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