The Evon Experience
by Alex Poff
Chapter 8 One War Ends, Another Begins
For five more years Tovam and Coilis waged their respective battles against the Tachidi and the Psilons. Both men and their fleets proved themselves in battle time and time again and Hektar was accumulating literally boxes of medals and citations that he was saving to hand out personally. In addition, he was looking forward to finally taking that vacation with his friend Coilis; such were the demands on his time in his new Vice Admiral position that moments of leisure were few and far between.
Hektar’s days were filled with High Council sessions and meetings with Lebak over military and political strategy, as well as the constant border skirmishes that took place almost daily in systems like Juta, Eta Serpentis, Assellus and Beta Antares. The Meklar and Cynoids had not gone away; they had only been removed from our interior, cut away like an expert surgeon. But like a virulent virus, they kept coming back and hammering at our gates, trying to re-enter and fester. System commanders, like Keetal and Retal to name a few, had always been able to repel the invaders, but the battles still required attention, lest a crack in our armor be exposed.
Coilis had conquered the entire Sulaban system and then moved on to the last dead-ended system, called Hooba, beyond and east of Sulaban. Hooba was a large eight-planet system shared, once again, by the Nommo and the Psilons. When the final planet fell to Kaytapa’s Battleoids, Coilis expected to soon hear news from Hektar, via the High Council, that the Psilons had been finally eliminated as a political entity. Unfortunately, it was not to be.
“What do you mean, there are more of them?” he sneered. “Yes, my friend, unfortunately, they are not dead yet,” replied Hektar. “Our Non-Aggression Pact with the Klackons has enlightened us to one last remaining Psilon system made up of three planets located deep in the extreme south of the galaxy and deep in the heart of Klackon territory. It is their last hiding spot, so to speak. Fortunately, we should have unfettered access to them, as long as our Non-Aggression Pact with the Klackons holds. Once Tovam finishes up with the Tachidi, the path to the last Psilon system is fairly straightforward. I don’t have the star chart in front of me at the moment, but as I recall, it is simply a matter of traversing approximately six Klackon systems.”
“ So where does Tovam stand now?” asked Coilis. “The Exis system has fallen. Tovam is currently involved in a major battle for the Tolaris system. It’s the Tachidi’s 2nd last, has only one massive size 12 planet in it, and he has reported that the Tachidi have a minimum of five Battleoid armies on the surface, heavily dug in. The Tachidi’s defense fleets have been destroyed, but they are continuing to attempt to reinforce the planet with ships from Grotius, their last system. Tovam has stationed his fleet at the jump lane exit point and is annihilating any enemy ships that attempt to enter the system. The Exis Viceroy has already completed the repair of the systems’ Mobilization Center, so Betakamp has been able to get quick access to reinforcements for his ground troops. His latest report indicates that success is inevitable, if only hard-fought.”
“Wonderful! I assume that it will be full speed ahead to Grotius once Tolaris falls?” asked Coilis. “Exactly. No let-up whatsoever. The Grotius system is actually co-owned, with three planets belonging to the Tachidi and four belonging to the Klackons,” stated Hektar. “With only three smaller worlds left, I can’t imagine that it will take much time before we soon see the day that the Tachidi are no more. Once taken, we can then set our sights on the last Psilon system.”
“Sounds to me like there’s time in there for a little vacation, right?” smiled Coilis. “You bet your ass!” laughed Hektar. “And remember, you’re buying, right?” said Coilis. “Right you are, old friend. Assign Jatan to head up the defense fleet in Beta Antares, our chokepoint to the Klackons, and then get your butt back here to Sente II. There are about three billion people here who want to welcome one of our Empire’s greatest war heroes home, including, I’m sure, some lovely ladies at the Pleasure Dome,” laughed Hektar. “Looking forward to it, buddy! I’ll see you at home inside of a week,” said Coilis.
“Red Alert – Proximity Warning” screamed the sensor. “Tactical analysis, now!” ordered Tovam. Tovam and his fleet had just warped into the Grotius system having finally, after four long months of furious ground assault, conquered Tolaris Prime. “Bad news, Captain. Just as you conjectured, the Klackon defense fleet is forming up along side of the last of the Tachidi forces,” replied his tactical officer. “Stupid, senseless bugs. Don’t they realize that they are only sealing their own fate? Why throw in with the Tachidi now? It’s over,” he mused, half thinking, half talking out loud.
Tovam was obviously prepared for this eventuality. After the surprise attack by the Psilons in Gadoquat years earlier, Tovam now expected the unexpected at almost every turn. It was a key factor in his incredibly small losses of ships and crew in his many battles with the bugs. Regardless, this was now going to be a battle of much greater magnitude, now that the Klackons had broken the treaty.
The additional force brought to the battle by the Klackons did, indeed, cause concern. The bugs attempted a pincer maneuver, sitting back with two CF and IF TF’s each and advancing with three SR TF’s from both the port and starboard sides. With a total of six TF’s closing quickly, utilizing extremely long-ranged weapons, the damage they inflicted was rapid and severe. “Form up, form up! Prepare for incoming missiles and fighters,” called Tovam. Tovam split his attack fleet, with two CF and IF TF’s each on either side of his two Transport TF’s. Each foursome would be responsible for taking out the three SR TF’s that were inbound, with PD weapons on all vessels ready to light up the sky upon acquisition of the enemy missiles and fighters.
Our first missile and fighter waves had only just launched when the enemy’s beam weapons signaled their calling card. On either side of our formation an entire CF TF seemed to evaporate, imploding on themselves. “Those bastards have acquired the Disintegration Beam technology,” said Tovam aloud. At that moment, all our remaining ships rocked with the unleashing of multiple PD weaponry, ranging from our own long range Disintegration Beams, Phaser Beams and short range Lightning Generators as inbound missiles and fighter signatures were acquired by our targeting computers. “Status report!” bellowed Tovam. “Practically none of the enemy missiles or fighters have been able to penetrate our PD wall, Captain. Minor damage to some ships only,” replied his tactical officer. “What about their SR TF’s?” enquired Tovam. “Missiles have detonated on target, Captain. Our fighters are now engaging. We won’t be taking any more casualties from them, Ca
ptain. Sensors indicate two of three enemy SR TF’s are gone on both port and starboard, Sir. Fighters report target acquisition lock, expect to be able to engage remaining enemy CF and IF TF’s within moments, Captain.”
“Excellent! Lock missile tubes on the enemy IF and CF TF’s and fire at will. Let’s get a wave in on them before our flyboys get there. No use having our boys dodge our own missiles.” “Aye, Aye, Sir. Missiles away! Prepare for second round of inbound!” came the reply. Our PD weapons opened up again, blazing at the second wave of bug missiles that flashed through space, only to explode in a torrent of fire unleashed by Tovams’ remaining eight-strong TF fleet. Moments later, the last of the enemy fleet collapsed under a combined onslaught of Ionic Pulsar warheads and highly trained fighter pilots.
“Communications Officer, open a channel to Military Command. Inform Vice Admiral Hektar that, unfortunately, the Klackons have broken our Non-Aggression Pact. Inform him that we intend to take the entire system, as per standard attack protocols. Also, inform Jatan in Beta Antares of this development. He’s riding shotgun over the Klackon border there. I don’t want him to have any rude surprises,” ordered Tovam. “Too bad, though,” muttered Tovam. “Looks like we’re going to have a long, long row to hoe before we can finally get to those damn Psilons. We’re going to have to fight our way to them. Damn, I was looking forward to a rest, too.” Ah, well, he thought, there is always more work to do. “Get Betakamp on the horn. Tell him he’s going to have a few more planets to attack than we originally thought.”