The Evon Experience
by Alex Poff
Chapter 13 The Grendarl
Longspur's reputation continues to grow beyond even his wildest imagination. Beyond the Potonoc system, further to the east, lay the final three "pocket" systems of the Cynoid in this section of space. They were, in order, Armenger with six planets, then Sol with four planets and Yed with three planets. Admiral Longspur's forces were met by over one thousand Cynoid ships in these three systems and rarely, if ever, were there ever even a single casualty reported. Such was the deftness and skill of his command that he was quickly able to re-assemble his attack fleet in Hasemi, the original system taken from the Meklar via the wormhole from Assellus, and strike out against the cybernetics in a two-pronged assault.
To the north of Hasemi were five Meklar systems with over twenty worlds that ended in a mini spiral and to the southwest were a run of at least eight more Meklar worlds with a secondary branch leading into the last of Trilarian space and the main line running into the Wolf system, currently controlled by the Cynoids and the system directly north of Orion.
Longspur, now with complete control over his sector of space, appointed an Insectoid, Pedxing, as a fleet commander responsible for the destruction of the Meklar to the north. Longspur was aware that all eyes of the Empire would be focused very closely on his new commanders' performance. This was, after all, the first command for a citizen of the Empire that was of a former conquered civilization, namely the Klackons. Pedxing had been born on the former Klackon world, Grotius. It was the first world taken from the Klackons long ago and had had the most time to become fully integrated into our Empire. Longspur wanted success for his new commander most of all. After all, had not he been given a chance by forward thinking Evon? He felt it was the least he could do.
Pedxing did not let Longspur down. While his battles against the Meklar were not as convincing as were Longspur's, Pedxing's success and casualty rate were equal to any qualified Evon commander, with casualties never exceeding a ten to one ration in our favour. In addition, his successful command assisted the Empire greatly in areas of internal politics and morale. Now, more than ever, all citizens of the Empire knew that greatness and respect were accessible to all of those who were deserving, regardless of race.
Pedxing's successful northern assault allowed Longspur to drive into the center west of the galaxy and actually meet up with Zatish's forces in Kaff, the final Trilarian system.
Zatish and Longspur shared a toast in the halls of Kaff III's government offices, celebrating the final destruction of the Trilarians. As was standard practice now in all captured systems, a security fleet was left behind while Zatish transported to the Nu Piscum system to assume control of the Northern Fleet where he would continue his brave advance against the Cynoid, while Longspur would advance back towards the Wolf and Orion systems, exterminating the bulk of the remaining Meklar.
"Red Alert-Proximity warning." Jatan slopped coffee on his uniform, startled as he was. "What the hell is going on, Ensign? Give me a sensor reading," ordered Jatan. "Aye, Sir! Admiral, a Grendarl war fleet has exited the jump lane off Iman II, they are moving on the planet, Sir," came the young officers reply! You could hear it in his voice; this young ensign at the helm was scared. "Easy son, relax. Send a priority one message to the planetary defense commander of Iman II, immediately. Plot an intercept course for us and engage. Tactical, give me a weapons firing solution and time to weapons intercept." Jatan's tactical officer was no rookie. Kasis had served with Jatan for years during the northeastern route of the Klackon Hive. "Got it, Admiral. It looks like they're either blind or stupid. They are totaling ignoring us, driving straight for the planet. They will be able to assault in one minute, but I can get missiles at them in forty-five seconds. They're showing us their ass and they don't seem to c
are!" "Excellent," smirked Jatan. "Launch all tubes and fighters. Helmsman, continue to close at best possible speed."
Our missiles raced through space, closely followed by a haze of battle-hardened fighters. Our ships in Iman were not Behemoth Class vessels, they were all top-of-the-line Titan Class IF and CF, but regardless, our firepower was extensive. As Jatan and his ten TF fleet advanced towards the enemy and Iman II our missiles ripped into the exposed backside of the Grendarl invasion fleet and perforated six armadas in a flash of devastating firepower. Our fighters engaged the remainder of the invasion force just as Iman II's planetary defense commander blew the lead Grendarl armada into cosmic dust with a combination of land-based beam weapons, missiles and fighters, launched from fortified mountain bays.
"It's over, Admiral, their dust, wait, Admiral, something coming out of the jump lane, directly off our port bow, Sir!" It was a second Grendarl fleet. They had obviously sent the first fleet through as a decoy, a suicide mission of sorts. Attack the planet, destroy it if you could, but draw in the Evon fleet for a point blank attack.
