Star Force 82 Hradeiti (SF82) (Star Force Origin Series) (3 page)

BOOK: Star Force 82 Hradeiti (SF82) (Star Force Origin Series)
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Casper let the other two go first, then he stepped in and grabbed a huge sword and even larger shield, carrying both items in the mech’s mechanical hands as he followed the other two Megazords off down one of the city roads, having to punch their way through some tight spots and having little trouble doing it. They had a long walk, but they were so large that even a casual stroll propelled them along rapidly for an urban environment. Eventually the three came to the edge of an area where there was mech combat ongoing, with a formation of Tier 1s moving in and out of streets as they contended with some very heavy surface defenses that contained anti-air and anti-mech turrets.

      
And beyond those were even more stretched across the landscape. Behind them the orbital bombardment had taken out a lot of targets, but now that their firepower was fixing on the big anti-orbital guns only and would remain the case until enough of the sky could be declared safe for the drone fleets to get low enough to pulverize the threats, the ground team either had to wait months or deal with it themselves.

      
And the Megazords were their way of dealing with it in a quick and decisive fashion, especially when employed together.

      
The Godzilla-sized mechs walked right up to the enemy turrets with their physical shields blocking fire in front of them and slashed down with their massive swords, cutting through buildings with a single swipe or having to hammer away at energy shields for a bit before they eventually succumbed. One by one the turrets went down and this roadblock was eliminated, then the Tier 1 mechs moved in and continued to hunt smaller targets and make ready for the true infantry teams to come in and sweep each building, with so many of the structures it looked like an urban forest so widespread and dense that the lizards could hide out here forever.

      
But they couldn’t. The battlemap was a mess of free fire zones and no-go zones, making sure that none of the big mechs endangered the ground troops and that the lizards couldn’t hide behind enemy lines and spring an ambush later. Casper was asked to take down a civilian building while he was there and chopped it down to size in a short period of time. Why? He didn’t know, but he trusted the ground commander who’d requested it and didn’t ask for any further explanation.

      
He was one of the giants roaming the cluttered landscape and couldn’t get involved with the actions of the ants below him, so he focused on his tasks and let the ants handle their work themselves while being there to take a big whack when and where requested. It was a team effort, and one that was only going to be ramping up in coming months.

      
Before he was done for the day he was directed to hack out a new landing zone on the perimeter, and into that rubble field a flurry of armored transports came down. Another group of Tier 1s poured out and the originals on site took their place on the ships, being carried back either to orbit or the main site for resupply and rest.

      
War was a round the clock operation and Star Force wasn’t going to waste a minute, and given the size and density of this planet’s civilization that was probably a good idea, for they had a hell of a lot of chopping to do to get this planet under control and the enemy threat neutralized.

      
Even in a Megazord you had to take it one blow at a time and trust in the plan, otherwise you’d be overwhelmed with the sheer impossibility of it all. But little by little they’d get it done, and some day down the road, years from now, this planet would belong to Star Force.

      
Right now though, Casper had a few more buildings to smash before he headed back to base and someone else took his place playing demolisher.

      

 
      
Paul had waited the additional months after establishing a foothold on the planet until combat on the shipyard ring finally came to a close. They’d been killing billions of lizards up there for years now, but the enemy had eventually run out of ring and the last column connection had been blocked off. With no more reinforcements arriving the last of the opposition had been killed off and the column sealed, leaving the shipyard fully in Star Force’s hands.

      
When that happened Paul knew it was time to go. He still worried about a lizard counterattack on this system, but so far none had come and he couldn’t wait any longer. Some more regular fleets had arrived to supplement the system’s defenses and guard the ground troops as they made an ever increasing bid to eradicate the lizards from the planet, so Paul felt comfortable taking two thirds of his surviving fleet out of planetary and stellar orbit and assembling them at an exiting jumppoint. Megan and Jack would be staying behind to oversee the further conquest of this system but Paul had to leave with the bulk of the advanced fleet he’d been given.

      
Knowing that the system was in good hands short of a massive reinforcement effort, he assembled his jumpships with their drones tucked safely onboard and jumped out, heading across several other lizard systems and knowing that they would probably relay their presence ahead of their progress via the lizards’ interstellar comm system but this time it didn’t matter, for there were already Star Force warships at their destination system.

      
They didn’t control stellar orbit, so rather than fight a large scale battle there Paul had his fleet make a very slow final jump and come out in middle orbit far from the star in the center of the Jenspat System where Roger had been whittling away at the lizard fleet for years. It was also a core world with an equally large defense fleet that had subsequently been reduced by over a third despite the ongoing construction taking place. Convoys were still coming and going, bringing in raw materials and taking out finished products, new ships, and more ground troops. None of them were heading to the system Paul had left, but obviously the lizards were still reinforcing something somewhere, as Roger had been informing him all along via a relay seda that had been sitting in this system and keeping the three naval masterminds in delayed, yet constant contact with one another.

      
It took a long time for Paul’s fleet to come out of its jump and get assembled, with some of Roger’s ships waiting for them and driving off any lizards that finally found their way out to their arrival point. No massive response took place, for the lizards didn’t seem to be trying too hard to kill Roger’s ships, mainly buying time to keep their shipyard rings active, for this system had two planets with rings, and they desperately needed to keep the supply chain flowing. So long as Roger didn’t make any massive assaults against infrastructure or try to blockade the star the lizard fleets held position and had taken on a defensive posture aside from some constant light probing actions against the invaders.

