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2nd Battle of Riseri
Part of Vorskel-Manta War
Location: Riseri Star System
Result: Decisive Vorskel victory
Belligerents
Vorskel Confederation Mantas
Notable commanders
Commodore Daria Varskaan

Captain Amira Bohica

Commander Rises High

Commander Meela

Strength
2x Bartizan class destroyer

2x Palisade class destroyer

1x Pilla class cruiser

1x Vandal Mk II class destroyer

1x Kalros class destroyer

Casualties and losses
2x Bartizan class destroyers damaged 1x Kalros destroyer destroyed

1x Vandal Mk II destroyer captured

OverviewEdit

The Second Battle of Riseri is the first engagement of the Vorskel-Manta war. It was fought between the Vorskel Confederation constituents, the Kingdom of Mesenthia, and the People's Republic of Sonique on one side with the Mantas on the other. The Mesenthian force was made up of a Task Group composed of the MSF Defender, MSF Barricade, MSF Palisade, and the flagship MSF Surefire. The Task Group was commanded by Commodore Daria Varskaan. Supporting them was the Sonique Task Element composed of the SSF Pilla. The Pilla was under the command of Captain Amira Bohica. On the Manta side was a single Task Group composed of a Vandal-class attack-destroyer, the DDZ-005 Nemesis, and the DDF-002, a former Volatilis Kalros-class fast attack destroyer. The Manta known as Rises High commanded the Task Group with DDF-002 as his flagship. Spaceglider Commander Meela was the Commanding Officer of DDZ-005. The battle ended as a Vorskel victory with DDZ-005 being captured and DDF-002 destroyed. The Surefire and Defender were damaged during the fight.

BattleEdit

After the reformation of the Confederation and the short-lived Vorskel-Ra-Noth war, Mesenthia's policy of isolationism was changed to one of exploration. It was the hope that new allies would help prevent a future war. Task Group 1, lead by Commodore Daria Varskaan was formed to spearhead such an effort. The fledgling Sonique Space Force, not wanting to be outdone, sent the cruiser SSF Pilla after her. Their most promising Captain, Amira Bohica was the commanding officer. After the nearly disastrous Kardot Encounter Daria's task group and the Pilla ended up in the Riseri system. It was devastated from the Volatilis revolt against the Mantas that followed the War of Volatilis Subjugation. However, a two destroyer Manta picket force was still stationed there.

The Vorskel ships were detected soon after transitioning from warp. The Nemesis and DDF-002 were hiding behind Lyesul's moon. DDF-002 drifted out from behind the moon. It didn't take long before the vessel began spitting jets of flame from its RCS ports in an effort to aim itself on a new course. Its four engines throttled up rapidly, sending it on a trajectory that would intercept the Vorskel Task Group at a high relative velocity. The Nemesis left cover afterwards and accelerated to follow DDF-002. A single 90cm gauss round and two 200cm railgun rounds were fired at long range. They were meant as warning shots as at this range the Vorskel could easily dodge.

At this point the Vorskel could have disengaged and left the system. In fact, such a move would have been the most sensible option. They were out of communications range and far from home. The Vorskel had no backup and were too far from drydock to repair major damage or replace dead or injured crew. A heavily damaged ship would have to be left behind if the battle went badly for the Vorskel. Also, they had no idea if the Mantas had more ships lying in wait in the system. Daria and Amira knew this and were about to retreat. However, Major Jenson, the Pilla's political officer interpreted the warning shots as a declaration of war. Blinded by pride, he ordered Amira to attack.

The Pilla took the lead and accelerated to make contact. Daria disagreed with the action but didn't want the hundreds of crewmen on the Pilla to pay the price. So she ordered her Task Group to move in and assist. The Pilla fired her guns, even though a hit was unlikely at several light seconds range. Every ship armed with lasers fired theirs. A small barrage of missiles joined in. The Barricade and Surefire engaged the Nemesis; The Defender and Palisade engaged DDF-002. The damage done to the enemy was not substantial. In addition, the Mantas' next move would nullify the missiles already fired completely.

Spaceglider Commander Meela decided to carry out a Zizi Maneuver. This was an incredibly short FTL jump meant to close the distance. Other races often called the same maneuver a "Tactical Jump". DDF-002 agreed but only reluctantly. Meela initiated it with her line, "Damn the missiles, full warp ahead." On the Vorskel's sublight sensors the original images of the Mantas would only vanish several seconds after they appeared 1000 kilometers away. They fired every weapon that they could bring to bear, all aimed at the Bartizans. Six 45cm dual barrel railgun turrets, two 180 megawatt laser turrets, two 200cm spinal railguns, a 90cm Gauss turret, three 40 megawatt 60cm Refined Focusing Array laser turrets, an 820 megawatt 200cm spinal RFA laser, and five 10 kiloton missile launchers were let loose.

