Cazov - Interlude 2

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Cazov - Interlude 2

Postby Zume on Sat 01 Mar 2014 09:29

This story takes places in the period after the Axis War.

Cazov Interlude 2 – The War in the Sandbox

After a period of searching Dictatum Smelnus found Dictate Mondo, benevolent leader of the Cazov, in the palace workshop. He was working on his robot, RMNX3742 (a.k.a. Stupid 2), on the reclining bench. It had been a quiet four weeks since the robot was consigned to the workshop, allowing the palace staff to repair damage done to the floors and furnishings from Stupid 2’s linoleum knife feet. As for the reason why Mondo had the robot on hiatus became clear as soon as Smelnus eyed the contraption. “Dictate, pardon me if I’m wrong…”

“You’re wrong,” said Mondo, removing the two pairs of welder goggles from his eyes. “It’s not a new robot. I’ve just given Stupid 2 and much needed upgrade.”

“Indeed.” Smelnus noted how the robot was sheaved in an outer casing of clear plastic, very much like an anatomy mannequin used in medical schools. Not only did this protect the wiring and exposed components it also provided proper feet. “I see that you’ve dispense with the linoleum knives.”

“Yes. Stupid 2 kept kicking them off. One of them hit my official portrait.”

“Not to mention those five people at the party,” Smelnus said under his breath.

“What was that?” Mondo demanded.

“Not to mention the five pies in the pantry,” Smelnus said briskly.

“Ah, yes, I remember what happened to them. Anyway, you have the latest survey report for me? The briefing on our new war is in an hour.”

“Most certainly, Dictate. Only three new surveys have been completed as the bulk of survey assets have been called forward to support our efforts against the Imperium. The three systems were all red dwarfs with misery amounts of asteroid belts and gas giants. However, on one of the moons of a gas giant an alien ship was discovered. Inside was found a most unusual object. By moving a toggle to various settings and twisting the upper half the object transformed into numerous items. Among the items were a telescope, laser pistol, rocket board, and a total conversion beam.”

“Oh, that sounds frightfully excellent, Smelnus. The implied ultra-compact power source must have an output that surpasses that of a dozen ships. How soon can we expect that item to come here?”

“Never, Sir. The last configuration found was that of a user interface inhabited by a sentient AI. It learned our language rather quickly, and when it was asked to show its most powerful setting it transformed into a disruptor bomb disguised as another hand weapon. The resulting blast killed the surface survey team, the alien ship, and produced a three-kilometer wide crater.”

“Why is it our survey teams can’t stop while they’re ahead? While we’re on that topic, Smelnus, how are negotiations proceeding with the Sunrise Hegemony?”

“An important development has occurred, Dictate. In fact, your briefing will now be concerned with two new wars instead of one.”


********


It had been a promising start. Having studied and interacted with the biped Gander the survey commander thought that handling the Ghern, the race that comprised a star-faring nation called the Sunrise Hegemony, would be easier. In the weeks that followed the translation matrix had run its course. While the commander acted upon his authority to offer a trade agreement the officer on the Hegemony side delivered his government’s response. In the commander’s eye the officer wore a loud and gaudy uniform with large epaulets and enough gold braid to jump rope with. Complete with something called a ‘Fez’ on his head the officer went on a tirade. Gesturing abruptly and thumping his chest the officer said that there wasn’t going to be any dealings with the Dictate aside from that of the business end of a sprint missile launcher. The Hegemony had declared war on the Dictate, and before closing the channel the officer expelled a large wad of foamy spit at the video pickup.

The 4th Exploratory Squadron was comprised of three Graph cruisers (one refitted) and five Carryover corvettes. While the corvettes remained in the outer system to continue the survey effort the commander had taken the cruisers to the inner system where contact was made with the Hegemony. When the war declaration was made the Graphs were just 7.5 light seconds from the flotilla, comprised of one explorer, 22 escorts, 2 destroyers, and a solitary light cruiser. All save for the explorer moved at maximum speed with the escorts and destroyers closing the range on the Graphs. Crafty and wanting to see what the enemy had in the way of weapons the commander turned about at full speed and opened fired when the range to the escorts dropped to 4 light seconds and only then had his ships fire as singletons. He also showed that his ships were as maneuverable as the escorts, keeping them in the arc of fire for his launchers. Half a minute and light second later one escort had a hull breach and was slowed to a speed matching the Graphs. At 3 light seconds distance the cruisers fired their external loads of standard missiles, crippling three more escorts.

