Dec 22 2013 10:05pm
Suffren-class Cruiser La Couronne, Confederation Naval Base, Cularin Asteroid Belt
Commodore N835 and Lieutenant Ryols stood near the ceraglass panes of the La Couronne's bridge, idly watching the massive rocks of the asteroid belt tumble with all the grace of an gamorrean ballerina. Among the massive husks of the obliterated world, dozens of Piranha drones flitted about fresh out of a several off several asteroid factories towards the awaiting Confederate fleet. Among the La Couronne, the Confederate Merchant Fleet had provided half a dozen of their famously ovoid galleons, while the worlds of the Cularin system had provided over a dozen Juaire II corvettes and a smattering of heavier warships. Despite Commodore N835's lobbying to those worlds, the largest ship present remained the La Couronne. Though its hull plates still bore battle-scars from the recent Battle of Cularin, the artillery cruiser had been repaired almost to shipyard standards, albeit its shield recharging rates still weren't quite back to normal near where the suicide freighter had exploded.
“Ninety percent of the drones are here,” observed the droid commander, “I estimate that we will depart in fifty minutes.”
“Why fifty? It can't take more than a half hour to get them all onboard, can it?”
“No,” admitted the droid, “I calculate it will take twenty six minutes, with an error of plus or minus two standard minutes.”
Ryols briefly subtracted the numbers in his head, “So twenty five minutes of doing nothing?”
“How inefficient that would be,” replied the droid, turning its blue photo-receptors to gaze on the human, “of course not. Twenty five minutes to debate with the councilor of Almas about providing more ships for the expedition.”
“I think her answer of 'maybe' was her attempt at being polite.”
“Silly human, she doesn't have to worry about my emotions.”
“Yeah...but I think that's what she's used to dealing with Commodore.”
“Such inefficiency would never be stood for on Uffel.”
Ryols nodded, “Of course sir.”
“I will attempt to convince of her errors,” decided the droid.
He's never going to get that part. How can someone so brilliant at tactics be so inept at social skills? He briefly hesitated. Then again, he is a droid. But the droid who made him had to be smarter than right, didn't it? His creator would have to be smarter...had to be. After all, it understood enough about relationships to join the Confederation...Ryols turned his head to see the droid greet President Quee's administrative assistant, which from the lieutenant's angle he guessed was a silver 3PO unit. Almost instanteously, the prissy droid on Almas began to berate the Commodore's interruption of the protocol droid's work. A minute later, N835 attempted to pull rank on the other droid, which only intensified the other droid's displeasure. Ryols snorted. Well, apparently some droids get organic concepts of communication...that, or N835 has no idea about to diplomatically communicate even with other droids...
Dec 28 2013 7:18pm
Nearly forty five minutes passed before N835 managed to get President Quee to acquiesce to dispatch a small detachment of light armor normally assigned to Almas to support the Confederate invasion of Aridus. As he did so, Lieutenant Ryols directed the bridge crew of the La Couronne in leading the squadrons of Confederate warships out of the Cularin system, typically using short micro-jumps to get further away from the system's sun. The tumbling rocks of the Cularin Asteroid Belt soon passed, as did the gaseous world of Genarius and its four moons, including Uffel. As the droid Commodore's conversation nearly ended, the glowing world of Almas filled their viewport, circled by the water moon of Dorumaa. The lumbering formation journeyed into the outskirts of the Cularin system before the fleet leapt into the realm of hyperspace. N835 strode over to the only human aboard his vessel.
“I see you have taken the fleet out of the system, well done Lieutenant.”
Ryols offered a slight bow, “Thank you sir. I hear you managed to win us some more reinforcements.”
“A pitiful amount for all the work it required,” said the droid flatly, “but I suppose she meant it as a token force. Nonetheless, when they arrive, I will put them to good use. Tell me Ryols, do you know what makes Aridus unique about the Reaver invasion?”
Ryols shook his head.
The droid turned its blue photo-receptors to the swirling stars, “Out of all the worlds, it is the only one with a natural defense against the Reaver infection. The atmosphere is highly ionized, making fine electronics unreliable at best, unusuable at worse. It may say strange to you, but for me to set foot on the world would be like contracting a disease, as my body would suffer minor data purges and malfunctions. Enough to make my world a living hell, pardon my speech. The nanites that seem to propogate the Reaver infection cannot survive in the open in such an ionized atmosphere. They require a host to shield them from the atmosphere's effects.”
