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Xagmar's War

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1 Xagmar's War on Mon May 11, 2015 1:30 pm

This is story I came up recently to better flesh out my sci-fi setting.  I thought I would share it to see what ya'll think of it.  If you have criticisms or questions about it, please don't hesitate to share them.

Lines of text appeared on the screen that no one was watching as the newest message came in.  A beep resounded through the space when the precedence code was decrypted.  Someone came running to the station.  By now, the body of the message came up.  “Immediate priority, sent from Timur!” she yelled to her supervisor past of wall of equipment.

She grabbed a disk from the desk behind her with one the arms that protrude from her back.  A quick copy job later, the disk was taken to another nearby station.  From there, the contents of the message were sent to its final recipients.
It was another day in the office of the Vice Admiral Xagmar.  His subordinates sat in the chairs around the room.  The discussion was about the situation between the Marican Hegemony and Salam Republic, just like every day for the past few weeks.  The signal that erupted from the base personnel put an end to the conversation.  Xagmar brought his crystalline pad into view as the hologram of the message scrolled into existence.

His reading was occasionally interrupted by the beeping that came from the ship captains.  They started reading the same message as him.  “Marica has declared war on Salam.  They just launched multiple assaults across their border, all 13 kilo-light years of it.”  Xagmar stood to his full height.  “Captains, get your ships ready to depart.  Standby for further orders.  Dismissed.”
“Vice Admiral, we're sending you over two-thirds of Seventh Fleet.  They'll be there by the end of the week,” one of the holograms stated.  It was from Admiral Gulnar, the only one on a board of Grand Admirals.  “They are meant solely to reinforce your position until further notice.”

“What is the word from Pich?” Xagmar asked.

“The Council of Representatives is deliberating the matter.  It could be a matter of days or a week before they vote,” a Grand Admiral answered.

“Meanwhile the dragomir sent by the Maricans is telling them that this matter shouldn't concern us.  That this is just the consequences of Salam's foreign policy of brinkmanship backfiring on them.  And that because of their aggressive attitude towards other parties we're allied with if we back up our offer of assistance, we hurt our standing in the galactic community,” another chimed in.

“Shall I begin planning in case of a declaration?”

“The Talik Plan has already been made.  A copy of it will be forwarded to you; study it, make adjustments if need be,” the first GA replied.  She leaned forward, resting her arms on the desk.  “To support possible operations, we're sending a new experimental weapon to your position.  Admiral Gulnar will accompany them.  He is the one who will order their use.”

Xagmar acknowledged his assignment before the transmission ended.  He turned to an aide and asked, “Have you heard of this Talik Plan?”

The aide just shook his head.  “Well then.  Inform the Captains that Timur Yulduz has sent the alert to prepare for war.”

Edited: Corrected some spelling, changing a name from Rustam to Timur, and capitalizing 'p' in Talik Plan.

Last edited by SilverDragonRed on Sun May 17, 2015 8:22 pm; edited 1 time in total

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2 Re: Xagmar's War on Wed May 13, 2015 3:54 pm

Xagmar studied the hologram displayed in the center of the room.  Overlaying the map of their region of space was a multitude of colored arrows indicating plotted movements with a stated number of battle fleets for the maneuver.  All he could do was to try and wipe the exhaustion from his eyes.  It had been nearly a week since they first started trying to modernize the plan they were given.

The door slid open behind him, and a cup was placed on his desk.  He quickly headed over to someone on the other side of the room.  Xagmar partook of the fresh brew while they conversed; the newcomer was mostly listening.  After the other person departed, the newcomer returned to Xagmar's desk.

“Coffee; my salvation from the day-to-day drudgery.  Good on you Rustam,” Xagmar stated.  The newcomer nodded in appreciation.  “Any progress, sir?” he asked, staring at the display.

“Not enough.  This was made when dreadnoughts were still the ships that dominated tactical thinking, and it doesn't help to barely any attempt has been made to update this thing since then.  Not to mention that true to form, First Admiral Talik made it too complicated.”

Rustam looked at him quizzically.  “How so?  I've always been told he was a master strategist.”

“His plans always relied on many, many operations working in concert to achieve the maximum effect.  Too many variables to control, and he relied far too often on luck.  This thing is no different...” Xagmar interrupted himself for another sip.  “It assumes secrecy has been maintained, and thus the operation begins as a surprise attack.  Under radio silence, over 20 battle fleets with an additional 68 task groups are supposed to move unopposed to invade 15 planets simultaneously and numerous other logistical installations along a front of over 700 light years.”

He got from his desk covered with files.  With Rustam following behind him, Xagmar continued, “The worst part is the time table.  To achieve the the vaunted split of the Hegemony, this plan calls for a distance of 3 kilo-light years to be covered against stiff opposition in only four months.”

They reached the display table.  “So, it's a plan using the technology and tactics of 70 years ago?”

One of Xagmar's back arms massaged the dome of his head as he exclaimed, “Absolutely.  Utterly reliant of surprise when the sensor network renders that nearly impossible, radio silence that leaves our vessels blind, and too predicated on the doctrine of the cultish belief of the decisive battle.”  He downs the last of the coffee.  “Total assets needed for this operation as planned comes out to 200,000 combat vessels, another half million support ships.  Planetary invasion statistics has listed 20 billion ground troops backed by three million tanks and three-quarter of a million artillery guns for something of this scale.  All of it supported by 50,000 planes at least per planet.”

