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The Broken Commonwealth (Chapter Cover Art)

Chapter 34 - The Broken Commonwealth[]

Battle of Kowloon, 3149
Forty minutes into the fighting

December 3149

Clan crews have long had access to Harjel, a wonderful material that expands and seals things like hull breaches in combat.  Thus, like their Star League Ancestors, they fight with their hulls and life support systems running full atmospheric pressure.

This makes a remarkable number of tasks much, much easier on a warship, and saves a lot of resources on crew training, since you can reliably operate in standard uniform.

There's an unfortunate thing that happens when you do that.

Armor stops weapons...but it doesn't stop all weapons (hence, the use of Harjel layers in hull structures and self-sealing bulkhead doors, blast doors...)

Unfortunately, some things still get through, and if those things are depositing energy in unorganized fashion (known as 'heat') after striking with lots of kinetic force? fires are not unlikely. Nor are translations of shock, since nobody in a thousand years has come up with a kinetic energy sink.

Shock and fires are the enemy of delicate Warship systems, even (sometimes especially) military spec systems.

They also don't do good things to unprotected human bodies, such as crewmen and officers in shirt-sleeves uniforms.

The crew of the CHS Armageddon isn't having a nice day.  now facing a continuous bombardment from four Landmark class destroyers while their dropships and fighters are playing blood-tag with Sampan III's, Fast moving fighters, strike fighters, and opposing small-craft, their situation is getting worse.

The tipping point for Star Commodore Israel Dudzinsky comes when that concentrated volley from the locals-who arrived way too fast, appearing already in motion on long range sensors from seemingly nowhere half an hour ago, chewed through the armor on the Armageddon's port aft quarter, setting off shock and explosions in the cooling and fuel systems feeding the ship's main drive, and rupturing one of the liquid helium tanks that cool the jump core.

Jumping out would be now or never.

He turned the key and hit the release switch, sending a signal to the drive controller to return them to the coordinates of the system they last stopped at, because the LF batteries never fail.


That last salvo had penetrated the housing of the LF batteries. The shaking had been the discharging of all that energy into space...except what was currently superheating the airtight bulkheads and cooking the harjel to brittle consistency.


The overload and feedback through the power system tripped breakers and burned through fuses, and the Bridge went dark.

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