CHAPTER 20.1

Approx. 800 words

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2015   SJ

Chaos: Infinite Darkness

Call to Darkness

 

written by  SJ

 

 

    The mission on the small colony of Tiberia had just been completed. However, before reporting so, they all decided to stay an extra day so Tiberia’s Governor could thank them more officially, a banquet held in their honor. It would turn out that by staying the extra day, they would be would be in position for a very important call to action.
    Both shuttles were on the planet when they eventually reported their mission completed, then received their final orders to return to base. Once they had made orbit, double checked the Probes and the Navigational Beacon, and were positioning their shuttles for a space jump, they got the call, an emergency:
    “Hello...hello, Dion, are you there?” The General was very happy she hadn’t jumped.
    “LaFong? If you’re there, don’t start your jump drive yet?” Colonel Gallardo’s voice could also be heard.
    Lana and Melinda answered almost at the same time.
    Then the General began. “Only thirty minutes ago we got a call from the Far Star solar system. Cimarron was attacked by two Chaos warships. By all accounts, they’re the same ones that attacked Thanatos-4, the Pendulum of Doom and Alpharius’ ship, the Legion. They’ve knocked out the two planetary guns and ALL their communications...even the Navigation Beacon is gone.”
    “Are there any reports they have bombarded the planet?” LaFong needed to know.
    Almost at the same time, Melinda asked, “do you know what kind of damage the planetary guns did to the warships?”
    There was a delay, but the General understood both questions, and answered them in order. “The only bombardment we know of was to the planetary guns. Unfortunately, the Cimarron guns were VERY substandard and their crews even worse. I’m not sure if they even fired at all.” He sighed, deeply. “If you need to know anything more than I just told you, you’re going to have to find out for yourselves. We need both of you to go over there ASAP.”
    “LaFong.” Major Taliaferro’s voice was heard clearly. “When you arrive at Cimarron you’ll need to gather as much intelligence as possible. This is the first time Chaos has completely breached the defenses of a planet. We have no idea what they’ll do. We’re hoping you won’t just find bombed out cities. On the ground, Cimarron is not without its own Planetary Guard, mostly militia. But, with two hostile warships in orbit, they won’t last very long in a battle. I hope they understand that.”
    “Dion.” The General began giving orders. “What I want is for you to stay behind and retrieve both the FTL com satellite and the Navigational Beacon; take them to Far Star and use your own discretion at setting them up.” He sighed. “I hope the Tiberia colony will understand.”
    “I think they will.” Melinda answered without much hesitation.
    “We’ll send a regular engineering team over there with new ones in a couple months.” The General qualified his previous command.
    “LaFong, I don’t want you to wait. Jump as soon as you can.” The Major voice sounded urgent. “Report as soon as you obtain a preliminary report on the status of the planet from orbit. DON’T get caught by those Chaos warships!” He paused a second. “Once that’s done, get me a report on the ground situation as soon as possible. Before then, drop off Hodge, Shannon, and Ramos somewhere safe unless you ABSOLUTELY need them. They’re going to be needed with the Company when we arrive. The only hostile covert actions I want you to take is if Chaos try to set up their own planetary gun. Personally, I don’t think they’ll have the time. If Dion is able to get that Navigational Beacon in place, that should shave about three days off our jump time.”
    “If everyone is clear on what to do,” the General finished up, “and there are no more questions, then proceed immediately. Myself, Yarrick, and Major Taliaferro will be there with as many forces as we can muster in approximately five days...unless there’s no Navigational Beacon, then it’ll be more like eight days, maybe longer.”
    “General.” LaFong had a question. “What kind of bomb shelters does Cimarron have?” She sighed seriously. “I mean, once you guys arrive, we have to consider the possibility the Chaos ships will fire their compliment of torpedoes on one or more of the cities, then leave.”
    “You’ve just relayed our worst fear.” The General answered gravely. “Once you get to Cimarron,  I’m sure that question will be answered for you. Because...if all Chaos wants is to destroy us, then you’re going to find a lot of destruction...but, that'll be based on how many reloads of torpedoes they have.” Over the video link, he seemed to look right into Lana’s eyes. “God speed, LaFong. You’re about to answer one of our most feared questions.”



 

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