The Evon Experience
by Alex Poff
Chapter 12 Onward to Orion
The celebrations on Sente II and throughout our entire Empire lasted for an entire week. The sheer joy and feelings of exuberance were palpable. Our Empire now controls almost five hundred planets throughout the galaxy and our power is seemingly unmatched. The only injuries incurred in the celebrations were self-inflicted and of an alcoholic nature. Joining in the festivities was Retal, who, along with his fleet and crew, will take this time to rest and renew, for it is something significant indeed that Keetal has in store for his closest friend and battle mate. In fact, Lebak, Coilis, Hektar and Retal had the audacity to openly challenge Kaytapa and his staff to an Alkarian Ale "boat race". The result was entirely predictable, and Kaytapa and Betakamp roared with laughter at the site of their significantly smaller friends vainly attempting to match them drink for drink.
The final destruction of the Klackon Hive occurred within days of the elimination of the Sakkra Kingdom and when Tovam and Keetal returned home our enemies now counted only six. While six is still a significant number, a total of seven enemies had been defeated. In addition, the Trilarians were on deaths door, so to speak, and the Meklar and Cynoid were taking a pounding on multiple fronts, but that update will remain for a little longer.
As had been discussed, a new age of leadership is taking over in the halls of our government. No radical insurrection, just the passing of the torch from one generation to another, our goals and ideals firmly rooted and widely entrenched.
Keetal has been appointed Grand Vice Admiral (a new title befitting our Empires' size and reach), with Coilis and Hektar stepping down. Keetal will be appointing sector Admirals who would control all aspects of the military operations in their designated areas, reporting and answering only to him.
Zatish, who is currently annihilating the Trilarians in the center of the galaxy, will become the Northern Fleet Admiral replacing Retal, once his mission against the Trilarians is completed. Zatish will be tasked with extending our control further north and west beyond the Sakkra Kingdom where pockets of Meklar, Nommo and the primary home of the Cynoid lie.
Jatan will be promoted to Central Fleet Admiral where he is now stationed in Iman, bordering on the Grendarl Dominion. It will be his task to defend the Empire at this access point and destroy the Grendarl should the need arise. The High Council still holds out hope, however, that the Grendarl can be swayed onto the path of peace.
Lebak, too, is being replaced by his protégé Fedral. Fedral is much less antagonistic than his predecessor, which will help balance out the more aggressive Keetal. Fedral shares the High Council's hope, but not its optimism. Already, he and Keetal have been planning an initial espionage and terrorism campaign against the Grendarl, should our diplomatic efforts fail with the "alligators".
Longspur has made significant advances in the east against the Cynoid. He will be promoted to Eastern Fleet Admiral and tasked with the total elimination of the Cynoid pocket there and then the Meklar, whose home system is also located in this area of space. As previously indicated, this will not totally eliminate the Meklar, as they have, unfortunately, multiple worlds spread throughout the entire galaxy, much as the Psilons did. No matter, their end will come.
Betakamp has officially taken over the reins of the ground assault troops from Kaytapa as well, with Tsandran stepping in as his "2 nd ", assisting in all areas of planning, coordination, transport and unit deployment.
"So, what have you in store for me, old friend?" asked Retal. "To be frank, I was disappointed when I received your orders to relinquish command of the Northern Fleet." Keetal smiled and then winked at Fedral and Betakamp, who were sitting in Lebak's and Kaytapa's old bar stools. "We have something much meatier than the Cynoids for you to bite into, my friend. Our scientific advisors have informed us that the Space Dock Extension, as well as the Energy Pulsar Warhead technology, has come on-line. Within days, our entire Empires' shipbuilding capacity will be upgraded to build Behemoth Class Carrier and Missile ships, along with Behemoth Class Point Defense and Titan Class Recon ships. A new age in weapons technology and firepower is upon us, my friend, and it will be you who takes this new technology and brings it to bear on the Orions."
"The Orions!" gasped Retal. "Tell me your not pulling my leg! You're giving me the first shot at the Orions?" "No joke, my friend. They're all yours" Said Keetal. "It will only take a matter of weeks for us to put together an entire armada of our new Behemoths. Once assembled, it will be your mission to eliminate the Orions from political existence. "Obviously, we do not want you to physically destroy any of their planets" injected Fedral. "Their worlds are far too advanced to allow them to be obliterated. This will mean that along with your new fleet, you will be coordinating with Betakamp here directly on dispersement of ground units for the planetary invasions."
"I am certain that a minimum of four Battleoid armies will be required for each of the eight planets in the Orion system, possibly to just establish a beachhead. Many more may be required as reinforcements or compliments to our initial landing force" stated Betakamp. "All Rhean worlds within the Empire have stepped up production of our Battleoid units. In addition, Armor and Mobile construction has been stepped up, as has the training of Marines. We also have significant numbers of Marine volunteers and Mobile and Armor operators from multiple non-Rhean worlds within the Empire, including cybernetic, insectoid, and of course, Evon.
