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Central Europe

© 1999-2001 Imminent Storm of NEWST.

Chapter Ten: The Dominion Strikes Back

In the tradition of the first three expedition bases (Aplha, Beta, and Gamma), the new forward base received the name Delta Base. The European Dominion's retaliation was expected, but its method was entirely unexpected. The former ED base had served as a key launch point for many of its air raids. Its position gave us a foothold from which we could launch our own air strikes and transports deep past much of their air defense line. It had to be held at all costs.

The new base commander of Delta base--a Veteran of all three campaigns against the New Paradigm, the Collective, and Nexus--oversaw the finishing touches to the base's defense network. He tried to avoid key errors that the ED had made while defending their own base here. Such corrections included a more efficient arrangement of artillery, as well as improved entrance-and-exit defense design. These had hindered the enemy units while they attempted to engage our main assault force. Also, special factories were built to manufacture the two new transport types, the Cyborg Transport Mk.2 and the Ground Hover Transport (G.H.T.)

The new cyborg transport is essentially the old one with new weapons mounted on the nose hardpoint. The Mk.2's came with either a Heavy Machine Gun, an Assault Gun, an HPV, a Needle gun, or a Pulse Laser mounted on the nose. The Mk.2 also comes with a new dorsal weapon hardpoint that mounts and air-to-air chaingun for defense against enemy VTOLs. The G.H.T., on the other hand, is an entirely new type of short-range ground transport for our tanks. It is a massive unit, built on a hover propulsion, and can carry up to 10 units of any size for most efficient deployment. It can carry more of the smaller units, but a longer deployment time from the transport would be risky in combat situations. Its new ingeneous hydraulic deployment lifts allow 10 units to be simultaneously extended outdoors from the G.H.T.'s side and lowered to the ground. Overall exit time for 10 units was 30 seconds on average.

The commander was looking out of his office window at the Command Center overlooking the base when the call came in from Command Operations Control ("Ops" for short) . "Multiple unidentified transports on radar, approaching from the Northeast, presumed hostile." This was going to be a busy day. In two minutes, he was in Ops and started giving orders. "Put all VTOLs on high alert, load battle groups 1 and 2 into their GHTs, and get infantry groups 3 and 4 ready for transport." Ops was flurry of activity as battle preparations were made. "Commander, enemy transports have landed at several points about 2 clicks north by northeast of our outer sensor line." The Commander went over to the holographic table, and brought up the map of the base and all surrounding land. It allowed him to see the position and condition of all his structures, all units, and the positions of known enemies. Also, if need be, he could directly give orders to each individual unit from this map. The Commander marked a few points on the situation map near the north-east defenses, and gave more orders. "Move the GHTs for groups 1 and 2 to these points and unload. Order VTOL group 6 to patrol that area." This was only a quarter of his force. He did not want to commit his entire force until he knew what he was dealing with.

After a long 10 minutes of waiting, the detection officer began announcing info. "Comfirmed hostiles, airgroup 6 has visual contact, just out of range of our forward sensors." Their location was marked by moving red blips on the situation map. The Commander then began giving more orders. "VTOL group 6 has clearance to fire at will; target anti-air units first. Inform groups 1 and 2 that ROE is code Green; fire at will on visual confirmation of enemy. Get all Thor's Hammer and Archangel Mk.2 artillery ready for continuous bombardment. Load infantry groups 3 and 4 onto transports, put all remaining VTOLs and battle groups on high alert."

VTOL group 6 wing leader recieved the order to attack and relayed it to the group. "Cleared to fire; take out AA first. It's Wild Weasel time!" They were going to let themselves be targetted so that they could pick out the AA and SAMs. "Confirmed multiple radar spikes, SAMs, designating targets. SAMs incomming!" The group split up and tried to evade, but 2 VTOLs didn't make it. The VTOLs now went on the attack. Diving in, they unleashed a barrage of Scourge missles, damaging 4 and destroying 5 enemy tanks. Wing Leader switched to long-range radio. "Command, we are returning to base for re-arm." There was no response. "Command?!" Switching back to local comm, "Dammit, can anyone reach Command? I must have been damaged." No one could, which meant they were definitely being jammed on long-range frequencies. "We'll just head back and sort this out."

The Base Commander was, similarly, getting very concerned. "What do you mean 'lost contact'?" The comm officer said, "Just that. All I got was 'Command, we ar....', then nothing but static. I've tried to contact them, but nothing." The detection office spoke up, "Sir, I've got powerful ECM signatures; radar is seriously affected, but ground sensors are fine, it seems."

