Time: T-2 to 2nd Fura&Zy Assault
Alq watched the unfolding formalities from his quarters, the shuttle had touched down and the honour guard of 1st Fleet Marines were taking their positions to escort the arriving Officers and Dignitaries. Why they had bothered to come now was beyond him, Alq secretly hoped however...
That they had even the smallest idea what they were getting themselves into.
He opened his last message, setting it to play as he straightened out his uniform. Alq pondered over his choice of the standard command uniform against his elegant dress uniform that such situations usually demanded, but dismissed the thought quickly, focusing on the visuals that were unfolding from his latest message from Admiral Lorric, 2nd CRF.
While there was a message, everything was more focused towards a certain image. Hard to describe.., but it was somewhat comical. Two little figures, both appearing to wear an adaptation of the CRF Command uniform, in deep discussion.
The conversation appeared and faded quickly in little bubbles until a quote appears that both characters looked at. The quote even detailed who originally said it so Alq didn't even have to remember it himself, before one of the little figures turned around and slapped the other silly, before storming off.
The loop began to play again before it was abruptly stopped, "Bloody Lorric again..., that was a 1st Fleet only communique, damnit" He muttered, running his hands through his hair. "It's all good and well that we don't hide anything from each other, but if he isn't careful we won't be hiding the fact we can listen to pretty much everyone else as well for much longer".
He grinned for a moment, it was mostly due to Lorric's unique... personality that the Allied Forces had encountered such success with the war, his insight on both tactical and strategic plans had been invaluable with coordinating the frontier defence against the incursion. But at least his humour remained within the CRF, Alq didn't want to imagine the press fallout he'd have to deal with if someone else took offence, completely accidentally of course.
He spun on his right heel and headed out towards the briefing room to meet the arriving staff and to inform them of the upcoming actions the fleet was to be involved in.
Time: T+3 to 2nd Fura&Zy Assault
The reports were flooding in, the 1st CRF lead the assault into Polaris against the 2nd Fura&Zy fleet, and it was so far proving to be a success. The initial incursion went well, against stiff defencive resistance but the moment the 1st and 4th Sol Fleets transited into the system and the engagement, the enemy began to break apart left, right and centre.
"Battlegroup 3 is achieving gains against the flagship, her compliment is dwindling!"
"Compliments from Sol!" roared across the comm as two Fura vessels fractured before the SF flagship Hand of Absolution and the Silver Arrow, their compliment craft scattering and falling to the combined forces.
Their combined might overwhelmed all the defensive positions the Fura and Zy had erected in Polaris, the sheer amount of vessels and firepower they could bring to bear allowed them to pick and choose the entire course of the battle, and as a result, the enemy continued to fall. Eventually retreating deeper into Polaris, but essentially giving control back to the Allied Forces.
Time lost meaning for Alq after the initial incursion, all that registered now was the capture of the remaining Fura and Zy forces. They had failed to engage the subspace missile launch, but a heavy attack against the vulnerable fleet brought them to their knees.
Pondering the thought again, there was never any response from the 1st Zy when they some how arrived in Vega. Intelligence was able to report that the Zy were powerful, and could have been very similar to the Knights of Britannia regarding their loyalty and bravery. At least in Alq's mind anyway. He had hoped this would have allowed conversation between them then, and while it was much, much later in the war than originally wanted.
They were speaking now, with the remnants of the 2nd Fura&Zy being captured, Polaris returned to Allied control. The CRF handed over the transportation and security of the non-combatants to the 1st SF who were preparing to take them away from the recent combat zones and into more secure space. Allowing Alq to turn his attention towards Sol.
The Battle of Sol was barely beginning to turn in their favour, the surprise arrival of another 'super' fleet was bad enough, but slipping completely behind the front lines and attacking Sol directly, nearly completely unopposed was a demoralising shock to the entire Human species. The rushed defence resulted in severe casualties, but bought time for reinforcements and a concentrated defence to occur.
"Helm, take us towards the Sol lance." Nick said while grabbing a report from engineering. "We are to rejoin formation and cycle our drives at the lance."
