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“Deploy the Imperial Assault Storm Troopers!”
And so it began… with those words, the Imperial Warship Gormagon launched the first Imperial Assault upon an enemy world. The tactic had been perfected in combat simulations and exercises since the opening of hostilities with the Gorn Alliance, but until now, had not been attempted in theatre. That was about to change. The Emperor had ordered Gormagon to the Gorn planet of Sif, a largely insignificant planet with little defense, in response to the loss of IWS Destron two months prior. That earlier encounter provided the opening shots of the Gorn conflict, and had gone poorly for the newly commissioned destroyer Destron. Its captain’s final transmission confirmed what Imperial strategists feared all along. The Gorn Alliance possessed cloaking technology. Apparently the Destron had been surprised by a cloaking Lizard Class Cruiser, and was quickly overwhelmed. Imperial Command ordered the immediate withdrawal of all vessels, with the exception of IWS Gormagon, which would deliver an Imperial Assault upon the planet Sif. It was thought that this planet would provide a toe hold in Gorn territory, and allow Imperial vessels to strike deeper into Gorn territory. That was the Imperial plan.
The Gorn Alliance had a different plan.
“Captain, commanders on the ground report the total destruction of Gorn defenses. The Imperial Assault was a success!”
“Excellent. Inform Imperial Command that the Gorn menace has been eradicated, and that we await the arrival of transport vessels to begin construction and colonization of Sif. I am retiring to my quarters. Lieutenant, you have the bridge.”
“Sir! Contact bearing 128, Warp 9. She’s coming right at us, sir. And she’s big!”
The front display flickered to life, showing what appeared to be a Gorn ship of unknown class. The tactical officer was right. It WAS a large vessel, over twice as large as the Gormagon.
IWS Gormagon was fitted with 8 X-Ray lasers, hardly worth entering into battle with. Her main defense was the 35 fighters she brought with her, launched from 3 bays in her underbelly. As the initial wave of fighters wave launched, the Gorn vessel powered its front cannons. The first 6 fighters disappeared within 2 seconds. The next 6 mere seconds after that.
“Incoming torpedoes! Brace for impact!”
A barrage of MK-IV torpedoes easily negated Gormagon’s shields, breaching several hull decks, and sending Gormagon lurching to one side. Her Captain ordered what remained of her X-Ray lasers to fire, but they were useless against the shields of the Gorn vessel.
“Signal Imperial Command! Gorn Battleship located at Sif! Retreat impossible!”
“Captain, the Gorn vessel is blocking all transmissions. There is a loud hissing sound on all frequencies. It’s impossible to tell what is being said for sure, but it sounds like …”
A second barrage of torpedoes broke the spine of the Gormagon. She erupted in a bright explosion that could be seen clearly from the planet’s surface. Imperial ground commanders suddenly lost contact with their support vessel. It would not matter. Within seconds a massive planetary bombardment ensued, raining plasma cannons and torpedoes upon the assault teams. The mass confusion gave away to silence. Only the smoldering remnants of twisted landing craft remained.
Sif had fallen.
After the fall of the homeworld Sanstrious, the combined Gorn-Pirate fleet wasted little time pushing further into Colonial territory. Although it was once thought that the remnants of the Colonial fleet were scattered and attempting to withdrawal into Empire space, the Gorn fleet commander anticipated stiff resistance in key planetary systems. Scorpius would be the first test of that resistance.
Long range sensors detected the planet protected behind multiple overlapping minefields. Although no vessels had been tracked heading into Scorpius, the Gorn commander was certain that the planet was heavily mined for a reason. He ordered his fleet through the tangle of space mines. Heavy phasers attempted to clear a path, but still the mines proved their worth. Olympix, a T-Rex battleship sustained major damage as an explosion ripped through the the aft section of the vessel. She immediately dropped to warp 8, and began emergency battle-repair operations. Extensive repairs would have to wait. Olympix was going into battle with the fleet whether she was 100% or not.
As the great fleet emerged from warp to surround the planet, the Gorn commander was surprised to see the number of Colonial and Federation ships in orbit. Somehow the Federation had managed to linkup with their Colonial allies, and move undetected into the area. No matter, he thought. They would die soon enough as well.