While the tactic may have been sound, if you don't mind sacrificing almost two hundred ships to do it, the problem for the Grendarl was that they were hopelessly outmatched. Our missile launchers on all our IF ships had completely recharged and were ready to fire. While our fighters were not directly available, they were only seconds away, most still fully armed and more than ready for a fight, probably pissed that they didn't have more of an opportunity to lay a hurt on somebody the first time around. In addition, the incoming Grendarl fleet would be completely defenseless for a few seconds while they came through the jump lane.
"Launch all tubes! Recall the fighters! Blow those brainless reptiles back to where they came from!" Again, the battle was over in moments. The few missiles and fighters that the Grendarl were actually able to launch never scratched an Evon hull, our PD weapons automatically liquidating the minimal inbound threat. "Open a channel to Keetal," ordered Jatan. "Inform him that the Grendarl have finally attacked. Request permission to begin the invasion of the Grendarl Dominion immediately!"
Days later, back on Sente II, Keetal and Fedral met at the local pub to quaff some ales and discuss the latest turn of events. Jatan's request had been approved and already the one-planet system of Doran, next to Iman had fallen to Jatan's new Behemoth Class attack fleet. "I don't get it," said Fedral. "How in blazes did the Grendarl think that they could have any chance against us? Didn't they realize that their attack on Iman would force our hand? Why wouldn't they accept our offerings of peace?" "Damned if I know," sighed Keetal. "Maybe they really are just stupid reptiles. To make matters worse for them, the final northern Meklar system that has just fallen to Pedxing's fleet of Titans borders on another access point to the Grendarl Dominion. He's doing so well that I am going to order him to continue on and assist Jatan in the Grendarl eradication." That makes sense, of course," said Fedral. "I'm happy to hear that Pedxing is doing so well. It has aided the integration of the Insectoids into our Empir
e significantly, you know. "Yes, I'm aware of that. My primary concern is the quality of his command, but all things in that area are more than satisfactory. He's a fine officer, and I certainly wouldn't want to get into a bar fight on the wrong side of him either," laughed Keetal. "Those damn pincers can take a serious bite out of you." "Indeed," agreed Fedral, laughing along with his colleague.
Moments later, Betakamp entered the pub. "Ah, my good Rhean, how is the finest ground warrior in the Empire doing today?" enquired Fedral. "I am fine, my friends. It is good to be home. The Orions are certainly a handful. Tsandran is doing a fine job spelling me, though. All is under control." "Any change in status in Orion at all, what is yours and Retal's position now?" asked Fedral. "Five of the eight planets are now completely under our control. The ground battles have been fierce, but because of the Orions obvious defensive abilities, we have been utilizing Battleoids as our primary attack vehicle, sending in biological fighters only after successful insertion. Our life-form casualties have been quite low, I am happy to say. As well, there have been many times that Retal has had to halt his advance within the system and defend the newly acquired planets from an Orion counter-attack. Again, Keetal, I can see why you chose him for the lead in this mission. His skill as a fleet Admiral is second-to-none,
with the exception, perhaps, of yourself and your predecessors," smiled Betakamp slyly. "Yes, yes, you old butt-kisser," roared Keetal. "But you are correct, he's a damn good man. When Orion finally falls, I think we should commission a statue of Retal for our Hero's Square Park , in the center of town. It would give us another reason to have one helluva good party, don't you think, Fedral? Maybe throw one in for Betakamp here, as well, hmm? What do you say, good friend, would the High Council spring for a couple of statues?" asked Keetal, a smile on his lips. "Oh, I think we could certainly come up with something, I'm sure," laughed Fedral.
"What I'm interested in is our status with the Tralaifa and the Eolodi. How goes everything on the diplomatic front with our allies, Fedral?" asked Keetal. "For the most part, everything is just fine. The only time anything ever comes up is if our official war footing with the Nommo ever lapses. It has occasionally, simply because we have been ignoring them for what seems like probably a decade. As soon as it does, you can almost set your clock by the timing of our ally's official request to reinstate the declaration of war. It happens within twenty-four hours. We happily go along with them, but the High Council has no intention of approaching your office, Keetal, to actually do anything about it. They are fully aware that they take directions on all things military from you and me, not the other way around," replied Fedral. "Good. For the time being, that's just the way we'll leave it, but, there may come a time when it will be necessary to take action, just as it was time to move on the Grendarl, especia
lly once Zatish begins his campaign in the north. We already know that with the extermination of the Cynoids as a goal, Nommo systems will be entered into. I am afraid that war with the last of the fish will be inevitable," stated Keetal. "And I will be there, beside you, my friend!" roared Betakamp. "Death to our enemies and all who oppose us! Long life and good health to all of our friends!"
Over five hundred and fifty planets now lie within the Evon Empire. With the Trilarians eliminated, only five enemies remain.