The Assault of Orion
General Parker was startled when an unexpected
image appeared on her holo-projector "Field Marshal !
I was expecting General Matthews." Field Marshal Khan
gave a wry smile " General Matthews has been ....reassigned.
I took personal command to ensure that nothing goes wrong
this time." Gen Parker felt a sense of relief as she
knew the reinforcement units were in competent hands. "May
I ask your E.T.A. sir ?" He didn't need to look at his
chrono "Six hours , sooner if I can put the fear of Me
into the Navy. After the job you have done so far , that shouldn't
be too hard for your Corps." She nodded."XV Corps
will be here. But Sir......" The holo image shook as
a series of nearby explosions rocked her Command Post. She
looked into his eyes "Sooner would be better." The
Field Marshal just nodded. "Sooner."
Rhame saw yet another battleoid crumple in on itself as the
plasma bolt melted it. Jenkins voice had a note of amusement
as Two tank fired again ."Is it me Sarge or do they not
seem to be pushin this attack too hard ?" Rhame smiled
a bit at that."Nothing like running over hundreds of
your buddies bodies to ruin your whole day." He frowned
as he realized how many friends of his lay dead on the perimeter."Ruins
your whole day." He muttered.
Gen Parker's map board showed units assaulting along the
whole perimeter but a huge mass of Antarans were hitting the
weakest part of her defenses along the north. She looked what
she had in reserve. One battered Squadron of Armor and a Platoon
of Marines. "Well if they punch through in the north
then we are gone." She checked the long range sensors
again."There are no other large enemy formations that
can attack anywhere else on the perimeter before help gets
here." Her finger slashed down on the northern edge.
"Get all the reserves moving there now! We have to stop
them there before they break through."
TechServant Luf turned to HiveMaster Nurrclian. "They
have commited the last of their reserves to the main attack
area GreatOne , the way to their HiveMistress is now clear."
The HiveMaster turned to PilotServant Ompl "Travel to
the coordinates and deploy all pods." He closed the faceplate
on his Battlearmor and strode to his drop pod. "Kill
all her Servants but the HiveMistress is mine." Fifty
voices spoke as one "YES GREAT ONE!"
Cooks apprentice Second class Kerrigan tried to stay near
his guard post as explosions rained down near the maintenance
and repair bay. "I'm supposed to be using a spatula not
a blast rifle" He said to himself for the 20th time today.
He looked around "If that Marine Corporal catches me
away from my post again though there's no telling what he's
gonna do. I can't figure if all Marines are that bad or he's
just nasty cause he's lost an arm." The sound of the
air defense plasma guns firing caused him to look up. Just
in time he saw some sort of aircraft pounded to slag then
explode in mid air. Debris rained down around him along with
several large spherical objects that hit nearby."Oh my
God BOMBS." was the first thought he had. But when they
merely bounced off the ferrocrete surface he breathed a sigh
of relief. He assumed they were duds until he saw a seam open
in the nearest sphere. Curiosity overcame his fear as he moved
to one and looked in the opening. An armored hand reached
out and snapped Kerrigan's neck before he could move an inch.
HiveMaster Nurrclian unfolded himself from the drop pod and
checked his display. He saw that 29 of his Special Attack
Unit have survived the landing. "More than enough to
cleanse them. " He renumbered them and assigned them
to their tasks. "One through nine destroy their air defense
weapons then keep all the humans away from this area. Ten
through 19 kill every Servant you see and destroy any equipment
you find. Twenty through 29 follow me to their HiveMistresses
Lance Corporal Heller circled flaming debris as he stamped
across the repair area. "If that damned Army puke is
away from his post again I am gonna rip off his arm and see
if the Doc can sew it on my shoulder. Thats why the Army always
needs us to save their ........" His tirade ceased as
he saw Kerrigan's body and what looked like a re entry pod
of some sort. He keyed his com. "This is LCpl Heller
, we have Commandos in the Headquarters area." A Military
Police Lieutenant answered. "You sure Corporal ? We have
had no other reports of enemy troops inside the perimeter."
Heller just shook his head. "Sir , I have some sort of
landing pods all over the area and they look big enough for
power suits so we better get some REAL help here soon or we
ain't gonna have nothin left." He heard a snap and gurgle
from a nearby tank repair shelter. Heller realized his blast
pistol wouldn't scratch battle armor so looked for Kerrigan's
weapon. He found it nearby bent into a U shape. "Gotta
be power suits." He looked into the shelter and saw two
dead Meklar mechanics and an Antaran in powered armor tearing
a third Meklar to pieces. He dropped the carcass and turned
towards Heller. The faceless armored form moved towards the
one armed Marine. Heller just nodded and drew his knife.
General Parker was trying to coordinate the defense of her
perimeter when reports of Antarans attacking from within started
coming in. She turned to her com officer. "Son get on
a command channel and contact the three nearest units and
tell them to get what units they can spare rolling here to
assist us before these damned Commandos rip up the whole Corps
area." She furiously began typing a set of Operations
orders and handed it to her com officer. "If I am not
back in 1 hour , send that out to all units." The young
Lieutenant's eyes widened as he looked at the message. She
looked down at him and touched his shoulder."It will
be O.K. son , just send it in 1 hour." General Parker
looked around her Headquarters and took a deep breath."ALRIGHT
EVERYONE LISTEN UP." All motion and noise in Ops. ceased
and everyone looked at their General. "Anyone that isn't
doing an absolutely essential job at the moment , grab your
helmets and rifles and assemble outside the Command Building
in 5 minutes. Anyone who stays behind that doesn't belong
will get a bullet from me as soon as I get my weapons."
