Author Topic: The Siliconate War: Damnatio et Memoriae  (Read 8577 times)

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Offline Þórgrímr

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« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2007, 11:31:15 AM »
Chapter Twenty One

                                                       (L+40 days)


Centurio Maximus stood near the forward bulkhead of the shuttle carrying Legatus Labienus and the rest of his staff to the fleet hidden in the asteroid belt. The Centurio had grown accustomed to remaining ?invisible? yet available to the Legatus at a moments notice. He had been intercepting messages to the Legatus for over 2 hours now to avoid disturbing Labienus?s intense studying of his comm pad. Probably making last minute changes to the Battle Plan. He thought. Even with the enemy landing on Nova Cartago II and the grievous losses to the fleet, Maximus and the staff had absolute faith in the Legatus. He watched as Labienus cracked the seal on a bottle of Massilian wine and poured himself a large glass full. He stood calmly as the hours ticked by.

As they moved closer to their destination, he marked the time by watching the Legatus?s bottle grow lower and lower.

                                                           ***

Tribuni Khitai watched the holo projection of the tactical map update again. He saw another five of his outer perimeter units highlight with the ?engaged in combat? color scheme. You decided to just grind us away to nothing haven?t you? Well, you are going to be sorry you sent your troops into that terrain. You would have been better off trying to push through the passes where the ground was to your advantage instead of eating your troops up trying to fight up those steep slopes.

The Tribuni smiled as some of the marked enemy units began to slowly pull back. In a few places, some of his units began to highlight in red indicating casualties needing to be evacuated. In one location, the marker for a platoon of 40 Siliconate infantry began blinking and then vanished, marking an entire enemy unit destroyed. Tribuni Khitai highlighted the unit that had destroyed so many Rockheads so quickly and sent a query for the unit I.D.

I Cont. I Cent. VI Man. X Manipularii Cohors (-)
Cdr: Prin. G Metellus R.M.C.
Curr. Str.: 6 effectives

He smiled, remembering the gruff Principale that he had debriefed many weeks ago. Six men not only holding off over six times their numbers, but killing every one of them. He shook his head and chuckled. Not men, he thought, Manipularii.

His smile ended when he saw the Curr. Str.: 6 effectives turn to Curr. Str.: 5 effectives without the telltale red indicator for wounded. His mouth took on a grim line. Please Iuppiter don?t let it be the Principale that died, I need men like him to hold this line together. He resisted the urge to comm the unit and check their status. He was about to widen the map view when he saw an icon marking another Rockhead platoon moving in the direction of the Manipularii.

Oblivious to the bustle of his Headquarters around him, the Tribuni watched another forty Siliconates moving towards the First Contubernium.

                                                      ***

The image was shaky and grainy and yet it was obvious that the cameraman was a professional. The huge Lorica that burst through the concrete barricades and simply battered aside the men guarding it was in perfect focus. Its main gun fired twice and a pair of Papilio?s that was hiding in the shadow of a parking garage were gutted. The fires of their burning hulls lit up the area. Numerous bodies of the cities defenders lay strewn about the area.

The image of an anti-Lorica rocket slamming into the turret caused a moment of elation before it was noted that the only damage to the enemy vehicle seemed to be to the paint job.

The video panned to the left and showed over a dozen figures in bulky powered armor clamoring over the outer trench line. The defenders laser rifles seemed to be completely ineffective against the enemy ground troops and the camera showed the horror of a few enemy infantry mowing down the Urbanae by the dozens. The enemy infantry paused for a moment to examine the two of their number who seemed to have been killed and then began to move on. One of the enemy troopers pointed directly at the camera and a moment later there was a bright flash and then nothing but snow.

***
 
Pro-Consul Silvanus looked at his staff and growled, ?And you say that the R.B.C. broadcast this holo-vid today? In the name of Hades what were they thinking? If this damned invasion didn?t cause enough panic already, this holo-vid is going to have the rear area crammed with refugees looking to get away from the battle line. From now on I want a complete press blackout on all video from the front. Assign some of your best men to it Tesserarius. I do not want the public to see another massacre like that on the holo-vid again, you understand me??
 
The Tesserarius sighed and pointed to the mapboard of Nova Cartago II on the wall. ?Sir, a press blackout hardly matters at this point as the R.B.C main studio was overrun in the last attack, the only broadcast facilities left are the local stations. Sir, getting back to the main topic, what are your orders at this point? Should we attempt another counterattack?"

The Pro-Consul looked at the mapboard and looked over the unit condition roster. ?No Tesserarius, not after the massacre the enemy made of the last two counterattacks. I?m not going to throw away more of those boys lives against those bastards. We will dig into every city, town village and crossroad and hope to hell that Labienus can defeat that fleet hovering above us, Then we can land the reinforcements in the enemy rear areas and begin rolling these bastards up.?

The Tesserarius looked at the steadily advancing enemy on the mapboard and at the unit condition screen. ?If there are any of us left,? he muttered.
   
                                                      ***

Macer paused a moment, digging the hole in the hard icky ground of the mountain slope was backbreaking. Doing it right after an intense firefight was even worse. He took a drink from his canteen and wiped the sweat from his eyes. He glanced over at the two Cohors Urbanae Legionarii keeping watch down the slope. They had offered to help dig, but this was Manipularii business.

Macer walked over to Varus and they nodded. They lifted the body wrapped in the poncho and moved towards the hole. They paused for a moment when a blood-covered arm fell out of the poncho and onto the ground. They put the body down a moment and Macer gently picked up the arm and placed it back with the body. He re-wrapped it before they gently lowered the body into the hole. They paused a moment before they began filling the hole back in.
 
They were only partially done when the proximity detectors began beeping. They threw down their shovels and grabbed their weapons and gear. A few moments later they were in their positions. Varus picked up his image intensifiers from the bottom of his fighting position and peered down the slope. It took a few moments before he saw the first of the Rocks moving up the slope. They moved cautiously among the shattered bodies of the unit that had attacked before them. Varus wished they had been able to pack more anti-personnel mines with them, but it had taken every mine they had to destroy the last platoon.

He searched among the boulders just in front of them. He saw what he was looking for in the shadow of a huge boulder. The figure?s legs were sticking out from under it. Varus watched him work his way out and start moving up the slope. The Rocks at the base of the slope fired a few rounds at the figure but the range was too great. A moment later Principale Metellus jumped into the fighting position.

He glanced up the slope. ?Did you get Domitus in the ground?? At Varus?s nod he tapped him on the helmet. ?I got the charges set and when they go, just pick off anyone trying to move out of the path. I?m going to move to the right flank to keep an eye on the children.? He said as he pointed over his shoulder with his thumb towards the Urbanae. ?You got the whole left flank to yourself, think you can handle it Varus?? Varus met his Principale?s eyes and nodded. Metellus grinned a moment and moved off to the right.

Varus watched the Siliconates begin moving up the slope. Moving from boulder to boulder, they kept up a constant level of cover fire. Varus fired back only when he had a perfect shot and saw a Rockhead drop every time he fired. Varus heard the double-click in his comm and ducked to the bottom of his fighting position.

A moment later, a series of charges went off on the slope in front of him. There was a rumble and then a huge roar as the forward slope of the mountain began moving towards the Rockheads. The avalanche of rocks and boulders picked up speed and rolled over the Siliconate platoon.
 
Varus popped out of the fighting position and aimed down slope. The cloud of rock dust billowing up obscured the whole bottom of the slope. Varus eventually saw a figure dragging itself out of the edge of the dust cloud and punched a gauss round through the helmet.

Time ticked by and there was no sign of further movement among the debris of the rockslide. The avalanche appeared to have buried the whole Rockhead platoon.
 
Varus watched the Principale move out of his fighting position and pause at every position to speak with each member of the Contubernium.
He dropped back into Varus?s fighting position with a sigh as he glanced down the slope. ?smegty day, eh Varus?? At the Manipularii?s weary smile, he grunted and stuffed a pinch of tobacco into his cheek. He spit a brown stream onto a nearby rock and looked at the men in their positions to his right. ?We?re getting whittled away here Varus.? He stared at Varus in silence until the Manipularii?s head turned and met his eyes.

The Principale spit again. ?You?ve come a long way Manipularii. Don?t make me regret what I?m doing.? The Principale dropped something on the edge of the fighting position. ?Sew these on as soon as possible, they were Domitus?s, so try and be worthy of them.? The Principale got up and moved back down the line.

Varus stared in shock at the pair of bloody Optio?s stripes sitting on the ground.

                                                       ***

Legatus Labienus took another sip of his wine and stared at his comm pad again. He had been running through the updated Battle Plan and the numbers looked better than he had hoped. Each simulation run was showing a 63% chance of success, plus or minus 5%. But as his bottle got lower and lower, he found it harder to concentrate on the Plan. He found his finger hovering over the comm pad screen folder marked Personal once again. He emptied the last of the bottle into his glass and took a deep drink.

His finger stabbed down on the Personal icon. He pulled up the Pictures folder and opened a folder marked ?Londinium?. He disabled the holo projector and called up the first of the pictures. The flat screen gave the picture an old fashioned look but the clarity was perfect.

The picture of the junior officers gathered in the ready room of the old Quinquireme brought back memories Labienus preferred to leave buried. He flicked through the pictures rapidly until he found the one he sought. The picture showed two hard-suited figures holding the blackened tailfin of a Median fighter. With their helmets off, the youth of the two officers was evident. The long red hair of the diminutive Centurio spilled over her shoulders as she held one end of the trophy, her grin lit up the picture. The Decurio holding the other end had the studiously serious demeanor that only junior officers seem to be able to affect. What an ass I was. He thought.

