The Evon Experience
by Alex Poff
Chapter 8 Moya, Macabre
Everything seemed to be going according to plan. When Sortal emerged in the Moya system, his four TF's were met with a significant, yet considered to be manageable, resistance. Sortal elected to assault the largest of the four worlds first, where two Ithkul TF's and a heavily fortified planet awaited him.
While a distinguished officer, Sortal did not possess the true logistical savvy that had been his predecessors'. He charged head-on into the teeth of the Ithkul defense forces and when the smoke had cleared, while victorious, one of Sortal's TF's had been reduced by thirteen, eleven Battle Cruisers and both Destroyer Recon vessels had been destroyed. Our attack force now consisted of only two full TF's, another with thirteen ships, the last with only five, for a total of only fifty-four ships. Our military commanders were very concerned; help was still six cycles away.
Sortal's attempt to eradicate the vermin from Moya II was not completely successful in his first attempt. With reduced planetary bombardment capability, he was only able to greatly reduce, but not eliminate the Ithkul from the planet. Another round of bombardment would be required and a new bombing run pattern was established for the second assault on Moya II. Then everything changed.
Sensors snapped on the "Red Alert - Proximity Warning". Sortal wheeled, only to see what could only be described as a nightmare coming straight at him. Six Ithkul TF's made up of Missile, Carrier and SR Attack components were bearing down on his fleet, fast. Sortal and his ships did their best to alter course and engage, but it was really over before it had even begun. The two lesser TF's in Sortal's fleet (one of thirteen, one of five) ignited the night sky over Moya II in an explosion of missile fire. Three SR Attack TF's immediately engaged Sortal and his remaining TF wing, firing some type of extremely powerful plasma weapon, blasting holes in their hulls the size of Volkswagens.
Sortal was not without honour, as is the trait of all our commanders. He ordered his wingman to retreat. "Get the Hell out of here, now!" He would sacrifice himself to allow them time to flee. His wing acknowledged the order, knowing in his heart that if he stayed he and his TF would die too. Labon wept as he entered the jump lane, plasma fire now engaging his TF, as he headed back to Takaras, then to home, and to safety. He vowed revenge that day... the Ithkul would pay.