Avatar image for last_man_standing
Posted by Last_Man_Standing (704 posts) - - Show Bio

Prologue

These meetings would fall under the observations of the Darths, should they choose to contribute, intervene, or otherwise. A holo-recording device sat in the midst of some of the greatest minds in the sector, all focused on taking the planet below them: Oristicon, cursed and traitorous. Befouled in name and construct by the rebels - though entirely a stronghold of interest for the Empire.

In summation, the moot consisted of:

High General Helmut Wissenburg, of the 117th Infantry Army - fresh from the campaign that killed his treasonous brother; Lord Conrad von Kreigenshire, Duke of Reikholm, and Commander of the Kysticos Dragoons present in the conflict and Commander of the 5th Grand Army; Admiral Reuder Hains, Commander of the Glacier; Colonel-General Jugo Domner of the 1st Grand Army; Colonel-General Sutherford Battresk of the 2nd; Colonel-General Hammond Pask of the 3rd; and Colonel-General Ulystrand Mannkerdeim of the 4th.

Helmut had won reasonable favor with the Darths after successfully slaying the Jedi responsible for drawing out the conflict on Radhast. Though Lord-Commander Heslok sought after his own glories of winning the battle for oil, the Darths were quick to see that such a goal was the extent of his plans. Heslok didn't even know of the Jedi General, Erastus Wissenburg, until Helmut pointed it out to him. Helmut purposely bled the Republic white using his 117th Infantry Army, so that Erastus would show himself - and, on the last day, Erastus was truly desperate enough to commit to a single fight. Such was the end of him.

Heslok was relieved of command despite his victory, and summarily executed for his shortsightedness.

Helmut would wear the cloak of his slain brother as a trophy, even to this meeting. Conrad von Kriegenshire had something to say about that, as well as a great many other things.

"You Sytonians have a daft way of dividing the spoils," he chirped. Helmut just glared at him.

"We are gathered under the observations of the Darths to put into action a plan to overwhelm the rebels and pave the way for a true Imperial invasion," the Wissenburg grunted, his skeletal face crackling dryly. "The 1st and 2nd will make their advance in support of the 3rd and 4th Armies. Once the push is made towards the initial mountain range the 5th will advance and sweep the area. Clean,"

"We are waging a War of Movement, are we not?" the Duke.

"The rebels are entrenched deeply, and information is scarcer the further the fortresses go. We are tasked with opening a foothold. A wound, so that the Darths may utilize our forces as they wish,"

"Good, you've done it, we can all move out now," Conrad laughed. "Except, that would be too tedious now wouldn't it?"

"Beg your pardon?"

"If we are to wage a War of Movement, then let us strike them faster than anything your Radhast Front ever accomplished. Two months for oil? Give me an afternoon and I'll have two of these bunkers flushed out,"

"Bunkers? These are ancient castles dating back over 1,000 years, they are meant to endure anything - most of all your backwards antique of a war,"

"Is that doubt I hear? Last time anyone in your family had doubt you spend fifty years hunting them down just to see them bleeding in the mud,"

Helmut said nothing, and the congregation continued their vigilant behavior.

"I vote in favor of the Duke," Jugo mentioned. Others followed, the majority.

Helmut sighed. He had planned a war that would last for a few weeks, but the Duke promised an afternoon. He would keep the idea in his pocket moving forward, however. For now he reinstated his duty as High General, as the trusted Fist of the Darths. Majority meant nothing, but von Kriegenshire would have his glory.

"Hey Jhen, you ever hear about these Dragoon lunatics we're fighting with here?"

"No, why?"

"They're a mounted corps but they don't use speeders. I saw them coming in on... weird looking things,"

"Yeah?"

"About six feet tall at the shoulder, white-grey fur, they had long faces. I heard some stories too, that they ate flesh and crushed bone under their stone feet,"

"What kinda monsters are they?"

"I think I heard someone say they're called... horses."

Avatar image for khurir_khathgen
#1 Posted by Khurir_Khathgen (10 posts) - - Show Bio

Horses, lol

Reminds me of the Nacirema.

Avatar image for last_man_standing
#2 Posted by Last_Man_Standing (704 posts) - - Show Bio

@khurir_khathgen:

True! Heh.

Way I see it, though they're specially bred on Kysticos and the Dragoons are indeed a fearsome force, it's like seeing a tank for the first time when the 117th watches them charge.

Avatar image for aelia_stormwind
#3 Posted by Aelia_Stormwind (198 posts) - - Show Bio

Wait. Is that one guy related to the Jedi?

Avatar image for last_man_standing
#4 Edited by Last_Man_Standing (704 posts) - - Show Bio

ℙ𝕙𝕒𝕤𝕖 𝕆𝕟𝕖

"Sir," it was Mannkerdeim.

Nobleman from Tyristead, tall - seemingly handsome. But a predatory glaze in his eyes, an ideal soldier.

High-General Helmut Wissenburg waved him to be at ease without looking up from the holo-projection and the physical paper documents lining his command table.