N835 nodded, “Exactly. When the Empire conquered the world, they drove off the native Chubbits to surrounding worlds or into the furthest recesses of the world. Ironically, in seeking to disenfranchise the aliens, they guaranteed their survival. The humans now in their cities are now Reavers. It now stands to us to restore to the Chubbits to their rightful place on their homeworld, to right the wrongs of an genocidal Empire.”
“Are the Chubbits the foreign warriors I heard the CMF was transporting?”
The droid nodded its head up and down in an approximation of a human nod, “Sponsored and equipped by the Council itself. Lieutenant Ryols, their eyes will be upon us and our labors.”
Ryols nodded. He's already getting delusions of grandeur from just the opportunity for exposure to the upper levels of the Confederation's High Command. Though I suppose my name will probably across the list of several councilors, if only because I'm his second in command, and the only one with a normal name on his ship...The two officers proceeded to chat about the various political implications their success or defeat may have on the internal politics of the Confederation and on worlds nearby. It took many minutes before Ryols could get the droid to think the actual tactics that he had planned to use on the Reavers. As he finished up the basics of his strategy, the navigation droid informed them they were about to drop out of hyperspace. The streams of starlight collapsed all around them to give way to the golden rays of Flarestar, the system's yellow star.
“Battle stations,” idly mentioned N835 out of habit, but the droid-run ship was already ready for battle.
Ryols quickly flipped through the various screens on his console. The ship's sensors were already focused on Aridus itself. The desert world seemed to almost give off a shimmering heat. He ignored the world itself, looking for inevitable Reaver vessels which would guard the world itself. Half a dozen corvettes formed the core of the Reaver fleet, supplemented by a plethora of heavily converted freighters. Ryols frowned. There should be more present than just that. I know that we've been launching raids on their fleet, but the last one still showed a cruiser present as well. Where is it? He shook the thought away from his head and instead began assigning targets to the La Couronne's gunners. Bright golden rays jetted out of the cruiser's hull to lash out at a winged Marauder-class Corvette leading the reaver formation to intercept the massed Confederate fleet. Bursts of slugs from the La Couronne began to tear away its prow. Several proton-based explosions washed over the bow shields before fading to a blackened and crumbled nose. Yet the Reaver infested corvette hurtled forward, undeterred by the Confederate fire. His eyes widened. Hastily, the lieutenant began to redirect all fire onto the suicidal starship as it charged the corvette formation.
Dec 29 2013 9:05pm
Torrents of emerald and blue light converged on the nanite-infested craft, tearing its wings asunder as the main fuselage splintered into unaccountable number of fragments. But the Confederates' fire didn't slacken at the craft's dissolution just ahead of the La Couronne. Turbolaser and laser fire continued to superheat and disintegrate the last remaining vestiges of the craft's remains, ensuring there was little to no dust to infect the Confederate ship's present. On the bridge of the La Couronne, Lieutenant Ryols watched the battle unfold. The suicidal corvette had bought the other Reavers time to form up into a more proper formation to meet the Confederate fleet in battle. A pair of bulk freighters with dozens of metal slabs welded onto the sides had taken the point of the wedge of reaver vessels that slowly chugged to face the Cularin Prefecture squadrons. Ryols began to pull more data on the lead freighter's.
“An ingenious idea,” commented N835, hunching over the man, “they essentially made soak ships to shield their craft before they could get in weapons range. Once they are close enough, all of the Reaver vessels will pop up from behind the cover of the freighters and try to swarm us.”
Ryols looked up at the droid commander, “I take it you already have a plan.”
“It's already in action. Flip to your tactical display.”