He turned to the Colonel.  “Has there been any word from Seventh Fleet yet?”

“Latest communique from them says they will be late by another two days.  Picking up additional dusters on their way here.  Estimated numbers place it around 300 million plus the 60 million troops already stationed here, and you're basically looking at a...”

“An inadequate fighting force incapable of taking on a homeworld.  Especially when it is the one that birthed the Chiso,” Xagmar interrupted.  He shook his head at the news.  “We'll just have to isolate Phero.”

The rest of the day grew more and more stressful as it went along.  Revisions were still underway, not helped by the lack of promised personnel.  Transfer requests flooded his desk for the carriers take on more void wings than they normally carry.  At dinner, Xagmar was alerted to the fleet amassing at their southern border.

Continual updates streaming in from the Salam front over the following days told of how dire the situation was for them.  After only ten days of fighting, the two main thrusts of Marica's attack had penetrated close to 3 kilo-light years in total.  The Salam salient that formed most of the border between the two nations was now under threat from being cut off.  Luckily for them, the reinforcements from the other side of their country had arrived and began a counteroffensive.

The daily news was preoccupied with the ongoing crises.  It seemed that the politicians weren't the only ones who were who unable to come to a consensus on this issue.  Heated debates raged over the television at most of the opportunities.

Some much needed relief came with the arrival of Seventh Fleet, and that of Admirals Gulnar and Umida.  Personnel lined up in formation as part of the greeting ceremony.  Xagmar, himself, waited at the far end of the bay for the shuttle to arrive.  Rustam took his part next to the Vice Admiral.  “You were almost late,” Xagmar remarked.

“One of the strategists was informing me of a possible way to accomplish the multiple simultaneous planetary landings with only two percent of the projected needs.”  He looked as if he had to say, but they both had caught sight of the incoming shuttlecraft.

It slowed before coming into contact with the kinetic curtain.  The shuttle took a few seconds to push through the forcefield.  After bypassing the particle barrier like it wasn't even there, the shuttle extended its landing struts.  It touched down, and the ramp lowered.  Xagmar and Rustam approached the craft.

Two male Voth marched down the ramp.  A series of whistle blows signaled the Admiral's arrival.  All attendant personnel flashed a salute.  Xagmar stopped in front of them.  Rustam and him snapped their salutes before he said, “Welcome to Dordona Harbor, sir!”

Gulnar returned the gesture.  Xagmar's hand went back down.  With a single motion, everyone else went back to attention.  Gulnar extended his back hand to Xagmar.  When Xagmar shook it, he replied, “Good to see you've been treating this place well since I left.”

“It's a pleasure to work with you for the first time,” Umida said.  He copied the same gesture, first with Xagmar then Rustam.  Xagmar gestured for them to follow him.  As they cleared the bay, and the crew dismissed, Umida asked, “What have your people done so far as the Talik Plan is concerned?”

“Problems are still arising with smoothing out the overdone, unneeded complexity of the original idea.  But, with you here, we can get something ironed out.”

“We'll need to finalize them soon.  The Council is adjoining for the next couple of days, but their session is when they'll make the final vote on the issue,” Gulnar stated.

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3 Re: Xagmar's War on Thu May 21, 2015 4:56 pm

Xagmar sipped his coffee as he contemplated the last few days. The plan had been finalized, and the fleets briefed. Gulnar had told him about the experimental weapons that he brought with him; they turned to be an innovation on the torpedoes already carried by most ships. The biggest difference that Xagmar could think of was that these new 'missiles' were so big that they had to be launched from stations instead of ships.

The news came in over the holo-TV. Another round of discussions were going on in the Hall of Representatives before the deciding vote. Xagmar wasn't really paying attention to it. A blinking red light from his desk certainly did. With the push of a button, a hologram of the watch officer winked into being on the other of his desk. After saluting, the officer stated, “Sir, a ship we picked up on scanners has identified itself as a Cuidight vessel: KCE-547. They're requesting permission to dock.”

“Check with the Docking Control, there might some room left on one of the ancillary harbors. How long until they get here?”

“About 80 minutes. I'll contact you again when we get the pier number.” The hologram dissipated, and Xagmar was already getting ready to call Rustam when he knocked on the door. “Come in,” Xagmar said.

“Why do I get the feeling you needed to see me?” Rustam asked when he entered.

“You spent a significant amount of time in the Cuidight System?”

Rustam scratched the back of his head. “Yessir, I studied at Winec Interstellar on Le'Kar for college. Ten years in the Kalian Foreign Legion. Why do you ask?”

“We have an incoming Kalian Escort Carrier. I need your help with this considering my ignorance when it comes their customs.”

Closing the door, Rustam replied, “Of course sir. I'll help to the best of my ability.”
Close to two hours later, Xagmar and Rustam were standing ready in the shuttle bay for the arrival of the Kalian Captain. They were soon joined by Admiral Gulnar. It was minutes later when the shuttle passed through both barriers.

