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david.wendelken April 7th, 2010 10:32 PM

Controversial Imaah “Chesty” Chehesti, General, Imperial Marines, Retired Today
 
*Traveller News Service

REGINA/REGINA (0310-A788899-A) Date: 002-1105
http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Gal...Chehesti-1.png
(Captain Chehesti donning her uniform after the capture of Reaver’s Heaven, 1076.)

Controversial Imaah “Chesty” Chehesti, General, Imperial Marines Retired Today,
Imaah became famous on her first combat action, a penetration strike into the neutral Reaver’s Deep sector on a Piracy Suppression campaign. The strike force left a high guard over Luushakaan while the main force of nine starships landed on planet to skim a large lake for fuel. The high guard was taken out by a surprise attack launched from a secret base on one of the planetary moons and the pirates proceeded to bombard the strike force on the ground below. From the official battlefield report:

“Captain Imaah Chehesti, of the 77th Marine Flight Assault Squadron, was off-duty when the alert was broadcast to all hands. Knowing every second counted, she rushed to the nearest fighter and launched off into the atmosphere at maximum acceleration towards the foes. With superlative skill she dodged incoming missile and laser fire and took out a brace of turrets on one of the four attacking vessels, the Reaver Heaven, an 1200 ton spherical cruiser of the Rivenworld class. Exploiting the newly created gap in its defensive fire plan, she maneuvered next to the Reaver Heaven and flew along side it, matching its trajectory and staying in its blind spot. From this position she fired upon the other vessels with telling effect. Their return fire was successfully dodged which resulted in further damage to the Reaver Heaven. Misunderstanding the reason for the attack, and fearing treachery, the Reaver Heaven directed its fire against its compatriots. The pirate fleet broke off its attack and scattered, all cohesion lost due to the perceived treachery of its members. Her actions in disrupting the attack saved all nine vessels of the strike force and the mission. As the Reaver Heaven fled, Captain Chehesti maneuvered around it and deftly disabled each of its turrets in turn. When the last weapon was disabled she opened televid communication with the vessel on an open frequency and demanded (and accepted) its surrender.”

The televid exchange, which was picked up and recorded by Imperial Naval communications gear, is presented in transcript form here:

Captain Chehesti
(Cool, professional voice) “Imaah Chehesti, Captain of Imperial Marines demanding your immediate submission.”
Pirate Commo Officer
“Damn! You sure are!”
Captain Chehesti
(Cool, professional voice) “Imaah Chehesti, Captain of Imperial Marines demanding your immediate submission. Heave to and prepare to be boarded.”
Pirate Commo Officer
“Guys! Look at this chesty Marine gal. She wants to board us!”
unidentified Pirate 1
“Dibs!”
unidentified Pirate 2
“Hot Damn! Can I be boarded first?!”
Captain Chehesti
(Cool, professional voice) “Imaah Chehesti, Captain of Imperial Marines demanding your immediate submission. (Annoyance) Heave to or I’ll personally whip your ass.”
Pirate Commo Officer
“Have I died and gone to heaven? ‘Cause I gotta tell you, chesty, that you are not motivating us to behave. Can we get a spanking too?”
unidentified Pirates
(Sounds of laughter) “Me! Me! No, me!”
Pirate Captain
“Enjoy the show, lads, those Impies are still in the gravity well. They won’t catch us.”
Commo Officer, Imperial Naval Cruiser Gateway Defender
“Captain Chehesti, Commander Zhunesta presents his compliments on your fine flying today and upon the panache with which you wear the Marine uniform under combat conditions.”
Captain Chehesti
“<traditional Marine exclamation>” (Noticing she is not completely dressed)
Captain Chehesti
(Lifts heads-up display visor to show a pair of steely grey eyes and a very determined expression) “Reaver Heaven, you do NOT want to learn why I am considered the biggest ball-buster ever to grace the halls of the Imperial Naval Academy. Right now I’m looking at an 1200 ton testicle that will make me an Academy record that won’t be beaten until the twelfth Imperium. So, unless you want this Laser of Love (fires laser across the bows) to start caressing your hull, which will initiate a strong internal convulsion causing the expulsion of SEAMEN from your LITTLE BALL, I suggest you make your Captain ABREAST of that fact that and stop THRUSTING away.”
Pirate Captain
(Very professionally.) “Yes, ma’am. What course and speed would suit you.”

