The Veritian Derelict (Junkyard Dogs)

BOOK: The Veritian Derelict (Junkyard Dogs)
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Junkyard Dogs Book Two

Veritian Derelict.


by Phillip Nolte

[email protected]


Cover image by
A. Wirth
. (
[email protected]






This book is dedicated to
Phillip C. Deaton
, former Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy, my late friend and my military advisor. It was clear to us from our numerous discussions that nuclear submarines and starships have a lot in common...


Special thanks to good friend and artist A. Wirth for her stellar artwork.




Veritian Derelict
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


Copyright 2013 by Phillip Nolte





"...How do you mark the beginning of a war? Is it the steadily escalating rhetoric between the potential antagonists? The total lack of compromise over seemingly trivial details that inevitably leads down the path to open conflict? As we look back at these things, it seems that we usually pick a flash point of some kind. Has the flash point that will begin a new war come and gone already?

Ships of unknown origin
have been attacking remote Federation and Islamic Alliance outposts alike with beam weapons and troops, overwhelming the usually meager defenses after short, one-sided battles. Many station defenders have surrendered without attempting to mount any kind of defense. Some of the captured facilities have been abandoned after the communications equipment has been destroyed but a number of the more strategic facilities remain occupied and the communications equipment has been put to use by these unknown enemies. Many of the experts had predicted something of this sort to begin somewhere.

Through the miracle of Stage II Whitney communications, the Federation
Naval Authorities have been made aware of these attacks within a week or so of their occurrence. In spite of the many rumblings seething below the surface of everyday politics, this newly minted and steadily escalating hostile activity has caught most of the United Terran Federation Authorities totally unprepared. The United Terran Federation Navy is no exception. The Navy is undershipped, undermanned, undertrained and disorganized. In other words, just about what would be expected of a military force whose government has been at peace for more than fifty years. Since there has been no major conflict for more than fifty years, virtually no one has any current combat experience either.

In desperation, the building programs for new ships of all classes
have been accelerated. In the meantime, the Federation Navy will be forced to use outdated and obsolete ships, manned by inexperienced crews and this less than ideal condition is likely to be the case well into the foreseeable future. This means that the Federation will be forced to bring some of their obsolete units back to a state of combat readiness. The large cache of perfectly good used warship parts contained in the huge floating junkyard out here by New Ceylon will quite likely begin to take on a whole new value as the Federation rushes to restore its Navy to some kind of fighting ability

The Scrapyard itself ha
s been well maintained, for the most part, but a recent terrorist attack has destroyed the living facilities and there are no accommodations for workers or staff as what could well be a new war begins. Stop gap measures are necessary..."

Excerpt from the personal log of Oskar Kresge, United Terran Federation Naval Commander and commanding officer of the UTFN Reclamation
Center near New Ceylon.


Whitney Hyperspace Jump Zone, Hileah star system, Santana Quadrant, November 27, 2598.

The Meridian Imperial Navy
phased back into normal space after executing a jump from the Meridian star system to the Hileah Commonwealth. As one of the most modern warships in the Meridian Navy, having been commissioned only three years earlier, she was a match for any ship of her class in any of the navies in the Quadrant. Following the hyperspace macrojump, there was the normal and expected period of disorientation among the members of her crew, suffered to differing degrees by different humans.

As the ship beg
an to resume normal operations, her commanding officer, Captain Omar Hassad, addressed the crew over the ship's intercom, "The
is now in open space. As of this moment, the command staff on this ship decrees that the current Government of Meridian is false and invalid and that we are declaring our allegiance to the legitimate emperor of Meridian, His Eminence the Sheik of Barsoom!" Having made his announcement, the Captain paused for the words to take effect before continuing.

"Those of you among the crew
who wish to remain loyal to the current government will be allowed to come forward and will be released at the next port that we come to, the Port of Suliman here in the Hileah Commonwealth. I know this may be a difficult decision for some of you to make so I will give you all two hours to pray and cleanse your souls before you declare your allegiance. That is all."

On the bridge, t
he Captain turned to his first in command. "Do you think there will be many who do not approve?"

