, Jackie, you're a strong woman." as I smiled back, he opened the door and left me with my empty glass, which I refilled.
December 31st, 2226
"This is Cerulean Two to Rhean Space Command. We are on bearing 180.2 by 94.1 by 65, please confirm that this is the correct orbital lane."
"Captain, I'm not getting a response from RSC."
"Thank you, Lieutenant." Captain Morave hit the comm system again. "This is the Cerulean Union vessel 'Cerulean Two' on special envoy to Rhea contacting the Rhean Space Command. Please come in Command."
"Alright. Go ahead and bring us to full stop. I don't want us going into blind to Rhea, its too volatile. I'll go back and ask the Vice President what she wants us to do."
"So you've recieved no response at all from Rhean Command, Captain?"
"No, I'm sorry, ma'am; all their channels are nothing but static."
"Hmmm, alright. I'll make contact with the Presi..." I stopped as I noticed the navigator rushing back toward us. "What's wrong Lieutenant?"
"I'm sorry to interrupt ma'am but well, I can't seem to raise anyone on the comm channels. Any comm channel."
Over the intercom came a new voice to add to his. "Proximity Alert. Warning, proximity alert."
The captain and the lieutenant, exchanged a worried glance. "Excuse me, Madam Vice President, I need to return to the bridge."
Captain Morave entered the bridge and immediately saw the frantic pace that his command crew was now under. "Report!"
From tactical, "We have three unidentified vessels on a direct approach with weapons powered up. They are not responding to hails. They are still well outside firing distance, about fifteen minutes sir."
From comm, "We have lost all contact with Central Command, Sir, but we are overhearing civilian radio traffic that there seems to be some massive attack under way."
The doors opened and Vice President Jacquelyn Hamilton strode out onto the bridge. After glancing back at her, Captain Morave turned back to tactical. "Raise shields, take evasive maneuvers and set a course back to Cerulean Prime."
From comm again, "Captain, we are receiving an automated message from Cerulean Prime. It states: 'Attack under way, all ships to retreat from sector. Cerulean Emergency Level One in effect. Inner colonies no longer safe.' It repeats from there sir."
Vice President Hamilton spoke up. "Ensign, send the following back on that channel. Two, E as in eagle, Four, Seven, A as in apple, Three, Five, Dash, J as in June, H as in Home."
"We are receiving a message Madam Vice President."
"Go ahead, Ensign."
"Cerulean City destroyed. President dead. Articles to be followed. Planetary destruction imminent. As many civilian ships as possible launched once strike began."
Shock and gasps spread around the bridge.
"Captain, I want you to initiate an Inner System Jump to the orbit of Cerulean Prime."
"Ma'am, that's not..."
"It can be done right?"
"Yes, ma'am, but.."
"Then do it."
Morave gave a long look at Hamilton and then turned back away, "All hands, this is the Captain, prepare for Jump."
and time seemed to slow and everything seemed pulled...and then it snapped back into place
"Jump successful. We are in orbit of Cerulean Prime."
"Captain, we are reading over a thousand ships out there. All ours. We are also reading a fleet of unidentifieds en route from Rhea, about four hours out."
Jackie Hamilton turned to the captain, "Captain, send the following out please: This is Cerulean Two taking command of the fleet. Please bring ships within one kilometer of Cerulean Two, and prepare for Carry-Along Jump."
Captain Morave about stumbled at that. "Excuse me, ma'am, but exactly what are you planning on doing?"
"We, captain, are going to extend the Jump Bubble around the entire fleet and Jump out of here."
"Madam Vice President? We are receiving a Priority Message from the 'Victorious', its from Secretary Westings. We do have visual."
"Madam Vice President, good to see you alive. I hear you are planning for everyone to do a Carry-Along Jump?"
"Yes, Mr. Secretary, that is the plan."
Secretary Westings gave a slight smirk. "Well, I hope you know what you are doing."
"Well, Henry, why don't you help and coordinate the ships into formation so we can pull this off."
"Yes ma'am." and with a smile the screen flicked off.
"Captain? Put all reserve tanks to powering the Jump Drive and have Navigation plot a course as far as the Jump drive will take us. We'll probably burn it out, but I don't want whoever this is coming after us."
"This is Captain Morave to all vessels. Prepare for Carry-Along Jump."
"Captain, the unidentified fleet is closing in, only ten minutes away. Also sir, I'm picking up massive seismic fluctuations from the planet. I think it could explode at any moment."
"Alright, start Jump Drive engines."
"Jump Drive engines initiated. Jump in five...four...three...two...one...Jump..."