It is rumored that the official commendation recommending Marine Captain Chehesti for the Starburst for Extreme Heroism contained a cover note from Commander Zhunesta, commenting that this was clear proof that “A stitch in time does NOT save nine.”

Vids of this exchange went viral over the Imperial news network and Captain Chehesti became a folklore hero, winning her first (of a remarkable six!) Starbursts for Extreme Heroism and a place in the heart of Imperial Marines and Naval personnel everywhere.

david.wendelken April 7th, 2010 10:34 PM

Years later, a newly promoted General Chehesti was recalled to Core in a politically disastrous tour of duty commanding the Imperial Household Marines. Her salty speech and go get ‘em military attitude stuck in the craw of the upper echelons of society on Core. Her famous quote, “I find things are generally simpler if you kill the other folks before they cause too much trouble,” caused a major political firestorm for the Emperor. It is now generally acknowledged that her remarks, given as a quip during a lecture on small unit tactics, were taken out of context and used as a political tool for restricting Imperial power. Calls for her dismissal from the Corp grew in intensity. “Out with Chesty!” was a favorite rallying cry for the opposition. Emperor Strephon remarked, “I can’t spare this woman, she’s loyal, she’s honest, she fights, and she wins,” but he transferred her to command a Police Action conducted by the 33rd Imperial Army Group on Mora/Byret in the Spinward Marches to dampen political opposition in the Moot.

Naval Headquarters was so afraid of another political scandal, particularly one that caused civilian casualties, that Chehesti’s command was subjected to the strictest Terms of Engagement ever faced by Imperial troops. The campaign dragged on for two years as Imperial casualties mounted and Chehesti tried out various approaches to win the conflict against increasingly emboldened guerilla forces. Suddenly, it appeared that Imperial morale had collapsed. Allied planetary forces were dismissed from service and the Imperials retreated to a defensive position around the starport and Startown as troops began evacuating the planet. The civilian population of Startown was forcibly evacuated. Rebel forces, sensing a complete victory was imminent, punched thru the Imperial perimeter outside of Startown and began to mass in preparation for overrunning the starport as Imperial troops fell back to the port.

At this point, the rebels discovered that they were not chasing the Imperials off planet. As army troops held the starport perimeter, Marines conducted a daring jump assault behind the rebels, cutting them off from the rest of the planet and bottling them up in Startown. Imperial fire was “inhumanly accurate” according to the rebel survivors. “It did not matter where we tried to hide or set up an ambush, they always knew exactly where we were!” Chehesti had used the evacuation of Startown as a cover to place eavesdropping equipment and hidden explosive devices in all the best combat positions in the town. The backbone of the rebel forces were completely captured or destroyed, with zero civilian casualties. The rebellion collapsed.

david.wendelken April 7th, 2010 10:36 PM

Chehesti, it was later discovered, had purchased much of Startown for pennies on the Credit from the fleeing population on behalf of the Orphans of Imperial Military Parents charitable organization, for which she was on the Board of Directors. She had, in effect, used Imperial munitions for urban redevelopment. When faced by hostile questions about this by the Internal Affairs subcommittee of the Imperial Moot, Chehesti replied in her usual, hard-hitting, no holds barred style:

General Chehesti
“Honoured Senators, I was under the strictest orders to minimize civilian casualties ever placed upon Imperial military troops. You can hardly complain when only three buildings owned by civilians were destroyed as collateral damage, and no civilians were killed, during the two years I commanded on planet. As for the buildings destroyed in Startown by Imperial fire, I would like to introduce this document as evidence. It is a legal notice published in the Startown Gazette giving the requisite notice that Imperial forces would be conducting military training missions in town that week. Each building that was destroyed was clearly marked as a training range in full accordance with military regulations. Attached is a report showing that this was the least expensive urban warfare training on a per cubic meter of training area basis that the Imperial Army, Navy or Marines has conducted in the history of the Third Imperium.

The fact that orphans of our brave soldiers benefited from these training exercises is a fine example of efficiency and compassion that I recommend this august assembly follow. Revenue from the newly renovated Startown is expected to supply sufficient funds to take care of every military orphan in that sector – including that of rebel forces – thru college if they so desire.”

Senator Zhumacte
“You are treating the orphans of our enemies!”

General Chehesti
“On that note, if the esteemed member had paid attention to my entire lecture at the Imperial Naval Academy some years ago, he would have learned that while the essence of tactics is to kill the other side before they cause trouble, the essence of strategy is to make friends instead of enemies, and to convince enemies they have already lost so they will not fight. Taking care of the orphaned children of the rebel forces means fewer of them will grow up to hate the Imperium and start another rebellion."