He focused the picture in on the female Ensign. The nameplate reading Centurio D. Avidia was stark white on the red surface of her hard-suit. He picked up his glass and raised it towards the image on his comm pad. He drank the whole glass in one long gulp.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw his aide approach him. ?Legatus, we are coming alongside the Aratus.? Labienus stood up and walked steadily to the side hatch. He looked out the small glas-steel porthole. He saw numerous asteroids tumbling past the shuttle. But floating among them, the shark-like forms of his Classis. The gleaming hulls of the Sexiremes were gathered into their separate squadrons. The combat power they represented brought feral grin to the Legatus?s face.

Centurio Maximus felt a shiver run up his spine as he swore he heard his Legatus growl.

                                                         ***

A dust-covered tentacle wrapped around a nearby boulder and dragged the battered form from under the rocks and dirt. It still thought of itself as Shoots-Straight-Always, although after it?s long trek on the back of the Terran food animal, it?s new platoon mates had renamed it: Rides-Squealing-Meat. It began to drag itself up the slope until it heard the human voices. After listening for a time, it?s anger grew as it recognized the voice of the human who had destroyed it?s last platoon. This human must be punished for killing so many of The Assembly, but it was too weak to overcome the human at this time.

*Another time human, another time* It saw a horned herd animal feeding on the lichen on the slope below. With the Siliconate version of a sigh, it moved slowly towards its new host.

*I will be back soon human* It thought with anger at the mountain.

                                                         ***


Urbanae Legionarii Magnus peered through the night vision scope at the slope below. He saw movement and aimed his gauss rifle. He saw a woolly mountain goat and almost pulled the trigger. He held fire, not wanting to wake the rest of the men. Been too much killing anyway. He thought. He watched the goat move off into the woods at the base of the mountain.

Optio Varus stopped at his fighting position and knelt down next to him. ?Anything out there Magnus??

He looked up at his new section leader. ?All quiet Optio.?
« Last Edit: November 08, 2007, 08:32:23 AM by Þórgrímr »
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If you want peace, prepare for war
 

Offline Þórgrímr

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« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2007, 10:41:36 AM »
Chapter Twenty Two

                                              (L + 49 days)

Legatus Labienus paced in his cabin until his comm pad chirped as it completed the latest download from the Aratus?s main battle computer. He moved quietly to a nearby chair and pulled up the latest data. He scrolled down the various sections until he got to Current Enemy Strength folder and opened it. Columns of data on enemy weapons and equipment filled his screen and he had to search until he found the section he wanted.

Appendix C Section 10.0.0 Enemy Classis Composition and Casualties
(Note: Enemy ship designations and Classis indicators have been assigned by Battle Sim based upon size equivalent ships in Roman service.)

10.0.1 Losses By Squadron

I Principe Squadron
14 Quinquireme class (P) vessels (7 destroyed)
4 Quadreme class Escort vessels (3 destroyed)

II Principe Squadron
14 Quinquireme class (P) vessels
4 Quadreme class Escort vessels

I Triari Squadron
14 Sexireme class (T) vessels
4 Quadreme class Escort vessels

II Triari Squadron
14 Sexireme class (T) vessels
4 Quadreme class Escort vessels

I Carrier Squadron
14 Hepteres class Carrier vessels (8 destroyed)
4 Quadreme class Escort vessels (2 destroyed)

II Carrier Squadron
14 Hepteres class Carrier vessels
4 Quadreme class Escort vessels

I Velites Squadron
14 Hepteres class Veles vessels
4 Quadreme class Escort vessels

II Velites Squadron (Destroyed)
14 Hepteres class Veles vessels (14 destroyed)
4 Quadreme class Escort vessels (4 destroyed)

III Velites Squadron
14 Hepteres class Veles vessels
4 Quadreme class Escort vessels

I Transport Squadron
12 Quinquireme class Troop Transport vessels (6 landed on Nova Cartago II)
6 Trireme class Escort vessels

10.0.2 Percentage Enemy Losses By Class
(P): 25 %
(T): 0 %
CV: 28 %
(V): 33 %
TT: 0 %
Es: 22 %

10.0.3 Total Enemy Ship Losses
Total 38 ships lost
Tot: 21 %

He scrolled down further.

10.1.6 Enemy Ships Remaining by Class
(P): 21
(T): 28
CV: 20
(V): 28
TT: 6
Es: 33


Labienus sighed. One Hundred and Sixty Two ships lost, over one hundred and fifty thousand nautas dead, not to mention the troops manning the orbital castra and the ground defenses to take out thirty eight ships. He thought. If this plan doesn?t work, then I pray the Gods help the human race.

He checked his comm pad again and pulled up the latest Battle Plan data from his headquarters. He knew the number by heart, but checking it brought him no comfort, ?Sixty Eight percent.? He muttered to himself. ?I?m betting the survival of the Human race on a sixty eight percent roll of the dice.? He was startled to hear a knock on his door. He thumbed a switch and the number disappeared from the screen. ?Come.?

The door slid open and Centurio Maximus stepped inside. ?Sir, sensors have detected a vessel incoming to the Classis. It is sending the Classis Command recognition codes, but as per your orders, all ships are observing communications silence. They keep asking for you Sir.?

The Legatus wearily got to his feet. ?That Centurio, will be the ?Inquisition? here for my head over the loss of half my ships. I knew that Classis Command would be sending someone out to relieve me, I just didn?t think that they would get here this fast. I need more time damnit. I started this, I need to finish it.? He picked up his comm pad and strode towards the door.
 
Centurio Maximus barely got out of the Legatus?s way in time and had to almost run to keep up with him as he strode down the passage.

                                                           ***

Labienus stormed onto the Flag Bridge of the Aratus startling the 3rd watch personnel. ?Contact all units, we are executing Plan Ephialtes 121 immediately, summon all senior officers to their posts and signal all squadrons to Battle Stations.?
 
There was a shocked pause and then the crew began activating their comm systems and began bringing systems online. The overhead speaker blared the claxon. ?ALL HANDS TO BATTLE STATIONS ALL HANDS TO BATTLE STATIONS THIS IS NOT A DRILL, ALL SENIOR CREWMEN TO YOUR DUTY STATIONS, ALL HANDS TO BATTLE STATIONS ALL HANDS TO BATTLE STATIONS?
 
Within 5 minutes the senior member of each division was manning their console. Trierarchus Iustin entered the bridge in his sweat suit, the signs of a vigorous workout apparent. He looked at the Legatus. ?Sir, with all due respect, but if this is a drill, it?s a badly timed one. The crew is tired and ??
 
Labienus cut him off. ?This is no drill Trierarchus, we are going NOW. All units will begin executing Ephialtes 121 in 10 minutes.?
 
Trierarchus Iustin approached Legatus Labienus and leaned in close. ?Sir, are you sure, the Plan calls for an attack fourteen days after the invasion of II, if we go sooner, we are going to lose some of our percentage.?
 
Labienus nodded and his mouth set in a grim line as he pointed towards a private message on his comm pad. ?There are circumstances that are out of our control happening that could destroy the whole plan Trierarchus, if we do not execute right now, we may lose our one chance of victory and with it out only chance to save the Human race.?

 Iustin glanced at the message and stiffened. He closed his eyes for a moment and nodded. ?By your command Legatus.? He whispered. Iustin straightened up and bellowed. ?Lets get the old girl moving people! We have a war to win!?

                                                        ***

The High Speed Cutter Salve maneuvered hard to port to avoid another rock and slid forward through the asteroid belt. Legatus Augusti Classis Gracchus slammed his fist against the arm of his command chair. ?If you can?t get this vessel moving faster Centurio, perhaps the Classis is better off without your presence.? Centurio Florens?s shoulders hunched as he advanced the ships throttles forward. The auto-avoidance system was, terrifyingly, flashing red. He knew that he should slow down, but the presence of the Legatus Augusti terrified him. His hand hovered over the manual override, ready to take over if the a-a system couldn?t adjust fast enough.

He glanced at the holo display to check the position of the fleet that they were chasing down. He saw the icons of Legatus Labienus?s fleet exiting the outer edge of the asteroid field. He hesitated before speaking. ?Augusti, the Classis is out of the belt and accelerating towards Nova Cartago II. It will be difficult to predict an intercept point until we?re clear of the belt as well.?

Florens heard no response and was about to turn when he felt a presence looming over his shoulder and a voice growling in his ear. ?Centurio, you were recommended to me as the best pilot that headquarters had. I can see now, that reputation was so much garum. I am going to give you one chance to redeem yourself before I have you put in the brig for impersonating a pilot.? Gracchus reached over and slammed the throttle to maximum. ?Now PILOT!?

                                                           ***

Gracchus returned to his chair and looked at the gaunt figure in gray standing next to his chair. Gracchus felt a shiver of apprehension at the figures total lack of reaction to the encounter between himself and the young pilot. The presence of a member of the Curatores Fumis, Imperial Intelligence Agency, could have a chilling effect on any vessel?s crew. The presence of the second in command of the I.I.A terrified every member of the crew, including the Legatus Augusti Classis. The fact that Tribunus Curio had actually spoken only 5 words since boarding the Salve was quite disconcerting.

Knowing that the Fumum Vendere, Imperial Intelligence Agents, could relieve and execute anyone on the spot, any officer in the Classis, was never far from anyone?s mind.
 
Gracchus glanced again at the viewscreen in time to see the Centurio manually avoid 3 asteroids and saw the impact of a fourth that rocked the whole shuttle. The pilot slalomed past a few more huge rocks and slid between a pair that could have crushed the shuttle like a bug.

Gracchus glanced out of the corner of his eye and was shocked at the total absence of reaction on the face of Tribunus Curio. He must have liquid helium for blood. He thought.

He heard a gasp of relief from the helm and watched as the shuttle finally exited the asteroids and broke out into open space. He saw a line on the holo showing the course plot. The readout showed intercept with Labienus?s fleet in two hours. He watched the pilot flip some switches and redline the engines to maximum emergency power. The plot recalculated and showed 88 minutes to intercept.

