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from: Captain@Ciara.Fen
to: [All-call.Jobs]
Sent: 27/11/2023

Subj: [Situations Vacant] Crew required for deep atmospheric cruiser.

In liason with the Venus Terraforming roject, we are proud to annouce with we have recently completed purchase of the ROCS Hai-Pao, a former Balao-class submarine.

Yes. We intentionally bought an 80 year old ship. But her engines were in good conditions, and the hull has a strong mmemetic resonance for pressure tolerance. Early surveys have indicated a high memetic suitability for these operations.

SL Roin will be refit for spaceflight operations, with an expected launch-date in early May.

She is intended to be used to service surface installations on Venus as the terraforming project ramps up, as well as deep-atmospheric cargo operations and research work in the gas-giants. She will retain combat refit capability as per GJ reserve requirements. We have already been contracted to accompany next year's Soviet deep space expedition.

We require crew able and willing to work in cramped quarters, without external visual aids and under high pressure. Being a fan of Das Boot or Down Periscope will be considered an advantage. As will experience with diesel engines or diesel electric transmissions, echolocation and 3D Maneuvering.

Please respond to this email with your C.V., one character reference, and the answer to the following question

What does DBF normally stand for?

Is Mise Le Meas
Raymond Garrat
Captain. SL Macha.

Since we have a fleet, does that technically make me an Admiral?
--m(^0^)m-- Wot, no sig?
Is Down Periscope a Fen-produced mockumentary of The Stingray Experiment in the Fenspace Universe? 'Cause I could see that! Dodge, Winslow, and Buckman  tickled pink they got Grammar, Torn, and Campbell for the roles, Knox shocked he got Macy... heh.
In Fenspace, Down Periscope is an actual documentary.

Be afraid.
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012
"But why is the Stingray...pink?"
"Because she thought she should be."
Goddammit, you made me do this... there may be a story.


Commander’s Log.
It took me twelve years to get used to the smell. And months aboard Macha to lose it.

Diesel. Bodies. Smoke. Polish. Paint.

Ciara always had her own unique scents. This tin can takes them to a new level. We are trapped in her together with them. With hatches that trap my tail

Fifteen bodies. One World War Two sub.

One working head.

The donk shop is open for business again. Our engines are running up the new batteries. Sean tells me it’ll be another 10 hours before we can depart. It's been a while since I've seen him this happy, covered in grease and oil once more. I must admit there is something comfortable about a running diesel engine. It feels secure again, like coming home. Macha is so pristine, so perfect, so smooth, she doesn’t feel like a home – just somewhere we ride in. The Soviet yards may have done their job a little too well.

Roin has grown on me.

She has completed three short cruises around the island, and a test-dive to confirm her systems are functional and patch any leaks. And confirm they work according to the manual

The paint has finally dried on the inner hull. Her full strength will be tested in orbit once her overhaul is to complete.

Which will have to wait. Our cruise to Yokohama to meet the heavy-lift has been put on hold pending our first commercial charter.

Who wants to pay to charter an 80 year old submarine. Before it’s been fully waved?

Ray tells me it’s up to me as Captain of the boat to make the final choice. The fact that anyone is offering enough money to buy and build this boat for one mission prickles the fur on the tips of my ears.

But a background check came back clean. Suspiciously.

I have asked an old friend to find out just who this Emily Lake might be.

--m(^0^)m-- Wot, no sig?
In that case, you need crew...

from: ku-yamada(at)freenet.portluna.fen
to: Captain(at)Ciara.Fen
Sent: 27/11/2023

Subj: RE: [Situations Vacant] Crew required for deep atmospheric cruiser.

Hello Captain Garrett. I trust this letter finds you well.

I have recently mustered out of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force and am looking for employment within the Convention. My most recent assignment was as an Aegis phased-array radar engineer aboard the JDS Kirishima, in which post I served for seven months. Before that, I held a number of other positions within the JMSDF, including one in which I worked with members of the Fenspace Convention's Great Justice. My complete C.V. is attached to this mail.

