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Chapter 68 - The Administrator[]

Melissa System
Jade Falcon OZ
January 4, 3148

The 5th Talon Cluster and the 121st PGC hadn't been prepared for this. Really, who could be? The first warning that something was wrong, was a shower of meteors that moved far, far, too fast. Raking across the Starport, skipping the city next to it, striking the Governor's palace (but curiously missing the surrounding buildings) only to somehow magically strike HPG stations, comm relays, barracks, 'mech bays...and dropships.

Not a single military-capable dropship that was on the ground last night, was intact enough to lift by morning.

A series of 60 meter by one meter tungsten rods hit the Brian-castle-like former home of the 32nd Lyran Guards which housed the planetary control grid and most of the supplies for the 5th Talon Cluster. Effectively drilling through the mountain that the bunker had been built into. Warship-grade composites don't hold up against tungsten rods driven at 12,800 meters/second. The Castle, with the Planet's commander, was smashed and there was still no sign of the enemy.

The deep radar installations were also erased with similar methods.

Nothing, NUCLEAR. or biological, or even chemical. Just very, very precise ballistic calculations done with a lot of advance knowledge of where 'secret' routes and military facilities were.

And, of course, where units in garrison, or in the field, were.

Three AeroSpace Fighters managed to get into the air out of the aviation trinary.

Not three points or three stars...three.

These joined Star of aerospace fighters that were already in flight, launched to 'check out' a radar contact.

Identification of what was arriving at Melissia's Lagrange points wasn't hard. Sampan Mk II's were well known vessels from the Jihad. The Mark IIIs were frequently encountered and imagery taken by Merchant Caste at designated 'safe trade' planets. The paint schemes were even known. The Kowloon's Killer Whale, Mandaoaaru's Maori Mask, and the sunset of Inarcs. These were all well and truly identified by the recon/patrol fighters.

These were also well outside of the Quarantine Zone that was their home.

SB-27s and SL-19KR Kowloonese fighters were leaving the cutters and assuming an attack formation.

The only communication the Clan Jade Falcon pilots received, was in English, it was one line.

"Ah, so you want to resist arrest? We'll see."

Attempts to get clarification, to get any sort of response, were ignored. Instead, the forces burned in toward the planet, which was reeling, and when the Clan Aerostar tried to intercept...well?

The fight was ten to one, without counting the long-guns and missiles from the cutters.

Nobody even got a chance to scream in most cases.

Had the Clan pilots lasted longer, they would have seen transport jumpships arriving behind the Cutters, heavy with landing support dropships marked with the names of famous (or at least traditional) militias and units either originating within the Quarantine zone, or linked historically with it.

Months, in some cases, years of preparation for this. There would be 12 other invasions today, involving forces from the Quarantine zone and points rimward. Timing was a key element-effectively, all 14 strikes on this front were happening within the same minute, the invasion forces landing within twenty minutes of each other.

This is War Plan Green, Silver Variation P. Every single Jade Falcon military facility in this wave had been identified, the location plotted with orbital mechanics, kinetic weapons had been put into place and started-all with the intent of striking a simultaneous blow. Yeilds were calculated using geological and geographical surveys, to prevent collateral damage, courses set with calculus out to the sixteenth decimal, thrust applied with absolute precision, gravity field alterations calculated to within the 314th decimal. Troops had been screened, and trained, psychological factors were taken into account as well, to maximize the psychological impact, jump points were monitored for months to determine where antishipping strikes would need to in place, patrol patterns were analyzed.

Clan Jade Falcon did not expect to be struck in such a manner here.

Especially not with the warships converging on Coventry.

The dropships carrying the Kowloon 171st Volunteer Division were already plunging into Melissia's atmosphere, free of the threat of interception or air-defenses. By the time scouts on Pangkalan confirmed that the 1st Arlunan Marines Expeditionary Unit were grounding ships to begin anti-Clan mop-up operations.

When you have a population of billions, you can build a damned big arm. Even with an average expenditure of only 2.5% of the gross domestic product. For the last eighty years, the worlds of the Quarantine Zone have been getting reindustrialization help from Kowloon and the less-damaged worlds in the zone. Aggressive industrialization, deep industrialization, thorough development aimed at self-sufficiency and economic growth, while developing expansive militia formations that sometimes, saw a lot of action.

This fourteen world assault is only one of the diversionary tactics to cover LCAF's major strategic moves.

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