Legatus Augusti Classis Gracchus smiled for the first time in over a week. I?m going to make you pay Labienus. He thought. I?m going to make you pay for getting me cooped up with this ?imperial enforcer? for this long. The officers watched as the intercept time ticked by and the outer ships of the huge fleet began to appear at the edge of the viewscreen as they closed the distance.

                                                       ***

Legatus Labienus looked again at the icon marking the Cutter eating up the distance behind him. His comm pad chirped as the latest update from his Nova Cartago III Headquarters reached him. He was not surprised to find a hastily typed note from his head Simulation Officer, Tribuni Porcus. Labienus scanned it briefly and found the data he needed.

Legatus, we haven?t been able to get a complete sim run on all the possible permutations but the numbers we are seeing here are showing a sixty to sixty four percent chance of victory. Sorry we can?t give you more data Sir, we are running the programs based upon a lot of assumptions at this point. We will try to get you better data ASAP.

Tribuni Porcus

P.S. Sir, the entire Staff here wishes you the speed of Mercurius. D.P.

Labienus sighed and looked again at the icon of the Cutter that was closing on his ships. I should kill all of you for costing me my extra four percent chance. He thought. He looked at his aide. Centurio, get Tesserarius Eudoxius up here and tell him to assemble a dozen of his most loyal men, he will know what I mean.?

Maximus nodded. ?Aye aye Sir.? He hurried over to the communications board and a few moments later looked towards Labienus and nodded.
 
Labienus closed his eyes and his face took on the aspect of stone. On top of everything else I?ve done, this isn?t going to matter much. He thought. He turned as he heard the Tesserarius enter the Flag Bridge and he motioned Eudoxius to follow him into his ready room.
 
Maximus watched the Legatus and the Manipularii Tesserarius enter the room and turned back to the holo screen. The outer moon of Nova Cartago II was showing on the edge of the screen.

                                                            ***

The Classis drove forward. The light gray hulls gleamed in the light from Nova Cartago?s Primary. The names on the ships showed black against their skin. Many ships throughout Human history had carried these names. Eugenius, Aratus, Caesar, Roma, Emeritus, Agrippa and Germanicus. Proud ships, ships that had lead the defense of Humankind in the past now moved forward to battle again against the most fearsome foe mankind has ever faced.

The pale Fleet drove on, and Death followed with them.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2007, 08:51:07 AM by Þórgrímr »
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If you want peace, prepare for war
 

Offline Þórgrímr

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« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2007, 09:01:39 AM »
Chapter Twenty Three

                                               (L + 50 days)


The High Speed Cutter maneuvered gently into one of the Aratus?s landing bays. The bay was barely large enough for the ship, but Centurio Florens deftly set down in the curiously empty bay. They must have moved all the ships from this bay to make room for us. He thought. He activated the magnetic clamps to secure his shuttle to the bay?s deck and shut down his abused engines. ?Aratus approach control, this is Salve. Engines shut down and shuttle is secure. Require refuel and maintenance crew as soon as possible. Pressurize when ready.? He watched as the outer bay door rolled shut and checked to make sure the atmosphere gauges began to rise. When the board flashed green, he turned towards the two officers behind him. ?Shuttle secure Sirs, atmospheric pressure reads normal. You may disembark any time.? The young Centurio then turned back to his board to determine the exact damage he had done to the shuttle. He was so distracted that he didn?t notice a hatch open up into the bay and a dozen, power armored figures, enter and spread out to surround the shuttle.

                                                             ***

Legatus Augusti Gracchus and Tribunus Curio listened as the landing ramp extended and watched the young nauta double-check the atmosphere gauges before keying in the code to open the outer hatch. The hatch slid upward and the two officers moved down the ramp. They stopped at the sight of Legatus Labienus standing at the base of the ramp, flanked by power armored Manipularii.
 
Gracchus gathered himself and strode down the ramp towards Labienus. ?What is the meaning of this Labienus? Dismiss these men and consider yourself relieved of command immediately. Have you completely lost your mind? You cut off communications for weeks, send half your ships to their doom, refuse to explain your complete Battle Plan and then expect that Classis Command is going to just let you run your little ?Kingdom? out here without being accountable. You are responsible for the largest disaster in ?? Gracchus?s voice trailed off as saw absolutely no reaction from the other Legatus.

Labienus?s face was stone as he took a step towards the Legatus Augusti. ?Responsible? Yes, I?m responsible for all of it, but it?s not done yet. All my sims show that if we don?t stop them here, Classis Command won?t have enough to stop them before they get into the Core Systems and we both know what THAT will mean. Billions dead before Command can pull enough ships off the Median and Denevan borders and try to chase the enemy Classis down. And while that?s happening, there will be no one HERE keeping the Gods know how many more of them from pouring into our systems.?
 
His finger speared into Gracchus?s chest. ?I may have been assigned here in the back end of nowhere by you, but don?t believe for a minute that I don?t know exactly WHO it was that has been holding up the reassignment of ships to me." He punctuated his words by poking Gracchus?s chest over and over. ?Don?t think that I?m not aware of why I had to send a good friend of mine to her death along with hundreds of thousands of her men because you sent me a collection of relics and combat rejects instead of the first line ships you have been hoarding back at your Headquarters.?

?Why Gracchus? So you can be the hero and stop the enemy where that ?Wine Swilling Gaul? failed? Oh yes, I know what you and your Staff call me behind my back. Do you have your eye on the Imperator Classis?s position or are you just setting up for a shot at Praetor? I don?t care either way you egomaniac.?

Labienus took a breath before continuing. ?All I care about is stopping these ?things? before they get any further. Nothing else matters to me. Do you understand that? No one is going get in the way of me accomplishing that goal. I sent my friend and God only knows how many others to their deaths and I?m going to lead even more to the same end before this is through. I?m going to lead this Classis against the enemy and I?m going to win, despite the odds, because it?s the only thing I have left. Regardless of the consequences to me, I?m going to stop them HERE. And not you, Classis Command, that Curatores Fumis goon behind you or the Imperator himself are going to stop me from doing that.?

Gracchus?s face had turned paler and paler as Labienus had gone on. He hadn?t been spoken to like this since he was a raw Cadet. He set his face into its familiar sneer. ?You arrogant, self absorbed, drunken bastard. Who in the name of Pluto do you think you are talking to? I am your superior officer and I?m telling you that you are relieved of command as of right now. You will inform your Staff that I will be taking command of the Classis and we will regroup back in the asteroid belt to consider the situation before we charge into battle with an unknown enemy.?
 
?Once my Staff has had a chance to review ALL possible scenarios and I bring my reserve forces up, then and only then will I send this Classis into battle. You will consider yourself under arrest pending a General Courts Martial. I?m going to see you hang if it?s the last thing I d?? Gracchus was interrupted by a quiet voice from behind him.
 
Tribunus Curio locked eyes with Legatus Labienus. ?Do you think that this plan is the only chance for the survival of the Republic, Legatus??
 
Labienus had never seen eyes as cold as those of the Fumum Vendere standing in front of him. The dark eyes were hard enough to chill him to his soul. The gaze made Labienus feel like a small child again and he sensed that a lie here would bring swift punishment. He set his jaw and met the dark gaze squarely.

?If I don?t stop them here and now, we are going to see a butchers bill that we haven?t experienced since the Denevans smashed us back to the Britannias and then our reconquest.?

Gracchus watched in horrid fascination at the exchange between the I.I.A officer and Labienus, he wondered how the Legatus had the courage to meet those eyes and smiled as the words from Labienus?s mouth only served to condemn him further.

Tribunus Curio?s face showed no emotion as he looked down at the Legatus. ?And you are willing to risk your career, your life and the safety of the Republic on your solution?? Labienus simply nodded.

The Manipularii that had been gathered were veterans of numerous conflicts and though their armor gave them increased senses and reflexes; none of them were prepared for the lightning speed at which the Tribunus moved.
 
The small pistol fired once before anyone realized it was in his hand. The sound of the body hitting the deck echoed through the bay. The Manipularii stared in shock as the Tribunus?s pistol disappeared and he walked down the ramp. He stepped over the smoking body on the deck and locked eyes with the Legatus. ?You had better be right.?

Labienus stared at the corpse and then at the gray clad figure heading towards the hatchway. He turned to the nearest Manipularii and pointed at the remains of Legatus Augusti Gracchus. ?Get this trash off my deck and eject it into space ASAP.? He then moved quickly to catch up with the long legged Tribunus.

                                                        ***

Fleet leader Strives-Advancing-Onward was pleased. It had recently received a new body from the Harvest of the Human worlds and it looked forward to many seasons of vigorous life with the new form.

Yet overlaying it?s pleasure was a sense of apprehension. The Human fleets that had met them was pathetic and weak and yet they had stayed and fought to the last being instead of retreating as most other races would have done. *We must be careful in our future conflicts with them and hope that the Assembly sends reinforcements soon.* It thought. *We must base our plans on their willingness to die. Though I suppose the reason they fight so fiercely in space is their pitiful ability to fight on the ground.*

It looked again with pleasure at the huge advances that the troops had made on the surface of the world orbiting below. *Two billion.* It thought. *As many Humans, if not more, on the other nearby planet. Once we have secured this planet, we will move to the other and sweep aside their pitiful satellites and take that world also. If these human worlds are as numerous as we have been led to believe, it will be a time of massive spawning. The Harvest will leap forwards on the backs of these creatures and we may have enough strength to finally secure the galaxy.*
 
A warning bell chimed and the Fleet leader saw objects appearing in the holo-tank. *Ships.* It thought as it called up information on the approaching vessels.*The Humans were hiding their ships and chose now to attack, when my fleets are dispersed around this planet and it?s moons.* It began sending orders to the scattered flotillas though it knew that they would not be able to assemble together before the enemy was among them.
 