"I would further add that the fact that the Orphans of Imperial Military Parents organization needs to exist - because this Moot does not properly provide for the families of our honourable dead soldiers - is unconscionable. Be ashamed, sir!”

Senator hault Tukera
“I am most concerned about the safety of the loyal planetary forces that you disbanded. Were they not put into extreme danger by your actions? There could have been reprisals…”

General Chehesti
“That is a reasonable question, Senator. As their commander, I had a responsibility for their welfare. Although disbanded, they were left under arms and in disciplined formations, with orders to remain in place. Those in urban areas remained in their fortified barracks. I had deployed the majority of local forces on Search and Destroy missions throughout remote areas of the countryside where our Intelligence briefings had indicated there were no rebel forces nearby. Those units bivouacked in place and fortified their position as I temporarily left them without transport to get home. None of these units were believed to be in serious danger as the rebels were sure to converge upon the Imperial positions at the Starport posthaste.”

Senator hault Tukera
“Events proved you to be correct, but how could you be so sure?”

General Chehesti
“For the two years before this maneuver, I made sure that it was obvious that a rebel victory was only a matter of time. This meant that the rebel commanders started to focus on their relative power positions after victory instead of on fighting us. My intelligence activities were devoted to exploiting and increasing those fears. Whoever captured the significant Imperial quality military gear sure to be left behind in a rout would have an unassailable advantage over the other rebel commanders. The bait was irresistible, and any combat with local forces beforehand would only weaken them against their rivals.”

“I would like to add that we were able to identify and arrest a sizable number of informers in the units in the remote areas through signals intelligence. The areas were chosen on three criteria: (1) absence of rebel forces in the area, (2) absence of civilians in the area, and (3) absence of signals traffic in the area. This forced any informer wishing to report on the disbandment into using easily traced electronic signals from inside a confined area. We could not afford to have rebel informers inside our perimeter around the starport or they would have known that we were not routing and therefore evacuating them was an essential part of the plan.”

“On that note, I have here plaques for two members of this committee, thanking them for their superlative assistance in our intelligence activities. Their continued derogatory comments and gloomy assessments about the conduct of the campaign; and about my own total incompetence were extremely helpful in making my plan believable planetside. My intelligence officers said they had never before worked with people so skilled in obfuscating the truth as Senator’s Zhumacte and von Rainhault.” (Laughter from the audience) “If they ever get out of politics, I understand a job in the Intelligence branch is assured.” (More laughter)

Senator hault Tukera
(Laughing) “I’m sure my colleagues are touched by your kind gesture! We all try to do our part.”

“But your plan for the safety of the local planetary forces failed in one instance, did it not?”

General Chehesti
“It did, ma’am. There was a personal vendetta involved. The local planetary unit commander had executed a rebel spy two days earlier, in full accordance with the rules of war. The spy was the younger sister of the local rebel commander. They were apparently very close.”

Senator hault Tukera
“And that is where you earned your sixth Starburst for Extreme Heroism, for rescuing that detachment? Just couldn’t stay out of the action, eh?”

General Chehesti
"Actually, Captain von Arnholt of the 4456th Grav Cavalry Squadron, Imperial Army, planned and executed the rescue mission and is fully responsible for the complete success of the mission. I went along solely as cover.”

Senator hault Tukera
“Cover?”

General Chehesti
“I saw no need to have such an able and loyal officer subjected to political scrutiny for that action, given that the chance of civilian casualties was higher than planned for in the overall campaign. My presence was sufficient for that purpose.”

Senator hault Tukera
“Thank you, General. A ‘High Guard’ of sorts. Very well done! But I have read Captain von Arnholt’s battle report on that engagement and must add for the record that your actions that day were highly commendable. Thank you again.”

Senator von Rainault
“General, I believe your campaign on Byret will be studied in military academies as long as civilization endures. My compliments to you.”

General Chehesti
“Thank you, sir.”

Senator von Rainault
“But I have some concerns about the methods with which you implemented your Strategy, some wider issues that someone with your limited world view would not have understood. So, Chesty,” (a pause from the Senator) “I may call you Chesty?”

General Chehesti
“The last man who did so discovered my knee had moved his left testicle to the vicinity of his larynx, so please do.” (Laughter from the audience.)

Senator von Rainault
“Hmm.Um… General, there was considerable uproar in the Capital and in the Moot over the impending fall of Byret . Why did you fail to advise this body, or your higher headquarters, of your plans?”

