Prelude To The Action.
HMS Venturer, the first of the newly constructed Venturer-class submarines named in honour of the V-class vessel of the same name, had been patrolling for the last forty three (43) days in the Denmark Strait. Venturer had been assisting in repairs to the GIUK SOUS line which had been damaged following the seaquake of 2019. The submarine, a pinnacle of the British assault-cruise hybrid, was fully staffed with a total of ninety-seven (97) regulars and thirty-six (36) commissioned officers. The ship had set sail under the command of Captain Lucas Holt DSO from the Holy Loch Naval Shipyards.
As Venturer surfaced for her daily report regarding the wellbeing of the ship a message was received from the Admiralty at Greenwich Naval Station. The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) had been given information by the Russian Federal Security Bureau (FSB) regarding chatter between the Russian Navy and it’s out of port vessels regarding the submarine K-559. The Submarine was the last of the Russian Borei-class submarines to be constructed and had been named in honour of Soviet Officer Vasili Arkhipov. K-559 was being operated at the time by Captain Alexei Alexeivich Andropov, nicknamed ‘Short Fuse’ by his subordinates for his vicious temper.
Official documentation on Captain Andropov of the K-559 did not indicate much in the way of a rising career. Indeed much had seemed to indicate that political sway had gained the ranks rather than dutiful skills regarding actions taken at sea. Captain Andropov was claimed by many of his former subordinates to not be an acceptor of failure. With regards to his running of the K-559 Andropov had reportedly told fellow officers of his hopes to one day be in command of the Russian Strategic Defense Forces. Such a promotion was not bound to happen however, following his losing of favour with Kremlin allies.
Psychological evaluation of Captain Andropov, at least what is available to the public, has revealed growing concern among Russian Admiralty. Andropov’s temper had been the highlight of several insubordination cases both for and against Andropov, which had lead to the evaluation. After careful examination the Admiralty had been recommended to restrict the progress of Andropov and to eventually enforce retirement on him when he approached the age of sixty five (65). Such actions were being taken and were not lost on the Captain, who had been informed of the investigation into his actions that K-559 would be his last command.
It is believed that these circumstances were the cause behind the final mental breakdown of Captain Andropov. A letter was sent to the Russian Admiralty on 7 June 2022 and was received the following day. Whilst the contents of the letter itself has remained unavailable to the public the clear intention was to inform the Russian Admiralty that Captain Andropov had clear intentions to sail to the Eastern Seaboard of the United States of America and fire K-599’s sixteen (16) RSM-56 Bulava SLBMs. Whilst warhead numbers are unaccounted for, the minimal amount available was already at ninety-six (96), each with an estimated yield of 500KT-10MT.
Russian Admiralty was made aware of the K-559 having left the port of Arkhangelsk at 1800hrs Moscow Time (2000hrs Zulu time). Scrambling to prevent the international incident the Russian Northern Fleet was scrambled in a wild chase to find the K-559 and either take it by force or, if necessary, destroy the submarine. On 9 June 2022 the Yasen-class submarine Kazan, K-561, reported suspected contact with K-559. Initial reports indicated that the rogue submarine was about to pass the Svalbard SOUS Line in Norway and efforts were being made to prepare for naval combat.
Despite the best efforts of the Kazan however, the K-559 was able not only to best its brothers, but also successfully sunk the Kazan with all hands lost. Confirmation of a skirmish came from SIS reports from field officers stationed at the Svalbard listening station. Confirmation of a muffled explosion and grinding metal as implosion and ruptures from the sinking Kazan were sent to the Russian Compound in London within two hours of the incident. FSB agents then confirmed and requested assistance from NATO forces in tracking and destroying K-559, without repercussion.
Following the official declaration by the Kremlin on 9 June 2022 in which the Russian Admiralty admitted in a closed off statement that Andropov had gone rogue and was now acting in the interests of himself, Russia Today branded the captain a traitor of the Russian Federation, claiming that he had been planning efforts to lead a military coup against the Russian Government. While investigations were to be conducted, the Russian Navy was to work alongside the NATO Forces in a joint collaboration. To prevent mistaken identity all other Borei-class submarines were ordered to surface and report immediately to home port.
A stroke of luck for the now combined forces came when K-559 passed through the Svalbard channel at an incredible pace of thirty (30) knots. Evidence from the audio being detected by the speakers indicated that K-559 was making a break for a dash across the sensors when something internally failed. The resulting sound, reported to be a possible failure in the propulsion, forced the submarine to slow to twenty (20) knots, still generating a grating noise even at that speed. With this information, all submarines including HMS Venturer were informed that K-559 had crippled itself and was now more audible.