Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Wing Commander reboot, part 12
Cobra’s Fang Operations
The year 2645, spelled a lull in Confed operations in the Vega Sector. The losses suffered in Munro, as well as the resources still going into the system, have brought offensive operations by large fleets to a halt. Banbridge, now in overall command of the Vega Sector, has plans for 2646, but it will take some months to assemble a large enough invasion force. To keep the Kilrathi from taking advantage of this pause, Confed has set loose the Bengal-class strike carriers to do what they were designed to do. Though the Kilrathi can get fuel from any gas giant, and food on any habitable world, they still had to have munitions and spare parts. Only worlds under prolonged occupation would have any Kilrathi industry built upon it. With this in mind, the Cobra’s Fang jumped into the Kurasawa System in April of 2645.
In Kurasawa, the Cobra’s Fang and its escorting cruiser, the Majestic as well as three destroyers, took a round about route through the system. They encountered a munitions convoy likely headed for Port Hadland. None of the seven freighters or Kilrathi escorting destroyer survived the encounter. Marines from the carrier attempted to board one of the freighters, only to have it explode as the shuttle approached. The Marine shuttle was tractored back to Cobra’s Fang. The strike force proceeded to jump into what Confed had charted as the Hyperion System, near the border of the Kilrah Sector. Despite its location, the system had minimal Kilrathi military presence.
In Hyperion, the strike force encountered a Fralthi escorting Kilrathi soldiers, believed to be destined for the Alcor System. In order to weaken the system for eventual invasion, Captain Manuel de Soto ordered Raptors to attack the convoy. The attack alerted the Kilrathi to the Cobra’s Fang’s existence in the system. Though the convoy was destroyed, with over fifty thousand Kilrathi soldiers dead in space and a cruiser cripple, alerts were sent out to relays near all jump points. The Cobra’s Fang strike force retreated to Kurasawa. There, it was forced to fight a Kilrathi task force centered around a Snakier. The Kilrathi carrier was knocked out of action, but at the cost of 20% of the Cobra’s Fang’s pilots. The destroyer Warlock was destroyed in the Kilrathi counterattack, and the Majestic suffered damage, but de Soto managed to guide his strike force back to Rostov by June.
TCS Bengal had a harder time in its raid that its sister ship. The Bengal, with four destroyers acting as escorts, left the Vega Sector and entered Epsilon during the month of May. From Hell’s Kitchen, it jumped to Segallion, slipped past Kilrathi patrols and jumped into the Lennox System. The system might have once been home to a human frontier colony, but it was long since removed. Remains of the habitat on Lennox V indicated that it was destroyed from orbit, most likely by the Kilrathi. Humans might be gone, but the system was still home to a Kilrathi repair base. Though action had been limited in the Epsilon Sector, Confed decided a strike here could mislead the Kilrathi into believing major operations could strike into the Sector.
Fighters from the Bengal caught a Ralatha as well as four corvettes in dock while attacking the repair station. The ships and station were destroyed. The Bengal jumped into the Torgo System as soon as the repair base was destroyed. There, the strike force encountered Kilrathi resistance. The Bengal and its fighters had to fight there way across the system, enduring two weeks of hit-and-run attacks by the Kilrathi. Attrition reduced the strike force’s fighting strength by more than 50% before it reached the Orsini jump point.
During the past few years, Confed bypassed and cut-off several systems from the Kilrathi. During 2645, forces were sent in to retake these lost worlds. The Kilrathi, unable to resupply some of them for more than two years, were at a reduced fighting capacity. Tali was liberated in April, while Montrose was freed in May. The fight to retake the Nanking System took between May and August. The Kilrathi had no ships larger than corvette in any of the bypassed systems. The biggest heartache of the cleaning action was when Confed forces entered the Carlin System. Carlin II, whose entire population was massacred early in the war, was not invaded. Instead, the Kilrathi colonies on the planet were bombed from orbit. Enough dust was blown into the atmosphere by the bombardment to put the planet into a nuclear winter, and making it useless for the duration of the war.