Once the range dropped to 2.5 light seconds the 18 untouched escorts fired quite primitive sprint missile launchers, scoring two hits on the Graph with the new shields. After another exchange and seven more hits the commander allowed the embattled Graph to use its ECM system, causing the escorts great consternation for they had no knowledge of such a thing. Also the commander permitted the use of antimatter warheads. The lack of point defense on the small ships was telling for gradually one by one speed-crippled escorts fell behind the formation and out of the fight.

It kept up this way for the rest of the battle. Once the destroyers revealed that they had lasers they became targets upon entering effective sprint missile range. The refitted Graph was destroyed, followed by the second. In that time the battle with the dwindling escorts was at point blank range, and here the commander had the last cruiser (the one he was on) use the full potential of the advanced maneuvering system. Kept out of the Graph’s blind spot, the escorts were punished by antimatter fireballs.

When all was said and done it was the Hegemony officer that called it a day. He detailed the sole Vopo explorer attached to his flotilla to follow the last Graph at maximum tactical scanner range. While just six escorts were destroyed 11 of them, and one DD, had to be abandoned and scuttled for their live support systems couldn’t be repaired. Of the rest 3 escorts repaired their weapons and along with the other DD and CL fell back to the Tuscan system to stand guard at the warp point. The remaining cripples were sent to the nearest space station in Tuscan for repairs. Meanwhile the rest of the Vopo survey force formed a chain so that when the Cazov CL used its entry warp point that fact could be communicated back.

Despite what transpired the Hegemony Enforcement Fleet was still confident. Two additional flotillas, sitting on the other side of the warp point of the system of contact, were called forward immediately once the Cazov’s warp point was found. So it came about for the first and only warp assault performed by the HEF. The support group for the Cazov survey squadron had covered their side of the warp point with a shell of mines 300 patterns strong backed by 60 force and 60 energy beam buoys. While the sole tender wasn’t able to achieve action stations in the brief battle the mines did their job. 20 Stasi escorts were destroyed, one of them by the external antimatter capital missiles on the assigned tug and escort destroyer. Just two escorts, both destroyers, and the light cruiser remained on the far side. Showing prudence, the commanding officer had his ships fall back to the Tuscan system to bolster the warp point defenses.


********


Already engaged in a war with the Hokum Imperium the forces allotted to handle the Hegemony were meager but judged adequate to handle an obviously inferior enemy. Admiral Mephitic, assigned to the newly created Boarder Task Group, immediately went on the offensive. The first pinnace to probe the Tuscan warp point was destroyed, but the second returned. It showed nine type-2 bases surrounding the warp point at a range of 0.25 light-seconds. Further out at 1.25 LS were 12 type-1 bases. At the 2.5 LS shell were 12 type-2 bases. In each case the bases were arranged in pairs while the close in ones alternating between pairs and singles. As for mobile forces they were in a single group 2 LS out and comprised of 2 CLs, 4 DDs, and 16 ESs. No weapon buoys were present. Incredibly there’s what appeared to be a mobile yard docked to one of the close-in type-2 bases. Mephitic was intrigued by this and planned to have the ship captured if conditions allowed it.

The Cazov warp assault followed two days later. In the first wave four Particle Collider CTs, one Dynamite Fishing BB and a Mine Swatter BC emerged on random vectors, finding the suspected mobile yard was still attached to the base. Transit-addled fire took out two of the close-in bases and it was just as well for the quartet that did go active were armed with six old style lasers each, destroying two CTs and carving deeply into the Dynamite Fishing’s armor. The other two CTs transited out and were replaced by six Saturation cruisers. Launching their rack-mounted gunboats as they emerged these cruisers fired anti-matter sprint missiles and with the Mine Swatter attending they massacred the other seven laser bases and one gun-armed type-1. It came at the cost of the Dynamite Fishing and one Saturation.

