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The Assault of Orion I

(Part One of the saga of 3rd Platoon A Troop 3rd Squadron. 2nd Regiment 17th Armored Division XV Armored Corps)

Platoon Sergeant Rhame spit onto the sand as he walked to his tanks. "Damn all officers anyway , you can take all they know about armored warfare and fit it in a flys bellybutton and still have room for their brains".
His men were gathered expectantly around their machines as he walked up. They could tell by the look on his face the news wasn't good.

No one wanted to be the first to ask but Rhame knew what the question on their mind was."We are saddling up boys and girls , High Command needs the Armored Cavalry to pull their chestnuts out of the fire again." . Rhame knew the troopers of 3rd Platoon wouldnt be too pleased , most had been happy here on Schiff IV Heck he thought , most of the Evon were kind of attractive in the right light , or after a few drinks. Many had gotten used to the laid back attitude of sun , sand and beach that had been the lot of XV Armored Corps since it landed and crushed the defenders in a textbook planetary assault. The very perfection of that assault was probably the reason XV Corps got tapped for this mission in the first place.

"O.K. troops , first I'm gonna tell you what High Command is telling us and then I'll tell you what I found out from a friend of mine in Communications ." "First : High Command wants us to pack up everything , I mean everything down to the rolls of toilet paper in the latrines because we won't be back anytime in the near future , if ever." "Second : We are to ready all vehicles for transport to the assembly area and make sure they are completely combat ready . That means unauthorized 'sound systems' and external speakers are to be removed before loading , do you understand me Jenkins ." he said staring at 2 tank's commander and crew. "Third : All personnel are to make sure all their personal information is up to date before we load the Transports." This last caused a stir among the troopers , as the only time that kind of order came down was when High Command thought a lot of next of kin were going to have to be informed.

"Alright , so much for High Commands load of flarg , now the straight story." Rhame looked around to make sure no officers were in earshot and motioned his men to gather tight. "We are not going to be attacking the Raas , so you can put that rumor to bed." Rhame let them go on a bit before dropping the big shoe. "Quiet down children , quiet down and listen up." Rhame waited until they all tapered off and let them in on the bad news. "We have been at war with the Antarans for 2 months now and things could be better." Rhame didn't want to let things get totally out of hand so shouted them down with 'The Voice' that could be heard over the roar of tank guns and engines. "PIPE DOWN AND PAY ATTENTION .. " The troops shut up so quick that he heard teeth click together. "I know we have had the threat of them hanging over our heads for generations but , according to my cousin who is in Research and Development , our weapons and ships have finally passed theirs in strength and High Command decided to take them out since our war with the Evon ended."

"According to my friend in Communications the swabbies had a rough time of it breaking into their system but have smashed all the fleets that the Orions had including their reserves so the system is as clear as they can make it." "The bad news is that Army Group Center has thrown every trooper they had into the assault on the planet but have been unable to establish a beachhead anywhere on the planet." Trooper LaPare raised his hand in the inevitable question "Sarge , why don't they just bomb it flat like we did to the Harvesters worlds ?" Rhame wondered the same thing himself but had to at least tell them High Commands reasoning behind it "The reason LP is that Command thinks that those Antaran scumbags might be hiding important information about the original Orions or about certain techs that could be important to our future so we have to take the planet intact"

The next question was from an unexpected direction . Normally if Corporal Lazenby said 3 words in a day , he seemed to think he was exceeding his quota "Sergeant , any word on the losses in the Navy ? My brother is aboard the Carrier Agincourt." Rhame knew how bad it had been among the Navy but didn't want his troopers too discouraged when there was work to be done. "I know that the losses were real high among the Short Range and Long Range ships , but lower among the other groups so he probably has a better than average chance Laz ... thats the best I can give you but I'll ask some people I know about his ship." Lazenby just nodded his thanks and went on listening. Once again LaPare had to ask another question "Sarge why aren't all the Battleoids that they kept going on and on about being used on this assault?" This was the one question Rhame was not looking forward to answering. "Army Group Center got all 10 Battleoid Armies that were combat ready and there are no more left that are trained up to standard for an assault this important." Before he could continue LaPare burst out "You mean Command lost all ten ARMIES and didn't get a toehold on the surface !?!?" Rhame just nodded and looked at the now very sober faces around him .

"Now lets get the machines checked out and ready for Transport , and no one forget to update your personal data before we load out"




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