The Evon Experience
by Alex Poff
Part 3 Chapter 2 Coilis and Vagn
It seemed that the Meklar had taken a page from the Psilons in their battle strategy. One has to remember that we are dealing with cold, calculating machines and not emotional living entities. The Meklar were obviously aware of our intent to capture their worlds instead of destroying them. They were also probably aware of the fact that we had a military superiority, at least in sheer number of warships available. To this end they then determined that the best way to stave off destruction was to simply not allow the incursion of Troop transports into their space. They would make all Troop transports their main battle target, with attack vessels strictly secondary in nature.
In Vagn, unlike Saswahn, the jump lane opened up in unfettered space allowing Coilis to at least push his Troop TF’s to the rear and center of his attack formation, providing maximum protection available. Unfortunately, it wasn’t always successful. While the entire Vagn system did fall to Coilis’s hammer, two Troop TF’s were lost.
The Meklar fought with an intensity that Labon could only attribute to their mechanical nature. He was uncertain if he would have been able to even give the order for so many to die in return for the destruction of a single Troop TF. The Meklar’s singularity of purpose was bereft of emotion, foreign to our way of thinking and therefore frightening. Lebak, ever the irreverent politician, put the battles into perspective. “Screw them! They never even made an attempt to open political negotiations with us when we met. To this day, we have still received no other formal word other than a declaration of war. Well, if it’s war they want, then they got it, as much as we can give them. Remind your men that they are only machines and not feeling beings if you must, but we will destroy them! Make certain of it!” Labon hadn’t meant to raise Lebak’s ire; he only wanted to point out some distinct differences. Regardless, he knew Lebak was correct. The Meklar would fall.
Labon quickly changed the subject to the Psilons. “As we speak, Sebak is traveling through allied space to reach Naam. His fleet should arrive there in approximately one week. What news on that front, politically,” asked Labon? Lebak visibly slumped in his chair. “Damn, I knew you would bring that up,” he said, grimacing. “We have unconfirmed reports from the Tachidi that Naam may not be the last outpost of Psilon civilization. They have informed us that the Psilons may share space in systems somewhere deep within the Meklar Empire, much as the Trilarians do.” Even Labon knew that wasn’t good news. Because the Psilons were the only other race that we had encountered that were humanoid, there was a distinct growing unrest amongst our people for waging war against “our brothers”. The initial argument about retribution and betrayal was beginning to lose its political clout, as these things tend to do within an advanced civilization. If our goal was to exte
rminate the Psilons and the Tachidi reports were true, then it would be a long time before mission completion and the political fallout had the potential to be enormous. Even though official political ties had been cut months ago, word still found its way to the streets that the Psilons were begging for mercy, were sorry for their misdeeds and were pleading for life and a second chance. Lebak stiffened. “The plan still stands. Take Naam from the Psilons. We will obviously investigate the Tachidi reports fully and if, and only if, they are true, will we then potentially reconsider our position.” Labon was a warrior in every sense of the word. If “Attack” was the order, then he would attack. Unless there was some unidentified military component to the strategy that Lebak and the High Council was unaware of, he would follow orders as directed.
“What about the Nommo,” asked Lebon? “Tovam has been experiencing multiple incursions in Draconis or a fairly regular basis now. According to reports, it seems to be much the same type of harassment we took so long ago back in Selia, but there have been casualties. Any official word?” “No, nothing official,” said Lebak. The Nommo seem like a pretty confused race. Just last week we had three different messages from three different ambassadors. One asked us to sign an Economic Trade Agreement, the second asked us to formally sign a Non-Aggression Pact and the third declared war on us,” snorted Lebak. “ I guess, technically, that means we are at war with them, but the High Council has no plans to invade.” “That’s good, at least for now,” stated Labon. “We have enough going on. I will notify Tovam to keep his defense fleet on full alert. It keeps him well-tuned, anyway.” “Right!” agreed Lebak. “OK, let’s
get back to work. Keep me posted on any major changes or happenings, otherwise, carry on.” “You got it!” Lebon said, smiling as he left the table. He had situation reports to read.
One of those reports dealt with Hektar and the Saswahn system. Jump lane travel was an inexact science at best. What we had been able to determine over our many years of space flight was that regardless of the number of ships traveling through a jump lane, all would be “deposited” safely at the other end in the exact same relative area of space, yet distinct, exact coordinates were never certain. This meant that ships already in the system had to give a somewhat wide berth to the “landing” area, lest another incoming ship be “dropped” in the exact same location by chance. Because the inbound jump lane from Anraq to Saswahn was so close to Saswahn II, the Meklar would simply rally their defense fleets about the planet and quickly attack any inbound Transport TF. The TF was always in a completely defensive position for at least a few seconds, enough time for the suicidal Meklar to make a concentrated attack run. Labon shook his head as he read the final report on the subju
gation of the Saswahn system. Five Transport TF’s, along with eight attack TF’s had been wiped out. The fact that we now controlled the system and had destroyed almost one thousand Meklar vessels in the process would be of little consolation to the families of our soldiers and sailors. There were a lot of condolences to issue. He didn’t look forward to any of them. “Damn, I am going to die in my post,” muttered Labon. He was right. Labon would be long buried and forever remembered before our Empire’s struggle would cease.