Ryols did so and focused on the shield ships. Dozens of starflares popped into existence just behind the reaver shield craft and exploded violently. Some of the explosions managed to engulf smaller reaver vessels, mostly converted tramp freighters and fighters, and destroy them. But mostly the attack did little physical damage as the Reaver vessels rapidly began to abandon the area of the Confederate missile bombardment. But as they did so, they left the cover of the shield ships, rendering them vulnerable to the long-range weapons of the trio of Suffren-class Cruisers. Many of the enemy starships began to take periodic ducks of cover beneath the freighter before popping up to flood the nearby areas in a vain attempt to intercept the stealth missiles. One such attempt succeeded, causing a Starflare to explode next to one of the up-armored freighters. Ryols eyed the freighter carefully, noticing several additional engine nacelles neatly welded to the rear of the ship. That's definitely not standard...but is it to help cope with all the armor they added to it...or is it...The man from Genarius quickly began a detailed scan on the freighter, noting that the additional scans of the added on sublight drives were not active. Ryols cleared his throat.
“The added on engines on the converted freighters aren't active.”
Commodore N835 spun a pair of his digits rapidly around on his right hand, “What are you suggesting Lieutenant? It is possible they did not become fully functional yet because the modification wasn't fully completed...unless....You think they are ramships. The additional engines provide a sudden acceleration before they smash into us.”
Ryols nodded, “Exactly sir. They may have expected someone else to come and take it back, like the Empire, with larger ships. We may be smaller and more maneuverable than the targets they were designed to take on, but if we let them get close.”
“Possible,” admitted the droid commander, staring at the approaching Reaver vessels, “and it is a possibility I cannot afford to not consider. But the ships otherwise do not appear to be a threat.”
“You're just going to target the additional engines?”
“Yes,” acknowledged the droid from Uffel, “the other Reaver ships coming in to range have far more firepower than I'd like to even get close to our transports. If I redirect all fire to destroy the freighters, too many of them will get close to the transports, leading to a high possibility of unacceptable troop losses. Take off the engines, they are unlikely to be effective ramships.”
Ryols turned his attention back from the pair of armored shield ships to the rest of the Reaver fleet. Many of the smaller Reaver craft had broke from the formation of larger vessels to charge towards the neatly ordered lines of Confederate vessels. Most of them seemed focused on making runs on the artillery cruisers still bombarding their fleet from a long-range. But as they surged into the no-man's land between the fleets, swarms of Piranha drones fell upon them. As the drone fighters attempted to swarm the Reavers, quartets of more traditional Confederate starfighters briefly soared in to make coup de grâces on damaged Reaver craft the droids' weak blasters were having trouble destroying. Flak fire from the Montcalm frigates began to propagate in the space between the fleets, scattering both Reaver and Confederate starfighters alike from certain areas of the space between them, condensing the dogfights to closer defines where the better shielded and maintained Confederate fighters could push their craft more to limit without having to worry about their craft falling apart or only taking a few shots. Dozens of reaver vessels succumbed to their Confederate opponents in the close quarters attack, but they were not alone. One S16 had its left wing clipped off by a suicidal Reaver light freighter. Before getting raked with fire from other Reaver craft The starfighter's pilot, struggling to keep his pocket-marked ship flying in a straight line, sent it on a wild course to collide with one of the larger Reaver vessels and ejected into deep space. The EVA man was promptly rammed by a Reaver vessel, his remains sent flying off into deep space. Several of the Piranhas became infected, causing their droid brains to suicidally ram the droid fighters into nearby Reaver vessels and detonate any ordinance they might have remaining onboard.
Explosions blossomed across the clusters of vessels dogfighting, but some of the Reaver vessels managed to disentangle themselves from their Confederate counterparts to attack the larger Confederate vessels. Quad laser fire from the Juaire-class Corvettes picked off many of the craft as they approached, but Ryols watched one stricken Headhunter attempt a kamikaze run on the La Couronne itself before a pair of advanced concussion missiles surged out of the flagship's hull to intercept the ancient fighter. The atmospheric fighter began to roll out of the missile's path, managing to dodge the first missile. The second missile pierced through the exposed underbelly of the starfighter and detonated in a brilliant flash, disintegrating both the Z-95 and the other missile. Ryols turned his attention back to the sensor board to analyze enemy vessel's shields and precisely direct the La Couronne's long range fire onto weak spots of the oncoming warships.