The junior officer
pondered the question for a short moment before responding.

"No, Sir, I do not. We have been
carefully hand-picking this crew for almost an entire year and I have only approved the addition of men who we know to be loyal to our cause. There may be a few of the men who were a part of the original crew before we took command that might have...other loyalties but I doubt there will be many."

"I will have them report to the front hold after the two hours are up. You know what to do."

"I think so, Sir. We mean to release them?"

"Yes, Lieutenant, we will release them
...perhaps a little sooner than they expect. Unfortunate, but necessary."

"I understand, Captain."

"We will then proceed to the Santana Nexus, to link up with Ambassador Saladin's ship. Do you expect that he will be pleasantly surprised when he discovers we now oppose him?"

Surprised perhaps but certainly not pleased. I would give much to see the look on his treacherous face when he finds out!"

As would I! Round up your most trusted security people and prepare the front hold."

I will see to the arrangements immediately, Sir!"

To the complete surprise of the two officers, not a single crewman showed up to take advantage of the
"opportunity" that had been provided.

In the
aft or "Y" turret of the
main armament, Kahlil Mohamed Khan, the Chief Petty Officer in charge of the crew manning the turret, knew that to announce his loyalty to the current and rightful government of Meridian would be certain death. He was also sure that he was not the only member of the crew who felt as he did. At some point he would probably have to do something about it. The present moment, however, was not the time.

e would have to play along, for now...



Chapter 1


New Ceylon Orbital Station, Nacobbus Star System, November 28, 2598.

Irene Marshall,
Undersecretary of Commerce for the planetary government on the New Ceylon Orbital Station, awoke in the middle of the night with the sure knowledge that something was wrong. Her fiancé, United Terran Federation Naval Commander Oskar Kresge, lay on his side next to her, fast asleep. Irene was nestled up behind him with one arm draped over him. His warmth and his presence were reassuring but she still felt edgy. It took a moment for her sleep-altered mind to come to the full realization of what was bothering her. With the New Ceylon Orbital Station's stage II Whitney interstellar communications console having been destroyed in a nearly successful terrorist attack on the New Ceylon system, the Naval personnel temporarily housed at the Orbital Station were currently depending on courier ships for sporadic communications from the rest of Federation Space. One such ship had come through the New Ceylon system just the previous day with new orders for the Naval personnel in the system.

Oskar's new orders, t
hat's what was bothering her. Oskar had been ordered to assume duties that would have him leave the New Ceylon Orbital Station, Irene's home and workplace, sometime in the next two or three days, and neither of them had any idea when he'd be back. But that wasn't the only thing eating at her. Political unrest throughout the Santana Quadrant was at a higher intensity than she'd ever seen before.

She thought
back to how she and Oskar had headed up a group of maintenance and security people onboard this very space station in a successful attempt to free the station from a group of terrorists who had used armed merchant ships in a sneak attack that not only allowed them to take over the station but had completely destroyed the
, the Federation destroyer that had been assigned to protect the system. From the looks of things, the action out here at New Ceylon had been just the beginning of similar activities all over the Quadrant and in other parts of United Terran Federation space as well.

Thank God they had managed to negotiate a trade agreement and
formalize diplomatic relations with Ambassador Saladin from Meridian before all hell had begun to break loose across the quadrant. This very same Ambassador and his trade mission had been the reason for the attack on the Orbital Station in the first place.

Irene checked the time, 0300. She still had a few more hours now and maybe a couple more nights
with Oskar before he would have to leave to reassume command of the United Terran Federation Naval Reclamation Center. Also known as "The Scrapyard," the Reclamation Center was a huge cloud of damaged and obsolete warships jumbled together with a wide assortment of other space junk and debris that occupied the L5 point of New Ceylon's orbit around Naccobus, the central star of the planetary system.

Oskar had asked her to marry him after he had been wounded while leading a successful hostage rescue during the affair with the Ambassador
, just before he lost consciousness from the trauma of his wounds. That had been about a month and a half ago. She had accepted his proposal several days later, after he had recovered consciousness and partially recovered from his wounds.

