Driving off the Shadow: Week 1 Event

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Driving off the Shadow: Week 1 Event

Post  UnityPrime on Fri May 04, 2012 7:15 am

(Behold! The first of many events. I will make a separate thread containing a briefing for phase two of this lovely encounter on Friday. Late on Friday, but Friday Wink. Thank you again for your patience, I had a long week after going to my sister's wedding. I will mention it in that thread as well, but you will have two weeks to plan and post in the new mission thread, which will close on the 18th.)


Nothing ventured.

In the silent black there stood thirteen E-strain generals trapped within their own memories. Once, they had been great Chiefs. Once, their bodies were pristine and free from disease. Theirs was one of the earliest nations, one of the largest, and one of the first to fall. Each of them was a mirror image of the other, each was a strikingly human-like and handsome Magnavore. However, each of them wore a face marred by melancholy. They knew that they had become mockeries, and that their only path to redemption was to crawl over the corpses of their own children.

They needed no words to make a battle-plan. None were needed with these old battle-companions. Overwhelm the foes, ruin their communications, perform electronic warfare. That they were dying and their children were going insane was unspoken.
The first of them turned from the holographic communication, turning his pulsing bloated body with the straining effort of his seven protrusions. The enemy approached. He gave a wordless roar, and the exiles turned their hunger on the hapless prey.

Meanwhile, Prime struggled to keep up with the demands of E-strain raids, and his own warping body. He was pushed to his limit as the flesh of his body writhed in its flawed prison. His containment suit was holding, for now. A notification presented itself in the depths of his mind, and he opened his senses to the battle-report regarding the Midas theater. He could not participate, but he could at least do his allies the courtesy of observing.

Pre-Battle: Nice to meat you

Even after the strange reply he had received from the E-strain, Su Maehl was skeptical. This battle had all of the makings of a con. However, time was tight and this number of E-strain simply could not be ignored. Would crates of food really make the difference?

Later in the comfort of a boardroom, Su Maehl would be struck by one of the Universe’s strangest facts. Civilized space may well have been saved by spoiled meat. It would be a take the edge off in the dark days to come.

Sector General Stark knew hunger, and he knew desperation. As the fighters launched hundreds of thousands of tons of food at the Migration’s rear, he saw it in action. The unthinkably huge swarm moved like a cloud of insane sharks in a feeding frenzy. At least half of the misshapen ships fired upon each other indiscriminately, crashing into each other, and became a chaotic mess.

In this moment of confusion two important things happened. Ft. Lendil began to probe E-strain communications, and phase 1 of the plan began. The opposing fleet’s movements gave the Ft. Lendil fleets a relatively good projection of where the command carriers would be, based on efforts to protect them. Battle was joined.

Phase 1: Close combat with E-strain

Drill ships streaked from the allied fleet to the Migration like hunter’s spears. EEF capital ships began their long-range bombardment as the drill ships and their escorts approached. Sickly looking bloom ships were blasted apart by the thousands as the strike-force entered the theater.

Stryker enjoyed the beauty of that simple moment, but knew it would not last. He was maintaining close contact with his Ft. Lendil allies, and Su Maehl’s substantial contingent. He noted two important things quite quickly. They were relying very heavily on Ft. Lendil’s projections, as at least five of the command carriers were hiding deep within the fleet. Second, coms static was quickly becoming nightmarish.

Captain Axis stood impassively. He did not need the Ft. Lendil projections, the EEF protections, or even competent boarders. His vessels cared little for technology, and would deploy weapons of horrifying destruction surgically. Conflicts would simply be avoided unless they were necessary. His seers began their work, and the fathomless depths of his connection to Fate mapped out the battle before Axis’s eyes.

The holo-projections on Drill ships were very effective in misdirecting the bloom ships which swarmed towards the drill ships. Eight of the command carriers were moving to the front of the fleet just as the drill ships approached, making them fantastic targets. The crews of the drill ships silently quailed upon seeing the ships. They were massive bastions of order surrounded by the madness of their charges. The mercenaries readied their weapons, and prayed that the drill ships would impact.

They did, and communication was quickly lost. Ft. Lendil frantically tried to re-establish communication as millions of screaming vessels interposed themselves between the command carriers and the allied fleet. Their processors ran hot, and they managed to catch a few mangled data streams from the vessels sent into the heart of the fleet.

The field was chaotic, but Axis was calm on his bridge, silently ordering reinforcements as the Needle rammed the fifth command carrier as predicted. He knew that five command carriers were erased by his hand, and that his allies did not destroy them all. The remaining command carriers would be cautions, but his ships would flit amongst the battlefield, looking for further opportunities.

Phase II: The line is held

Long-range scans showed that much of the E-strain fleet turned on itself in a cannibalistic fury. Ft. Lendil’s forces took samples where they cook, and began hacking systems of the distracted E-strain. There was a wealth of chaotic information, but making sense of it was a massive challenge. It was Ft. Lendil which gave the warning to the allied defensive line.

The command carriers had not all been destroyed. Some of the commanding Magnavores had survived. Hundreds of Millions of E-strain Bloom ships began a suicidal charge into the allied firing squad.