Dec 30 2013 11:00pm
Across the Reaver formation, shields flickered from pale yellows to burnished oranges to a dull reds before they collapsed under the Confederates' fire. The core of corvettes which formed the center of the Reaver fleet had taken the brunt of the La Couronne's fire. A pair of Corellian corvette copies finally succuumbed to a salvo of concentrated Tachyon beams. The yellow rays pierced through the viewports of the starships to rip apart the craft from the inside out. The sister ships of the La Couronne, placed at very edges of the line Confederate warships, had used their extreme position and distance from the Reaver fleet to bombard the flanks of the reaver formation. The Courageux, out of Genarius, had focused its fire on the engines of the armored freighters leading the Reaver charge, but rather than simply destroying the auxiliary engines grafted onto the vessels as Commodore N835 had proposed, the Suffren-class Cruiser had fired bursts of explosive slugs to penetrate the stern of the converted vessels. Explosions rippled throughout the engine blocks before the converted freighters went dark, now impeding the very charge they had sought to lead earlier. On the far port side of the Confederate formation, the Cassard's commander had experimented with chaotically firing onto whatever the fastest large Reaver vessel present was. A string of converted freighters as well as a DP-20 lay near the rear of the fleet, their engines obliterated by random combinations of proton torpedoes, starflares, tachyon cannons, and heavy railguns. Commodore N835 quickly reviewed the work of the La Couronne's sister ships, commenting on the various strategies utilized by their commanders in an effort to better explain the long-range attack options presented by what the fleet affectionately dubbed “artillery cruisers”.
“In both cases,” stated the droid plainly, “the actions of those ships slowed down the Reaver charge to a crawl, allowing us here to pick off the closest and most dangerous Reaver vessels before they could get in range of the transports. Now the ships continuing to oppose us are as stationary as they can be space . We can deal with them as we wish, at what ranges and angles that we wish as well. They can almost instantly out of the fight. As soon as the Courageux finishes disabling the engines on the freighters on the starboard side, the transports will begin to move in orbit to start the invasion while we mop up the survivors and sterilize the space around us. What questions do you have Lieutenant?”
“None at the moment.”
“Good,” stated the droid, “then you can begin to plan the quarantine and sterilization zones while finish up directing the battle.”
The three artillery cruisers continued to bombard the stalled enemy fleet. Railgun fire smashed the hulls into thousands of pieces, almost making the battle site sparkle when Flarestar's rays glinted off of them. Bright yellow rays enveloped and disintegrated the remaining pieces gridpoint by gridpoint, with sensor operators carefully monitoring the systematic destruction of the nanite-infested debris. Ryols watched none of it. Instead, the recent graduate found himself plotting various vectors along which the various transport vessels, almost entirely Juaire-class Corvettes and Styrias, would take to safely orbit the world with a minimal risk of infection. It was painstaking work, requiring the man to draw upon various sensor screens and automated tools to ensure that even the tiniest bit of Reaver-infested debris could even get within a hundred meters of the vessels. Their shields would briefly be down, allowing even an assault by a single nanite to have devastating consequences if left unchecked or unnoticed. Ryols found himself thankful that Aridus was both a relatively undeveloped world in terms of infrastructure, otherwise he would have to be dispatching starfighters to destroy dozens, maybe hundreds, of satellites orbitting the world which could shelter the reaver infection, and the battle that saw the Ebony Arrow triumph over the Empire's foes had been cleaned up. The Confederate could see no trace of that battlefield's debris floating around, though he guessed that the Reavers would have likely already converted it for their more nefarious purposes.
“How are you proceeding, Lieutenant?” questioned the droid commander.
“Well,” replied Ryols, flipping through several screens, “I have the orders and routes all lined up, awaiting your approval.”
“Oversight, you mean,” decided the droid, leaning over the human's shoulder, “for it's a simple yes or no, but a modification of anything in them that I see as potentially being inefficient or too dangerous.”\
“Of course sir.”
“But analyzing your routes, they all seem acceptable for our mission parameters. You forgot one ship.”
Ryols frowned, “Which one sir?”
“The La Couronne,” stated N835, “I will be moving us into orbit to better oversee the assault and provide possibly orbital strikes as needed. No matter, we will just travel with the frigates to the site, leaving the Courageux and Cassard to maintain control of our two entry and exit vectors as needed.”
“Carry on,” replied the droid, walking over to talk with several other droid crewmembers on the vessel.