Instead of landing and the ramp being deployed, a hatch opened on the rear and a fire squad of people leapt down. They swept their guns around the room as they approached the trio. Xagmar and Gulnar were alarmed at the armed greeting, but Rustam was able to calm their nerves. As one, the fire squad lowered their guns and finished walking towards them. One of them, Xagmar presumed was the leader, brought out three circlets from a napsack.

Each of the welcoming party was offered one. Rustam, instead of accepting, merely tapped his head. When the others looked confused about the circlets, Rustam said to them, “It's for our benefit. Someone is physcotelepic onboard.”

With a thud, the shuttle touched the bay. The open hatch was facing them, they saw a figure hop off. She looked like what the records called a human. Xagmar had never seen one considering he had been born after the Great Galactic War, and the subsequent harvesting of the remnants of humanity. The last historical record of humankind ended when a planet called Pluto was thrown into another named Mars.

This person, however, very different from what the records showed. A rebreather covered her mouth and nose. Her left eye had been visibly replaced with an artificial one, and a mechanical arm in place of her left. A deep gash and several scars criss-crossed over the left side of her face, and a metal plate was placed where her ear should have been. She walked up to Admiral Gulnar, and with a salute stated, “Ship Master Shepard. Thank you for allowing us to dock here.”

“It's the Vice Admiral who in charge of this facility,” he replied before returning the salute.

“Aah. I am sorry for confusion then, sir,” Shepard said to Xagmar. She turned her attention back to Gulnar. “So then, you're in charge of the missile deployment?”

Gulnar's expression betrayed his worry, but all Xagmar could do was give an inquisitive look. “Not to worry Admiral, I was only told about the weapons three days ago by the Lord of Knowledge before he departed my ship. He told me of their theoretical capabilities, and I can see the vast potential of them.”

“Where is the Lord now?” Rustam asked.

“Pich; He wants to bring a quick end to the war.”

“A declaration of war has not been made yet; you make it sound like it sound like a certainty,” Xagmar said in an exasperated tone.

“How long until the declaration is made?” Rustam inquired.

“Ninety minutes,” was her only response.

Rustam turned to the other two. “Sir, we should the fleets heading out now to fully exploit the surprise of those first few moments.” Xagmar agreed with the sentiment despite his skepticism. When they started heading back, Rustam was aware that the Ship Master was observing him. So, he unveiled a necklace from his uniform. It was a symbol of a quill overlaying a torn parchment.

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4 Re: Xagmar's War on Wed May 27, 2015 1:17 pm

They sat in Xagmar's office watching the transmission on the holo-TV.  The footage was coming in from the Council Hall with all the Representatives' seats filled.  Their attention was squarely on the individual standing at the podium in the center of the room.

“Every system has cast their vote.  Only a few over 5,000 of our worlds voted against sending any assistance.  With the majority support of the other four-fifths, a state of war exists between us and Marica as of five minutes ago...”  Xagmar switched the device off.

He pushed a button to bring the comms room.  Someone on the other end answered quickly.  “Send the message.”  The recipient saluted, and the hologram faded away.
Firuz sat in his void bomber at the edge of the border.  There were thousands of other planes in the vicinity.  Other such groupings were still being made over hundreds of light years.  Firuz, himself, had only deployed ten minutes ago; and he was one of the first launched.  Now, they all waited here for word from Dordona.

“All squadron leaders, engage the enemy,” was all the confirmation needed over the headphone.  Firuz switched his speaker to his squadron's channel.  “Follow me boys.  Time to slag some drags!”

He smashed the red button in front of his flight sphere.  Immediately, shutters sealed the canopy, and a holographic image from the scanners took the place of normal view.  The jolt that comes from the initialization of the mass-lightener drive was swiftly canceled out by the inertial compensaters. Feruz in the back seat was double-checking her various stations to ensure they still worked properly.  “Torpedoes launched.  Enemy sensor network will soon be compromised,” she announced.
“Scout craft report a response coming from the Chiso System.  There will a few minutes before they're fully assembled,” a scanner operator stated.

“Has the scout given the telemetry info?” Gulnar asked.

“Of course sir.  Thirty minutes of planetary and solar drift.”

“Send it to Orbop.”  He took the phone off the wall, and dialed the station.  Gulnar instructed them to prep the missiles for use.  The brief call ended with his order, “No launches until my express word.”
Feruz was checking the readouts.  Eyes constantly switched between either side of the cockpit.  Fingers tapped the buttons to change the display.  “No response to our incursion so far,” she said.

In front of her, Firuz turned the sphere in his hands.  The holo-view showed them approaching a star, but it soon passed by them on the left.  Firuz brought the plane back to their original course.  “Good to hear.  Has the target moved?”

Feruz made a holographic screen appear in front of her face.  With the repeated push of a button, the view projected to them from command was magnified.  The carrier group was the only thing in the frame, but with their exhausts displaying prominently.  “They're moving away.  Course and speed says that they'll be beyond our range before we can reach them.”

“Roger that,” Firuz replied.  He thumbed his communicator back to the general comms.  “Erkin, this is Reyhan One; priority mission is unreachable.  Advice on further order.”