Now they were without eyes or ears over a large protion of the area. The situation map was darkened in the affected location, which was growing. The detection officer spoke up again, "enemy ground units in sensor range, confirmed targets and vectors, submitting to artillery computers." Even though the command center was cushioned and sound insulated, the vibration could still be felt and the rumble heard of the artillery all opening fire simultaneously. Even without communication, groups 1 and 2 engaged the enemy. Once again word came from detection, "Airborne units, confirmed friendly, now out of jamming... What the...!!!"

"What, what happened!?" The Commander was now looking over the officer's shoulder at the empty radar screen. "I...I...I don't know; a few small and fast objects came out of nowhere and flew right into our VTOL group; then they were gone, Sir." The Commander pounded the console. "Dammit! What's going on, were they SAMs?" The sensor map showed that the ground forces of the enemy were retreating back to their LZs. "I don't think so, considering the range.... What? there it is again!" They watched as a few small blips flew in fast, then disappeared at the location of groups 1 and 2. This was marked by numerous friendly units vanshing as well. After another round no more units remained.

A loud "YESSSS!!!!" came from a corner of Ops as a radar technician stood up proudly. "I broke through the jamming; radar should work now!!" The jammed section of radar revealed a pair of ominous blips on the screen. "Th...they're huge....big as a 747!!" Not too many people know enough pre-Collapse aviation history to know what a 747 was. The Commander had a puzzled look on his face, "Airborne!? And hovering?!"

More bad news, "Missile launch!! ASMs, 6 birds incomming!" Their range was incredible, as they just kept comming towards the base. The AA defense systems came alive, and the air was filled with flak. One, then 2 missiles blew up, followed by a a third. Three missiles made it to the base. The first impacted a factory, completely obliterating it and damaging the one next to it beyond all repair. The second left a smoking crater where a portion of the base artillery used to be. The third plowed into a power generator, which was quickly and effectively reduced to scrap. Everyone was stunned into silence. The artillery command officer broke the silence, "My God...Their impact blast yield is incredible. Not even our Las-Sats can do that kind of damage in one shot." The Commander began relaying instructions. "Get the research teams and all non-combatants to cover. Everybody here head to the command bunker; order all units in base to spread out away from the base, and get all VTOLs airborne."

They all moved to the underground command bunker located 30 feet below the ground under the command center; such is the standard after the Nexus Campaign. Communication was still down, so the field commanders were in charge of individual units while they were out of base. The holographic situation map table showed the friendly units fanning out to keep from all being wiped out at once. The VTOLs were en route to the enemy. The reports came quickly. "Enemy firing SAMs, VTOLs taking evasive... 4 VTOLs down. VTOLs engaging, 2 more VTOLs down, no apparent damage to enemy. Vtols RTB for rearm, 3 more down. Enemy firing ASMs! 6 birds hot and incomming, 30 seconds to impact!" Flak took care of 4 ASMs this time, but 2 still made it through, demolishing a research facility and leaving a hole in the base defense line. The Commander slapped his fists down on the holotable, causing the image to distort for a second. "Alright people, I need options; we cannot keep this up, and retreat is not an option." The Commander continued, "The VTOLs are proving to be ineffective. We need a large amount of focused firepower that they can't shoot down. Send orders to the construction crews, put up as much flak as they can, we need to stop those ASMs."

The artillery command officer stood up. "Sir, I think I have an idea. Those 2 enemies are remaining largely stationary as they hover at low altitude. If I can switch artillery targetting to manual, I think I can hit them with a barrage of Archangel fire, since the Thor's don't have the range." The Commander's response was short but to the point; "Do it." It didn't take long to engage the manual override targetting system. The trajectory arc calculations for both targets took another 2 minutes. Another round of ASMs made it through and laid several more factories to waste during this time. Then, every last Archangel battery opened fire with enhanced armor-penetration warheads on the rockets.

Less than a minute later almost 100 rockets plowed into the upper armor of 1 of the 2 enemy units. They impacted within 2 meters of each other, effectively blasting a hole straight through it. It came crashing to the ground not much long after that. The second enemy fired another round of ASMs, only 2 this time, and they were easily handled by the defenses. Apparently out of ammuntion, the second enemy began a retreat slowly to the north.

The command Bunker was full of celebration and cheering. The Commander sent out his last orders of the day. "Well done people, lets get this mess cleaned up and figure out what the hell just happended!"