The Evon Experience
by Alex Poff
Chapter 11 Silicoid Stain
As it turned out, the "news" that Lotar had for Xetaph had already been received by the High Council. Military scanners had determined that the systems to the "north" of Moya were held not by the Ithkul, but by the rocks. It had been these systems where the single SR Attack TF had originated.
Xetaph was already aware. Immediately upon our colonization of the Moya four-planet system, interstellar communications delivered an "official communiqué" from this strange species. They apparently were silicoid-based creatures and they called themselves "Laaran". Moreover, their communiqué was none too friendly, as was to be expected. They first established an embargo on our empire and then, immediately thereafter, declared war, vowing to exterminate us from the known galaxy.
We did not believe that they could have formed any type of alliance with the Ithkul (how would this be possible, we thought?), but it now made Moya the focal point of a two species war.
To Lotar it mattered little who lay to the north. It would not be long before Moya would have twelve TF's in its system, a combination of 1st and 2nd generation LR and IF armadas. After our decisive victories over the Ithkul and the Laraan forces in Moya, Lotar's confidence in his fleets was extremely high. He expressed this sentiment openly with his good friend, and Xetaph responded with guarded enthusiasm. "Make whatever recommendation to the High Council that you see fit, Lotar. Your command has proven itself to all. I am confident your plans will be well thought out and in the best interests and spirit of our people." With that, the two friends parted company for the evening. They would meet again in chambers two days hence.
The next morning Lotar reviewed his most up-to-date reports and sensor logs from Labon in Moya. The situation was as follows:
The systems to the east of Moya, not the north, was the direction that the Ithkul lay. A two TF excursion to the next system to the east determined that some type of disaster had occurred millennia earlier, no planets existed in it at all. While unfortunate that there was no suitable planets for further expansion, it was also welcome news that there was no Ithkul infestation there either. Our Eolodi military liaison officer informed us that, indeed, the Ithkul seemed to be rapidly losing territory on numerous fronts, based on assaults from other species, deeper in the heart of the galaxy. This was extremely good news, for Lotar wanted to push north, not east. If the Ithkul were being beaten down by others, a relatively light defense force could be left in Moya, while the bulk of our forces could push north to the Laan system and to the Alkari people.
This strategy would require additional forces however, more so than the seven 2nd generation TF's being mobilized to join Labon in Moya. Landing troops would be required and the ships to transport them. We could not devastate the Alkari homeworld from space as we had done the Ithkul worlds. No, we would, in all likelihood, have to land troops to liberate them. Troops were not an issue; our Rhean subjects had been waiting for an opportunity like this. Our Rhean ground forces commander, Sasktewel, in conjunction with our scientific advisors, had developed and trained Mobile armies by the score, all prepared to die to defend or advance our Empires’ position. That being taken care of, Lotar ordered the immediate production of the following type of Troop Transport vessel:
Battle Cruiser Hull, but with only one pod attachment for troops. With our maximum army size of twenty-four units (nineteen combat, five support), six Battle Cruisers would be required to transport each individual army. The remaining hull space would be fitted with both offensive and defensive weaponry, making these ships functional attack vessels, not just sitting duck transports, in the event that significant resistance is met in space prior to our ability to invade the planet. With theses six ships grouped as "mission vessels" an additional four LR Battleships (in the mission ship category), four PD Battle Cruisers and two Recon Cruisers could be grouped together to form a sixteen-vessel TF. A minimum of two of these TF's would be constructed immediately.
The plan was to send ten TF's to the system to the north, called Ognath, with the following configuration:
Four Battleship IF TF's
Four Battleship LR TF's
Two Battle Cruiser Transport TF's
This would leave four TF's (all 2nd generation) in the Moya system for defense, more than enough, Lotar believed, to hold off any Ithkul advance from the east.
As Xetaph had predicted, the High Council provided Lotar with unanimous approval of his plan. Everything, it seemed, had been covered: maximum assault capability for the invading fleet, adequate defense for the empire, and honourable intention in our deeds. Lotar thanked the High Council and then set the plan in motion. To Ognath and God Speed.