"The Duke of Reikholm has departed from us, he is the same as you is he not? His duty is to lead the men with instruction,"

"And so he will, but from the front. He was never one for bills and passages, more swordplay and duelling," Helmut sniffed. "I used to be, by the Darths, damn Erastus," he idly moved his robotic leg.

"With all due respect, we should call the 5th Army back, they are far too ahead already," Pask this time. Hard man to converse with, like a brick wall of meat and bone and spirit.

"And? It is all part of my design, do you have doubts? Take it up with the Darths, who have put me in charge of you lot! If this becomes a colossal failure, then I shall die knowing I had commanded one of the greatest armies I have ever seen, and I shall die with a smile on my face. What say you, Battresk? Domner?"

They were silent, as they were familiar with Wissenburg's strategies and those of von Kriegenshire.

"Now, the shields surrounding this first fortress have weathered a good bit of fire. The stonework beyond is even sturdier. We will not breach with concussive laser blasts, no matter the caliber. We'd sooner whittle the mountain down to the roots than destroy what is buried there, and I for one am not privy to the idea of wasting a hundreds years waiting on an orbital bombardment,"

"Then send in my 3rd!" protested Pask, always Pask. "We will take the rebels trench by trench!"

"Until what, you're lined up square with their turbo-lasers and wall-mounted gatling guns? You'd be massacred. The Darths prefer their red carpet to be the blood of Imperial enemies, not its soldiers," he knew the difference, however, was slight at best.

"Von Kriegenshire has sent up his 5th with older-style weapons. Several batteries of 60-pounder guns, hundreds of them - antiques wouldn't you say? Well, the rebels in their infinite wisdom has thought it wise to use deflector shields, fully expecting to draw our armies into a trap,"

He made a gesture towards where the 5th had advanced to, according to communications.

"I do believe the Duke is ready to spring our own trap."

Conrad von Kriegenshire, Duke of Reikholm, and Commander of the Kysticos Dragoons - a pompous man. Incurably arrogant, and proud of his cavalry regiments. There were any number of colossal war engines on the battlefields of the modern era, and yet nothing moved that man's heart quite like the charging thunder of a thousand cavalrymen blaring their horns in unison and howling for the end of the world.

Fully 20% of his army had been dedicated to artillery, however, for a single purpose. The deflector shield worked to a degree on solid projectiles, earning a higher percentage of protection against slower ones. He had been trained in the greater parts of mathematics at the universities and military academies of Kysticos. Though he appeared an eccentric man, he was certainly no fool.

"The good Admiral has confirmed logistics from this location, Jaegeu?"

"Aye sire," a Lowlander's accent if any had heard one before.

"Excellent. Bring the guns into place, commence bombardment at the arc and range prescribed,"

Jaegeu barked something crude, presumably in Galactic Common, and the artillery rolled into the sand and rock. Sturdy ground, sturdy enough for the plan at least. 60-pounders each, massive guns with solid sound ammunition. The Duke had conspired with Wissenburg and the Admiral of the Glacier, Reuder Hains, about the necessary arrangement needed. He gave out his ideal measurements, and Hains picked out a spot for him. Wissenburg made it so that von Kriegenshire would be unmolested in his advance with a preliminary bombardment from the walkers and heavy tanks.

All according to plan. Even if the rebels were to somehow pinpoint the Duke of Reikholm on a holo-map, they would more than likely mistake his antiquated equipment for dull and desperate on the Empire's part. Still, strike forces of bombers and fighters were sent out to harass the 5th - much to the dismay of the rebels.

Dogfighting became a ritual within a matter of moments. Von Kriegenshire was unperturbed by the affair, looking through his personal telescope from atop his horse and nodding.

"That should do it. Fire at will," he folded his scope and nudged Jaegeu with it, who repeated his order far louder and coarser than he ever could.

No Caption Provided

Within moments, hundreds of shots had already been fired. The Thousand Guns of von Kriegenshire, that was what the strategy was called from now on. But it was more like 650 guns, all firing in unison, for about thirty minutes - not as impressive sounding.

But the Duke had achieved what he set out to do, and what he said he would.

The artillery shells had achieved the perfect arc of momentum versus trajectory, losing most of their speed over the course of their travel before breaching the shield and gaining most of that momentum back due to gravity. What resulted was a fallen shield generator, of course, but that objective had been cleared in little more than ten minutes. The rest was just for fun's sake.

However, the Duke rejoiced most of all in the charge of cavalry. With the trenches confused and in disarray from the constant bombardment, he unsheathed his saber.

"For Reikholm!" he roared, and his trumpeter heralded a general advance, double-time.

On that day, 15,000 horsemen sprang from the gap between the guns and the entrenched rebels. They had just barely had reprieve from the artillery barrage, perhaps trying to escape despite the orders to stay and fight. The right flank of the fortified positions saw most of the fighting, as men desperate to survive affixed bayonets and began to try and overwhelm the Duke's charge through sheer numbers.

The cavalry wasn't completely unarmed, as they also had blaster pistols and swords to call their own - large flashes of silver-steel, emblazoned with pure Kystician gold in the craftsmanship. One sword was worth half a year's salary for a working man, and a matter of pride. Any rebel bold enough to steal one was shot in the back or trampled.

