Saturday, December 11, 2010
Wing Commander reboot, part 28
Battle of the Tanhausen Nebula
In an attempt to stem the loss of systems in the Enigma Sector, Confed launched a daring strike behind enemy lines in the Epsilon Sector. The Trafalgar System had much in common with its oceanic namesake on Earth. It was a bottleneck of traffic for the Kilrathi, and cutting the line here would add weeks on to any resupply mission. Even a single day could alter the course of a battle. Banbridge sent Tolwyn with the Concordia and its years long sidekick the Gettysburg into the system, escorted by two cruisers and five destroyers. Losses in the Enigma Sector Campaign allowed for little in the way of offensive strikes, not while the Kilrathi were threatening to kick down the back door to Earth.
Tolwyn successfully slipped past Kilrathi patrols and sentries in the Telamon System, entering the Trafalgar System with no difficulty. The system was a young one, not more than a hundred million years old, that still resided within the light-years wide nebula that spawned it. Trafalgar’s age, being the youngest star on the jump point network, gives a minimal age estimate to the network’s existence. Because all known jump points start in one system and end in another, and the statistical fact that virtually all should end in the middle of nowhere, lead many to believe jump points to be artificial in nature.
The Kilrathi had a large supply depot and communication relay center located in the thick dust of the system. Approaching through a nebula was both a boon and a curse. A curse because ships easily stirred up the dust and left a trail. A boon because the dust obscured reliable sensors. The Kilrathi knew something was approaching, but the depot commander assumed it was his own side’s ships. The first hint that these were Confed ships was when the first of the Kilrathi cargo ships exploded in dock.
Battle is too strong of a term to describe the action in Trafalgar in 2661. For over a week, Tolwyn and his two carriers had free reign of the system. The supply depot was destroyed, not only cutting supplies to parts of the Enigma Sector, but also eliminated the means by which Kilrathi could relay messages between jump points. Without that, messages would take hours to days longer to reach Kilrah from the front as they were re-routed through other systems. As soon as the station was destroyed, Tolwyn ambushed several Kilrathi convoys headed towards the front, carrying anything from ammunition to replacement personnel. This "battle" forced the Kilrathi to recall three of their own carriers to patrol the system, but by the time they had arrived, Confed was long gone.
The Forgotten Battle
By the middle of the year, both Confed and the Kilrathi had withdrawn all fleet support for the ongoing war upon Repleetah. Ground support from orbit was no more, and supply convoys were growing less frequent. Supplies were still being shipped in, but reinforcements became sporadic, with the Kilrathi adding only two hundred thousand during the year. The soldiers, for the most part, were now on their own. War industries appeared upon the planet on both sides of the front as the warring factions strove to augment their meager supplies with homegrown ammunition and weapons.
The planet, after years of warfare, was no longer worth anything. It was once a marginally habitable planet, but now it was little more than a wasteland, with fall out from fission weapons (that were used for area denial), as well as dust from earlier planetary bombardments, and toxins from the unrestricted chemical warfare. In the words of a Chaplin of the old Catholic Church, humanity had finally discovered Hell. That being said, the few Confed soldiers transferred to Repleetah wondered just who up the chain of command they offended to get stationed on such a brutal world.