It sent orders to the transports to land all troops on the current planet in case the Humans won in space. *Even if they destroy us, they will never have the fighters to be able to dig 8 divisions out of the planet.*
 
It looked again at the holo-tank and was shocked at the size and number of the Human Fleet. *They had this much combat power and yet they allowed us to blunt ourselves on their lesser vessels that fought to the death, let us land on an industrial world with billions of their own on it and then wait to strike when our fleets are dispersed. These humans must be insane!* It updated the data that it had collected along with its impressions and triggered a message pod towards the transit passage.
 
The Assembly had to be informed of what sort of mad beings it faced in this sector of the galaxy. It turned towards the holo-tank as one of its flotillas, near the outer moon reported contact with the enemy.

It ground its teeth in frustration as the first of its ships began to explode.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2008, 03:44:48 PM by Þórgrímr »
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If you want peace, prepare for war
 

Offline Þórgrímr

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« Reply #33 on: March 22, 2007, 10:51:52 AM »
Chapter Twenty Four

                                             (L + 51 days)


Principale Maecius fought to keep a sensor lock on the various segments of the enemy classis. The wreckage from the first enemy squadron cluttered up his sensor screen but at the slow speed the Aratus was traveling, engineering was sending him enough extra power to burn through any jamming that the enemy could create. ?Legatus,? he said. ?Enemy I Principe Squadron destroyed. No other enemy ships in range for 30+ minutes. Enemy appears to be trying to regroup around Nova Cartago II Sir. Next set of units contacted will be their I Triari and II Carrier Squadrons around the moon Stygia.?

He paused as he saw a new set of signals on his board. ?Legatus, I?m detecting Pila and fighter launches from the enemy?s classis. First wave of fighters will reach us in 32 minutes with the second smaller wave in 57 minutes. Pila waves will arrive in 22 minutes and 46 minutes.?

Labienus grinned at Trierarchus Iustin and his aide. ?Better than we had hoped for gentlemen, their attacks are coming in staggered waves. We should be able to keep casualties to a minimum as long as the point defense weapons work as they?re supposed to.?
 
The officers watched the incoming pilas and fighters approach. Trierarchus Iustin looked at Labienus. ?Now sir??
 
Labienus shook his head. ?I want their next wave of pilas to launch before they realize what we?re doing.?
 
They were interrupted by Principale Maecius? call. ?Launch! Enemy has launched second wave of pilas.?
 
Labienus grinned. ?Trierarchus, inform all units, begin executing Maneuver Plan Testudo. All carriers launch fighters at those fleets around Stygia. Get a pila firing solution on those enemy Triari and Principe squadrons, they are going to be the most dangerous this time.?

                                                      ***

The units of Legatus Labienus?s command began to implement the maneuver they had been practicing for weeks. Huge carriers began to turn ponderously towards their designated points. The Escort Quadremes and Triremes deftly closed in around the other ships. Many ships approached so closely, that anti collision alarms were constantly sounding. One Quadreme helmsman was heard to remark that if he had wanted to do close formation flying like this, he would have joined the Black Knights aerobatic flying team. Within 12 minutes, over 150 ships had formed into a vast globelike formation with only 2 minor collisions occurring.

                                                           ***

Labienus keyed his comm, ?Praefectus Horatius, all ships are in formation, transferring coordination of all point defense weapons in the fleet to the Retiarius. You and your ships are our shield, keep those incomings off our backs so we can crush the rest of these bastards.?
 
Horatius?s deep growl rumbled over the comm, Retiarius acknowledges control of PD weapons, first pila wave in range in 5 minutes. They won?t touch the rest of the classis unless they kill every ship under my command Legatus; you have my word on that. Horatius out.?

Labienus turned and spoke to the gaunt figure in gray to his left. ?This is where it pays off Tribunus. Training, discipline, duty and dedication like this are what set the Roman Classis apart from other space faring species.? He pointed at the comm panel. ?Praefectus Horatius hates my guts. Has since the Academy and that?s almost 40 years now. He wants nothing more than to see me dead and laid out on a slab, but right now, he will die before he will allow me to be harmed. Of course, once we are finished here, he may just call me out.?
 
Tribunus Curio interrupted him. ?If we live.?
 
The Admiral paused a moment and smiled in agreement. ?Yes, if we live.?

                                                         ***

Admiral Horatius watched the first wave of enemy pilas close on the classis. His Point Defense ships were the most under appreciated vessels in the entire Roman Classis. Very few classis commanders were willing to allow the PD ships to do the job they were designed for, and even fewer Legati still were willing to slave all the classis PD weapons to the ships that had been damn well designed for that exact purpose. So many Legati used them only for ECM and ECCM and to guard ships they didn?t want to be bothered to defend.
 
He ran his hand gently over the Diana Mk. 22 Fire Control Coordinator. Horatius inserted his command key into the slot and turned it to the little used, <Classis Defense> setting.

The panel lit up and the Fire Control Officer grinned. ?Praefectus, positive connection to all one hundred and sixty two ships. All PD weapons are under our control. First pilas entering maximum firing range.? The Centurio straightened his back and asked formally. ?Permission to commence firing Praefectus.?
 
Horatius smiled at the young officer. ?Permission granted Centurio, fire at will.? He paused a moment and added. ?Make it good Centurio, let?s show them what we can really do.? The F.C.O. nodded to the men and women of his section. ?Fire!?

                                                           ***

The fist wave of Siliconate missiles sliced through space. The missiles were so large; they were almost small ships unto themselves. Their solid bodies were covered in heavy armor and each generated it?s own shielding to protect the massive warhead that each carried. The guidance systems were not designed for special maneuvers, nor to do anything but detect, close with and destroy their targets. The simple computers could not have known when they crossed an invisible line in space. They didn?t care when hundreds of point defense weapons began firing at them. They drove on with their suicidal mission of death. If they had been able to comprehend it, they would have been impressed at the Mk.22?s ability to deliver precisely the correct amount of firepower to destroy each missile.

The Fire Control computer cycled the ships weapons to allow ships in the rear of the formation to deliver their firepower, while computing all ?blind spots? caused by ships hulls blocking direct fire. Of the 210 Siliconate missiles in the first wave, less than 40 made it through the immense web of fire. The missiles detonated among the point defense ships, collapsing shields and melting hulls. Five Point Defense Quadremes were destroyed by the salvo and all of the others showed some signs of damage. The fleet exited the roiling gout of energy and closed in on the nearest enemy formations.

                                                       ***

Legatus Labienus?s jaw clenched as he saw the damage from the salvo. He slapped his comm ?Horatius, you still alive out there??
 
There was a pause, then an angry voice growled. ?What do you want Legatus, we?re sort of busy over here at the moment.?

Labienus grimaced. ?I?m transferring control of all short ranged weapons to you as well, we underestimated the firepower needed to stop those damn things and I can?t afford to lose any more of your ships like that.? Labienus entered a set of codes on his comm pad. ?I?m sending you the override codes.
 
If you need to, take control of everything but the HET?s and the pilas. If you end up needing those as well, then we are well and truly screwed.?
 
Praefectus Horatius?s voice came back quickly. ?Aye aye Legatus, that should be enough, we?ll do our best, Horatius out.?

                                                           ***
 
On the damaged and burning bridge of his ship, Horatius turned to his Fire Control Officer. "Centurio, the Legatus just gave us control over half the firepower of the classis. If you and your people can?t stop those fighters and that next wave of pilas, I?m going to be very disappointed in you.?
 
The Centurio looked at the new intercept range line and the enemy fighters closing in. ?Permission to turn those incomings to slag Sir.?
 
Horatius looked at swarm of fighters displayed on the board, ?Fry ?em?

                                                           ***

The cloud of Siliconate fighters ran into a wall of fire that got more intense as they bored in closer to the Human fleet. All had been involved in the destruction of the first enemy fleet and they were expecting a divided and uncoordinated defense net to peck away at a few of them until they got close enough to tear open the Human ships. The massed defensive firepower of over 150 ships gutted the fighter squadrons. A few Siliconate pilots had time to see the heavy beam and missile weapons of the humans reaching out towards their Carriers and the weapons of it?s protecting Long Range flotilla answering back before they were blotted out of space.

                                                          ***

The Siliconate 1st Long Ranged flotilla tried desperately to hold off the advancing enemy ships to give the Carrier flotilla time enough to scramble new fighters. It found itself in a long-range duel against very long odds. Its weapons were more powerful and had better range, but the enemy was crushing their shields with sheer volume of firepower. The Long Range Armada could outrun the Human ships, but it stayed between the enemy and the ponderous Carriers that it was trying to protect. In the end, it didn?t matter; all 18 ships of the 1st LR were shattered in a few minutes. The questing beams of the Human fleet then began reaching out among the Siliconate Carriers. The wreckage of the ships began drifting towards Stygia. The last few Siliconate ships fired at the cloud of Human missiles and fighters that passed them on their way to the rest of the fleet before they too were destroyed.

                                                             ***

The Retiarius was locked on the next wave if enemy missiles. This time beams began detonating missiles at nearly three times the range of the last wave. The volume of fire only grew as the short ranged weapons joined the medium ranged ones. The death knell for the armored kamikazes came when they entered the point defense belt and all the PD batteries were finally unmasked. The last of the enemy missiles was detonated just short of the Retiarius?s hull.

The Centurio looked at his people and gave a pale grin. ?Close.?
 
Praefectus Horatius looked down at the weary men and women of the section. ?When we are done with this people, the drinks will be on the Legatus.? A sea of smiles lit up their faces.
 
Horatius pointed again to the board. ?Now kill me that next wave of fighters and I just might treat you all to dinner first.? With renewed vigor, the men and women of the Fire Coordination Team went about their tasks. The next wave of Siliconate fighters never knew what hit them.

                                                           ***

Fleet leader Strives-Advancing-Onward missed the tail of his last host. Lashing a tail in anger was much more satisfying than grinding teeth. It watched the holo-tank in frustration as another wave of its fighters was blotted out of space. The Humans had destroyed three of its flotillas and were advancing steadily on the planet they defended.