They still hadn't set a date but that didn't matter all that much to her. They'd get to it. It wasn't as though she absolutely couldn't get along without the Commander
; they had been getting by only seeing one another for about a week out of every month for the last two years. The frequent separations were a necessary evil dictated by the careers they had chosen and the professionalism that was second nature to both of them.

She snuggled up closer, held him tightly and kissed him lightly on the back of the neck. He stirred and smiled in his sleep. Despite all the strife and uncertainty, Irene felt a small wave of contentment wash gently over her. She realized that sometimes
a person just has to live in the moment. She felt herself relax as she embraced her man and eased back into sleep a few minutes later.




Hispano-Suiza "El Dorado" Type 72 Grand Spacefarer Yacht.

...When cost is no object and your business and lifestyle demand that you travel the Galaxy in style, there is no finer transport than Hispano-Suiza! Catering to the ultra-demanding tastes and requirements of only the most discriminating clientele, H-S has been building the very best for more than fifty years. Starting out with the Hispano-Suiza Type 72 template, itself one of the most superbly engineered spaceframes ever produced, each of our honored clients then has his choice of a nearly unlimited number of living and recreational arrangements as well as furnishings as opulent as his dreams. Do you and your guests desire a pool? A ballroom? A sports arena? How about Stage II Whitney communications so you won't miss any of those important business deals no matter where they might be coming down? All these features and more are available from Hispano-Suiza. Contact one of our discreet sales representatives today!

An entire galaxy of luxury awaits

Excerpt from a Hispano-Suiza sales brochure and tri-D video advertisement. Produced
by Hispano-Suiza Ltd., New Rome, during the final year of operations before the firm declared bankruptcy in 2575.


On board the yacht
somewhere in the Catskill-Soroyan Star system, November 28, 2598.

Sheik of Barsoom looked over the short, ragged rows of his handpicked soldiers, all of them at attention and staring straight ahead. He nodded in silent approval. They were assembled in the main hold of the Sheik's aging yet still magnificent yacht. Their uniforms weren't brand new or in many cases even matching, but the clothing and gear were well maintained and the men and women wearing them were highly trained and absolutely dedicated; each and every one of them willing to die for their leader and for their cause. Dozens of the finest troops anywhere, all of them drilled in the latest guerrilla and terrorist tactics.

Though t
hese people could certainly stand toe to toe and shoot it out with heavily armed enemies, such tactics were not part of their mission. No, they were subversives and their specialty was stealth and misdirection, their purpose to infiltrate, to harass and to irritate. They all had something else in common: Each of them had spent at least one tour of duty as a crew member on board a warship in one of the five navies of the Islamic Alliance. They were the perfect type of force that could provide the spark required to ignite a fire. A big, roaring fire! The Sheik circled around to the side of the formation. His soldiers remained at attention, eyes forward. He raised his voice so all could hear him.

"We will be
docking at the Piedmont Mining Station in two hours," he said. "I suggest that you all take a little time to pray and get your affairs in order. Then gather your gear together and report to your designated stations. The strike teams will disembark as soon as I give the word. Prepare yourselves, the glorious war we have been prepairing for is soon to begin!"

His soldiers, eyes still looking stra
ight ahead, didn't see the flicker of concern that touched the old man's features as he checked his wrist chronometer. Not all of his men, or women, were currently with him on the yacht. One of his best operatives had been on board the Piedmont Mining Station for the better part of a week and it was vital that she accomplish her part of the mission without incident before they could proceed to the next steps. For the moment, all he could do was to wait a little longer; their designated targets wouldn't be available for several more hours yet.

! All of you! Now!"

troops dispersed in an orderly fashion, each headed purposefully to perform their allotted duties. As the hold emptied, the Sheik spoke a silent prayer: "
May Allah guide your path, Fahada

Two hours later, the
old and stately yacht full of terrorists, posing as a rich man's plaything, docked at the remote outpost.

BOOK: The Veritian Derelict (Junkyard Dogs)
6.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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