      
But now it was time to change that, so once Paul’s fleet got assembled he coordinated with Roger and moved down into stellar orbit and hit the lizard fleet there straight on. No subtlety or tricks, just a direct assault that had him and his Dre’mo’don-heavy drones cutting like a buzz saw through the enemy that Roger had done a good job of reducing in number. That, combined with the increased ship count thanks to Paul’s fleet, gave Star Force an advantage it wasn’t going to squander.

      
To their credit the lizards didn’t blink, nor did they just sit back and watch. They reinforced the star, deciding to make their stand there and try to overwhelm the combined Star Force fleets. It was really their only play, for if they didn’t go all in and stellar orbit was taken, their convoys should shut down and this system would be off the grid anyway, after which point all they could do was hope to take some of the Star Force ships with them as they were eventually destroyed.

      
To the rest of the lizard empire the system would have been lost as soon as it was cut off and the two rings were no longer accessible to the trade routes. Time now was on Star Force’s side, with a blockade equaling a win, so the lizards went for one final hammer blow and met Roger’s and Paul’s fleet at the star and engaged in the largest fleet action to date.

      
The battle lasted more than two weeks with neither side pulling back. Paul lost more than a quarter of his drones, but the rest of his fleet was still standing, many damaged, but still standing afterwards. Roger’s fleet was also hurt, but between the two of them there was more than enough firepower left to roam the system and start trashing any and all lizard infrastructure they could find, starting with the battlestations and working their way on from there.

      
They plucked the defenses from the two shipyard rings then left them be, with Roger’s fleet taking up a blockade mentality and simply sitting on the system to deny the shipyards access to outside resources rather than trying to destroy them. The huge ground invasion in Menchet was sucking up a lot of ground troops as it was and Star Force wasn’t going to open up another just yet. Until they did Roger was going to keep this system under his thumb and pick away at their planetary defense where he saw fit, with a second lizard core system now off their industrial grid.

      
Meanwhile Paul took his reduced fleet away to strike at the third system under siege and reinforce Liam, fulfilling their original battle plan and taking that core world off the grid as well. All three systems still had billions, if not trillions of lizards inside them and decades of hard fighting left to correct that problem, but they were no longer of any use to the rest of the lizard empire, and with four ring shipyards no longer pumping out ships for their use the power rating of the rimward half of lizard territory took a significant hit, though was far from out of the game.

      
It would take years more for Star Force to rebuild their assault fleets enough to hit another core world, but the massive reinforcements that Paul, Liam, and Roger knew would be a pain in the ass never manifested. It seemed the lizards were in damage control mode even though nearly all their core worlds were still untouched. They could see the writing on the wall, though, and there was something elsewhere they were more interested in supporting, with their obvious intention being to keep their core worlds pumping out ships and troops until Star Force got around to shutting them down one by one.

      
That would take decades, if not centuries, to accomplish, but the scales were already beginning to tip and the snowball effect wasn’t going to be too far behind.

      

 

 
      
3

 

      

 
      

 
      
June 3, 3119

      
Menchet System (lizard core)

      
Tess

      

 
      
Dak Lenson drove his construction mech across the shaved bedrock, the two massive feet of the machine stomping down on a powder of crushed pebbles that covered the solid stone. Above him the sky was visible over a ring of mountain ranges surrounding the huge reclamation site…except they weren’t mountain ranges. Up at their peaks was actually ground level with Star Force having dug down, not into the planet, but into the undercity the lizards had built in order to completely erase their footprint from this world.

      
That was a
huge
undertaking, but Dak was just one of millions of personnel that had been brought in to the system to start chipping away at that task, despite the fact that on the other half of the planet the war was still ongoing.

      
That bothered him a bit on arrival, but he’d been here four years and hadn’t seen a single lizard that entire time. The army was gradually taking more territory and leaving even more lizard cityscape for the construction crews to disassemble, and while there was still danger it was commonly known that the enemy no longer had any starships to travel with and the airspace was locked down around the border regions. Taking out these bastards was apparently extremely hard work, with portions of low orbit still inaccessible due to big guns on the planet’s surface, but with every day that passed the lizards were getting ground down and the inevitable was coming.

      
It could be another decade before this planet was finally clear, so Dak didn’t complain about his own task. It was tedious, but nothing compared to the headache the troops were having to endure.

      
He drove his mech down a familiar path now, carrying a box that was actually made up of two giant hands. When he got to his destination he reached the box out over a platform and rotated the wrists on the mech, cracking the box and letting the infrastructure debris fall down into the energy field. That kept it from hitting and breaking the apparatus on impact, as well as funneling it over to a conveyor. Dak turned his mech around and passed several others, heading back to the constantly moving debris line to pick up another load as the pieces of crushed building that he had deposited on the moving road sped off into the distance.

      
From the air they appeared to move slowly, a tiny rivulet of material traveling down a line that intersected with others, each time combining their recycling streams into larger ‘rivers’ that traveled hundreds of miles across the landscape through valleys already carved out of the lizard infrastructure. Those exposed areas of bedrock were spreading out off a vein-like network as the mashed materials eventually flowed to the base of one of the shipyard ring’s columns.

      
It, like all the others, had been chopped off by the lizards before Star Force could make use of them. Luckily none of them had fallen down to the planet, held aloft by their tenuous connections to the ring itself, but this one had been repaired, somewhat, with several visible structural components propping up and reconnecting the column to the substantial foot that extended much further down into the bedrock than had been excavated.

BOOK: Star Force 82 Hradeiti (SF82) (Star Force Origin Series)
8.61Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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