Part 25: StrategeryI should have known better than to trust the Alliance. Ava, escort the lieutenant to the brig.
I can't have you hacking into our ship's systems, lieutenant. Just whose side are you on?
You need the Alliance's help. You can't fight PACT by yourself.
Ava, the brig.
This way, lieutenant. We can have a nice chat while you're behind bars.
What the !
Proximity warning! It must be the PACT fleet!
Damn! They're here already? We'll deal with this later! Man your stations, people! Move!
On the bridge ...
Whats the situation, Ava?
The PACT invasion fleet has just warped in. Distance: 10,000 kilometers and closing fast.
They outnumber us nearly 1 to 6, huh Asaga, are our ryders ready?
All ready down here, captain! Just give the word!
I just hope our Alliance lieutenant doesn't stab us in the back out there ...
We're going to have to deal with that later. For now, I need all the ryders we have.
Yes, sir. I understand.
We're being hailed by the PACT flagship.
Put it through.
This will be far too easy!
Veniczar Porkchops. The Alliance has over a thousand more ships enroute to Far Port as we speak. Perhaps you should turn around now.
Fool! We will crush the Alliance just as we crushed the Neutral Rim! The future belongs to PACT! En garde, captain! For my mighty fleet will be the last sight you see before you are slaughtered like animals!
Charming as ever. Ava, the tactical situation, please.
Five PACT fleets approach our position.
What about the Legion?
It is holding position at the edge of Far Ports gravity well. It appears to be merely observing the battle. Cullen has employed a fully offensive fleet position. The two light fleets will effectively flank us from the sides, while the command fleet delivers the killing blow. The two cruiser fleets will provide reinforcements and engage in mop-up operations. Shall I give the order to the Second Fleet to scatter and begin hit-and-run operations?
Up until now, Cullen's only fought weakly defended Neutral Rim worlds and the remnants of the New Empire during the PACT Revolution. He's overconfident and underestimates us.
What are your orders?
We charge forward. Cullen's never dealt with an enemy who took the offensive. He may know how to overwhelm defensive positions, but he doesn't know a thing about stopping an enemy attack. By keeping his force split into five groups and committing all five to the offensive, hes rendered his command fleet defenseless.
While the flanking fleets are busy circling around, we'll commit all our ships to taking down fleet five before the cruisers in the rear get here. The Alliance's smaller vessels will engage the battleships and carriers at knife fight range and destroy them before Cullen can react.
Even with the command fleet gone, the remaining PACT fleet will still be formidable.
Our mission objective isn't the protection of Far Port, but the defense of the inhabited worlds deeper in Alliance space. With all of their command ships destroyed, the remaining PACT vessels will be unable to continue beyond us for a coordinated invasion of the Alliance worlds. Theyll have no choice but to retreat.
A daring plan, captain. But what about the Legion?
Well, let's just hope it's only here to watch the party. They won't commit the Legion to the battle if Arcadius is on board. He's too important to risk taking into battle.
Then let's hope that he's there watching.
Put me through to all our ships.
The enemy is at your gate. The Alliance now fights a war for its very survival. The task before us is great. We stand between PACT and billions of innocent lives beyond Far Port. And yet the enemy outnumbers us one to six. I have seen with my own eyes what PACT does to civilians. For those who we left behind, steel yourself for the coming fire!
After many years of bloody revolution, we have at last arrived at the enemy's gates. Tell me, my comrades, shall we let these capitalists live? Those that would let billions of children starve throughout the galaxy merely because there is no profit to be had? Those who would oppress the common people, all to maintain their decaying grip upon their empires? Let it be heard: Death to the aging men in their gleaming ivory towers! Death to the kings in their decadent throne rooms! All hail the revolution!
In the face of such odds, we will not scatter, but instead charge forward to meet the enemy head on! The enemy may have strength in numbers, but their numbers are meaningless when we outnumber them a hundred to one in mettle! For the defense of the inner worlds, we will march forward! Let the crimson fleet learn today the might of the free people of the Alliance! All units ... FORWARD!!