As a radar engineer, I am accustomed to working belowdecks on a regular basis. Also, the principles of radar are very similar to the principles of echolocation.

I have not yet seen Das Boot. However, I have seen Manatsu no Orion, and hope that this is an acceptable substitute. I found Down Periscope to be both intriguing and comedic.

As a reference, I refer you to Great Justice Col. Camilla Templar.

DBF is an English abbreviation for Diesel Boats Forever.

My current residence is in a rented apartment in Port Luna; the address is listed in my C.V.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Lt.Cmdr.(ret) Kururu Yamada

(attach: ku-yamada-CV.doc)
(attach: http://poserdazfreebies.miraheze.org/w ... -JMSDF.png]ku-yamada.png)
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012
Ta failte romhat ar bhord... (Bloody keyboard can't do fada's)


To: Commander SL Roin
SUBJ: Mundane installation in South China Sea
See Attached Briefing Notes: Chinese artificial islands in South China Sea. ‘Operation Stingray’ Exercise 1996 (USN): Study on Asymmetric Combat using Conventional Submarines. Preliminary conclusions on facility AR1558. Personnel File Addendum. Peoples Liberation Army Navy assets in the South China Sea.


As detailed, the Chinese Government has constructed a number of artificial islands throughout the South China Sea with the purpose of legitimizing Chinese claims to an extended Exclusive Economic Zone. These islands are protected by a network of lightly armed naval and naval aviation installations to defend against intrusions by foreign enemy fleets. Seventeen of these islands have been equipped with collapsible dish antennae with a dozen more under construction. It is suspected that the completed array will be used for communications interception.

It is suspected but cannot be proven at this that the completed array will have Interwave capabilities.

One such island, designated AR1558, has been built into a larger facility. Intelligence suggests that this facility acts as a nexus for information gathered by the array, which is then transmitted to the Chinese mainland using an underwater cable.

Technical Background:
Exercises performed with conventionally powered submarines have shown them, in the short term, to be capable of evading detection in extreme proximity to enemy vessels and installation where plant noise would reveal the presence of nuclear powered vessels.

GUPPY-II diesel submarines such as the former ROCS Hai-Pao were steadily upgraded throughout their service lives with uprated sonar systems and improved battery capacities to improve their underwater performance.

While arguably greatly deficient in many areas. On battery power it is quite possible for a conventional submarine to have near zero moving parts and hence, to operate extremely quietly. With direct drive electric motors it is expected that a slow-moving diesel submarine will be capable of approaching shore installations with a higher degree of stealth, with the capability of resting on a silty bottom motionless for days at a time without concern for reactor cooling or intake silting.

In noisier littoral waters around an active naval installation, it is highly likely a smaller diesel-powered vessel will remain undetected.

Of course, this unique advantage lasts only so long as the battery capacity of the boat in question

Political Background:

The Chinese government has laid claim to a large swath of the South China Sea. For two decades this claim has been disputed by surrounding nations who fear loss of economic sovereignty and access to sub-sea resources including fisheries rights and mineral and oil extraction rights.

China will not provoke a direct armed conflict with any of them for fear of the United States involvement.

These nations will not risk provoking a direct armed conflict with China for fear of the United States not getting involved.

The United States will not risk provoking a direct armed conflict with China for fear of the rest of the world getting involved.

For obvious reasons, the Fenspace convention cannot risk provoking a direct conflict with a mundane power.

It would be best if this mission never existed.

Mission Objectives:
1: SL Roin to file depart as scheduled for heavy lift from Yokohama and to file official navigation plans detailing such journey.

2: Once clear of land, SL Roin to change course.

3: While remaining undetected by mundane shipping SL Roin is to infiltrate the waters surrounding AR1558.

4: SL Roin is to locate the cable in shallow waters and plot its direction for future interception in deeper waters by a specialist vessel.

5: SL Roin to prioritise remaining undetected.

Secondary objectives.
1: Without compromising the secrecy of the mission, civilian specialists aboard SL Roin are to attempt to place an optic tap on the cable. Completion of this objective is at the discretion of the commander.