There was silence and a frantic movement as headquarters personnel
scurried to find their weapons. General Parker started to
strip her clothes off as she headed for her office. She was
nearly naked before she got the door closed. Her orderly helped
her on with her interface jumpsuit. "You haven't been
doing your exercises , that armor is gonna hurt when it locks
in around your butt." She smiled at her orderly of 20
years."Why do I keep you around anyway Sanji?" He
shook his head at her."Near as I can tell General , I
must have done some great wrong in a past life and you are
my punishment." She climbed into her Power Suit and suppressed
a squeal as the armor locked down. She spoke through gritted
teeth. "See a perfect fit." Sanji just nodded sadly.
"You keep out of the line of fire , remember you are
a General not a grunt. She nodded and walked out the door
to defend her Headquarters. Master Sergeant Sanji waited till
the General was out of sight. He checked the power source
on his artificial leg and grabbed his helmet and rifle. The
General would blow a gasket if she thought he was out there
fighting . So like many things he did to take care of her
...... he just wouldn't tell her.
It had been so long since Rhame had gotten a secure text
transmision from Ops that he almost didn't notice it. When
he read it his gut went cold. Checking all his sensors he
made a decision. "Four tank we got a big problem."
Kindred sounded puzzled."What's up Sarge , looks like
we have them under control here. Unless they try a lot harder
the three of us can hold em off forever." Rhame replied
bleakly."Ops. and the maintenance areas have Commandos
tearing them up and there are nothing but M.P.s there to slow
em down. We are the closest units , which means either we
head over there and help out or the Corps support units are
all dead men." Kindred took a while to reply. "And
since we are immobile we got to defend this whole ridge alone
while you two roll and save Ops." There was a long pause
before Kindred spoke again. "What are you still doing
on my ridge Rhame. Don't you need to rescue the settlers from
indians or something?" Kindred saw Rhame's and Jenkins'
tanks back off the ridge and start rolling towards the Ops.
area at top speed. He saw the Antarans south of the ridge
gathering together. "They must have seen One and Two
tank leave and want to have another go Burke." Kindred
knew that Rhame must have seen the Antarans grouping up to
attack the ridge again. He heard the com pop. "Kindred
, Burke ........ I'll see you when I see you." Burke
answered first. "Don't worry Sarge , we'll save you a
seat near the fire."
Field Marshal Khan stood in the flag bridge of the Superdreadnaught
Repulse with two Power Suited figures flanking him. "Admiral
if you dont get this operation in gear NOW I am going to have
these two soldiers stuff you out the airlock." The Admiral
sputtered. " We have established procedures that we have
to follow ..." Khan didn't let him finish , he just pointed
his finger. "Admiral , because of the Navy's 'procedures'
I have had a whole Corps on that world for three weeks holding
off an entire PLANET. I don't care what 'shortcuts' you have
to make in procedures. But if I don't start seeing some action
from YOU then I will see if your replacement is more cooperative."
Rhame and Jenkins were rolling across the spaceport as fast
as they dared push their engines. Rhame saw some of the distant
buildings of the Headquarters and maintenance area billowing
smoke and flames. Even with maximum magnification on his command
sight he still couldn't see any Antarans yet. Jenkins was
slowly falling behind for some reason "Cahill slow up
a hair , I don't want to get seperated from Two tank."
Cahill sounded disappointed but slowed down just enough for
Two tank to come alongside. Rhame saw a strange looking object
on the side of Two tank's turret. "Jenkins is that what
I think it is welded to your tank." There was a pause.
"Well Sarge you know how busy we were loading on Schiff
and we didn't get a chance to take it off." Rhame heard
Dunphy and Cahill laughing . "Does it still work ? Or
did it take too much fire ?" Jenkins came back on "Russo
thinks it is still good , one speaker is blown but the other
5 are intact.Why Sarge?" Rhame had grown up on tales
of the Cavalry and the Troop had always kept the old traditions.
"Let em know we are coming , full volume." Jenkins
gunner , Corporal Russo looked up at him. "He want 'The
Song'?" Jenkins rolled his eyes and smiled."What
The song was old when the cavalry was mounted on horses.
But Cavalry traditions die hard. So no one but the Antarans
were surprised when 3rd Platoon charged into the Headquarters
area to the strains of 'Gary Owen'
( For those of you who wonder , "Gary Owen" was
the unofficial marching song of the Seventh Cavalry under
George Armstrong Custer. Gen. Custer reportedly heard the
song among his Irish troop and liked it. The tune was then
played so often that it became associated with the 7th Cavalry.It
has also become defacto the traditional song of all Armored
Cavalry Units )
(For those who wish to hear it , try www.branchorientation.com/armor/images/flash/song.html
close your eyes and you can see the horses marching by)