The LR flotilla and CV flotilla were heading to him from the second moon, yet neither would be able to join up before the incoming Human fighters and missiles were among his orbiting fleets. The point defense weapons of his three flotillas reached out among the incoming missile wave. The thin-skinned Human missiles were easily destroyed, but the ships lacked enough batteries to stop them all. The remainder of the wave annihilated the sole remaining SR flotilla.

Strives-Advancing-Onward howled in frustration. The vocal range of this host was insufficient to express the outrage as the human fighters began tearing its two missile flotillas to shreds. The Flagship rocked from numerous hits as the shields began to fail. It picked up the communications transmitter and sent signal to the remaining two of its flotillas. ?Remaining ships, this is Fleet leader??

                                                           ***

On board the Retiarius ECM Principale Valens detected an encoded transmission from the enemy Flagship. He directed a beam of jamming towards the transmitting ship.

                                                          ***

?...Humans are killing our ships. To all ships, do not continue the fight. Do not fight on. Retreat and regroup. Do not fight on.?

                                                         ***

Principale Valens flicked the power boost on and slammed the jammers to maximum.

                                                         ***

Flotilla leader Long-Fang-Bellowing listened to the final transmission from the Flagship over the Command channel.

?...Humans ? kil? ? ships. .. all ships, .. ?continue the fight. Do not? ?Retreat? ??.. .. ?fight on.?
 
The transmission was garbled, but it was clear enough for the Ursine bodied Siliconate. Feeling the berserker rage of its host it turned to its crew. ?Signal flotilla leader Rends-From-Afar that I am taking Command of the Fleet and all its ships are to follow us into battle.?

Its massive furred fist slammed onto its command chair arm. Plastic shattered and metal bent as it watched the swarm of fighters close with its ships. We are going to be rended by INSECTS! It thought. These Humans will not even close with us so we can claw and tear them!

                                                         ***

Labienus watched the last two enemy squadrons torn to pieces by his fighters and a final salvo of pilas. He looked at the holo projection then towards Principale Maecius. ?Principale, talk to me??
 
The Principale checked his sensor board and then double-checked. When he had checked a third time, he turned towards the Legatus in amazement. ?That?s all of them Sir! No active enemy vessels remaining in system.? He shook his head, and stared at the Legatus in awe. ?You did it Sir.? He checked the Classis Status screen again. ?Total casualties? seven point defense Quadremes and four Triari Quinquiremes destroyed. Lots of ships reporting some minor damage, but that?s it Sir.? He whispered in awe. ?One hundred and thirty six enemy vessels destroyed or rendered crippled for eleven of ours.?
 
The Flag Bridge?s crew just stared at the empty holo projection in shock and amazement until a young Manipularii who had been guarding the hatch, approached the Legatus, stopped before him and came to a crisp position of attention. Solemnly, Optio Romulus saluted his Legatus.
 
Across the bridge, Trierarchus Iustin and Centurio Maximus snapped to attention and saluted. One by one, the members of the bridge crew stood and saluted.

Labienus felt a lump in his throat and was shocked when Tribunus Curio stiffened and joined the salute. Labienus smoothed his jacket and came to attention and returned the salute. When he finally dropped his hand, many of the crew held their salute for a few moments as if wanting to remember this moment forever.

Labienus cleared his throat. ?I want all fighters to fan out and destroy all cripples that will not surrender. Carriers and Triari will scour the system for any sign of enemy presence. Principe and the Veles will enter orbit around Nova Cartago II and destroy any ships or comm pods attempting to launch. Contact Pro-Consul Cincinnatus and tell him to bring up his troop transports, we have a planet to re take.?

                                                           ***

On the surface of Nova Cartago II, the commander of the Siliconate Divisions, Ever-Conquering-Planets looked at the reports, slammed them down in frustration and turned towards its second in command. ?Order all units to cease advances and pull back to our current lines. All armored units will move into the major cities. If they want this planet back, they will have to tear us out, city by city. Establish supply caches and have all units dig in deep. We are going to hold here until The Assembly sends us reinforcements.?

                                                         ***

The Legionarii manning the shattered human lines on the south continent stared in shock at their last minute salvation as the enemy began pulling away from them.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Þórgrímr »
Sic vis pacem, para bellum
If you want peace, prepare for war
 

Offline Þórgrímr

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« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2007, 09:14:47 AM »
Chapter Twenty Five

                                                 (L + 57 days)


Labienus leaned closer to the holo projector trying to make out the Legatus Augusti?s words among the static. ?Say again Cincinnatus, repeat your last.? Labienus turned to the young comm officer who was running the console in his ready room. ?Can you do anything to clear this up son, I need a clear communications feed.?
 
The Centurio fumbled some switches and looked back at the Legatus. ?Best I can do Sir, between the jamming and the interference from all the weapons fire, we?re lucky anything is getting through. I can try to pull more of the voice and less of the image in.? The holo image wavered a moment and then broke up even more as the young officer manipulated his controls.

There was a high-pitched squeal and the image almost disappeared completely. Cincinnatus?s voice however rang out clearly from the speaker for the first time. There were numerous sounds of explosions in the background that occasionally drowned out his voice.
 
?Legatus, I hope you are hearing this. I am ordering an evacuation of all landing zones. The enemy?s weapons are too strong and there are just too many of them. They have overrun the XII Manipularii and the LV Infantry at LZ Thor and LZ Anhur is holding on by a thread. My staff calculates that our perimeter here in LZ Shi Wan Lo is going to collapse within 8 hours.?
 
?They begin moving to hit the beachheads as soon as we begin the landings Legatus. They are rolling over our positions even before the second wave gets on the ground. I am going to hold on to LZ Shi Wan Lo long enough to evacuate all the wounded and support troops but I can?t pull any of the combat elements off the line for evacuation or the whole perimeter will cave in. We may have to write off the northern continent until we have more troops Legatus.?
 
Labienus?s mouth was a pulled into grim line as he spoke to the faint holo figure. ?Hold as long as you can Cincinnatus, between my report and Tribunus Curio?s, we have help coming. We have at least four Consular Armies coming; three of them are Median."

There was a huge wash of static before Cincinnatus?s voice returned. ?Understo? ?gatus, looks like they are coming again. We will hold as long as we can. Cincinnatus out.?

The weak holo image faded away and Labienus turned to the Centurio. ?Son, prep me a comm pod, I want all data from the landings as well as any information that we have from the intelligence units that are still transmitting from the southern continent loaded on it. I want the units that are coming to have the most up to date info we have. There will be a few other messages to add to it from me before it goes, so don?t launch it before I send you the ok.?
 
The Centurio stood up and exited the ready room. Just as the doors closed behind him he heard the Legatus?s fist hammer down on his desk. The doors sealing cut off Labienus?s words. ?FUC??

                                                      ***

The First Median Incursion that invaded human space had begun a war that left the Roman Republic in a curious situation. After the Median fleets were smashed at the Battle of Lan Zhao VII, the Republic?s Fleets pushed on to secure the Leonidas chokepoint in what has come to be known as the Ten Systems Campaign. This counter offensive placed ten Median colonized systems under Roman control. Twenty-two worlds with some twenty five billion Median inhabitants that were now part of the Roman Republic.

It had been feared that a species that had been ruled for so long by a hivemind-like system of government that the Medians would be unable to adapt to the self-determination that characterized the Republic. Those fears were unfounded however.

Once the newly occupied planets had assimilated the information about the government they found themselves under, they clamored to be part of the Concilium Plebis, Plebian Council. Instances of resistance and rebellion dropped to zero after the news that they were to elect Plebian Representatives from their own people and not have rulers imposed from above. Due to the quick assimilation, and the army?s recognition of the potential the Medes represented troop wise, the first Median Plebes were voted into the Concilium Plebis only two years after the Senate granted the Mede worlds citizen status, ten years earlier than expected.

The success of the assimilation can be observed during the Second Roman-Median War several years later. Median ground troops were met and destroyed by the ?Republican? Medes who fought their brethren with such ferocity that the leaders of the Median Network decided that the cost would be too high to re take the ?lost? worlds. The Median leaders were also fearful of the ?infection? of the Republic?s ideals into their people and decided to pull back to the border and write off the ten worlds as hopelessly infected.

That isn?t to say that there weren?t difficulties and adaptations that needed to be made in the mixing of the two races; the dominance of the Medes in the computer and electronics fields caused friction in some quarters, as was their ability to quickly adapt and change human technologies for the better.

The filibuster was eliminated in the Plebian Council after Median Plebe Bin-402?s marathon 21 day blocking of Resolution RK9273.

Initially however, the gravest concern of the Humans of the Roman Republic about their new members was the Median ability on the battlefield.

Pat-142, commander of Consular Group North, was the first Mede to achieve the rank of Pro-Consul in the Roman Ground Forces and he was aware of the burden he carried for his people. Even after three generations of Medians having been born under the flag of the Senatus Populesque Romanus, Imperial Command still balked about putting a Mede in command of Human troops.

                                                        ***

Pro-Consul Pat-142 looked at his gathered Army Commanders and Staff. There were times he wished he had an all Mede Staff so they could set up an electronic interface and discuss these things at a faster level, but he knew if he had chosen only his own kind for support, the Magister Militum, Commander of the Army, would have come down on him with both feet.
 
He paused a moment before activating his speaking unit. ?We have received a new data feed from Nova Cartago. The initial attacks by the Manipularii and Legionarii have failed. We will have to create our own landing zones in the northern hemisphere, or land on the relatively safe southern regions still under our control and fight our way across the ocean to land on the northern continents. Input??

Consul Fabius Belisarius, commander of the III Ala Consular Army and the most senior of his Army commanders spoke first. ?Sir, being a whole ocean away from the enemy is not going to help us clear one inch of that planet. The logistics in trying to move all my men and equipment across that much ocean just to make a forced entry assault onto one of the northern continents without proper landing craft? well Sir, I just don?t feel like making some half-assed beach assault when we could land intact where we are going to fight.?