General Chehesti
“I do not reveal my battle plans to Almighty God, much less anyone in the Moot.”

Senator Zhumacte
“Then even the Emperor didn’t know this was a feint? That’s mighty irresponsible, General!”

General Chehesti
“On the contrary, Senator, the Emperor knows me. He knows I don’t faint at the sight of danger, I just fight back, in or out of uniform.” (Laughter from the audience and Senator hault Tukera.)

“Seriously, Senator, I gave sufficient information in my report that would make it fully evident to anyone with a lick of professional military skill that this was no disaster.”

david.wendelken April 7th, 2010 10:37 PM

Senator Zhumacte
“I quote from your report! ‘All local planetary groundside forces disbanded. Imperial Army elements converging on Down Regis Starport to begin a holding action while Marines leave the planet.”

General Chehesti
“Exactly my point, Sir! It’s quite clear that this is not a disaster. Does the Senator know the TO&E – the Table of Organization and Equipment - of the forces under my command?” (Senator Zhumacte shakes his head signifying ‘No.’) “Note that in the disposition of forces section – that’s the one with all the numbers in it” (laughter from the audience) “ – my forces are at full strength and with sufficient military stores for offensive operations. Note that there were zero casualties and zero material loss since my last report. Zero sir! Every military professional knows that retreating in good order in the face of the enemy is the most difficult operation there is. To achieve zero losses if we were being routed would be impossible. But, I’ll try to put this in terms that anyone can easily understand, that any damn fool ought to be able to figure out for themselves.”

“This is said with all due respect to General Van Horst and the fine Army soldiers under my command, who performed in an exemplary fashion, and with whom it was an honour to serve with and to command.”

“So, let’s recap that quote from my report, ‘Imperial Army elements converging on Down Regis Starport to begin a holding action while Marines leave the planet.’”

"In a nutshell, the Marines would never, EVER retreat before the Ar-my did. Du-uh!

Senator Zhumacte
(Hysterical laughter from the audience.) “Order! Order!” (The Chairman of the Committee was unable to restore order and the session was cancelled.)

General Chehesti
(Recorded speaking privately to an Aide on the way out) “I’m going to step outside and get a good belt. Shame none of these pustulent vipers will step outside with me, I’d love to give them a good belt too.”

david.wendelken April 7th, 2010 10:39 PM

Imaah was born in 1055. Her mother died of complications during childbirth and Imaah was raised by her very popular Imperial Marine Sergeant Major (SGM) father. SGM Almaah Chehesti was killed in a grav vehicle accident when Imaah was nine, she was adopted by his unit and raised collectively by the unit members of the 117th Orbital Assault Regiment. Imaah’s new family adored her “can-do!” fearless approach to life. Young Imaah developed early given the tough physical training she received tagging along with shoreside training maneuvers, not to mention the less-than-endearing mannerisms of an enlisted marine among his comrades in the field.

At the age of 14, she acquired an altered set of identify papers that would make her pass for 18 (rumored with the help of the new regimental SGM) and also help get her accepted into the Imperial Naval Academy. (It’s speculated that young Imaah was becoming too much of a temptation to the weaker-willed marines in the unit, aside from being far more ready than the usual 18 year old for the tough Academy life.) In 1069 she entered the Imperial Naval Academy on Core. After graduating with honours in 1072, newly commissioned as a Marine Captain, she entered the Imperial Flight Academy (again graduating with honours) followed by Command College. Chehesti spent two tours of duty in the Marine Flight Branch before transferring into the elite commando branch.

General Imaah “Chesty” Chehesti retired from the Imperial Marines after thirty two years of duty, the last four of which were on Liason duty with the Imperial Scout Service in the Vargr territories next to the Spinward Marches. The marines of the 77th Marine Flight Assault Squadron installed the original, lovingly maintained “Laser of Love” on the vessel’s starship’s hard point and her “parents”, the active duty and retired marines of the 117th Orbital Assault Regiment, now nicknamed “Chesty’s Own”, totally refurbished the vessel to be suitable for a Sector Admiral’s quarters. Tukera Lines generously donated travel tickets and cargo space so former and current unit members could attend the day’s ceremonies and bring their gifts. Duke Norris of Regina spoke on behalf of Emperor Strephon at Deshault Naval Base on Regina:

“General Chehesti, the Emperor regrets that duties of state require him to remain in Core and unable to attend your retirement ceremony in person. He has asked me to thank you, on his behalf, for the gallant and valuable services you have performed on behalf of the Imperium and for the stellar example you have set for every soldier in the Imperium. The Imperium will remain safe while citizens like you rise to its defense. The Empress, too, wishes to thank you both for your service to the Imperium and for saving her husband from an assassin’s bullet. She is donating the revenues from her estates on Core for one year to the Orphans of Imperial Military Parents in your name, on behalf of her children.”

http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Gal...Chehesti-2.png
(General Chehesti at the Emperor’s Birthday Pool Party just moments before taking two bullets to save his life, 1095.)