Silence permeated the other side for a moment.  Eventually, the response came back, “New mission is target Reyhan Three-Second.”

Firuz repeated and affirmed the new command.  Afterwards, he swapped back to talk to his fellow bombers.  “Rehyan Three-Second is our new objective.  Acquire and target.”  He disconnected his communicator and turned to face Feruz.  “Where is this fuel refinery?”

A series of taps and shifts in the holo-screen searched the info coming in from their drones.  It wasn't long before she found it.  “Solar system found.  Our target is much more than a fuel refinery; it's also a minor port with multiple substations for parasite craft.”

With a few more buttons, the info was relayed to the pilot.  He reattached the communicator.  “Objective is an hour ahead.  Fighters will clear the way for us.”
Xagmar watched the ongoing picture playing itself out across the board projecting the hologram of their portion of the conflict.  Dots littered the screen with zoom in circles above indicating what vessels or planes they were.  The war only started thirty minutes ago, but became complicated very quickly.  One of the operational personnel below yelled up to him, “Task Fleet Erkin is coming under attack.  Marica bomber group coming down from above the galactic disc.”

“Verify their target and divert defenders from other carriers.”  Xagmar spotted the Ship Master from Kalia observing the goings-on.  She was wearing the circlet that was previously on his head.  The light on it was glowing a fierce red.  “Paying attention to everything?”

“Nearly,” she replied.  A cup floated from a nearby table into her hand.  After a sip, she continued, “Looks like Gulnar is ready to make his move.”
Gulnar watched the reports of activity of the Chiso homeworld.  Growing bubbles of vehicles were forming outside of the orbitals and stations littered throughout the system.  The planes gathered up first had already departed.  He called Orb-Op again.  “Begin test.”
A new dot zipped onto the board.  Xagmar could hardly believe the speed of the object.  Whatever it could be, it was amazingly able to dodge and weave around the stars along its flight path.  “What is that thing?”

“Those are the missiles that I was sent here by the Lord to observe the performance of,” Shepard stated.  She took another sip.  “Capable of travel speeds of 200 light years per minute, and able to deliver an estimated 20 zettatons of destructive power.”

Xagmar looked horrified, both at power of the new weapon and that it was a foreigner who gave him this info about his own nation's experiment.  “How did you learn of them?”

“All the knowledge I have on them was bestowed upon me by the Lord of Knowledge last week.”  A long drink taken from her cup.  “Seems like the Chiso already know of it.  They're evacuating their orbitals.”

Xagmar distracted himself by saying, “Yes; we suspected they had a relativity reader.  It is a homeworld, afterall.  We just didn't know whether it was capable of looking 30 minutes or an hour into the future.”  Shepard could only take another sip.  Xagmar noted the change in her posture.  “Everyone knows your Coalition doesn't have one.  It requires the income of several star systems to pay for.”

“Let's just see what these 'missiles' are truly capable of.”  In the moment they were conversing, the weapon's dot crossed the front line into enemy territory.
Firuz had been leading his squadron for quite some time without a fighter escort.  They departed them to engage those enemy craft that came from the Chiso system.  They knew that they didn't stand much of a chance, being outnumbered nearly seven-to-one by some of the best pilots in the galaxy.

He only hoped that the fighters could buy them enough time to achieve what they were sent to do.  The holographic screen around him told of many engagements going on around them.  Enemy task groups suffering attacks from bomber wings similar to his own.  He stared at the blinking blue dot in front of his face.  “150 to the target.  Get ready for the hard part,” he told his bombers.

Meanwhile, Feruz in the back caught something fly into their sensors.  “Whoa!” she gasped, “Unknown object in view.  The speed it has is unthinkable!”

“How close is it?”

“Hundred...90...80.  This thing is going ten light years every three seconds.”  She shifted her head to watch the dot zip by them.  “Passed within nine light years of us.”
Gulnar ordered a subordinate to bring up live footage from a drone close to Phero.  Shields for everything habitable in the system were active, with one exception.  Their homeworld still had its shield down to allow the clouds of shuttle craft to enter the atmosphere.  Suddenly, the flare of a shield coming to life circled around Phero; and the remaining shuttles dispersed.

The main station was smashed; their shield barely putting up any resistance to the missile.  Where the impact occurred, the station was torn asunder before the two halves of it smashed back together.  Gulnar paused the recording to study later, but his eyes went back to what was occurring presently.  What remained of his target flew out of its orbit and crashed into the planetary shield.  It exploded upon impact.  His test missile, likewise, ended its brief existence by running into the kinetic barrier set up around their sun.

Gulnar rewound the paused recording.  In the frame-by-frame, he saw the moment the weapon hit the station.  The next frame showed the missile well on the other side of its target, and a hole that it left.  He compared the position of the station at impact to a mere ten frames later.  The station had been shoved its entire width in that small time frame.  Fourteen frames after that, the bisected portions of the station ran into each other.

He thought that the station was accelerated so quickly that if anyone was on the station, they would have been dead within the second.  Gulnar sent the results of the first test in to Timur Yulduz.  Another call was made to Orb-Op.  “Launch two through thirty,” he ordered.
Firuz saw that they passed within two light years of the objective.  His hand rushed to the side to ready his response.  One light year.  Feruz in the back yelled, “Enemy rockets!”