Adversary assets:
It is suspected that some form of underwater hydrophone array has been installed surrounded the island.

Reported surface assets include:
Luzhou-class Destroyer
2x Jiangkai-II class Frigates on patrol
Multiple motor torpedo boats of various type.

Submarine assets are known to regularly include at least one Shang-type submarine on station nearby.

Offensive Airborne combat assets operating from an airfield on nearby AR1552:
At least two squadron strength units equipped with Shenyang J11 aircraft.
At least one squadron strength unit equipped with Xiang H-6 bomber aircraft.

A full briefing on all possible enemy assets has been included.


It is recommended that you take full advantage of the civilian specialists who will be accompanying this mission. They each have prior experience in handling of submarines, or undertaking similar missions under adverse conditions.
It is recommended that AR1558 be approached either at night, or at a time of high shipping traffic to minimize the likelihood of being detected.
Adverse weather conditions may provide assistance in accessing littoral waters surrounding AR1558.

6: SL Roin to vacate AR1558 and attempt arrive in Yokohama as scheduled. A late arrival is to be explained as a mechanical malfunction or other malady.

7: Payment will be delivered on mission completion

Good Luck, Captain.


Anne’s green eyes narrowed to dark slits as she regarded the woman wearing a loose-fit Hawaiian-print t-shirt over the top of the tablet.

“Are you for real?”

Her canine’s punctuated it with a faint lisp.

“Yes. Captain.” Answered the willowy blonde. “And, aside from the monetary reward, any ship or crew assisting this mission would receive something of even greater value.”

“And that would be?”

Our gratitude, ma’am.”

No points for guessing whom would be grateful.

“You really think we can do it?”

“I was a participant in the exercise, ma’am. Chinese military assets are focused elsewhere against more advanced targets. There is a good chance we will pass unnoticed.”

The felinoid captain stared. The blonde went rigid.

“Relax. We’re in,” said Anne, settling back into her chair. “It wouldn’t be the riskiest mission we’ve taken on. Not by half.”

Emily exhaled a breath she hadn’t even realized she was holding.

--m(^0^)m-- Wot, no sig?
In the bowels of the submarine, swimming in diesel fumes, they waited. Ku found herself a nook between an engine and an air cleaner that’d almost become comfortable, if she stopped thinking about the valve jabbing at her kidney. Opposite her, a kid who self-described as a neotenic, and a carried an ID listing his aged as forty five. Perched on the engine, a tan-furred catgirl who went by the name on Mellura. Against the bulkhead, propping the hatch open with his elbow, one of the Americans – from the group that looked far too ‘squared away’ as the Americans said to have ever been civilians.

In her hands, a card with her photograph on it, set against a blue-marbled background, listing her expected qualification, along with a list of skills she was supposed to learn.

Qualification: Lvl-0 Sensor Specialist
Damage Control

Scrawled in pen on the bottom in a space marked notes:
“Knowledge (PLAN)”

It even had space for an inspirational quote at the bottom

“You cannot fight what you cannot find”

The card seemed more like something collectible from a game than a realistic track of her capabilities as an officer. Ku turned it in her hands. Everyone new to the crew had their own.

Voices rose from a hatch in the floor at her feet, chased by the rattle of a compressed air gun driving a bolt home. A man with skin the colour of engine oil, emerged from below, took a quick scope around, then hauled himself up to the deck with a creak.

An orange boiler suit had been smeared with thick grease and black oil

“Damn,” the American breathed.

“Nazzadi,” said the man, white teeth gleaming from black skin. “What happens when it’s either everybody dies, or somebody goes swimming in handwavium to gumpter up a water main into an engine coolant feed.”

“Shit,” said the American. “That’s pretty damn salty.”

“Thanks,” he breathed, red eyes turning vacant a moment. Whatever attacked him, he mastered it. He took a clipboard up from the engine cases, took another deep breath. He flipped the oilstained cover sheet over, gathered his thoughts.

“Righto, righto. I've brought you down here to start your training on the boat. Now, some of you will be familiar surface ships.” And he looked right at her when he said that. “Some of you've been crew on space ships before.” He looked to the kid “But as the man said, it's an entirely different kind of flying altogether”.