Pro-Consul Pat-142?s eyes blinked the green of assent and rotated his head to face the commander of the MXXI Mechanized Consular Army. Consul Fabius was an enigma to Pat-142, he had been wounded in battle five times and had almost as many mechanical parts as the Median troops he lead. He was known to burst into immense rages and even more intense periods of quiet. All brought on, some said, by the titanium and polymer plate covering his brain.

His troops referred to him as Crazy Fabian, but only in private burst transmissions to each other. Only the flashes of incredible brilliance he showed at precisely the correct moments kept him from being retired long ago.
 
Consul Fabius looked at his commander with unblinking electronic eyes. ?I?m having all my boys refitted with rotary gauss cannons. All Legionarii are being outfitted with light anti-vehicle weapons packages that should crack their infantry armor well enough. All vehicles are being retrofitted with Hasta rockets. They should have enough penetration to take out their Loricas.? He stood unspeaking for a moment before realizing more was expected. ?Oh, land in the north, without question. The sooner we get into combat with them, the better.?

Pat-142 looked at his two other commanders; Consul SFX-525 commander of the MXXXIII Mechanized Army and Consul TFN-869 commanding the IX Manipularii Army. Consul SFX-525, never one to waste words, sent a burst transmission indicating assent with the two previous speakers.

TFN-869, still wearing a prototype biped assault body, flexed a power claw and rumbled static that passed for laughter among the Medes. ?My Manipularii will carve out a landing zone for the rest of you. I have studied the download and I have a plan to prevent the enemy from entering the LZ before we consolidate it. My troops will hold the outer lines long enough for the rest of you to land. I have pulsed files to you all outlining my plan. If you have any suggestions or special requirements, please contact me.?

Pat-142 blinked green three times in assent. ?It appears we are all in agreement. I will forward a message to Legatus Labienus and tell him that we will be making a direct assault to liberate the north. Have all troops and vehicles prepared, I do not wish to be inside these thin-skinned coffins any longer than we have too. I want the whole Consular Group ready to assault any time after we enter the Nova Cartago System.? The four Consuls saluted him and left to rejoin their troops. His Staff gathered around the command board and began to sketch out the assault plan.  

                                                       ***

The Medians are an unusual species. While most races strive to keep their identity amid a furious race for technology, the Medes embrace making their technology part of their identity. While the other races of the galaxy look upon their bodies as the vessel of ?self?, the Mede see their bodies as simply tools to be changed as needed for their job.

The derogatory term some Romans call the Medians is somewhat of an accurate description. ?Brain in a jar? is close as the internal anatomy of a Mede was almost literally that simple. The greatest part of the Median physiology was the brain, sending enormous nerves to the eyes, ears, and tactile tentacles, which the Medes use for manipulation. Besides this were the bulky lungs, into which the mouth opened, and the heart and its associated circulatory system.

This was the sum total of the Median organs. Strange as it may seem to a human being, all the complex apparatus of digestion, which makes up the bulk of our bodies, did not exist in the Medians. They were heads, merely heads. They had no entrails what so ever. They did not eat, much less digest. Instead, they took their nourishment and injected it directly into their own circulatory system to be absorbed directly from the blood. Everything else is mechanical.
 
For that reason, Principale FTP-975 showed no discomfort in seeing his disconnected arms lying on a tech cart. The lead tech was attaching an Mk55 Gatling Gauss to his left arm. Without looking up from her work, the tech sent a query. *What would you like on the other arm Principale? Plasma cutter, power claw, light rocket launcher or another gauss?*

The Principale pondered a moment before pulsing back, *Power claw I think, just be sure to add a few extra power packs, I have a feeling that it may get a lot of use.*

FTP-975 detected the disconnection of his light transit legs and a mobility tech pulsed a question. *What sort of movement package would you like Principale, high-speed movement legs, evasion legs, wheeled chassis or tracks?* And so on it went as the transports moved closer and closer to Nova Cartago II.

                                                      ***

Sempronius?s face was pale as he approached the field where the first Contubernium was practicing and motioned for the Principale to follow him. Metellus signaled Varus to continue the bayonet training. Sempronius stopped under the shade of a tree, squatted down on his heels and the Principale followed suit.
 
Sempronius pulled out a small comm pad. ?Just got some bad and worse news from the Tribuni, some of our Electronic Warfare techs managed to hack into one of the Siliconate satellites. They picked up a huge fleet entering the system. They were unable to decode the transmissions, but they didn?t remain in orbit very long before heading towards the Apollonian Gate passage to Nova Londinium.?

Metellus chuckled and spit a brown stream onto the ground. ?So what?s the worse news??

He tossed him the comm pad and motioned for Metellus to check the data. ?Intelligence has estimated that they have landed four fresh legios. By their landing patterns, they estimate that one will land in the southern region, one will land on the far side of the planet and two are landing at the Ducorum spaceport, so we will soon have some new friends to play with. The Tribuni isn?t sure how long it will take the new units to get organized before we start taking them on, but have your men ready to move out at a moments notice.?
 
?The one piece of good news I have for you is that you are getting a couple of more men, Manipularii this time.?
 
Metellus spit against the trunk of the tree before speaking. ?What makes you think that?s good news Decurio??
 
He looked at him curiously. ?I would have thought that you would be happy to get some real Manipularii to replace your losses.?
 
Metellus looked at him. ?With no new replacements coming in to us, the only reason I would get Manipularii is if the unit they were a part of was so under strength and without any experienced leaders that they disbanded the unit and gave the orphans to me.? He said bleakly. ?Either way, I?d be a fool not to take them, but it just makes me aware at how chewed up we all are.?
 
They both looked out from under the tree and watched as Optio Varus smack Magnus on the helmet for over thrusting into the straw dummy in front of him. His voice carried over to them. ?No, no, no, knucklehead! If you screw up like that in combat, you are a dead man. Magnus, do that one more time and you are numero uno on my garum list!?

Sempronius looked over with concern when he heard Metellus choking. He pounded him on the back until he realized he was laughing. ?What?s so funny?? He asked.
 
Metellus coughed and spit out the tobacco he had almost swallowed. ?You would have had to have seen Varus a few months ago to understand Decurio.? He stood up, still laughing. ?Lets go get those replacements Decurio, before someone else steals them for mess duty or something.?
 
The two moved off towards headquarters while the sound of Varus?s cadence followed them. ?Guard! Thrust! Buttstroke! Buttstrike! Guard!?

                                                          ***

Division Commander Blue-Tentacle-Writhing entered the Headquarters of the Siliconate Ground Forces-Nova Tarentum, flanked by its bodyguards. Staff beings and support personnel made way when they saw the Black Rod of Judgment in its fist. The guards outside the commander?s door bowed and stepped back. Forward-Ever-Onward looked up from its desk as the intruders entered its office. It was about to snarl for the guards when it saw the black rod in the fist of the interloper.

Blue-Tentacle-Writhing announced in formal tones. ?Forward-Ever-Onward, you have failed your orders, for that I strip you of your third name. Forward-Ever, you have failed yourself, for that I strip you of your second name. Forward, you have failed the Assembly, for that, I strip you of your prime name.?
 
Blue-Tentacle-Writhing stepped up and pressed the end of the rod against the being with no name. The high-pressure hiss drove the chemicals into the nameless Siliconate. Tentacles blackened and fell limp. The host experienced a moment of awareness before he too slumped over dead.

The new commander of Ground Forces-Nova Tarentum stepped into the command center. ?Apathy and cowardice have their price. The nameless thing that once lead you paid the ultimate price for failure. Any others that will not follow orders step forward now and accept judgment.?

It looked around at the assembled Staff. ?I have been appointed to take over this abomination of a campaign. Now, show me the troop dispositions of the Human holdouts in the mountains so we may crush them.? It threw the black rod to one of its bodyguards. ?Keep that nearby, from the look of these pathetic beings, we will need it soon enough.? It leaned forward as a holo image of the mountains began to appear.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2008, 03:49:28 PM by Þórgrímr »
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Offline Þórgrímr

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« Reply #35 on: September 01, 2007, 05:52:15 PM »
« Last Edit: September 03, 2007, 09:31:44 AM by Þórgrímr »
Sic vis pacem, para bellum
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Offline Steve Walmsley

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« Reply #36 on: September 02, 2007, 06:53:00 AM »
We're reading :)

A lot of people will read and enjoy the fiction without commenting on it. Just look at the number of views for this thread.

Steve
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Steve Walmsley »
 

Offline kdstubbs

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siliconate war
« Reply #37 on: September 02, 2007, 02:37:55 PM »
Please do not stop posting this really excellent fiction.  As an historian with a smattering of classical training, I really appreciate your stories.

Kevin
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by kdstubbs »
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« Reply #38 on: September 02, 2007, 04:02:27 PM »
Please keep posting, the story is very good. :D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by wildfire142 »
 

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« Reply #39 on: September 03, 2007, 01:24:13 AM »
If you stop. we will say very mean things about you...  8)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by coldsteel »
ziggy zoggy ziggy zoggy oi oi oi!
ziggy zoggy ziggy zoggy oi oi oi!
ziggy zoggy ziggy zoggy oi oi oi!
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Offline Þórgrímr

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« Reply #40 on: September 03, 2007, 09:31:04 AM »
@Steve, I guess my net noobishness is showing through.  :D

@Kevin, I am deeply flattered that you as a historian are enjoying the stories of my Space Romans. That means a lot to me since I am trying to keep it based on the real Roma and what I think a plausible extrapolation of what they would be like if they had survived.

