Saturday, November 15, 2014


The dim quiet was haunting.

In the distance,the noise of a structure crumbling to the ground rumbled,traveled through the deserted megacity of Tretophysis. Most of the public had been evacuated 3 months ago,the remaining had stopped screaming a few weeks ago.

Caught in the crossfire,casualties of war.

The Federation claimed that they were fighting for the people,for democracy.Yet their guns killed civilians just as well as ours.

Democracy.A failed idea,from a fallen civilization.

The artillery fire had stopped.The Fleet had engaged the Federation frigates yesterday,caught them in the gravity of the planet,cut off their retreat.

We were ill prepared.
We didnt understand our enemy.We were fighting for a man and his throne.They were fighting for an idea.

I stepped out of the Forward Command Post.The dry wind swirled around me.All around,infantry men milled about.My armor was stifling.The sweat from my forehead stung my eyes.A single shuttle purred to life at the center of base camp,bulky and ungainly.

My staff stood behind me,quiet and resolute.The plans had been drawn up already for our last action in this forsaken planet.So much blood spilled for so little.This rock had no tactical value,no resources. Yet,here we were.

We came in with a battlecruiser,the IFS Harbinger, and a fighter escort.The planetary shield was sabotaged,brought down quickly and with almost no resistance. A fighter squadron tried to put up a defense but the Harbinger secondary battery made quick work of it.We turned the ships main artillery on the only city and followed it with a bomb run with fighters.We docked at the space port itself with no problems,took it from a handful of fighters and then began deploying troops to the surface in Mark II gunships. I was in the second wave,at the orders of Commander Wilson,as he stayed behind in the CIC to coordinate the attack.At 60% deployment,the space port simply exploded,along with the entire crew of the Harbinger and most of the Command staff.We had 2000 men,some artillery pieces,most of the armored divisions and a handful of gunships.The fighter squadron was engaged by the Federation Navy soon after.A foolhardy squadron leader thought 16 Delta fighters,4 Mark III gunships and 4 Merka Class bombers could take on 3 Federation frigates.

No air cover,no artillery,no supply lines.

We got the force field up and set up our camp and defenses around it.They couldnt get their ships artillery to break through,so they started sending down infantry divisions.We tried to take out their landing crafts but we just didnt have the firepower.We set up a defensive perimeter along our lines,prepared to soak up the pressure.We were trained Imperial soldiers.Veterans of the Xyphoran Invasion wars and insurgencies from the farthest reaches of the nation.We were battle hardened,we had superior arms,tactics and training.With no Commanding Officer,I took over the preparations.We were up against a ragtag militia,with outdated armored divisions.We would persevere.

But they were fighting for an idea.

They sent wave after wave,and we sent them back again and again.We lost 4 tanks and accompanying infantry companies because of an overzealous tank commander decided to counter attack and was cut off,enveloped and destroyed.We had to stay on the defensive,we had to hold them off until the Fleet arrived.They had no fighters,so we had some semblance of air superiority.We used our few gunships,coupled with our armored divisions to hold the stalemate.

We were no match for their overwhelming numbers.

They sent wave after wave,concentrating all their men and machines at 2 points in our lines.As the days passed,our gunships were felled and the stalemate began to crumble.A few hours before Fleet arrived,the patched up force field gave out.The shelling broke our lines and I pulled everything back.Ammunition was almost over.Most of the tanks were smoldering piles of metal while almost all the mech suits had powered down. We used jammers to hide our position from the Federation ships,the firing had been erratic and wild.

The Fleet came,but with the lone battlecruiser.They Holo'd me,told me that Command had made things clear.No Imperial soldier could retreat from a battle,no Imperial soldier could surrender.Wars were won with morale,the Federation had planned this annihilation to recruit other planets to their cause.The Imperial Command would rather see us all die than let the Galaxy know that we would give up.We would become legends and names to rally behind.They would recruit millions in the face of this cruelty by the Federation forces.

The casualties of war.

They were calling me back to be debriefed.The benefits of command.

A Staff Sergeant passed out swords to the men.The scouts had reported the enemy massing 2 clicks south. My plan called for a final charge.Get close and in the middle of them,where their guns would be too dangerous to fire.Take as many of them down with you.

A plan tailored for failure.It seemed perfect.All my other plans had failed,this one was meant to.

A pity I couldn't die with them.

The pilot ignited the repulsor engines.I shook hands with my staff,but I couldnt meet their gaze.The men stopped and stared as I entered the shuttle.Engined whined as it shuddered off the ground.I looked down at my feet as it pitched and began its ascent.

In the distance behind me,the screams of a thousand men.

The casualties of war.

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