He flipped the switch as quick as he could.  Chaff blasted from his plane.  Other bombers sent out transmitter orbs.  Firuz hit the red button ahead of him, and the bomber lurched from the instant slow down to less than light speed.  He turned the plane and headed above relative to the rocket's position.  A split second of ftl movement put them in the clear zone of the system.

Another wave of rockets were sent at them.  More countermeasures were used to defeat most of them.  Unlike the first ones, these were incapable of going ftl; but the pulse created by their explosion indicated the warhead loaded into them.  A few of the bombers were disabled.  Defensive fire from the various facilities destroyed them soon enough.

In spite of what they threw at them, Firuz lead his squadron against their first priority in-system.  The personal engagement started at a little over three light seconds.  Their energy guns would have effortlessly hit the mark, but the bolts were veered off course before they could affect the shields.

Firuz took a number of the bombers above the target relatively.  They changed course and went straight at it.  More shots came from the original group.  All of them were deflected.  Firuz's  group fired, but even they were deflected as well.  Fourteen other bombers separated from the original group and hit the station from a third angle.  Very brief fireballs told Firuz that the deflector shielding had been compromised.

They launched their own rockets.  While the particle shield gave them a struggle, the hull of the station didn't stand a chance.  The few rockets that did penetrate into the station exploded, and ruined it from the inside.  Firuz turned his attention to the next defensive station.

After a fight to knock out the other defenses, the bombers ran amok on the fuel refineries and depots.  They left the system less than twenty minutes after they entered with the entirety of the infrastructure wrecked.

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5 Re: Xagmar's War on Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:39 am

Firuz and Feruz had gotten used to the jerk of deceleration of their voidcraft over the previous day.  The shutters slid open to reveal the battle around them.  There was a rain of particle bolts and energy beams emanating from a battlecruiser within two hundred kilometers.  Then it was whited out for a second by a mass of explosions that covered the vessel.  When her vision returned, Feruz saw how pockmarked and battered the ship was, but it still continued the fight.

The ships around it unleashed their own barrages of rockets.  Firuz sped up the bomber and told his subordinates to do the same.  He tracked their speed to ensure he was going the same as the rockets.  “56 light minutes from enemy fleet,” Feruz stated.
“Before the Maricans concentrated their fleet around Phero, our losses were minimal; two ships almost unsalvagable (one of them being the main battle carrier Erkin), 253 ships heavily damaged, and another two hundred only lightly damaged.”  The briefing had been going on like this for more than fifteen minutes, but Xagmar was just hoping it would over soon.  He only got four hours of sleep after the offensive stalled because of the counterattack from Phero.

His attention was recaptured when a holo-vid popped up in the middle of the desk.  It was a moon orbiting above a gas giant with a number hovering above that said it had a gravity of point six g's.  “This was the moon of Yozou.  It was the cause of one of the two failures yesterday with the new weapons system.”  The frame after that showed the missile about to ram it.  “The technicians believe it was a faulty navigation array that caused this missile to go off-course by close to 40 light years.”

It showed in slow-mo what the missile did to its unintended target.  The frame of impact was followed by several depicting the ever-expanding crater that encompassed over half of the moon, and the flattened portion was close to half of that.  A frame after the impact had the projectile shoot out of the other end with chunks of the moon's surface being blasted away.  Cracks on the surface started at the entry and exit wounds and became more prominent by the frame.  Ejecta flew off into space from both ends.  Finally, it ended with the moon being bisected and the two halves flying away from each other.

“The entire process took two seconds.  Reports state that there were maybe 6,000 workers mining it.  Their habitat is on the half that is still around.  Intelligence is unclear as to their present condition.”

“What happened to the other half?” Rustam piped up.

“I'm sorry, sir...”

“You said 'the half still around'.  What happened?”

“Caught...by the gas planet.”
Shahn looked out of the windows on the observation deck as the starlines of ftl transitioned to the dots they normally look like.  “We're on final approach to Bojan, only 20 minutes away.  All hands to defensive stations; Shoresiders, prep for landing,” the intercom announced.

Everyone got out the room and went to the elevators.  It was a tight fit when Shahn finally caught one.  It was several minutes before he got to the staging deck.  He stepped out onto the catwalk.  The deck was cavernously wide open and stretched on for quite some distance.  Below, people were scrambling, getting armored and armed.  The personnel numbered in the millions.

A tram had to taken for Shahn to get to the staging area where his squad was posted.  When he got there, most of his squad was already outfitted.  He made his way to his locker.

His clothes were quickly replaced by a form-fitting bodyglove.  The air tanks were the first to put on; straps fastened to secure it tightly on his back.  A heavy and thick chest plate was put on over the tanks.  In short order, the limbs were armored with exception of the joints.  He called a squadmate over for the final part.  The helmet came on and his help hooked up the hoses connecting to the air tank.  Shahn reached back to push the button and activate the tank.  A couple of breaths were enough to test it.

The tank was turned off, and the vents on the front of the helmet opened.  He returned the favor and helped out his squadmate.  After everyone in the squad was squared away, they formed up and headed over to the armory.  They were the last of the platoon to receive their weapons along with multiple power packs.