Chesty’s parting words on dealing with politics in the military were simple and salty, just the way she likes it:

“Duke Norris, thank you for your kindness and, more importantly, your can-do attitude when it comes to defending the Imperium. Please give my regards to Emperor Strephon and Empress Irene when you see them next, and convey it was – and always will be – both an honour and a pleasure to serve them.”

“Assembled soldiers and veterans, greetings! I’ll keep this short and sweet.” (Applause.) “Here are my simple rules to live by. (1) Never let the bastards get you down; drive you to your knees. (2) And if they do, headbutt them in the balls!” (Loud applause.) “(3) Remember, full uniforms are optional – but recommended – in all combat situations. Never wear underwear you wouldn’t want plastered all over Imperial Space.” (Loud laughter and applause.)

“It’s been an honour and a pleasure to spend my life among Marines and; as much as it pains me as a Marine to say it, among you Scout sissies, Army pukes and Navy wusses too! You are all a credit to the Imperium, your families, to the Emperor and to our most generous Empress. Thank you very much for a job well done!”

“Now, for the really important question of the day, in a stadium chock-full of handsome men in uniform, how can a single civvie girl get a guy to buy her a drink?”

The enlisted men and Marine officers roared out enthusiastically as General Chehesti left the podium and started working her way through the crowd, shaking hands or hugging those who came up to her, in between taking swigs from an iridium flask.

http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Gal...Chehesti-3.png
(Imperial Marine General Imaah "Chesty" Chehesti, Ret.)

Library Data

Chehesti, Imaah “Chesty”, General, Imperial Marines, Ret.
Personal Data
Born 1055, Vland sector.
Father: Command Sergeant Major Almaah Chehesti, Imperial Marines, deceased, 1064.
Mother: René Chehesti, deceased, 1055.

Military Career

Assignments

1069-72
Imperial Naval Academy, Core/Core, Honors Graduate, Commissioned Marine Captain (O2).

1073
Naval Flight School, Honors Graduate, entered Marine Flight Branch

1074
Command College

1075-76
77th Marine Flight Assault Squadron, Reaver’s Deep. Awarded Starburst for Extreme Heroism (SEH) for action on Luushakaan during Piracy Suppression Strike.

1077
Staff College

1078-80
77th Marine Flight Assault Squadron, Reaver’s Deep. Awarded SEH for action during the siege of Carrill. Promoted to O3.

1081-84
7th Imperial Marine Commando Force, Reaver’s Deep. Awarded SEH for Police Action on Gaagir. Promoted to O4.

1085-88
5th Imperial Marine Commando Force, Reaver’s Deep. Awarded SEH for Raid on Carrill. Promoted to O5.

1089-92
9th Imperial Marine Commando Force, Cmdr., Reaver’s Deep. Awarded SEH for Police Action on Gaagir. Promoted to O6.

1093-96
Imperial Household Marines, Cmdr, Core/Core. Awarded Purple Heart and Meritorious Conduct under Fire (MCUF) for foiling assassination attempt upon Emperor Strephon.

1097-1100
33rd Imperial Army Group, Cmdr, Spinward Marches. Awarded SEH for Police Action on Mora/Byret.

1101-1104
312th Scout Explorer Fleet, Marine Liason Officer, Vargr Extents.