Only one person – the American - laughed. She just stared at him as he spoke.

“When you go to space, the hardest thing you have to do is keep what's in here, from getting out there. Now, that's not too hard, all things told. And even if you do get it wrong and the stuff inside does get out, sure, you've about 20 seconds to try do something about it before it becomes a terminal problem.”

He smirked at her. Speaking from experience?

“Now, where we're going, the thing we have to worry about, is keeping what's out there,” he pointed to the white painted hull behind the endfrom getting in here. And the further down we go, the harder and harder it's going to try. Eventually, it'll try hard enough that it'll find a way through a weak seam or a loose hatch, and it'll punch …”

A smack of a fist impacting in his palms added the required emphasis.

“…a nice big fat hole, and all that stuff out there will just crash in through it, compressing the remaining air in the hull to the point where it explodes like some giant diesel engine, blowing the boat and everything in it apart in about ten milliseconds.”

He gave that a few long seconds to sink in.

“Make no mistake about it. Blaise Pascal is the meanest prick in the universe. And Isaac Newton is his cuntish friend, dragging us down to where his sick French mate can crush us to little bits.

Where we're going, there can be no fuckups. There is no margin for error.

That's why we have four main engines, any one of which can drive this boat.
That's why we have emergency batteries, two banks, half of any one of which, can drive this boat for one day at full power.”

He counted them out on his fingers.

“And then we have you. Any one of which can kill us all by setting a single valve in the wrong direction. “

A pair of demon red eyes fixed each of them in place in turn. Yes, you can kill us all. Ku breathed – nothing she couldn’t handle.

It's taken us six months of rooting to get halfway familiar with this boat. We've crawled through her bowels covered in rat-shite, rust and tetanus. We know every pipe, ever bolt, every screw and every seam. This is our boat. It's your job to learn it all. It's you're job now to earn the right to call it yours.”

A direct challenge to their pride. She felt her skin prickle at the idea of failing.

He smirked, flashing the fangs. “As for why we're mad enough to do this?
Freight rates from Ultima Station to Venus orbit are 1200 credits per volumetric ton.
Freight rates from Venus orbit to Venus surface, are 1200 credits per volumetric kilo.

All those researchers and prospectors, they need someone to move their shit. And That someone is us.”

He aimed the finger on his right hand right at his chest.

Ku sat there, staring at her card. That someone may have been them, alright, but she just wasn’t sure if it was her.

This was so far beyond anything she expected.

“So, what brings you here?” the kid asked her.

She looked down at him, not sure what to make of an apparently eight year old leading with the most obvious pass in history.

The smile on his bright eyed face gave it away

“Money,” she lied. “Same as you.”
--m(^0^)m-- Wot, no sig?
Lets detail up the boat:


''No Pressure''

Alright, so here's the deal. Possibly one of the oldest vessels in service in Fenspace, and almost certainly one of the oldest in continuous service. When SL Roin first tasted salt water, World War II was still a thing. Entering the world as the USS Tusk (SS-426), the Balao-class submarine arrived too late to see combat off Japan, underwent modernisation between wars, and spent the Korean War in the Atlantic.

In 1973, she found herself in Taiwan, reneamed ROCS Hai-Pao. She served as a submarine trainer for five decades before finally being disposed of after someone decided to clean off the bird-shit holding the hull together and got a nasty surprise.

After rusting for a year, she was purchased by SL Ciara Shipping Co., supposedly to transport cargo into high-pressure environments, such as deep into gas-giant atmospheres or to Venus surface. She was refitted for spaceflight in the normal way - with most of the aft and forward ends being modified and a new set of stabilisers added to the pressure hull.

The boat has since been chartered by customers as varied as the Artemis Foundation, the Venus Terraforming Project and Rockhounds Inc. She's turned her hand to research in gas giants, or exooceanic surveying, as well as the intended cargo transport.

SL Roin joins USS Stringray and GKSS Severstal as part of the Fenspace submarine fleet and thus far, remains unique in being privately owned, and conventionally powered.