"Sir, shields are down," Battresk chimed in on the clock as they fell.

True to his word, the Duke did it. Now came the matter of making sure he didn't kill himself in his fervor.

"General advance, 3rd Army, all walkers. Firing support on the walls. The 117th will take the trenches, the 838th, 901st, and 466th in support,"

"And the matter of the construction of the barricades themselves, sir?" Pask, damn him.

Solid glass-like cuts of ebony stone, closing off whatever was inside from the outside world. Possibly as old as the Republic itself. The rebels had to have gotten inside somehow, and that secret had been in the rudimentary hangar doors much like their temple bases on distant forest worlds. Too low for heavy walkers, but AT-STs would make it through. Good for securing that much-needed foothold.

Eventually it would become a tunnel fight, though. Impossible to have such a weakness throughout the entirety of the 'temple'.

"We cannot breach it so do not trouble yourselves. Send in those Infantry Armies in support of the Duke."

They all saluted, and the countdown to von Kriegenshire's charge began as the pieces started to move into place.

"Can you believe it Jhen? We're getting to see those 'horse' things up close and personal!"

"Yeah, wild," Lorandis was unnervingly excited to see those monsters. Private Brego just stayed quiet for most of their ride on the troop carriers. The sky was getting heavy with fighter combat.

A few wrecks crashed into the sand near their advance, but nothing too serious.

"All hands! Listen up!" Braldt was unusually loud today, at the head of the boat they were on.

"You're tasked with storming the trenches and will breaching the hangar doors for the AT-STs coming up behind us, as well as the other Infantry Armies. We're to swarm into the base and overtake any defenders, got it? They're just like clones, men. No soul, no real blood, just a traitor's heart pumping lies to their brains,"

"Yes sir!" Jhen thought he was the loudest.

Strayfer sat across from him. They had to outfit him into Heavy Trooper armor, some experimental surgery to save his brain. He didn't talk anymore, or do anything like he used to. Just sat there, waited for orders. Jhen felt something like pity towards him, but knew it was for a good cause. All he could do was help him along, be a good friend. Falister, Thadon, and Garrox were on some other boat further down the line.

They kept riding, and the bombardment from the east kept pouring on. He wondered if they had to walk through all of that at some point, but then within ten minutes it all stopped. So did the boats. He snapped back to reality, realizing the attack was commencing now. Braldt hopped out, taking a potshot with his pistol on a rebel poking his head out. The concussive bolt ripped through his helmet and head without pause. A storm of laser bolts commenced, catching the rebels on the front line off-guard as the elite shocktroopers fresh from Radhast smashed into their lines without warning.

No Caption Provided

Turret emplacements were completely shelled to oblivion. The trenches were in disarray and chaos. The only thought Jhen had in the back of his mind was how many rebels he shot, how many he stabbed through with his bayonet. Strayfer had flown off with his jump pack, landing back down with a rebel under his massive feet. Bones audibly snapped and cracked, but the attack kept on. Strayfer fired indiscriminately into a nearby crowd of rebel soldiers. Sprays of red and black smoke was all Jhen could see.

He was too busy watching the cavalry breaking into the right flank.

Lorandis had made them seem like crazed beasts, but as Jhen observed the 'horses' half-hypnotized he felt jealous that the Kystician elite had such free access to them. Anger, that he hadn't been closer. Pride, that they were Imperial troops. Awe, that they trampled the traitors so easily. A lump formed in his throat, from shock or grief he couldn't tell. A laser-bolt took him back into reality, and he fired back without a second thought.

He was still in combat, though the Dragoons made it seem as if he were part of a work of art instead.

That afternoon, and the trenches were very emphatically Imperial. Flags raised across the line snapped in the wind, as mass numbers of the rebel dead were piled in an almost ceremonial fashion - to meet the Darths, of course. Two fortresses were taken, far from the Duke's own boast of all seven. But to his credit, there were very few Imperial losses.

The stunning taking of the first fortress led into the second being bled white as their defenders fell to a man, unprepared for the speed of the assault. The third was being besieged as the conquering heroes Helmut Wissenburg, brother of Erastus, and Conrad von Kriegenshire would welcome the Darth responsible for taking command of the remainder of the assault.

"Welcome, Lord Impero," (@darth_impero) Wissenburg would say, bowing deeply.

The Duke of Reikholm would remove his ornamented and feathered hat, placing it on his chest, before doing the same. "My Darth."

Wissenburg, however, had a question for the Sith.

"I have a question for Lord Militiades, if he is near," (@darth_miltiades)

"I would very much like to see the lightsaber that my brother Erastus betrayed the Empire for, and know that it is serving a better role as part of Lord Militiades' trophy collection."

(Could move this to Nexus if you'd like, depends.)

Avatar image for last_man_standing
#5 Posted by Last_Man_Standing (704 posts) - - Show Bio
Avatar image for aelia_stormwind
#6 Posted by Aelia_Stormwind (198 posts) - - Show Bio