david.wendelken April 7th, 2010 10:41 PM

Commendations


Year/Award/Commendation Text
1075 SEH Captain Imaah Chehesti, of the 77th Marine Flight Assault Squadron, was off-duty when the alert was broadcast to all hands. Knowing every second counted, she rushed to the nearest fighter and launched off into the atmosphere at maximum acceleration towards the foes. With superlative skill she dodged incoming missile and laser fire and took out a brace of turrets on one of the four attacking vessels, the Reaver Heaven, a 1200 ton spherical cruiser of the Rivenworld class. Exploiting the newly created gap in its defensive fire plan, she maneuvered next to the Reaver Heaven and flew along side it, matching its trajectory and staying in its blind spot. From this position she fired upon the other vessels with telling effect. Their return fire was successfully dodged which resulted in further damage to the Reaver Heaven. Misunderstanding the reason for the attack, and fearing treachery, the Reaver Heaven directed its fire against its compatriots. The pirate fleet broke off its attack and scattered, all cohesion lost due to the perceived treachery of its members. Her actions in disrupting the attack saved all nine vessels of the strike force and the mission. As the Reaver Heaven fled, Captain Chehesti maneuvered around it and deftly disabled each of its turrets in turn. When the last weapon was disabled she opened televid communication with the vessel on an open frequency and demanded (and accepted) its surrender.

david.wendelken April 7th, 2010 10:41 PM

1079 SEH The Siege of Reaver’s Deep/Carhill was a protracted one. Economic analysis revealed that the destruction of the Hargaven fuel processing complex would shorten the siege by several years by the resulting crippling effect on planetary industry and food processing plants. Naval intelligence determined it had found a serious weakness in the Hargaven defenses. Elements of the 77th Marine Flight Assault Squadron were assigned to deliver a commando strike force into the compound, provide close fire support, and extract the commandos afterward. Captain Chehesti delivered her squad and waited to extract them.
Unfortunately, just as the commando force began to detonate the explosive charges, a Carhill Aerospace Defense Squadron arrived overhead while en route to their new base seven kilometers away. Their response was an immediate attack on the commando elements moving out of the compound with telling effect. Captain Chehesti, realizing her squad could not make it back to the rendezvous point, took off to find them. With a superlative display of flying expertise, she maneuvered through the compound at high speed, weaving among, over and thru various buildings to avoid enemy fire. She picked up an extra half-squad, overloading her vehicle, yet escaped from the compound in the same manner. Her actions saved twelve soldiers from certain death or capture.

Anecdote:
A particularly tenacious fighter pilot was tailing after Captain Chehesti’s assault vehicle. After several near misses, one of the commandos asked, with the intention of helping any way he could, “Any orders, ma’am?”
Just at that moment, Captain Chehesti did a barrel roll to ground level and flew into a barn spewing fowl in all directions. Upon exiting the far side, she flew straight up and fired into the rear undercarriage of the enemy fighter, destroying it.
“Eggrolls,” was the reply.
“Ma’am?”
“Don’t usually get to do that maneuver. With twelve you get egg rolls!”
<Groans all around.>

david.wendelken April 7th, 2010 10:42 PM

1082 SEH Force Commander Chehesti was assigned to lead elements of the 7th Imperial Marine Commando Force to reinforce Fire Base Charlie Seven against a sustained guerilla attack. Two of her five orbital assault vehicles developed mechanical problems on the assault approach path and were forced to land in hostile, uncontrolled territory. Rather than abandon the vehicles, she decided to use the accident to draw the enemy troops out in the open, well away from their well-prepared and concealed fire positions on Charlie Seven. The lure of some Imperial grade munitions and weaponry, easily captured, was sure to be a temptation.
In the spare hours of darkness before the rebels could arrive in force from Charlie Seven, Chehesti had her downed troops make the vehicles look like they had crash landed and were no longer operational. The other three vehicles took up camouflaged positions to flank any attackers.
Unfortunately, the crash position was very close to a hidden trail system the rebels had been successfully using to reinforce the assault on Charlie Seven. Nine rebel companies, en route to Charlie Seven, were diverted to salvage the crash site and capture any survivors. Even more disastrous for the marines, one was a rare heavy weapons company.
The lead rebel elements were ambushed in a professional manner, but follow-on units drove back the marines into a defensive perimeter. They were unable to leave in their three remaining orbital assault vehicles. Fully loaded with the troops from all five vehicles, they would be unable to dodge the heavy weapons fire. Leaving their comrades behind was never an option that any Marine Commando considered. The fighting was hard and vicious. Many rebel elements surrounding Charlie Seven were pulled away from the siege and sent to reinforce the assault on the marine position.
Chehesti’s calm demeanor and superb use of terrain, concealment, firepower and tactical judgment turned a deadly mistake into a heroic victory. When things got really tough, Chehesti took the lead in the counterattacks necessary to secure a defensible perimeter. Units in Charlie Seven, with the pressure off them, were able to break out and assault the rebels in the rear. Fully one half the rebel force was left dead on the field and a substantial portion of the remainder were wounded, breaking the back of the military resistance in that defense sector.