As for the Hegemony mobile forces they continued to close on the warp point, now one LS distant. They were in time to be greeted by the third wave. Comprised of Mephitic’s flagship, the Neutron-M battleship Galaga, two Containment cruisers and three Laser Sweep destroyers, these newcomers focused on the mobile units and lost one Laser Sweep in the process. The 18 second wave gunboats exacted revenge by obliterating the eleven remaining gun-armed type-1 bases.

Now orientated, the Saturations left the warp point in two groups and with maximum ECM. Against this the Hegemony ships missed far more often than hitting. Still they did damage to another Laser Sweep, and instead of advancing with the others when they got their bearings this ship transited out. Gunboats launched from the third wave ships went to finish what the second wave ones started on the missile type-2 bases. Two gunboats were lost. On Mephitic’s orders all Hegemony warships were destroyed. As for the crippled bases they self-destructed, just leaving the mobile yard which had escaped destruction. No recoverable records were found, but instead of disposing of the ship Mephitic had it retained as a war trophy for the Dictate.

The battle confirmed the fact that the Hegemony definitely had a much lower technical level compared to that of the Cazov. Had they possessed mines then they would’ve used them, not to mention weapon buoys. Survey ships were used as scouts and it wasn’t long before colonies were detected on the two moons of the system’s third gas giant of the primary component. There, to Mephitic’s glee, was an assemblage of Hegemony ships over the second moon. Keeping company with the small space station and two type-2 bases were 66 escorts, 6 destroyers, and 3 light cruisers. Against this was the Boarder Task Group, comprised of the battleship Galaga, two Containment CAs, a Cooling Tower BC(Ra), two Chain Reaction CAEs, twelve Gunship DDs, three Laser Sweep DDs and 63 Tornado gunboats. With a 50cm ruler he used as a swagger stick Mephitic issued fat-assed belligerent orders. First he had his ships close to 4.5 light-seconds from the enemy. The pair of type-2 missile bases were singled out and fired upon by the Galaga’s datagroup and that of the Cooling Tower. External rack-mounted antimatter capital missiles and internally launched standard missiles plastered both bases, destroying one and leaving the other with just one operable launcher. Mephitic released his destroyers and gunboats while his larger ships followed at a more sedate speed. Long-range x-ray laser fire lacerated one Hegemony CL in the first exchange of energy fire.

It was pure slaughter. Once within sprint missile range the destroyers employed maximum ECM and erratic maneuvering, compelling the Hegemony ships to advance and use EM as well. The gunboats fired their stand-off missiles at optimum range, crippling 19 escorts and by pure chance destroyed two. Closer in the gunboats finished what the ships started, leaving a smattering of cripples that had only managed to break the armor of one Gunship DD and collapsed its hold. Long-range missile fire brought down the shields of the space station, allowing Cazov shuttles to land on its hull and disgorge boarding parties. Mephitic ordered the remaining Hegemony ships to surrender, and of the 10 ES, 4 DD and 1 CL left only one Stasi failed to self-destruct. The station had no useful records so it was destroyed along with the escort.

Further investigation found that the system was fully exploited. In the inner system a habitable world had a Hegemony population of 290 million. After the first demand for surrender was ignored Mephitic had one of the three ground bases destroyed with antimatter warheads. The 30,000 troops that formed the initial army contingent was called forward and landed. Against this, and with periodic kinetic bombardment support, the Hegemony army units were scythed like so much wheat. The population surrendered one month later.

By following a trail of buoys scouts found a cluster of bases around a second warp point that had the same numbers as the first. Mephitic detailed a survey corvette to watch them and to interdict supply shuttles, letting the bases degrade over time until the crews agreed to Mephitic’s demand to abandon and destroy said bases. A second trail of comm buoys and small bases lead to the discovery of Tuscan’s third warp point. A shell of 300 mine patterns was placed around this warp point, and with the Boarder Task Group in attendance Mephitic waited while his assault assets were upgraded to incorporate lessons learned from the first warp assault.