Minutes passed before the Confederate fleet had sufficiently bombarded the battlefield to ensure that there remained no debris which could harbor the nanites. A Montcalm-class frigate moved to take the point of the Confederate fleet and abruptly stopped, sputtering out a pair of escape-pod like objects into the void. Each pod jetted away from each other at slight angles before exploding. The electro-magnetic bombs blanketed the area with so much radiation that Ryols found his sensors briefly jammed during their explosion, despite his ship not even being in their blast radius. Commodore N835 began to dispatch the vessels of the Confederate fleet along the vectors that Ryols had finalized. Vessels in groups as large as quartets moved in towards the world, creating a chain of warships that orbitted the world in a loosely knit blockade.
A short time later, Ryols found himself standing next to Commodore N835 at the edge of the viewport, watching Flarestar's rays beat down on the harsh desert world. Their eyes stared down at the drifting clouds of dust sweeping across sections of Aridus. No wonder they didn't discover minerals there for ages. No-one would probably want to live there...Aridus Trade City alone jutted out with from the surface below with any amount of modernity. It's smooth metal and stone buildings easily shifted the swirling desert winds away that hadn't already been deflected away by a ringed wall which encircled the done. As they stood on the bridge, dozens of light transports began to flitter out of the Confederate fleet. Most of them were CG-10 Centaurs, bristling with enough weaponry to put most surface Reaver threats down as well with powerful ionic engines to get them back to space if their repulsorlifts failed. That alone prevented the traditional Confederate way of deploying ground forces, which was typically to have the frigate-sized vessels land on the planet and directly disembark them from their boarding ramps.
Ryols glanced up at N835.
“No escort fighters?”
The droid shook his head, “If they had any that worked in that atmosphere, we would have seen them by now. But so many designs run on repulsorlifts, I'm not sure they have anything old fashioned enough or anything such of a retro-tech they could use on this world for a long period of time. Besides the gunships will just drop them off and jet back up here, hopefully before an electro-magnetic storm comes.”
“The CAVs will be fine?”
“They should be Lieutenant.”
Dec 31 2013 6:11pm
Janus-class Compact Assault Vehicle Morningstar Five, outskirts of Aridus Trade City, Aridus
Corporal Laning felt the drop as his CAV rolled out of the Centaur's ramp and onto the blistering sands of the desert world. Even with the treads, he felt as he had left solid and now waded through a marsh. The Janus seemed to sliver quietly and softly mose its way through onto the desert. Shaking his head, the man from Almas turned his attention to the commander's screen, just adjacent to the slot filled in by his R4 unit, which micro-managed the vehicle's systems and performed rudimentary repairs on the tank as needed. He tapped a button on his screen, pulling distant views of the walled city. Missiles fluttered out of the walls, mostly towards the CG-10s rapidly dropping to the world before ascending almost as quickly as they can come down. The gunships fired back, often obliterating the missiles, but a handful of the CAVs equipped with anti-air weapons struck back the missiles, intercepting them at close range with spurts of ion cannon fire and destroying them farther out with their own missiles.
“You see any yet?” called out his driver from his left and forward.
“Not yet Ben, not yet.”
His eyes kept scanning the horizon though. Aridus had been home to a significant Yutrane-Tackata operations, including several factories that had produced tanks for the Alliance in its early days. Tanks that were larger and more powerful than their own vehicle. That information hadn't been particularly soothing to the troops' ears, but the honesty of the nature of their mission had allowed them to more properly prepare for that eventuality, leading Laning to change the armament on his own tank from the standard to a more common urban warfare loadout, albeit he insisted that the other CAV had kept the standard loadout. He thumbed his comlink.
“Six, you ready?”
A short burst of static pierced through his comlink. Well, I guess it's messing with the comm's too. It's a good thing these things don't rely on too sensitive of electronics. He spared a glance at one of the holo-graphic overlays of his surroundings, noting that Six wasn't showing any external signs of damage or malfunction. I guess we'll just have to play it with battle drills. He turned his head to his driver.
“Let's get going,” decided the corporal, “we'll just to have to play by it ear.”