However, they were being only loosely controlled. There was a chance, as they would not be incredibly sophisticated.
The battle raged, and the howls of E-strain gone mad stormed the communications channels of the allied fleet. Even before the first wave of putrid ships came within firing range, all allied ships came under fierce yet disorganized electronic warfare. If Ft. Lendil had not devoted itself to the electronic realm, this attack might have ended the battle before it began. Instead, it only caused minor communications disruptions.

The second wave to hit the allied fleet were waves of asteroids, infected E-strain corpses, and eggs. Allied fleet was prepared for this, however. Sterilizer missiles launched from the defensive satellite grid guarded both the planets and the fleet from these initial assaults.
Battle was joined between the fleets. The E-strain performed a suicidal charge, driven by the remnants of their diseased minds. The allied fleets remained disciplined, but there was a problem. Amid the chaos of bloom-ship combat, the threat of ramming vessels, and attempts to maintain battle-lines, some infiltrators snuck aboard key capital ships. Thankfully, EEF drones caught and destroyed a number of tiny transport vessels sneaking amidst the chaos. High value targets were not hit, but it is hard to say what damage has been done by other lurking saboteurs…

The battle lines moved back slowly. As they moved back, weapons of mass destruction were used to punish E-strain attempts to swarm and overwhelm. Void bombs, Brethren suits…they made an effective deterrent. Attempts to swarm around the battle-lines were met with brilliantly placed reserves, but casualties began to mount slowly but surely as the E-strain continued their advance. Many were busying themselves with the consumption of their fellows, but others were entranced by the thought of true meat.

The planetary defenses were incredible, but eventually, one planet fell. Thousands of particularly foolhardy E-strain vessels simply crashed into a number of the colonies and defensive structures at ramming speed. Sterilization attempts could not handle the sheer volume of E-strain biomass which had broken through.

The order was given. Screams were silenced as the planet was bombarded by its defenders.

The other four planets held, at least for a time. The Migration was relatively disorganized, but still had enough coordination to pick a direction and attempt to kill all who were there.

The other planets got closer to falling, as every single vessel was called from the reserves to stem the tide of E-strain. Trident vessels carpet-bombed those E-strain who sought to organize assaults, Stark’s flagship mowed down E-strain by the thousands. Things were looking grim, but the line held against all odds.

It was then that some of Ironbane’s desperate mercenaries somehow pulled through. At least one managed to survive the horrors of a boarding action, snuck to a reactor, and performed a singularly glorious act of sabotage. With that, the battle turned. E-strain ships turned on each other with renewed fury, and were quick to savage one another into oblivion. Much had been lost, and it was likely that at least one Command Carrier’s crew escaped…but the first battle had been won, if at a startlingly high cost.


Last edited by UnityPrime on Fri May 04, 2012 4:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Epilogue:

Post  UnityPrime on Fri May 04, 2012 7:25 am

Cheers ripped through the crews of allied ships, but the more savvy among allied commanders did not give in to the urge to celebrate. An encoded message had already come through via the EEF special forces, giving warning of what was to come. The planar barrier began to fall, and the horror the E-strain had become was revealed.

Meanwhile, in the dead of space, Orelos continued his dark work. The battle would have out-paced his capacity, if not for special devices which allowed his vessels to act as conduits to the Horror Nexus itself. Something unthinkable was happening at the edges of the battle, as Unity ident-codes faintly called out the presence of Unity ships to the allied fleet commanders.

(Wowie! That ran a little long. Tomorrow, we will get to see the results of Malthus's special ops action, and I'll fill in any other holes. Thank you all for your incredibly well-thought out troop dispositions and cool ideas.)
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Casualty Report

Post  UnityPrime on Sun May 06, 2012 12:05 am

Detritus from the first battle for Midas drifted in space, and there was a moment of peace. Small mop-up actions were being undertaken by the allied fleet, but these were hardly worth noting.

An initial stock of the casualties revealed the following sterile list. Some like Axis saw it as a trophy, others such as Stryker, saw the lives lost. Su Maehl and the alien priest could still recall the allied order to shell one of the five planets.

Account of Losses:

Enemy Ships Destroyed:
Approx. 10 Trillion Bloom Ships
10 Magnavore Command Carriers (Unknown design)
800 Boarding skiffs (Unknown design)

Allied losses:
IR Colony Alpha 42 and all accompanying orbital defenses

Sector General Stark: All launched Brethren, One Heavy Frigate Destroyed, One Heavy Frigate significantly damaged

Director Ironsbane: 14 Drill Ships destroyed, 6 Drill Ships Missing in action, 70 Stilettos Destroyed

Captain Axis: 400 Kamacazi's Destroyed, 50 Nodachi's destroyed

Su Maehl:

6 Space Stations Destroyed, 30 Space stations damaged by combat and boarding actions, All Planetary defenses on Planet 1, 13 Horn Class cruisers destroyed, 7 damaged. 100 Chaos starfighters destroyed.

General Freemark:

30,000 Stillettos, 3,000 Aegis, 10 Light Frigates, 30 Drill Ships Destroyed. 10 Drill Ships missing in action.

Leif: No casualties.

Stryker: 40 Arc light gunpods and 10 Leyas gunpods destroyed. 2 Gunships, 1 Dusk Class Destroyer, 5 Arc Light fighters, and 30 cats paw drones destroyed. 5 Kalino class ships damaged.

Father Inido: No casualties
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