Red lights started spinning on the bulkheads as whistles sounded over the intercom.  The squad ran to their designated pod.  Corporal Patim hopped into it and slid his legs back so he was laying on his chest.  A bulky hatch closed down on him before the vehicle rotated.  The process continued until all were inside.

Shahn gripped the handles by his head after he got in.  His back was pressing into the buckles when the last of the squad boarded.  The machine holding onto the pod pulled it to the vertical and dropped it into the hole that opened beneath them.

He could feel the bump as their pod hit the bottom and hear the blast door close above them.  “Squad, switch on your tanks,” the corporal ordered over the headset.  Everyone followed those orders within seconds.  The engines roared to life, and the blast doors opened beneath them.

Shahn looked around as much as he could; the helmet allowed him to see through the heat shield.  Pods were gathering them, all heading to the same LZ.  Past them, capitol ships were exchanging fire with the planet's surface.  Planes of all varieties swarmed onto the target world.  Of the planet he could see, a lot of it was covered by a single cloud that was rotating.

It took many seconds for their pod to get to the atmosphere.  Shahn's vision was obscured by fire when the reentry started.  The ride during the initial part became bumpy.  It smoothed out when everyone's vision was clear again.

Shahn saw the eye of the storm they were heading towards.  The walls of wind rushed up and eventually surrounded them.  Shortly after that, the pod splashed down.  Their buckles came undone and the pod opened up.  Shahn revved the engine; the sub-jet he was holding onto detached from the pod.
Things were tense in the War Room.  The only words spoken was the relaying of status reports.  Nearly all eyes were glued to the display showing the ongoing battle over Phero.  It already involved tens of thousands of ships on both sides and stretched across 65 parsecs.  More ships were being added to the raging storm as the hours pass by.

At the same time, invasions had begun on multiple planets.  Rustam paid close attention to the image of Bojan.  The skies were filled with aircraft from the defense force and the Planetary Escort Carriers.  Six army groups worth of landing craft were launched the Planetary Assault Carrier Nurgul.   Within seconds of the landing forces entering the atmosphere, they were being challenged.  Most of them were able to reach the surface; two of the army groups touched down in the ocean and barely lost anything.  Rustam picked a phone close by to inform the Vice Admiral of the new offensives.
Her eyes darting between instruments, Feruz saw the incoming counterfire.  Firuz must have seen it too as he was already on the channel talking to other bombers.  They had been coasting for the entire trip; so on Firuz's command, they tilted their craft and powered the engines.  Rockets collided with one another with the bombers far enough away.

The other squadrons were regrouping for their attack.  Feruz searched through the scanners for the target.  It was proving difficult to find amongst the thousands of ships spread across light-minutes of the system.  She linked up with the other bomber's navigators.

An orange light flared to life in a section of the battle Feruz wasn't looking at.  She had the image zoomed in.  The battleship that was selected for attack was limping into the center of the enemy fleet.  Despite the previous attacks on it, the engines on it were not completely dead and some of its lighter guns and rocket pods still assisted a nearby carrier that came under fire from swarms of bombers.

“Located the target,” she told Firuz.  An acknowledgement was made before their plane regrouped with the others.  She went back to examining the battleship's condition.

The armor of the Goranbor was busted open in several places, only a few of its weapons weren't destroyed or beyond repair outside of a shipyard.  Just one of its engines was all that was left to provide the thrust for its movement.  The few rocket pods it had left were quickly exhausted trying to ensure the survival of the carrier it was protecting.

Their planes came under attack from the ships they passed.  Corvettes and destroyers lashed out to stop them, but inflicted insignificant damage.  The bombers made sure to close to the battleship when they reached it.  It wasn't long, and without too much trouble, before the rest of the weapons on the ship were knocked out.  With bombs still unused, the bombers joined in on the carrier attack.

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6 Re: Xagmar's War on Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:43 pm

It had been six hours since Shahn had splashed down into the ocean. Six hours since the invasion of Bojan had begun. Already the 756th Infantry Division had split off to assault a chain of islands to the rear of them. The rest of the Corps the 756th was diverted to fend off the defenders. Particle beams illuminated the night-time water as torpedo volleys lanced through the water.

There were only a few times through that fight where the defenders came close to the main body of the army group. Bright yellow bolts zipped by Shahn more than enough times to boil the water around him. It wasn't too serious of a problem for him.

Out of the six months of basic training he went through, one of them was dedicated to underwater combat. This was then supplemented by additional training at the various he had been at over ten of service. While not well-versed as the specialized zero-gee marines who were fighting off the defenders, Shahn was adept enough to easily dodge the bolts that came near his squad.

The voice of the battalion commander came over the helmet speakers. “The Maricans have erected a theater shield over the intended beach. General Mehm has managed to pinpoint a possible location for the generator from the packer in orbit. Dragoon companies, you're first up the cliffs. As soon as the armored company has joined you, all three of you are to proceed to the village. If possible, link up with whoever the 707th Airborne sends your way; but make sure that generator gets knocked out.”