/Excerpt from Cazov Destroyer Captain, by Fumenous Harna/

It had been a steady month of activity for me and my ship, the Flintlock. Along with the other two ships in my division we destroyed Hegemony spaceports and support bases in the Tuscan system's secondary component, our assigned gunboats ferreting them out in a fraction of the time it would’ve taken our ships alone to accomplish. Once this task was done we were recalled to the Tuscan/Veneto warp point.

Pinnaces proved that there were no mobile units around the warp point to contest our entry, but the defenses were stronger at 12 laser, 12 gun and 12 missile bases. Two refitted Dynamite Fishing BBs, 2 Mine Swatter BCs and 2 Saturation CAs, along with 56 Tornado gunboats, were assigned the task to destroy the defenses. We lost one Dynamite Fishing and 18 gunboats. While lighter than the losses we experienced for the Tuscan assault it was felt that the battleship could've been saved had its armor been stronger. To that effect Mephitic ordered the remaining three Dynamite Fishing minesweepers to undergo another refit, trading in three of their launchers for additional armor.

My destroyer division was assigned a scout and ordered to investigate the moons of the solitary gas giant. Upon arrival we found a small space station and two missile bases over the second moon along with one destroyer and 11 escorts. While my Flintlock and its two companions could take on such a force and win the resulting damage would deny Mephitic an important resource. So to improve the odds our scout, a refitted Particle Collider corvette, eased into our 5.5 light-second orbit from the bases and commenced firing with its solitary capital missile launcher. With antimatter warheads the scout destroyed one base and proceeded on the next when the Hegemony force, apparently deciding it had seen enough, broke from its holding position and started to close on our ships.

The division was ready. All nine Tornadoes were launched and moved on the Hegemony ships. Changing targets, the scout fired at the DD to assist in its demise. Our destroyers followed with ECM generated to suit the situation. It was like the battle in Tuscan in miniature. The DD was destroyed by the gunboats’ stand-off missiles before it had the chance to use its laser against our ships, and by staying out of laser range of the space station we avoid damage from that direction. However, before dying, the escorts broke the shields to my Flintlock and did light damage to its armor. We pulled back, letting the Tornadoes, still armed with partial loads of FRAMs, to take out the remaining base and space station. One Tornado was lost, and both targets remained albeit with very heavy damage. The remaining gunboats were rearmed with stand-off missiles and finished the job. Afterwards the space port on the moon’s surface was neutralized, and once the memorial service for the fallen gunboat crew was conducted our ships retired to the Veneto/Lombard warp point.

Our enemy appeared to have placed a greater emphasis on populating every nook and cranny of their empire, and building flotillas of escorts, than upgrading their technology. Two other flotillas were encountered by our forces and summarily dispatched with ease. However the Hegemony was keen on refitting their fixed defenses as we found out in Lombard. Like in Veneto there were 36 bases divided evenly between the laser, gun and missile-armed varieties. One-third of the gun bases were armed with more powerful sprint missile launchers with two more being attended by mobile yards as observed by our pinnace probes. Two of twelve missile bases had an additional point defense, not so much for missiles but for against gunboats. Two flotillas were also in attendance. We lost two Saturation cruisers and 14 gunboats with six more ships damaged.

Having experienced three warp assaults, and witnessing that the ships used were the same ones as before, it’s hard to fathom why the Hegemony leadership failed to sued for peace. We were demolishing them with little effort and without having to call for additional ships. It might as well have been a war in a sandbox with us as the adults taking away the toys of an uncooperative child. On the worlds we’ve occupied the civilians were quite active in rounding up members of the government as well as the considerable number of police both public and secret, handing them over to the occupation authority. Only the diehard holdouts continued to resist us, and they were granted the death they so clearly wanted at the hands of our ground troops. I watched one such battle from orbit as we provided fire support with ‘dum-dum’ sprint missile rounds. Whenever artillery forced a concentration of Hegemony troops to retreat our orbital bombardment made them move in another direction like a ball bouncing off a wall. In one such coordinated dance a whole battalion was maneuvered to the edge of a cliff overlooking a deep canyon. With our tanks sent in for the final push the enemy troops were either killed where they stood or took their own lives by jumping over the edge. Well, no so much as jumping as marching in formation, though I think the troops on either side of the column, armed with machine guns, may have been a factor.