A single Colonial battlestar immediately began to launch its waves of fighters. Over 100 of the fighters appeared on radar screens within seconds. Gorn battleships are ferocious warrior vessels, but fare more poorly against carriers than torpedo vessels. The two lead T-Rex battleships, Terr and Ktsucks took the brunt of the fighter assault wave. Each vessel managed to destroy dozens of the tiny killers, while launching their torpedo salvos into the hull of the Colonial carrier, Anson. Massive damage was inflicted to the Colonial carrier before they themselves were ultimately destroyed in 2 brilliant flashes of light.
The Gorn pressed on. Aboard his flagship, the lone Lizard carrier Vernin, the Commander ordered his own fighters to attack. The Gorn preferred their T-Rex battleships, but the Vernin was still a formidable opponent. The Commander sought to prove this with a decisive battle. He would not be disappointed.
Gorn fighters swarmed the crippled Anson, pummeling her with concentrated strikes. The massive warship could not react quickly enough. She listed to her port side, and began to break up. Gorn pilots were ordered to withdrawal and avoid destruction as the Anson erupted into explosion… taking 1667 lives with her. Human lives. The Gorn Commander’s reptilian flesh creased in what could only be described as a wicked smile of satisfaction.
Without the Anson to protect the remainder of the Colonial-Federation fleet, they did not last long. Vernin’s fighters successfully destroyed a total of 5 combat vessels,and 2 vital transports. The crew of a smaller transport signaled their surrender,were boarded, and promptly ejected into the dead of space. The Gorn did not take prisoners.
While this battle was ensuing, the Pirate carrier Arturo Miranda was caught in a life and death struggle against the defenses of the orbiting starbase, and ground-based planetary systems. The Gorn Commander thought this a foolish waste, yet silently applauded. Better to use Pirate cannon fodder than his own troops. Their carrier was no match for the defenses on Scorpius, but it did soften the target nicely, allowing his own battleships to destroy what was left. An unfortunate loss was the battleship Olympix, which had sustained heavy damage from a mine earlier. Such a loss was acceptable to the Gorn Commander.
At the end of the day, the planet below had been reduced to a wasteland. Twisted wreckage cluttered the planetary orbit. The carrier Vernin had single-handedly destroyed the majority of the enemy fleet, while sustaining relatively minor damage herself.
There would be no lull on the battlefront, though. Long range scanners detected a Colonial task force, consisting of another Battlestar, destroyer, and cruiser heading straight for Scorpius… with another Battlestar close behind that one.
Apparently the humans had decided not to scatter like cowards after all.
The Gorn commander examined the battlefield data carefully. He was encouraged by what he saw.
The Colonial fleet had virtually abandoned their homeworld, scattering before the combined Gorn / Pirate alliance had even entered Sanstrious’ orbit. Pathetic humans. Their lone battlestar was no match for the heavy battlecarrier the Pirate clans had managed to capture from the Empire. Those marauders were eager to show their strength in battle. Brave, but foolish. They bested the Colonial carrier, but were unprepared for the planetary defenses. Sanstrious’ starbase ripped the damaged battlecarrier to shreds. Foolish, perhaps. But their loss was his gain. What better use of his allies, than cannon fodder for his enemy’s defenses? This was war, and there was no room for sentimentality. The loss was more than acceptable.
The Gorn fleet encountered little resistance. Of the 4 T-Rex Battleships brought into orbit, only 2 were required to eradicate the Colonial defenses. Kondef lead the fleet, and took the brunt of the planetary defense missiles. She fought well, but collapsed as her spine shattered. Ktsucks would take credit for the kill, repeatedly firing her MK-8 torpedoes into the heart of the starbase until a brilliant flash erupted. Terr and Olympix flanked their sister ships, preparing for another wave of Colonial missiles that never came. The battle was won.
From the bridge of his own carrier, Verin, the Gorn commander smiled in a way that only a battled-hardened reptilian warrior could. The enemy homeworld was destroyed. The remnants of their fleet were in obvious retreat, presumably attempting to link up with their Empire allies. To do that, they would need to get through Robotic Imperium space. Throughout this conflict, the Imperium had remained neutral. He suspected that would not help them now. His counterpart in the Pirate alliance had advocated offering assistance to the Imperium. The Gorn commmander was less concerned with the Imperium, than he was with the resource-rich planets in this sector. Still, appearances were everything, and this warrior knew that his next move would determine the course of the war. He would dispatch Terr and Olympix to chase the fleeing Colonies. That token effort should be enough to appease his Pirate allies and the Imperium.
The battle was won. The war was only beginning.