"This is fantastic! I am honored that I have been chosen for this mission. I will not fail."
Three weeks passed, and true to his word, Keetal had upgraded all shipbuilding facilities within our Empire, and they were now pumping out new Behemoth Class ships protected by our new Admantium Very Heavy Armor. Keetal was certain that our new indirect fire ships armed with deadlier missiles and our increased fighter bay capacity on these larger ships combined with their vastly improved defensive capability would win the day in Orion.
Retal entered Orion space with a full ten TF battle fleet comprised of five IF and five CF armadas. There would be no transport ships in this first run. Our plan was to engage the Orions with everything we had and if possible, eliminate all planetary defenses on Orion I, leaving it completely defenseless for our next wave, which would then include the troop transports.
Retal was so cool, he was like ice. As they exited the jump lane into Orion space for the very first time, the "Red Alert-Proximity Warning" alarm wailed. "Tactical officer, give me a sensor sweep," commanded Retal. "Let's see what we're up against." It was exactly what Retal expected. A full ten TF fleet of the legendary Orions was turning to engage them. "Admiral, all planets have a minimum of fifteen Orbital batteries, Sir. We are obviously out of Orion I's sensor range, Sir. Their Orbitals have not locked onto us or opened fire. Their fleet is acquiring a weapons lock, Sir, and are moving to intercept."
This was excellent news. We had had the good fortune of exiting the jump lane far from Orion 1, our primary target. With the makeup of our fleet comprising no LR mission ships, we could hang back here and engage without ever having to deal with the deadly planetary defenses. We could concentrate our attack completely on the Orion armadas, and potentially eliminate them before they could use their closing ships' sensors to direct the planetary defenses fire.
"Lock missiles on the Orion fleet and fire at will! Release the fighters. Tactical, give me a time to weapons intercept." "Sir, missiles away! Fighters away! Missile intercept with Orion fleet in 45 seconds. Fighter intercept in one minute, Sir," came the equally cool reply. "Excellent," said Retal. "Our fighters will hit them with the knockout punch."
"Sir, the Orions have launched their weapons. Their missiles will intercept our position in one minute. Inbound Orion fighters detected, intercept in one minute fifteen seconds." "Engage Point Defense targeting computers," ordered Retal. "Here's where we see if our new defenses are all that our science boys claim they are." Our vessels, as indicated earlier, were all now equipped with our new Very Heavy Admantium Armor, Class VIII shields and a staggering array of Lightning Generator, Phaser and Disintegration Beam weapons with staggered ranges for optimum defense. Would it be enough? How deadly were the Orion weapons? We would find out in very short order.
Our missiles flashed through Orion space and impacted the lead armadas with devastating results, but it was not the cakewalk that might have been expected against a lesser race. The Orions PD wall was incredible, and sensors indicated that over half of our missiles were destroyed before their journeys planned end. Our remaining Energy Pulsar Warheads obliterated two armadas instantly. Seconds later, our fighters, consisting of Plasma, Phaser and Ion Cannon squadrons swarmed the Orions like angry bees.
Our own PD wall was truly impressive. The lead Orion missiles fell to our Disintegration Beams and as the remainder continued to close, our Phaser mounts opened fire, joining the chorus. "Launch PD Interceptor fighters, now!" ordered Retal. This was an added defensive maneuver that Keetal had decided should be implemented with all Behemoth Class ships. Because of the overwhelming size of these vessels, there was more than adequate room to have multiple bays on our PD ships designated for smaller, defensive Interceptor Class fighters as well. These pilots were truly the bravest of the brave. For while our targeting computers would never lock onto our own fighters' hulls, it was an accepted fact that death could come instantly from friendly fire, such was the close proximity of the dog fights occurring just meters off our own bows.
Our PD Lightning Generators opened fire on the remaining Orion missiles as they closed the gap, our Disintegration and Phaser Beams changing targets to the incoming Orion fighters.
"Tactical, launch our second missile salvo as soon as possible, relay intercept to our attack fighters, coordinate Attack Plan Theta," ordered Retal. "Aye, Aye, Sir." Attack Plan Theta simply called for our fighters to hit the rear of the Orion fleet, while our second wave of missiles would once again target the nearest enemy vessels, therefore, hopefully, allowing for minimal friendly fire casualties.
Just as our attack plan had been to overwhelm the Orions with our missiles, allowing unfettered access to their remaining fleet with our fighters, so was the Orion plan of exactly the same nature. "Sir, CF Armada 2 reports nine ships destroyed by Orion missiles, Sir. Their fighters are upon us, Sir." "Cut loose with everything we've got! Nail those bastards!" ordered Retal.