"Nick, send the 2nd Battlegroup through the lance ahead of us. They will prepare initial flight ops and establish communications with Allied Forces as per our briefing. 1st and 3rd groups will then join them" Alq said as he joined Nick by the Helm, exchanging glances quickly, "It's fine Nick, Vice Admral Iera has the situation under control. We've been through enough capture operations already to know how it pans out, but we need to focus our attention on Sol now."
Nick seemed to grumble a little, his face said it though, not his words. They both walked to the side, just out of earshot of the nearest crew."With respect, you know I would have preferred to complete the operation ourselves, exactly like we have done before,... before shipping them off to Intelligence."
"Whether you trust Intelligence to treat them appropriately or not is of no help Nick, you know I was vocal when we were forced to release the Cordi to them. And while we have received valuable intelligence and knowledge since then. You know full well that we found out more while they were with us, and they were better treated!" he clenched his fist, nearly thumping it against the cold metal of the wall. "This fleet in Sol, it is cut off from reinforcement. It's our chance to bag the big guys. We are the only Fleet with the experience to pull this off, and these reports of 'new' technology... it is not something we can afford to miss."
Helm engaged the Silver Arrow's drives and they proceeded towards the Sol Lance, the soft vibrations were louder now. Such was the evident difference between Peace and Wartime pleasures.
Time: +7 Hours after Special Fleet forced from Earth Orbit
The lights slowly came on in the briefing room, neither Alq or Nick felt like speaking.. silence was golden, if only for a moment. The Silver Arrow and escort were orbiting Sol, while the rest of the Fleet continued engagements against the Her'tak.
"Sol took a beating didn't they, Sir?" one of the junior Officers pipped up. "They weren't very appreciative of the situation".
The map floating in front of them changed as Alq swiped his hand, "This was the strength of the Sol Defence Force prior to the incursion. This fleet had more pride than all of their front line forces together, and this is them now." the projected ships pretty much vanished, there was little left compared to before. The pride of Sol, their strongest and best. Held in reserve to portray the image of peace and security..." Alq paused, his hand removing his hat and scratching the back of his head, "resulted in this massacre." completed Nick.
The Sol Defence Fleet were little more than recruits against the Her'tak, sure the Sims were training. But it was nothing against the real deal, the Her'tak were wiping the floor until reinforcements arrived to challenge them and even the veteran fleets suffered heavy casualties in the initial challenges, just trying to stall the enemy advance even for a few moments so something resembling defence could be organised.
They pulled together in the end, and with the Her'tak suffering from being cut off from supplies and reinforcements, were forced away from Earth.
The door slid open, "Admiral!" shouted the Lieutenant, storming into the room before saluting those before him, "I think you need this Sir", handing Alq a report marked urgent.
From: Wing Commander Novak, "Glittering Angels", 2nd Battlegroup.
To: Captain Ward, 2nd Battlegroup
Subject: Rear Line Engagement
Recent engagements successful. Her'tak fighters from harassing rear line units were force to withdraw or surrender. Proceeded with Capture Protocol H-031 as per Standing Orders.
Unable to complete mission, Surrendered units destroyed by Allied fighters from 3rd Fleet. Refused to accept my Stand-Down orders and all surrendered combatants were lost.
Sir, request Immediate confirmation of our Standing Orders and update regarding Treatment of Surrendered Hostiles, Status of 1st, 3rd and 4th Fleets orders and action regarding Violation of Fleet Protocols and Orders.
Wing Commander Novak
The message was then passed to Nick, and Alq.. appearing calm. Departed the room. The Lieutenant shook his head back and forth, obviously lost for what he was supposed to do next, Nick addressed him a few moments later. "Thank you Lieutenant, that will be all... I have a feeling it's under control now".
Not long afterwards, the message indicators began to flash. Signalling the arrival of a new message. It did began to flash not only for both Vice Admirals Alcott and Santiago of the 3rd and 4th CRF Fleets respectively, but also to the attention of all ranking Officers within Sol.