The two CAVs joined the dozens of other Confederate vehicles advancing on the city itself. Laning focused the vehicle's HUD on the distant gates of the city, expecting them to swing open to unleash a Reaver horde against the advancing Confederates. But minutes later, the Confederate vehicles had nearly reached the gates without a shot being fired. Laning frowned. They're showing an unusual amount of restraint for their reputation. Could it be that there's simply not that many of them, or that the radiation has just made them weaker...or perhaps just different. Laning glanced at the other Janus CAVs converging on the gate besides them. Most of them retained the standard loadout of a medium laser cannon and the Irollan developed Fireshard Cannon. While this would make them effective as light to medium opponents, neither of those weapons had the firepower to beat down either the walls or the gates. Several of the Janus from Dorumaa, still sporting aquatic weapons and blue camouflage rumbled forward. Laning scratched his chin. They might actually be able to do something with their general purpose launchers...but still...I bet they're expecting us to blow open the gates then. Laning turned his gaze to the back of his driver's head.
“Take us a little bit to the left of the gate.”
Trena briefly acknowledged the order and skirted the tank over to the side of a couple of the Janus outfitted in a infantry support role. The corporal flicked over to weapon's control and began rotate the squat turret of the vehicle to focus on an area just offset of the gate. Selecting the Irollan-designed siege beam, more properly called a particle cannon by the rest of the galaxy, he spared a glance at the oddly shaped astromech just in front of them.
“R4, better get handy with the blaster. Here we go.”
He held the trigger of the turret's left-mounted modular weapon's compart. A bright yellow beam sprang forth with a sizzle into the desert air; the wall began to crumble and disintegrate under the heavy beam. With the first holes in the wall forming from Morningstar Five's attack, the infantry support Janus's began to lob fragmentation and proton grenades through the holes causing small explosions and shrapnel clouds around the gate. His siege beam stopped, automatically moving into its cool-down cycle, but the damage was already done. Several of the support Janus rolled through the small hole, followed by several more of the more standardized Janus. He noticed flashes of light and explosions smack into the first few and let out a sigh of relief; the modular shields of the support tanks had been outfitted with Anticoncussion Field Generators, allowing them to withstand several missiles or shells that struck them. The standardized Januses rolled out in front of the other Confederate tanks and formed a protective shield wall; the support tanks began to hurl out EMP grenades into the Reaver horders seeking to beat the Confederate assault out of the city walls. The grenades detonated with brilliant flashes of blue light, electrocuting the organic parts of the reavers and frying the circuits of both the nanites and the Reaver vehicles around them. Fortunately for the standardized tanks, they had been sporting EMP shielding, which protected them from most of the nearby explosions. Autocannons and repeating blasters began to chew away at the individual reavers that had still survived the attack, while Fireshard cannons punched through the lighter armor on the handful of T3-B tanks forming up to oppose the Confederate advance. Laning thought he could see smoke and bits of fire coming out of the hulls where the Fireshards had hit, but his view was obscured by the sheer volume of laser cannon bolts coming from either side. His console binged, indicating that the siege beam had finished recharing and recooling. He spared a glance at his hypermatter and generator controls, indicating they weren't running low on fuel or power to keep fighting.
“Take us through the breach,” decided Laning, “and let's follow those boys from Dorumaa and see what they're up to.”
The blue and tan splotched CAVs from the water moon rolled in right ahead of his tank, firing their sonic cannons. The first tank seemed to have its cannon on a focused fire, obliterating individual reavers and ripping away at many of their impromptu barricades. The second tank used its sonic cannon in its stun mode, causing massive and disorientation among the Reavers popping out to fight the Confederates. Most of the reavers stood and wavered as the nanites fought with the body systems of their organic hosts before getting cut down by Confederate weapons' fire. Yet the dorumaa tanks kept moving into a side alley of the city. Morningstar Five fell in behind them, adding bouts of searing fire from its flamethrower to drive back the individual Reavers. Laning snorted. It's not going to be the Reavers themselves providing any problem out in the open, it's going to be their tanks. Trena kept their individual CAV in the pair of the Dorumaa's tracks, but the two tanks ahead of them suddenly slipped and disappeared into the aquifer running through the center of the city. He shook his head. Of course they'd want to fight on their own terrain. But that aquifier isn't the sea shelf of their world. But let's see what they're up to.
“Follow'em,” gestured the Almas man, “it's not like we can't go there either.”
Trena snorted, “It's just that we'll be without weapons...well...reduced weapon range...but gotcha.”