One question though, do you think I am going overboard with the details? I have had four publishers turn down my Romans and in every rejection no reason was given. I half suspect that the reason is they see all the Latin terms and their eyes glaze over and immediately reject it as unreadable, not realizing the stories are aimed directly at the mil sci fi crowd who DEMAND that, for example, their space Romans look different from their space Mongols.  :wink:  A cookie if you know what movie that is from.  :wink:

Gents, here is the next chapter for your reading pleasure.



Chapter Twenty Seven

                                         
                                           (L + 4 months)


Interlude:

Legatus Labienus looked up from his holo as his aide walked in the door. Centurio Maximus came to attention. ?Sir, Pro-Consul Pat-142 is here.? Labienus nodded and placed his holo reader on the desk in front of him. The Centurio stepped to the side as the Pro-Consul rolled through the door. The Mede Pro-Consul?s metallic body still showed the red dirt of Nova Cartago II and there were some obvious dents and plasma burns on his outer casing.

Labienus?s mouth took on a grim line. He could have changed bodies before he got here, he thought The Medes don?t do anything by accident, so he must be trying to make a statement by coming here like this. He looked at his aide. ?Thank you Centurio that will be all.? Centurio Maximus nodded briefly and pulled the door shut as he left.

Labienus met the cold metallic gaze of the Mede opposite him. No words were spoken between the senior officers.

Finally it was the Pro-Consul who broke the silence. The voice carried a weariness that Labienus had never heard in a Mede before. ?Legatus, I came to inform you that without a greater influx of troops, we will be unable to achieve all the objectives outlined in the Battle Plan. The enemy continues to remain strongly entrenched in four of the major cities. Without fresh troops, there is no way my forces will have the strength to take them while we are restricted as to the weapons and firepower we are allowed to bring to bear on those targets.?

Labienus rubbed his eyes and sighed. "Pro-Consul, you have already received five extra Consular Armies, including one of the first Ala Consular Armies. I don?t have any other troops to give you without stripping the forces gathered for the Nova Londinium and Nova Tarentum operations. The restrictions on allowable firepower came straight from the Imperator and are not within my power to alter. The Senate suggested to the Imperator that due to all of the civilians still held in those cities, full release of all heavy weapons should not be allowed. They do not want the extreme levels of civilian casualties that chemical, nuclear or even heavy tormenta fire will bring. The lives of those millions of civilians...?

 ?Are EXACTLY the problem Legatus!? The Pro-Consul interrupted. ?I do not think that you realize Legatus, every time that we kill a host body without killing the Siliconate parasite along with the host, they merely attach themselves to another one of those ?civilians? and they instantly have a 100% effective warrior again. I do not think that Classis Command, or the Imperator for that matter, understands how difficult it is to guarantee a kill on the parasite. Their body armor is designed to protect the Siliconate inside above all other concerns.?

The Median gave a static sounding sigh. ?So my men fight with restrictions on which buildings they may fire upon, unable to call for sufficient firepower to suppress the enemy, all the while, knowing that 80% of the ?kill shots? they make, will only result in the death of the human host and the parasite will be back on the line the next day. I cannot sustain such losses and carry out my mission. Here is a readout of what I will require for the re-taking of Nova Cartago II given the restrictions that have been placed upon me.? The Mede gently placed a crystal on the desk.

Labienus took the data crystal and loaded it into his reader. He quickly paged through the various pages and addendums until he came to the pages he needed. His eyes widened as he saw the numbers of troops that the Por-Consul was requesting. A vein throbbed on his forehead and he felt a massive headache coming on.

When he saw the bottom line he all but exploded. ?Pro-Consul! You are requesting ALL the troops assembled for the Nova Londinium and Nova Tarentum operations as well as another two Ala and two Legionarii Consular Armies from the Strategic reserves? Do you realize that will constitute almost 25% of the entire ground forces of the Army of the Republic??
 
?Even if I could get as many troops as you ask for, there is no way that the Imperator or the Magister Militum would release even more troops for any operations on Nova Tarentum, let alone Nova Londinium. It would take years for enough troops to be raised for those ops and the Gods only knows how deep the Siliconates will be dug into the outer worlds. It sounds like you and your Staff are being somewhat pessimistic in their appraisal of the enemy strengths and plans. This represents the ?worst case? scenario I assume??

The Median shook his head in the negative. ?Legatus, the plan before you reflects a somewhat positive scenario. There are those on my staff who believe that even after we destroy all Siliconate ground units, we will be fighting a guerilla war against Siliconate holdouts for the next 20 years or more until we destroy the majority. That alone will require the permanent stationing of a large garrison just to protect the vital emplacements on the surface.?
 
Labienus growled as he waved the reader. ?I can?t go to the Magister Militum, let alone the Imperator, with this, Pro-Consul; it would be the end of your career.?
 
The Median pointed at the reader. ?If you can not acquire the forces that are required for this operation and require me to carry forward with only the forces I currently have Legatus, you can turn to file ?RES01?. In it, you will find the resignations of every Median officer involved in the current operation; you will also find the resignations of 78.9% of all human officers under my command.?

?This is blackmail? Labienus growled.
 
The Median again shook his head and spoke very clearly. ?Legatus, I have served proudly as a Roman Legionarii for the past forty years, I have carried out every mission assigned, succeeded where many have failed and have endured endless slights against myself and my race as I climbed the ladder of command, but I will not carry out any further orders without sufficient support.?

Labienus clenched his fist around the reader and motioned to the door. ?I will take a look at your numbers with my Staff before I make my recommendation. I will want you close at hand if any questions come up Pro-Consul.?
 
Pat-142 raised his torso and saluted. ?I await you decision Legatus, thank you for seeing me.?
 
Labienus returned the salute and went back to his reader. A few moments after the Mede left, a small side door to the room opened and Tribunus Curio stepped into the room. Labienus looked up from his reader as the Imperial Intelligence Agency Tribunus took a seat opposite him.
 
Labienus, still reading, spoke wearily. ?You heard it all??
 
Salonius nodded. ?Was it as bad as you expected then??

Labienus paged through the reader. ?Worse, but Pro-Consul Pat-142 is an absolute military genius and I was hoping that he might have been able to change the numbers we have been seeing in the simulations. Classis Command has given me all the ships I requested thanks to your influence Tribunus, but there is no way the Magister Militum or the Imperator will assign us all the ground forces we will need to re-take all the outer arm worlds. That leaves one option??
 
Salonius pulled out his own reader and pulled up some data. ?I have managed to get all the items you requested, but there is no way the Imperator will authorize this plan. The Senate will debate endlessly and set up study committees and continually recommend the Imperator do this or that, but in the end, he will never make that kind of call. Too many Romans would die along with the Siliconates.?
 
Labienus sighed. ?Then it is up to me again to do what is needed before they can issue me orders to the contrary.?
 
Salonius gave him a hard look. ?You do know what they will do to you for that; they will claim that you carried forward without orders and that there was an alternative. You are taking a lot on yourself Legatus.?
 
Labienus brushed a bit of non-existent lint off his shoulder boards and grimaced. ?It goes with the rank Tribunus."
 
He pressed a button on his desk and Centurio Maximus came in quickly. Labienus tossed him a data crystal. ?Have the Staff review that and do all they can to make it happen. Send my complements to Pro-Consul Pat-142 and tell him that I am releasing all troops in system to his control immediately. Tell him I would be grateful if he were to return to Nova Cartago II as soon as possible. And have my personal shuttle readied to rendezvous with my flagship.?

As the Centurio turned to carry out his Legatus?s orders, the voice called him back. Centurio Maximus turned back to see a pained look on his commander?s face. ?Once you have carried out those orders Centurio, report to Personnel for reassignment, your services as my aide are no longer required.? The young officers face turned pale and he was about to speak when Labienus?s voice cracked out, heavy with emotion ?Carry out you orders Centurio, immediately!?
 
After the shaken officer left the room Salonius looked at Labienus. ?It was the best I could do to protect him, he is going to be tainted enough as it is for being my aide.?
 
Salonius made no comment as he studied the numbers for the upcoming campaign, Labienus had taught him more in the past few weeks about military operations than he had learned in the past forty five years. He was using all his considerable power as I.A.A. second in command to assist Labienus, but once this battle plan was begun, he knew it would only be a matter of time before he received the order he knew he would have to follow.

He looked at Labienus over the top of his reader. ?You know what I will have to do, don?t you? And you are still going forward with this?? Salonius sighed as he looked over the folder marked Battle Plan: Damnatio et Memoriae. With all the death contained here, one more death shouldn?t bother me, but it does. While he paged through the plan, a thought kept moving through his mind, too old, just getting too old and too sentimental for this job.

                                                       ***

The cloying heat was oppressive as the group of figures moved along the riverbank. The seven members of the group walked in single file. A tall, slender individual led the way, followed by six much smaller figures. All seven were bent under the weight of the packs they carried. Both of Nova Londinium IV?s moons had almost set and there was only a pale glow to light their way.

Their objective loomed before them as they carefully moved through the brush. To some of the more sharp-eyed members of the group, armored figures could be seen patrolling on the bridge itself. The group came to a section of chain link fence and the smallest of the figures took off his pack and wormed his way under. He furiously began digging out the earth from under the fence bottom. Several minutes later, a passage sufficiently deep had been opened. The others passed their packs under and then slid under the fence themselves.

The tall figure held a finger up to her lips as they got close to the support girders of the highway bridge. She motioned the first two up the main support columns and they both scurried up the rock-crete pillar. The other four followed while the tall woman started planting the charges on the lower portions.

Every few moments she would look along the underside of the bridge to catch glimpses of the small figures moving from place to place under the great bridge. The small figures squirmed between narrow areas, which would have stopped a larger individual. Nimble fingers carried out recently practiced tasks as they emplaced the explosive charges.

Every now and again, all would stop moving as a heavy vehicle passed over the bridge. In just over an hour, all the charges had been set and the seven members of the team were moving back along the riverbank for home.
 
The tall woman looked towards a distant star and whispered. ?I?m glad you left before this happened little brother, but I wish you were here now so I wouldn?t have to do this alone.?
 