Meela was banking on the idea that the element of surprise and the extremely high closing velocity would allow them to take out the biggest long-range threats, whether by hard kill or mission kill, then disarm or destroy the others as they sailed back out into the void. She did make a fatal error though. The Bartizan class ships were the most heavily armored Vorskel ships in the area. They also were not the most dangerous at long range. The Palisade class missile destroyers were the deadliest ships in reality.

The SCAR systems integrated into the Vorskel ships' armor activated. The most threatening shots turned to glancing hits. The off target shells were deflected harmlessly into space. The missiles never had a chance to hit as concentrated PD fire cut into them. Daria changed her target priority and had all ships fire at the Nemesis. Each Bartizan fired twenty 30 ton missiles, six 90cm railguns, and two 20cm 210mw lasers. Each Palisade fired twenty 90 ton missiles. The Palisades were holding back, they had 280 tubes, but that would be overkill in this instance. The SSF Pilla turned towards DDF-002 and fired with its two 200cm 600mw lancers, two 150cm railguns, and three quad 60cm railguns. Meanwhile, Defender's hull started to melt away from the 820 mw laser. Defender turned from the Vandal slightly and started to spin to make it harder for the beam to linger. But in the process it made return fire much more difficult.

Ultimately the spin was not very effective, and at most made the armor last a few more seconds. The laser bored through Defender's armor and sliced through bulkheads, hatches, and people deep inside. However, because it angled itself the laser doesn't go straight down the spine and narrowly misses the vitals. Some power conduits were cut though, and the lasers lost power. They would be out of action until damage control could reroute power. It started to reorient to shield the hull breach from further enemy fire. The Vorskel ships keep firing at the alien destroyers. Each Palisade launches another barrage of twenty missiles, but at DDF-002 instead.

While this was happening the Nemesis oriented itself with the goal of putting DDF-002 between it and the Vorskel. It is speculated that Meela was attempting to use Rises High's destroyer as a meat shield.

Several flashes of light marked the detonations of 90 ton missiles against Rises High's destroyer, one of which actually sent a chunk of plating flying off. The tear in DDF-002's armour began outgassing, as either a propellant tank or a crew habitat was punctured. It fired its eleven Point Defence turrets rapidly, trading a long-term overheating issue for a short-term advantage against the enemy's missiles, not that it really helped that much. There were simply too many of them. Nemesis meanwhile had been struck by a few 90cm railgun rounds and a 210mw laser had scored an ugly line across its hull, taking out a visual scanning array and a PD mount. Meela ordered that the vessel be aimed so that the 820mw laser could fire on the Pilla cruiser. Her assessment of which enemy spaceglider was the most dangerous had changed.

The Pilla's crew realized what was happening and Amira ordered a tactical jump. The cruiser appeared on the Nemesis' flank. It engaged with all weapons. The quad 60s, 150's, and the 600mw lancers all went into action. Nemesis started to turn to get its main weapon on the Pilla again. Two of the four pylon-mounted engines began thrusting in reverse to swing the entire vessel around rapidly, before the other two engines also began thrusting backwards. Gimbals on the engine bells allowed Nemesis to crab diagonally to bring it in so that Rises High's warship would be in the way. Nemesis took several hull breaches and started to lose propellant and reactor coolant. One of the main radiators was also shot off.

However, DDF-002 was in even worse shape than Nemesis. It had several weapons missing, and one of its spinal railguns was inoperative. Plus its armor was glowing cherry red across much of its surface where there weren't holes going right through it.

The Mesenthian destroyers saw an opportunity and Daria ordered a tactical jump of her own. The four Mesenthian destroyers jumped on Nemesis' flank. Their guns turned towards the alien craft's engine section and fired a barrage of railgun rounds. At the same time they offered a surrender. The Nemesis attempted to warp out, but the damage to the power systems was too much. A warp bubble formed for a split second but the drive shut down right after. The Nemesis broadcast a surrender signal. The Vorskel accepted it and ceased firing.

Rises High still had a part to play still, though. DDF-002 was not dead and started to turn towards the Nemesis. It seems he was trying to get payback for being used as a meat shield. The Vorskel noticed this and Daria ordered her destroyers to engage. DDF-002's nose section was blown apart from the fire. The destroyer was now down for good. This marked the conclusion of the engagement.

AftermathEdit

After the clash, Major Jensen planned to have Amira board the ship. But, as the Pilla moved to approach, Daria moved in first. Major Jensen messaged her directly and voiced his displeasure. He is recorded saying, "Commodore! Cease boarding actions immediately. That warship belongs to the Republic. We helped you, so we get half the spoils!" This soured relations between Mesenthia and Sonique when word reached Confederation space. It also significantly reduced Sonique's influence in the council.

Both Meela and Rises High survive the battle and are captured. They are implicated in war crimes and would later end up in a war crimes tribunal. The bombardment of Lyesul dealt damage to the Volatilis that they would never recover from in the foreseeable future. Someone would have to pay for that. However, that was not the end of it. Another terrible truth was discovered after the battle.

The Nemesis was not just a warship. It was carrying Volatilis captives for the Mantas. The Mantas were storing them to use as food.

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