The Evon Experience
by Alex Poff
Chapter 17 Liberation and Destruction Part 2
Labon was generally pleased with the situation. So far, all was going according to plan. While the Laaran did send additional TF's to the Laan system, their quantity never exceeded four. Labon had the production facilities working night and day to re-supply and augment our forces in Laan and Hektar had been able to hold off the Laaran fleets and continue the assault on the remaining five planets in the Laan system.
The Laan system, you see, was a double-edged sword for our empire. As mentioned long ago, it was in a "ring" of three systems to the north of Ognath. By taking the Laan system, we were effectively cutting off the remaining two systems in the ring from Laaran trade, but it also allowed Laaran attack TF's to launch from either side of the Laan system as well as still giving the Laaran direct access to Ognath from the other side of the "ring". This meant that Labon had to keep a fleet of TF's in the Ognath system for defensive purposes, should the Laaran attempt a supply-line cut maneuver themselves.
"No matter" thought Loban to himself. " I simply can't believe that the Laaran are that smart." They certainly hadn't showed it to date, at least.
The Laan system was, seemingly, becoming well in hand. Two more planets had fallen to Sasktewel's troops, a fourth had already been re-colonized with Evon civilians and a fifth had also had the silicoid scum exterminated and was awaiting the arrival of our next colony ship. The sixth and final planet was to be glassed as well, and one more bombardment from space would do it. "A good thing" thought Labon, and "About time." as well. The ongoing battle of attrition with the incessant Laaran TF's that continually tried to retake the Laan system was beginning to show cracks in our "armor". Hektar was down to five TF's and our production facilities could not keep up with the demand from Labon for more ships. Two TF's were in Ognath now (two cycles travel from Laan) and only one more TF was going to come on-line in the next cycle. In addition, because we had exhausted our supply of ships in reserve, it would now take a minimum of two cycles to create additional TF's. It was then that
"Red Alert - Proximity Warning" sounded the alarm. Hektar was becoming increasingly annoyed with that damn alert. “When are those damn rocks going to back off?” Unfortunately, the answer was, apparently, never. The sight that Hektar saw would have made a normal man puke. A full ten TF fleet of Laaran war ships was bearing down on him fast. Hektar launched all his missiles and ordered his ships to the far side of Laan VI. This would buy him some time so he could see how effective his initial salvo would be against their hulls. Unfortunately, Hektar didn't get the answer he wanted. Only one Laaran TF died in the initial salvo, the remainder of his missiles were chewed up by what seemed like a literal lightning storm of PD weapons. The Laaran had obviously developed a new weapon. There was nothing Hektar could do. Already, massive quantities of Laaran missiles were tracking to his position and sensors were also picking up multiple fighter signatures. Hektar radioed to Labon in Ognath tha
t he was going to have to withdraw. He had just relayed the message when the first wave hit his five TF fleet. With PD weapons blazing, Hektar headed for the jump lane. Once safely inside, ship-to-ship communication confirmed that one TF had been lost, they never made it to the jump lane. Hektar was despondent. Laan VI and the Alkari were all alone, and God help them in the eye of the Laaran storm.