Author Topic: BTS short story, Haloar Raid  (Read 492 times)

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Offline Haegan2005

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BTS short story, Haloar Raid
« on: October 16, 2009, 08:52:28 PM »
The small raiding fleet popped out of the gate and immediately started jamming. Both destroyers turned and burned at full thrust to reach the other gate in time before any Ch'thpch ships could reach it. The light cruiser and four frigates arrowed straight for the planet with every sensor on and something that they had not ever had before. The Terrans had provided the light cruiser with something it had not had for over twenty years. It was fully stocked with missiles of several types, include sensor drones made to Haloar specs. Two of these flashed ahead of the fast moving force, searching for any hidden threats, like mines or powered down guard ships. They did not find any before reaching the planet and smashing themselves to bits against the atmosphere.

The Raid Commander, Paolk, gave the next order with a serious of fluted whistles and snaps. "Clear the Near space."

The ship shuddered as four missiles were launched at the station and two of the three small shipyards in orbit. The end result left the station a shattered hulk and the shipyards slowly scattering throughout their orbit levels. They would quickly decay and fall onto the planet below within weeks or months. The last shipyard had a frigate arrow aggressively towards it. Two other frigates aimed for a mid sized hive on the planet below and dropped into the atmosphere, leaving behind bright fiery trails. The last frigate kept pace with the cruiser.

The frigate coasted to a stop next to the shipyard and released two shuttles that arced around the yard and rammed into it about a third of the way around. Meanwhile the side of the frigate opened three wide airlocks and a steady stream of armored suited Haloarians flew out towards the shipyards hull.

Each airlock had combat engineers seeded amongst the first platoons to jet across. They pulled with them the ends of long cables which they attached to the hull of the shipyard. Within minutes they had large equipment containers being pulled across and were placing explosives to create entry points. Airlocks would only slow them down and make their jobs more difficult. Survivors were not intended to be an issue.

The mess experience had been unsettling to say the least. He had known that they were carnivores, but to see it first hand had taken some getting used to. At least the food was not still living, even if it was raw. He still preferred to eat the dehydrated meals provided by the JGC. They, at least, were cooked.

Even as he sat near a bridge repeater watching the Hallies operations run full out, he still kept coming back to how unreal it all was in a way. He had never expected to be amongst the stars onboard an alien ship raiding another alien race and acting as an advisor for the ground forces that the Hallies had committed to the planet’s surface. Of course, he had not expected the aliens to have feathers, claws, teeth, and to smell faintly of cinnamon either.

The stated purpose of the raid was simple. Damage and destroy industrial capability by any means possible. He reasoned that that had already been accomplished with the near total destruction of their orbital infrastructure.

But the Hallie raid leader had insisted that a variation on their tactics and goals would merely cause the bugs to see it as more than just a raid for resources. Which it was, but it was also meant to damage the ship building ability of the bugs. This raid would end up destroying two shipyards that would have more than eleven slips between them when completed.
But what was just as interesting was the appearance that the Hallies had made over in another system. Polk had calculated that the mobile bug ships from this and two other systems would respond and leave the planets defended by only fixed defenses and a few frigates. Polk had further said that the raid would have just over six hours to accomplish what it needed to do and get out before the bug warships came back or so they hoped.

It was something that Gregori just had to take on faith. All he knew was that no Terran would have denuded a planet like that. The past two months had shown him that the Hallies were really good at what they did. But what they did was raid and infantry tactics. Combined arms was something new to them, even though that had used something similar with their frigates.

He grinned. Those frigates had taken the JGC by surprise when their true capabilities had come to light. The frigates could not only land on a planet’s surface, but they could also provide direct fire support to their troops while loading or unloading. And they could move about over the battlefield as well. They did not have tanks, but in this case did not need them. But until now they had had almost no indirect fire support. That had changed when they had seen the mortar teams practicing at New Idaho. Now almost every Hallie platoon carried a small one that could fold up and slide into one of their backpacks.

What they needed was true artillery and armored battalions, but he knew that they were scratching the bottom of their manpower to field even what they had here. So they would adapt to do what they could. He rubbed his nose thinking. Perhaps exoskeletons? Maybe even a form of power armor could be fielded and maintained for the troops they had, even though the logistics involved in the production and maintenance would be a nightmare. Nah, it would take too long to develop and deploy. The war would be over one way or another long before it would make a difference.

His display beeped softly at him, grabbing his attention. The frigates headed for the planet were entering the atmosphere. If the bugs had planetary defenses here, they would be using them now. He watched for the next three minutes as they powered their way through the atmosphere creating massive trailing fireballs in their wakes. That was odd, he thought. Not one missile or beam attack and this was a well established colony. Gregori decided to follow up on this. No human would leave a planet this rich undefended this way. “Paolk, is it common for there to be no ground based space artillery?”

The Raid Commander hissed and snapped his answer rapidly as he watched the data streaming before him. “Yes, they base anti-ship weapons almost exclusively in space or around primary spaceports. That is why we are attacking the secondary port on the continent of Allurath.” Seeing the humans questioning look Paolk fluttering feathers along the sides of his head in a grin and took a moment to explain. “Planets and systems that we come across we name in hopes that the planet will not remain beyond exploration forever. It is the path chosen that makes one’s life worthy, not the end.”

“We have talked about this several times, but thinking like them is still a bit beyond me. You said that there is an absolute time limit this morning. Why? Is it because of reinforcements?”

Paolk stopped for a second to consider his answer more carefully. “Yes and no. It is about shear numbers. Down below us we estimate to be more than two million of their warriors scattered in divisions of ten to fifteen thousand warriors each. We land with just over three thousand soldiers. We are not there to fight Gregori. We are there to hurt them. We are there to kill. Not because we expect to take the planet, but to slow their growth and force them to expend limited resources in replacing losses. There are many out here who would take advantage of them in a weakened state. The appearance of weakness will cause others to raid and draw off yet more of their limited resources.” Paolk’s entire tone and stance changed abruptly. “Eventually, we will free our planets and beat them back to the barrens where they came from.” The last ended as a roared hissing.

Gregory felt a chill go up his spine. The bridge was feeling to restrictive and he wished he had his pistol with him now. The hatred could be felt through the translator. Nevermind the flared claws and fully exposed teeth on Poalk. Gregori may have outweighed Poalk by fifty pounds, but he did not come with built in buzz saws.

The consoles in front of Paolk changed abruptly, the data streams now including images that moved and changed shapes at bewildering speeds. A bridge officer yourled, “Landing now! Frigates are suppressing port fortifications!”


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