In Lombard we had the good fortune of finally capturing an intact database with relatively recent entries. We now know that the next system, Campania, had the same amount of fixed defenses guarding its warp point. More importantly the grav surge data on the entry point allowed for an orderly entrance. Pinnaces found the mobile forces to be yet another two flotillas plus change, for a total of six destroyers instead of the usual two. For the Campania assault Mephitic introduced a twist: our ships immediately moved off the warp point instead of waiting for the transit effects to wear off and advance as a group. This surprised the Hegemony ships, and while it came at the cost of one Dynamite Fishing, a Saturation, and 17 gunboats our victory was swift. My Flintlock bagged two escorts and a missile base while the Galaga vaporized three destroyers and the command cruiser.

Without slowing down our force moved into Campania. Mephitic dispatched the minelayer force to cover the other warp point. I was made the overall commander for the operation, an honor that acknowledged my division’s performance back in Lombard and Veneto. However, it was a practical and logical choice as I was senior to all the other captains. Gradually my credit was rising. Perhaps a cruiser command was in store for me after this little war, or, more likely, an assignment to an admiral’s staff. But I cannot dwell on such thoughts for long as my duties compel me to work.

Our scouts, moving faster, had located an enemy force heading for the second warp point. It turned out to be a convoy composed of a light cruiser, four destroyers, fourteen escorts, 8 freighters, two troop transports and a personnel transport. After weighing in all the factors it was possible to intercept the convoy before it reached the warp point if we moved at full tactical speed of our battlecruiser-hulled minelayers. I gave the order, and after three days we were in weapons range. My destroyer division was kept company by the task group’s only Cooling Tower escort cruiser, a pair of Chain Reaction escort cruisers, two minelaying BCs and an automated weapons control ship. As for the enemy, once they had our ships on their limited scanners, they released the warships to close in on us. This was a complete departure from the static stance they had used ever since Tuscan, where flotillas would be in orbit of those worlds with missile bases and space stations. In this instance all it served was to hasten their demise.

All fifteen Tornadoes were launched, and at 4.5 light-second range our cruisers and minelayers fired their external ordnance of antimatter capital missiles along with their internal launchers. The cruiser was wrecked, and the destroyers had variable degrees of damage. As for the one escort targeted it turned out to be one that had its launcher replaced by two primitive point defense mounts. Even so it was wrecked when it should have rightly been destroyed. While the minelayers broke off our other ships slowed and engaged ECM and erratic maneuvers. Our Tornadoes fired their stand-off missiles at the destroyers while the three cruisers began the process of stamping out the escorts. As expect the battle was a complete massacre for the Hegemony. The only damage we sustained was the loss of one Tornado from a point defense armed escort.

As for the convoy I ordered their surrender and was very surprised when they accepted. A boarding party inspected the computers of the personnel transport and obtained their full database, a major windfall. The crews of the freighters were moved to the transport with the now unmanned ships scuttled, taking with them holds full of supplies and materials needed to sustain the Hegemony war effort. I detached one Chain Reaction and had it shepherd the transport and both troopships back to Campania-A-2. Mephitic, engaged in reducing A-3’s orbital defenses, endorsed my proposal to allow the ships to land so they can release their passengers, all of whom were civilians as I was told. Later I found out I was wrong. With the cruiser watching the three ships were well within the reach of A-2’s defenses when they opened fire, destroying them in one swoop. As it turned out the ships were carrying government officials, police administrators, and certain senior managers of support industries and services. They were all thoroughly hated by the populace of A-2 and it was through a coup stage by junior officers that the defenses were seized. After this massacre the coup members announced their surrender and scuttled the orbital works and demolished the ground bases. As a result there was no need for ground combat on the planet.

I forwarded the data we gathered from the transport to Mephitic. Going through it myself I must say that our Admiral had a very tough row to hoe when it came time to invade the Hegemony home system.


