The Assault of Orion
(Part One of the saga of 3rd Platoon
A Troop 3rd Squadron. 2nd Regiment 17th Armored Division XV
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"