After the acknowledgements, the comm chatter fell into relative silence. It wasn't long before one of the tanks reported the sensor picking up their destination. Artillery carriages off in the distance began their trip to the surface. Beams of visible color streaked through the air, and brought acted as a flare for those still in the water. Shahn saw the the ocean floor for the first time since his arrival. It was a few minutes after that when the squad leader, Farruk, signalled for them to halt.

Brakes applied; they glided to a stop right as they reached the cliff. The turn of a switch sent an electrical charge through the handles that caused them to cease being rigid. Shahn swam behind a squadmate to wait for her to get her back pressed against the jetpack. The former handles were taken to attach to the opposite corner, forming an X over her chest. With all that done, Shahn put the switch back to normal, and the straps regained their rigidity.

By the time Shahn was situated, the tanks and IFVs were lined up. Enormous cables shot up from the front of the tanks and latched onto the top of the cliff. Those mighty armored vehicles went vertical and started to climb, hovering a quarter of a meter away from the cliff's surface.

After the tanks got past the surface did Farruk give the order to use their jetpack. Shahn activated his before the others so he got to see hundreds of others blast out of the ocean. The Warfighter System that kept them connected were disrupted immediately upon breaking the water's surface. Off to the left, the amphibious assault was under way. Wrecked transports were already dotting the beach as artillery guns were duelling over the pitched battle between the infantry and their armored support. The defenders had brought three mech-walkers who were firing their massive railguns from the prone position behind some sand dunes.

Shahn reached the plateau atop the cliff, and immediately dove for the ground as visible light beams were fired from hidden positions. The next few people weren't able to react quickly enough before being hit. Their lifeless bodies were thrown over the side by the momentum imparted by the beams.

Shahn returned fire with the two particle cannons protruding from the jetpack. They bounced off the shield, and only served to draw fire to him. He boosted into cover behind a large rock nearby. It took the full force of the next shots, but the resultant explosion deprived him of cover. More particle beams reached out from behind him with the same result. But, the sharp increase of people landing on the plateau divided the defenders fire. Try as they might, they couldn't stem the tide of attackers.

The rest of his squad raced on ahead, forcing Shahn to expose more of himself to catch up with them. One of the ladies in the squad, Umida, laid down suppressing fire to cover his advance. Farruk was pushing against the shield when he caught up with them. It took a couple of seconds before the shield would part for him. Shortly, everyone was able to get through.

It was a struggle for the others to follow them. The defenders took advantage of the seconds-long delay, and picked off quite a few of the Voth. But, once a fair number of them got through the shield and withering fire, Farruk was coordinating with them. He ordered his squad to use boosters as the other put down more covering fire.

The resultant maneuver left zero room for error as they stayed close to the ground during their flight. Despite Umida losing one of her legs, they managed to close the distance relatively unscathed. They landed around a couple of tripod nests. Farruk signalled for grenades; Umida and another, Reyhe, primed one each before tossing them in. One resulted in a violent explosion while the other caused a mini black hole.

By this time, the tanks had gotten up and were firing their double-barrelled light bolts at the other nests. In short order, the tripods were all wiped out. There was only one anti-tank weapon on the plateau. After it took a shot at a leading tank, it was taken out of commission by an air-burst that Mak carried. Medics rushed over to Umida while the tanks drove on ahead.

The squad stayed with her for a moment to ensure she would taken care of. It was only when the grav-chutes the 707th uses could be seen in the distance did they finally depart their stricken comrade. They hitched a ride atop a IFV that came up the cliff unopposed. From the top of the slope, Shahn could see that they had a tough fight ahead to get to the shield generator 25 kilometers away.

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7 Re: Xagmar's War on Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:11 pm

The IFV Shahn was riding atop drove through the deserted farmlands that dominated the landscape. Although, it appeared to becoming more of a scrapyard with the number of wrecks littering the area. Shahn saw that most of the destroyed vehicles were the Voth's own hovertanks.

They bore the scars of the horrendous battle they fought against an enemy that numbered less than a seventh their own. Plenty of them were in multiple pieces, unable to be repaired. A few lucky ones only displayed a gaping puncture wound in their armor, but could be put back into action. Some of the wrecks were still ablaze, but were not a roaring inferno.

Of the enemy's amalgamation of tracked, wheeled, and anti-grav vehicles, there were many that showed little sign of battle damage. A minute fraction of them showed the same severe amount of destruction as what the Voth had taken. The most imposing of the Dragomir's tanks were the only ones that carried their dreaded Gamma Rad Cannon. Everything else was split between using particle beam projectors, energy bombardiers, and smooth-bore cannons. Meanwhile, every fighting vehicle the Chenda Republic sends out are all armed with particle weaponry and hull armor designed against particle weapons.

It had only been 80 years since the Cudight Coalition stumbled onto the galactic scene, but their influence in warfighting was being felt now by Chenda forces. In the two ground wars they fought the Marican military and the repeated rebuffing of Salaam aggression into their territory, they proved their doctrine of 'diverse combined arms' were immensely superior to the way either opponent fought. But, the civilian leaders of the Chenda Republic, and a lot of the military advisors didn't feel the need to incorporate what they considered were antiquated kinetic energy weaponry into their arsenal.