From her after-action report, very self-critical of her actions that day:
“It was our mission to relieve the forces under attack at Fire Base Charlie Seven. Until the mechanical failures forced two of my vehicles out of the sky, it hadn’t occurred to me to change the dynamics of the battle. I was on my way to fight the enemy where they were strong and already well prepared.”
“It took a fortuitous accident to give me the insight I needed to turn the situation around. In hindsight I do feel my decision to stand our ground at the landing site was the correct one. We would be the ones fighting from prepared positions.”
“My mistake, and it was a big one, was not to believe the incorrect intelligence assessments of available enemy strength; it was to fail to plan for them being wrong. I should have had fire support missions, up to and including emergency fire support from all available units, already pre-arranged. Having to make those arrangements after we were under heavy assault caused the unnecessary death of some of my troops, and I’ll never forgive myself for that mistake.”
“But I will learn from it.”

david.wendelken April 7th, 2010 10:43 PM

1087 SEH Lt. Colonel Chehesti was notified that a planet-side Army unit had been ambushed and taken prisoner. Reliable intelligence placed the prisoners and their captors in a cave complex nearby. Time was of the essence because the fanatical resistance sect was known to torture and kill military prisoners. As the nearest force capable of mounting a rescue operation, she quickly planned one using a set of maps from the site report prepared by a team of Imperial archaeologists who had studied the area a decade earlier.
The impromptu maneuvers of the Marine assault units in “The Battle of the Caves”, making full use of the multi-dimensional nature of cave pathways for grav equipped troops, was a model of three dimensional fire and maneuver. Chehesti deserves to be commended for the superb training and conduct of the soldiers under her command in this operation and the innovative use of Naval space combat techniques in meteorite belts in such a novel and applicable situation.
But it was her personal, heroic push past the final opposition fire points that saved the captives from a last minute execution. She always chose a forward path that would draw fire towards herself and away from any hard-pressed companion. She personally killed the two rebels just as they started to murder their captives.

Anecdote:
Upon hearing the concerns of the General in command about collateral damage to the historic royal burial chambers in the cave complex,
“Not to worry, sir! We won’t kill anyone who’s already <traditional Marine expression> dead.”