********


The Ghern on the bases and ships guarding the warp point leading to Campania had a right to feel confident. Overall defenses were 50% stronger than those in the previous systems and the mobile forces had more staying power. Most of the bases had been refitted to reflect the lessons learned. More would’ve have been, but in light of the current situation all the assigned mobile yards were now in the mothball zone, bringing stored escorts back into service and refitting them. A month after Campania was invaded the leader of the Ghern, Bundle, addressed the defenders of the warp point. Wearing his leader sash and fez on an otherwise unadorned uniform, Bundle proceed to speak, gesturing and eating the scenery like a famished man. “History is made at night,” he said to them. “Character is who you are in the dark! The sun will never set on the Hegemony! With the fires at our disposal we will turn the Cazov into dollops of blood and iron for our mural of heroism! Then our sun will rise even higher so as to shine upon our glory for all to see! What is the greatest joy?

“The joy of victory!” said all the Ghern that heard Bundle’s voice.

“When is that victory?”

“Real soon!”

While Bundle wallowed in a sea of his own delusion it was Mephitic that had even greater reason to feel rightfully confident. Now faced with the enemy’s greatest strength he was about to utterly destroy it with a greater one of his own. While he could have used them at any point Mephitic held back using missile pods until there was a situation that truly warranted their use. Now was that time.

On the Ghern side of the warp point were 18 laser bases, 18 gun bases and 18 missile bases, all at the usual 0.25, 1.25 and 2.5 light-second shells and arranged in groups of three. As for mobile units it took the expenditure of 14 regular pinnaces to learn the truth. 6 light cruisers, 18 destroyers and 24 escorts orbited the warp point in six equally-sized groups like prowling chrome cats at a distance of 1 light-second. Keeping them company in that orbit were 72 cargo shuttles, 23 regular shuttles, and 4 cutters, all congregated like a cloud of bromide bees. Undoubtedly they were based on the 12 destroyer-sized freighters orbiting at 3.25 light seconds in groups of two. While they couldn’t hurt his gunboats all those shuttles could ram his ships. That would only be a minor inconvenience once the bases and ships were dealt with.

Two days after the last pinnace probe Mephitic sent in his missile pods. It was a solitary wave of 410 pods, and of that number 348 survived interpenetration. Having emerged in six separate groups the pods moved off the warp point. For the Hegemony crews they thought they were looking at a massive gunboat wave. They managed to shoot down 10 pods. Active bases and ships crash-launched their cutters and shuttles, sending them to the warp point to ram the impending emergence of Cazov ships. Because of that the shuttle crews lived to see the pods’ true purpose.

At 3.75 LS distance the pods turned so that they now orbited the warp point in a counter-clockwise manner. At that range they were beyond the reach of the lasers, sprint missiles and point defense of the defenders. Stabilized, the pods locked onto their targets and fired. 2,028 missile traces saturated the tracking plots of every Hegemony sensor readout. There were enough missiles to ensure the destruction of every type-2 base and 100% overkill of the type-1s. As for the ships they were able to engage some erratic maneuvering, improving their chances but really was just an act of futility. After the detonations died down just one ship survived. It was a destroyer and it owed to its survival to the fact that one of the three pods assigned to it was shot down and that its point defense performed perfectly. Despite that it only had its laser and two engine rooms to its name.

30 seconds after the massive purge of metal and flesh Mephitic sent in his ships. First to come through was his flagship, the battleship Galaga. It moved off the warp point at full speed in a subjective northeast direction, and in turn was followed by both Containments, the Cooling Tower and the two Chain Reaction escort cruisers. Those ships that could turned to face subjective north for what was following them required a clear field of fire. 46 shuttles, 141 cargo shuttles, and 8 cutters, moving at full speed, zeroed in on the Cooling Tower, filled with the murderous intent of ramming. 40 small craft stayed on target with 6 being shot down. The killer of many escorts lost its shields, armor, and everything up to its second launcher. Adding to the injury the last destroyer fired its laser, scouring off two more launchers before dying from the Galaga’s CAMs. Addled point defense fire from the other ships and launched gunboats took out 14 shuttles.