As the group arrived at the edge of a small town, she gathered them around her. ?I am SO proud of all of you, you all did so well tonight. Someday, people are going know how important the things we did here are. Now go home and remember not to tell anyone what we did, it?s our secret.?
 
Six faces smiled up at her and the smallest held up his hand. At her nod he spoke. ?Will we still need to have our homework on Monday??
 
One of the others punched him in the shoulder and whispered fiercely. ?Of course you will dumbo! This is extra credit remember??

He looked at his shoes sheepishly and smiled a sorry to her. The six figures moved off to their homes. Sabina Flavius didn?t head to her apartment until she watched the last of her fourth grade class make it safely home.

                                                      ***

She was just finishing her lesson plan for the next week when she heard a shattering BOOM in the distance. The smile on her face was terrible to behold as she marked an A+ next to each of 6 names in her class book.

                                                       ***

Praefectus Classis Horatius looked at the holo projection of his Classis gathered around Nova Londinium IV. To say he had been shocked when Labienus placed half the assembled ships under his command and told him to push out to the Nova Londinium System would have been the understatement of the millennium.

Horatius originally believed that he was being sent out as bait until he had gotten the readout of the squadrons assigned to him by Labienus?s Staff. All the most modern vessels in system were placed under his command and he pushed out to rendezvous with Navarchus Helvius?s Task Force, which had been in orbit over the world for months. He had been holding the system for over a month now himself, waiting for Labienus to join him with the troop transports needed to re-take the world below. The only excitement had come when a small scout group of Siliconate ships had come out of the Apollonian Gateway to Nova Tarentum, but they had retreated before they could be destroyed.

Helvius had sent some of his shipboard Manipularii down to the surface to gather some intelligence and a few prisoners, and now Horatius was observing the product of one of those raids behind the quarantine barriers aboard the Hospital Ship Salkius. The figure behind the glas-steel window wore the tatters of a Roman Army uniform, but Horatius?s eyes were drawn again and again to the rocky, pulsing mass attached to the mans chest.

Horatius turned to the Medicus in charge with incredulity. ?Are you saying he is lucid and knows who he is? I thought you said that once they got their tentacles into you, your brain was shut down for the duration??
 
The Medicus looked somewhat embarrassed as he spoke. ?There is so much we don?t know about these creatures, but I can tell you that this man IS who he says he is and he has answered enough questions for me to believe that he is in control of his own thoughts. He has a few moments now and then where he will go into a semi catatonic state, but at no time, do I believe the creature to be in control of his actions.?
 
 Horatius shook his head and pressed the communications button. ?Pro-Consul Renatus, can you hear me??
 
The gaunt figure turned towards Horatius. ?I can hear you Praefectus. Forgive me for receiving you in this state, but I can?t seem to find my dress uniform and my orderly was killed during the attack on my Headquarters. He was running on fire? three blind mice, three blind mice, see how they run? ? his voice wandered off as his eyes glazed over.

Horatius turned back to the Medicus. ?You call this lucid? I think he is totally insane.?

Before the Medicus could reply, Renatus began speaking. ?I?m sorry Praefectus, sometimes I wander off, it is very hard keeping control over my little ?hitchhiker? here, he knows I?m in control and he is very pissed off that he can?t dominate me.?
 
Horatius leaned forward. ?Why isn?t it able to control you Renatus? Do you know what it is thinking? Can you tell me anything about the force disposition of the Siliconates on the planet? I need anything you can give me Pro-Consul.?
 
Pro-Consul Renatus breathed heavily as he leaned on the bed. I?d like to think that it was my indomitable will that prevented me from being controlled, but from what I have been able to gather from the thoughts I can pick up from my ?friend? here, the Siliconates call this the ?awakening? and it happens in about one in a million ?joinings?.?

?The Siliconates think of it like we think of some of the nastier social diseases. Sometimes the host becomes aware for a moment or two and other times, like myself, the awareness becomes full. They normally kill both the host and the Siliconate in such cases, but I was lucky to be on guard duty when it happened and I used my knowledge of the territory to hide. I was trying to cobble together some communications equipment from my old headquarters when your boys found me.?
 
?My complements on their conduct and control Praefectus, I don?t know that in their place, I would have checked my fire. I know I?m not a pretty sight.?
 
?As to the disposition of forces, I?m not too sure; I was possessed by a relatively low ranking Siliconate. It was somewhat humbling to be a private and standing guard over an ammo dump after being a Pro-Consul for all those years.? Renatus doubled over and began repeatedly punching his thigh. After a few moments, he straightened and coughed harshly.
 
Praefectus Horatius?s voice carried a note of concern through the speaker. ?Are you alright Pro-Consul, is there anything we can do for you??
 
Renatus grimaced and met Horatius?s eyes. ?You can bring me a pistol or have one of your Manipularii come in here and end it. I don?t want to live like this and I don?t want to be sent back to Terra to be poked and prodded by every scientist in the Republic. That?s no way for a professional soldier to die. I have already written down the disposition of all enemy forces as I remembered them as well as specs on everything I can recall. That?s all I can do for you Praefectus, now please? I don?t want to take the chance that this thing will take over again.?
 
As Horatius turned towards the door the Medicus stepped in front of him. ?Praefectus, you can?t do this, this is an unprecedented opportunity for us to study a Siliconate with a cooperative host. We can?t just throw away a gift like thi?akkk.?
 
Horatius grabbed the doctor by the throat and pressed his face against the glas-steel and growled. ?Does that look like a ?gift? Medicus? To me, it looks like a step below the lowest plane of Hades itself.?

He released the doctor and turned to the senior of the pair of Manipularii guarding the door. ?Primus Pilus, your sidearm please.? The Primus pulled the pistol from its holster and handed it to the Praefectus.
 
Primus Pilus Sho Khan motioned for Horatius to wait a moment and palmed the door open switch. He and the Optio entered the room with rifles at the ready. Horatius entered behind them.
 
Pro-Consul Renatus straightened up and tried to smooth his uniform somewhat. He ran his fingers through his hair to neaten it. Renatus pointed to the holo pad. ?There are letters for my wife and son, could you see that they receive them please??
 
At Horatius?s nod, he came to attention. ?Kill them all Praefectus, for all my dead boys, just kill all of them.? The pistol fired several times into the Siliconate and a final time into the head of the Pro-Consul.

Horatius passed the pistol back to the Primus Pilus. ?Once the doctors have removed that? thing, from the Pro-Consul, see if they can find an Army dress uniform somewhere and ??
 
?We will take care of it Sir.? Primus Pilus Sho Khan replied.
 
Horatius walked out of the room and started keying in data to his pad as he headed to his shuttle. Once he landed on the Retiarius, he headed straight to the bridge. He walked over to the Comm. Officer and growled. ?Prep a pod, I have some data for Legatus Labienus. Get a full download from the CMO of the Salkius and I will have additional messages to go out.?
 
He turned to the Classis Gunnery Officer. ?Tribunus Yamashiro, I want a bombardment plan to hit anything that can be confirmed as exclusively military. I want to avoid civilian casualties if at all possible, but I want them to know we are up here. I?m tired of hanging up here like a string of Saturnalia lights, waiting for something to happen.?

A few hours later, the first pilas began raining down on Nova Londinium IV.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2008, 08:57:36 AM by Þórgrímr »
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Offline kdstubbs

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Siliconate war
« Reply #41 on: September 03, 2007, 10:05:20 AM »
To answer your question about the details--I think you are doing a great job with the Roman projection, the problem is that some updating of language will have occurred by the period you have set your fiction, so perhaps using J instead of I would be ok.  I think the publishers are more concerned with audience, and they don't think that highly of any author unless he's a David Weber type.  

A possible suggestion, try to sell some of your works to some of the SCI-FI magazines--if you can create a demand for your work, then it will generate someone to take a change on publishing a novel.  Frankly, I find your work enjoyable, because you have taken the time to base it on an extrapolation of the Roman Empire.  

Having published I can tell you the first thirty rejections are nothing, its the next twenty that are fun--I am only half kidding.  I tried to get my book published at Harvard, Texas A&M and then Praeger.  Praeger picked up my book.  Go figure.  

Kevin
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by kdstubbs »
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Offline Steve Walmsley

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« Reply #42 on: September 03, 2007, 11:14:55 AM »
Quote from: "??rgr?mr"
@Kevin, I am deeply flattered that you as a historian are enjoying the stories of my Space Romans. That means a lot to me since I am trying to keep it based on the real Roma and what I think a plausible extrapolation of what they would be like if they had survived.

One question though, do you think I am going overboard with the details? I have had four publishers turn down my Romans and in every rejection no reason was given. I half suspect that the reason is they see all the Latin terms and their eyes glaze over and immediately reject it as unreadable, not realizing the stories are aimed directly at the mil sci fi crowd who DEMAND that, for example, their space Romans look different from their space Mongols.  :)

Unfortunately I think modern society is ruled by the lowest common denominator and anything that requires a degree of intelligence to enjoy (including books, movies, games, etc) is less likely to get made or published

Steve
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Steve Walmsley »
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Siliconate war
« Reply #43 on: September 03, 2007, 11:32:25 AM »
Quote from: "kdstubbs"
Having published I can tell you the first thirty rejections are nothing, its the next twenty that are fun--I am only half kidding.  I tried to get my book published at Harvard, Texas A&M and then Praeger.  Praeger picked up my book.  Go figure.  

Is your book "Race to the Front: The Materiel Foundations of Coalition Strategy in the Great War" ? Sounds like the type of thing I would find interesting but its ?60 ($120) on Amazon :)

Steve
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Steve Walmsley »
 

Offline wildfire142

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« Reply #44 on: September 03, 2007, 04:48:39 PM »
Thanks and the movie is The Outlaw Josey Wales  :D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by wildfire142 »
 

 

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