She is reportedly not one of the true Submariners.

==What makes her unique==

Prior to Roin, there really was nothing like her in private hands. A few small craft could go real deep in atmo, and there were always both remote and piloted craft operated by both the VTP and Gas Giant survey teams, but these were on the order of tens of tons. Roin, fully loaded on the surface, has a mass of over 1500 tons.

Of course, going somewhere that dangerous means you need to take a lot of precautions.

Such as 4 seperate engines backed up by two full battery banks, powering two whole independant wave-motion propulsion stacks. Any one of which has been proven to be capable of lifting her from pressure-altitude up to Jupiter orbit.

Which naturally limits her normal cargo capacity and cargo fraction to somewhere between a Space Shuttle and a Saturn V but when you can go to places nobody else can, and gaurantee you can bring things back from here, you can charge a premium for your services.

And boy do they.[ref]Average freight rates from Ultima to Venus between 1200Cr/ton. Freight reights from Venus orbit to Venus surface beng 1200Cr/Kilo[/ref]


''Under Pressure'': Capable of reaching Venus surface. And leaving again. May well be capable of going farther, but when your first warning of the limit is a 'pop' and the sudden appearrance of St. Peter it tends to discourage experimentation

''Department of Redundancy Department'': 4 Main diesel engines. 2 battery banks. 2 wave motion drives. One engine, or one battery bank, supplying one drive, is more than enough to reach Jupiter orbit from her pressure limit. And probably somewhere beyond.

''Sardines'': This is not a comfortable cruising passenger liner. There're bunks in the forward cargo bay, a small galley and a lot of machinery. Quarters are tight at best, and generally just uncomfortable. On really long trips, there's usually the crew's food, too, along with spare parts and machine tools to run off more spare parts. Sharing bunks is common. Hot-racking also. Even for passengers

''Diesel Boats Forever'': Fuelled by Diesel oil. Unlike Ciara, she'll take good quality diesel fuel from any source. She needs seawater to pressurise her fuel tanks properly.

==Crew Quirks==

''NUB-free zone'': Probably one of the harshest crew training regimes in Fenspace. Anyone onboard needs to be trained up, not just on their normal role, but on at least two others. You've enginemen who can navigate, comms officers who can fire a missile and pilots who can repair electric motors, and everyone can do damage control in a pinch.

''Wilson's Nemesis'': Homeported in SSX-Base. Flies a Jolly Roger with 1 Dagger and one Red Submarine. Closer to the Space Pirates than Ciara was or Macha is.

''The Old Comrades'': The core of her crew came from Ciara, many of them being members of Ciara's original crew. Mostly those that couldn't make the adjustment to Macha.

''Smoke and Dagger'': CLASSIFIED


It took six months to make SL Roin ''seaworthy'' to sail to meet a heavy lift from Yokohama.

When she finally did arrive, she arrived over two weeks late and with her bow smashed in after hitting something hard and heavy. Her crew reported it as a floating container - flotsam from a freighter.

In the meantime, The PLANSF suffered the loss of a Type-93 submarine in the vicinity of an artificial island. It apparently suffered some form of underwater casualty to uts ballast and electrical system before dropping below collapse depth and imploding, taking its crew and the reason why to the bottom.

Naturally, the usual conspiracy heads have had a field day. Roin's crew have only ever pointed out how ridiculous an idea it would be to even take an 8 decade old submarine that close to a Chinese military base.

Or that it would survive a collision with a modern submarine. [ref]Not that reality ever stopped the Clancyites[/ref]

Mundane powers who would know, are refusing to confirm or deny any knowledge. [ref]Perhaps a tacit acknowledgement that, at least publically, a tragic accident is in ''everyone's'' best interest.[/ref]


Ship's Motto:

''Seeking the Truth of the Legend that Lies Therein''


*Commander: Anne Devlin
*Engineer: Seán McKenna
*Sensors: Ku Yamadera.
*Toaster: Talky.

--m(^0^)m-- Wot, no sig?