The still formidable cloud of shuttles pulled away and maneuvered for a second run as the second wave of Cazov ships entered. As for the Cooling Tower it turned again for a clear shot at its tormentors. This time the cruiser had its ECM up, and brought down 9 rammers, but that wasn’t enough and the ship splintered into oblivion. There was enough momentum for the remaining shuttles to go after a Containment. With better maneuverability and ECM only 10 shuttles locked on and just one hit the shields. The escort cruisers used their AFHAWKs for the only time in the war, bagging six shuttles. With the arrival of the third wave all the remaining shuttles and cutters had been destroyed. Just three more hits were made, this time on a third wave destroyer, the Flintlock.

Mephitic’s pride of accomplishment was tainted by the loss of the Cooling Tower. He was sure the rammers would go after the Galaga due to its value as his flagship. Also he figured that had the dedicated assault units gone in first then the Hegemony would’ve selected the modified Saturations. The loss was mitigated somewhat in that over two-thirds of the crew had successfully abandoned ship and were recovered. With 220 pods left Mephitic detailed 110 of them to one Bonnie Crabappleseed. Along with three Laser Sweep destroyers and a scout the ships were ordered to destroy the orbital works and any HEF ships encountered in Ghern’s second component. Mephitic took the rest of the Boarder Task Group to Ghern-A-3 in an attempt to emphasis to President Bundle the virtues of surrender.

It was not to be for events outpaced the Cazov admiral. Bundle was addressing his people on the result of the warp point battle. He brazenly lied on the details, claiming that the Cazov were dealt a pyrrhic victory. ‘Our world will become a fortress’ he said, telling his audience that more ground bases will be built to hold off the ‘monsters’ while new technologies were developed. At that point the studio bunker he was in was stormed by a mob of citizens and soldiers. With his security quickly overwhelmed Bundle was hauled off, in chains, to a courthouse nicknamed the Pit of Hell. It was here that Bundle was given a brief trial like the tens of thousands before him. And, like those thousands before, the verdict was guilty, and the sentence was death. As it was up to the judicial panel to decide on the manner of death they decided to put it up to a vote of those citizens in attendance. The result was reached rather quickly.

Near the courthouse was a hall holding an exhibition on farming and farm equipment. Now with hands and feet tied with rope Bundle was pushed into a thresher. This was a form of execution often performed on ‘disappeared’ people in secret labor camps throughout the Hegemony. It was a gruesome execution, and to complete the act the mutilated remains were collected and then deposited at the feet of one of Bundle’s many statues. For the next four days anyone and everyone that could make it to the spot spitted upon the decaying body parts and organs. When the stench and flies became too much the putrid pile and the statue were burned to the ground. The ashes were thoroughly dispersed so that they couldn’t become relics for people that harbor secret sympathy for the Sunrise regime.

So it came that when Mephitic appeared the provisional government surrendered the planet as well as all the other colonies and outposts in the system. A minimal occupation force was landed, mainly to secure nuclear materials and chemical weapons so that Hegemony fanatics couldn’t access them. Minimal forces were used in the Apulia, Sardinia and Sicily systems as well for the inhabitants had already purged or imprisoned members of the Hegemony government and various police forces.

The Cazov had a colony placed on Ghern Prime shortly after the war, serving at the center of control for the former Hegemony. Due to the full exploitation of all nine systems the revenue generated was fair despite the disparity in technology, but the Cazov were in no rush to upgrade their new possession. As for the Ghern themselves they were more concerned in forming a fair and accountable government than the minimally intrusive alien occupiers. So the late Sunrise Hegemony became a stable backwater that produced a dependable flow of goods and materials for the Cazov. The Dictate couldn’t have asked for more.


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Hegemony Enforcement Fleet Stasi Class Escorthttp://www.novacw.com/Hegemony%20Enforcement%20Fleet%20Stasi%20Class%20Escort.jpg
A refitted Stasi (as noted by the externally mounted missiles) moves past an asteroid outpost in the Campania system. Before the war Stasi escorts patrolled in every Hegemony system enforcing the will of the government.
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