The fighting on Bojan was proving them wrong at a very high cost.
Xagmar listened to the junior officer give his report. Despite the overwhelming majority of the enemy fleet having converged in the space around the Chiso homeworld, small task forces were still scattered about the theater. He had decided to leave them alone considering they lacked the power to inflict much damage on his own forces, but they started performing simultaneous strikes against his more isolated groups.

Sensor jammers created dead zones that Xagmar preferred his ships to stay out of for the moment. He was now regretting that decision as hit-and-run actions were hampering the task groups he was sending out to the strategist objectives the plan called for. With a portion of his fleet, with the assistance of these new missiles, he was keeping the Marican navy tied down in one spot.

When the junior officer was finished detailing the delays and damaged caused by these guerilla ships, Xagmar asked, “Has there been any progress with the counter-jamming?”

“None of our usual forms of communications have been able to bypass it. Attempts to overpower it have been unsuccessful so far. The tech-heads are thinking hyperspace comms might not be affected, but haven't gotten to test that theory.”

Xagmar stood up behind his desk. “I understand that the Erkin has some restored functionality.”

“Yes sir, limited flight operations and sub-light maneuverability. The Captain is sending near hourly reports on their damage control efforts.”

“Have a message sent to him. Switch the loadout as many planes as he can launch right now with hyperwave radios, and send them on scouting missions into the deadzones,” Xagmar stated as he left the room. The young officer accompanied him.

“I'll get it drafted and sent out within 10 minutes.” With that, the officer turned at the nearest right in the hallway as Xagmar continued on his way to the war room.
Shahn was checking over his equipment as the IFVs sped down the road. The armor showed no sign of malfunction and the jetpack with rifle attachment had used up only a minute amount of the power allocated to them.

Up ahead, a town was coming into view along the river it was built on. While there were some buildings on their same of the river, it was the other side that was covered in stone, metal, and glass structures. Through the magnoculars in his helmet, Shahn spotted several tripod nests set up in the upper levels of several of the buildings; and what he thought to be a rangefinder and markerlight post in one that was closest to their approaching convoy.

The turret swivled around to target a building on the far side while painting the observation post with a targeting laser. A mass of tripod fire impacted the hull of the IFV. Shahn and the rest of fire team leapt away before they were killed. A explosion destroyed the observation post and caused the building onto its own lower levels. The IFVs simultaneously fired their turrets, decimating the tripod nests.

A couple of more barrages wrecked the riverside. Shahn's group hurried close behind with their jetpacks. They landed on the roof of one building as the IFVs were making their way across the bridge. Whirring screams had them looking towards the sky for the source of the noise. Shahn could barely make out a massive shell flying through the air at an incredible velocity before it exploded above the spot where the maser artillery guns were set up.

The area was saturated with fireballs and shrapnel. It didn't look like anyone could have survived it. “Artillery likely destroyed. Can't expect their firepower for the foreseeable future,” Shahn signaled to the squad leader in their battle language. The hand gestures sent back his way indicated they were to press the attack in conjuction with the IFVs.

Jetpacks ignited as the leapfrog assault began. One fire team lands on a building and showers the next one in line long enough for the other team to make their jump. The IFVs, meanwhile, raked the buildings around them with their heavy particle guns. There were a couple times when someone would try to take a shot at the convoy, but they were never able to last long enough to make the shot.

Their trip through the town suffered some rough patches. Someone in a side alley threw a mine from his cover. The lead IFV floated over the mine, its repulsor engine triggered the explosive which resulted in the underside being penetrated and the vehicle being blasted apart from the inside. It didn't do much to halt the rest of the convoy as the other IFVs either slid over the wreckage or drove around it.

Upon coming across a town center, things got more intense. Three tanks had positioned themselves at the other exits. A shell slammed into the lead IFV as it came into view, but the rolling sloped armor ensured that it merely bounced off and exploded out of the lethal range. The hovercraft entered the square quickly and started to disgorge its passengers. Enemy infantry started to fire from their positions in the surrounding buildings.

The dragoons arrived at the square in time for to witness the others in their ad-hoc company being gunned down. “Shahn, concentrate on those tanks,” Farruk ordered.

“Mak, tanks! NOW! Rest of the team, protect him.” With the rocket launcher off his back Mak set himself near the edge of the roof. An optic cable Reyhe snaked over the edge painted the tank with a smooth-bore cannon. The armored fight only went on for half a minute but four of the IFVs were knocked out for the cost of one of the tanks losing its main gun.

There was no one behind Mak as he prepped the rocket launcher against his shoulder. With the jerk of the trigger the HEAT rocket flew off and dived onto its target. An explosion tore the cupola off as Mak loaded another one. The rest of the squad was peppering the buildings with suppressive fire giving the guys on the ground the chance to advance.

Another rocket shot killed the second tank while the IFVs concentrated their weapons on the last, taking it out of commission soon enough. The infantry rushed the buildings engaging in a room-by-room firefight with the defenders. Farruk and his fire team crawled down the wall and into an open window to try and clear the building below them.

Shahn's group exchanged fire with anyone who was still by a window for the next ten minutes. It wasn't long after till an they started evacuating the structure right across from them. The explosion that happened took out the entire floor and rocked the rest of it collapsed. Suddenly, Shahn's helmet display lit up with comms traffic and tactical info.

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