The Orion fighters concentrated their efforts on our crippled CF armada, all moving to destroy it with heart-wrenching success, however, it allowed Retal to make a difficult decision which would ultimately turn the tide in our favor. "Tactical, CF 2 is finished, they won't survive. Order all ships to saturate fire on their position. God rest your souls, boys," ordered Retal. Our remaining nine armadas unleashed everything on CF 2's position. In seconds, it seemed as if space itself would be ripped apart. "Sir, CF 2 is gone, Sir, all enemy fighters and missiles destroyed, Sir. Sir, another Orion missile wave is inbound, intercept in forty-five seconds."
"Status on our attack force," commanded Retal. "Sir, our second missile salvo has just detonated on target. Two more Orion armadas destroyed, Sir. Our fighters are returning for refueling and re-arming. They report three additional Orion armadas eliminated, Sir!" Our third missile salvo ready for launch, Sir."
"Seven Orion armadas gone? They can't have much punch left. Give me an analysis of their missile inbound, Tactical." "Aye, Sir, inbound missile complement at forty per cent strength, based on initial inbound wave, Sir. There are no inbound Orion fighters, Sir."
"Then we have them! Launch third missile wave now! Re-sequence all PD targeting computers for standard defensive pattern, Tactical," ordered Retal. "Aye, Sir, third missile wave away, PD targeting computers on-line and ready to go, Sir!"
The greatly reduced second Orion missile wave never made contact with an Evon hull. Our PD wall destroyed all inbound with extreme prejudice. The remaining three Orion armadas fought bravely in their own defense, but our third full complement of missiles was simply overpowering, their own PD defenses now in shambles. Our first epic encounter with the Orions was a complete success.
"Tactical, target Orion I's defensive platforms with our final missile salvo. Launch fighters for support. Let's clear the way for our ground boys, they'll be here tomorrow and we want them to have a soft landing, OK?" said Retal. "Yes, Sir, happy to, Sir," beamed Lodan.
The next day came to pass and as planned, Betakamp came through the jump lane with four Battleoid army armadas at the ready. These were no weakling armadas. They were a full eighteen ships strong, six troop ships bristling with missiles, backed up with four additional IF ships, six PD ships and two Recon ships. There was no way that we were going to send in our ground units unprotected in space.
The Orions did not go gentle into the good night. While the planetary defenses were no more, they still mustered another ten armada TF to intercept us at Orion I. Our fleet now consisted of three IF armadas, three CF armadas and the aforementioned four Transport armadas. For all intents and purposes, this new configuration was far more powerful with respect to missile fire than was our previous attack fleet that consisted of only five IF armadas, although reduced in the number of available attack fighters. The two additional IF components were obviously the determining factor in the outcome of the second battle with the Orions. We took no casualties in this second encounter, as the Orions were unable to penetrate our improved PD wall (our transport armadas had more PD ships than did our attack armadas) and our increased missile count and fighter wave destroyed six Orion armadas in the first assault. The remaining four Orion armadas fled the sector before we could obliterate them completely. The planet was
open to invasion. "Betakamp, land your troops," commanded Retal. With a grin that portrayed sheer joy, Betakamp acknowledged from the bridge of his missile ship in armada Transport 1 with a simple "Aye, Aye, Admiral."
Betakamp had been correct in his assessment of the Orions' defensive capability on the planet surface. We were successful in establishing only a minor beachhead on the planet with the insertion of four full Battleoid armies. "Admiral, we will need reinforcements if we are going to take this planet intact. We have taken only one region from these beings and already I have lost a full Battleoid army. I am sending a request for four additional armies, one each of Battleoid, Armor, Mobile and Marine. These numbers and diversity should be adequate to allow us to succeed," stated Betakamp. "Acknowledged, Commander. Bring 'em in, we'll cover their ass,"
The next day, four more Transport armadas entered the Orion system, and again, the Orions moved to intercept, but much as the day before, they could not stop the Evon Empire. As before, Orion armadas were smashed by Retal's fleet and the remaining Orions fled for their lives, knowing the battle was lost. With the successful deployment of four additional armies, Betakamp was able to secure the planet, however, the battle was hard fought and took weeks to accomplish. Upon final acquisition of the planet, Retal opened a channel to Keetal back on Sente II.
"Sir, success, Sir. Orion I is ours. Request permission to advance on Orion II," stated Retal. "Well done, good friend!" said Keetal. "Pass on my congratulations to Betakamp as well. Permission to attack Orion II granted. Proceed in the any manner you see fit. Conquer the system. Make all of Orion ours! Make us proud!"
"Aye, Aye, Sir. Retal out."
There is much more to tell you. The battle for Orion and the destruction of our enemies in the galaxy is far from over. But that is for a little bit later.