The driver took the tank down the stone embankment and into the aquifier that ran into the southern mountains. Thank the maker it's a sealed environment in here. That and the desert air probably is pretty hot. While their vision was limited by the dust and sand being thrown up ahead by the other tank's tracks, his other sensors showed that the Confederates had managed to push in a little deeper into the city from all sides. But running through the aquifier, their tanks had pushed the deepest into Reaver-held territory, yet they hadn't encountered any enemy fire yet. He guessed it was because being beneath ten meters of water, the Reavers weren't really looking for the tanks there. A shadow fell upon the water, making their limited vision grow even darker, yet he could see a pair of proton hydro torpedoes jump out the second tank and disappear into the gloomy depths. They exploded in a ripple of bubbles, and the tanks continued forward through the blasted apart metal grates. Laning looked around. We must be in the municipal building, where the human settlers processed the water for the city and ran everything else out of here. The Dorumaa-based tanks rolled up the slopes of the aquifer and onto the narrow embankment that ran alongside the aquifer. Laning winced. We may be small, but this is going to be a tight fit. Both of the Janus in front of him slid back into the aquifier, to reveal a bunch of Reavers rushing towards them. The R4 unit in front of him chirped, activating the light repeating blaster that popped out alongside the driver's ceraglass viewport. Streams of emerald light began to whittle away at the oncoming Reavers. There's still too many of them. He tapped his rightside trigger, sending out a cone of fire which engulfed the small confines of the room. The reavers disappeared in the intense heat of the flame, but he held the trigger. His R4 unit began to make a series of noises, causing the man to glance at his heat dissipation field. It was growing weaker under the intense heat that flooded through the room. Sighing, the man relented, pulling his finger off of the trigger mechanism. The other tanks popped up from the surface again, with the first tank launche a standard heavy rocket out of its general purpose launcher towards the most distant wall. The orange blob broke through the duracrete wall and detonated, revealing the courtyard of the massive building. In it sat scores of individual Reavers, several Yutrane-Tackata built tanks, and a tall spindly tower reaching towards the sky sat out before them. Of course, the reaver communication beacon. He immediately squeezed both triggers, sending out a rush of purging fire onto the surprised Reavers, toasting the infected beings alive while he focused his other weapon's reticle on the tower. He tapped the trigger, producing a yellow ray which tore into the beacon, causing it to teeter and collapse into the courtyard. As he did so, the first CAV from Dorumaa released the rest of its rocket payload into the more lightly armored backsides of the Reaver tanks. Explosion rippled across their backsides, and Laning guessed that they were inoperable. And without their beacon here, I'd be willing to bet they're going to start and lose their coordination too...
Dec 31 2013 6:27pm
Aridus Trade City, Aridus
Lieutenant Ryols and Commodore N835 strolled through the city's streets, eying the damage done to the city. The army of deployed CAVs were busy rehabilitating the city for the world's original occupants, the Chubbits. Many of them were returning now to join their comrades, who had spent their exiled time in the nearby Cularin system. Ryols watched one of the squat reptilians help direct a CAV to pull away the wreckage of burned out T3-B.
“What a mess,” murmured the droid, watching a pair of CAVs from Dorumaa pulled out debris from the aquifer with chains attached to their chassis.
Ryols nodded, “You really think the rest of the Prefecture will ok the President's request to keep them here for reconstruction?”
N835 paused for a second. As soon as the last of the Reavers had been hunted down in the city and the world's settlements, the Confederates had dispatched recon teams to search for any more of them in the wild. But that still left many of the CAVs and their crews around the world itself doing little but “pulling security”. Those CAVs had quickly been pressed into their peace time roles. Outside the city, a group of CAVs now was digging up a moat around the city while another group had proceeded to clearing rocks out of the mining tunnels that had fallen into disrepair during the Reaver occupation. The smaller settlements, originally inhabitanted by the Chubbits, were being used to replow fields and harvest crops. All of them were significantly helping the Chubbits get back on their feet, yet Ryols wondered how long that could last. The droid turned its blue eyes onto his subordinate.
“As soon as they can be replaced, I imagine,” stated the Commodore, “the Chubbits already have engineers and factory specialists from Genarius and Uffel working on retooling the Yutrane-Tackata tank factories to build the CAVs. The technology is already fairly similar, and finally our own prefecture will not have to rely on the factory worlds of the Proper to supply us with them...”