david.wendelken April 7th, 2010 10:45 PM

1090 SEH Imperial Army units had just completed a pacification campaign on the northern continent of Reaver’s Deep/Gaugir and had redeployed most combat units to the seaport in preparation for operations on the southern continent. Colonel Chehesti, of the 9th Imperial Marine Commando Force, had just arrived in system with her command and had been ordered to a command conference at Army Field HQ at 08:00 hours for a full briefing on upcoming southern continent operations.
As she was making her ground approach in an Orbital Assault Command Vehicle at 07:00 hours, an explosion blew the HQ building sky high. Immediately afterwards, rebel forces massed in three battalion strength and assaulted the headquarters compound and its dazed occupants. Colonel Chehesti ordered her pilot to buzz the approaches to the compound at knee height and high speed in order to disrupt the waves of attackers. From the co-pilot’s chair she called out targets for the vehicle’s gunner. The attack stalled and the defenders, recovering from the stunning force of the explosion, began to fight back in uncoordinated pockets of resistance. The rebels, their attack stalled for the moment, took cover and started directing their anti-aircraft and anti-tank weaponry at Colonel Chehesti’s vehicle. It was only a matter of time before a lucky hit would take out the assault vehicle, but time was what was needed.
The immediate crisis averted, she began communicating with her command center in orbit. “Decapitation Strike on Army HQ. Locate nearest army forces and mobilize. Prepare for immediate jump assault, targets to be determined shortly. Over.” Chehesti continued taking ground fire and maintaining a swath of death with the vehicle’s gunnery fire. She ordered the pilot to make random course changes instead of using a circular route around the compound. “The more we draw them into the open now, the better. Things will get tougher when we go down.’
“Ma’am,” spoke up the commo operator. “Unable to reach HQ groundside. It looks like their signals equipment was in the HQ building, ‘cause now it’s all over the compound. No sign of anyone actually taking charge of the fight down below. If we get driven off, they’ll be overrun in minutes.”
“Their aim is getting better, we won’t last more than a few more minutes if we stay this low…” added the pilot.
“Here’s our exec, ma’am,” called out the commo operator.
“Colonel, the Army has been well and truly snookered this time. Every field and general grade officer they had was in that meeting. The troops dockside in the harbors report they are under heavy attack with heavy artillery firing point-blank directly at the troop ships. Two of twenty ships have already been overrun, troops nearby can see the prisoners being lined up on the gunwhales and mowed down.”
“<traditional Marine expression> Ok, number one. I need one platoon here, jump coordinates niner-five , seven-seven, on the hop, approach vector 241 degrees to my marker. Ortillery on call to dockside troops as we verify credentials. Spare ortillery fire surrounding this compound, hug us tight. Record the following orders, broadcast them to all Army troops, have the Navy light up the morning sky with missile fire and lasers immediately after the broadcast. Tavik, get the ortillery and sitrep call codes on the display. On my mark, record:”
“Members of the 147th Imperial Army, this is Colonel Imaah Chehesti of the 9th Imperial Marine Commandos. Some of you may be wondering how you got in the mess you’re now in. The good news is the people responsible for it won’t be causing you any more inconvenience. I am now assuming command as the senior officer planetside. As I understand some of you may be a bit too busy to bother with <traditional Army expression> protocols, our Imperial Navy has arranged for a light show overhead to serve as my temporary credentials.”
“No one would expect Army units to hang on in such a grim situation. However, as you are on board ships, you are now Marines! As such you are expected to beat the <very traditional Marine expression> out of the <traditional Marine expression> rebels. Operation <truly historic traditional Marine expression> now commencing. Any Marine who surrenders will get my Laser of Love toasting their nether regions.”
“Direct ortillery signals traffic to code nancy-bilko-niner-six, sitreps to code roger-me-six-niner <traditional Marine expression> throw that <traditional Marine expression> code monkey in the first jump capsule to me – that’s sitreps to code roger-me-six-niner. Marine Commandos and scared shitless signals officer arriving dirtside shortly. Over.”
“Tavik, I need to get groundside to organize the defense, get me a leap vector. Give me close support as long as you can, then get a bit more elevation. Break up any large troop groupings, we can take on the smaller ones within the perimeter. I’ve got the mobile signals kit. Good luck, marines.”
“Exec says sky show in 90 seconds, ma’am. Leap vector in 70, mark.”
“Broadcast the first part of my pep talk on the loudspeaker. Now!” As the recording finished, it was time to leap out of the vessel into the compound.
“Tavik, is that cheering I hear over the gunfire?” asked Mara, the commo officer, to the pilot. “You think she knew I’m the code monkey?”
“Code Monkey! You scared shitless yet?” barked Chehesti over the comm unit.
“Yes ma’am! I’m more scared of you than the enemy!”
“As it should be, miss, as it should be. Relay the exec’s messages to me like a good code monkey.”
Colonel Chehesti quickly organized the remnants of the supporting units – cooks, grav truck operators, a public relations platoon and a divisional band into the defensive perimeter. As she did so, she pulled the security company back into three counter-attack platoons at key points within the compound - all while formulating the basics of the jump assault dockside. Mortar rounds started exploding all over the compound.
“Colonel, Tavik here. Coming under fire from big addy, too many to toast. Orbital? Chaff almost gone. Over.”
“Negative, ankle height inside the compound walls, overwatch the south-east corner, weakest there. Fire off some smoke and give us a boom when you stop. I want you considered out of action. Stop next to the oil barrel, upwind. We’ll light it. When the time comes to boost off, fly thru their troops in the breach, it will disrupt the attack and give you the best way out. Over.”
“Ain’t leaving you, Colonel. Won’t skedaddle without you!”
“Run, hell! You’re going to take out that addy, you <traditional Marine expression>. They’ll use smoke and blind themselves to your approach. Then you’re coming back to attack them when they run away from me. <traditional Marine expression of disgust at the stupidity of midshipmen>.”
Mortar rounds continued battering the compound. The screams of the wounded and the dying filled the air. Chehesti moved from one group of soldiers to another, cutting jokes, directing fire, or just bucking up morale. Fifteen minutes later, the addy started punching holes in the southeastern corner of the compound wall. Within thirty minutes, there were three breaches in the wall in the southeast quadrant. The rebels fired smoke grenades into the compound and on the approaches to the breaches. With a roar they surged forwards across the open area and into the compound’s courtyard. The assault carrier accelerated into a tight circle inside the compound walls, plowing through the rebels who had rushed through the breach. It picked up speed thru the largest of the breaches and rushed forward in a slalom course designed to crush as many infantry as possible.


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